Vote With Your Nose: 6 Holiday Tips to Keep Kitty Calm #CLUMPandSEAL #ad

Yes, it’s election day with lots of folks voting, I hope…and I’ve decided to vote with my nose. Hopefully, that’s a vote that won’t stink! (sorry…couldn’t resist) With the holidays fast approaching, it’s a good time to offer some tips for keeping your cats (and guests!) happy. In a multi-cat household especially, you’ll need an odor-sealing litter that won’t disrupt pleasant holiday scents. Why not vote for one that promises to create an odor-free home in 7 days? Start today and you have plenty of time to clear the air before Thanksgiving!

Arm And Hammer Clump & SealThis post is sponsored by ARM & HAMMER™ and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL™ available at PetSmart®, but BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. Arm & Hammer and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

Last month I blogged about auditioning new litters in my home. So far, both Karma-Kat and Seren-Kitty seem happy with trying ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL™

SerenYawn

6 Holiday Tips to Keep Kitty Calm

Schedules goes out the window during the holidays. School breaks mean kids come home, holiday shopping and parties take hours away, and family visits mean absences or STRANGER DANGER in the house.

Less worry about your cats being stressed, and your guests being offended by cat-centric issues (WHEW, what’s that SMELL???!) means less stress for you and more time to enjoy the holidays. Use these tips to help keep your cats cool, calm and collected.

Change Schedules Slowly. Cats love the status quo. They dislike abrupt change. Anything that throws their routine out the window may prompt them to “spread some spray” around to self-calm. Yes, I mean they may urinate outside the box, because the smell of their own signature odor comforts and calms them. So if you KNOW the schedule will change, introduce changes slowly.

clump and seal

Give the Sniff Test. A clean kitty potty helps ensure your cats will maintain litter box allegiance. Remember that a cat’s sense of smell is many times more sensitive than our human noses. So by all means, keep the box clean but also avoid spritzing strong holiday scents that may offend your cat. Baking aromas and roast turkey smells as well as a pine-tinted tinge on the air are fine. But leave the litter box odor control to the products with built in odor-sealing technology. Even after you scoop, bacterial odor can keep growing. The innovative, new MicroGuard technology in ARM AND HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL seals and destroys immediate odor, plus, prevents the growth of future bacterial odor for 7-day odor control, guaranteed. Spraying deodorants around your cat box not only isn’t necessary, it could make kitty snub the facilities.

Maintain Routine. As much as possible, keep the status quo. Feed at the same times even if you must move the food bar away from the guest bedroom, for example. As long as MOST of the routine stays the same, most cats will be flexible.

baby gates

Baby gates offer security for those on both sides of the barrier.

Use Baby Gates. I love using baby gates to control temporary access to portions of the house. Baby gates can keep the cats (or young kids) away from each others’ territory. You don’t want the toddler in the cat’s litter box! And neither does the cat. When a youngster will visit over the holidays, invest in some baby gates and set them up early so your cats become used to the notion. Kitty can still see through them, too–and may be able to vault over some. That works well to keep obnoxious visiting dogs away, while allowing the cat continued run of the house. Or, if you don’t want cats to get through, you can stack two shorter baby gates to keep climbing cats at bay.

Train Your Guests. Many of our friends and family also love cats, and the people who don’t…well, maybe they aren’t great friends, LOL! Just be sure to set down some rules of the house. Too many treats can upset kitty tummies. And even the most affectionate cat may get fed up with being passed around like a stuffed toy.

Give Cats Privacy. We want our cats to be part of the celebration. Some kitties, though, become fearful or over-excited by strangers in the house. In these cases, it is not cruel to shut the cat in a room by herself. She’ll consider it a vacation from stress, and you won’t have to wor695d2eb8-8599-11e6-a394-22000a7d00a4ry about her hissing at a guest or leaving a hairball in someone’s shoe.

You can visit your local PetSmart to stock up on the ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL litter that best fits your lifestyle.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ARM & HAMMER. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

 


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Note: Upon occasion, affiliate links to books or other products may be included in posts, from which I earn a small amount with each purchase from the blog. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Caring For Your Aging Dog – 8 Common Conditions You Should Know

aging dogs

Magic at age 10 doesn’t know he’s a senior, but the gray muzzle offers a clue.

When November rolls around each year we take time to celebrate the many blessings we’ve enjoyed including our old dogs. Pet people of course give thanks for their animal companions, and November traditionally is Adopt A Senior Pet Month.

Ten years ago, I had the great joy to meet a moma dog and her litter of newborn puppies. One of those baby-dogs became my Magical-Dawg. And I have to say, the first couple of years were the most challenging, and the last few have been the most joyful of all. Senior dogs ROCK!

German shepherd with puppies

Do you love a senior citizen canine? Join the crowd! Fifty percent of owners share their heart with pets aged seven or older. Modern veterinary care helps many dogs stay healthy a decade or more, and Toy dogs sometimes double that and age gracefully well into their twenties. A longer life increases the odds dogs develop “old fogie” problems, though. That’s why I wrote the book Complete Care for Your Aging Dog because medical help is important–but the book also explains how you can keep your old-timer happy and healthy.

Complete Care for Your Aging Dog

Heck, I am so much a believer in the fact that senior dogs can still have fun and remain engaged in life, that Bruno (a senior citizen tracking dog) plays a featured role in my thriller LOST AND FOUND (which, by the way, is free on Kindle).

Here’s a quick sample of some of the simple and/or inexpensive tips for dealing with these 8 common aging dog issues.

  1. Arthritis can affect all dogs but large breeds are most prone. Extra weight puts greater stress on the joints. Achy joints cause limping, difficulty climbing stairs or getting up after naps. A heating pad placed under the dog’s bed soothes creaky joints. Gentle massage as well as OTC supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine-type products also helps. Low impact exercise—walks or swimming—and slimming down pudgy pooches delays problems. Provide steps—even a cardboard box—to help old dogs navigate stairs or hop onto the sofa.
  2. Dogs suffer from cataracts more than any other species, but blindness rarely slows them down. They compensate by relying more on sense of smell and hearing. Owners may not notice vision loss unless the dog visits unfamiliar surroundings. Avoid rearranging furniture so blind dogs can rely on their memory of familiar landmarks. Baby gates placed near stairs protect blind dogs from falling. Avoid startling blind dogs by announcing your presence before walking near or petting. Blind dogs enjoy games with noisy toys they can hear, or hide-and-seek with strong scented objects.
  3. Constipation affects many old dogs. When they stop moving on the outside, the inside movement slows down, too. A treat of a half cup milk, or 1 to 3 teaspoons of nonflavored Metamucil twice a day (depending on size of the dog), or high fiber foods like raw carrot or canned pumpkin help keep things moving. Most dogs like the taste of pumpkin or squash.
  4. Is he ignoring your commands? Sleeping too much? He could be deaf. Hearing naturally fades with age, but you can compensate by using vibration and hand signals. Stomp your foot to get his attention. Then use a flashlight switched on/off to call him inside, or the porch light to signal dinner is served. Vibrating collars also work well to communicate with deaf dogs.
  5. Eighty percent of dogs have dental problems by age three, and the risk increases 20 percent for each year of the dog’s life. Enzymes in special “dental diets” and meat-flavored pet tooth paste helps break down plaque. Offer dental chews, rawhides, a chew-rope covered with dog toothpaste, or even apples and carrots for healthy tooth-cleaning chews.
  6. Does she leave a wet spot where she sleeps? Incontinence refers to loss of bladder tone, and it mostly affects old lady spayed dogs. Prescription drugs may help, but management is equally important. Increase her potty breaks, and pick up water bowls two hours before bedtime. Toddler “pull up” pants work for some dogs or choose doggy diapers to help contain the urine.
  7. Forty to 50 percent of dogs aged five to twelve are overweight. Obesity often affects aging dogs because they exercise less but eat the same amount. Extra weight makes arthritis worse. Feed smaller meals inside puzzle toys so that the dog takes longer to eat and feels more satisfied as she works to earn her kibble.
  8. Thirty percent of dogs aged 11 to 12 show one or more signs of senility—canine Alzheimer’s. Affected dogs act confused, forget to ask to go outside, cry, and may not recognize you. This heartbreaking condition often causes owners to put dogs to sleep when symptoms develop. A prescription of Anipryl from your vet temporarily reverses signs in about 30-60 percent of dogs, but the supplement Cholodin also works pretty well. Two commercial foods (Hill’s Prescription b/d, and Purina Pro Plan Senior 7+ Original) also reverse signs for a while in some dogs. The saying “use it or lose it” also applies to dogs, so delay the onset of senility by exercising the doggy brain with obedience drills, interactive play, and puzzles.

What are some other “home care” tips that have worked well for YOUR “golden oldie” dog? Have you discovered some awesome care product that makes life easier for you, and more comfy for your pet? What are the “old dog” issues that you deal with? Please share!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Note: Upon occasion, affiliate links to books or other products may be included in posts, from which I earn a small amount with each purchase from the blog. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Caring For Your Aging Cat: 9 Common Conditions & What To Do

Seren2

My, how you’ve grown! Seren at just under 5 months having just had her tummy-tuck (spay) surgery.

My Seren-kitty not only inspired  my Complete Kitten Care book when she was a take-no-prisoners baby, she also inspired the Complete Care for Your Aging Cat book several year’s later.

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month–celebrating old cats. Adopting a mature kitty can mean years of furry love–Seren is now 20 years young and still ruling the roost!

old Siamese cat

And Seren inspires me every day when my own creaky joints act up. Getting older is NOT for weenies, but it’s not a sentence for chaining yourself (or your cat) to a rocking chair. Here are some simple and/or inexpensive ways from the book that owners can help keep an aging cat happy and healthy.aging cat book

  1. About 75 percent of senior cats have arthritis. When creaky joints hurt, she can’t perform cat-yoga stretches to groom herself and may become matted. Place kitty’s bed under a lamp for soothing heat to loosen up creaky joints. Gentle massage works well, and over-the-counter supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine-type products also help.
  2. Does the water bowl run dry? Does your cat urinate a lot? Diabetes could be an issue. High protein diets can reverse diabetes in some cats—your vet will determine this. Meanwhile, add litter boxes on each floor and both ends of the house so kitty has quick access to the facilities.
  3. Old cats often get fat, which aggravates arthritis and can lead to obesity. Slim tubby tabbies by setting the food bowl on top of a cat tree so she must move to eat. And place a portion of her meal inside a puzzle toy so she must “hunt” to shake out the food.
  4. Deaf cats often become more vocal and “holler” from the next room when they can’t hear you. Use vibration or visual cues to alert your deaf pet to your presence. Stomp your foot when you enter the room, for example, or flick lights on and off to avoid startling the cat.
  5. With age, cats lose their sense of smell so that food is less appealing and they snub the bowl. Heat makes odors more pungent. Zapping the food in the microwave for 10 seconds may be all that’s necessary to stimulate a flagging appetite.
  6. Constipation develops when the cat’s digestion doesn’t “move” as well as in youth. Added fiber can promote regularity. Many cats love the flavor of canned pumpkin, a natural high fiber treat. Buy a large can, and divide into single servings in ice cube trays, and freeze—then thaw just what you need. Once or twice a week should be enough to keep kitty regular.
  7. Seventy-five percent of cats have dental problems by age two, and the risk increases 20 percent for each year of your cat’s life. Commercial “dental diets” can be helpful, as can chicken or malt-flavored pet toothpaste. Offer a taste of toothpaste as a treat—the enzyme action breaks down plaque even if kitty won’t let you brush her teeth. Also, entice your cat to chew by offering thumb-size hunks of cooked steak. For toothless cats that have trouble eating dry foods, run small amounts of dry food in the blender with low-salt chicken broth for a softer alternative.
  8. Blind cats adjust so well and the loss is so gradual that you may not notice a problem—until you rearrange the furniture. So status quo your décor to help your cat can remember a mental map of the household. Place baby gates at stairs or other danger zones to protect blind cats from a misstep. Offer fair warning with sound cues about your location to prevent startling the blind cat. Scent can help identify important landmarks for the cat. Try dabbing a bit of mint on wall corners or tying catnip toys to furniture. “Bell” the other pets so the blind cat knows they’re near.
  9. Senility—yes, cats can get kitty Alzheimer’s, especially those over 14 years. These felines become confused, forget where to potty, cry, and may not recognize you. It’s heartbreaking for pets and owners alike. The drug Anipryl from your vet temporarily reverses signs in a percentage of cats, but the supplement Cholodin FEL also works pretty well. Delay the onset of senility in all cats by exercising the feline brain with play, games and puzzles.

What are some other “home care” tips that have worked well for YOUR “golden oldie” kitty? Have you discovered some awesome care product that makes life easier for you, and more comfy for your pet? What are the “old cat” issues that you deal with? Please share!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Note: Upon occasion, affiliate links to books or other products may be included in posts, from which I earn a small amount with each purchase from the blog. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Cat IBD: Dealing With Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease

cat inflammatory bowel diseaseLately, I hear more and more about people suffering from bowel disease conditions. Television advertisements tout the latest OTC treatments and Rx advancements, and I cringe and thank heavens I’ve dodged that bullet. IBD happens with cats, too. It can be particularly frustrating when cats develop hit and miss potty behavior or vomiting as a result.

CAT FACTS, THE SERIES

Tomorrow (October 29) is National Cat Day and I hope this info will help some pet parents who must deal with this particular health condition. I’m sharing this information from my CAT IBD entry from Cat Facts, The Series 9 (I): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia which includes these topics:

Ibuprofen, Identification, Imaging (CT and MRI), Immune System, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Insect Bites and Stings, and Introducing Pets.

I’ve broken the massive book into discounted catnip-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every other week. Of course, you can still get the entire CAT FACTS book either in Kindle or 540+ pages of print.

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

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WHAT IS CAT IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to the chronic inflammation of the small intestine and occasionally the stomach. The cause isn’t known, but it’s suspected that something prompts the immune system to misfire and attack its own cells. The inflammatory response plugs up the tiny microscopic filaments that line the surface of the intestinal tract and transfer nutrients into the bloodstream.

cat left behindWHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF CAT IBD?

Chronic vomiting is the most common sign of IBD. Episodes may be sporadic and occur during times of stress, or vomiting can be continuous. The cat also may frequently strain to defecate but pass only small amounts of feces which may be blood streaked. The homeopathic remedies Nux vomica and Arsenicum are helpful to stop both diarrhea and vomiting.

HOW IS CAT IBD DIAGNOSED?

Diagnosis usually is made only after ruling out other causes for vomiting, such as giardia, trichomoniasis, heartworms, or a swallowed object. Conclusive evidence requires a biopsy of the intestine. A sample of tissue is removed surgically from the anesthetized cat for microscopic evaluation.

Sometimes a special instrument called a colonoscope is inserted into the cat’s rectum to view the tissue. But because only portions of the tissue may exhibit inflammation, even then diagnosis may not be definitive. The disease over the long term can result in scarring.

DEALING WITH CAT IBD

Some research supports the notion that a food allergy may be at fault, and in some cases a limited antigen diet may help the cat. Home prepared or even raw food diets have helped some cats.

Inflammatory bowel disease includes the damage or malfunction of the normal barrier protection in the gut. Damage can allow a kind of leakage of large protein particles, and give them contact with the immune system. Drugs to treat bacterial overgrowth or parasite infection may be prescribed. Immune-suppressing drugs may also be beneficial.

HOLISTIC OPTIONS FOR CAT IBD

Holistic veterinarians recommend dietary changes based on the individual cat. In one Morris Animal Foundation funded study, veterinarians at Colorado State University reported that probiotics improved/reduced diarrhea in up to 70 percent of cats.

Digestive enzymes or herbs may also be recommended. Because inflammatory bowel disease often damages cells in the intestine, supplements containing glutamine are thought to help rebuild the intestinal lining and aid in its function. For more information about alternative options, refer to New Choices in Natural Healing for Dogs & Cats.

ipadverticalright_634x982Medical marijuana today is also available for pets, but must be formulated so that pets receive the medical benefits of the hemp plant while reducing potential toxic concentrations of the herb. Hemp can be used to control pain and inflammation. Ask your veterinarian if this supplement may benefit your pet.

Find out more details about catnip and other “I” topics in Cat Facts, The Series 9 (I): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia.

Has your cat been diagnosed with IBD? How do you manage the symptoms? Please share!


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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Note: Upon occasion, affiliate links to books or other products may be included in posts, from which I earn a small amount with each purchase from the blog. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Get the Sweet Smell of Success with #CLUMPandSEAL Cat Litter #ad

For those of us who live with cats, and especially multi-cat households, cat litter is a very big deal. My Seren-Kitty (age 20!) and Karma-Kat have very different potty behavior, with the expected stink-icity. So when I heard about odor sealing litter that could give me a 7 day odor free home, my husband especially was eager to try.

cat litter

Seren (left) and Karma rule my life–and that’s the way it should be, right?

Arm And Hammer Clump & SealThis post is sponsored by ARM & HAMMER™ and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL™ available at PetSmart®, but BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. Arm & Hammer and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

AN ODOR FREE HOME IS A HAPPY HOME

I’ve been “auditioning” a number of different cat litters over the past nine months or so. My old lady cat, Seren, is in early kidney disease and urinates a LOT. She also has decided to leave her “solids” uncovered. That may be to give an odiferous and visual message to the young interloper, Karma, or perhaps her paw-arthritis makes it painful to dig.

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Karma’s facilities are in the master bath to contain his digging antics. We use a jumbo-size storage bin…and yes, he’s got a nice view of the stained glass to inspire him.

Karma is more than twice her size, with understandably jumbo-size deposits. We were maintaining odor control pretty well (I’m a fanatic about keeping boxes clean), until Karma decided he should claim both his own big litter box in our master bathroom, and Seren’s smaller one in the living room. He can barely turn around in that little thing…but he’s determined.

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I have another very large, low-sided litter box in my office upstairs…but when Seren decided this corner next to the piano was preferable, I listened. It gives her a clear view to avoid Karma-Monster.

CAT LITTER ODOR MATTERS TO YOU & CATS

Yeah, litter odor next to the piano. Oy. I was spending a LOT of time cleaning, swapping out box contents, changing from one litter to another, and keeping paws crossed that wouldn’t upset the kitties. After all, if the smell bothered me, the cats also could get hissed off. Humans typically have five to 20 million scent analyzing cells, compared to the cat’s 67 million. TheArm And Hammer Clump & Seal cat litter king of scenting animals, the Blood Hound, has 300 million olfactory cells.

And German Shepherds, like Magical-Dawg, actually LIKE the pee-poo cat smell. So we not only had an odor issue, but a nasty-dog-treat issue.

The bigger issue is–when the litter box odor bothers YOU, it bothers CATS and they’ll find another place to get creative. That can mean some cats lose their homes, or even their lives.

7 DAY ODOR FREE HOME

I was delighted when I was offered the opportunity to try ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL, with the “biggest advancement in cat litter history.” These innovative products use something called MicroGuard technology–granules activated by moisture that not only seals and destroys immediate odor, but also prevents stinky bacterial growth for 7 days. They guaranteed an odor-free home within a week. Hey, I had to give it a try!

There are four different products. When I received my coupon from the company, I chose the “Light Weight” said to be 50% lighter. I was delighted to see that my local PetsMart also had the litter on sale, and so I purchased two packages.
Petsmart and Arm And Hammer Clump & Seal

IT’S UP TO THE CAT

Cat litter box problems are the top complaint I get as a certified animal behavior consultant. I take it very seriously in my own home, and bottom line, it’s up to the cat to decide. It doesn’t matter nearly so much if I love the litter or hate it. My Seren-Kitty and Karma-Kat have veto power.

Because we have an off-white carpet, I’m not a fan of dark color litter. Pretty much all litter tracks, and it looks worse when the color contrasts. I’m also not a fan of very heavy clay products–my shoulders protest lugging the containers. And I’m really not a fan of strongly perfumed litter products. Yes, I’ve had all sorts of substrates in the box, and for the most part, my cats have been very flexible (I’m very lucky!). But with a variety of products from which to choose, the chances are good that one will fit even the most persnickety human’s (or cat’s) preference.

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TRYING THE NEW LITTER

At the beginning of October, I changed Seren’s small litter box  next to the piano. I left Karma’s box status quo for a couple of weeks. It’s never a good idea to abruptly change all options at once, so I wanted to make sure that both cats still had a choice (so my off white carpet wouldn’t turn another shade of crappiocca).

Seren immediately accepted the ARM AND HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL Light Weight. And within only a couple of days, my husband no longer asked me, “Did you scoop the box yet?” The odor did, indeed, disappear within 7 days, even though Karma decided he liked the smaller living room potty even better!

695d2eb8-8599-11e6-a394-22000a7d00a4So now both the downstairs litter boxes contain the new litter, both cats are using their facilities, and Magical-Dawg has stopped “snacking.” You can visit your local PetSmart to stock up on the ARM & HAMMER CLUMP & SEAL litter that best fits your lifestyle.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ARM & HAMMER. The opinions and text are all mine.

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Note: Upon occasion, affiliate links to books or other products may be included in posts, from which I earn a small amount with each purchase from the blog. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!