Archive for the ‘Pet Care’ Category

Cat Myths Called Out: Truths to 12 Common Cat Myths

Posted on November 14th, 2015

Cats are fascinating creatures, believed to have been domesticated since Ancient Egypt, when they were regarded as Gods, and they have been kept as pets ever since. Many myths about cats have been perpetuated since then and some are just as common today as they have ever been! Have you ever heard these cat myths?

  1. Myth – Cats have 9 lives

Truth – An old wives tale that has stood the test of time but is unfortunately untrue. Whilst we would love our kitties to be able to have a get out of jail free card (or 8!) in life, a cat only has one life.

  1. Myth – Cats always land on their feet

Truth – Cats are a tree climbing species and as such have extraordinary balance and a great ability to survive falls. Cats are therefore very good at landing on their feet when falling; however, it is by no means a sure thing! Cats can land awkwardly and sustain injuries from falls.

  1. Myth – Pregnant women should stay away from cats

Truth – It has been said that toxoplasmosis can be caught from our feline friends; however, whilst the infection is a danger for foetuses, it is very unlikely to be caught from petting a cat. The parasite can be found in the excrement of an infected cat however and so it is advised to clean the litter box daily and with gloves to avoid contact.

Cat Myth Truths

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  1. Myth – My cat is eating grass – they must be ill!

Truth – It has been suggested that cats may eat grass in order to regurgitate inedible food that cannot be digested. Although the reasons why cats munch on grass are not entirely clear, it is not something to be worried about. However if your cats grass eating becomes excessive, it is time for a visit to the vets.

  1. Myth – Cats only purr when they are happy

Truth – Everyone loves to hear a purring cat, as it is often a sign of happiness and contentment. However, this is not the only reason cats purr: purring can also be heard when a cat is giving birth or when in pain or distress. Purring is the emotional response of a cat and may well be a mechanism for rest or repair as well – just as a purr can be therapeutic for us to hear, so it can be for the cat.

  1. Myth – My cat is healthier on a vegetarian diet

Truth – Cats are obligate carnivores that require at least 20% of their diet to be protein. In addition, the ability of the gastrointestinal tract to digest and use plant-derived nutrients is severely diminished in cats. Felines also require increased levels of certain amino acids, which cannot be provided by a vegetarian diet.

  1. Myth – All cats hate water

Truth – Many cats do seem to be averse to getting wet during a bath or rainstorm, however this is not true for all cat breeds. In fact, the Turkish Van cat delights in getting wet! Although a lot of cats do not like being fully immersed in water, many find water fascinating and will play with a bowl of water or a tap.

  1. Cat Myths Demystified

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    Myth – Cats expose their belly because they want it rubbed

Truth – It is a familiar situation – you are petting your cat and getting on great when he rolls on his back asking for a belly rub. You proceed and get thanked by being bitten and clawed – why is this? For cats, exposing their belly is a sign of trust and although it seems like they want their belly to be rubbed, this is not necessarily the case. Being stroked on the belly may trigger a defence mechanism to protect their vital organs.

  1. Myth – Cats steal the breath of babies

Truth – Cats do not steal the breath of babies, however, it is well known that cats love warm places, the body heat of a baby may seem perfect to a cat which could accidentally suffocate a baby, who does not have the ability to move their head. Due to this, it is a good idea to keep cats away from babies when unaccompanied at naptimes.

  1. Myth – Cats can only see in black and white

Truth – Cats are actually capable of seeing colours and are capable of distinguishing between several different colours. However, the colour discrimination of cats is not as great as in humans and cats can struggle to distinguish between colours of longer wavelengths (i.e. reds).

  1. Myth – Cats are nocturnal

Truth – Cats are in fact crepuscular, which means that they are most active during periods of dawn and dusk. The eyes of cats allows them to see in a lot lower light levels than humans, which is perfect for hunting during these periods.

  1. Myth – Cats are unfriendly

Truth – Cats have gathered an unfair reputation due to their constant comparison with dogs -as more independent creatures, cats come off looking cold and unloving; however this is simply not the case. Cats can be extremely loving and loyal companions, hence why they have been such popular pets for such a long time!

This article was provided by helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company that offers a range of coverages including Pet Insurance & more. Visit them online at

YOU Can Help Give Back to Pets and Their Vets (Veterans that is…)!

Posted on November 14th, 2015

Online Trivia Questions Trigger Donations at

Purina Partners with Non-Profit Dogs on Deployment to Help Military Community Enjoy Lifelong Pet Ownership

What if you could answer a few fun trivia questions and then consider it a day’s work (in terms of donating to charity anyhow)?

Well you can! It’s so cool!

At, there is the most paw-some movement happening. I can’t just call it a campaign or a “thing” because it’s a movement. ..An attempt to bring military families closer to their pets… An effort to keep our furry friends safe while their Moms and Dads are deployed. It’s pretty darn special.

Dogs on Deployment Partners with Purina

The equally special folks at Purina® have partnered up with the noble non-profit Dogs on Deployment this Thanksgiving season to ensure troops and vets continue to receive needed assistance: now through Wednesday, November 18th, you can simply visit the site and answer fun trivia questions to trigger 25¢ donations for every correct answer. Purina will donate up to (up to) $40,000* to Dogs on Deployment when all is said and done!

Dogs on Deployment is unique, a foundation that’s dedicated, respected and wide-reaching. According to the group’s website, Dogs On Deployment is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit which provides an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner’s service commitments. Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible, lifelong pet ownership by military pet owners by advocating for military pet owner rights, providing educational resources and granting financial assistance for military pet owners during times of emergency. Dogs on Deployment aids pets of all types that belong to active duty, reservists, guard, honorably discharged veterans and their families.

Purina Pure Love for Pets & Dogs on DeploymentThe Pure Love for Pets website from Purina is informative and purposeful about the perfect pairing. Accompanied by a heart-wrenchingly sweet reunion gallery section, the site also features a coupon section and a mass of information, including details on how to donate and more information on getting involved in the movement, for example by fostering or boarding with Dod, which has branches near all major military bases in the US.

And with fun and light-hearted trivia questions like, “It’s raining:  a. puppies and kittens b. cats and dogs c. cats and kittens d. puppies and dogs,” and,” What have you done if you let the cat out of the bag? a. revealed a secret b. bought a cat c. saved a cat d. set a cat free,” the trivia game is an inventive way to promote general animal welfare awareness and pet fun facts. Participants can answer five questions a day through this Wednesday, Nov. 18th to help raise the committed amount ($40,000) and help all those awesome military heroes and their precious pets!

So head over to and click on the Trivia link now! It’s a rewarding few minutes and I just bet you’ll find something interesting about Dogs on Deployment to read or watch and share with friends!

Check out Dogs on Deployment on Facebook; follow Purina on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more details.

*Ending at 3:00 p.m. EST on 11/18/15, or when the maximum aggregate donation of $40,000 is reached, whichever comes first, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company (“Purina”) will donate $0.25 to Dogs on Deployment for every correct trivia question answer on Limit 5 questions per person/e-mail address, per day. Valid in the 50 U.S. and D.C. Must be 18+. Void where prohibited. 

**All opinions herein are of the Administrator, JL Smith. This post was written in conjunction with Nestle Purina Pet Care, and the Administrator received compensation. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the spread of misinformation. Please email the Administrator with questions or concerns.

Avoid a Terrifying Halloween Searching for a Lost Pet

Posted on October 30th, 2015

Help pets prepare for trick-or-treating, scary decorations and sounds

Halloween is a holiday that is meant to be spooky and cause a fright. People can quickly recover after their hearts fall out of their chests when a haunted house or startling decoration terrifies them. But, the same is not true for the family pet. During trick-or-treating, a costume as innocent as a fairy princess or super hero can cause a dog or cat to bolt from the house.

One in three pets will get lost at some point in their life according to a study by Intervet Inc. And, without proper ID, the same study found that 90% of lost pets never return home. Unfortunately, only 33% of pet owners report that their pets have a tag on all the times (Preventive Veterinary Medicine 101.3 (2011): 265-269).

As Halloween approaches it is important for pet owners to prepare dogs and cats for surprises. Just like house training or learning to come when called, pets need their owners to teach them how to properly react when startled. It is also important to take preventative steps to help pets from stressing and block potential runaways. These simple tips can help:

Put Décor on the Floor – Before you hang any skeletons or ghosts, put your Halloween decorations on the floor and let your pet smell them. Have your dog or cat in the room with you while you decorate, or on a leash outside, so your pet can watch what you are doing. If they see the decorations going up, they will be less likely to be startled by them in the days to come.

Muffle Spooky Noises – If you know that your dog or cat goes wild when someone knocks or the doorbell rings, get ahead of the situation. Disconnect your doorbell and put a sign on the door asking people not to knock. While home, stay outside to hand out your candy. If you are leaving to trick-or-treat leave a bowl of candy on a table outside the door.

Prepare Your Pet’s Lair – Before trick-or-treating begins or inviting friends over for a Halloween bash, put your pet’s bed in a room you can easily block off from the rest of the house. A special treat or new toy can work wonders at keeping your pet distracted from the chaos of the celebration as well.

Start the Celebration Early – Hold a dress rehearsal for Halloween and have your family put on their costumes, one at a time so your pet isn’t overwhelmed. Spend the night at home dressed up and doing normal activities so your pet becomes accustomed to seeing people in odd outfits wearing masks and other common costume gear.

Dress Up Your Pets – Your pet doesn’t need to have its own costume. But you can dress up collars and should make sure that all of the identification information on your pet’s tags is up-to-date. Use a LINKS-IT to securely attach tags to the collar and consider a skeleton head or jack-o-lantern Pawdentify tag to add some festive flair. Halloween and fall-themed Pawdentify tags with color coordinated LINKS-IT connectors can be found at

How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance; What Do I Need to Properly Cover My Cat or Dog?

Posted on October 28th, 2015

With the many pet health insurance plans out there, it can be confusing to figure out the best, most affordable plan for your furry family members. Whether you own a 7-week-old kitten or a 10-year-old dog, the coverage options below will fit the health care needs of your pets at any stage of their lives.

Which Statement Best Describes Your Pet?

  1. I Have a Young Dog or Cat (1-3 years old)

Insure pets when they are young, before any health issues arise. Companies such as Pets Best cover puppies and kittens as young as 7 weeks old. The best option for young pets is an Accident and Illness Plan. Playful puppies and kittens tend to be mischievous and can swallow harmful items, injure their paws or break a leg. Comprehensive Accident and Illness Plans cover unexpected injuries, illnesses, emergency care, surgery and hospitalization.

With young pets, you’ll also want to have a Wellness/Routine Care Plan. By adding wellness coverage to an Accident and Illness Plan, you’re able to stay on top of your pet’s preventative care. Wellness plans cover items such as annual exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings and spaying/neutering. A wellness plan is a cost-effective way to budget for routine medical expenses, as well as catch life-threatening illnesses early on or before they happen.

  1. I Have an Adult Pet

For adult pets, look into Accident and Illness Plans. As mentioned above, these plans cover unexpected injuries and illnesses, including cancer. Dogs and cats – regardless of their age, breed and activity level – can still become sick, so it makes sense to cover both accidents and illness.

Similar to young pets, you should insure adult pets as soon as possible. This is because providers do not cover pre-existing conditions, so you’ll need your coverage to be in effect before issues arise for them to be covered. However, Pets Best is unique in that the agency covers some health conditions that can be considered cured.

An Accident and Illness Plan is your best choice so that you’re prepared for any health issues that come up in the future. Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, you should consider an accident and illness plan so that you have coverage for any new health problems that can happen.

Additionally, you may want to add a Wellness/Routine Care Plan. Wellness plans cover items like vaccinations, dental cleanings and flea/tick/heartworm preventatives. Routine and preventative care is important in helping catch illnesses early on or before they happen.

  1. I Have a Senior Pet

Since many senior pets have pre-existing conditions, you may decide your best option is an Accident Only Plan. An Accident Only Plan covers injuries so that emergencies such as broken bones, swallowing objects, strains and lacerations are covered.

An Accident and Illness Plan is also a good option for senior pets if they don’t have pre-existing conditions, since this plan includes more comprehensive coverage.

  1. I’d Like Coverage for Peace of Mind, But My Budget is Tight

If your finances are limited, you should consider the budget-friendly Accident Only Plan. Another way to reduce pet insurance plan premiums is to choose a high deductible and low reimbursement plan. You can do this for the Accident Only Plan as well as for the Accident and Illness Plan. Also, when insuring more than one pet, Pets Best offers a multiple-pet discount.

  1. Injuries are My Main Concern

If you are only worried about injuries, buy an Accident Only Plan – especially if you have an active pet. For example, if you like to run, hike or hunt with your dog, or if you have a working dog such as a police dog or rescue dog, your pet may be at a higher risk for injury. Also, certain breeds such as Labradors tend to be more playful and energetic, which makes them prone to injury.

Whichever pet health insurance plan you consider, you should read the policy to ensure you understand what’s covered and what’s not covered in your pet’s plan.

To learn more about each of the three plans listed above, here are additional resources:

-Learn more about the Accident and Illness Plans.

-Learn more about the Accident Only Plan.

-Learn more about the Wellness/Routine Care Plan.

For more information about Pets Best, visit

How Proper Nutrition from Purina Veterinary Diets Betters My Cat’s Life

Posted on October 21st, 2015

Struvite Crystals and How They Nearly Nabbed Us of a Most Special Kitty

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) Symptoms and Risk Factors

$15 Rebate for Purina Pro Plan® UR Urinary® St/Ox® Canned Feline Formulas

*All opinions herein are of the Administrator, JL Smith. This post was written in conjunction with Nestle Purina Pet Care, and the Administrator received trial product. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the spread of misinformation. Please email the Administrator with questions or concerns.

Uterine problems can be devastating to cats. I know this because my late cat, a wild cat we rescued off the open road as a teeny baby (Nickodemus’ nickname was “roadcat”), had to be on prescription cat food for most of his 19-year life due to uterine and kidney issues. He happily chowed down without complaint, but we did see it affect his quality of life. That was then… My baby Tater Tot’s current struggle is just as serious and will last his lifetime, just like Nick’s did. But thanks to Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets and their amazing UR Urinary® St/Ox® Formula for Cats, Tater Tot’s quality of life has been wholly, visibly improved and will stay that way.

How about a bit of background…?

Tate in Window Edit

Tatey in his favorite spot in the sunny window sill.

Five-year-old Tater Tot is the gentlest, most loving, most demure, and hungriest (lol) little itty-bitty-kitty I’ve perhaps ever known. He loves to lull in window sills spying on the birds and buggies and chippies and what-not; he absolutely adores his Muth-er (my Mom) and is known to cuddle her so close at night under the blankets that he’s like a live heating pad; he sloths around the furniture like he’s biding time hanging from trees; and finally, Tatey has a humble past, one that includes a wild birth and early upbringing, then three different homes before his perma-home here.

It was early summer of 2013 when Tate made his first trip to the vet for his pee-pee problem. He hadn’t been urinating in the box for a few days. I had also overheard him making terrible cries while trying to vacate his bladder in the litter box (heartbreaking = yes). We were absolutely shocked when, subsequently, at three-years-old, Tatey got diagnosed with a “severe, most likely long-term” case of struvite crystals.

Struvite stones, also called struvite crystals, are a type of bladder stone that actually occur in both cats and dogs. They’re also called triple phosphate and magnesium ammonium phosphate stones. Magnesium, ammonia, and phosphate are the elements found in cat urine. In high enough concentrations, they bind to form crystals that cause bladder irritation and inflammation. When the crystals combine with mucus, they sometimes form a plug, blocking the urinary tract. The crystals can be extremely distressing and painful for not only a mini 7-pound cat like Tate, but to any kitty. The crystals can also fuse to form struvite stones. Struvite stones account for half of all urinary stones in cats. The problem is seen more often in females, and pets that are around six or seven, definite risk factors.

Tate Snakes Over the Couch Like a Sloth!

Tate Snakes Over the Couch Like a Sloth!

A strict, appropriate diet as well as infection management are proven to be effective at dissolving struvite stones, but it takes several months for the stones to completely disappear when they’re as bad as Tate’s were. To reduce urine pH, the goal in most struvite situations, it’s necessary to feed your feline a low-carb, low-grain, preferably canned food diet for increased moisture. Thankfully, often, a pet’s urine pH can be sustained naturally (6-6.5 is a healthy range according to my vet) on the appropriate food.

It takes trust that your cat will actually eat the food to accomplish this, however. Let’s be honest – they’re prescription foods because they’re generally limited ingredient, so taste can vary. If you have a picky cat like Tate (who oft turns his nose at his non-PVD wet food at dinner) or a picky-timed eater (i.e., I will only eat at 8:00 pm when you are doing laundry and getting ready for work and a million other things), it’s challenging to feed a prescription food. Honestly. It really is.

When the vet said that Tate would have to eat at least one meal a day of a prescription food, I was hesitant because I know how picky he is. But I immediately inquired about the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets St/Ox Formula. Being a Purina fan already and having had tried other prescription brands on Nickodemus, my previous cat, I knew of the formula well (plus it’s glaring at you in the vet’s office on the wall when you walk in). Hearing the vet’s strong recommendation for it only made my Mom and I more anxious to try it with our sweet little mini-Abyssini.

STOX dryAfter making a valiant effort to reduce Tate’s stress at home, feeding the Pro Plan Veterinary Formula St/Ox solely, and administering medication to control other symptoms like pain, Tate made a “laudable” (the vet’s quote) turnaround in about three months. And we are over the moon as Tate continues to do well on the St/Ox, having never had another struvite episode since 2013*, and having greatly decreased symptoms like painful urination, difficulty urinating, excessive licking, etc. Additionally, Tate, the pickiest cat I’ve ever known, thoroughly enjoys the dry food formula that he receives for breakfast every day. He eats it right up heartily and you can just tell that he is thankful!

*The feline St/Ox formula is shown to reduce the risk of stone formation. It also promotes urinary tract health while being a complete and balanced formula for adult cats.

Another common condition in cats that centers on the same area is FLUTD – Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, an actual group of diseases that affect both the bladder and the urethra. Sometimes caused by stones or crystals like Tatey had, it’s actually more common than you might be aware of as a cat-owner or cat-fancier.

In some FLUTD cases, cats will show inflammation of the urinary bladder (Cystitis). In other cases, crystals or stones form in the urine. This can irritate the lining of the urinary tract. In male cats, crystals or stones can partially or completely block the urine flow.

Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of the following changes, which are clinical signs and symptoms of FLUTD:FLUTD-facebook

-Frequent trips to the litter box

-Crying when urinating, pain when urinating or trying to vacate bladder

-Urinating outside the litter box, urinating in inappropriate places

-Excessive licking of genital area

-Behavior changes – irritability, stress

-Over-grooming, excessive licking of genital area

-Blood in urine

Risk factors for FLUTD, indicators that your cat is at a high risk of developing FLUTD, include age, gender, physical activity and more. According to Dr. Brittany Dodson at Avon Lake Animal Clinic in Avon Lake, Ohio, “it [FLUTD] generally displays in younger cats aged two to five and more so in males.” To be wholly forthcoming, both male and female cats can acquire urinary tract disorders, but males have longer, narrower urethras, causing their urinary tracts to be more susceptible to obstruction from crystals and/or mucous. Dodson said there’s also a genetic predisposition, which means, “different wires crossed and can create the problem.” Some doctors and websites will tell you that breeds like Persians are more susceptible to FLUTD, hence. Dr. Dodson also mentioned that indoor cats can be more predisposed to lower urinary tract disorders, which may be due to their limited options for physical activity, which subsequently reduces the amount of water consumed and frequency of urination, allowing the crystals to form.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR St/Ox Feline Formulas is commonly prescribed for cats for the nutritional management aspect of treatment for cats with FLUTD. The diet promotes a urinary environment unfavorable to the development of both struvite and calcium oxalate crystals. It also promotes increased water intake for more moisture in the diet.


Tatey's Tired!

Tatey’s Tired!

So here’s to all the kitties with little pee-pee problems…Bless you all! Tatey (and Nickodemus) and I wish you continued health and hope you get on the proven-to-work diet of UR Urinary St/Ox Formula to better yourselves!

Learn more about Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR St/Ox Formula, or visit Purina Veterinary Diets on Facebook and Twitter.