Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cats International Articles


After helping people with their feline behavior problems since 1990, we began to realize that there were a few common issues that all cat parents seemed to be experiencing. We took those common problems, broke them down into various subcategories, and posted our solutions on this page. This archive is by no means the complete listing of every possible feline problem, but we figured that this would be a good place for all of you to start.


Aggression Towards Other Cats
Aggression Towards People
All About Kittens
Book List
Cat Unique Features
Feline Care
Fun and Useful Info
Fun For Cats
Getting A Cat
House Soiling
Misc. Behavior Problems
Natural Cat Behavior
Overcoming Stress
Scratching & Declawing
Traveling with your cat

On letting pets die at home...and the ABCs of doing it right

by Dr. Patty Khuly

There’s something about the holidays that always seems to help usher a high percentage of our older pets out of this world. It’s something many veterinarians I know comment on. As in, “Is it the humans who are suddenly ready for euthanasia or are our pets picking up on stressful holiday cues and ‘choosing’ to go the way of the rainbow bridge?”
I don’t know the answer. I just know the holidays brings me lots of patients like yesterday’s kitty: Nineteen years old, recumbent, non-responsive, breathing hard and readier than you can imagine for the long sleep that awaits us all.
Trouble was, her owners weren’t convinced they wanted to take the usual route. In fact, kitty’s visit yesterday was not to do with her primary condition. We’d been dealing with that detail for weeks now and her owners were resigned to the multi-organ failure she was suffering. The hard part now was gauging her degree of discomfort and intervening via euthanasia only if needed. Her owners preferred that she die at home on her own if at all possible.
So you know, this is a common point of view. “I want her to die peacefully at home,” is among the most popular death-related lines whenever the issue arises––usually with respect to extreme geriatrics or pets with terminal conditions. In cases where death planning is a morbid necessity, dying “at home in her sleep” is what everyone seems to want.
But pets don’t normally comply. Not without a significant period of uncertainty as to whether suffering is being felt or not. Given that uncertainty, it seems to me that erring on the side of caution––of preventing the suffering by letting euthanasia preempt it––is always the right way to go. So that’s how I counsel my clients.
Nevertheless, there’s always room for dissent in the exam room. My clients don’t have to agree with my approach to death. They’re always free to do as they want with their pets. It’s my job simply to point out suffering when it’s indisputably there or eminently imminent and to offer them options. And when I don’t believe suffering is happening, as in yesterday’s case, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for owners to take their pets home to die––that is, as long as they understand that conditions may change.
However, the converse is also true: There are times when it’s so very wrong to take a pet home to die on their own when you consider that the comfort of euthanasia is just seconds away (or can be brought home to your pet if you so choose). Here’s when it becomes clear that there’s a right way and a wrong way to let pets die at home. My rules? Very broadly speaking, here are my ABCs on the issue:
Patients that are awake and fully aware are more apt to suffer pain and fear acutely. Those that are glassy-eyed and far away? Not so much. A reduced awareness level bodes better for at-home dying.
Struggling to breathe? This is the scariest thing possible for an animal. When a terminal patient is awake and gasping for breath, “going home to die” is just about the cruelest thing I can imagine.
If severe pain is present, going home is a no-go. In fact, if there’s no way to keep pets comfortable any longer on a variety of fronts it’s time to step in and euthanize. For example, if they’re soiling themselves and can’t be properly cleaned, if they’re getting bed sores, if they’re suffering moderate to severe anxiety, etc.
What if they’re not eating and drinking? Isn’t that uncomfortable? I get asked about this a lot but to my mind it’s not so important as long as pets don’t appear to be suffering thirst or hunger. As long as they have access to food and water and choose not to partake, I’m OK with it. Moreover it’s important to keep in mind that terminal patients of all species will often die slowly and humanely via malnutrition and dehydration. Feeding tubes and IV catheters do not necessarily make for a more humane and comfortable dying process.
So that’s where we left things yesterday. Kitty was going home to die. I explained what they should expect to see (final, agonal gasping, sudden rigidity, seizures, etc. can look really scary, especially if no one’s told you to expect this). Two hours later I got the call that she had passed. Peacefully. One more holiday moment. 
Though it’s not always possible or advisable to have your pet die at home on their own, sometimes it will happen beautifully. Kitty’s tale is proof again that when it comes to death and dying one size doesn’t always fit all.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ludicrous Cat Feeding Bans

Cats need you to stand up for humane policies. Give Now. 
Mayors sign ludicrous feeding bans so good people like you can’t care for community cats. Lawmakers propose bills that perpetuate outdated shelter practices and kill cats. Counties refuse to pass lifesaving Trap‑Neuter‑Return (TNR) ordinances. 

It happens all the time. 

Thank you for pledging to fight for humane policies for cats. You know that cats are relying on us—and you! When cities and states try to pass DEADLY policies for cats, Alley Cat Allies steps in. But we can only advocate for humane policies if you take your support to the next level with a generous gift today. 

Recently, the Alley Cat Allies community helped achieve a critical win in Virginia. When members of the state senate tried to squeeze language into a bill that would have allowed shelters to kill cats without trying to find them adoptive homes, Alley Cat Allies sprang into action. 

And just last month, we helped cat lovers in Hawaii successfully get a bill deferred that would have made it illegal to feed cats on public land. 

Although we prevailed in Hawaii and Virginia, new bills like this are being debated all the time in cities and states nationwide. We need your support today so we can act at a moment’s notice when state and local governments put cats in danger. 

Your gift will support all of our work to save cats’ lives—including the critical outreach we do with cat advocates, shelters, and elected officials. We’re working to educate communities, fight for humane policies, and proactively advocate for cat-friendly laws so fewer emergencies arise. 

It all comes down to this: Alley Cat Allies can only succeed with your support. Make a gift today to make sure we’re able to block every attempt to legislate against cats’ lives. 

Becky Robinson  Sincerely,
Becky Robinson Signature
Becky Robinson
President & Founder
Alley Cat Allies

P.S. The battles in Virginia and Hawaii were close calls—and they are an important reminder of what could happen if Alley Cat Allies isn’t there to mobilize people and be a voice for cats. Make a gift today to make sure cities and states pass humane policies for cats. 


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cats with Invisible Things

I stand for humane cat policies

Cats need you to stand up for humane policies. Take the pledge. 
Do you think it’s wrong for shelters to be in the business of killing cats instead of saving their lives? 

Do you think people should be allowed to provide food and water to community cats living in their neighborhoods? 

If you answered “yes” to these questions, take our pledge right away and promise that you stand for humane policies for cats. 

All across the country, shocking bills are being introduced that put cats’ lives at risk. And it’s our job at Alley Cat Allies—with the support of cat lovers like you—to advocate against this dangerous legislation. 

Thanks to your support, we’re monitoring these types of bills so we can act immediately when cats need us. 

Recently, when legislative threats arose in Virginia, the Alley Cat Allies community helped ensure that it did NOT become legal for shelters to kill cats without trying to adopt them out. And in Hawaii, a bill was recently stopped that would have banned the feeding of cats on public land. 

We need to stay vigilant. At any given moment, new legislative threats will arise in cities and states across the country. So please—stand with Alley Cat Allies and take our pledge: I stand for humane policies for cats! 

We need the strength of animal lovers everywhere to speak out against injustice. 

Becky Robinson  Sincerely,
Becky Robinson
Becky Robinson
President & Founder
Alley Cat Allies

P.S. New threats against cats can happen at any time. Take our pledge now: I stand for humane policies for cats! 

Take the Pledge

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Video of Birds for Cats to Watch

I knew some cats liked videos like this, but I was skeptical that it would captivate my four felines, but they all loved it when I first put one on.  Only one of the four has had his interest significantly wane after watching a few videos. :)

Video of Birds for Cats to Watch by debunkerbuster