Hello Cat Lover!

Here's what's in this issue:

Heartworm disease, still a risk in winter...
Happy Healthy Cat Campaign...
Petfood seminar...
Interesting web sites...
Cat Trivia...

The American Heartworm Society announced on Nov. 19
that pet owners should not discontinue using heartworm
prevention medications just because winter is coming.
The risk continues year 'round, they said, but this year
may prove to be worse than usual, due to the increase
in flooding and hurricanes. This added moisture contributes
to the increase in the mosquito population, which creates
a greater potential for the spread of the disease.

There is no approved treatment for heartworm in cats,
but it is easy to prevent. But not all veterinarians may be
aware that feline heartworm disease has been redefined.
Since it usually begins with respiratory symptoms, and
may be misdiagnosed as asthma or bronchitis, the disease
is now being called Heartworm Associated Respiratory
Disease (or, HARD).

More info here: http://tinyurl.com/6pherz
(I shortened that for you. The original URL is too long
to fit here.)

To get some brochures for both cats and dogs, check
here: http://www.heartwormsociety.org

The Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) in Denver, Colorado
announced on Nov. 17 that they just launched their
Happy Healthy Cat Campaign to address the fact that
cats receive less veterinary care than dogs, and that
too few scientists study feline health issues.

Read the rest of the story here:

I attended an online seminar (called a webinar) on Tuesday
Nov. 18, sponsored by Petfood Industry.com. The speaker
was Lynn Dornblaser, a senior analyst in the consumer
research industry, based in Chicago.

As times change (e.g., the petfood recall, economic disasters, etc.),
people are becoming more concerned about the safety,
availability and cost of their pets' food.

To keep up with new trends, the petfood industry must be
aware of consumers' concerns and respond accordingly.
According to Dornblaser, most petfood companies are
doing just that. New companies have sprung up as well,
to provide "niche" products, such as specific holiday
treat packs, health-related products, organic, natural,
and exotic protein sources (buffalo, kangaroo, etc.).

She described 3 levels of pet owners:
-- just getting by, using cheapest foods they can find
-- buying the best they can, even if it means giving up personal wants
-- upper income pet owners, fueling the "humanization" and
"premiumization" markets. This is the group that feeds their
small pets from tiny cans and pouches in crystal bowls at
the dining room table (just joking... maybe. I'd do it, if I had
any of those things!). However, the reality is that they can
afford to buy the best foods and treats, most are retired, and
they are spoiling their pets instead of indulging themselves.

With current economic worries, the market hit the hardest is the
middle level, Dornblaser said. They can't afford the premium foods and
treats too often, and may be tapped out on what more they can give up.
In a few extreme cases, some people have even increased their
insurance deductible limits in order to free up a bit more cash to
buy better pet food.

What is your take on this situation? What strategies do you use
to feed your pets? (Be sure to let me know if I may have your
permission to publish your comments, in case I write an article
on the subject.)

WEB SITES to explore
Remember last issue, in the trivia section, I asked what a pot hanger
was? Thanks to Al, now we know. Here is a picture of one:



Click on the big purple button to help this charity provide food for shelter pets:


Thanks to the following people for sending me this information!
Paul, Nancy, Torrey, Sharon, and Amy


-- It once was believed in England that flooding was
imminent if a cat jumped up onto a high shelf or beam.

-- In Scotland and Japan, it is thought that tortoiseshell
cats are able to predict storms.

-- Apparently it's still believed in parts of Scotland that if a
cat scratches a table leg, the wind will blow.

-- In Indonesia, if there is a drought, you can make it
rain if you carry a black cat around a dry field three
times, then dip it in water.


Check out the video on my website, at the bottom of the page:
I try to change it out every couple of weeks.


Do you have any interesting stories to share about your
cats? Send them in and I'll put them here in
this newsletter. (Include your name and website
if you have one, and I'll give you a "plug" for
your website. Or, anonymous is OK, too. It's
up to you.)


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