Is Your Cat Getting Too Many Vaccines?

cat-vaccines

Photo: by Niamwhan for Depositphotos.com

In California, there’s a huge debate going on about the right to choose whether or not your kids get vaccines, but did you ever consider the same issue for your cat? I recently came across a petition on change.org, posted by Truth 4 Pets, about vaccines for cats and dogs.

While no one is recommending that you not vaccinate your pet, Truth 4 Pets brought up some interesting points concerning whether your cat really needs as many vaccines as they’re given. Apparently, some vaccines give lifelong immunity and booster shots may not be necessary. As well, given the age and risk of your cat, other shots may not be best for them.

In order to reduce adverse reactions and minimize the “vaccine load” for you cat, many top vet schools and major veterinary associations have actually changed their vaccination recommendations. However, many vet clinics are still following the older recommendations and thus, may be recommending more vaccines than your cat may need. Excessive vaccinations can increase the risk of adverse health conditions in you pet, including the risk for cancer.

According to Pets 4 Life’s website:

Top veterinary organizations (AVMA, WSAVA, AAHA, AAFP and AHVMA) and many top veterinary schools divide vaccines into “core” (with which all pets should be vaccinated) and “noncore” (which should be given only when a specific risk exists, if then).

Core vaccines for cats include panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies. Per WSAVA (p. 14): “All kittens should receive the core vaccines. [For panleukopenia] a minimum of three doses is recommended: one at 8–9 weeks of age, a second 3–4 weeks later and a final dose at 14–16 weeks of age or older should be administered. Cats that respond to MLV core vaccines maintain immunity for many years in the absence of any repeat vaccination.” According to vaccine researcher Dr. Ron Schultz, if your cat is already 16 weeks of age or older at the time of its first vaccine, only a single dose is needed to provide solid, long-lasting immunity. No booster vaccines are needed for most adult cats, except rabies as required by law.

The article on their website includes a detailed list of answers to FAQs as well as questions to consider when vaccinating your pets. If you’d like to know:

  • Which vaccines are required by law
  • An alternative to vaccination to test your cat’s immunity to a disease
  • How to be informed of all the risks associated with a vaccine

Then, check out the article Questions to Ask before vaccinating your cat.

 

 

5 Eco-Friendly Litter Scoops

1. ORE Pet Recycled Melamine Kitty Litter Scoop

ORE makes fun and eco-friendly cat products and their kitty litter scoop is no exception. This whimsical litter scoop is made from recycled Melamine and it features a foot-long handle as well as a paw-shaped scoop.

recycled melamine litter scoop
The melamine is non-toxic, lead-free and meets American, Canadian and European standards. The recycled melamine adds dots of colour to this fun accessory. No boring beige here! You can find this Recycled Melamine Kitty Litter Scoop on Amazon for just over $10.

2. SmartyKat Loo Ladle Cat Litter Scoop

Here’s an eco-friendly litter scoop made from recycled plastic. The SmartyKat Loo Ladle litter scoop features a wide-mouth design, extra-large scoop and a long handle to make cat litter scooping less of a chore.

recycled plastic litter scoop
It’s available in a nondescript tan colour, which is actually a good colour for camouflaging litter dust and waste. Less cleaning! You can pick up the SmartyKat Loo Ladle Recycled Plastic Litter Scoop for about $5 on Amazon.com and it qualifies for Amazon’s free shipping deal.

3. Van Ness Eco Litter Scoop

Here’s another beige litter scoop made from eco-friendly materials. It’s the Van Ness Eco Litter Scoop, made from plant-based materials and dyed with soy-based inks. Like the Beco Scoop, this one is also biodegradable.

Van Ness Eco-Litter Scoop
In addition to litter scoops, Van Ness also offers a full line of green cat products. You can learn more on the Van Ness website.

4. BeCo Eco Litter Scoop

The BeCo cat litter scoop looks just like every other typical litter scoop, but with one significant difference— it’s made from bamboo and rice husk fibres. This mix of natural materials is bonded together with natural enzymes as opposed to toxic glues, which makes the Beco Scoop 100% biodegradable.

natural fiber sustainable biodegradeable litter scoop
If you’re wondering how these scoops hold up to some serious cat litter box cleaning, the natural bio-composite is sturdy, strong and comparable to plastic scoops. However, this eco-friendly scoop is a pedigree above when it comes to being green. At under $10, the BeCo Eco Litter Scoop is pricier than a cheap plastic scoop, but it should last just as long and with the biodegradable bio-composite, you’ll have no guilt when it’s time to replace it.

5. Duranimals DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop

Sometimes, buying a scoop that is designed to last a long time is more eco-friendly than picking up a cat litter scoop made from natural materials. It all depends on how you use the product and how long you intend to use it. The Duranimals Durascoop fits the bill for durability. This sturdy litter scoop doesn’t bend or flex and it’s made from corrosion-resistant aluminum.
aluminum-litter-scoop
If you have multiple cat household, this might be the lifetime scoop for you. It’s lightweight, oversized with a comfortable grip to make it easier to clean your cat box or boxes, should I say? As on reviewer on Amazon raved, “This scoop makes my life easier. It’s strong. It sifts. It DOES NOT BEND. It does not fling. I love it. With 5 cats in the house, I need all the help I can get. This scoop is my best decision since I married a man who loves cats.”

Check out the Duranimals DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop with over ONE THOUSAND 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Purina Facing Lawsuits Over Claims That Beneful Kills Dogs and Makes Them Sick

benefulNestle Purina, makers of Beneful dog food, is facing a class-action lawsuit. It is alleged that the popular brand has caused thousands of dogs to get sick or die as a result of eating the food. What’s disturbing to me is that Beneful is marketed as a premium dog food that is better for pets.

The ingredient in question is propylene glycol, which is used as a food preservative. It’s also used in anti-freeze. Supposedly this ingredient is safe for humans (yep it’s in some of our processed foods) and dogs. However, it is considered a toxin for cats, so it’s not used in cat food.

Hmmm, if it’s bad for cats, it’s still considered safe for dogs? It certainly makes you wonder.

FYI, Purina also manufactures the following brands of cat food:

  • Fancy Feast
  • Purina Pro Plan
  • Purina One
  • Friskies
  • Cat Chow
  • Purina Veternary Diets
  • Beyond
  • Whisker Lickin’s
  • Kit & Kaboodle
  • Deli-Cat

Click here for more information on the lawsuit

Click here for more information on propylene glycol

Props to World’s Best Cat Litter for Trying to Go Viral

Ever see an ad that seems like it was created for the sole purpose of going viral? It’s like the ad is trying so hard that it’s obvious what’s going on. That’s the feeling I got when I received a recent promo from World’s Best Cat Litter.

This ain’t a knock on the litter or the campaign. It’s cats, they’re cute, it’s hard to go wrong. And I am sharing it, albeit maybe not in the context that the marketing department wants. If you’re interested in natural cat litters, click here For eco-friendly cat litterreview.

World’s Best recently released five captioned photos of cats to promote their corn-based cat litter. Maybe there’s too much marketing message and not enough cuteness for this to go viral? What do you think?

For example, this image is communicating how lightweight the litter is…
wolrds-best-lightweight

Maybe amping up the cute factor would have increased the virality of the campaign? Or showing something cat owners can relate to that makes you lol (or at least smirk inside your head). Probably a lot more effective than the giant purple button that says, “SHARE”.

For example, this video while very simple in production value, has probably attracted a lot more sharing and attention:

30 Seconds to Create an Eco-friendly Cat Playground and Breathe New Life into Old Cat Toys

Quite by accident, I discovered an easy way to create an interactive play area for my cat. This playground was so delightful that it inspired my 14-year old cat, Furball to leap and run around like a kitten.

And, I bet you’ve already got what you need to build this kitty playground in your home right now. You’ll need…drum roll please…

  • 10 to 15 books

That’s it. Simply scatter them in a random pile on the floor. You’ll want to make the pile high enough so that your cat thinks it can “hide” behind the pile, aka crouch below so it can’t see above the books.

I discovered this easy way to make a fun game for my cat purely by chance. I was going through my bookshelf and clearing out books that I no longer needed. As I was cleaning, I dumped the books that I was going to donate to the library on the floor. When I started playing with Furball later that day, he ran to hide behind the books and a fast and easy kitty playground was created.

It made his usual game of chasing the Rainbow Cat Charmer absolutely addictive for him. He was having so much fun running and jumping that it reminded me of when he was a crazy kitten and played so much that he once fell down from dizziness because he wouldn’t stop running in circles. It was just like the good old days because Furball went berserk attacking his old toy with renewed vigor.

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So, all you need to do is bust out an old cat toy, preferably something interactive such as a wand toy, Cat Dancer or something that dangles. Get your cat’s attention and then make the toy hide behind the stack of books.

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It’ll give your cat the opportunity to exercise her natural instincts of stalking. The best thing is that once you’re done, clean up is a cinch. Just gather up the books and put them back on your shelf!

If you’re looking for places to donate old books, here are a few suggestions:

  • Some libraries will accept used books.
  • If you have paperbacks, try posting them on PaperBackSwap.com.  It’s like a giant online book swap meet.
  • Gently used books for young children are welcomed by Project Night Night, which gives books, blankets and stuffed animals to homeless children.
  • Women’s shelters that support families are also a good place to donate books for kids of all ages.

If you’re doing some spring cleaning, here are a few more ideas on Where to Recycle Stuff.

A Great Value for All Natural Cat Treats – Review of Dr. Tim’s Natural Beef Chips

Our friends over at Chewy.com were kind enough to send Furball a container of Dr. Tim’s premium Natural Beef Chips. Being the foodie (aka “eat all food-foodie”) that he is, Furball graciously volunteered to sample the treats and gave me his honest opinion (as if cats could do otherwise!)

Dr. Tim's natural all beef freeze-dried cat treats

This is a two-paws up product! Err, perhaps it’s a better description to say this is a one-gulp-down treat.

Made from 100% USDA inspected beef hearts, these Natural Beef Chips are minimally processed. They’re basically freeze-dried beef hearts broken up into large bite-sized pieces.

I added a couple to Furball’s dinner and he knew there was good stuff in his bowl. Within a couple of seconds, he discovered the surprise treats in his bowl and gobbled them up in an instant.

The heart pieces are a bit on the large size compared to other cat kibble and treats. However, that’s what makes these such a good value. A 4-oz container is about 2 cups worth of dried pieces and for a cat, one or two pieces is enough. Dr. Tim’s recommends 1 to 2 treats per 10 lbs of body weight daily as a reward.

Unlike other cat treats made up of filler and flavourings, these beef hearts contain a high concentration of Coenzyme Q-10 and also high levels of taurine and L-carnitine.

The treats can be fed straight from the package or soaked in water to make them moist and tender. The only slight inconvenience is that because these are freeze-dried RAW beef hearts, you have to make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling as well as any surfaces that may have come into contact with the treats.

By the way, Dr. Tim’s Natural Beef Chips also made for dogs too! You’ll find them for about $15 at Chewy.com.

The Hemp Toy That Cats Are Going Crazy For!

“The cats went crazy for it.” – Amazon reviewer

Chase the Hemp Cat Tail from From The Field (no, that’s not a typo there, “From the Field” is the name of the company) is a foot long cat toy stuffed with organic catnip, valerian root and buckwheat hulls. This makes for a fun-filled catnip toy that cats will love to attack and wrestle with.

hemp organic cat toy

The Cat Tail is made from all natural hemp fabric which is excellent for strength and durability. It’s also biodegradable so when it gets fully “yuck-ified” from cat drool and tattered to pieces after hours and hours of play, you can compost it for your flowers and plants.

Washington-based From the Field, makes Chase the Hemp Cat Tail and a full line of hemp cat toys. All of their toys are made in the USA with an eye on sustainability and a commitment to providing high quality natural toys for your cats.

You’ll find Chase the Hemp Cat Tail along with a full selection of organic hemp cat toys and natural pet products at From the Field.

Good News for the Environment: Big Cat Success, From the President, and a Windy Amazon

Sometimes it seems like all the news about the environment is BAD news. When I worked at World Wildlife Fund, I was amazed at how much good news there was, but it just didn’t get picked up by mainstream media.

Here’s the latest round-up of good stuff happening for our planet:

1) Tiger Populations Are on the Rise in India

Indian_Tiger

WWF International reported some great news for big cats. Seeing as this is a blog for cat lovers, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that tiger populations in Indian have dramatically increased by over 50% from 2006 to 2014.

As reported by WWF-International:

India’s tiger population has significantly increased according to the 2014-15 India tiger estimation report released today. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in numbers– from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014.

The increase in the tiger population can be largely attributed to better management and improved protection within tiger reserves and other tiger bearing protected areas. Poaching remains the greatest threat to wild tigers today with tiger parts in high demand throughout Asia.

Discover what’s helping India’s tiger population bounce back >>

2) President Vows to Take Action on Climate Change

In President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he stated:

“No challenge, no challenge, poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

This was reported hot off the press on the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) staff blog:

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to tackling climate change in his State of the Union Address. As the president laid out his plans to revitalize the economy, strengthen security, and expand opportunity, he made it clear that the path to a brighter tomorrow leads straight through climate action.

Find out what the President plans to do to tackle climate change >>

3) Amazon’s Powering Up with Wind Farms

As consumers, we’re often looking at how we can reduce our power consumption by purchasing energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances. However, that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to how much energy is used to power the data centers that are the backbone of the Internet.

Amazon with its cloud services and web services is one of the biggest online players. It’s been a bit slow to switching to sustainable energy, but recently made a commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for their global infrastructure footprint. Their plans include building a 150-megawatt wind farm that will generate approximately 500,000 MWh of energy each year. That’s equivalent to what’s used by 46,000 homes!

Learn which are the most and least eco-friendly Internet companies >>

Recent Study Raises Serious Concerns About Bacteria in Pet Food

What's in your cat's food?

What’s in your cat’s food?

Here’s some disturbing news that should come as no surprise to Green Little Cat readers. It came to my attention from our friends over at The Conscious Cat:

“The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF), an advocacy group established by Susan Thixton, the publisher and founder of The Truth About Pet Food, recently published the results of an unprecedented pet food testing project conducted by U.S. labs late last year. The results reveal serious concerns for pets and for the human families that purchase and handle the pet food.

Testing results show that some of the most widely-purchased brands in the U.S. and Canada contained high levels of dangerous mycotoxins, problematic nutrient concerns and/or numerous bacterial contamination risks, including antibiotic resistant bacteria the FDA terms as “qualifying pathogens”. Funding for the project came solely from consumers, who raised nearly $16,000 via an Indiegogo donation campaign.”

What’s interesting to note is that 75% of the foods tested positive for bacteria that has been linked to rotten meat. What’s even more interesting to note is that the study results are being questioned, so it’s turning a bit into a “he-said, she-said, they-said” type of debate.

You can read more about the study and the ensuing questions at The Conscious Cat.

So, as a concerned cat lover, what can you do to keep your cat safe?

  1. If your cat is eating any of the foods listed in the study, the first thing you can do is call the manufacturer. There’s usually a 1-800 number on the package or you can visit their website to find contact info. Ask them directly about the study results and voice your concerns. Manufacturers want to provide safe food for your pet as much as you do because of huge liability issues and lost sales if there’s a problem with the food.
  2. Consider switching to locally made pet food from family-run businesses. I’ve written tons of articles reviewing different brands of foods and even reported on changes in ownership of companies too. You’ll find reviews in the Food category of this website.
  3. Consider switching to an organic cat food. While it certainly costs more, there are higher accountability standards for organic meat and produce vs. the conventional variety. The way I see it, I can fork out $50 for cat food every month or THOUSANDS of dollars in vet bills in a few years because poor quality food leads to more health problems. You just have to look at a human diet to see that people don’t thrive eating fast food alone. Which would you prefer? Pay a little more each month or shell out a huge amount in a few years? What’s best for your cat?
  4. Make your own food. This is a big commitment, but it depends on your lifestyle and how much you value your cat’s health. You also have to value your mental health too!

Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.
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