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Thanksgiving safety for your cat

Not all Thanksgiving food is good for cats.Are you having Thanksgiving dinner at your place this year? If so, there are some things you need to know about Thanksgiving food and cats. While they aren’t normally the beggars dogs are, most cats will take advantage of an opportunity to chow down. So it’s best to know what is and is not good for them.

From Catster:

Turkey: Yes. This staple of Thanksgiving happens to be completely edible and delicious for felines. Skinless white meat is most benign, but most cats can handle dark meat or a bit of skin and giblets as well. I remember as a child my father would give a hearty helping of skin, fat, and giblets to the cat every Thanksgiving. I was worried that it could cause heart disease in the cat. I had not yet learned that fat and cholesterol do not contribute significantly to heart disease in cats, and possibly not in humans either. However, the fattier parts of the turkey are more likely to cause upset stomach, so go easy.

Gravy: The cat I mentioned above suffered no adverse consequences from his gravy lapping. However, remember that gravy is fatty and salty. Moderation is key, and the salt could cause problems for cats with pre-existing heart conditions.

Mashed potatoes: I like to make my mashed potatoes with lots of garlic, onion, shallots, half-and-half, and butter. It turns out that garlic, onions, and shallots can cause Heinz body anemia in cats. And many cats are lactose intolerant, so the half-and-half could be a problem. However, garlic isn’t cyanide and half-and-half isn’t acetaminophen (which is massively toxic to cats). Most cats could survive a bite or two of my potatoes. And they certainly could tolerate milder, less rich mixtures. But I wouldn’t recommend serving up mashed potatoes to your cat.

Read more about Thanksgiving dinner and your cat at Catster.

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Have you booked your pet sitter for the holidays?

holiday-petsIt’s not too early to think about your pet sitting needs for the holidays! In fact, it’s actually getting a little late.

We have a number of pet sitters throughout NYC who are ready to care for your cat or dog during the holidays. But, since their schedules are filling up rather quickly, we want to encourage you to book your pet care as soon as possible.

If you’re an established Katie’s Kitty client and haven’t set up your holiday pet sitting yet, please do that right away. Don’t risk having to find someone else because he or she is booked.

If you’ve never hired one of our cat or dog sitters, please call us as soon as possible. You will need enough time for you and your pet sitter to get together for an introductory meeting. At this meeting you will get to know each other, ensure all aspects of your pet’s care is discussed, complete a contract, and go over payment options.

Our pet sitters are available to care for your cat, dog, or exotic pet in their own home or come to your home. Our main office is located on the Upper East Side of New York City, and we serve all of Manhattan as well as Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx.

Contact us today to book your NYC pet sitter for the 2013 holidays!
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Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals celebrates 10 years

Jane Hoffman, of Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, an organization dedicated to making New York City no-kill, is celebrating their 10th anniversary. The

From Global Animal:

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to making New York a no-kill city.

With its 150 member nonprofit shelter and rescue groups, the organization has much to celebrate—from reducing the city’s euthanasia rates to addressing animal overpopulation and control. Thanks to their tireless efforts, the Alliance has helped save over 240,000 animal lives.

In fact, the city’s euthanasia rates at Animal Care & Control (ACC) have plummeted 74 percent since 2005 (from almost 32,000 dogs and cats per year to just over 8,000), giving New York the lowest rate of euthanasia per capita of any major U.S. city.

Unfortunately, with tens of thousands of cats living on New York City streets, the majority of animals entering shelters are feral cats, which is why the Alliance is placing emphasis on their NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI).

The NYCFCI has proven successful in managing feral cat colonies and decreasing the city’s feral cat population thanks to the Alliance’s humane, non-lethal Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.



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NYC dogs not always welcome, even if they are assistance dogs

Getting a dog into a no-pet buildingIt is becoming more common for people to claim their pets are assistance animals in order to get them into “no pets allowed” areas. New York City property owners are finding they need to walk a fine line when approving or denying requests for dogs and other pets to be allowed in apartments, condos, and other buildings.

From The New York Times:

What does it take to get a dog into a no-pet building?

The question is becoming a hot topic in New York City. Because depending on whom you ask, the answer is A) a legitimate disability or B) a dubious note from a doctor or therapist.

Most people know that federal, state and city laws require building owners and landlords to accommodate tenants who have disabilities — for instance, by waiving a no-pet rule for a blind resident’s guide dog. But word apparently is spreading about how broadly these laws define a disability, allowing people with a wide range of physical and mental conditions to seek waivers for their dogs.

Serious depression, chronic pain, AIDS, autism, dementia, cancer and heart disease are just some of the illnesses lawyers say can qualify as disabilities. And as New Yorkers trade advice about this topic in dog parks, elevators and online pet forums, the number of people applying for waivers is increasing “enormously,” said Darryl Vernon, a partner in the law firm Vernon & Ginsburg.

Mr. Vernon, who specializes in pet and housing law, cautioned that making your case to a landlord or co-op board takes more than just copying a doctor’s note someone posted online.

Read more here.

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What New York dog owners need to know about canine circovirus

canine circovirusThere has been a lot of talk recently about a fairly new virus called circovirus. Although it is not widespread, dog owners should be aware of it.

From Speaking for Spot:

Some angst is brewing amongst dog lovers because of a newly discovered infectious agent called canine circovirus. This angst is justified as circovirus is suspected to be the cause of recent severe illness and even death in some dogs.


What is circovirus?

Circovirus have been around for a long time, but documentation of this microorganism in dogs is new. Pig farmers are all too familiar with circovirus which causes poor growth, a “wasting away” syndrome, and death in piglets. Circovirus can also cause disease in a variety of bird species.

While the circovirus found in dogs resembles pig circovirus, they are not identical. This canine version was first discovered in June, 2012. At that time it was not determined to be a cause of disease, simply an incidental finding in healthy dogs.

In April, 2013 circovirus was first reported as a possible cause of illness in dogs by researchers in California. Most recently, circovirus was found in the feces of a number of sick dogs in Ohio. These dogs had severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lethargy. Some of these dogs passed away in spite of aggressive therapy.

Although circovirus has been isolated from apparently healthy dogs, the consensus now is that this virus is very likely a “player” in the severe gastrointestinal illnesses reported in California and Ohio. Whether the symptoms these dogs exhibited were due solely to the circovirus or the virus acting in conjunction with another microorganism is unknown.

For more information, visit Speaking for Spot.

While New York dog owners need to be aware of this new virus, veterinarians at the Veterinary Medical Center of Central New York don’t think New Yorkers need to be overly concerned at this point. However, all dog owners should stay educated about the virus, and get their dog to a veterinarian if they become ill.

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Study shows cats aren’t fully domesticated

British anthrozoologist John Bradshaw, author of Cat SenseIf you’ve ever looked at your cat and thought, “what a wild beast you are,” there may be an answer. British anthrozoologist John Bradshaw has been studying cats for years. In his new book, Cat Sense, he writes about the evolution of our wild little companions. His theory is that cats are not fully domesticated and are more like their wild ancestors than our other companion, the dog. Dogs have been living with humans for tens of thousands of years, the cat-human relationship is much younger.

From NBC News:

Do you ever catch your cat staring at you, as if to say, “I could kill you right now … very easily”? There’s a reason for that: evolution. And cat grumpiness just might get worse in the future, thanks to the way we breed and adopt cats. But there are cures for a grumpy cat, according to the author of a new book about our feline friends.

British anthrozoologist John Bradshaw’s latest book, “Cat Sense,” delves into the depths of the kitty psyche. The way he sees it, the inscrutability of cats — and, ironically, their viral appeal — spring from the fact that cats aren’t all that far removed from natural-born, prehistoric killers.

“Their ability to be social … is only a few thousand years old,” Bradshaw told NBC News. “The cat’s domestication is incomplete, in terms of its need to continue hunting and also in terms of its ability to socialize. One of the consequences of that is it has a rather unexpressive face.”

That face serves as a blank canvas on which we project our own ideas of what a cat is thinking — whether it’s cute kittens striking seductive poses, Grumpy Cat scowling her way to Hollywood, or Henri, le Chat Noir, expressing existential world-weariness. Regardless of what you see on the outside, there’s a different agenda working inside that feline brain, balanced between domesticated cuteness and the killer instinct.

Read more here: Cuddly kitty or killer? Evolution explains why cats are grumpy

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Would you leave kitty behind if your landlord said ‘No Cats’?

nyc-catWould you give up your cat for a swanky apartment? One New Yorker put up a good fight to defend his right to have his cat move into an apartment he wanted to rent. Check out Phillip’s story . . .

A very mean and probably loopy landlord recently tried to make me give up my cat, Mimosa, to sign a lease on an apartment in Brooklyn. After a long and drawn-out application process — I’m convinced that merely renting an apartment in New York City is a more arduous process involving more ridiculous hoop-jumping than buying an entire house anywhere else — the Mean Landlord sent a short but devastating email: “Our building doesn’t allow any pets. We are really sorry about your cat.”

Excuse me, you’re sorry about my cat? My first reaction was more along the lines of, “I’m really sorry but, yeah, I won’t be paying you any money to live in your apartment. I’m really sorry my cat’s better than your apartment, even though the stainless steel appliances in the kitchen were admittedly really nice.”

Once the initial state of shock had passed though, I attempted to persuade the Mean Landlord that having Mimosa in the building wouldn’t be any sort of a problem at all. I pointed out that the original apartment listing said cats were okay (it didn’t specify either way) and that the super who showed the apartment said cats were okay (he didn’t, but I figured he’d take one for Team Feline as he seemed like a decent guy). I also mentioned that at least three people with dogs came into the building while I was there. (I was exaggerating as it was just the one, a fluffy Shih Tzu-type varmint).

The Mean Landlord emailed back: “Those are old tenants that we took in the beginning; as of the last two years, we don’t allow anymore pets.”

Read the rest of the story over at Catster: Would You Give Up Your Cat for the Perfect NYC Apartment?


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Excercise Tips for your Indoor Cat

Are you concerned that your cat has put on some extra pounds and wish to get her to exercise? Unable to do so? A treadmill may not be an option for your cat, but there certainly are ways to keep your cat slim and healthy. Here are some easy tips to ensure a good workout for your indoor cat:

  • Stop the kitty treats – This might lead to guilt on the part of several owners, but one needs to understand that food is not the only type of treat you can give your pets. Start by getting toys which will induce movements in your inactive cat.
  • Use a laser pointer – Studies have shown that cats love laser lights! The constant movement is irresistible to cats and they’ll bounce after the ever-moving light. Remember never to shine the laser in your cat’s eyes, as it can cause damage.
  • Give you cat something to jump on – Provide your cat with empty shelves, window sills, and cat trees for her to jump on. So even if you are not at home to play with your cat there she still has the option of bouncing and jumping. This can keep your cat busy for hours, as she explores all the nooks and crannies.
  • Try a new trick– Keep the bowls of water and food away from each other. So that while moving from one bowl to another your cat exercises and burns calories.
  • Food move technique – At feeding time move your cat’s food containers from one area to another, forcing her to move from one point to another. Treating your cat while moving her food around is essential, and will keep her interested in the game.
  • Use ordinary objects that grabs your cat’s attention – Most cats enjoy playing with paper, balls, wool, bags, boxes, and bags. Place these objects throughout the house, and your cat will prowl around as she hunts and pounces on her prey.

Follow these few simple tips and you will have an happy, healthy cat.


This is a guest post by Christina Lyttle. She is a pet lover and is especially fond of cats and dogs.

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The 10 best New York City dog parks

NYC dog parksNew Yorkers love their parks, but they also love their dogs. And since many of us live in close quarters, parks are an ideal place for dogs to run off pent up energy. While there are many parks in NYC, BellaDog Magazine has put together a list of their top 10 dog parks.

  • McGolrick Dog Park & Run – Greenpoint, Brooklyn
  • Madison Square Dog Park & Run – Flatiron District
  • Riverside Dog Park & Run – W 105th St.
  • Riverside Dog Park & Run – W 72nd St.
  • McCarren Dog Park & Run – Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • DeWitt Clinton Dog Park & Run – Clinton
  • Carl Schurz Dog Park & Run – Upper East Side
  • Hillside Dog Park & Run – Brooklyn Heights
  • Washington Square Dog Park & Run – Greenwich Village
  • Tompkins Square Dog Park & Run – East Village

To read more about each of the dog parks, see Top 10 Dog Parks & Runs of New York City.

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Cat Food Recall Due to Aflatoxin

Kroger is recalling pet food due to aflatoxin:

CINCINNATI, Dec. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The Kroger Co. said today it is recalling select packages of pet food sold in some of its retail stores because the products may contain aflatoxin, which poses a health risk to pets.

Kroger stores in the following states are included in this recall:  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The recall also includes Dillons and Gerbes stores in Kansas and Missouri; Baker’s stores in Nebraska; Food 4 Less stores in Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana (Chicago area); and Jay C, Hilander, Owen’s, Pay Less and Scott’s stores in Illinois and Indiana.

Stores the company operates under the following names are not included in this recall: Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, Smith’s, QFC, City Market, Foods Co., and Food 4 Less stores in California and Nevada.

Kroger is recalling the following items:

  • Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088128
  • Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071357
  • Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088152
  • Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074580
  • Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071903
  • Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 22 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074566
  • Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074563
  • Kroger Value Cat Food sold in 3 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111000018
  • Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 15 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071559
  • Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111000108

Aflatoxin is a naturally-occurring toxic chemical by-product from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus on corn and other crops. If your pet shows any symptoms of illness, including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, yellowish tint to the eyes and/or gums, and severe or bloody diarrhea, please consult your veterinarian immediately.

The safety of our customers and their pets is important to Kroger. The company is using its Customer Recall Notification system to alert customers who may have purchased these recalled products through register receipt tape messages and automated phone calls.  Customers who have purchased a recalled item should not use it and should return it to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Customers who have questions about this recall may contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900. For more information, please visit

From PR Newswire: Kroger Recalls Pet Foods Due to Possible Health Risk

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