Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Decor and Kitty


The holidays are upon us and with that comes the great challenge.  No, not the crowded malls and highways, not the endless party invites, not the family coming to stay with you for what feels like an eternity.  Those pale in comparison to the biggest challenge of all…keeping Kitty out of the tree.  Kitty napping peacefully under the tree as if he were the only gift that should matter in your world?  No problem.  Kitty gnawing on the tinsel or scaling the limbs?  Problem.  Every day is a new opportunity to play hide and seek with the ornaments.  I’ll come home and notice a bare section on the tree…where 4 or 5 ornaments once happily hung, and 3 little sets of eyes just blinking at me with complete innocence.

Christmas trees present several dangers to house cats. First, live trees, especially pine, can be deadly if ingested. Pine resin can cause disease in cats. Also, the pine needles with sharp points may cause internal damage to his organs if he eats them.  Artificial Christmas trees are safer, but you still need to keep an eye on your cat. Flame retardant chemicals are sprayed on most trees, live and artificial, and can cause thyroid issues in your cat.
Beyond ingesting, the tree, cats may also chew on the electric cords for the Christmas lights. Pet specialty stores sell bitter apple or lemon based sprays designed to keep cats away from furniture or rooms. The smell is a deterrent which works even when you are not there to shoo them away. Spray the base, Christmas tree skirt and branches of the Christmas tree, to include the light strings. You may want to spray again every few days to make sure the smell is strong enough to deter your cat.
If you have rambunctious cats and kittens, it is best to avoid glass and fragile ornaments completely. Use shatter-proof or plastic balls with less fragile ornaments.   Small pieces, detachable parts and flimsy hooks are tempting and dangerous to Kitty, so avoid them whenever possible. Leave the bottom branches free of ornaments to avoid tempting cats.
Skip tinsel altogether. It can choke Kitty or cause intestinal blockages. The same goes for any metallic wrapping paper or bows. Also, clean up wrapping paper scraps as quickly as possible. The thicker coatings may also be hard for your kitty to digest.
Secure the base of the tree with weights so Kitty doesn't turn it over which can cause lots of damage and possibly injury.
Silk holiday plant decorations are the best bet for homes with cats. Holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are all poisonous for Kitty. However, if you must use the real thing, keep them high and out of reach. Keep a careful check throughout the holiday for leaves, berries and petals, which may have fallen on the floor.  If you are going to be traveling, dispose of poisonous plants before you go.  Who knows what Kitty may get into while you are gone.
Avoid using artificial snow spray, which, besides being tacky, can also be deadly if ingested by Kitty.  Also be mindful of candles and Kitty's whiskers.
Give Kitty his own sets of “decorations.” With all the fun stuff hanging around, it’s only natural Kitty will want to check out all the new and fun-looking stuff. When you haul out the decor, also haul out a set of holiday toys especially for Kitty.  Anytime Kitty goes for something hanging from the tree, quickly hand him one of his own special toys to show him that’s what he should be playing with.
Enjoy this little epitomizes what's probably happening in my house right now while I am at work...

**Artwork available in Dancing Cat store on

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

King Street Cats in Their New Homes

Obviously we are excited each time one of our kitties gets a new home.  We enjoy getting updates on how they are doing.  We will be posting updates as we get them, but we would also LOVE to hear your heart-warming adoption stories, regardless of from where you adopted Kitty!  Share them in the comments section below and insert pictures if you have them.

Above is Dancing Cat, now named Sebastian.  Dancing Cat was rescued from the outdoors when he somehow got separated from his family.  He is now in his furrever home and LOVES drinking from the faucet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top Ten Things Not To Feed Kitty This Thanksgiving

As I sit here with a foster kitten named Aimee dangling in a cloth burrito-like contraption hung around my neck to keep her warm and close while my two cats glare at this miniature intruder into their domain, I contemplate the upcoming holiday known as turkey and football day (aka Thanksgiving).  As the planning of a day of feasting and merriment ensues, I wonder how this great feast could affect my furry loved ones.  My girl, Raggedy Ann, is the consistent scrounger of human tidbits.  Not by my doing, mind you, but in part her own curiosity drives her to sniff out and try to consume anything forbidden.  Considering how many other fellow cat lovers are out there, I am positive this information could be of use to them as well.  Keep in mind these items could also affect felines' favorite playmates (canines) in a negative manner as well, we are focusing on cats because their metabolism is different.  The top culprits listed from numerous online references are:

1) Chocolate: The stimulants, theobromine and caffeine are the main offending substances in this delicious human treat that could, quite simply, cause toxic issues to the heart and nervous system.

2) Onions: Remember this because these tend to be in turkey stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes among other lovely items.  Onions contain a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells, causing a form of anemia.

3) Garlic: contains a similar substance as onions in a lesser amount.

4) Tomatoes and Green (raw Potatoes): these foods are members of a family of plants, which includes nightshade, and contain a poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower gastrointestinal symptoms.  The leaves and stems are particularly toxic.

5) Raw eggs: contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin which can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

6) Raw Fish: eating raw fish can result in a thiamine deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.  *Don't forget the bones!  Bones can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.*

7) Grapes and Raisins: Per the ASPCA: "As there are still many unknowns with the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises not giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount."

8) Baby Food: can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to cats fed baby food for an extended period of time.

9) Yeast Dough: can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

10) Fat Trimmings: can cause pancreatitis.

This is just a peek into the foods that we will encounter during this Thanksgiving holiday and the holidays to soon follow in the coming months but please keep these in mind as the merriment ensues.  Feel free to add in additional items to help educate and enlighten.  All my fuzzies give their highest regards, they are hungry and are demanding their dinner.  Happy Holidays!

**Artwork available in Dancing Cat store on