How To Ease Your Cats Grief

Annie 300x225 How To Ease Your Cats Grief

Annie

Animals grieve too…something we all know, but many people (idiots) scoff at.  This is a story about Annie, the same one I wrote another post on. To try to make a long story short, my friend adopted Annie and she was also to become my brother’s girlfriend eventually, so they had two cats, Andy and Annie. My brother passed away about nine months ago  and my friend about four months ago, both very unexpectedly.  I, of course, took in Andy and Annie. They lost their “parents” and home and I did my best to make them comfortable and secure.

Andy had always had sinus problems and they continued to get worse. I tried everything under the sun to get him well…antibiotics, special immune building medicine, nose drops, even an herbal concoction, but his health continued to fail, he lost weight and couldn’t breathe properly. Nothing was working and I finally had to let him go. It was devastating.

Now, here was Annie…not only having lost her (I still think of her as a she, even though she’s a he…you have to read the other post!) original family and home, but now her best buddy. It was heartbreaking and I knew she was grieving too. She has five other cats in the house to play with, but I was taking time to introduce her to all of them so she wouldn’t be under any  more stress. I’ve found it’s best to do this slowly.

I gave her lots of attention, special treats and love. I talked to her about how I knew how much she missed Andy and that he had gone to be with Dusty and Lesa (my brother and my friend) and that he was ok. They understand when we talk to them. She would look at me with sad eyes and nuzzle my hand. I told her I missed him too and I think she was trying to comfort me too. They are miraculous in that way. They know when you’re upset and try to help.

With lots of extra care she is finally happy and getting to know the other cats. She and Chloe have become close and she is doing fine. We’ve all helped each other through this horrendous time. We must always recognize that animals grieve as much as we do. We’ve heard the stories of them laying for days at someones grave. And it doesn’t take much to recognize the signs when they are sad. It is really no different than having young children when something like this happens. They know what’s going on and they need extra care. So, pour on that extra love and attention, talk to them about  it and it will help.

We miss you Andy.

The Agonizing Decision: Keep Treating or Let Go

prayer 300x199 The Agonizing Decision: Keep Treating or Let Go

Which way to go?
Photo by David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had to have one of my babies put to sleep Monday. It is always an agonizing decision and a heartbreaking one. I have had to make this decision so many, many times that it has taught me a few things along the way. Here is one thing that I’ve been taught the hard way.

The cat I’m talking about was Andy. He had suffered the last couple of years from a constant sinus problem. He would sneeze, cough and his nose would run, but always just clear liquid. He’s been to the vet more times than I can count and given all sorts of medications for it. He had x-rays done and they were fine. The vet said it was just sinuses.

Well, in the last couple of years we have forced antihistamine medications down him, antibiotics and I even tried an herbal formula. He would get better for a couple of weeks and then be right back to square one. He hated all the medication and nothing seemed to cure it. It was just an endless circle.

This last time, I went through the normal routine…antihistamines, the herbal stuff, some immune building supplements.  I even tried saline nose drops…everything I could think of. He continued to get worse and in time the fluid from his nose was yellow and smelly. I knew he was seriously ill.

This is where I had to agonize over what to do. I knew from the past that antibiotics would not get rid of it and he would be sick again soon. He had lost weight and was just miserable. I decided to have him put to sleep instead of trying to keep treating him. It was one of the times I’ve had to  make that call and it is a horrible thing to have to decide.

I have come to believe, through all my babies illnesses, that it is sometimes kinder and more loving to let them out of their misery instead of embarking on a long drawn out battle of treatment. Especially when the treatment is not a final cure… that’s a different story. I look back sometimes at how I tried so hard to hang onto them and it only prolonged their misery. To me, that is more heartbreaking.

We are so lucky, although it doesn’t feel like it at the time, to be able to gently and painlessly let them go rest in peace.  We aren’t lucky enough to be able to do this for humans, but at least we can for our furry babies. It doesn’t make your grief any less painful, but it helps to know you were able to let them be free of  their pain and agony.

So if you are torn about a situation such as this, think carefully about it and go with your gut instinct. I knew several days before I actually did it that this was the best way for him, but I finally had to force  myself to do it. I hope this helps anyone who is facing this dilemma. It is one of the bravest things you will ever do because you are putting their misery before your own.

I’m glad you are resting in peace Andy…I love you and miss you with all my heart, but I am glad you are feeling fine now.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!

I wish all of you a very lucky and fortunate New Year!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

This cat is so patient! Have good holidays!

 

Brrrr…Time to Keep Kitty Warm!

I have always had the regular cat beds for my kitties and they love them. I put fuzzy warm blankets in there in the winter. I  usually get fleece baby blankets for this. They love them and it keeps them warm and cozy.

However, I started a site about four years ago specializing in cat beds (www.findheatedcatbedsandmore.com, please take a peek at it!) and learned a lot about both electric heated cat beds and self heating cat beds.

To be  honest, I think the electric heated cat beds are great for cats that may be suffering from  arthritis or recuperating from an operation, but not so necessary for everyday use. Heat  is wonderful therapy and so comforting. How many of us have used a heating pad for our many discomforts? So for special circumstances they are terrific for your cat.

The surprising thing I found though is that most of my cats prefer the self heating beds. They put some kind of material in the bed that radiates your pets warmth back to them. No need to plug it in, so you can put it anywhere and not worry about an outlet being close. Saves money…no electricity needed and also no need to worry about turning it off when you are not at home (something I highly recommend you do).

Here are some examples of these beds and yes, they are affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and buy one, I make a small commission on it. If you do, thanks in advance.

For some reason they keep showing dogs in here, even though I looked up cat beds…haha…but trust me, they are for cats too!  Just click on any picture to take you to the Amazon page to read all about them!

 Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm!

Another great find was the self heating pads. That way you can add these to your existing bed for winter and not have to buy an entire new bed. I also have them for my feral cats that are outdoors in their screened in houses. Here are some of those. Again, just click on the pic to find out all the details!
 Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm! Brrrr...Time to Keep Kitty Warm!

Most of the cats sleep with me on the bed at night, but during the day they head for their own beds. The funny thing is they use the self heating beds even in the summer. With the air conditioner running, I guess they are cool enough to still enjoy the warmth!

The Litter Battle!

litter 300x255 The Litter Battle!

Come on Mom…find me the right litter!
Photo by gruar codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I decided to switch to clumping litter about six months ago. I am getting too tired to be dragging the boxes out every day to clean them (I have six of them)  and finally gave in, even though I prefer regular clay litter. It’s been quite an adventure!

I wrote an earlier post that The Worlds Best Cat Litter was indeed the best and I still feel it is, but it’s too expensive for me. I have tried Precious Cat and it was very good, but again, pricey.

I then moved on to Arm & Hammers brand and I liked the fact that I could get unscented, but it didn’t clump well at all. I was very disappointed because the price is good.

Walmart has Special Kitty. It is a great price, but again, I found it didn’t clump all that well and I didn’t like the scent.

Next I went to Tidy Cats. Fair price, pretty good at clumping, but too strong a scent. Why can’t they make more unscented varieties?

Also tried the new lightweight Tidy Cats. It is fabulous as far as the lack of weight…such a relief, but it is extremely dusty and, once again, too strong a scent. I’m hoping other companies will come out with their versions of lightweight and one of them will be unscented. Also, cheaper.

At this point I’m definitely going to go for an unscented litter. I don’t like breathing in that scent and can’t believe it’s good for my babies to breathe either. I obviously want something that clumps well and is a good price. I’m not sure that getting this is possible!

My next try is Boxiecat. It is a little pricey, but is unscented and suppose to clump very well.  I’m hoping if it works as well as they say it does, it will be worth the price because it will last longer.  I can also order it to be delivered to my home and the more I order the more I save per bag. So with all those boxes I can get the maximum savings. I will let you know how this one worked out!

I have had all of these delivered to me as I just can’t lift 40 pound bags of litter and I have to get the larger sizes to save. Unfortunately litter is something that you just can’t do without and it can’t be replaced with anything else! I wish all my babies were toilet trained, but I never tried that system and it’s too late now.

Does anyone have another suggestion for me? Something you use that I haven’t discovered yet? Please let me know in the comment section if you do…I’m desperate to find a good litter!

UPDATE: I have tried the Boxiecat litter and wanted to give an update on that brand. It clumps very well, has no scent, and I generally love it…although it tracks badly, but then they all seem to! The only problem I have with it is the cost. If you have  one or two cats, it would be worth it, but having as many as I do, it just won’t last long enough to justify the cost. Otherwise it would be on the top of my list.

 

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