Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Shiva's story

When Shiva was two months old, she was found alone in a barn by a kind woman who knew she needed immediate care. Shiva had such bad infections in her eyes that both eyeballs had ruptured and were oozing blood and puss. The swelling caused hair loss on her face. It was difficult to look at her. 
After Shiva arrived at Feline Rescue, she visited a veterinary ophthalmologist. He wasn’t sure what her long-term prognosis would be, whether she’d need surgery to remove her eyes or to sew them shut. He could tell that one had had completely lost vision already but thought there might be hope for the other.

Shiva received eyedrops every two hours for several weeks, and then four times a day for several more weeks, in order to fight the infection and to keep her eyes lubricated while they healed. After two months of treatment, Shiva’s eyes are healed up, she has regained some sight in one eye and she will not need surgery. 

When people hear Shiva’s story, they often say “oh, that’s so sad.” But Shiva’s story is one of resilience and perseverance. Despite being abandoned so young and having such serious infections, Shiva is a complete spitfire, afraid of nothing and curious about everything. Her blindness doesn’t deter her  at all and she navigates her world with confidence and excitement. While in foster care, she’s found a great friend in another foster cat a bit older than she is and they are constant wrestling companions.

Thanks to our donors whose financial support allows us to care for serious medical cases like Shiva’s, Shiva now has a long, happy, safe life ahead of her and she’s ready to face it head on!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Feliway, a synthetic pheromone diffuser

by Emily Wallner

When adopting a new cat or dealing with anxiety in your cat(s), a frequently-made suggestion is to try a pheromone product referred to as Feliway TM. Feliway is the brand name of a product containing a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that cats excrete and mark upon areas of their home. The pheromone is distributed by the cats rubbing their cheeks on items. This pheromone, and the synthetic copy of it found in Feliway and other synthetic pheromone diffusers, serves to mark property and relieve anxiety and stress. Using these diffusers can help to make your home feel safer to new cats, reduce anxiety, may help manage various behavioral problems, and can serve to make life transitions and changes easier on your feline family members.

Using synthetic pheromone diffusers like Feliway is easy. It comes in multiple forms. One of the most popular forms is a plug-in diffuser. The pheromone product gets heated up in the diffuser and is released into the air. Depending on the size of the area you want to treat, you may or may not want to use more than one diffuser. Another easy method of application is spraying the Feliway by hand with a spray bottle. You can spray it into the air or directly on objects. For safety reasons, do not spray the product directly on your cats. Finally, there are calming collars. These collars look like flea collars and release a continual bit of the pheromone in the air around the cat.

Feliway and other synthetic pheromone products can be found at Target, WalMart, pet stores and online retailers. As always, pheromone diffusers are not a substitute for veterinary care when needed and their efficacy will vary. Your veterinarian can help you determine if these popular products are appropriate for your household.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The story of Superfudge

Superfudge came to us with a very delicate issue. To put it politely, he couldn't control his output. Some days, things would just fall out of him. Other days, nothing would come out. Nothing for over a week. During that time, his anus would protrude a good couple of inches past where it should normally be and the skin around it would be grey and purple, a sign that blood was not flowing properly to that area. To get him through this, Superfudge was on a mountain of medicines, had x-rays, an ultrasound, enemas, and even had a manual deobstipation. He had to be force fed to keep up his strength (and weight).

When Superfudge came to us, he was almost 4 months old and weighed just a pound. Four month old kittens should weigh four pounds. He was super tiny. You could feel every bone in his body. His long fur was constantly sticking up in every direction (he had a bad hair day every day). Because he had decaying feces inside him, the smell radiated from his fur. He stunk. He really, really, really stunk. And anything and everyone he touched also stunk. His caregiver referred to the uniquely pungent smell as "Eau de Fudgie." He didn't have any friends. He didn't want to play; he only wanted to cuddle (and none of the other kittens wanted to cuddle with such a ripe guy).
Superfudge was a fighter. He got stronger. And heavier. And older. And these three things together gave him the power to overcome his issues. He's still not 100% (his tushy resembles a baboon's butt right now but that should settle down once the inflamation subsides) but he can consistently get the poop out on his own. Superfudge is now over 5 months old but he looks like he's three months old. His caregiver celebrated the day he reached two pounds. And then three pounds. Now he weighs three and a half pounds! He loves to tear around the house with his best friends Taco and Indu. Yes, you read that right. Friends. He now has friends! He had friends who adore him. Superfudge does everything at high speed. He's got a lot of catching up to do. He eats well. He poops well. He plays well. He loves well. 

Throughout it all, Superfudge purred all the time. He's just a happy guy. Happy to be alive. Happy to be loved. Happy someone was taking care of him. He didn't always love his treatments. But he loves the people who took care of him. Heck, he loves everybody.
Superfudge's story has a happy ending because of the money our supporters donate. We couldn't do it without you! We have some extra generous donors offering to match any donations made in the month of February. It's a great time to donate, and help make sure the next kitten in need gets all the medical care required to get healthy. Supefudge thanks you. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Tips for pet safety in the winter months

Remember, if it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don't leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats in your area, they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It's easy to give them a hand by providing a cat shelter. For instructions on how to build a shelter, go to Alley Cat Allies website.

Cars are one of many hazards to small animals, as warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

A passing snowplow can also be hazardous by throwing snow high enough to bury a cat wandering by. When you see a cat or dog roaming freely outside in freezing temperatures or heavy snow, please take action to protect or rescue that animal.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Managing anxiety in cats

by Emily Wallner
Anxiety in cats is a common and manageable issue. Sometimes it stems from an environmental factor, and other times, it is just how the cat is wired. When you bring home a new feline family member, typically some anxiety can be expected from either the new cat and/or any other cats in your home. Most of the time, this anxiety will level out as everyone gets adjusted to the changed environment and new structure of the family. Change is often difficult for cats, and it can take some time for everyone to feel comfortable with changes to their routine.
Anxiety is displayed in many different ways. Some cats hide or keep their distance. Some cats become unusually clingy. Some cats will appear to be restless and some might act out. Others will urinate or defecate outside of the litter box. There are also physical manifestations of anxiety such as an upset stomach, nervous diarrhea, developing hot spots, excessive grooming or constipation. 
There are a number of ways in which you can help your anxious cats. Setting and maintaining a solid daily routine for them will help them feel more secure. Using pheromone mimicking sprays or diffusers like Feliway can calm them down and help them adjust to changes in their environment. When our animal family members are stressed, often we become stressed, and vice versa. Cats are very perceptive animals, and taking steps to reduce your own level of anxiety will result in a calmer environment and, as a result, will help reduce the anxiety in your cat. If the anxiety is chronic, severe or particularly worrisome, make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss options for intervention. 

"Your veterinarian may prescribe anxiety reducing medication (Prozac, Buspirone or others) to be used in conjunction with behavior modification techniques," said Jerri Smith, DVM, medical consultant to Feline Rescue. "These medications may have undesired side effects, so they should not be used as a sole treatment and they should never be discontinued abruptly." As always, never medicate your cat without the instruction of and supervision by your veterinarian. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Keeping Your Cats Calm with Holiday Guests

The Holidays should be a happy time for your whole family, including your furry ones. If you are welcoming friends and family into your home, this might create a stressful situation for your cats. Advanced planning, some extra attention, and a little assistance from guests will help keep your cats calm during Holiday festivities.

Make sure your cat has a sanctuary to get away from it all with access to food, water, litter box, and familiar items (like toys, blankets, cat trees). If these items are normally in an area that will be occupied by guests, move them several days early and help your cat discover them in their new location. Cats are creatures of habit, so they may not like to find their favorite things suddenly in a new location. Give them a few days to get acclimated. 

Remind guests that you have cats and ask for their help. Ask them to make sure no kitties bolt out the door unexpectedly; mind children to make sure they are treating the cats kindly or leaving them alone altogether if desired; ask about guests’ allergies in advance so overly friendly cats can be spared rejection; remind guests not to feed people food to your cats, even if they beg for it.

If a guest brings holiday plants or flowers, keep them away from your cat until you can ensure they are not poisonous to cats. You can view of list of plants toxic to cats at the ASPCA’s website.

Most importantly, give your cats extra love and attention. This will not only help keep them calm, it will help keep them safe from the many holiday hazards for cats: tinsel, ribbons, ornaments and hooks, candles, candy, alcohol, and more. Things that make the Holidays merry and bright often do not mix well with curious felines.

Wish you and your kitties a safe and happy holiday season!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Tori's Wish

I'm Tori. I grew up outside, always having to compete for food. I was used to being around people but not necessarily right up close. So when I came into rescue with my two young kittens, Razz and Tazz, it was scary for me. But I learned to like living in a home. And I've learned that with these nice people here, I will never have to worry that my boys won't be safe and well fed. This has always been my wish for them. Now I have one wish left, and it's a big one. I wish that I could find a home with at least one of my boys and hopefully both, so we can all stay together. I love them so much. My boys are very sweet and special guys. 

Razz and Tazz are outgoing and social with people and other cats. Everyone loves them. And they love and trust everyone. If you are kind and patient, I will learn to trust you too. I hope you can help make my wish come true. You can meet my little family at Woody's Pet Food Deli in Woodbury, where we are currently fostered with other friends.  For more information about adopting us contact Molly at 651-295-3758 or outreach@felinerescue.org.

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