“I can’t pick up my cat. My cat is too wiggly.”

Try the “football” hold.

Tuck the cat’s body into your waist, with your forearm pressed against your cat’s torso and your hand under his chest. If your cat wiggles, use your other hand to hold on to the loose fur around his scruff (back of his neck).  I call this the “football” hold because it reminds me of the way football players hold the ball when they’re running down the field.


We’re afraid to touch our pets

I see this a lot. People afraid to really brush their pets for fear of hurting them. If you’re using a comb or a slicker brush, put some energy into it.  Don’t brush like you’re 95 years old and living on a diet of yoghurt and cigarettes. Step lively folks! Cats are animals and so are we. Neither of us are made of glass.  We survived the Kardashians. We can survive anything.

Men who made a difference in the lives of animals

Worldly hero.
Worldly hero.

Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA. He was a cultured, sophisticated man of the world with a big heart.

“Henry Bergh was born in 1813, the son of a prominent shipbuilder. His adult years found him to be a man of leisure, dabbling in the arts and touring Europe. As was befitting the life of an aristocrat, in 1863 he was appointed to a diplomatic post at the Russian court of Czar Alexander II. It was there he first took action against man’s inhumanity toward animals.”

“Day after day I am in slaughterhouses, or lying in wait at midnight with a squad of police near some dog pit. Lifting a fallen horse to his feet, penetrating buildings where I inspect collars and saddles for raw flesh, then lecturing in public schools to children, and again to adult societies. Thus my whole life is spent.”

Photo of a cat groomer’s desk

A cat groomer's desk
The orange nail trimmers are for my beagle. The banana and the weight are mine. The other tools prevent my short-haired cat from becoming a fur-ball factory.
I brush Emma every day to stop her from becoming a fur-ball factory.
I brush Emma every day to stop her from becoming a fur-ball factory.
She rolls around and shows me her belly when I brush her.
She rolls around and shows me her belly when I brush her.

To get these tools:

Brush I’m using on Emma – Safari Pin & Bristle Medium Brush for Dogs with Wood Handle

Orange nail trimmers for dogs or large cats – Nail Clipper with Orange Handle Medium Size

Slicker brush – Pets Master Wood Handle Pet Slicker Brush with Rubber Pad and Pins, Small, Red

Love glove grooming mit – Four Paws Purple Love Glove Cat Grooming Mitt

Zoom Groom rubber brush – Kong CZG/CZG24 Zoom Groom For Cat

Food (specifically hay) for thought. Try not to assume. Do research when it comes to animals.

Was the study biased? Selective choice of horses? Maybe, maybe not, but food for thought. Human assumptions about what animals are feeling have a track record of being wrong. We’re not good at guessing what our friends are feeling, let alone what another species is feeling.

Study Finds No Evidence of Stress in NYC Carriage Horses.
A study conducted by a team from Western University of Health Sciences deemed New York City carriage horses are less stressed than those in pastures.


New York City carriage horses are not as stressed from trotting the city streets as some may think, according to a new study led by Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif.

The horses studied were quartered at Clinton Park Stables from Aug. 3-5, 2014, to gauge what levels of stress the animals might have as a result of their work.

“I wanted to identify the effect this situation has on these horses,” said Joseph Bertone, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of equine medicine at Western University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Ultimately, I’m concerned about equine welfare. On the other hand, I’m also concerned over claims that could dismantle, or likely end, the lives of these grand horses. The same claims could see the loss of an iconic New York City institution, the loss of the important human-animal bond the drivers have with these spectacular animals, as well as have a profound negative economic impact on the people whose lives this would touch.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a ban on horse-drawn carriages in December 2014. His proposed code amendment, which requires a majority vote of the New York City Council, would go into effect June 1, 2016. The mayor has suggested replacing the carriages with electrically-powered antique cars.

Mayor de Blasio, according to WesternU, is politically and financially backed by animal-rights advocates. Prior to taking office, the mayor announced that he planned to get rid of horse-drawn carriages in support of those who believe the horses are treated inhumanely, the university noted.

“So it’s important we collect the research and analyze the results objectively. In other words, let’s deal with the facts,” Dr. Bertone said.

Bertone and second-year veterinary student Sarah Mercer-Bowyer tested 13 of the more than 70 horses at Clinton Park. Five mares and eight geldings were selected at random.

The researchers measured saliva cortisol from the animals at multiple time points in the workday. They also measured medial canthus temperature using a FLIR thermal imaging camera (IRT), and collected feces samples for fecal cortisol. Kersey and Mercer-Bowyer analyzed samples at Kersey’s lab at WesternU.

Four time points were used during testing:

Time point 1: feces, saliva and IRT tests were collected an hour before horses went to work.
Time point 2: saliva and IRT were collected after the horses were harnessed and as the horses walked were hitched to their carriages.
Time point 3: saliva and IRT were collected as the horses returned from working.
Time point 4: saliva and IRT were collected an hour after they worked, as they rested in their stalls.
“We found no evidence of stress in these horses,” Bertone said. “The conclusion made by the many experts in equine veterinary care who have visited the facility, and spent time in observation, is matched by the physiologic data we collected. Although not part of our study, we also observed for behavior associated with equine gastric ulcer syndrome. Ulcers result from stress. None of the behaviors were seen. We found the horses rested comfortably at night as well. That is another important feature of horses in a safe, comfortable environment.”

What I like about the horse project above is that animals weren’t harmed.

Scientists can mess up, just like everyone else. Not all research is research. See below.

Animal Lives Wasted in Poorly Designed Experiments

from The Guardian

Good news for pain relief in cats

Good news for cat owners who are concerned about pain after surgery! Post-op pain not only is painful *duh*, it may slow down recovery time. Anyone who has ever felt sick and hurting after surgery can relate. The right meds can make a difference for animals, human or feline. With more and more cats going to vet clinics *though still far fewer than dogs* post-op  relief is a hot topic.

Newly approved pain drug for cats

September, 2014

Abbott Animal Health announced in July that it has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Simbadol (buprenorphine), an injectable pain control medication for use in controlling post-operative pain in cats. This provides veterinarians with the first FDA-approved, single-dose opioid analgesic for the control of pain in cats recovering from surgery.

The concept of a single dose drug for pain control in postoperative cats is an attractive one, as this minimizes the discomfort and inconvenience associated with management of these patients, who may be stressed and may recover more quickly and favorably when minimally manipulated.

A number of studies suggest that buprenorphine provides good pain relief and that it is safe to use in cats recovering from surgery. The Simbadol approval is great news for those concerned about the care and well being of cats undergoing surgical procedures.

Birman cats live longest. Bengal cats have shortest lives, according to UK study

Study based on reviewing deaths of 4,009 cats from 90 veterinary practices in UK, randomly selected from database of 118,016 cats.

“Of interesting note was the different longevity of purebreds – the longest-lived breeds were the Birman (16.1 years) and Burmese (14.3 years), the shortest-lived breeds were the Bengal (7.3 years) and Abyssinian (10.0 years).”

To learn more about cat breeds, my favorite overview is Dr. Bruce Fogle’s “The New Encyclopedia of the Cat”.

To buy:  The New Encyclopedia of The Cat