General Cat Care and Health

A Happy Cat is a Healthy Cat for Happy Cat Month

September is Happy Cat Month, a month created by the CATalyst Council to assist in spreading the word about the health, welfare, and value of cats as companion pets, as well as to educate cat guardians what they can do to ensure their pet is happy.

Making sure a cat’s basic needs are met – food and water, safe shelter, clean litter, and regular veterinarian checkups are all important to that happiness, but it’s also important to provide a cat with fun and stimulating challenges that cater to their natural predator instincts to keep their minds sharp, their bodies fit, and their hearts happy and healthy.

It could be a cat condo that provides options for climbing, hiding, and scratching, or sometimes it’s an empty box, an unmade bed, or a puddle of sunshine to nap in. Or maybe it’s an unexpected treat, or a fun, catnip toy, or just the simple love and companionship from fellow catmates, or human caregivers.

Just some of the many things that make my cats happy!

A few more things…

Whatever it is, nothing gives me greater joy than knowing I’m making my cats happy, because the happiness they bring to my heart and home is returned a thousand times over. What are some of the little things you like to do for your cats to make them happy?

10 Tips to Relieve Feline Boredom in the Same Old 24/7 Environment

While the worst of it is over and I’m grateful for the success of my recent vitrectomy eye surgery, the recovery period was intensely difficult and one that gave me an unexpected virtual perspective of the life of my cats. For nearly two weeks, I was confined to a 3’ x 4’ cushion on the couch. I had to remain in a seated position, with my head upright, including when I was sleeping. After day 10, I was in tears, exhausted from the monotony, and it hit me like a lightning bolt – this is what it must be like to be a cat, captive to the 24/7 same old, same old of whatever world we provide for them. Read more

Cat Writers’ Association 24th Conference, a New Presidential Beginning, and Purrs for My Eye Surgery

Sure…my luggage might have a few love scratches and frays from my cats, but as long as the contents are less than 50 pounds, I don’t care!

Hey everyone! I had wanted to do a recap of my experience attending the 24th annual Cat Writers’ Conference and Awards Banquet last June 7 – 9 in Houston, TX. From start to finish it was a perfect alignment of the sun, moon, and stars. I remembered to pack my razor and phone charger. I had pre-TSA check-in at the airport. My luggage was less than 50 pounds and my hair was uncharacteristically cooperative during my stay. Read more

10 Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Cat Happy, Healthy, and Fit with Exercise

Believe it or not, a cat spends the majority of her day napping in order to reserve energy for her hunting and survival skills.

Cats are notorious nappers, sleeping nearly 16 hours a day. We humans might consider it lazy or excessive, but the truth is, that’s how they’re wired. Cats are natural born predators and need to reserve their energy to keep their hunting skills sharp. That’s why they’re instinctively more active around dawn or dusk, a term known as crepuscular, as frequently exhibited by those random bursts of energy our cats can have. But because the majority of pet cats live in an environment in which their basic feeding needs are catered to, requiring little to no hunting skills, the need to expel energy is even more important for them to stay fit and healthy. Read more

Wishes for a Safe and Happy Easter from Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles

Happy Easter from all of us at Zee & Zoey’s!

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic this Easter. I remember years ago, when my kids were young, how we’d have a house full of company. My brother, Dave, and his wife, Kathy, would visit from up North and they’d bring their 3 kids, as well as Kathy’s parents. My Mom lived nearby and we also had a revolving door of resident cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and more. We’d spend the time coloring eggs, swimming, going for walks, going to the beach, grilling outside, and whatever else we could think of.

No matter the event, there was always one of my cats helping out. This was Jazz along with my youngest son, Joe, and my niece, Allison back in 2000.

It was hectic and crazy and all kinds of nutty, but it was also wonderful. It seems everyone is all grown up now – my kids are long since moved out, Dave and Kathy’s kids are all in college, and the extended family I now share with Dan are also all grown up and we normally don’t see them around Easter. I’ll still be celebrating the day – thankfully my boys both live near me, as well as my Mom, and they’ll be coming by for dinner, but it’s a much quieter time now.

My sons, Chris and Joe, back in 1998 when we were in the backyard preparing for an Easter egg hunt. Also with us is Bailey and Bandit – no matter what we were doing, we always had a parade of dogs following us!

The cats will probably be the only ones crazy – typically signified by jumping up on the counter while I’m trying to cook, or on the dining room table while we’re trying to eat (insert feigned shock that the cats do this – “oh my goodness, I’ve never seen them do that before!”). And of course, if Chris brings his dog, that will also cause some nutty behavior with my cats, along with a few nose swats, hisses, and general displeasure from one or two of them.

Cats on the table? I don’t see any cats on the table…

It doesn’t mean we won’t have a good time, or that I’m unhappy, it’s just different, that’s all. I guess I had imagined by this point in my life I’d have grandchildren as opposed to grandpets, but as long as I have love in my life, that’s all that matters, and I’m surrounded by lots of that – both in human and fur form!

Easter is a calmer time now and instead of a house full of kids, we celebrate with a house full of furbabies!

And much as my cats might appear to be annoyed by the company, deep down they’re not. Zee and Peanut revel in the attention (obsessively so) and Rolz and Jazmine have quite cleverly figured out that having a dog in the house increases the chances of treats and snacks happening more frequently.

Keep Easter safe for your cats by avoiding dangerous temptations such as curling ribbon, cellophane grass, chocolate, and Easter lilies.

What kind of day will you all be having? Whatever you’re doing, I hope it’s a day filled with blessings. And don’t forget how curious our feline friends can be  – Easter is a wonderful time but there can be many things dangerous to cats. Curling ribbons and cellophane grasses if ingested could become entangled in their intestines, causing them to twist and close off requiring dangerous surgery. Chocolate is highly toxic to cats and so are those beautiful Easter lilies we are all familiar with. And if a cat eats a small toy or decoration, they could possibly choke on it, so really the best thing to do is keep these types of temptations away from your cat. To be safe, keep both the phone number of your veterinarian and the pet poison helpline programmed on your phone in case of emergencies (poison helpline is 855-764-7661).