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When Your Cat Gets Sick – Are You Ever Ready For It?

Several months ago, Kitty started throwing up her food. It started out as an occasional thing but soon progressed to a daily occurrence. I was very worried! Eventually, once a day turned into several times a day. A vet appointment was quickly made. Upon taking a closer look at her throw up, I could see that it was mostly undigested food. She would start to hack, then throw up the food and continue to puke until there is just bile and sometimes blood. I tried everything to help her little tummy, from feeding her small portions to making her dry food moist. I gave her chicken broth, pumpkin puree and limited ingredient food but nothing helped.

Once I got her to the vet, it helped that I had kept track of when and how much she had thrown up and any behavioral changes so I was able to provide the vet with details of what had happened. We talked about the reasons why cats throw up such eating too fast  and food intolerance to more serious conditions such as kidney issues and infections. After further discussion and a physical examination, it was evident that Kitty was physically in good health. There were no visible issues nor has she displayed any behavioural changes. I was given the option to do further testing to which I gladly agreed. I wanted to get to the bottom of this so Kitty was taken away for blood work and x-rays.

I was eager to know the results.  The x-rays turned out to be normal (such a relief!) and I was told that I will be informed of the blood results the next day. They also sent in for additional set of blood work to test her pancreas. It was a long 24 hour wait but it was worth it as the news was good! ALL her blood work was normal! Hurray! Even though it cost over $425 for all the testing, it was worth the peace of mind.

In the meantime, the vet had suggested looking into switching her food into a gastro – friendly vet food. I was not too thrilled about pursuing that path so I did a bit of research to find something that could provide some relief for sensitive stomachs. I found that Halo pet food had a blend for sensitive stomach (Halo Food). The kibble was much smaller than usual kibble so it could help Kitty chew it better. I also found a food tree from Catit (Food Tree) which I figured would help slow down her eating.  As I slowly transitioned her to her new food and food tree (it took her a good week or so to get used to it!), I was fortunate enough to connect with a company called NHV Natural Products. They helped me figure out what I could add to Kitty’s diet to help her get more nutrients. I purchased their Multi Essentials For Cats. I also stopped giving her assorted treats and only give her a couple of freeze dried salmon or Greenies occasionally.

Fast forward several weeks, I am so happy to say that she hasn’t thrown up since the end of October. She has been enjoying the Halo food. To keep things consistent, I have also gotten her on the Halo wet food. She takes 0.5ml of the multi vitamin drops twice a day which has helped her greatly.

Having to deal with this situation only reiterated the fact that it is so important to know your pets. Paying attention to their habits and routine will really help you in times like this. Also, please get pet insurance! Even though the vet visit and testing  was only $425, insurance covered 90% of the testing (THANK YOU, TRUPANION!). I had to pay a little over $200 (the deductible of $100 and the examination fee).

 

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Hooray For Halloween!

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Halloween is just around the corner! And this year, I had Kitty’s costumes ready to go since July! Since I kind of dropped the ball on it last year, this time around I started looking on swap pages and garage sales for some fun costumes for her a few months ago (I refuse to pay full price at the pet store!).

Luckily, I went to a yard sale hosted by a local rescue organization awhile back and managed to find some super adorable costumes for a few dollars.

So let me start by introducing ‘Wonder Kitty Mojito Woman’ !

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POWER.     GRACE.      WISDOM.      WONDER.

Like the original Wonder Woman, Wonder Kitty Mojito Woman oozes style and grace. She is strong and powerful (like when she battles with the evil mousie), wise beyond her years and is full of love and wonder (why else would she let me dress her up?) Yes, I know Wonder Woman wasn’t blonde but hey! why blend in when you can stand out?

 


Next, we move on to the Mad Hatter! Not sure what’s with the bunny ears but it is adorable!

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One of my favourite costumes this year is the Little Witch. She looks absolutely adorable in this costume and with a little coaxing, I was able to get her to sit long enough for these super cute photos!

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We also had a little fun with Batty Mojito and a simple pumpkin scarf that can also be worn as a skirt!

 


And what Halloween without a good ol’ pirate lass!

Arrr, so ye be wantin’ t’ go to sea an’ ye don’t be wantin’ t’ end up in Davy Jones’ Locker. Then ye best be learnin’ t’ be talkin’ like a buccaneer.

 

I’m sure Kitty would love to hear your thoughts on her outfits! Please leave a comment and let her know!

Have a super scary and fun Halloween!

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Fighting Feline Dental Issues!

A few weeks ago, Miss. Kitty had a vet appointment for her yearly vaccines! She was a great little patient and didn’t even flinch when she got her shots. Her weight was perfect (same as last year! Vet said I am a great cat mommy! Yay!), her coat is exceptional and her overall health is great! EXCEPT………. for some plaque on her back teeth!

OK, OK, it’s not as bad as I am making it out to be! During last year’s check up, Kitty had some plaque. I was advised to try brushing and use some dental treats to keep it from getting worse or look into getting her teeth professionally cleaned. This year, it is still the same. Luckily, it has not gotten worse, thank goodness! However, now I am being a bit more proactive in getting her used to the brush!

So, in this post, I am going to give a few tips to anyone who is interested in trying to brush their felines teeth!

First thing is to find a toothbrush that your cat will tolerate. I have tried the ones that you put on your finger but I found that those are not as effective as an actual toothbrush. No cat wants your finger in their mouth!

I got this toothbrush and toothpaste at the vet office. The brush has soft bristles and the toothpaste is poultry flavoured. Both got two paws up from Kitty! DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE! Please check with your vet or local pet store to get a toothbrush and paste made especially for cats!

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Before you actually attempt to brush, let the cat get accustomed to the toothbrush. I would let Kitty just bite on it and get used to it being close to her mouth. Then, I would put a bit of paste on the brush and have her lick it and taste it. She will try to chew on it which is great because she is slowly getting used to the toothbrush!

The problem area for Kitty is her back teeth. You can probably see the plaque! This is not an easy place to try to brush. She is more comfortable having her fangs brushed than me trying to get to that pesky back teeth!

It is very important to keep the cat in a comfortable position. For Kitty, it is sitting on my lap. I would  hold her very gently and lift up her lip to reveal the teeth that needs to be cleaned. With a very calm and gentle hand, slowly rub the brush on the teeth. You can massage the gums gently as well.

Do not put pressure on the neck or hold on too tight. You know your kitty the best so as soon as you feel that they are getting stressed, stop what you are doing. Leave it for another day!

In the photos above, you will see that I am holding her neck VERY gently. It is just enough to support her head while I get those teeth cleaned.

You will soon learn that you can’t brush it all in one go. So take your time and focus on the problem areas first. Kitty tries to bite on the brush and I let her do that as much as she wants. Then, I brush a bit more. It is never more than a minute or two at a time.

Patience is key! Try to brush a bit everyday, even if it’s just one small spot. Use slow, gentle rotations. Kitty is a very patient cat so I have had better luck with her. If your kitty is not too enthusiastic at first, give them a dental treat and let them go on their way. Try again tomorrow!

It is important that you keep trying. Not many pet parents pay much attention to the health and condition of their pets’ teeth until something serious happens. Be proactive and pay attention to their dental health. Watch for bad breath and bleeding gums! Talk to your vet about it at your next appointment. Dental issues will cost you thousands of dollars so best catch things before it gets to that point.

As always, make sure your kitty is on a healthy diet and has access to lots of fresh water. Avoid food and treats that have artificial flavours and colours. Look for all natural, crunchy treats and use them in moderation. Dental treats are not a substitution for a good cleaning routine!

If you have any tips, experiences with your own pets’ dental health, please share them in the comments!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to follow the blog and share about it on social media! Tag @kittymojito on Instagram!

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Pet Insurance – Yay or Nay?

I have been wanting to write about this for a while now…

Since I am on social media quite often on a daily basis, I can’t help but notice all the requests for help for pets who are ill or injured. It breaks my heart to see that money is sometimes the only thing keeping some people from getting the life saving treatments needed for their pets. They try their best but who has thousands of dollars laying around on a whim? Some treatments costs several thousands over a long period of time and this cost is not bearable for many people.

This got me thinking about insurance. I am a big believer in the preparing for emergencies. And since both myself and my husband have life insurance and critical illness insurance, why would I not look into the same thing for Kitty?

As soon as we adopted Kitty 4 years ago, the first thing we did was get insurance. She was a year old and the premium cost was around $30 a month. Sure, that was affordable and it covered a lot of ailments and injuries with the exception of any pre-existing conditions. We decided to pick Trupanion due to the previous mentioned reasons and also for the fact that they didn’t put a limit on how many times you can make a claim for the same condition and covered 90%.

Fast forward a few years……

Kitty is 5 years old now and although we never had to use insurance (knock on wood!), her premiums are now at $63 a month. Many people have asked me why I am paying so much for pet insurance. They ask me why I don’t just save that monthly $63 in a savings account for Kitty.

I will tell you why ….

  1. If I saved $63 a month for a year, I will have $756. If you know how much vet’s charge, this will certainly not be enough to cover tests, xrays, medication, vet fees.
  2. If, god forbid, Kitty has an accident and requires surgery or any extensive treatments, I will not have enough cash to cover things upfront if I didn’t have insurance.
  3. The $63 is a price I will gladly pay for my peace of mind knowing that if something were to happen, I will not have to compromise on getting her the treatments she needs. Her well-being is worth far more to me.

To anyone who is still not sure about getting insurance, I say please do some research and get the coverage that works for your pet. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Take time to do some comparisons of insurance companies. Don’t always go for the cheapest option. See what is and what is not covered.
  • Try to get insurance when the pet is young. Like human insurance policies, the earlier you purchase it, the most affordable the premiums are.
  • Don’t be put off by the premium cost. If your pet is 8 years old and the online insurance quote is $80, give them a call. They will be able to work with you to get the best coverage needed.

So, in conclusion, I would like to say that I am all for pet insurance. You can make it work for you. Even though it might seem a lot and you may not think it’s worth it, I say it is TOTALLY worth it! I have never had to use it and if I had to do it all over again, I would still pick having insurance over having none!

(This is just my opinion and have no way been influenced by any pet insurance companies)

The Importance of Pet Insurance

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Sleepy Time Routines!

We all have some sort of routine before bed right? Sometimes its a soothing cup of tea or a cookie or maybe it’s a beauty routine. Either way, we all spend a few minutes before bed doing something to get us relaxed and ease into a blissful night of sleep.

Have you even know for a cat to have a sleep routine? Well, let me tell you about Kitty Mojito and her daily night-time routine. She has two routines, one for when Daddy works night shifts and it’s just me and her. And the other for when both of us are at home.

Let me start with the one where we are both home at night.

When we sit down for dinner, Kitty joins us. No matter how early I put out her food, she will not eat until she sees us eating. I find this just adorable. When dinner is done and everything is cleaned up, we get ready for bed. For Kitty, this means dragging out her noisiest toy and positioning it just outside our bedroom door.

Fast forward, we are both in bed, lights are off, time for sleep…… And right on cue…. here come Kitty with her noisy toy…. she throws it around a few times…she waits for a response. If we say anything, the thrashing about continues. If we stay quiet, she starts her nightly singing… Mew, meow…..meoooooooooow…..

It goes on for a good ten minutes or so. If she can’t get our attention with the singing, she proceeds to jumping on the bed and doing a walkabout. Usually this includes walking on the pillows and all over us. She will also try knocking things over in order to get our attention. If neither of us wakes up and shoos her out, she will eventually curl up by the edge of the bed and go to sleep.

 Scenario 2 – Daddy is not home ……

 During the nights that Daddy is working, things are a bit more quiet. Kitty loves to play with Daddy so she is always excited when he is at home. When he is at work, she is a bit more subdued. So the nightly routine gets taken down a notch.

It goes like this …..

 Once I get ready for bed. I announce ‘ Kitty! Bedtime!’

She will usually follow me…She jumps around on the bed. Yay! It’s playtime! She attacks my feet … Jump, jump, jump….. Let’s play Mama!

I turn off the night light. Ok , now she knows that it’s quiet time. She does try to get my attention but eventually she will just curl up on Daddy’s side and sleep. Fast forward a few hours, usually between 4-5am, she will wake up and run around a bit, she will try to bite my feet by crawling under the covers. I have to calm her down and then encourage her to go back to sleep. This is the ONLY time she will sleep UNDER the covers. And she will stay under the covers until I wake up in the morning.

Having read this, you may think ‘ Hey that’s not a routine, it’s just something cats do!’ And I say to you, this IS a routine because she does this like clockwork, everything in the same order, at the same time, day in and day out 🙂 It’s just so amazing!

Animals are very intuitive and are smarter than we give them credit!

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Happy International Cat Day!

Today is International Cat Day!!

It’s a day to show your kitty babies how much you love them…. but who are we kidding…. everything is cat day for most of us:)

In honor of this very special day, I will be sending out postcards to anyone who would want it!!

You heard me right! If you would like some postcards that I designed (hint: you can check them out in the SHOP section of the blog), send me an email with your mailing address and I will send them out to you for FREE!!

Don’t delay, this offer is only good for TODAY August 8th 2016.

 

 

 

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Disaster Strikes – Be Prepared!

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As I write this, there is a northern oil town called Fort McMurray here in Alberta (Canada) that is burning from a massive wildfire that is out of control.

Over 100,000 people have been evacuated. Not only have these folks lost their homes, their possessions and livelihoods, some have lost their precious pets :_( But we, as a province and country, have all come together to make sure that these folks and their furry friends are taken care in this time of need.The outpouring of support for everyone affected is amazing and it makes me so proud to be a Canadian!

Even thought the worst isn’t over yet (the fires are still burning!), it is time to focus on rebuilding. … My thoughts and prayers are definitely with those affected!

All this just reiterated the fact that we all need to have an evacuation kit and an emergency plan, especially if you have pets. I wrote a previous post about putting together a pet emergency kit which I hope you will read again (if you haven’t already!)

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, even if it is just a backpack with a change of clothes and copies of any important documents along with a small first aid kit would be sufficient.

For your pet, a few cans of food, an extra leash, some bedding added to a small pack is vital in case you have to leave your home in a hurry.

Also chat with your family and come up with a meeting point …. somewhere you can all gather … make sure your kids know what to do in a situation like this, have a list of emergency contacts visible at home…. there is so many things we can do … all you have to do is Google it and get started!

 

I think there are two scenarios we need to be ready for and here is my own plans for them. I hope this inspires you to have a plan for your family.

  1. An emergency evacuation when I am at home
  2. A emergency evacuation when I am NOT at home

 

Scenario 1 :

If (god forbid) something happens while I am at home that require me to evacuate, leaving my cat behind is not an option,, not matter what. I already have a plan in mind, I know exactly what I need to grab and get out.

The first thing I would do it grab Kitty’s harness and leash and secure her in the stroller. Next I would grab her emergency kit (which has some food, supplies to keep her calm) while also grabbing our own emergency backpacks (one each for my husband and myself), filled with a change of clothes, some toiletries and copies and originals of important documents).

That’s it! Everything else can be replaced….. !

I will then run to my friend’s place and grab her two kitties if she is not home.

 

Scenario 2:

If (again god forbid!) there is an evacuation happening when I am not at home, I have emergency stickers on my  front door indicating that I have a cat inside. This lets the emergency personnel know there is a pet that needs to be saved. These stickers can be found at pet stores everywhere! Please grab one today!

I also have contact numbers of a couple of neighbours that I could reach out to, one of whom will grab Kitty and keep her safe until I can be reached. We have an agreement that in case of emergency, I will grab her two kitties and vice versa! This way I know Kitty is safe!

 

Having some sort of plan will really help ease some of the stress….. I know we don’t want to think about anything awful happening to us, but sometimes bad things happen so we need to be prepared.

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