Simple Cat Grooming

You have watched your cat groom herself several times a day.  Cats take care of themselves by licking their fur which keeps it clean and and in place. Some cats look great with little care, those are the ones born with good hair. Then, there are others who need a little more help.

A shorthair cat needs less owner grooming than a longhair cat, but regular grooming is a must for both.  Besides making your cat’s appearance look good, grooming helps avoid serious hairballs.  Every time your cat grooms herself, she is swallowing hair that results in those hairballs she coughs up.   Matting of hair is another issue.  The thick tangles of matted hair are painful and can even tear the cat’s skin.  The only way to get rid of mats is to shave them off

Every cat owner needs some basic grooming supplies. The most essential basic grooming tool is the metal comb. The Gripsoft Cat Comb is a metal comb with a rubber handle for ease of use.   Next, you need a slicker brush.  A slicker brush is designed to help remove mats, in addition to pulling out dead hair and gently stimulating the skin.  This promotes healthy circulation. The Gripsoff Cat Slicker Brush  works to prevent hairball formation, while dematting your cat’s fur. Most cats enjoy the gentle sensation of the metal comb and slicker brush.   If you hit a tangle or mat, cut or shave it off.  Do not try to comb or brush through it.


If your cat has short hair, you only need once a week grooming.

  •  First, use a metal comb and work through thef ur from head to tail.
  •  Then use the slicker brush to reomve the dead and loose hair.

If your cat has long hair, you will need to brush every day.

  • First, use a metal comb to comb the legs. Very gently comb the belly and chest.
  • Then use the slicker brush  to brush the  fur in an upward motion.
  • Finally to brush the tail, part the middle and brush the fur out on either side.


With a little time and effort, your cat will be looking and feeling good.

How to Protect Our Pets from Household Poisons

It is commonly known that we need to be careful about certain plants, human foods and household items because they can poison our pets. However, it is good to review this from time to time and check our surroundings to be sure none of these items has become accessible to our pets.
Pictured to the right is Activated Charcoal which can be used for cats, dogs and livestock.
Remember that just because we would not find something interesting or appealing does not mean our pets would not. They are inquisitive and are attracted to eat things we can not fathom.
Please note that certain specious of pets may have specific issues not listed below. This guide is meant to be generic and not focused on only one species.
So, were are the areas we should look when evaluating our pets safety?
  • Places that allow access to human food: Outside of weight control and nutritional issues, many human foods are poisonous to pets.
  • Places that allow access to human medications. An everyday human medication can be poison. An example is acetaminophen which is found in most households.
  • Garbage: In addition to human foods found in garbage, rotting food can produce bacteria that cause illness in pets. Also, it is not uncommon for non-food items to be thrown out that our pets should not have access to.
  • Compost piles can attract animals and are not safe. The decaying organic material can create dangerous toxin and mold.
  • Some surface algae on ponds (Blue Green Algae for example) can be poisonous.
  • Areas used to store household cleaner and chemicals
  • Areas used to store outdoor cleaners and chemical (garage/sheds etc.)
  • Areas used to store garden/lawn insecticides, fertilizers and general chemicals
  • Areas were pest poisons have been applied (rat & mice for example)
  • Plants – both inside the house and in outside gardens. Many plant specious are both attractive and poisonous for pets. Certain outdoor mulch products may be an issue as well such a cocoa mulch .
  • Mushrooms growing in the yard can be poisonous
  • Note that seasonal holidays can bring new items into our homes that are poisonous. Candy at Halloween and holly/mistletoe/lilies and Christmas & Easter are examples.
How do make these areas safe for our friends?
  • A lot is just recognizing the risks above and applying common sense. A few things to consider are:
  • Don’t assume doors will be shut or access denied to areas of concern. Assume your pet, at some point, will be able to enter an area of concern. If something is accessible to your pet once he is in the area it needs to be in a sealed container. Try to locate items up high and out of access if possible.
  • Indoor plants should not be accessible. Be mindful that leaves can fall off a plant to the floor. Therefore the plant itself may be safe in it’s location but once the leaves fall off your pet may be able to ingest them.
  • Evaluate whether you really need an item. If it’s not likely to be used again than properly dispose of it. This simply eliminate the risk entirely.
  • Make sure garbage cans have locking lids or use cords to lock the top on the can to prevent access.
  • Prevent access to areas in your yard that are a concern –  plants, compost piles, ponds, etc. This may require fencing. You’ll need to evaluate your pets behavior and how dangerous an area is to assess the risk level. One pet may sample everything in site (especially young dogs) while other other pets are not that inquisitive.
  • If you have a pond try to prevent algae build up. Clean areas free of mushrooms.
What are a list plants and food items to be concerned with?
The following is a list of plants and foods of concern. It is not meant to be a full list (as it is difficult for us to think of all possibilities) but a good starting point. The sources for these items are the AAHA (, ASPCA (
  • Alcohol (all beverages, ethanol, methanol, isopropyl)
  • Amaryllis bulb
  • Amanita mushrooms
  • Anthurium
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot seeds
  • Avocado (leaves, seeds, stem, fruit, skin) in birds and pocket pets
  • Azalea (entire rhododendron family)
  • Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
  • Begonia
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Bittersweet Boxwood
  • Buckeye Bulbs (most kinds)
  • Buttercup (Ranunculus)
  • Bleeding heart
  • Caladium
  • Castor bean
  • Cherry pits
  • Chocolate
  • Chrysanthemum (a natural source of pyrethrins)
  • Choke cherry, unripe berries
  • Chrysanthemum (natural source of pyrethrins)
  • Clematis Crocus bulb
  • Coffee
  • Croton (Codiaeum species)
  • Cyclamen bulb Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Chinese sacred or heavenly bamboo
  • Crocus bulb Delphinium, larkspur, monkshood
  • Eggplant
  • Elephant’s ear
  • English ivy (All Hedera species of ivy)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis)
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Hyacinth bulbs
  • Hydrangea
  • Holly berries
  • Hops
  • Iris corms
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Japanese pieris
  • Jimson weed
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lantana
  • Lily-of-the-valley
  • Lily-Asiatic
  • Lily-Calla
  • Lily-Day
  • Lily-Easter
  • Lily-Star Gazer
  • Lily (bulbs of most species)
  • Lupine species
  • Marijuana (Cannabis)
  • Milkweed
  • Mistletoe berries
  • Mountain laurel Oleander
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Morning glory
  • Moldy foods
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Narcissus, daffodil (Narcissus)
  • Oak
  • Onions
  • Peach pits
  • Pencil cactus(leaves and stem)
  • Potato (leaves and stem)
  • Rosary Pea
  • Raisons
  • Rhubarb Leaves
  • Lantana
  • Scheffelera
  • Shamrock
  • Spurge (Euphorbia species)
  • Tea (caffiene)
  • Tomatoes (leaves and stem)
  • Tobacco Products Yew
  • Walnuts
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast dough


House Plants that are Dangerous to Cats

House and garden plants that are potentially poisonous are rarely eaten by cats, but cats may occasionally chew at certain house plants when bored.

Examples include sheep laurel and mountain laurel used for floral decorations in North America, azaleas, chrysanthemum, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), ivy, philodendron, and poinsettias. In case of having trouble removing these or other plants from your garden you might want to consider using Weed Burners.

In most cases signs include vomiting, diarrhea, or nervous symptoms.
Pine needles from Christmas trees and the water from the base both contain irritant tar products. If you suspect your cat has eaten something poisonous take immediate action.  Calling the poison control center and/or your vet is always the best action.

If your cat has swallowed poisons:

Under any other circumstances, induce vomiting by giving an emetic. (refer to list)

Chemicals on your cat’s skin.
These must be washed off as soon as possible. For most chemicals use large amounts of water or dunk the animal in the bath. For petroleum products and turpentine use vegetable oil or margarine, then wash with a mild soap.


1. Give one teaspoon (5ml) of 10 volume (3%) hydrogen peroxide solution.

2. Dissolve a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda in quarter cup of water, give 1-2 teaspoons (5-10ml);

3. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in half cup of water give 2 teaspoons (10m).;

4. Place 1/2 teaspoonful of salt on the back of the tongue.



Celebrating Pet Dental Awareness Month – 2012

Pet Dental Health is not what it used to be.

… and we are not talking about more mutts getting cavities, or more kittens with periodontal disease, we mean that caring for your pet’s oral health is getting easier and easier.

Year’s ago, a trip to the Vet for your pups or kittens regular visit would be all the oral attention he or she would get – but now there are a huge selection of options available to keep your pet’s mouth in tip top shape.

To start, the selections in toothbrushes and toothpastes has exploded.  There are traditional finger toothbrushes that became popular close to a decade ago – but there are also traditional looking toothbrushes that work very well for some pets.

The selection of pet breath fresheners have expanded quite a bit, too.  Not many of us like dog breath, but more and more owners across the US are doing something about it, using sprays, mints and other doggie breath fresheners to make their pooches mouthes smell a tad better.

New to the market are dental floss and tartar removal products for pets.  Flosses come in traditional flossing type toys like ropes, as well as liquid floss for pets.  There are a number of different tartar removal products available these days also.   The foaming tartar removal is newest to the range of products and proving to be both effective and well liked by pet owners.

In general, dog dental treats are pretty good at freshening your furry friends breath too.  There are bones made in mint, spearmint and other popular freshening flavors.  NutriDent is a popular brand of dental treats, as well as Greenies and Smartbones.

Finally the variety of dental toys available for pets is a literal explosion.  The toys range from specialty dental ropes,  textured chew toys and dental rings.  Your dog or cat is going to love some of these.


Protect Your Kitty’s Ears From Ear Mites

If a cat’s ears are in good condition, they will appear very clean to the human eye.  It is normal for cat’s ears to have a small amount of wax in them.  If you would like to remove the wax, you can buy a product that will do the job for you.  One product that works great is the Cat Ear Cleaner 3.57 oz..  It is safe for use in cats or kittens, and all you do is gently massage the formula into their ears.  You can use Cat Ear Cleaner 3.57 oz it weekly, and it will safely remove any excess wax debris.  Consistently cleaning your cat’s ears will stave off infections, including ear mites, and the Cat Ear Cleaner 3.57 oz is a product that will help.

If your cat’s ears seem dirty, there is a great chance that he or she has ear mites.  These pests live in your cat’s ears and survive by eating the lining of their ears.  If you suspect that your cat has ear mites, you must take your cat to the veterinarian.  He will make sure that the ear problem is ear mites and not something else.  Once you are sure your cat has ear mites, you can be sure you will treat them with the correct medicine.

One ear mite medication that has great success in ridding ear mites is Four Paws Ear Mite Remedy – Cats, pictured above.  It is a safe and easy product that contains the ear mite killing ingredient called pyrethin.  Ear mites can irritate your cat’s ears, and the Four Paws Ear Mite Remedy – Cats contains aloe vera to soothe your cat’s ears.

When medicating your cat, you need to be sure that you medicate him or her long enough so that you kill all of the mites.  You may want to stop giving medicine once you do not see anymore mites, but this is a bad idea!  Mites may have laid tiny eggs that are not visible to the human eye, and you have to be sure to treat your cat with the medication long enough to kill the mites and their eggs.  Talk to your vet to find out how long he would recommend you give your cat medication.

If you have more than one cat, you have to be very careful with ear mites.  Ear mites are very contagious, and can easily travel from cat to cat.  If one of your cats has ear mites, there is a great chance your other cats will become infected.

Caring for Your Cat’s Teeth

Your veterinarian plays a huge role is caring for your cat’s teeth, but you are very responsible for maintaining that cleanliness!  Between vet appointments, you have quite a bit of dental care to take care of.

The main part of dental care you are responsible for is plaque control.  Plaque can do some nasty things to a cat’s mouth.  It can cause gums to recede, which allows bacteria and parasites to enter the newly opened pockets in the gums.  Not only does this almost always lead to tooth loss, but it also can negatively affect your cat’s immune system and internal organs.  This can lead to a variety of illnesses, and ultimately an early death.  This has to be enough motivation to take care of your cat’s teeth!

The most important thing to do is brush your cat’s teeth at least 2 to 3 times a week.  It may not be an easy task, but it is definitely necessary.  After he gets used to getting his teeth  brushed, it will get easier!  I use the Pet Dental Kit for Cats, pictured to the right.  It comes with a toothbrush and a finger brush, so you can use whichever your cat prefers.  However, the long toothbrush is good for reaching the far back of the cat’s mouth.  The Pet Dental Kit for Cats also comes with toothpaste that is perfect for removing plaque and food debris!

If you do not properly control plaque in your cat’s mouth, it can lead to bad breath.  If your cat has bad breath, there are ways you can temporarily fix this problem.  One easy way you can freshen your cat’s breath is adding Dental Fresh for Cats – 8 oz to his or her water bowl.  It also contains ingredients that helps to remove plaque and tarter, and also brighten your kitty’s teeth!

Your cat can also have fun while he is geting his mouth healthy!  There are a variety of cat toys specifically designed to strengthen and clean his teeth.  My cat likes the Dental Health Cat Chew Toy.  It keeps the gums clean by removing tartar.  It is infused with catnip so your cat will want to chew on it!  Another fun way to clean your cat’s teeth is giving them dental treats.  My cat loves the Feline Greenies Cat Dental Treats 3 oz.  It comes in 5 different flavors: chicken, beef, ocean fish, salmon, and tuna.  Try them all!

How Often Should You Groom Your Cat?

Depending on your cat’s breed, you may have to spend a lot of time grooming your cat’s fur!

If you do not brush, comb, and detangle long-haired cats daily, their fur will tangle quickly.  If you cannot commit to daily grooming, you should trim their hair short so it does not get matted and tangled.  Cats who have medium-length coats will require weekly grooming.  Cats with short hair only need to be brushed out frequently enough to ensure that their fur does not get matted.

As you probably realize, grooming a long-haired cat is a time consuming process.  First, you must comb through their hair with a medium or coarse pet comb.  After that comb handles any tangles, you need to go over their hair with a fine-toothed comb.  I would recommend a double sided comb like the GripSoft Double Sided Pet Comb, which has one coarse side, and another fine-toothed side.  Then, you will need to use a pin brush.  It is very important to go through all of these steps, as skipping one can cause discomfort to your pet, which will make brushing incredibly different.

Medium and wire-haired cats are much easier to groom than long-haired cats.  All you need to do is run a regular pet comb through their hair, and then use a cat slicker brush or grooming glove to follow up.  I would recommend the Love Glove Grooming Mitt – Four Paws, shown above.  These gloves not only massage your kitty while removing their hair, but they also can be used to collect hair from furniture and carpet!

When you groom your short-haired cat, you can use a flea comb.  When combing your short-haired cat, first use a regular comb, and then use a flea comb.  The narrow spacing of the flea comb can pull too much on your cat’s hair, causing major discomfort.  If your flea comb pulls out fleas, put them into a bowl of water to drown them, and then flush them down the toilet!  The Palm Pet Flea and Flea Egg Comb is great because its specifically designed to remove fleas as well as flea eggs.

Keep in mind that no matter what length hair your cat has, there are certain areas that are more prone to tangling and knots.  You need to pay special attention to these areas, particularly in long-haired cats.  These areas are: behind the ears, under the tail, and in their “armpits” (where the legs meet their belly).

Frequently grooming your cat gives you a chance to give their coat a good look.  This way you will become aware of any abnormalities.  If there are bald patches, this could mean your cat has a parasite or fungal infections.  When you notice any abnormalities, take your kitty to the vet!

Cat Eye Infections – What are the signs?

How can I tell if my cat has an eye infection?

If there is redness or swelling in your cats eye, or if your cat squints or you see a discharge of mucus, these may be indications of an eye infection.            

  • Keep your cat’s eyes clear of mucus at all times. Eye infections are often caused by bacteria that overgrow on mucus. Use a sterile eyewash and/or eye wipes to keep the eye area clean. This is especially important in young kittens that may have considerable eye discharge resulting from upper respiratory infections. 
  • Vetericyn Pink Eye Spray is a  steroid-free, antibiotic-free, no-rinse solution is non-toxic and speeds healing.
  • Keep all hair out of your cat’s eyes since scratches to the cornea (the clear membrane across the surface of the eye) can result from contact with hair.
  • Tear staining is a common problem with particular breeds of cats, in particular Persians. 
  • Normally, tears flow across the surface of the eye and quickly drain through the tear duct. Normal tears that spill out and lay on the surrounding hair cause this discoloration at the corners of the eyes.  Use a remedy such as Tear Clear pads for pets.
  • For breeds that tend to have tear stains, you should clean hair in affected areas at least weekly with a tear stain remover product.   Eye Clear® Eye Drops and Eye Pads helps eliminate eye stains without harmful bleaching.  The formula washes eyes, cleans stains and breaks down debris.

Easy and Convenient Products for Preventing and Treating Your Cat’s Fleas

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is more likely that your cat will come in contact with fleas.  Help prevent your cat from becoming infested with fleas or treat a current flea infestation by using a flea prevention or treatment product.  When using a flea prevention or infestation on your cat, it is very important to use only flea  products that are made specifically for cats.  Never use a flea treatment meant for dogs on your cat because the pesticide used in the dog flea products are toxic for cats and can make cats very sick or even cause death.  Here are some great flea prevention and treatment products made just for cats that are safe to use on your cat and effective at repelling and killing fleas:

  • Use a spot on treatment like the Bio Spot Spot-On Cat Flea & Tick Control to help prevent or treat a flea infestation on your cat.  This product is made with pesticide that is safe for use on cats and kittens.  It is formulated to easily kill and repel fleas that bother your cat.  This flea treatment is simple to use and can last for several months.
  • Another simple way to prevent and treat fleas from bothering your cat is to use a flea collar.  The BioSpot Break Away Flea and Tick Collar makes flea prevention easy and convenient.  Just place this collar on your cat and it will effectively repel fleas for eight months and will kill flea eggs to help prevent infestation.  It is also effective at killing ticks and helping to prevent Lyme disease.
  • A flea and tick shampoo, like the BioSpot Flea and Tick Shampoo, is also a simple way to kill and repel fleas.  This particular flea and tick shampoo lasts for almost a month and leaves your cat’s coat looking healthy, shiny and smelling fresh and clean.

Cat Urinary Tract Health Supplements that Work

It is likely that your cat will have a Feline Lower Urinary Treat Disease or FLUTD sometime in his or her lifetime without proper prevention.

FLUTDs include a variety of diseases, such as urinary blockages, infections, and interstitial cystitis.   If you notice that your cat has the urge to go more frequently to the litter box to urinate, cries in pain when urinating, or misses the litter box completely, then it is a good idea to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Click here to view a number of urinary tract prevention products for your cat.

For urinary tract disease prevention, choose a supplement that is formulated to help keep the urinary tract healthy and disease resistant.  Nutri-Vet Uri-Ease is an ideal supplement to give to your cat everyday.  It has a great tuna taste and is soft to chew.  This soft chew contains a variety of healthy ingredients that are known to improve and maintain urinary health.

Another soft chew that is great for your cat’s urinary tract health is the Pet Naturals UT Support for cats. This soft chew is formulated to help prevent your cat’s urine from forming crystals in the urinary tract by lowering the PH in your cat’s urine. A lower PH means that there is less acid in the urine, which has been a leading cause of forming crystals in the bladder and creating blockages.

If your cat would prefer a gel, choose one like URI-Ease Paw Gel to maintain your cat’s urinary tract health.  This tasty paste is made with cranberry extract and DL-Methionine to balance the PH in your cat’s urine.  This gel formula works great on senior cats or cats that stay indoors and has a flavor that cat’s love to lick.  It may also be used on kittens for urinary tract health.

Hilton Herbs Kitty KD is also a popular UTI prevention supplement. This sweet-tasting liquid has been specifically formulated to help support your cat’s kidney function and promote a healthy urinary tract.

Keeping your cat’s urinary tract healthy is easy with an easy-to-administer supplement.  Choose a supplement that that your cat loves the taste of to ensure that your cat will eat it.  By preventing FLUTDs, you are saving your cat from a lot of pain and irritation and yourself from an expensive trip to the vet.