Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fond of Ferals?

The Pet Blog has a great post on where to find help with trap/neuter/release programs for dealing with feral cat populations. Read the whole thing!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Warning!

Make sure you hide the Gorilla glue from your kids and your pets. Yikes!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It Takes All Kinds

I find this form of pet memorial more than a little bit odd. There's something for everyone, I guess.

Given my 'druthers, however, I'd be more likely to take the $75 dollars and drop it on any one of the friends of Lincoln State Cat Club over in the blogroll to the left...

Who Knew...

... that His Holiness is a cat lover? Sweet.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

America Overrun By Cats?

According to this Fox News article,

U.S. streets could soon be overrun with cats if communities fail to get a handle on growing feline populations, a veterinary medicine researcher says.
The problem is growing numbers of not just strays, but also other free-roaming pet cats. The strays are likely to go unneutered or unspayed, and therefore to reproduce like mad.

On top of that, though, more than 38 million households own an estimated 88 million cats — that's about one cat for every 3.5 Americans.

Those that aren't "fixed" often can and do still wander freely outdoors or get lost and make kittens.

• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Natural Science Center.

Fertile female cats produce an average of two litters of four to six kittens per year. As a result, up to 5 million U.S. cats are euthanized in shelters each year, according to estimates by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
If you have a problem with feral cat colonies in your area, search out a Trap/Neuter/Release program to help alleviate the problem.

Here are Lord's tips for owners nationwide: Make sure pet cats, along with those you feed but don't own, are spayed and neutered. Be willing to support ways to work with local government, veterinary groups and shelters to figure out how to address the problem of free-roaming cats.

"It gets very emotional, but I think groups have to work together to recognize there is not one solution that is going to work in every community," Lord told LiveScience.

"Some of it is elevating the status of cats," she said.

They are less likely to be tagged or carry other ID markers.

They are hardly ever reunified with owners, if lost, and "they get less veterinary care, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association," she said. "Vet visits for cats is lower than that for dogs, the frequency of going. Is that because they are healthier? I'm not sure we can make that assumption."


Spay. Neuter. Keep your cat inside. It's the healthiest thing for them AND for you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For Grins and Giggles

An Engineer's Guide to Cats:



Too funny!

Friday, April 11, 2008

From the Bookshelf


I just received an email from Quasi, announcing his new book, "The World Is Your Litter Box." Order your copy here.

Quasi assures me your cat will thank you!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vendors

The 2008 Lincoln State show was a Royal Canin lead show.

They provided loads of educational materials...

... swag bags for breeders containing diet scale, kitten information packets for new owners and more...


... a symposium on feline nutrition (with a four-book set of feline encyclopedias for participants!)...


... and goodies for your best feline friend, too.


Lincoln State Cat Club was proud to be chosen to be a Royal Canin lead show, and we hope to partner with them next year, too.

Tidbits From Around the Net

Interested in the problem of feral cats? Here's a blog dedicated entirely to news surrounding the issue. Whether feral cats are part of your problem or you want to be a part of their solution, this is the place to check frequently.

(h/t Pet's Garden Blog.)
_____

The Pet Blog has an excellent post on puppy mills here. Keep in mind that each and ever word written there applies equally to kitten mills.

An appealing face makes an impulse purchase of a pet an easy thing to do. Be smarter than that. Do your homework.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cool Training Tool?

Here's an interesting cat training tool. I'd be interested in feedback from anyone who's used ssscat.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Scenes from the Show - 2008

Lovely calico Selkirk Rex.

A gorgeous Ragdoll.

Show Manager Gene Baturin with Russian Blue "Buck."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

In Memorium


Grand Champion Galidorn's Marilyn Monrex of Woodsprite

May 5, 1991 - March 5, 2008


After almost seventeen years, my favorite traveling companion and best bed buddy left me for the final journey she had to do on her own, and crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I've been through a lot of changes in 17 years. The Divine Miss Marilyn has been my only constant.

She wasn't the kitten I was supposed to get. Good friend Deborah Kane of Galidorn Devon Rex offered me a lovely calico kitten to use as a foundation for my own breeding program. (CH) Galidorn's Barbara Gordon of Woodsprite ("Babs") was cute, spunky and personable... BUT... when I laid eyes on her litter sister, The Divine Miss Marilyn, I was completely, truly, hopelessly smitten.

Yes, I took both girls home. Marilyn, however, was the only cat or kitten I ever promised would never leave my home.

Equal parts ditziness and intense concentration, one minute she'd look at you like she'd never seen you before, and the next she'd be on your chest, patting at your face trying to get your attention. No matter how many times you could set her down, she'd pop right back up and persistently push her way into your attention. Then, when she'd had enough, she'd wander off, but toss questions and comments over her shoulder as she ambled from room to room.

Like all true divas, the Divine Miss Marilyn had a full actress's range of volume, tone, and vibrato -- everything from whispered "meffs" to sweet-voiced queries to full-throated, Marlena Dietrich moans, to outboard motor purrs that could be heard across the room.

I kept my promise.

I miss her terribly already. I wish I could do this tribute better. Maybe later, when it doesn't hurt this much.
_____

If any of you are in the memorial spirit, I would request that donations go the Morris Animal Foundation.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Morris Animal Foundation

PAIN MANAGEMENT FOR YOUR PETS, KEY INFORMATION EVERY PET OWNER SHOULD KNOW –LIVE WEBCAST TO PET OWNERS, MARCH 13, 8:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. (EST) VIA MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION

World-Renowned Pain Management Expert Robin Downing, DVM, Will Conduct Webcast For Pet Owners, Covering All Aspects Related to Pets and Pain

DENVER, March 3, 2008: Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) will sponsor a live webcast for pet owners on pain management for their pets on March 13, 2008, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). The live webcast will cover all aspects of pain management, including common causes of pain, overlooked hidden causes of pain, anticipating and avoiding pain in your pets, communicating with your veterinarian and how to ask the right questions. Participate in the webcast at: www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org/livechat. In addition, a webcast on pet pain directed to veterinarians takes place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. Both webcasts will be available indefinitely for global audiences on a non-live basis at the webcast address.

Leading this webcast will be Robin Downing, DVM, a MAF Trustee and one of the world's leading experts on pain in animals. In 2005, Dr. Downing became the third veterinarian in the world to acquire diplomate credential from the American Academy of Pain Management. As of today, fewer than a dozen veterinarians worldwide hold this credential. Dr. Downing is founder and past president of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and was co-chair of the task force that authored the "2007 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats." In 2006 she opened The Downing Center for Animal Pain Management, LLC, the only comprehensive pain management and pain prevention practice for pets in Northern Colorado. Contributing to the discussion will be Patricia Olson, DVM, Ph.D., president and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. For more information, contact: Michael Burke, mburke@morrisanimalfoundation.org.

About Morris Animal Foundation: Morris Animal Foundation, established in 1948, is dedicated to funding research that protects, treats and cures companion animals and wildlife. MAF has been at the forefront of funding breakthrough research studies benefiting animals in some 100 countries, spanning all seven continents on Earth. MAF has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The Foundation has funded nearly 1,400 humane animal health studies with funds totaling more than $51 million. One hundred percent of annual donations go to fund health study programs. For more information, call (800) 243-2345, or visit www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.

© 2008 Morris Animal Foundation, 10200 E. Girard Ave., Ste. B430, Denver, CO 80231
All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Scenes from the Show - 2008

What's got these kids so rapt?

Funny looking cats that they can actually pet...

... and cuddle with!

Breed booths -- the Cornish Rex one was particularly popular.
_____

Don't forget The Friday Ark is up over at The Modulator. In addition:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Vendors

I just added links to all our marvelous vendors to the blogroll, and will feature photos of all of them throughout the year.

These cool beds come from Teri's Catz & More. They practically flew out the door!

See what you missed?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Carnival Time!

The Friday Ark is up at the Modulator. Loads and loads of critter goodness.

Also don't forget:

From the Daily Southtown

Cat lovers pack Oak Lawn Pavilion

February 21, 2008

Nearly 1,700 feline fanciers walked through the doors of the Oak Lawn Pavilion over the weekend to contemplate the kitties gathered for the Lincoln State Cat Club's 48th annual All Breed Cat Show.

More than 160 cats representing 21 breeds were entered in the show, which has been held at the pavilion the past three years running. Visitors got a look at long-tailed Maine coons, the nearly tailless Japanese Bobtail, the curly-coated Selkirk Rex and the big-eared Abyssinian, familiar from Egyptian art.

Hairless Sphynxs, wild-looking but thoroughly domesticated spotted Ocicats and ultra-fluffy Persians were among the most popular cats with the crowds.

Not every cat on hand was a purebred: one competition category is reserved for ordinary mixed-breed house cats, so long as they're neutered if over eight months old, have their claws and are "well-groomed, healthy and don't eat the judge," said Dayle Marsh, vice president of the club and a breeder of Russian Blues.

Veterinarians were present to answer questions. Breeders advertised their work from booths. A raffle and silent auction raised money.

"We're more than just a cat show," Marsh said. "Our bylaws basically state that we are to promote the purebred cat and to educate the public on proper cat care and welfare. Basically our cat show is a means of doing that."

Proceeds from past shows have helped to fund studies of feline respiratory diseases, asthma, heart ailments and, most recently, the mapping of the feline genome, according to Marsh.

Unlike in a dog show, there is no single best-in-show winner at cat shows like Lincoln's, which is licensed by the national Cat Fanciers' Association. Instead, each judge picks their own top kitty. A female Russian Blue and a chocolate-spotted Ocicat were among those that took a top prize.

And while canine shows feature a trot around the ring, less amenable felines are simply lifted from their cages and evaluated by a judge on a range of qualities, with points being allotted for everything from eye-shape to paw-pad color.

Marsh said one thing unites cat lovers. "We're all crazy," she laughed. "Not all the cats are in cages."

Nathaniel Zimmer can be reached at (708) 633-5994 or nzimmer@southtownstar.com.

Scenes from the Show - 2008

Lovely, lovely Tonkinese!

You don't find this eye color...

... in any other breed!

(Click on photos to embiggen.)
_____

P.S. -- Click here to help provide free food and care for rescued cats and dogs. Stop by daily. Every click counts!

(Via Grouchy Old Cripple.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's Coming!

Lincoln State Cat Club's 48th Annual Allbreed Cat Show takes place February 16th and 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Oak Lawn Pavilion. Click here for $1 off the regular $7 admission.

What'll you see at the cat show?

Judging!


Cat goodies for your home...

... for your cat...

... for gifts!

Feline agility trials.

Breed booths offering loads of information about...

... different breeds' personalities and grooming requirements.

More judging!

Join us, won't you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

PSA

Received today from Morris Animal Foundation:

The Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research – Sponsors Six Morris Animal Foundation Cancer Studies

Media Contact:
Michael Burke, Morris Animal Foundation
303-790-2345
mburke@morrisanimalfoundation.org

Denver, February 12, 2008:The Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research, www.petcancerawareness.com, a Connecticut-based organization dedicated to raising awareness for canine and feline cancer, has made a generous donation to Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) in the nonprofit's global effort to cure canine cancer and prevent feline cancer. The Blue Buffalo Foundation has provided financial sponsorship for two important feline cancer research studies and four important canine cancer research studies. The MAF Canine Cancer Campaign is seeking to prevent canine cancer, while immediately seeking treatment advancements to help dogs suffering from cancer today. Learn more and donate to the campaign at www.CureCanineCancer.org or www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.

"When our beloved dog Blue had his last bout with cancer, we realized there was a need to direct more resources toward animal cancer research and prevention," states David Petrie, co-founder and president of The Blue Buffalo Foundation. "We started the Blue Buffalo Co. (www.bluebuff.com), a healthy and holistic natural food for dogs and cats, and then created our charitable arm, the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research. We felt that the thorough and selective process Morris Animal Foundation has in place to choose and oversee health studies, in combination with their proven commitment to animal health, made them an ideal and like-minded partner for us."

Petrie believes that supporting canine and feline cancer research is an investment in the future of all animals, and his Foundation will continue to support Morris Animal Foundation in this important work. For a complete list of studies or to find out how to sponsor a study, please visit www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org/studies or call 800-243-2345.

About Morris Animal Foundation: Morris Animal Foundation, established in 1948, is dedicated to funding research that protects, treats and cures companion animals and wildlife. MAF has been at the forefront of funding breakthrough research studies benefiting animals in some 100 countries, spanning all seven continents on earth. MAF has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The Foundation has funded nearly 1,400 humane animal health studies with funds totaling more than $51 million. One hundred percent of annual donations go to fund health study programs. For more information, call (800) 243-2345, or visit www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.

© 2008 Morris Animal Foundation, 10200 E. Girard Ave., Ste. B430, Denver, CO 80231
All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 1, 2008

This and That

There were a couple of neat cat stories over at the Pet Blog:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Chicago's Most Beautiful Cat?

The Chicago Tribune is hosting Chicago's Most Beautiful Cat Contest.

We here at Lincoln State Cat Club know better, however. The most beautiful cats in Chicago will be found here on the third Saturday and Sunday of every February.

Come join us and see!

Monday, January 21, 2008

That Was Fun!

Play this game to help feed sheltered cats and dogs. For every question you answer correctly, they'll donate kibbles of food to help feed abandoned pets. The more you play, the more shelter pets they can feed!

Spread the word, won't you?

(Via Julie at The Pet Blog.)

Cats, Cats and More Cats

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos Tummy Time is being held over at Mind of Mog.

Tons and tons of feline goodness!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

From today's Chicago Tribune:

Up a tree over dead cat's health plan

David Lazarus

Consumer Confidential
January 16, 2008
When Sarah Harper took her cat, Pete, to Banfield, the Pet Hospital, she was encouraged to sign up for one of the company's "optimum wellness plans."

For an enrollment fee of $69.95 and $16.95 in monthly payments, Harper was told, Pete would receive regular vaccinations and exams, as well as discounts on a variety of medical services from the nation's largest chain of veterinary facilities.

"They were talking about 'wellness' and 'healthcare,' " she said. "It seemed like insurance."

It wasn't.

Pete developed epilepsy last year and had to be put to sleep (as they say) in October. Harper subsequently contacted Banfield to terminate Pete's wellness plan. She said she was told she couldn't cancel because she'd agreed to a one-year contract.

So Harper, 29, a Chicago schoolteacher, is now paying $16.95 a month for a dead cat's healthcare.

"Pete was our little guy," she said, the tears starting to flow. "Charging for his healthcare after he's dead? That's just evil."

Banfield says it's all spelled out in the fine print.

"This is an issue we run into once in a while, when a client hasn't read the contract," said Kathy Baumgardner, a Banfield spokeswoman.

Banfield has 655 facilities nationwide, mostly attached to PetSmart pet-supply outlets. The company says it sees an average of 375,000 pets monthly, with about 2 million animals covered by wellness plans.

Banfield sees its wellness plans as a way for pet owners to manage the fixed costs of regular checkups and routine treatments. Payments can be made annually, but the company says most people opt for monthly installments.

"A lot of people couldn't afford everything a pet needs," said Karen Johnson, a vet who also serves as Banfield's vice president and client advocate. "A wellness plan spreads the cost over 12 months of payments."

That sounds straightforward enough, and Banfield's media kit states prominently that "wellness plans are not insurance policies." The materials that consumers see aren't as forthright.

The brochure for Banfield's plans describes the service as "the best preventive care your pet needs to maximize its life."

It lists a wide array of tests and procedures covered by the various plans, which range in price from $11.95 to $29.95 a month. By enrolling, it says, "your pet is on its way to a happier, healthier and longer life!"

There's also no explicit declaration in the customer contract that a wellness plan isn't insurance. But the fine print does make clear that pet owners are on the hook even if a pet goes to that big kennel in the sky.

It says monthly payments could be required "if the total amount of services rendered by Provider prior to cancellation (valued at Provider's full retail prices) exceed the sum of monthly installments retained or recovered by Provider."

That sort of language may sail over the heads of many people.

ConsumerAffairs.com, a popular consumer-advocacy website, includes numerous complaints about Banfield, ranging from overcharging to alleged malpractice. Other sites make clear that the company's wellness plans are often mistaken for insurance.

"My pet was put to sleep due to a terminal illness, and Banfield said I would have to continue to pay the premiums until the end of the contract," one person posted on complaintsboard.com. "Death was not a good reason to discontinue paying the wellness premium."

"SAME THING HERE!" another person replied. "Our puppy got really sick and could not fight the sickness off and passed away the same month we got the wellness plan. They would not let us cancel, or even change the plan to our other dog. We are still paying insurance for a dog we don't have!!!"

Banfield's Johnson said the company was aware of the online complaints.

"It's unfortunate that those are out there," she said. "We have 2 million pets on wellness plans. We take good care of them."

Harper said she received little sympathy when she first contacted Banfield after Pete's death.

"I told them my cat had died and they said I couldn't terminate the contract," she recalled. "I said that my cat was dead and didn't need a wellness plan anymore. They said only that I'd signed a legally binding contract."

At my request, Harper called Banfield back the other day and asked more specifically about why she was still being charged. This time, she was informed that the monthly fees were covering more than $350 in veterinary bills run up during Pete's illness.

"Now I see it's just a payment plan, like buying a car," Harper told me. "That's not how it was originally presented."

She and other pet owners might want to look into the real deal. The country's largest provider of pet coverage is Veterinary Pet Insurance, based in Brea. The company insures about 460,000 pets.

Brian Iannessa, a spokesman for VPI, said policies typically cost $25 to $30 a month -- about the same as a comprehensive Banfield wellness plan -- and reimbursed expenses for most tests and treatments.

If your pet dies, the coverage ends. Period.

"You would notify us that your pet is deceased, and the policy would be terminated a day later," Iannessa said.

Also, unlike Banfield's wellness plans, VPI and similar providers are regulated by the California Department of Insurance.

I related to Iannessa what happened to Harper and the payments she's still making for a dead cat.

There was a brief silence as he considered the situation.

"I can see how that would seem heartless in some pet owners' eyes," Iannessa replied.

Contract terms notwithstanding, it's hard to see it otherwise.

Consumer Confidential runs Wednesdays and Sundays. Send your tips or feedback to david.lazarus@latimes.com.