Indoor cat gardens will give your cat something to snack on besides your houseplants — that could be dangerous or even deadly to them (check out
You can start with just one container. Always use organic dirt (pesticide and fertilizer-free). Here are some popular cat-safe grasses and herbs: catnip, catmint, cat thyme, wheat grass, oat grass, valerian, rye grass, lavender, creeping rosemary and lemon balm. If you’re in a hurry, buy seedlings at the local farmers market (don’t forget to check out the kitties available for adoption at For Love of Cats booth at the Marco Island Farmers Market each Wednesday through April), or at a garden center. Start with seeds for the grasses.
A little water and some sunshine from a window is all it takes to keep the plants growing. Most all cats like catnip and the grasses. Experiment with the different types if your cats don’t seem interested. The fragrant varieties will also make your house smell good!
Does anyone have a cat garden growing? What is your cat’s favorite grass or do they prefer catnip?
March 27, 2013 No Comments
UPDATE: Hailey has been adopted by a family on Marco Island!!!
Hailey has been at the shelter far too long. She’s sweet and affectionate, but the right person just hasn’t come along to adopt her. Her brown tabby coat is as soft as a rabbit, and she enjoys having her tummy rubbed. She doesn’t wave her paw and meow “adopt me” on the weekends at Petsmart, she waits for someone to notice her and that has just not happened yet. She would prefer to be an only cat, that would be perfect for a someone who is looking to adopt their first cat. Could that someone be you? As an incentive, there is no adoption fee for Hailey. We just want her to go to good home where she will give and get all the attention she deserves.
There are all sorts of advantages of adopting a cat versus a kitten.
No litterbox training. Hailey is housebroken.
Kittens usually run around all night while you are trying to sleep. Hailey will be sleeping right next you you.
Wondering what trouble the kitten will get into next? Hailey is perfectly content to sleep in the sunny window.
Check out Hailey if you are looking for an adult cat to adopt. She’s only 3 years old, so she has many years of love to give. Spayed, tested, treated, up-to-date on vaccinations and micro-chipped, she’s all ready to go to her forever home.
See Hailey and all the other kittens and cats available for adoption at Petsmart on Pine Ridge Road from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, or call 239-642-8674 for an appointment. — Jan Rich.
March 23, 2013 No Comments
Not all feral cats live in groups behind garbage dumpsters. Some live outside homes where they are cared for. Spoiled with good food, fresh water, and even warm blankets on cold nights. It’s a life of luxury for these cats. Do you feed a feral cat? Leave a bowl of water under the steps? Do you have a soft spot in your heart for an abandoned cat? Share your stories on what you do to improve the life a feral cat.
March 13, 2013 No Comments
Our pets ingest pollutants and an array of indoor air contaminants just like our children do, only our pets age seven or more times faster than children and can develop health problems a lot faster. Researchers at a non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that our pets were contaminated with twice as many chemicals than typically found in people. Some of the tests resulted in finding (in dogs) that they were contaminated with 35 chemicals all together. Some being carcinogens, neurotoxins and chemicals harmful to the reproductive system. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in dogs, and hyperthyroidism (which we have blogged about before) is on the rise in cats due to chemical exposures.
What can we do to take down the risks to our pets?
The EWG recommends choosing pet foods with out chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and being on the look out for organic or free-range ingredients, rather than by-products. Drinking water can be filtered out and remove most of the harmful chemicals in the waters. ( an osmosis filter is recommended) Replacing bedding or other items that may have exposed foam filling and using greener kitty litters. Non-stick pans and garden pesticides are also culprits. And this list goes on.
Taking small and simple steps to ensure you have a safer environment for your pets, will also help YOU and your family have a safer home too. They take in and breathe in the same things that we do on a daily basis.
You can read up on more of this information at www.ewg.org where they have lots of other helpful facts and ideas.
February 14, 2013 No Comments
It is every cat owners worst nightmare. You open the door for the slightest of moment, and your cat darts outside and you miss the grab. Next thing you know your cat is out of your sight. At this point, your cat is frightened by the big world he/she has now entered. Chances are your cat has not roamed to far from your home at this point, and has found a place to confine itself and rest there until some of that fear regresses, or he/she finally gets hungry.
Aside from your cat accidentally bolting from your home, there may be other reasons your cat may feel the need to run. If you have recently brought home a new animal to the family, whether it be another cat or a dog, your current cat is making adjustments too. This adjustment period can take a few days, weeks or sometimes even a month. This may cause them to feel a need to run. During an adjustment to the family period, it would be wise to inform all family members to be extra aware of their opening and closing doors.
Some things you can do right away when your cat goes missing.
Conducting a thorough search that covers every high and low area within 500ft of your home. ( keep in mind a frightened cat will do everything to keep itself concealed)
Get door to door with your neighbors, make sure you have a recent photo, that will help more than a verbal description.
Place notices in your local shops and gas stations. Use the most recent and clear photograph and your most accessible phone number.
Let personnel at your rescue organizations know your cat is missing in case it turns up there. (this is where a recent photograph will also come in handy)
Identification is also important to have on your pet. Break Away collars are one way to have an ID tag on your cat, but sometimes those can have a way of slipping off or breaking off (as they are supposed to) if your cat gets caught in a tree or fence. Tattooing is also another way to identify your cat, but over time this can ware off and fur over grown and not be noticeable or something to look for. The most recent and most common identification means right now is micro-chipping. It is a little electronic device that is placed between the shoulder blades and carries a tracking number, and you can register your information to it as well. This is a painless and effective way to place some identification on your cat.
We recently had an abandoned cat come to us named Tiggles. Tiggles was living outside for almost a year, and found himself a colony to stay with and get food when he was brought in. First thing we did upon his arrival was scan him for a micro-chip. Turns out he had been missing since last May! His family was moving to Tennessee and when they loaded the carrier into the car, it broke and Tiggles spooked and ran off. They could only stay for a short time and look for him, to which they found nothing and had to leave. To their surprise this past week, they received a phone call from us saying that we have Tiggles, and they want Tiggles back in their lives!! They drove all the way back to Marco Island from Tennessee to come get Mr Tiggles this weekend, and Tiggles was so happy to see them!
February 6, 2013 No Comments
You may not see them or hear them in the night, they are a sleek and sly predator of our beloved cats out there in the wild. You may hear them and think they are far enough away from your outdoor cats that they will be safe. Or you may see one once in a blue moon, and assuming that it was just passing by, and won’t be seen or heard again. Coyotes are every where, even on Islands! They don’t mean to cause harm to your cats (or other pets) but the truth of it is they have to eat too and cats are lower on the food chain. A coyotes call can sound like its miles away, when in actuality it could only be a couple hundred feet due to the echo’s of your surroundings. And don’t be fooled, coyotes do and will travel around, they don’t have to stay in one spot, and will move and make their dens where ever they find suitable!
Locally and in general cats are in danger of the free roaming coyotes when they are outside, even on your patio or screened in lanai. If you leave cat food out on your lanai it is a very good attractant for a hungry coyote. A roaming kitty also and unfortunately makes a nice meal for the wild dogs as well. Even the screened in lanai’s are not safe for them, as a coyote is not a small creature and can go through a screen as if it wasn’t even there. Which is a death sentence for your cat, but a very scary situation for you and your family as well. ( we have had many cases of this happening locally, its very scary! )
Coyotes are territorial and during mating season and when a mother is protecting her pups, they are the most dangerous. If your cat is outdoors, and crosses that territorial line of the coyotes, its a goner.
There are a few things you can do to prevent a coyote from entering your yard, such as chicken wiring the bottom half of your screening, or putting up a fence or other type of barrier to prevent them from either entering your lanai or your yard. As tempting as it may be to give your cats a midnight snack in the nice open breeze of the evenings, it’s probably not the best idea considering that smell of food will travel to noses unknown.
The best thing to do is to let your cats live peacefully and safely indoors with you and your family, and away from those pesky and scary coyotes!
January 22, 2013 No Comments
We had a dramatic day here last week, when a call came in about a surrendered kitten in Naples. We received word that the kitten was in such bad shape there was no certainty he would survive. His name is Phoenix. He is recovering now from one of the worst mange cases we have ever seen. Upon arrival he was so anemic and emaciated from all the thousands of fleas biting him. He had unbelievable crusted over scabs from the mange, and he is missing so much fur that we can’t be sure if he has any other under lying problems. (such as ringworm)
A little known fact, Revolution which is a topical flea and tick preventative for cats, also kills mange!?
Despite all this and being under quarantine, Phoenix is pulling through very well , and is a very sweet and friendly little boy. He is thriving from care, attention and spoils from all our volunteers love. We will keep an update on Phoenix, as he sure is one special little boy!
January 16, 2013 No Comments
For all of you who own cats, you know how ‘tuned-in’ and smart they are. Communicating with you, however, is very limited for them. They have their voice, their body language, their claws and teeth and their urine and feces. Those are not a lot of tools compared to our vast human language skills. Cats also have a tendency to hide their illness until it can be too late by the time their person notices something is wrong. When a cat is in pain or distress, it rarely cries but rather tries to get your attention in other ways. One of those ways is to pee in a spot that you can’t possibly miss. Many times it is your bed or the kitchen rug or your bathroom rug or your entry rug. In any case, your cat is trying to tell you something is wrong. In 99% of these cases, a cat that pees in a spot other than the litter box has a urinary tract infection. For any of you who have suffered from a UTI, you know how painful it can be. If your cat is exhibiting signs of a UTI, a trip to your veterinarian and a dose of inexpensive antibiotics will clear it up if the cat is treated right away.
If you don’t treat your cat right away, odds are that your cat will start to use the litter box again but the infection will generally come back and the problem will start all over again several months down the road. Even if the cat goes through the 10 day antibiotic treatment, the infection can reoccur in another form which does not show up on the standard urinalysis testing that veterinarians perform. This is when the cat’s owner and the veterinarian start to use emotional issues as the reason the cat is not using the litter box and this generally leads to the cat being abandoned or killed because no one can figure out what is wrong with the cat.
When a UTI either goes untreated or is not resolved with the initial treatment of antibiotics, the infection can invade the bladder wall and create interstitial cystitis. Bladder infections are awfully painful and you feel like you have to pee every other minute! This condition does not have a test. There is no way to directly diagnose it but it is easily TREATABLE! Unfortunately, this is a reflection on the medical community as a whole because it seems that today, if there is not a test for it, then the possibility of the condition existing is ignored. The process of critical analysis is no longer used as a tool for treatment options. That being said (I will get off of my soap box now), I also want to tell you that I am not a veterinarian but I was educated about this treatment program by a retired veterinarian when our own cat suffered through several UTI’s which then developed into interstitial cystitis. I have tried to help over 8 cats this last year with chronic UTI’s by asking the family to talk to their veterinarian about treating the cat for interstitial cystitis and in every case, the veterinarian has refused to try this inexpensive treatment program. The end result was death for those cats.
I am hoping this blog post will help save even just one cat’s life. For all of our feline’s wonderful talents and intellect, despite what people think, they do not possess our bad human emotions like hate, revenge, jealousy, etc. Your cat is not using your bed as a litter box because he hates you or is getting you back for something, it is because this poor creature is in pain and trying desperately to get your attention so that you do something to help. Take the time out of your busy life to stop agonizing about how to clean the bedspread and take your beloved cat to your veterinarian, where I hope that you will get the proper treatment so your cat can continue to give you all the love and devotion he possesses in his little being.
UC Davis developed a treatment plan for interstitial cystitis many years ago which is an inexpensive, long term dose of affordable antibiotics. Please email me if you would like a copy of their treatment program.
January 10, 2013 No Comments
Naomi has started putting her paws to work as she helps to let readers know about your cats health, concerns and needs from their perspective! She wants to help spread awareness about those little habits such as scratching or nipping, or health concerns like UTI’s or Sneezes, so that maybe you can better understand how to help your cat. Naomi and us at For the Love of Cats hope that you enjoy her articles, and they help you and your cat!
Enjoy your News from Naomi!
January 3, 2013 No Comments
This is just a little note to all of you in our area (and others) to know that Mange is on the move. Mange is a skin disease that is caused by parasitic mites. Mites can infect not only your cats and dogs but also plants, birds, and reptiles!
Mange started out recently south of Punta Gorda, and then stretched to Ft Myers, and cases are now being reported in Collier County.
Some signs of Mange are hair loss, itching, bald spots, scabbing and sores. If you think your cat or dog may have Mange, do not hesitate to seek your veterinarian. Most Mange cases are in dogs, and since we know a lot of you are cat and dog owners, it is important to us,. that you are made aware of diseases on the move.
Keep your pets healthy and safe this holiday season!
December 12, 2012 No Comments
As you know, cats are curious by nature. They like sparkly, shiny and crinkling things. What better time of the year to see all these in a short time and one place,Christmas! This time of year, your homes are decorated for the spirit and joy of this holiday. Tree’s are up, wreaths are hung and lights are twinkling. Before you get started decorating this year, try to think cat (pet) safety.
Cats like to play with anything laying around, and this time of year there many new things around that weren’t before and everything becomes an attraction to see, or a toy to toss. Christmas village people and little set ups are a great cat toy to fling under a couch or the fridge! Make sure you put them high enough or secure the pieces so that there are no choking hazards. (for your cats other pets and children!)
Tinsel,holly,fake plants with wire in them and glass bulbs are all concerns this time a year as well. Tinsel can become entwined in your cats intestines which can cause a blockage. Holly and Lilies, other plants that are toxic to cats are around this time of year. Fake plants that have bending wire in them can not only be ingested but if the wire pokes through, stepped on or god forbid and eye poked! And glass bulbs from the tree are dangerous because if they fall and break (thank you climbing cats in tree’s!) the glass can become in-bedded in those sweet kneading paws.
Another concern you may not think of is artificial snow spray, that you can use on windows and ledges, floors and counter tops. We all know cats like to lick things, and give them a taste or a try, and this snow spray is very toxic. Not just to cats but people kids dogs..so be sure if you use this spray it is far away from pets and small children.
And of course, the biggest issue of all.. the Christmas Tree. First thing to do when setting up your Christmas tree is to secure it to the wall. If you have cats, and you even find yourself questioning whether or not they’ll climb it, secure it. Making the base of the tree heavy is another good way to secure a tree from falling. If you have a real tree, make sure you buy one thats needles do not shed. (they all do of course but some tree’s do not as much), and fake tree’s “needles” also shed, so just watch the floor for those little plastic shreds. Hooks from ornaments can be misplaced if an ornaments falls or breaks, make sure you find all pieces before your clever cat (whose been eyeballing it since it fell) does. Christmas lights are of course a safety concern/issue, and there isn’t too much you can do, except protect the cord from the outlet to the tree with a little plastic tubing. Another option is to use battery powered lights, so there is no cord from tree to wall.
And last but not least a strong lemon spray around the base of your tree will help keep your cats, and dogs away from the tree, as well as putting pine cones around the base, as they are hard to walk on for a cat.
November 29, 2012 No Comments
This is the time of year where the tinsel gets hung and the Poinsettias are set around the house, chocolate gets passed around grapes are dropped by small fingers and raisins are in special holiday mixes! Lights are hung and candles are lit! These are just a few of the dangers to your cats.
Poinsettia’s are the most common heard danger (to young children as well!) , because as soon as Halloween is over, out come the big bold and beautiful plants. They are not a poisonous plant, but the toxins within them are no made for easy digestion. There is a thick white milky sap inside of them, that will take a good amount to make them sick ,however an unseen chewing session on one of these could result in a holiday trip to the vet..if they’re open! So it’s just better to be aware, than to have something happen.
Common foods that can be a danger are Chocolate (because of stimulants and caffiene in chocolate),grapes,onions and garlic ( they contain a loss in red blood cell ingredient) ,raisins, raw eggs (you know, as you are cooking those delicious Christmas cookies!) and fish bones.
Don’t forget about decorations too. Little bulbs that can be swallowed, played with as a toy only to fall and shatter leaving sharp dangerous pieces on the ground, Christmas light and tree light cords, and candles. No need for a flaming kitty tail!!
Just be safe this holiday season, for you, your family and your family pets.
November 14, 2012 No Comments
As some of you know we were asked to get some reviews for the GreatNonProfit award of 2012. We got so many wonderful and fantastic reviews that not only became on of their featured NonProfit’s, but are also promoted as a Premier NonProfit on their website!
Thank you so much to all those who have left reviews and all those who continue to support and care about all the cats and kittens here!
Here’s one of our wonderful reviews!
“For The Love Of Cats is by far the most wonderful, clean, caring, attentive shelter I have ever visited in my life. I am proud to be a volunteer for over 5 years. All of the volunteers are second to none. These kittens and cats recieve the best care and love. They are all so well socialized and adorable. The managers of this fantastic shelter are the most selfless people I have ever met. I feel privileged to be associated with these people and this facility. It’s a great place to adopt a kitten or cat.”
You can check out these reviews here!
November 6, 2012 No Comments
Happy Halloween from For the Love of Cats!
We want to take a moment and address the certain dangers of Halloween .. when it comes to your pets safety. We definitely know how much fun it is to dress up your cats and dogs for Halloween, but keeping them out and around while there are Trick and Treater’s around..as tempting as it may be to show of those hilarious and fun costumes…
With Cats, it is truly best to keep them put away in a bedroom or another room of your home where you can close a door tightly so that they can’t get out. It only takes a second for a cat to shoot out from a corner and get out side in fear of knocking doors, ringing doorbells, and strange noises outside.
With Dogs, we all know that we can dress them up more easily, and show them off on a leash a little more easily than cats. We’ve seen it before, a family or group walking with their dogs on Halloween to join in the festivities and get Ooh’s and Aah’s. However, as small dogs are close to the ground, and larger dogs are always sniffing and largely more curious about candy bags, when its dark out and so much commotion..you may miss them doing a naughty act!
They can smell a fallen piece of Candy on the street or sidewalk. And you would never know your precious pup just ingested a fun sized chocolate bar. And those candy bags are just filled with sweets and treats, that are not so sweet to your dogs stomach!
And don’t forget the most common rule with dogs..the leash or collar slips off, or you accidentally drop it..and in the darkness of the Halloween night..Fido is missing.
So please, it really is best to keep your babies home, safe and put away during the trick and treating hours of the night.
October 30, 2012 No Comments
We have some amazing little troopers and strong spirits here in the shelter right now. One of them is our little girl Stanza, who is a charming little character even after all that she’s been through. She was found and rescued at 4 and a half weeks old and one pound! She was thrown away with a broken leg at a gas station in Naples, and what looked to be some type of bite wound on her front elbow area. She’s had a re-set of her back broken leg, and a cast on for almost 4 weeks, which has not been the easiest for her! Her cast was currently removed, and her tiny little healed leg is doing perfectly, and now just needs to grow that beautiful fur back!
Stanza through out the healing process has had an upbeat and positive little spunk, and loved her excersize of running around even with her cast on! She was able to play with another little kitty here who also is sporting a cast. They became quite the cast buddies!
October 17, 2012 No Comments
Babies and Cats seem to be a great debate these days! A lot of families planning to start a family are often told by Doctors or other family members, that a cat (or a dog) in the house with a baby is a no-go, and a re-homing of the family pet is the next thing on the to-do list.
New studies are being done and have been done to show that babies/kids raised with cats (and dogs) are at a lower risk for health problems. Some things seen are a lower rate in Asthma, sinus infections, ear infections..etc. They become more exposed to allergens and bacteria from their pets,. which in turn makes a stronger immune system.
Children can also learn how to be gentle with animals, not just your own but others as well. They learn a love and comfort from their animals, and have a friend when there seems to feel like there’s no one else.
Below is a picture of Bert and Ernie (formerly Piper and Maurice), two of our cats that were adopted by an expecting family. They were aware of potential risks, however did their own research as well and came to the conclusion that cats would be a most welcome addition to their family. Mason (baby) is pictured here with supervision sleeping with his best friends.
October 10, 2012 No Comments
Some times there is a spirit within a cat or kitten that we can’t understand because it is greater than anything we’ve seen. This is the case with our sweet Josephina. She has been a trooper and positively perfect patient for us here at the shelter, considering the start of her life was nearly fatal.
As we’ve had a lot of down pours over the past week, we worry about those abandoned and unsure of the weather outside. Cases like Josephina’s is why we worry! She was found in a flooding ditch in the rain pouring rain, with a huge (and later realized infected) tear on her right shoulder. She was also not able to use her front left leg at all. She was quickly rescued and taken straight to the vets office where she then got on some relieving pain medication, cleaned and stitched up and x-rays.
(the picture above is with her much deserving princess tee, covering up those stitches so she can’t pick at them!)
Josephina has been coming along beautifully considering that her left front leg had severe nerve damage. We are seeing slow, but improving healing to her leg, and keep our hopes and prayers strong that it will continue to improve so we won’t have an amputation situation. She is now leaving her stitches alone like a good girl, and walking around with a splint on to continue help the healing leg.
We just love spirits like hers, it makes every second of what we all do worth it.
October 4, 2012 No Comments
Welcome Fall! The hot summer temperatures have come down, and things are starting to cool off out there for our feral’s and strays. We’ve been blessed with these adorable “Fall kittens”, Acorn, Peanut, Gourdy, Maisy, Autumn and Cider! They came to us from a very feral momma cat, who was spayed and released to her colony after she was done weaning. Sadly, they all have a case of yucky and spreadable ringworm!
They were all very itchy and miserable when upon arrival. Now, there is good news for them, as they no longer itch and are doing marvelous at healing from the yucky ringworm! They will soon be purrfect little fall babies for families!
September 26, 2012 No Comments
There is more to knowing your cats body language than just an up tail, down ears and a hissing face. Cats can send you clues that lead up to a hiss, or an uncomfortable and scary situation. Some favorites are head butting, kneading paws, and rolling over to pet the belly!
Head butting is a sign of deep affection towards you, and its also a way to rubbing their scent on you. Kneading those little paws goes back to your cats days as a kitten, where they learned to do this to stimulate milk from mom! Kneading is a good sign of trust, but make sure to keep those claws trimmed!! A good roll over always seems like an invite to rub the belly and make your kitty happy. This isn’t always the case, because a happy tummy rub can go to an aggressive grab on your arm in seconds. You need to know your cat, to understand what it prefers on belly rubs.
Another strong way of knowing your cat is up to something is a good old fashioned twitch of the tail. That fast moving end of the tail is a sure sign your cat is getting agitated. This usually happens before the ears go back, or you receive a hiss or growl. When a cats tail is puffed up, or thumping on the ground, is a strong indicator that your cat is ready to pounce, defend itself and become unpredictable.
And of course, who can forget the signals from those adorable little ears they have. Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear, and they can rotate them 180 degrees, move them up and down and move them independently of each other. Basically, the more anxious,nervous or sacred a cat gets the more flattened to the skull they become.
The vocalizations of cats can be a nuisance to some, but its important as a cat owner to know the sounds of your cat(s). Some cries can be a simple plea for dinner, and some can be that of a sick cat. A cats growl or hiss is surely an indication of some near future aggression! It’s important to recognize those sounds, and learn your cats noises.
There are plenty of signs from your cat that you can look for, watch for, etc. It’s important to know your cats signs, sounds and expressions so that no one ever gets clawed or bitten in your family. Cat ownership is rewarding, and you should enjoy every second it it by making sure you are informed with all there is to know with your wonderful cat!!
September 12, 2012 No Comments
Lady is a beautiful brown and white tabby girl, who had a gorgeous little of babies 3 weeks ago. For the past few weeks, they have been staying close to Momma, not leaving her side ( which is normal of course) but they really didn’t want to explore anything at all. Over the past week, all their eyes have opened and they are started to stretch their little legs and spread those tiny little toes to explore around a little bit! They just started using the litter box, which is the cutest thing. We have to build a soft ramp from towels so that when they do’nt quite make the journey to the box, they have a short and soft little rolling pad! They are doing really well though, and Lady is a really great Mom. She cleans them all up every day, makes sure they are always full and never go hungry! They are the cutest little bunch of ladies!
Onward to growing, learning and exploring!
September 4, 2012 No Comments