30 September, 2014

American Veterinary Medical Association Has Updated It's Stance on De-Claw...or has it?

​​​Michael San Filippo
Phone: 847-285-6687
Cell: 847-732-6194



 AVMA amends declaw policy to stress client education, alternative options

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has amended its policy on the declawing of domestic cats to clarify that the procedure is a major surgery that should only be performed after alternatives have been sought to prevent destructive clawing.
The revised policy describes onychectomy (declawing) as an “amputation” and stresses the importance of client education about normal feline scratching behaviors, what the procedure involves, and alternatives to declawing.
While declawing should not be the first option when trying to prevent unwanted scratching, there may be situations where declawing may be necessary to keep pets together with their families or to prevent euthanasia. Cats with claws may present an increased risk of injury or disease to those whose skin integrity may be compromised (e.g., the elderly, diabetics) or those who are immunocompromised (e.g., those living with HIV/AIDS). 
The AVMA believes the decision to perform declawing rests with the owner, in consultation with their veterinarian. What is decided is dependent on each situation; however, with multiple alternatives available, declawing should remain an option of last resort for veterinarians and pet owners. 
The revised policy is consistent with the policies of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association.
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27 September, 2014

Relaxed Patty

Patty, photobombing Sweetie...again
Patty's skin is better; he is no longer scratching so hard that he's making sores.  All this from changing his food.  I couldn't be happier, and much appreciation to M & P for helping me choose Plan B's (and for sending supplies!) if the food switch didn't work.

Look at these cuties:

Awwww, right?
Stunning photo
These last two photos were sent by my co-worker, who has a field across the street from her home, and she's discovered a mother cat and three kittens living there.  She and I are planning a TNR project, utilizing All About Animals Rescue.  However, before that, she and her family are trying to find adopters for the kittens.  You KNOW I would be first in line for that little black one, if we weren't already caring for four cats now. But...you never know...!  The mama cat is all black, and the third kitten is whitish beige. We don't know if they are male or female, but an expedition of discovery is set for this afternoon.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!  Michigan is having such lovely weather, I'm heading outside and don't plan on coming back in until nightfall!  All week at the office, I dream of being OUT; so I'm gonna do it. 

23 September, 2014

A Case of Insanity...For a Case, or Two...

So, the nearby pet supplies store had Chucky and Angel's food on sale...$.40 off a can! That's a GREAT SALE!  And now that I've switched Sweetie and Patty to the same brand of food, in the hopes that it helps Patty's scratchy skin problem, I need more cases of that food too.  The photo above does not show ALL of the cases of food that I purchased; there are at least five more inside at this point.  Yes, I went a bit crazy, and when that credit card bill hits the mailbox, I'm gonna be sick!  But I saved a ton of $$, and there is now enough canned cat food in our house to feed a whole army of cats.  40 cents a can...c'mon now!  Crazy like a fox...right?

Chucky doesn't seem to mind one bit...either that I'm crazy, or that he's got plenty of food for the long haul.  That's my boy!

Patty Update: Hard to tell if the new food is making a difference with Patty, since it's only been ten days.  However, he seems to be scratching less around his neck and head.  I last dosed him with die-flea-die stuff on September 9, so I must wait for 30 days (early October) before I try again, either with the same stuff or something else.  I have a plan C too, if I am able to remain patient.

Chuck Update: Neither Chuck nor Angel like the wheat litter; they ignore it.  This morning, I poured their favorite box half with wheat, and half with clumping clay.  When I got home this afternoon, only the 1/2 with clay was used!  Ha!  Takes skill to step around teeny, tiny grains of wheat litter, but my cats did it!  They are quite talented, wouldn't you say?  And no, I didn't snap a photo...you'll just have to take my word for it.

20 September, 2014

Chuck vs. Squirrel

Chuck almost got a squirrel the other day!  I have it on video!  I think that squirrel was just baiting him; what do you think?

16 September, 2014

Scabby Tabby

Rolly Poly Patty

Editor's Note: Sorry, after I posted this last night, I realized that this subject is kinda gross!  Please feel free to ignore...

Patty O'Malley is scratching.  And scratching...and scratching.  He's got some allergy or skin irritation, so he has little sores all over his body.  When I pet him, I feel them around his ears, his neck, and along his spine.  I have dosed him with Frontline, but there has been no change in his scratching.  Ran the flea comb over him, and I don't find any critters.  Don't think he has ear mites, but it's kind of hard to tell.  We are trying a few home remedies, such as poking holes in Vitamin E capsules, to mix the oil in the food.  I have also completely switched foods, in the hopes that a better brand will solve the problem.  A vet visit is at the bottom of my list.  It's not the $$$; it's the trapping, and the "don't test for FIV" fight, and in the end they will say he should be inside or here's a pill to give him twice a day for two weeks, or something equally impossible to do for an outdoor cat.  I have discovered that not many veterinarians have practical experience with ferals.  I hate to see my boy unhappy!  But really, look at him...he isn't unhappy.  He's just itchy.  And a bit plump, if I do say so myself.

P.S. The new wheat litter has been used!  Well, after they ignored it since Sunday, and I poured a measure of the usual litter in.  But it's progress, and we will just have to keep mixing the two for awhile.  I add fish oil to their food too, which helps reduce arthritis pain.  Knock wood that the fish oil for Chuck and Vitamin E oil for Patty help get my boys back to 100%!  The girls just eat, and look adorable...no trouble at all!

Angel in the window

14 September, 2014


Yup, purchased for $5.99!
Friday night, when the house was dark after dinner, I brought out my new black-light flashlight.  I looked in every room, every corner...everywhere.  Did you know that cat urine glows in UV/black light?  I was searching.  You see, Chucky has been peeing over the edge of the litter boxes recently.  Not just one box, but all of them.  He starts in a squat, but then his rear-end lifts higher.  Yikes!  My black-light expedition was to find any places that he may have sprinkled, without our knowledge.

Happily, I found nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  So, that means this isn't a territorial marking thing for Chuck.  So, we have to look at possible physical problems for him.  He's had a history of urine and intestinal problems (urine crystals, bladder infection, constipation), and he's been diagnosed by the veterinarian with arthritis.  The weather quickly became colder, and perhaps Chuck is feeling achey and cannot hold a squat like he used to. Or, his internal organs are playing games.

So, I decided it was time to clean every litter box in the house, and start with new litter. The hubby generously agree to wash, while I poured out the old and put in new.  We cleaned four cement mixing tubs, that we've found to make terrific litter boxes. HOWEVER, in one I placed not the usual clay, clumping stuff (the least expensive in all the land) and filled it with some wheat litter, that does NOT clump.  I've read that the clumping chemical could actually CAUSE constipation in cats!  And we've been battling this same thing in Chuck for years...yes, years!  So, I have to try, although both he and Angel had a sniff at the new stuff then walked away.  That's okay, I've got time. Changing litter brands is a difficult task, since no one wants the cats to start AVOIDING the boxes.  

The idea that we could be causing Chuck's problems by the stuff we are using just makes me shudder.  I would fill each litter box with garden dirt if I thought it would be good for the kitties!  But one step at a time, and very, very slowly we will move forward. Starting with clean boxes.
Chuck believes it's more important to feed him, than to mess around with his litter box!      
Don't have to be a cat whisperer to read what he's telling us here.

13 September, 2014

Tissue Paper Queen

Pretty in pink
Angel loves tissue paper!  I have a stash of it, and I bring some out for play once in awhile.  Today, I put a sheet on the floor, and Angel quickly walked over and lay on it! She then licked the edges, making spit balls for me to vacuum up later.  I pulled out another sheet and draped it over her.
What's with the tissue tent, Ma?
Sometimes I can get her to play, by poking a wand toy under the tissue paper.  Angel tries to catch the 'thing' for a moment or two.  Still haven't figured out a game we can play that gets her running around; she usually just lays there and bats at things.  She needs more cardio!  The feathers-on-a-string toy seems to scare her, although she likes the feathers, and the noise it makes as it flies through the air.  You know that I will keep working at it!

11 September, 2014

Hidden Neighborhood Cats

See the kitty by the downspout?
There's a black kitty in this window, I swear it!

Looking out the window, see the kitty?
I keep my eyes open for cats when making my daily neighborhood rounds, called exercise.  It's amazing how many cats I see!  These three were not easy to get photos of; the one at the top, I think, is a stray/feral, by the way he slunk away when he knew I was looking at him.  I will keep my eyes peeled for him from now on.  The middle one is two doors away from me; a black cat sitting in a dark window.  Perfect camouflage!
The kitty at the bottom just blends in with all the other stuff.

09 September, 2014

Sniff, sniff...WHA!?

For all of you fellow pet lovers, how well we know the feeling of coming home, opening the door, and as you walk through the house...<sniff, sniff...SNIFF?>  What is that smell, and where the heck is it!?!  Okay, we have animals in our house, but you did NOT have that smell when you left.  You walk around, with your nose in the air and you make like a dog.  You sniff in this room, then you sniff in that room.  After awhile, you drop to your hands and knees, and start sniffing the chairs, the walls, the books, the rugs, the corners, the drapes, the shoes by the front door.  You even sniff around the litter boxes, checking for anything that may have 'overshot' there.  Sometimes you find the source of the smell; sometimes you wish you had NOT found it!

Recently, it happened to us.  When I got home after work, I smelled a litter box smell IN THE KITCHEN.  I sniffed and sniffed, but could not find the source.  Then the hubby said HE smelled it too!  UGH!  NOT THE KITCHEN!  We started pulling things off the shelves; putting our faces into the sink, around the refrigerator, and where we store old newspapers.  Then...heart thumping here...we zeroed in.  The dish drying rack.  WHA!?!  How is this possible?!?  I was just about in panic mode, thinking we had a kitty with a bladder problem, while the hubby kept sniffing...and discovered a small cutting board he recently used to mash garlic, that simply REEKED of smell, and it was pretty darn close to a urine odor.  And it was in the dish rack!  He then scrubbed and washed and bleached and sanitized, but that little bit of plastic did not give up that smell.   So it's now in the recycle bin, and our worries about a cat...um...doing...well, you know...have disappeared.  WHEW!!!!

"Told ya it wasn't me!"

07 September, 2014


Why do cats stick one front leg out?  Chucky does it all of the time, and sometimes it's both legs.  It's kinda funny.  Even Angel does it.  Guess it's one of those glorious things that cats do that keep us humans enthralled with them!

04 September, 2014

Devilish Angel

Angel facts:

No one sleeps in after Angel decides it's time to get up!  Usually between 5 and 6 am, she will meow and run around until one or the other human gets up to see to her needs, which is includes some petting and cooing.

Angel's favorite napping spot is at the top of a bookshelf.  A soft, fuzzy bed lays up there, and we've placed a shorter shelf and a small step ladder in such a way so she simply climbs upward to her nest.  It's called "Angel's Roost".

The camera loves Angel; her white and black fur and those adorable pink ears, paw pads and nose.

Angel flirts unabashedly with the hubby.  She jumps up and reclines on his seat at the kitchen table, and she rolls over with all paws in the air when he calls her name.  She has a deep, throaty purr too; quite Marilyn Monroe of her!

Can only remember one time in ten years that Angel missed the litter box.

Angel allows Chuck to be the top cat, but she will still surprise him with a whack once in awhile.  He's 1/3 bigger than she is, so whenever she can get the advantage, she will use it!

She is my sweet girly!

03 September, 2014


How Patty O'Malley gets any water into his stomach is beyond me; most of it ends up on the floor!