It’s too hot. Time to shed some hair!

GA_Excellent Summer picI still can’t understand the problem. Humans seem to go to extremes when the weather gets warmer in order to get “beach ready” but when cats naturally shed some hair to find relief then it’s all: “Enough with the hairy tumbleweeds! I just vacuumed!”

Well, I am here to tell you that living with a feline means dealing with hair. Our relationship with it is very volatile. During the fall and winter months we loooove it, allowing it to grow and stay put so we can feel all warm and fuzzy. But as soon as it starts to heat up, out with it! A lighter coat is required to enjoy the breeze blowing thru our bodies while we nap in the sun. You change wardrobe and so do we.

These pants are begging for some cat hair...

These pants are begging for some cat hair…

Is there a way to coexist harmoniously? Of course! 2 words: cleaning and grooming. The first one means using that vacuum cleaner a few times a week to keep the dusty hair off your carpet (not a feline favorite). The second one involves a pampering spa routine where you brush your kitty daily so the unwanted particles never reach the ground (definitely a better choice). You can also try to give the cat a bath… but be aware that beach style does not include scratched arms. You’ve been warned.

Extreme Shedding: This happens when the cat sheds so much hair that skin patches become exposed. Or kitty keeps licking one area with such intensity that loses all hair on it. None of these are normal behaviors; they are signs that your feline needs medical attention. Continue reading

Nap on the rocks

GA_Nap on the rocksA little fish. Sunny siesta. Repeat.
Wanna be part of this most excellent summer? Sign up!
Un poco de pescado. Siesta bajo el sol. Repite.
¿Quieres ser parte de esta aventura veraniega? ¡Conéctate aquí!

Cats like Water… wait, whaaaaat?

GA_Excellent Summer pic

The idea that felines are not water friendly is another one of those mistaken myths like “Black Cats mean Bad Luck” and “Cats are Domesticated”. It is simply not true. The origin of why we don’t march joyfully into the tub every time you humans decide is “bath time for kitty” has some deep roots and a little history.

Cat chillin' on a boat. How do you think we got to the New World?

Cat chillin’ on a boat. How do you think we got to the New World?

A long time ago, in a world filled with sand… there lived felines that enjoyed their desert-y existence with very little water. Egyptian cats bathed using their tongues – as it should be – to keep that shiny coat free of any debris. No faucet to open and scare the 9 lives out of them. We were treated like gods and there were no complaints about it.

Time kept moving along and not too long after humans started using rivers and oceans to move around. Big vessels filled with goodies and rodents. Man needed help, so what does he do? Bring in the cats of course! And there, in uncharted territories, we did the deed, losing our fear of water in the process. Some breeds like the Maine Coon and the Abyssinians got so used to it that they still go for a swim when they get the chance.

So as you can see the dislike was more a “fear of the unknown” and now it is not a big deal… or is it?

Reasons why felines are not friends with H2O

  • A few drops on us may feel refreshing, but a full dunk in the bucket will make our coats very heavy thus losing our famous balance, making it very difficult to escape like we do.
  • We are cool, but hate feeling cold; so being drenched in water drops our temperature turning us – for a little while – into shaky, depressing creatures.

Now having said all that, you know that cats love to keep you guessing; which is why I’m giving you a list of moments when jumping in the water is total-feline-fun! Continue reading

Flea you fools!

GA_Excellent Summer picIt happens as soon as the weather warms up: flea invasion. The animal kingdom scratches in desperation as these creatures take over their bodies. Being made of paper I don’t suffer any of the symptoms and actually have made friends with a few of the parasites, so much so that I decided to allow one of them to explain the phenomenon: I give you Pete “P” the Flea.

*Pete is a little over dramatic and has low self-esteem issues. He requested that no pictures of him would be posted.

A Flea Plea
Why was I born a flea? I could’ve been a beautiful butterfly or a protected bee but no, the universe conspired to bring me into this world as a hated creature, one with a very short existence and the need to feed from someone else to survive. Of course it is a common theme throughout nature but when it comes to fleas we get the rotten end of the deal.

Why wasn’t I born an exquisite shark? Nobody gives him grief for devouring fish or catching that elusive seal…

What about your beloved vampires? You think of them as beautiful, complicated and sensual beings… yet they also need precious blood from others to continue their existence (Note to self: make friends with the vampires).

I am no fool. I understand the hatred. We invade your cute pets, your plushy carpets, the new couch, even that lovely bed with our blood-sucking regime. Just thinking about us makes you scratch! As much as you love the warm summer months, you know we have been dormant since winter, waiting for the sunshine to wake us up so we can hitch that uninvited ride on your cat while she enjoys her morning walk (in her harness no less – humanizing cats, preposterous idea), taking us to our never-ending buffet.

Desperate scratching: our fault - Pete the Flea

Desperate scratching: our fault – Pete the Flea

You can try to get rid of us. It is almost funny seeing you try. Poor feline getting bathed every week and treated with “miracle” drops to banish the pest away while you frantically wash all your sheets and vacuum like there is no tomorrow; it’s a good workout and probably gives you some success. No doubt. But my human friend, more of us are already brewing in your garden starting the cycle all over again. Because no matter what the world thinks about fleas, we are part of the circle of life.

As for me, it is just too hideous. Can’t do it anymore. That is why I am giving up the fight. I will go out into the garden to hopefully be eaten by an ant while she’s investigating the watermelon from the picnic (sweet death!); but knowing me the end will happen inside the mouth of a lizard as he’s doing one of those crazy push-up moves (at least tell me why you do that?).

PS: One last piece of advice: we don’t mean harm, but it is our nature. Those worms and ants in your yard? They keep us out of your property. Be kind to them. Keep your pets safe.

Pete

CTA English 2Got a question for Dr. Avocado? Send him an email, add your name to our newsletter list or find me on Twitter or Facebook
¿Tienes una pregunta para el Dr. Avocado? Inscríbete a mi newsletter o escríbeme un email: iamgatoavocado@gmail.com

*ATTENTION: I am not a veterinarian. I am a proud member of the Felis Silvestris Catus family, (translates to “domestic cat” –  an inside joke in the cat community) that kindly shares his knowledge of our species to you. I can’t provide specific treatments for your feline friend. Please refer to your veterinarian. Meow!   /   *ATENCION: No soy veterinario. Soy un orgulloso miembro de la familia Felis Silvestris Catus (que se traduce en “gato domesticado” – chiste interno entre la comunidad gatuna), que con amor comparte su conocimiento de la especie con ustedes. No puedo proveer detalles específicos para tratar a tu amigo felino. Por favor, llévalo al veterinario. ¡Miau!

 

Don’t believe the hype: your cat is happy indoors

GA_Excellent Summer picSure we look oh so cool hanging out outside, climbing trees and jumping from rooftops with enviable confidence but know this: that outdoor loving feline runs a lot of risks and has a very short life span. And while some of them prefer it that way, trust me when I say that most of them would love to live in a pampered environment where they can stretch those 9 lives in style – provided of course that it comes equipped with all the necessary gadgets.

This means thinking cat and bringing our outdoor experiences inside. Every cat is different and so are his fun activities. Knowing what your feline likes will make the transition way easier.

The King of the House: Does he like to jump up the kitchen cabinets and watch you cook? He will enjoy having a few boards installed around the house so he can keep an eye on his kingdom from above. This idea also applies to what you call “Cat TV”: a window perch where kitty can sit and watch the outdoor world go by.

Obsessed about her nails: Kitty won’t stop scratching your furniture? Don’t deny her the action. It is an essential part of every cat’s routine. When we scratch a surface we are leaving our scent on it making the area our own. Territorial acquiring is very important to us. Start by adding scratching pads and towers strategically placed in those areas that she prefers to use.

The Hunter: Always on the prowl. No boundaries in his hunting grounds: grabbing your feet when you walk past him, going for your favorite vintage lamp, killing that wind chime you’ve had for 20 years… it all becomes his. To prevent you from losing more valuable items (and saving your feet), you need to provide the hunter with prey. NOT talking about live mice or bugs – although if they’re inside it’s fair game- but by getting toys designed for the action. Hide them around the home to make it more fun.

Oh yes, he is suffering. Indoor life with outdoor views. Pic: Glorimar Anibarro

Oh yes, he is suffering. Indoor life with outdoor views. Pic: Glorimar Anibarro

Wanna go outside: You’ve done your research. Got kitty the perfect toys. Redesigned your home to make it appealing for him. Yet his favorite place is still hanging by the door waiting to bolt out the minute it opens. It’s not your fault. He just wants to feel the grass under his paws. The solution depends on finding out the exact reason for the problem: Continue reading

Wall O Cats: June Edition

Print

 

Ending the month on a high note with new additions to our growing community. Got Sicilian cats, drama queens and a for reals CEO of a feral colony. All the way from Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, working 24/7 for Save A Gato, here comes…

GA_WOC. DoritoBut don’t forget:
Save that drama for your mama:

GA_WOC Daisy
Want your kitty to be part of our community? Here is what we need:
• A pic of your cat
• His / Her name
• Info you want to publish
• Send it to my email

EN ESPAÑOL
¿Quieres añadir a tu gatito en nuestra comunidad? ¡Fantástico! Para lograrlo necesitamos:
• Una foto de tu gato
• Su nombre
• La información que quieres publicar
• Envíalo todo a mi email
CTA English 2

Stay hydrated my friends. Water will keep you alive.

GA_Excellent Summer pic

We start our Excellent Summer Series with a very important lesson: Hydration. Our relationship with water is a funky one. While it is totally true that the act of bathing using H2O along with some smelly shampoo can bring out the tiger hidden way inside, when we talk about drinking the liquid the reaction is the complete opposite: we can’t get enough. And that is a good thing. Because we can survive a couple of days without food, but without water it is only a matter of hours (ominous music in the background).

We need as much water as the amount of food we eat. Some felines make the most of their water consumption: drinking from the faucet, testing every glass of water left around the house, even checking the one from that round litter box you guys use so much… anything for a drink. Still, how do you know we are drinking our fill? The answer is in our body language.

Dr. Avocado logoSigns of a dehydrated cat:

  • Kitty is suffering from nausea, vomiting and excessive urination. It is impossible to recuperate the amount of water she is losing.
  • Your spunky cat is now a very lethargic one
  • Loss of appetite: Not even tuna will convince her.
  • The skin test: if you lift the skin from the back of her neck or shoulder blades and the skin doesn’t go back to its natural position.

What to do? TAKE YOUR CAT TO THE VET NOW! Trying to give her water now is not going to help. She has lost a lot of nutrients and needs intravenous fluids STAT!

Now that she is back home, how can you prevent this so it never happens again?

  • Make sure your cat has fresh, clean water available at all times.
  • The water bowl should be clean. Nobody likes to drink from a dirty glass.
  • Your diva won’t drink from a normal bowl: one of those fabulous cat fountains can solve the problem. Only the best for your kitty 😉
  • Sharing is caring: Open the faucet and allow her to drink a little before washing dishes or your face.
  • Diet plays a big part: the amount of water on dry food is only 7%, compared to canned food that goes up to 80%. If changing the kind of food is not an option, you have to step up and add more water to the routine. Try adding tuna or chicken juice to the dry food… and suddenly I am hungry…
Picky cats like fresh flowing water. Pic: Ev Carlin

Picky cats like fresh flowing water. Pic: Ev Carlin

CTA English 2EN ESPAÑOL
Toma agua mi amigo. Te va a mantener vivo.
Nuestra relación con el agua es complicada. Es cierto que cuando se combina con un champú oloroso despierta al tigre que vive dentro de nosotros; pero cuando la usamos para beber la reacción es totalmente la opuesta: no podemos alejarnos de ella. Y es la reacción correcta porque podemos sobrevivir par de días sin comida; pero sin agua el final puede llegar en cuestión de horas (música dramática en el fondo).

Necesitamos consumir la misma cantidad de agua que de comida. Algunos mininos van más allá para disfrutar su agüita fresca: tomando del grifo, probando cada vaso con agua dejado en la casa, hasta chequeando ese arenero redondo que tanto usan ustedes… todo por un trago de agua. Pero la pregunta sigue en pie, ¿cómo sabemos si están tomando suficiente? La respuesta te la da nuestro lenguaje felino.

Señales de un gato deshidratado:

  • La gatita está sufriendo de náuseas, vómitos y orinando en exceso. Es imposible que recupere la cantidad de líquido que ha perdido.
  • Tu gato atrevido es ahora uno demasiado pacífico.
  • Pérdida de apetito: Ni siquiera el atún la convence.
  • Falta de elasticidad en la piel: si levantas la piel entre sus hombros y al soltarla no regresa a su estado natural, está bien deshidratado.

¿Qué hacer? ¡LLEVARLO AL VETERINARIO DE EMERGENCIA! Tratar de darle agua en ese momento no va a ayudar. Ha perdido demasiados nutrientes y necesita tratamiento intravenoso.

CTA Español 2Una vez regresa a casa, ¿cómo prevenir esto para que no vuelva a suceder?

  • El gato debe tener agua limpia disponible en todo momento.
  • El plato de agua debe estar limpio. A nadie le gusta tomar de un vaso sucio.
  • Si tu diva se rehúsa a tomar de un plato normal, considera invertir en una de esas fabulosas fuentes de agua para gatos. Lo mejor para tu gatita 😉
  • Compartir es amar: Abre el grifo un poco para que pueda tomar antes de lavarte la cara o los platos.
  • La dieta tiene mucho que ver: la cantidad de agua en la comida seca es de tan sólo 7%, mientras la mojada tiene un 80%. Si no puedes cambiar la clase de comida, trata de añadir más agua en su rutina. Un truco es mezclar la comida seca con el caldo del atún enlatado o del pollo que cocinas (sin especias por favor)… ¡y de repente se me ha colado un hambre!..

Got a question for Dr. Avocado? Send him an email, add your name to our newsletter list or find me on Twitter or Facebook

¿Tienes una pregunta para el Dr. Avocado? Inscríbete a mi newsletter o escríbeme un email: iamgatoavocado@gmail.com

*ATTENTION: I am not a veterinarian. I am a proud member of the Felis Silvestris Catus family, (translates to “domestic cat” –  an inside joke in the cat community) that kindly shares his knowledge of our species to you. I can’t provide specific treatments for your feline friend. Please refer to your veterinarian. Meow!   /   *ATENCION: No soy veterinario. Soy un orgulloso miembro de la familia Felis Silvestris Catus (que se traduce en “gato domesticado” – chiste interno entre la comunidad gatuna), que con amor comparte su conocimiento de la especie con ustedes. No puedo proveer detalles específicos para tratar a tu amigo felino. Por favor, llévalo al veterinario. ¡Miau!