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Tag Archives | feline

Why do cats like catnip?

Some cats just can’t seem to get enough of that member of the mint family known as catnip! You might be surprised that cats of every stripe, including lions, tigers, and bobcats, react to it, too! But have you ever wondered what it is about catnip that kitties seem to love?

What is nepetalactone?

It all boils down to the plant’s chemistry. An essential oil called nepetalactone is thought to stimulate the receptors for euphoria in kitties’ brains. Not just for felines, nepetalactone has been grown as a medicinal herb for humans as well. When made into a tea, catnip can have a calming effect similar to chamomile tea. Concentrated nepetalactone can also repel mosquitoes!

What is its effect on cats?

Some cats react in a very big way! It’s not uncommon to see your cat roll around in it, become hyperactive, or even mellow out. Some cats can get aggressive once they get a whiff of catnip. Once it’s eaten, however, catnip appears to calm and mellow effect on cats. The euphoric reaction to catnip last about ten minutes, and then cats may not respond to it again for about two hours.

Why don’t all cats care for it?

Even though the reaction to catnip can be seen across all cat species, only about 50 percent of cats inherit the gene that makes them sensitive to it. Young kittens of about 3 to 6 months of age also won’t have a response to it. Since the potency of catnip can be lost overtime, it’s best to either grow your own or keep dried catnip in a tightly sealed container for the best effect.

Does your cat go crazy for catnip? We’d love to see it! Share a video with us on Instagram!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by katieB50 on flickr

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Resources for cats with kidney disease

When cat is diagnosed with chronic renal failure, the news can be devastating. It’s important to keep in mind that kidney disease in cats is not a death sentence! Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you understand and manage your cat’s symptoms.

Read up on the subject

One of the best places to start is Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide To Feline Chronic Kidney Disease. There, you will find databases on symptoms, treatments, and foods. With careful monitoring of your cat’s symptoms, you can use the guide as a resource to help you better understand your vet’s advice and treatment options.

Join a support group

Joining a well established support group, such as the Cats with Chronic Renal Failure~Support Group on Facebook, can be beneficial in several ways. For one, there are hundreds of members who have had first hand experiences with CKD first hand. Interacting with individuals who have successfully managed the disease can be more useful than trying to interpret static information on the web. Members can also provide recommendations for vets, pharmacies, and pet product suppliers. Just be sure to take their opinions with a grain of salt, and always consult your vet.

Work with a reliable vet

If you believe that your cat is just a tad more sluggish than usual, you are probably right. After all, you know your cat better than anyone else. Therefore, building a relationship with a good vet who trusts, believes, and respects your opinion is critical to managing your cat’s health over the years. You should also aim to take your cat in for a urinalysis and bloodwork every six months so that you can spot potential complications before they become unmanageable. Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion if you ever feel that your current vet doesn’t care about your cat as much as you do.

Has your cat recently been diagnosed with kidney disease? At Katie’s Kitty, we have pet sitters with experience in administering oral medications and sub-cutaneous fluids. Schedule an appointment to meet one of our sitters today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Dan Zen on flickr

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Litter box training

All felines CCHS puts up for adoption are known to use the litter box. However, it is desirable to confine your new pet to the room with the litter box when she is first brought home, so she can learn its location.

  • Buy a litter box for each cat in the household, since some cats will not use a box used by another cat or may prevent other pets from using a particular box.
  • Place the litter box in a quiet location that is easily accessible to your pet. If disturbed or frightened while using the box, your pet may start eliminating elsewhere. Your pet may avoid using the box if it is too far away or takes a lot of effort to reach.
  • There are several types of litter available. Most cats prefer “clumping” litter over clay litter.
  • Reduce litter box odor by removing solid waste daily, and, if you use clay litter, changing all the litter at least weekly.

Common reasons cats may start eliminating outside the box include:

  • Urinary tract obstruction or other health problem. Call your veterinarian immediately! Your pet’s life could be in danger.
  • The litter box is too small or too dirty.
  • Your pet is spraying urine to mark territory or reduce anxiety.
  • Something about the litterbox, litter, or your household has changed and your pet objects.

To correct inappropriate elimination, confine your pet to a bathroom or large crate with the litterbox until you can correct the cause. Many things can trigger this problem. CCHS or your veterinarian can help you pinpoint the cause and suggest appropriate corrections.

Thanks to Humane Education Committee, Champaign County Humane Society, 1911 East Main, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

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