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Showing posts with label poison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poison. Show all posts

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Indoor plants - a warning to all us cats.

Dear George,
Look at me….don’t I look like a young professional? Of course I do as I just graduated from an Interior Design School!
I’m kidding you not! My only problem is that I’m not that familiar with herbs and plants!
I don’t know which are good for cats and which are not! And that’s a big “no-no” in my business! I know how to set up a room but….am I sitting in a pot with catnip?
I don’t think so! I need your help – PLEASE post a list with poisonous plants for cats!
If your secretary is up for the task….please tell me where there is a list with bad plants for cats! With your help I can foresee a bright future for myself!
In gratitude

Dear Buster,
The plant you are sitting on is not catnip. It's a jade plant (Crassula ovata). It's safe, but there is a list here of other indoor plants that are poisonous. Any human employing an interior designer better check this list.
Danger - Lilies.
It's not just the plants humans keep in your home: it's also the cut flowers that they put in their homes. Lilies are the most dangerous of all for cats. Everything about them is poisonous - flowers, leaves and pollen. If even a tiny amount of pollen falls on a cat's coat, the cat will lick it off when grooming and can be severely ill, sometimes fatally ill. So humans should ban lilies from the home. Or at least cut off the stamens with their pollen and keep the lilies completely away from our reach.

If you are an indoor cat, there are other house plants that will make you sick if you nibble them - poinsettia, Christmas cherry (solanum), dumb cane and others here.
So tell your human to buy you some kitty grass. So you can nibble safely. We indoor cats cannot get grass from outdoors.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grass eating - why do we do it and what we cats need.

Dear George,
I’m writing to you to ask a favor! One or two years ago there was a post on your blog about “gardens for cats” and to be more precise about grass grown in pots for cats to lay down in it and enjoy! Mommy said that there was a beautiful cat from Australia who wrote to you bragging about it. She also said that there was a link either in your response to that cat or in someone’s comment – a link to a website or youtube of a couple in the States showing how they created a “cat’s garden” and what grass they grew for their cats. I don’t know how to use the computer to search for things and I’m too young to remember the post even if mommy read that letter to me at the time.
So, here I am ….begging you George (as you can see in the photo) …to please post that link again! Mommy wants to create a garden for me and I worry she might plant the wrong grass!
With many thanks

Dear Gizmo,
We love grass that is grown from wheat, oat, rye or barley. It's safe and it's enjoyable. Why do we eat it? It's not because we have stomach trouble, nor because we need it to vomit (I can very easily vomit without grass!). It's probably because in millions of years of eating mice, we ate their stomach contents which included some vegetation, which may have helped reduce internal parasites. So you could say that evolution has predisposed us to enjoy nibbling on grass.
Be careful, Gizmo, not to nibble on other things. Nibbling lilies or tulips, even those in a vase, can kill you or give you stomach problems. Some house plants can be dangerous to cats, so get your human to consult International Cat Care's list of poisonous plants here.  Just don't let silly humans have them in the house. It's not worth the risk.
Get your human to look here and here for tips on creating a cat-friendly garden. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Six-toed, highly active, and taking supplements....

Dear George, 
I’m following (silently) your blog for a while. I must say I enjoy it very much. At times I found it quite amusing and at times I found it quite informative.
Lately I’ve seen that one of the reoccurring theme was food – what should cats eat.
I’ve learned that Gizmo is eating his broccoli, Chico has his food homemade, Jasper is eating a raw diet from the pet food store and the list goes on and on! But, I have one question: do we need to take supplements and/or vitamins?
I’m a very, very active polydactyl baby (see the picture attached) – I have lots of energy and I can run and play all day (of course having 6 toes helps), but I wonder if it’s the supplements my mummy gives me (she’s in the business - or am I naturally active?
Honestly, what’s your take on this?
Yours in health

Dear Baraboo,
My preferred diet would be mice, other small rodents, the odd bird and the occasional insect , a completely natural diet. But I don't lead a completely natural life as I live in a human home. Instead I get given very good quality complete cat food. No human food, except what I steal off the kitchen floor, the occasional bit off a plate that hasn't yet been put into the dishwasher, and the odd mouse. A little of what I fancy does me good.
I seem to be completely healthy. So I would say that if you are given a good quality complete diet (and there are now raw food diets available in envelopes here in the UK with no risk of salmonella), you shouldn't need anything else. Would a supplement be a good idea? Only if your human knows what she is doing. 
Humans sometimes think what is good for them is good for us. Wrong. Human medicines, like aspirin, can kill us. There are foods like onions, grapes and raisins, and chocolate, which are good for humans: bad for dogs and for cats. There's a list here.
So tell your human always to check with a vet before giving us human food, human supplements or medicines or veterinary supplements. Stay safe.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Food – such hot topic for cats but still a dilemma

Dear George, 
Since you mentioned my name in your post recently I thought it’s time for an update! 
Well, I’m pleased to report that I totally adopted the couple who rescued me; they make good pets. They are very responsive to my needs and are very well trained. I have quite a clear, simple schedule – wake-up at 6 am for a round of play, eat breakfast by 7 am and then play some more and sleep until evening when I get my dinner! Some more play and cuddling and sleep again! I live a blessed, simple life! But, I have a dilemma when it comes to food. When I was living on the streets I was eating from garbage bins unless people would give me some dry food in their backyard. 
I’m no expert in food or nutrition but I see my human mummy spending a lot of time to carefully prepare my meals. I’m on a raw meat diet (80% meat and 20% organs) mixed with a Healthy Powder (it contains Lecithin, nutritional yeast, kelp, bone meal, eggshell powder, Vit. C and other vitamins and minerals) and raw yolks. Each serving in mixed with a teaspoon of organic gluten free oats (cooked) and 1/2 teaspoon cooked butternut squash. Three times a week I get fish oil/omega 3 and an extra taurine supplement to make up for whatever is lost through freezing the meat. Go figure! She follows the recipes from Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s book and sometimes from Dr. Karen Baker’s book.
I’ve seen her watching videos on too. George, one thing I’ve learned while eating from garbage bins was that humans are completely immersed in toxic food culture.
They are fundamentally wired to prefer junk food as we are fundamentally wired to prefer treats over healthy food. I heard a lot about “dry food is no good”, “canned food it is better” but lately I heard canned food is no good either because the can lining is toxic, carcinogenic, etc. And yet I’ve learned about cats who lived to be 18 or 20 or even 22 years old on either canned or dry food. So, what’s the truth about food? There is no way around that! Or is it?
Purring in content

Dear Chico,
It's inspiring to read your survival story.
Most humans are just not clever enough to feed their cats a proper home-made diet. So good quality cat food, whether dry or in an envelope, will be the right choice for a cat. Avoid anything which is 'giblet flavoured' or anything labelled 'complementary.' Here in the UK that last label means the food isn't a complete diet. Avoid anything made in China. We cats have strict diet requirements, unlike dogs, and most good quality ready-made food will at least be adequate.
You can read about the dangers of a badly-made home diet here. The other danger is too much liver. We adore it and we would eat any amount of it. But that leads to an overdose of Vitamin A and severe health problems. So my advice to cats is, unless you have a truly well trained human and most are not, stick to good quality envelopes or dried food. Canned food may be OK for most cats, but there is a suggestion that the can lining might be involved in the development of hyperthyroidism. It's a bit of a minefield!
PS. I've just found a new product called Cat Soup. This might be useful for cats on a dry diet or cats that have a history of  cystitis.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Are sprouting beans good for cats? I am not a rabbit.

Dear George,
I seriously wonder if my mummy knows the difference between a cat and a cow (yes, I know…both start with a “C”) or rather said between an herbivore and a carnivore!
I am saying this because for the last three weeks she is trying really hard to grow something for me, something that she calls “sprouts” (photo attached). I mean take a look at the photo and tell me how on earth does she think I’m going to it that ugly, unappealing stuff? She’s telling me that it’s winter and I don’t have any grass to chew on if I’d like to. But, for God’s sake then just grow some grass for me.
George, can you post a list of “greens” good for cats? PLEASE!
Yours truly and always,
CAT Victoria
Long digestive tract with huge caecum

Dear Cat Victoria,
I can't post a list of greens that are good for cats. But there is a list of human food which is poisonous to cats here. Grapes, raisins and onions (even in gravy) are on this list. The more you eat of these dangerous foods, the more poisonous they are. 
A little vegetable is probably good for cats, but not too much. We humans, and dogs,  are omnivores, and are designed to eat both meat and also vegetables. Cats are not.
Cats are "obligate" carnivores, meaning that their intestines are designed for meat - the whole carcase, skin and bones, not just flesh. You can see this in the illustrations here which show a a rabbit's intestines (an animal that is designed to eat nothing but vegetation) above with a cat's digestive system below. The rabbit (above) has a long intestine with a huge wavy pouch called a caecum which breaks down the cellulose in vegetables, while the cat has a short intestine with a small caecum which you cannot even see in this illustration. 
Here in the UK, you can buy special grass for cats. I think you would enjoy that better than sprouting beans. I know I would.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Help us! We are being poisoned by cruel people.

My release after being spayed.
Dear George ,
We need your help and the help of every single one of your readers. My friends and I have a huge problem. I can see no way out. I have been bereaved  and there are too many humans out to get me. I am far away from your cosy life in the Cotswolds of England. I am in Spain's Costa Blanca but you can see us on our Facebook page here.
I live in an area beside the sea, called El Mojon. I live under apartment blocks and in gardens, but mainly hang around a derelict building which humans call " The Hermitage. " It is unsafe, but the humans let their children play around there.
They sometimes throw stones at us, and shoot at us with toy guns. Our area is filthy with litter but it is all we have.
I've heard the humans arguing among themselves - often and loudly. The local humans were shouting and waving their arms at the humans who bring our food and water. The locals swept away our food and crushed our water dishes under foot. They called us dirty, they said that we were sick and had fleas. They even said that we were the cause of rat and cockroach infestations.
Worse was to come.  My sister Phi and I were curled up together - half- asleep. Gamma, our mum was out hunting. It was quiet - except for a few fireworks - but we're used to those. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a shadow - darting back and forth in the grounds around our building. The shadow was throwing something . I caught a whiff of it. Quite nice. But, I thought, this was strange. Our usual people talk to us in kind voices, and put our food into clean dishes. This Shadow was throwing the pleasant- smelling food everywhere....... then left.
I knew something wasn't right. Phi got up to investigate. I called her back - but the lure of food was too strong for her. She ate the food, as did several of our friends. I watched them die. My beautiful ginger and white sister - the prettiest blue-eyed girl - staggering around until she fell to the ground; her lithe, young body concluding and writhing in agony - struggling to breathe. I heard the grasping, choking, sounds.  I don't know how long it took for her to die. Time stood still for me. There used to be a lot of us in this area - around 70 - now there are only around 15. Am I lucky? I don't feel lucky. I feel afraid. Afraid that there will be other Shadows, and that I shall not recognize them for what they are.
If you cannot help me , George, please spread the word and try to educate the so- called human race that animals are indeed all equal.
Your bereft friend ,

Dear Chi (and all my readers),
There is a petition here, which I am hoping all my readers wherever they are in the world will sign, then share on Facebook and Twitter. This is the tragic photo which accompanies it.
These were healthy cats (as you can see from the photo) licensed to be where they were and ear tipped to show that they were neutered and would not expand the population of feral cats. 
I want to send a message that people worldwide think this is unacceptable. That it gives Spain and the town involved a bad image.
We know that there are loving good people in Spain who will find this hateful too. So please would they sign the petition too.
Yours sincerely

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Danger..... Easter eggs can kill you.

Dear George,
Please would you warn your readers about next week. Humans go slightly mad on the food front. It's painful to see them sitting down to large meals of roast lamb followed by creamy deserts, while we cats and dogs just have our normal envelope of soft food or a handful of dry kibble.
Naturally, I keep an eye out for any crumbs that fall off the table or the kitchen surfaces - if I can get there before my friend, Daisy the dog. She's a Labrador so she will bolt down anything - bread, chips, potatoes, sprouts, fruit, and..... chocolate.
That's what she did this time last year. She found an Easter Egg on the coffee table, tore off its wrappings and ate the lot.  I didn't get a look in.
A few hours later she was shivering, breathing heavily and wandering around restlessly. Luckily the humans returned, found the wrapping, and rushed her to the vet. She survived.  This chocolate turns out to be poisonous to dogs, cats and even parrots.
I felt pretty smug that I hadn't had so much as a nibble. So warn your readers not to touch that stuff. It's dangerous.

Dear Tabitha,
Humans make pigs of themselves with chocolate. And they are hopelessly irresponsible about leaving it around. Odd, isn't it? They can eat pounds of the stuff without getting ill - though they do get fat. Apparently the chemical, theobromine, gives them a high but doesn't hurt them. To us, it can be deadly.
Apparently most vets in the UK have to treat pets for chocolate poisoning this time of year. And warn Daisy about grapes and raisins.  Most humans don't know that these too can kill dogs and probably cats too, if we were silly enough to eat them. There's information here.
As for the selfish behaviour of humans around food... it never ceases to amaze me. Here I am stuck with the same old cat food day by day, while they feast on takeaways, roast dinners, and exotic dishes. Of course, I steal what I can. What cat wouldn't?
But I shall stay away from chocolate.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beware the poison in the flower and the evil in the leaves.....

Dear George,
My name is Mack and I have no idea how old I am but, I know I'm a lucky survivor.
Survivor to what? you may ask! poison!
One night this past August my humans came home with a big bouquet of flowers laughing and chatty and happy - it looked like they were celebrating something.
They had some champagne, kissed me good night and went to sleep.
I was left alone in the living room; I certainly didn't feel like finishing the champagne so I nibbled on some flowers
Next I know? I woke up in a hospital then....vomit, torture with some tubes through my throat and a lot of misery.
Why all this? It seems that some flowers I nibbled on were poisonous for cats.
George, can you give us some advice on poisonous plants/flowers so our humans can learn and avoid bring such in the house?

Grateful to be alive

Dear Mack,
Phew. What a narrow escape. The most likely reason why you were poisoned was because the bouquet includes lilies (see photo on right). These are poisonous in flower and stem if you eat them but there is another danger. The pollen on their stamens can fall to the ground, be picked up on your paws or coat, and then when you groom yourself you swallow it. Your humans should cut off the stamens and shake out any pollen inside the flower before they bring lilies into the house and put them in a safe place. Better still not buy them at all.

The other poisonous house plant is poinsetta, a plant with decorative leaves that is often given as a Christmas present. The danger isn't so great with this, as you will only be poisoned if you nibble it. There isn't the danger of pollen. But tell your humans to be better safe than sorry.
For a complete list of dangerous plants go to International Cat Care.  Indoor cats with a nibbling habit are at greater danger than cats that have other things to do. Other common dangerous substance are human medicine (aspirin for one), canine flea products containing permethrin (many cats have died of this), and antifreeze.
Stay well. 

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online