Helpful information

Declawing

In the state of New Jersey it may soon be illegal to declaw your cat. Not only is this inhumane, but it is very harmful to the health of your cat. Essentially, you are cutting the top knuckle off of your cat's paw.   People often mistakenly believe that declawing your cat will stop them from scratching, but in reality all you're doing is making it less likely that your cat will use the litter box and more likely to start biting instead of scratching. The method of removing the claw is quite horrifying. To do this, they amputate with a scalpel or with guillotine clippers, then the wounds are closed with stitches or surgical glue, and then the feet are bandaged. There are many drawbacks to declawing your cat as well, such as: pain in the paw,   infection, tissue necrosis (tissue death), lameness, and back pain. When you remove your cats claws it changes the way their feet touch the ground, feeling like the equivalent of wearing an uncomfortable set of shoes. So please, let's put a stop to this!

Should Cats Go Outside?

Indoor   Cats - What Do They Miss? 

Fights with other cats

Attacks by free-roaming dogs

Infections from puncture wounds

Gunshot wounds 

Fleas, ticks, worms 

Pesticide poisoning 

Feline Leukemia 

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) 

Being hit by a car 

Encounters with sick and possibly rabid animals

Being sprayed by skunks 

Being stolen 

Steel jaw traps

Sickness or death from eating spoiled foods or poison

Fact: Inside cats live longer, healthier lives. Cats raised indoors are perfectly content with their safer world. 

Any cat can get lost – even yours. 

YOUR cat needs to be micro-chipped! Microchip your cat even if it never goes outside! One day your cat could slip through an open door and easily become lost. Don’t take a chance on losing your cat forever. 

My Cat Isn't Sick. Why do I need a Vet?

Below is what a Cornell vet has to say about this:

I think people sometimes don't go to the vet because they think their cat's shots aren't due. But cats should be seen at least once a year," says veterinarian Brian Collins, DVM, lecturer at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Companion Animal Hospital. "I like to check them every 6 months if possible." At "well-cat" visits, probably the most important thing is for your cat to get a "nose to tail" physical exam, Collins says.

During the appointment, which can last from 15 to 30 minutes, your veterinarian will check all over your cat's body, looking for signs of disease or anything unusual. For example, he will examine the cat's ears for parasites, such as ear mites. He'll look at the eyes for general retinal health, peer inside your cat's mouth to look for signs of tartar or gum disease, listen to the cat's heart and lungs, and survey the skin for any lesions or bumps. "Basically, we're just looking to see if everything is normal," Collins says.

This is what a study at Purdue University showed:

A 2009 study conducted at Purdue University showed your pet’s oral hygiene isn’t just about the health of his mouth? Studies show oral inflammation and infection can create disease in other parts of the body, including the heart.

Bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream through gum tissue that is weakened and compromised. If your pet’s immune system doesn’t destroy the bacteria in the blood, it can reach the heart.

Seventy-five percent of cats over the age of three have periodontal disease.  That’s a lot of dirty mouths. And more often than not, the cause is pet owners who fail to provide daily oral care.

Some say they don’t take their cat to the vet because the cat is an indoor cat and has never been sick. But cats are masters at hiding and masking sickness. This is ingrained in them because if they showed weakness outdoors then other animals would smell/sense this and that cat would become prey. Only a vet can actually determine if a cat is ill.

Kitties in Pairs

Kittens & Young Cats Should Be Adopted In Pairs

At St. Francis , our goal is to ensure that the animals that we adopt out are going to their forever home. 

• A kitten learns a lot in the first several months of life from its mother and littermates. Separating a kitten from its mother is often a necessity in order for it to be adopted, but taking it away from its littermates can delay the kitten's development emotionally, socially and sometimes physically. Kittens who are able to remain with one of their litter-mates or a similarly-aged companion, tend to be healthier and happier, and in the long run, better socialized pets than those who are isolated from other kittens at an early age. 

• Anyone who has observed kittens knows they want to bite and wrestle with one another. This behavior is normal. You cannot keep a kitten from doing what comes naturally. In the absence of having a feline companion its own age to play with, this is precisely what a single kitten will want to do with you. This type of behavior from a kitten may be cute and tolerable, but you will end up with an adult cat with very bad habits (for example, biting and scratching as “play”).

• Kittens are curious and crave constant stimulation. A single, bored kitten will often entertain itself by chewing on plants, climbing drapes, climbing furniture, unrolling toilet paper, exploring electrical cords and sockets, etc. They are particularly active at night, when the owners are trying to sleep. This is not to say that kittens who live with other kittens won't also sometimes do these things, but if they have another kitten to tumble around and play with, it is less likely that they will need to entertain themselves with behaviors like these, which are destructive and can be dangerous. 

• Humans are not an adequate substitute for a cat in lieu of one of its own kind. A pair of kittens will still want to interact with the owner, but can keep each other occupied while the owner is doing such necessary tasks as sleeping, working, housecleaning, etc. Most cats, regardless of their age, are highly sociable and are truly happier living with other cat companions. This makes them better pets, which results in happier owners. 

• If there is an older cat in the household, a kitten should not be brought in as a lone companion. A youngster has boundless energy, which is likely to overwhelm and irritate an older cat. Likewise, a kitten is apt to be frustrated that its companion does not have the same energy level as itself. This can lead to two very unhappy cats. Behavioral problems such as litter box avoidance or destructive scratching can occur if one or both cats take out their frustrations on their surroundings. Longer term, it is almost certain that the two will never have a close, bonded relationship, since their experiences with each other will be negative from the beginning. An older cat is better matched with someone of his or her own age, who has a similar temperament. 

*** Trying to keep a single kitten occupied, stimulated and safe while going about everyday life is much more of a challenge than it may seem at first blush. However, providing a companion of the same age will greatly increase the chances you will have two healthy, happy, and well-adjusted pets.

How to Make a Cat Shelter

Health Risks in Overweight/Obese Cats

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

As in people, cats carrying extra pounds of weight place extra demands on virtually all the organs of their bodies. When we overload these organs, disease and sometimes death are the consequences. The health risks to overweight cats are serious and

every cat owner should be aware of them. The more common consequences of obesity in cats are discussed below. 

Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)

One of the most common complications of obesity in cats is the development of diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes). According to one study, heavy or obese cats are 2-4 times more likely to develop diabetes. Obesity causes an increase in the secretion of insulin in response to the increased blood glucose level in the overweight cat. Insulin is also more in demand simply because there is a greater amount of tissue in an overweight cat. When requirements for insulin exceed the ability of the body to produce insulin, diabetes mellitus develops. If the need for insulin increases over a long period of time, the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin can actually 'burn out,' again resulting in diabetes.

Liver disease (hepatic lipidosis)

The liver stores fat so when a cat is overweight, an increased amount of fat builds up in the liver. This is called hepatic lipidosis, and is very common in overweight cats. This condition can result in decreased liver function. It can be life-threatening if an obese cat, for any reason, does not eat, loses weight rapidly, or is otherwise stressed.

Lameness and arthritis

The risk of lameness and arthritis in heavy or obese cats is 3-5 times that of cats with optimal weight. Possible reasons for this difference include the increased force on joints the extra weight may cause, such as when the cat jumps down from a high place. Other studies suggest overweight cats may actually produce abnormal cartilage.

Skin problems (dry, flaky skin, feline acne) Obese cats are twice as likely to develop nonallergic skin conditions when compared to cats of optimal weight. Dry, flaky skin and feline acne were the two most common conditions observed in one study. Obese cats often have an inability to groom themselves adequately and this may result in skin problems developing as well.

Increased surgical and anesthetic risk. Veterinarians generally take extra precautions when anesthetizing and performing surgery on obese cats. Many of the anesthetics are taken up by fat, so an overweight animal will take longer to come out of anesthesia because the anesthetic must be removed from the fat by the body. In addition, many anesthetics are broken down by the liver. A fatty

liver may not be as efficient at breaking down anesthetics and other drugs, so again, recovery may be delayed. The increased fat in the tissues makes surgery more difficult. Basically it is harder to find or get at what you are looking for. The fat obscures the surgical area. This makes the surgery technically more difficult and the procedure will also take longer, which again increases the anesthetic risk.

Decreased quality and length of life

It is evident from the above discussion that the health, ability to groom, and even to move, are diminished in overweight cats.

Overweight cats may become more irritable due to being in pain or simply uncomfortable.

It is clear that we are not contributing positively to our cat's health when we allow them to become overweight. The next time you hear that pitiful 'meeeewwww' and pleading look which says, 'Can I please have a treat,' think very carefully first. In most cases, your answer should be 'No, and I'm doing this for your own good,' and it will be absolutely true. 

Financial Aid for Pet Owners with Injured or Sick Animals. - Lists of Websites to Contact

Financial aid for pet owners with injured or sick animals.http://www.seefido.com/dog-discussion-forum/general-dog-health-problems-questions-and-answers-f11/financial-aid-for-pet-owners-with-injured-or-sick-animals-t1855.html 

American Animal Hospital Association, AAHA Helping Pets Fund >http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/home >The heartbreak happens all too often, a pet owner is unable to afford treatment and their sick or injured companion animal pays the price. If the owner is elderly, disabled or on a fixed income, the cost of care may be too much of a stretch for their pocketbook. Perhaps they have been victimized by crime, property loss or a job layoff and are experiencing a temporary financial hardship” making it too difficult to afford pet care. And some animals, brought to clinics by Good Samaritans, don't have an owner to pay for treatment. Whatever the situation, the fact remains the same, when sick or injured animals are unable to receive veterinary care, they suffer. Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship.

Angels 4 Animals >http://www.angels4animals.org >Non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations. At Angels4Animals we believe that animal owners should not have to say goodbye to the animals that they love. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with veterinary clinics across the country, eager to assist as many animals, and their owners, as possible. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need. 

Care Credit >http://www.carecredit.com >Quote: >A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. "CareCredit, the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more than 3 million patients/clients get the treatment or procedures they needed and wanted. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget. > >Feline Veterinary emergency Assistance (FVEAP) 

http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door >"The NEED & The HELP: Seniors, People with disabilities, People who have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten - any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion." The Feline Veterinary emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes. 

Help-A-Pet >http://www.help-a-pet.org >Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor. For lonely seniors, physically/mentally challenged individuals and children of working parents, pets represent much more than a diversion.

IMOM >http://www.imom.org >Mission Statement: Helping people help pets. To better the lives of sick, injured and abused companion animals. We are dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.

The Pet Fund >http://thepetfund.com >The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. Often animals are put down or suffer needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or emergency vet visits. Companion animal owners must often make the difficult decision to put an animal down or neglect urgent medical needs because of the costs involved. The purpose of the Pet Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost. 

United Animal Nations >http://www.uan.org/lifeline >The mission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care. > >UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills 

Other Groups Who are Breed or Injury Specific: >

Corgi Aid >http://www.corgiaid.org >

Dachshunds Needing IVDD surgery >http://members.rushmore.com/~dds/applyforhelp.htm 

HandicappedPets.com >http://www.handicappedpets.com/Articles/help/ >From time to time, HandicappedPets.com recognizes a caretaker of handicapped pets that need some special attention, and a little extra help. There are those who are so selflessly dedicated to their animal families that they give up a little more than they can afford. >

Labrador Lifeline >http://www.labradorlifeline.org/success/2005-abbey.htm >

LabMed: Rx For Rescued Labs >http://www.labmed.org/aid_main.html 

>GENERAL: > >

The Animal Foundation: http://www.theanimalfund.com 

Help-a-Pet: http://www.help-a-pet.org/index5.html 

In Memory of Magic: http://www.imom.org/ 

United Animal Nations: http://www.uan.org/lifeline/resources.html 

The Pet Fund: http://www.thepetfund.com/ 

Cats: http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/ 

AREA SPECIFIC: > >California >Los Angeles area: http://www.actorsandothers.com/emergencyhelp.html >http://rescueguide.com/aid.html >Redwood City area: http://www.petsinneed.org/Services.html >Bay Cities area: http://www.narfrescue.org/services/vete ... upport.htm >Colorado: http://www.dreampower-arf.com/ffriends.cfm >http://www.hmah.org/pageinpage/whatwedo.cfm >New York: http://www.nysave.org/ >North Carolina: http://www.ashleyfund.org/ >Oregon: http://www.bearenfoundation.org/ >Rhode Island: http://www.defendersofanimals.org/ >http://www.rivma.org/financialaid.html >http://www.volunteerservicesforanimals.org >Washington state: >http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-prd/gsf.asp >

BREED SPECIFIC: > 

Assistance dogs: http://www.iaadp.org/VCP.html  

Bernese Mountain Dog: http://www.behaf.com/index.html 

Corgi: http://www.corgiaid.org/  

Doberman: http://www.doberman911.org/ 

Great Pyrenees: http://www.angelfire.com/bc2/pyramedic/summary.html 

Labrador retriever: http://www.labmed.org/ http://www.labradorlifeline.org/ 

Pit Bulls: http://www.pbrc.net/fund/financial.html 

Westies: http://www.westiemed.com/ 

DISEASE SPECIFIC: > >Diabetic Pet Fund: http://www.petdiabetes.net/fund/ 

Special Needs cats: http://www.catsincrisis.org/crisisFund.html 

Feline kidney disease: http://www.catsincrisis.org/mesaFund.html 

Feline heart and thyroid: http://www.catsincrisis.org/stripesFund.html 

Feline neurological disorder:  http://www.catsincrisis.org/gillieFund.html