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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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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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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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