Monday, June 28, 2010

This Week's Cat Champions: TARAA!

When you buy your cat supplies and accessories at from June 28-July 4, 2010, 10% of the proceeds go to The Animal Rescue & Adoption Agency (TARAA)! TARAA was founded in 2005 for the welfare and protection of animals. It has rescued and placed over 1,000 animals, mostly dogs and cats, into loving homes.

What differentiates TARAA from the mainstream shelters is that they rescue the animals overlooked by many other rescue groups, on what’s commonly referred to as the “kill list”. Those with skin conditions or health issues such as heartworms, those who aren’t necessarily cute and healthy, or those with minor ailments like ringworm are typical cases. Many shelters automatically euthanize these animals as unadoptable because they just don’t have the resources to save them.

TARAA is the only group in the Jacksonville area currently willing to help these animals. They take these debilitated or sick animals, have them treated by a veterinarian, and then make them available for adoption. Treatments for skin conditions tend to cost $5-$6 per dose, with cats sometimes requiring two treatments of Promeris or Program, and sometimes an antibiotic, to heal.

They also work with several foster care families who volunteer their services and open their homes to these special animals. Once rehabilitated and ready for adoption, TARAA holds adoption days at area pet supply stores. Their website shows some of the animals, features stories about animals available for adoption, and seeks to educate people on issues like introducing cats to new babies in the household and the treatability of skin issues in companion animals.

TARAA’s founder and her husband live on four acres of land referred to as “TARAA’s Acres. On this property, they have a 500 square-foot “Cat House” that houses up to 30 cats and kittens. You can help these and the fostered animals of TARAA this week, simply by buying your cat supplies & cat accessories at!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kittywalk Products are now on!

How cool is this? Our Cat Champions of the Week are folks who encourage people to create safe outdoor spaces for their indoor cats, right? And we've just now added the fabulous Kittywalk® line of products to! You'll find them in the Products for Cats section, under "Play Time".

Kittywalk hand-crafts these kits in a wide array of possibilities so you can put together the best configuration of outdoor screen enclosure to keep your precious cats protected when they're outdoors. Some have cool hammocks and climbing places. They have a Carnival line that adds a fun and festive touch to your patio or back yard. They even fold flat for travel! You'll also find their cat strollers and carriers handy when traveling this summer.

So while you're out enjoying the summer weather, whether at home or away, use a Kittywalk enclosure to let your cats enjoy it with you, all while remaining safe from dogs, predators, traffic, poisons, and other dangers...just like Belleglen Sanctuary recommends. Like I said, cool!

This Week's Cat Champions: Belleglen Sanctuary

The special folks featured on this week are from Belleglen Sanctuary, located in Chico, California. They take in disabled and special needs cats, give them veterinary care and make them available for adoption if at all possible. If not, they give them a home for life.

Some of the cats available for adoption at Belleglen are former blood donors or have special physical, health, or psychological needs. Some cats are elderly or have come from abusive or neglectful homes. Belleglen is also committed to educating the public on the importance of spaying/neutering and the creation of safe outdoor environments for cats.

Those who adopt a cat from Belleglen must provide an indoor home for them. Cats adopted from there have been spayed or neutered, tested for FIV and feline leukemia, vaccinated for rabies, upper respiratory disease, distemper, and feline leukemia, free of fleas and worms, and microchipped for identification if they ever get lost. The adopting family also receives a full medical history and behavioral evaluation on the cat.

As a non-profit organization funded entirely by donations, Belleglen Sanctuary has a constant struggle to pay the bills. This month, they've had to stop taking in more cats due to limited funds. Many of their residents require expensive medication to survive. While they're thankful to receive donations of any amount, they also allow sponsorship of individual cats, and supply the sponsor with a photo and bio of their cat. Monthly and annual sponsorships are available. Visit them online to view a photo gallery of the cats in Belleglen's care; it's obvious that they feel happy and secure there. And when you shop at this week, 10% of the proceeds will go to Belleglen Sanctuary! So remember them when you're shopping for your cat supplies.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A New Logo!

When I heard about Jason Sadler's business,, I thought, "Brilliant!" This guy gets companies to sponsor him every day of the year, and he wears a T-shirt with their logo on it wherever he goes that day, whether it's to the mall, traveling, or to speak to a group at a conference. He also posts info & video about each day's sponsor on his blog, YouTube, and all the social networking sites. Major corporations pay him an amount that starts at $2/day for January 1 and goes up $2 each day of the year.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought it was a brilliant idea, because some other guys have modeled their business after his. Dana Severson and Tony Holmes came up with, and they do much the same thing with logo design. One logo per day, and the price increases throughout the year. I bought June 16, and what you see here is the logo they designed for Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, June 14, 2010

This Week's Cat Champions: HSNY

Since its founding in 1904, the Humane Society of New York (HSNY) has been a presence in New York City, caring for animals in need when illness, injury or homelessness strikes. HSNY has so many wonderful programs for various animals, including its original founding mission of helping the city’s carriage horses, that it’s impossible to go into them all here. But we’ll try!

Their hospital and their Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center help more than 30,000 dogs and cats annually, whose numbers continue to grow. Upon arrival at HSNY’s facility, animals receive a veterinary examination, spaying/neutering, inoculations, a microchip, and the testing needed to prepare them for adoption. You may have heard about HSNY’s helping rescue animals impacted by the World Trade Center attack. This is typical of their involvement in the community. They are an integral part of New York City life.

The Society has long been noted for its innovative, highly individualized approach to animal care. They have long considered the animals’ physical and emotional needs while caring for them. Cats there have daily play sessions outside their kennels. Many visitors remark that their facility feels more like a home than a shelter. In addition to photos and profiles of the pets available for adoption, their website even features video of successful adoptions and of some of the cats up for adoption.

HSNY offer seven-day-a-week veterinary care at affordable rates for those of limited means, including dentistry, advanced care and surgery. They have a a no-cost spay/neuter program for those in need. Their Outdoor Cat Spay/Neuter Program extends this service to feral cats.
But they help animals outside of Manhattan, as well. For example, their Hurricane Katrina rescue team worked in the New Orleans area and brought back animals to receive veterinary care in their hospital before being placed in permanent homes.

Funding such an organization is no small undertaking. HSNY holds events such as their annual photography auction, offers sponsorships of animals, and partners with authors and artists who donate a portion of their proceeds to them. They sell gift items for people and pets in their own HSNY Shop.

HSNY’s volunteers are an essential part of its success, as well. They interact with the animals and make outreach visits to schools. They take animals to visit patients in homes for the aged. They welcome children to visit the animals at the shelter. One of their volunteers even makes handmade beds for the cats there. You can call HSNY at (212) 752-4842 to inquire about helping.

HSNY was recognized with the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence for meeting the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Fewer than 5% of charities operating in the United States today meet or exceed these standards. An impressive 96% of donations to HSNY are used to fund their programs. We also recognize them this week for their efforts! Won’t you shop a little this week on and join us?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Charity of the Week: LFAW

This week's charity on is the League for Animal Welfare (LFAW) in Batavia, Ohio. Chartered in 1949, the LFAW’s mission is to better the lives of cats and dogs in the Greater Cincinnati area. They are a privately funded non-profit organization and depend on donations to fuel their operations.

There are approximately 80 cats housed at their facility. All have been tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS, vet-checked and vaccinated. Cats over 10 weeks of age are also spayed or neutered, and each of them is given a name if they didn’t already have one. LFAW provides a loving, no-kill shelter until the animals are matched with a forever home. Each animal’s photo is put on LFAW’s website (pictured above is "Jake"), along with icons to indicate whether the cat has been declawed, or prefers homes without dogs, other cats, or small children. The needs of potential adopters are assessed to best match them with the appropriate resident, and the cats are all microchipped so they can easily find their way home if lost.

Their “My Last Hope” program was established to help older pets find forever homes. This program makes the pets, currently four cats named Fred, Figi, Qwerky, and Sunshine, available for no adoption fee and pays all their medical care for the remainder of their lives.

LFAW also promotes responsible pet ownership. Their website provides information on area clinics and facts on the effects of spaying and neutering. They partner with the UCAN Spay/Neuter Clinic to offer monthly transport from their shelter to the clinic. Each month, they have a spay/neuter assistance program with limited funds to help pet owners and caretakers of feral cat colonies through vouchers to reduce the cost of spay/neuter surgery. LFAW makes free presentations to schools, scout troops, libraries, church organizations, etc. to educate people on pet overpopulation, spaying and neutering, proper vet care, dog bite prevention, and playtime with animals. Presenters are usually accompanied by a dog and a cat from the shelter to demonstrate proper handling skills. LFAW’s website has information on training, finding homes for strays, and deciding what type of pet to adopt, along with links to other helpful sites.

LFAW is always happy to welcome new volunteers, as well. People as young as 16 may work with their cats without parental supervision, and those younger may volunteer if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Some volunteers work with the animals to socialize, train, play with, or just pet them. Others foster orphaned pets and manage satellite adoption events. A general orientation session for volunteers is followed by specialized cat training. Those interested in volunteering may e-mail the shelter at

When you shop at June 7-13, 2010, 10% of the profits on items purchased through our shopping cart will be donated to LFAW. You're buying stuff for your cats anyway, so why not buy it here and help other cats who aren't so fortunate?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Do You Groom Your Cat?

A common belief is that cats groom themselves so you don't need to bother with grooming them. While it's true that most people don't take their cats to the groomer's like dog owners do, cats do need occasional help with grooming. Regular brushing or combing helps control shedding and hairballs. It also reduces allergens flying around in your home.

Little Vixen is 22 now, so she doesn't really groom herself very often, other than washing her face after eating. She has an arched comb that I think is her favorite thing I've ever bought her. Almost daily, I'll see her combing her face on it. Sometimes, she even feels good enough to bat around her newest catnip toy. (Thanks, Yeowww! catnip, for returning some of the kitten to my senior girl!)

But she still gets mats in her hair, especially around the hip area where she has some pain and doesn't like to groom. She complains and gives me the "demon growl" all the while I'm combing her there, but I get out wads of old, dead undercoat hair, as the photo in today's post illustrates. That's all from this morning's grooming! I find it best to hold her in my lap with one hand firmly around her chest so she can't get away. Then I use the other hand to hold the comb, using my thumb to remove the hair from it when it's full. The part she hates most is when I flip her onto her back to comb her stomach area. That's when she tries to claw and bite me, but keeping her claws filed helps avoid serious injury. She doesn't have many teeth left, so her bite isn't what it used to be, either! When her hips are achy, she also complains rather loudly as I do those areas.

I also like to use a waterless shampoo on her during grooming to give her a fresh, clean smell and condition her coat. Older cats can get dry skin that flakes off into dandruff, especially toward the base of the spine area. I've also tried wipes. While those also give a clean, fresh smell, they don't seem to condition her coat quite as well. They sure are more convenient, however! While at the Global Pet Expo in March, I got samples of several companies' waterless shampoos and have been testing them on her. There's one I like better than the others for its light, clean fragrance. Vixen doesn't care for any of them, natch! More to come on the specifics of that when I can get some of them onto the retail site.

You'll find brushes, combs, and all the grooming tools you need for your cat at As you can imagine, long-haired cats call for different grooming tools than do short-haired ones. If you haven't taken a look recently, click on the links in this paragraph to shop grooming products now!