Monday, December 31, 2012

Mew Year's Resolutions

"What do you mean midnight is still six hours away? I've already drunk all the sparkling cider!"

It's nearly 2013. As the new year rings in, people will join together to celebrate, eat strange foods (strange to Finny, anyway), and make new year's resolutions. The history of making resolutions at the beginning of the new year can be traced back all the way to ancient Babylonians.

What has become a newer tradition, however, is pet owners making up resolutions for their cats, or cats making resolutions for themselves. Some of these resolutions are funny, while others are more serious.

Following are some resolutions cats have made for themselves on Joke Archives:

"I will not puff my entire body to twice its size for no reason after my human has finished watching a horror movie."
"I will not fish out my human's partial plate from the glass so that the dog can 'wear' it and pretend to be my human. (It is somewhat unnerving to wake up, roll over in bed, and see the dog grinning at you with your own teeth.)"
"I will not use the bathtub to store live mice for late-night snacks."
"I will not walk on the keyboard when my human is writing important emiognaioerp ga3qi4 taija3tgv aa35 a."
and Finny's favorite, "I will not eat large numbers of assorted bugs, then come home and puke them up so the humans can see that I'm getting plenty of roughage." also lists a few resolutions for cats, but they are actually good advice for cat-owners. The list includes four changes to implement in your kitty's life to make it happier and healthier. Lose weight, exercise more, eat better, and always go for vet checkups. If "vet" were changed just to "doctor," this list sounds a lot like most peoples' new year's resolutions are. That just goes to show that living healthier is always best for pet and owner alike.

Inspired by these internet findings, Finnegan has decided to make his own new year's resolutions.

"I will not sleep with my eyes open and freak out my owners anymore."

"I will not stuff myself into soda can boxes then roll around the floor like a snake."

"I will sit still when Aunt Elizabeth is trying to take pictures of me."

"I will not help myself to treats, even when they are left out on the coffee table."

Even though he's made these resolutions, something tells me that Finny won't be following them for long!

Finny's final resolution should have been, "I will not nibble on the Christmas tree next year."

Happy "Mew" Year from Finnegan and Rebecca Jane!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oh, Christmas Tree

Cats love Christmas trees--there's no doubt about that, and Finnegan and Samwise are no exception. Ever since we put up our tree, it has been a daily battle to keep the cats from climbing into it, chewing on the branches, playing with the presents, and knocking off ornaments. provides cat owners with some helpful tips to cat-proof their Christmas trees during this holiday season.

1. Pick the right sort of tree. Artificial trees are safer around pets than real ones--especially if your cat is prone to chewing on the branches. Living pine trees' needles can make pets sick if they chew on them or actually puncture their stomachs if they ingest them. Also, smaller is better--for Christmas trees anyway. If your cat climbs into the tree, it's safer for them if they fall from the lower height and shorter trees are less likely to tip over and harm pets.

2. Choose the right tree base and location. Use a heavy, sturdy stand for your Christmas tree so it won't fall over. Place the tree away from locations cats like to climb up to. This will discourage them from climbing into the tree. If possible, keep the tree in a room with a door you can close at nights to keep cats away.

3. Don't decorate the tree immediately. Allow the cats to get used to the tree being put up before you decorate. This will give them time to explore it and time for you to teach them not to mess with it before the decorations go up. Keeping a spray bottle of water handy will help encourage cats not to mess with the tree (unless your cat likes water, that is). When you finally do decorate the tree, do it when the cats are not around, or put them in a separate room.

4. Cat repellant. Putting certain objects (like orange peel, citrus spray, Citronella spray, or Citronella-covered pine cones) around, or under, the base of the Christmas tree will discourage cats from going near it.

5. Chose and place decorations carefully. Don't choose to use ornaments that are exceptionally shiny, have ribbons or catnip on them, are edible, or are harmful (like candles). When decorating the tree, place the majority of ornaments higher up on the tree, out of the cats' reach. Having fewer decorations on the bottom third of the tree will keep cats from playing with them. Even so, come cats are determined to play with ornaments (like Finnegan). If you have a cat like this, do not put breakable ornaments on the tree. Also, attach all ornaments securely with wires or clamps.

6. Keep wires secured. Tape down wires or tuck up hanging wires so cats will not play with them. Make sure to always turn off Christmas lights when there is not an adult to watch over them. Wikihow also suggests using cords that have a built-in safety to turn off when they are damaged.

Keep all of your family, especially the little four-legged furry ones, safe this holiday season, and have a Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Finnegan Chase: Siamese at Large

Finnegan's blog is undergoing a metamorphosis! After only being live for less than three months, Finny has gained over 700 views. Inspired by other cat-related sites like Simon's Cat and un-felined-related blogs like Cake Wrecks, this blog is turning into a book--that's right, a paperback, full-color interior book.

Besides including every post from the blog, the book will include images of Finnegan Chase and Samwise, and original content.

As more information is available, more posts will be made about the project.

The book will be available at Rebecca Jane's website and her bookstore at when it is published.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Remember to Wash Your Paws

After cats eat, they oftentimes will wash their paws and faces with their tongue. Cats' little "hands" are very important to them, so they have to keep them clean. This is why cats groom their feet so often, to clear away pieces of food, specks of dirt, shed hairs, and anything else that gets lodged in the fur between the little pads on their feet.

Although cats are notorious groomers, sometimes they need help keeping their feet and coats properly cared for.

The ASPCA made a list of ten paw care tips for cat owners to follow. The tips I found the most relevant and important are as follows:

1. Once a day, wipe off your cats paws with a damp rag. Wiping off their feet will hopefully remove any chemicals they might have encountered during the day.

2. Check between their toes and around the pads for anything stuck that might hurt them, or for any cuts, splinters, sores, or swollen places that need cared for. The ASPCA says to "Remove splinters or debris gently with tweezers and clean any small cuts. If you notice any blood, pus or an unusual odor, please take your cat to the vet to check for infection."

3. Hot and cold weather can be hard on a cat's sensitive paw pads. Use a vet-recomended moistener on their pads to keep them safe in extreme cold and hot weather that can dry and crack their little paws.

4. Watch how your pets groom. If they seem overly obsessed with licking their feet, check their toes for any of the problems already mentioned.

Animal Planet on suggests ways for cat owners to help pets groom if they are having trouble doing it themselves.

One suggestion is to brush your cat daily to help remove old, shed fur and help the cat feel refreshed. 

Sometimes cats will stop grooming themselves as they grow older, gain too much weight, or become ill. If any of these things happen, take your cat to the vet for professional grooming help and advice.


Friday, December 7, 2012

A Picture is Worth One-Thousand Words

It's true, a picture is worth one-thousand words. So, what sort of picture could tell a blog post by itself? An infographic. What's an infographic? An infographic is a graphic visual representation of information, data, or knowledge.

So, this blog post is going to be told by the following infographic (remember to click on the image to enlarge it to read it better).



Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Cat's Chef

There are many recipes on the web instructing cat owners how to cook homemade cat food for their pets. includes an extensive list of cat treat recipes, many of which are based off of human meals.

While many of these sites provide tantalizing tidbits that cats will love, veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson warns cat-owner chefs to do their homework before whipping out the culinary "delights" sites post online. She says that many of these recipes are not balanced and feeding pets only these dishes will leave them needing other nutrients.

Dr. Pierson's online book "Making Cat Food" teachers cat owners what they need to know about cat's nutritional needs and how to best prepare dishes for them that will keep them healthy and happy. In the section about making cat food, she explains how easy it is to make cat food and that anyone who can follow a simple recipe can make cat food.

I usually just buy Finnegan's food and haven't tried cooking his food for him yet (It's hard enough to get me into the kitchen to make human food, let alone pet food), but after reading some of these recipes, I might have to try some of them out!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas? Part 2

[Part 1]

During the holidays, there are many hazards that pet owners do not always think about. During all the celebrating and festivities, the pets might be overlooked or forgotten about. Don't forget about their safety so that they can have a happy holidays as well!

There are nine more things that owners should be cautious about around pets--especially cats.

1. Bones. Beware of the bones left over in the holiday turkey, chicken, or even steak. Bones can splinter and choke pets or cut into their tender mouths and throats.

2. Fat. Although cats and other pets will love to slurp up the leftovers, don't give pets extra fat off of meat. It'll taste good going down, but fat causes gastrointestinal problems.

3. Holiday plants. Holly, poinsettia (although not poisonous, it causes stomach problems), and mistletoe are extremely poisonous plants to pets if they eat or chew on them.

4. Electrical cords. Cats love to play with anything that resembles string, but don't let them play with cords that are plugged in and can electrocute them.

5. Candles. Never leave candles unattended around pets. They can easily knock burning candles over and harm themselves or the house.

6. Pine needles. Try to keep shed pine needles vacuumed or swept up. Animals like to eat them and they can puncture their stomachs.

7. Christmas trees. Secure the tree so that there's no chance it can fall over on a pet and hurt it. Cats in particular like to climb into Christmas trees and they can be seriously injured if the tree falls on them.

8. Breakable ornaments, tinsel, and garland. If pets knock of ornaments and break them, the shards can be harmful to owner and pet alike. Cats like to play with tinsel and garland, but if they eat pieces, it can choke them or cause stomach problems.

9. Company. Watch out for guests as they enter and exit the house. Cats like to run under people's feet and they might escape or trip unsuspecting guests. Company also can stress pets out, so provide areas for them to rest in away from the festivities.


Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas? Part 1

At Finny's home on December 3rd, 2012, the weather forecast is overcast . . . with a high of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Christmas is coming in twenty-two days, and it feels like Spring outside.

"I'm ready for Christmas--where's the snow?"
The Weather Channel hosts a page called the "Cat Care Guide" that provides general care information for domesticated cats and also special information for cat care during the holiday months.

In cold weather, pets have particular needs and must be taken care of in specific ways. The American Animal Hospital Association states on the "Cat Care Guide" that,
"Cold weather can be hard on pets, just like it can be hard on people. Sometimes owners forget that their pets are just as accustomed to the warm shelter of the indoors as they are. Some owners will leave their animals outside for extended periods of time, thinking that all animals are adapted to live outdoors. this can put their pets in danger of serious illness."
"Presents for me?"

There are ten tips for keeping pets healthy during the cold months.

1. Get pets a check up at the veterinarian before cold weather sets in. This can help to catch any medical problems that might make living in the cold harder for the animal.

2. Keep pets inside as much as possible once the temperature drops. For Finnegan, who is a year-round inside pet, this is not a problem.

3. Health, fur length, and other factors contribute to how the cold will affect pets. Generally speaking, animals with health problems and short fur will not manage as well in the cold as animals with long fur and no health problems.

4. Cats like to curl up to warm objects to get warm--including dangerous objects. Watch out around car engines, heaters and fire places. Cats can get caught and harm themselves or knock over heaters, which is a fire hazard.

5. If they play outdoors near ice on a lake or pond, watch out for animals that will run out onto the frozen water. Small animals easily can break through the ice and won't be able to escape without help.

6. Keep a carbon monoxide alarm working at all times. Heaters, furnaces and other electrical devices can let off the dangerous gas, which is just as deadly to pets as it is humans.

7. If pets go walking outside on roads that have been salted because of ice, make sure to wash the pads of their feet to keep them from drying out, cracking, and bleeding.

8. Make sure that outdoor water bowls do not freeze over. If they do, break up the ice or dump it out and provide pets with fresh water.

9. Older pets suffer more during the winter, so be gentle with them. Cold weather can stiffen their joints so they will be more prone to falling and injuring themselves.

10. Dress pets up. Although they might not enjoy it, go ahead and put sweaters on outdoor pets. It will keep them warmer and they might learn to enjoy looking like a little human.


[See Part 2 for more]

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lactose Intolerant

Peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, peas and carrots, fire and wood, mice and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, elephants and peanuts, and cats and milk: they all go together, don't they? Pet nutritionists and veterinarians say otherwise--about cats and milk, that is.

Most cats are actually lactose intolerant, and drinking cow's milk will make them sick. Nutritionally speaking, cats don't need milk once they are no longer kittens. Water is all cats need to drink to be healthy.

"Bleh, I don't like milk."

Some cats can drink milk, but this is rare. Veterinarians suggest that if cat owners want to give their cat milk for a special treat, first give him just a few spoons of it and wait a day to see if it will make him sick. If there are no ill effects, then the cat is safe to digest cow's milk.

Another alternative choice is feeding cats special catmilk, which is mostly lactose free.

The safest route however, to keeping your cat healthy and happy, is avoiding milk altogether.