Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

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29 Jun 11

Pets & the 4th of July ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

While we may love the 4th of July and all the pomp and circumstance – it may be a very different story for our four legged and feathered friends. Sudden loud fireworks going off nearby, loud parties, or just having more friends and family over can very easily stress out your otherwise well behaved pets. To enjoy the 4th, here are some simple tips to help your pet and family make it through the weekend!

  • Make sure you have a collar with ID tags on your pets at all times during this weekend.  Some owners like to take their pet’s flat collar off when they are in the house – but the first block buster that goes off could scare your pet so much they may bolt out your front door and take off.
  • If you know your pet is terrified of loud noises, try using products like Rescue Remedy® or Canine Calm™ or in extreme cases contact your veterinarian for tranquilizer/valium pills ahead of time.
  • Leave your pets home in a secured house.  Pets do not need to be at firework shows, it’s almost inhumane if you are not sure of how your dog may react.  Know your dog, some dogs don’t seem to mind, but think about their sensitive hearing.
  • Having a 4th BBQ? Friends and family tend to want to feed your dog or cat while at a party, to avoid this ask them not to or have your pet in a safe cool room away from all the guests.  Check on the pet often, make sure he has fresh water and a comfy place to sleep away from the crowd.  (Lock the door if you can!) Guests that are not pet savvy could accidentally open or leave the door open and the pet could escape.
  • Parades and pets.  Some dogs, horses, and yes even cats are fine while attending a parade with you.  Again, know your pet – if you see the animal shaking, panting, drooling, pulling on the leash – those are all signs of stress.  Some pets do not do well in large crowds, people, kids petting poking at them, loud sirens from fire trucks going by, etc.  If you see your dog is stressed – leave the parade – don’t comfort the dog with, “It’s ok” while petting the panicked animal – that will just make it worse.
  • Bringing your dog out on your boat or too the beach? Bring plenty of cold bottled water, pet safe bug spray and sunscreen, extra leash and collar with ID, treats, doggie life jacket, and monitor them for overheating, bug bites, ticks and make sure their paws are not on hot surfaces for a long time -concrete and sand can be scorching- and of course bring poop pick up bags!
  • Traveling for the 4th and bringing your pet?  Find out where the nearest 24hour emergency clinic is at your destination.  Make sure there are no Breed Restrictions at your location.  While en route use a safety harness that clips into the seatbelt of your car, or crate your pet while traveling. Have a first aid kit in your car especially for pets and bring extra pet food and water – you never know if your car breaks down you get stuck somewhere.

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28 Jun 11

Gardens for ARF ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Every year Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF)  has a fundraising garden tour of six luxurious homes scattered throughout the south fork of Long Island.  You kind feel like you’re on a scavenger hunt, but without collecting any stuff, just taking pictures of beautiful gardens and some very unique homes.  This year was no different while ARF celebrated the 25th Anniversary of hosting the garden tour on Saturday, June 18th, 2011.

The tour cost $75 per ticket to attend and all the proceeds raised go to help the pets and helps ARF to continue to their amazing work to help the homeless pets their.

We started the tour somewhat backwards-at the 6th house – but that is part of the fun of the tour – it’s self guided and you are not rushed through.  The tour starts at 10am and ends at 4pm.  While you do need a car to get to each locale, the houses are not walking distance from each other, it is worth the trip.  As someone who is probably now considered a “local” (living on the East End for nearly 6 years), I am still amazed at some of the areas I have yet to see.  The ARF garden tour brings you down streets and gravel roads – you might not have otherwise gone down before – so it’s a little adventure too.

While on the tour we were greeted by Pearl, who I met two years before on the tour.  I recognized this beautiful sweetheart of a pit bull.  This tour however is really for people – Pearl was just a greeter with her volunteer Mom & Dad at one of the houses.  We met many people along the way on the tour, and I can tell you most were not even from the East End!  We met people from Islip, East Islip, Connecticut, West Babylon and more.  So if you want to be somewhat of a voyeur and see some beautiful homes, and be able to give back at the same time – be sure to plan for next year’s ARF Garden Tour!  And of course if you are looking to adopt a cat or dog, head to their wonderful shelter in Wainscott (that’s between Southampton and East Hampton!).

Pearl Girl!

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11 Jun 11

Adopt-a-Cat month ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Adopt-a-cat month

June is Adopt-a-Cat month and while most of the time it’s dogs that get the attention – there are many cats and adorable kittens across Long Island looking for loving homes.  As someone who grew up with cats and each and every one was a stray or feral cat or kitten – adopting a cat will add much happiness, fun, laughter and joy into your home.  Every cat we took in – was so smart and lived long healthy lives.

The summer months are the perfect time of year to promote cat adoptions because typically June, July and August bring a surge of cats to the nation’s shelters. Locally one shelter that has an entire building of their no-kill shelter dedicated to cats looking for homes is Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, NY. Their Executive Director, Pam Green said, “When cats are not neutered or spayed, they reproduce easily, and spring and summer are the seasons when cats are most active, resulting in many kittens showing up at our doors. We encourage everyone to visit their local shelter.”  Ms. Green also offered this helpful ‘top ten’ list for those thinking about adopting new cat into your household:


  1. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two.
  2. Find a cat whose personality matches with yours.
  3. Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption.
  4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home.
  5. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat.
  6. Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives.
  7. Cat-proof your home.
  8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family.
  9. Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan.
  10. If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process.
  11. Realize that this is a 12-18 year commitment.

Kent Animal Shelter invites all prospective cat adopters to visit the shelter 7 days a week from 10-4pm. Adoption fees range from $ 50.00 to $ 75.00 and have been lowered to help find homes for the many cats and kittens at the shelter. All cats for adoption have been vaccinated, checked for feline leukemia and aids, de-wormed and micro-chipped.

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27 Apr 11

Mina’s Story ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Mina’s Story

Margaret Norris was so excited last summer to bring home a new member of the family, Mina.  Adopted as a small kitten from Last Hope Animal Rescue last summer, Mina, a jet black cat who is now almost a year old cat had a very scary health problem just this past March.  After a visit to the vet for her rabies shot, Mina have such a very rare and uncommon reaction to the vaccination, it had doctor’s baffled.

We adopted our kitty, Mina, from a shelter when she was two months old and she has been just the sweetest little girl – very affectionate, loves to be held and carried. Mina had been given vaccinations by the shelter vet before we got her, and got some additional vaccinations from our vet when she was four months old, with no problems.

A couple of weeks ago I took her in for her final vaccine, for rabies. She seemed fine for a day or so, and then gradually began to become very lethargic and stopped eating and drinking. Four days after the vaccine I took her back to the vet because she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for more than 24 hours. She had begun hiding behind furniture and wouldn’t come out. When I took her in to the vet she could barely pick her head up off the examining table, and when the vet palpitated her abdomen she practically snarled at him.

He kept her at his clinic for four days and she seemed slightly better after she got some IV fluids and an antibiotic. Unfortunately, her blood tests came back showing that she was extremely anemic, and she would need blood transfusions. At this point he was stymied as to what was causing the symptoms because apparently it is highly unusual to have this kind of a reaction to the rabies vaccine. (There are some other very rare reactions, but anemia isn’t one of them.)

He sent her to a veterinary internal medicine specialist, who was also baffled. The specialist vet gave her two kitty blood transfusions, did ultrasound and discovered her spleen was enlarged, and did a whole bunch of other tests which ruled out feline leukemia and blood parasites. His final diagnosis was that the rabies vaccine somehow caused her immune system to attack her red blood cells, so he put her on steroids to suppress the immune response.

Fortunately, all of this treatment saved the kitty’s life, but it came at a cost of almost $4000. Luckily for us, we decided to buy Trupanion Pet Health Insurance a few months ago, so we will only end up paying $400 instead. When we signed up for the policy I kind of thought it was a waste of money, but not any more. While the insurance is relatively inexpensive- $20 a month for Mina – for young animals, I’ve decided to add our two older animals to the policy too. Pet health insurance – $20 a month – not having to watch our beloved kitty die because the treatment is too expensive – priceless.”

Margaret initially knew a friend that had pet health insurance and heard about Trupanion through her veterinarian’s office.  She said they are very happy with Trupanion, the plan, policies and customer service.  For Mina her future prognosis is good, she does have to go for follow up blood count at the vet soon – but Margaret said she is back to her old happy, sweet, playful self.  Margaret also said, although Mina had this ordeal, she will still always vaccinate her other pets with the rabies vaccination – as this was such a rare thing to happen – that the doctor’s never heard of this before.  The rabies vaccination is also required by New York State Law – and since we have had outbreaks in raccoons over the last few years in our area – it would be irresponsible and unlawful not to vaccinate.

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22 Apr 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Earth Friendly Products for Paws

It’s Earth Day, and we don’t normally think of pet products on this day – we are usually thinking of planting, cleaning up and ways we can be more environmentally friendly as humans. Fortunately there is now a big market for earth friendly or green pet products. My own dog happens to have a few of them, and we would love to share some of our favorites – and some cats products too.

100% Biodegradable Green Doggie Bags – waste pick up bags. This is a wonderful product for so many reasons, it’s made right here in the USA. All the packaging is made from recycled materials, and the doggie pick up bags are shelf stable – meaning they are not going to degrade on your store shelf or in your car, but they will degrade in landfills, naturally when exposed to the earth’s elements and micro-organisms in the soil and leaving no harmful residues behind. They also have handy tie handles that made it is easier carry and dispose of properly. This is a wonderful product and you will feel better about picking up after your dog knowing you are using a totally green product – not just putting their waste in a regular plastic bag.

Have a kitty? Then you definitely will want to try Worlds Best Cat Litter™ made from corn!  You heard me.  Corn the wonder product – in my opinion.
The natural benefits of World’s Best Cat Litter™, is that they are a biodegradable, flushable, septic-safe and clumping cat litter that uses whole-kernel corn to deliver outstanding odor control.  Using no synthetic chemicals, clays or perfumes, it clumps quick, scoops easy, while remaining pet, people and planet friendly.  At a recent Pet Socialite event,  World’s Best Cat Litter was debuting their Lavender scented litter -  the fragrance is made of an all-natural oil blend including lavender. The oil blend does not contain any chemicals or synthetic ingredients and is derived from a plant based oil.  This product just might make the humans in your house purr!

Looking for a great way to recycle your old clothes and make your pet comfy as well? Molly Mutt came up with a fantastic idea of making a doggie duvet cover – how is it “green?” Molly Mutt diy (do it yourself) dog bed kits are an exciting new approach to keeping textiles out of landfills. Cover your existing dog bed with the molly mutt dog duvet, or fill it with the old clothes and bedding you’ve got laying around your house. They now have a mesh stuff sack to the product line, to make it as simple as grabbing old textiles, throwing it in the mesh bag, and covering it all up with your new fabulous Molly Mutt dog duvet. By “upcycling” your household leftovers, you save money and help keep textiles out of the waste cycle. They have some beautiful duvet styles to choose from to fit into any décor.

If you just got back from taking your dog on a long hike through the woods, (250 challenge), and now he needs a bath – you will want to check out TropiClean shampoos and conditioners. Made from all-natural ingredients and come in varieties like, Aloe, Berry Clean, Papaya, Kiwi, and Peach to name a few. Tropiclean bottles are made from recycled materials (PCR), post consumer resin. The sleeve labels are made from corn which makes them natural, renewable, biodegradable and 100% recyclable! They also use products and materials made right here in the USA! Not to mention the shampoos and conditioners smell wonderful too.

So while you are out shopping at your local mom & pop pet store, look for more earth friendly pet products, and do so all year long. If we all make one little change in what products we buy for our pets we will make the Earth a better place for all of us, and decrease our carbon paw prints. There are many more options out there too – so ask! Happy Earth Day!