Friday, November 19, 2010

Train Cat to Use Scratching Post

Scratching posts provide your cat with beneficial exercise. Encourage your cat to use their scratching posts and they will be healthier.

Training a cat to use a scratching post is not easy especially if the said cat is older and set in his ways. My cat Sam is a kitty that could do no wrong in my eyes.  He was diagnosed with feline leukemia  and I had intended on spoiling him for the rest of his short life.  I figured he had a year left before I would need to put him down.  I did not reinforce training Sam, I would say No to his destructive scratching but I did not follow through with being discipline with him. 

Sam tore up my sofa before scratching the bottom out of my Queen Anne chair and then moved on to the trim on the door.  Sam was loving life and I was paying the high costs for my sofa and chair to be upholstered.   

Sam went in for his wellness exam and my kitty’s immune system was able to fight off the feline leukemia virus and this meant that  Sam could live a longer and happy life with me.  It also meant that I needed to set up some house rules.

No would be the first word that Sam would learn.  He would also learn boundaries; where he could scratch and where he could not scratch.  

Sam did not react well to the house rules and he certainly did not like the word NO.  He would look at me in disbelief and then give me the sad eyes that always make my heart melt. But this time I did not fall for his kitty tricks, this time I stuck to the training guidelines and at first training Sam the house rules was hard because he liked to test me, but when I followed up on him and watched his every move, Sam began to think that house rules was a game and he was eager to please me.

Training Cats to Use Scratching Post

Sam would not allow anyone close to his nails so we could not trim them. I made an appointment from him to be groomed with a nail trim and when I dropped him off I told the pet groomer my concerns.  She noted that Sam was feisty and I worried about Sam with a stranger.  

To my surprise he was a very good boy and the groomer told me that Sam talked to her the entire time.  His nails were clipped and that has stopped his destructive scratching by 80%.  The remaining scratching I believe is due to a bad habit.
I introduced Sam to his scratching post but first I sprayed the post with catnip and set the post outside his cat house.  

I purchased another post and placed it in Sam’s play room.  The posts were in areas where Sam would frequent and they were easy access for him.  Sam’s initial reaction was to sniff the post and then he rubbed his entire body on them.  Sam liked the scratching post however he did not place his paws on the posts.

Sam preferred to scratch on the furniture and I needed to train him to use his scratching post.  Sam was reluctant at first and tested me by darting past me and running full speed to the trim on the kitchen door.  As soon as he would extend his paws to scratch on the wood I would say NO and then pick him up and carry him to the scratching post.  I would place his paws on the rope and tell Sam “good kitty, Sam is a good boy” and then I would give him a cat treat.

Scratching Post Tips

Training Sam to use his scratching post took 2 weeks.  Sam was a slow learner because he kept testing me, however in the end he realized that mommy was not nice when he would scratch on the furniture and mommy was nice and he got a treat when he scratched on the post.  He learned the negatives and the positives and now he and I have a closer bond.

For best results treat the scratching post with catnip daily and do not move the posts. Cats do not like change. If you move the scratching posts then your cat may regress back into destructive scratching.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cat FeLV - Information

Feline Leukemia, CAT-FeLV does not need to be a fatality as many cats may have a false positive when they are tested.  

In many instances rescued, stray or abandoned cats will show a false positive because their previous owners had provided the cat with the vaccine to prevent feline leukemia and the new pet owner or shelter would not be aware of the cat’s history. Thousands of cats are euthanized each year because the test for feline leukemia came back positive. 

When the attending veterinarian tells the cat owner that they recommend euthanasia, because the FeLV virus is aggressive and their cat will suffer.  Many cat owners are inclined to say yes to the euthanize as they love the cat, and do not want the cat to be inflicted with pain or suffering. 

However cat owners need to look at their cat and determine if the cat is sick, they also need to find out what stage the virus is in before they decide to make life altering decisions about their cats.  If the cat is in stage 1 to 3 the cat's immune system may be able to fight off feline leukemia, however if you euthanize your cat based on a positive test result, then you will never know if your cat's immune system could eliminate the virus.  

I rescued a Siamese Cat that I named Sam in April of 2009, he was abandoned and roamed the woods by my home, and by the time Sam had found me he was skin and bones.  My husband took Sam in for his exam and check up and the report on his test was fatal, as he had both viruses; feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, CAT-FIV

The attending veterinarian informed my husband that Sam would have a short life and he recommended that he put down.  Normally my husband will make these big decisions because he knows I am pro-life. I think that I can heal any sick or suffering animal and I would say NO to euthanasia. By the the grace of God, my husband called me from the pet clinic and told me my cat's diagnosis. 

 I spoke to the doctor and asked him if Sam had symptoms for virus and he said no. I then inquired about the stage of his illness, and he said he did not know, but in his experience cats with FeLV and FIV go very quickly and suffer great pain. The veterinarian repeated that putting Sam down would be better for the cat and for us because we would not suffer heartache.  

 Since Sam had no symptoms and because his blood had not been checked, I said NO to euthanasia the veterinarian said I could not keep Sam in the same house as my other cats because they would be infected, so the veterinarian called rescue facilities to take Sam until he got sick and would need to be put down. No shelter would accept Sam. My husband and I talked and there was no way that I would euthanize Sam so I decided to make Sam my office cat.  

Sam would live the rest of his life behind a closed door.  In a room that is 12 x 21 with 10 windows, a cat seat by the window, cat toys, bed, comfy chair, carpeting and a TV that provided him with entertainment by Animal Planet. Sam would hang out with me 8-10 hours per day and I would play with him and love him.  

Sam was diagnosed with feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus virus in April of 2009 and today Sam is playing with toilet paper, he is very proud of himself he has dragged a new roll out of the bathroom and is decorating the office, Sam is happy, healthy and strong. 

 I was determined to make Sam healthy so I fed him a high protein food that was enriched with vitamins; Blue Buffalo cat food. I added a natural antioxidant supplement to his diet, and provided him with a loving environment.  

Sam’s immune system was able to fight off Feline Leukemia in the third stage.  He no longer has leukemia, he does have feline immunodeficiency.  Sam can can live a longer life.  

If your cat tests positive to Feline Leukemia wait 30 days and have them tested again, it could be a false positive. If your cat has Feline Leukemia virus and has no symptoms then help the cat to fight it off by boosting the immune system.   Sam is alive today because I said NO to euthanasia .

Sam give puppy right paw - FIV cats rule!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Feline Stroke Recovery

A cat stroke can come on quickly and you will note that your cat will appear off balanced, having problems walking and head tilted to the right side. Your cat may walk in circles and seem confused. My FIV cat Sam, age 8 suffered a feline stroke.  

 My veterinarian told me that my cat would come out of the stroke in a few weeks and recover from the side effects.

I am happy to report that I see glimpses of my old friend Sam in the back, his eyes are no longer mismatched; one eye had a dilated pupil the other was normal. Now both eyes are of normal size. 

Every day Sam’s energy is increasing and he is getting stronger. Today he played with his tennis ball, and picked up a pen from my desk and placed it his kitty condominium, he also played with his feather toy on the stick. During his playtime he took 3 naps. Sam gets fatigued easily and takes more naps throughout the day.

During the stroke recovery I noticed that Sam has lost his appetite and he is not drinking water. We had to take him to the veterinarian to get him hydrated with intravenous fluids.  The veterinarian suggested that I had tuna juice to his water to entice Sam to drink more.  I followed my veterinarians instructions and added 1 tablespoon of Albacore tuna to a 1/2 cup of filtered water.  The natural flavored water did not interest Sam.

My husband reminded me that one of Sam’s favorite pastimes was drinking out the fish aquarium. I made up a fresh bowl of fishy water and added a fancy guppy to entice Sam to drink the water. All that accomplished, was interesting Sam briefly, he went to the bowl immediately, stuck his paw in the middle of the water bowl and tried to grab himself the fresh catch of the day. He did lick the water from his paw but that was not enough fluid to keep him hydrated.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sam’s One Year Anniversary

A year ago on this day, Sam the Siamese cat wondered into my yard. He was skin and bones and very hungry. Sam has Feline Leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus and he is symptom free for one year. Therefore, to mark this special occasion, Sam and I spent the day together in the big house. 
 I removed all of the other cats from our home, as it was time for their annual visit to the veterinarian. We also removed all of the cat’s toys, litter boxes and food bowls. Next, I cleaned the house from top to bottom. We took the necessary steps to ensure that the house was sterilized and safe for Sam. 

 When I opened the office door Sam charged out full speed. He jumped on the sofa, the chair and the buffet. He then charged out to the sun porch and began to sing his kitty cat song. He sang to the birds, the squirrel and the rabbit, It was safe to say that Sam was a happy cat today. 
Sam playing with his pal Benny the Labrabull

Lunch was served to Sam on the sun porch and after lunch, Sam took a catnap on the wicker chair. When he awoke, he stretched and then proceeded to check out the kitchen. Sam checked out dog’s bed and then the toy box, he selected one of Lilies favorite toys and spent the rest of the day playing with a tennis ball. T

he day flew by quickly and it was time to pick up the other cats, so I went into the office and called out to Sam and to my surprise he did not talk back. He slowly walked into the office and jumped up on my lap. Mike closed the door and I stayed with him for the rest of the day. When the sun began to set Sam knew it was time for me to go, so he picked up his toys and retreated to his kitty condo.
Cat toys are not to be shared

Note: Before we were able to bring the other cats back into the house my husband,  cleaned the entire house with vinegar and hot water. We are very careful and take extra steps to keep the house sterile at all times.

Treatment tips: Sam was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus in April of 2009 over the last year I have made him comfortable by keeping him in my office and decorating it with cat attire. He has his own food and water bowls, litter box, toys, bed and a state of art kitty condo that we bought at

 I feed him high quality holistic food by Blue Buffalo, give him fresh filtered water from his fountain and supplement his diet with Nu-Pet * Feline Granular this formula is rich in antioxidants and fish protein. I brush him every day, give him a monthly heartworm pill, and treat him with natural flea, and tick defense. All of this with an extra dose of Love. 

If you have sick cat then be sure to give them lots of hugs and kisses, talk to them and spend quality time with them. Enjoy your cat every day and for the rest of their feline life.

My cat Sam is symptom free but that is not to say that he will not get sick one day. He could be healthy this week and sick next week, so I spend quality time with Sam everyday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Adoption Option for Sam the Feline Leukemia Cat

In order to care for Sam and protect my other cats I needed to turn my house upside down. 

Feline Leukemia is very contagious and infected cats spread the virus through saliva, nasal secretions, tears, urine and feces. For Sam that meant isolation from the other five cats, and it meant that he would never go outside. For the rest of Sam's life he would view his cat family from behind a closed glass door and spend his waking hours with me in the office.

I separated all of the cats by turning my office into a kitty condominium. Sam is a happy cat when I am inside the office. He plays with his toys and helps me to work on the computer. When he is sleepy, he will nap on my desk and rest his head on my arm. Sam eats his cat food, I eat my lunch, and then we sit by the window and look at the bird feeder

Sam is great as long as I am in the office. Nevertheless, when it is time for me to leave, Sam gets feisty and starts to complain. He cries for me when I am not there. It breaks my heart.

My husband and I discussed Sam and agreed that he needed to be with a full time family. We decided to adopt Sam into a loving home with no other cats. I did not discuss my plan with Sam and I learned the hard way that cats do not like change.

In Sam's case, he was anti social with all adopters, hissing, growling and biting at them. He was very aggressive during the interview. When he was done being naughty he jumped into my lap. He then proceeded to rub his head on my face. Of course, that was the end the adoption. 

Sam is staying with us and we will overcome the cat obstacles’. We worked out a routine, and now Sam no longer cries when I leave my office for the day, Sam goes inside his kitty condominium, to play with his toys.


This is an update on Sam. Sam recently celebrated his second anniversary; he is alive and as healthy as he can be.  You see when we  decided to keep Sam was the best thing that I could do for him.  You see I put Sam on a high protein diet and supplemented his diet with a natural formula to boost his immune system.  

When I took Sam in for his annual checkup in April of 2010 Sam's test showed that he no longer had Feline Leukemia but he still was infected with feline immunodeficiency virus.   

My veterinarian told me that some cats are able to fight off feline leukemia by the 3rd stage.  I am certain that had I adopted Sam into another family that he would have been sad because cat's do not like change. 

 Sometimes you have to look at your circumstance, and choose what the best option for your cat is.  When my husband lost his job, we chose to do without the gym membership, and the summer vacations and the money that we saved we could afford to pay our bills and to keep our cat's.  For us it was well worth it because Sam is really a remarkable cat.