Advantage II for Dogs on Cats – Is it safe?

You may have heard that it is possible to use Advantage II for dogs on your cats also, and maybe you’re wondering if this is actually a safe practice. The answer to that question is yes, it is totally safe!

You can use the same product for your cat and/or your dog. The formula is exactly the same, and the only difference is the amount of medication contained in a tube of Advantage II. A package of Advantage II for dogs contains a larger dose, but it is the same medication as Advantage II for cats.

All Advantage II for dogs and for cats contain Imidacloprid (9.1%), Pyriproxyfen (0.46%).  Animal shelters, rescue groups, veterinarians and breeders use this method to save money and call it “dosing down.”

You can purchase a pack of Advantage II for extra large dogs, and then measure out appropriate dosage for your cats based on their weight. One tube of Advantage II for extra large dogs contains 4ml of medication. You would simply pour the medication into a vial or small storage container, and then use a small needle-less syringe to measure your cat dosage:

 

Cats under 5 pounds – 0.25ml

Cats 5 – 9 pounds – 0.4ml

Cats 10+ pounds – 0.8ml

 

Then apply your dosage with the needle-less syringe like normal, and you’re set!

This is much, much cheaper than buying Advantage II for cats. The cheapest way to do this is to buy the 6 month pack of Advantage II for extra large dogs, which comes with six 4ml tubes of Advantage II. This works out to 24ml of medication total- 96 doses for a  cat under 5lbs, 60 doses for a cat 5-9lbs, or 30 doses for a cat 10+lbs!!

I have also bought Advantage II flea kits from FleaKitShop.com and can vouch for this seller. Kit shipped out and arrived very quickly, and they sell both assorted quantities and just the individual kit items without medication (syringes + storage vials).

Cat Tip: Communication with Blinking

Cats use eye contact heavily in their communication with each other. You can often see cats staring at each other while interacting, and its easy to predict a cat fight when they have locked eyes and appear uneasy.

Likewise, cats communicate a relaxed friendliness with a slow blinking. You can take advantage of this and do the same thing with your cats or a cat you don’t know to help put them at ease.

Its really easy – just slowly close your eyes, leave them closed for a moment, and then slowly open them again. Do this while making eye contact with the cat and repeat several times, until the cat shows a sign of being relaxed such as flopping down on its side or returning the same kind of blinking at you. You’ll know when it happens :)

What should cats eat? Healthy & Safe food for cats

Dry cat food is bad for cats due to its lack of water content and moisture, which leads to serious health problems in aging cats. You want to stick to properly balanced canned foods, or make your own fresh cat food. If you’re interested in making your own DIY cat food recipe, have a look at our article on Making Your Own Catfood.

If making your own seems like too much hassle or you have a problem obtaining all the necessary items to do so, there are still several quality commercial brand cat foods available. Here we will list some of the best options. While they may seem more expensive than the cheaper options at the supermarket, you will be paying expensive vet bills regularly when your cat ages due to the health problems these cheaper foods result in. Not only will feeding your cat a proper diet save you money in the long run, it will keep your cat healthy and happy, and living longer.

Generally, it is best to stick to meat for cats which they would naturally catch and eat in the wild. This includes primarily poultry and rabbit, with some fish.

Here is a selection of some of the healthiest foods your cats will love – ours do!

Newman’s Own

-Newman’s Own Organics Chicken & Salmon Formula

  • More than 70 percent of all the ingredients in Newman’s Own Cat Food are certified organic
  • Does not contain any pesticides, artificial fertilizers or chemical preservatives
  • Contains hearty and healthy goodness and cats love the taste of Newman’s own cat food
  • Made in the USA
  • A professionally blended recipe of chicken and brown rice containing organic chicken as the first ingredient
  • Formulated to meet the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Nutrient Profiles for cats of all life stages
  • Ideal for maintaining a cat’s optimal body weight and providing long lasting energy
  • No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives; No wheat or corn

Tiki Cat

-Puka Puka Luau Chicken in Chicken Consomme
-Gourmet Whole Food Queen Emma Variety
-Gourmet Whole Food King Kamehameha Luau Variety

  • A Whole Food Diet Certified for Human Consumption & Famous for Super Palatability
  • A Biologically Appropriate Natural Prey Nutrient Profile Featuring a Moisture, Protein and Fat Rich Food with 0-percent Percent Carbohydrates
  • Gently Cooked Gourmet Prepared Ingredients for Superior Taste, Nutrition and Variety, Cooked in Healthy Consommé with no Gravies
  • An Ideal Prevention and Treatment Wellness Nutrition Program Commonly Recommended for use in UTI, CRF, IBS, Diabetes and other Conditions by Vets
  • Sustainable Foods and Materials Made in Responsible Ways To Protect Our Future with the Best Food Safety Standards in the World

Nature’s Variety

-Instinct Grain-Free Rabbit Canned Cat Food
-Instinct Grain-Free Canned Cat Food, Chicken Formula

  • Gluten-free, grain-free cat food – ideal for cats with grain sensitivities
  • Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Complete and balanced for all life stages and breeds
  • Protein-rich canned cat food containing 95% meat
  • Specially formulated for rotation feeding

Healthy Cat Food & Making Your Own Catfood

DIY Cat Food

What should cats eat?

Your cat’s diet is the most important factor in your cat’s health. What your cat eats daily determines the nutrition it is able to make use of to do all the things a healthy cat requires. Unfortunately, most commercial cat foods are poorly made so that they can be sold cheaply, and contain unbalanced ingredients that are not good for your cat. These cat foods can (and do) lead to serious health problems. Most aging cats face health problems as a direct result of the poor quality of food they have been eating their whole life.

Some of the common health issues that come about as a result of improper diet include:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Cystitis
  • Urethral Blockage
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Hairballs
  • Obesity
  • Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Dental health
  • Asthma

These health problems can be very serious for your cat, some even resulting in death (such as kidney disease). They are also very costly to you when the problems surface. The money you save on cheap catfood now will be a small amount compared to the veterinary bills and medication required down the line. Money aside, your loving companion will be subject to a very unfortunate situation that none of us want to put our cats through.

In this article, I’ll be outlining options for making your own healthy cat food alternatives.

Is dry cat food bad for cats? Yes, although some dry foods are better than others, all dry food is bad for cats. Cheaper dry foods are unbalanced nutritionally, contain lots of bacteria and fungal toxins. Even if it is a healthier brand of dry food, it is still bad for cats because water content is essential for properly balanced cat food. The lack of moisture in dry food leads to health issues in cats.

Make Your Own Cat Food

When making your own cat food, there are some key aspects that you must understand in order to give your cat the nutrition it needs. The primary factor is using a balanced recipe that covers all the nutrition requirements for cats. It is extremely important that you stick to a fully balanced recipe in your cat food, and that you understand all the requirements in order to make it truly balanced. If you are unable to do this for cost reasons or do not have the time to study this information, then it is better to buy a prepackaged cat food instead, as feeding your cat an unbalanced diet is very bad for your cat’s health.

For some good commercial brand cat food options, take a look at our post on the best canned cat foods.

You want to create a diet for your cat that is close to what they would naturally eat on their own, or what their body is naturally designed to process. Since cats would naturally eat raw meat in the wild, many people believe purely raw meat is the best way to go. However the safety of this depends largely on the source of the meat, as raw meat from some sources may contain higher bacteria percentages than others. If you can obtain raw meat from a trusted source, such as a local farmer or trusted producer, then this is fairly safe. If buying meat from the supermarket, it is recommended to at least partially cook the meat to kill off bacteria. Always buy whole pieces and never ground meat. You always want to grind the meat yourself.

Whichever decision you make in regards to raw or cooked meat, both will actually be safer than dry cat food which actually contains a lot of bacteria and fungal toxins. Its also helpful to remember that your cat’s digestive system is designed by nature to handle large amounts of bacteria since they naturally eat raw meat caught in the wild.

Types of Meat for Cats

The best types of meat to feed your cat are Turkey, Chicken and Rabbit. These are the closest meat types to what your cat would be eating if they caught their own food in the wild. A cat would rarely take down a cow for lunch ;) Pork is generally not good for cats and should be avoided.

Balanced DIY Cat Food Recipe

Ingredients per 3 lbs of meat:

  • 1 cup water, or more to cat’s taste
  • 2 eggs (raw yolk, lightly cooked white)
  • 2000 to 5000 mg fish oil (to cat’s taste)
  • 400 IU / 268 mg Vitamin E
  • 50 mg Vitamin B-Complex
  • 2000 mg Taurine
  • 3/4tsp Morton Lite Salt w/ Iodine or 1/2tsp Regular Salt w/ Iodine
  • Liver – 4 Ounces of Chicken Livers unless meat already contains Liver

Where to buy supplies:

Ingredients:

The above ingredients can be bought at local stores, however the quality varies depending on the source and the above products are excellent, and very low priced compared to the equivalent product at retail stores. An example of quality issues is the B-Complex. Most retail forms of B-Complex use a synthetic ingredient which is actually the same as cyanide, the poison! You want to be sure to avoid these forms of B-Complex, obviously. The same applies to Vitamin E. Most forms of both these vitamins sold at retail stores are synthetic and harmful.

For your meat, I recommend buying this at a local market, preferably a local farmer’s market if possible.

Meat Grinders:
Here is a selection of good quality meat grinders at different price ranges, ordered from cheapest to most expensive. The cheaper ones here work great, but you will not be able to grind any bones with them, so you would need to remove all bones from your meat prior to grinding. Other than this limitation, they will do the job well. The STX3000 is a high powered option that will grind it all with ease.

If you’re planning on using a lower powered grinder that can’t handle bones, mix some Bone Meal Powder with your ingredients instead.

  • Norpro Meat Grinder
  • Sunmile 1HP 250-Watt Electric Meat Grinder
  • Sportsman MEG300 350-Watt Electric Meat Grinder
  • STX 3000-Watt Meat Grinder

Best laser pointer color for cats

cats lasers

Laser for Cats – Laser Pointer and Cats

The most common color of lasers sold at pet stores are the cheaply made red ones. The red lasers are actually the least visible color to cats, as their perception of the color red is not very good.

Cats see colors differently than we do. Green, blue and purple are the colors cats perceive the best. Colors like red and orange are not distinguished as well, and may be seen as different shades of gray.

When buying a laser to play with your cats, you may want to get a color that will really stand out to them. Because cats do not see red very well, you want to get a green, blue or purple laser. Also be sure the laser power is rated 5mw or under so that it will not be dangerous to your cat’s eyes. A 5mw laser is still much more vibrant than the ones commonly sold at stores.

That said, cats still get very excited over red laser dots, as most cat owners are aware of :)  So really, this post is just for informational purposes and really any color laser dot will provide lots of enjoyment and exercise for your kitties!

This laser pointer from Kong is really bright. My cats love it, and its available in purple.

Another great laser from Kong is their “interactive” laser, which you just point at the floor or wall and it is programmed to move around like prey. I can confirm that both cats and dogs go crazy over the Kong Active Laser!

Both of these lasers are made much better than the poorly constructed lasers usually sold at pet stores. I’ve gone through several of those cheapies, but these have lasted more than a year so far.

Best flea meds for cats: Frontline vs Advantage, Flea Collars

This post will outline the best and most popular flea medications for cats currently available.

Frontline vs Advantage Flea

Does Frontline work?

Frontline Plus – Frontline is one of the most well known and widely used topical flea treatments for cats. It is a good option, however some people are beginning to report that it is no longer effective for killing all fleas. The effectiveness seems to depend on the fleas in your area. After a time, fleas begin to develop resistance to the medications used to kill them. This is why there are new versions of the same flea meds coming out every few years. The ingredients have to be continually modified so that they remain effective against the fleas evolving resistance. It seems that in certain areas, fleas are beginning to show resistance to Frontline Plus.

Advantage II – In my personal experience, Advantage II is the best flea medication currently on the market for cats. I have been using Advantage II on my cats for several years now and it always kills all the fleas off within 24 hours, and the fleas do not return unless its past time for the next treatment. If you’re wondering about differences between Advantage I and Advantage II, have a look at our article on this topic: Advantage I vs Advantage II

Where to buy Advantage? The cheapest Advantage II I’ve found is available here.

UPDATE:
I have recently purchased kits from FleaKitShop.com and can recommend this seller for cheaper “dosing down” Advantage II kits.

 

Do flea collars work?

Flea collars and off-brand flea treatments – Although these options are a bit cheaper, they generally do not work very well. These may kill off some of the fleas upon initial usage, but they will not get all of the fleas and most likely will stop working within a few days. In my early days as a cat owner, I tried several of these and always ended up frustrated at having wasted money and time, while the flea infestation just became worse.

In addition to topical flea treatments for your cat, you will also want to be sure to address any flea problems in your house and yard. I have put together a guide on how to easily and efficiently wipe out those pesky fleas here: What to do about fleas

Water for cats: Get cat to drink more water

If you’d like to see your cat drinking more water, there are a few helpful tips to be aware of.

Fresh and clean water is important for your cat. If your cat doesn’t get enough water, it can lead to serious kidney problems and urinary issues. Sometimes cats can be picky about drinking water straight from the tap. They prefer water that has a more natural scent to it, as they can smell the chemicals that are used to treat our tap water.

Cats also love to drink from moving sources of water, as it prevents the water from becoming stale. Cats don’t like it when the water becomes stale from sitting out for long periods. These two factors can be taken advantage of by getting a cat waterfall. These fountains naturally attract your cat’s senses with the flowing water, with the added benefit of water filtration that removes any chemicals and things that are unhealthy for your cat.

When it comes to water for cats, these drinking fountains cannot be beat. I first discovered them when my cats wouldn’t quit drinking all the water out of a decorative fountain in the living room. I decided to try out these cat waterfalls and my kitties simply love them.

The cat water fountain we are currently using and recommend is the Hagen Fresh and Clear Cat Drinking Fountain

This water fountain holds one hundred fluid ounces of drinking water, enough to last several cats multiple days. The multi-stage filtration collects any debris, food, hair or sediment that will normally collect in the water dish. This cat water fountain is extremely quiet and only begins to make noise when its time to refill the water. Cats also prefer to drink from slightly elevated sources, where they can drink while standing. This fountain is designed to be at the ideal height for encouraging cats to drink more water.

UPDATE:
We’ve had some recent additions to our kitty family and so decided to add a second water fountain for our cats. We went with the Cat Mate Pet Fountain and couldn’t be happier. While we still recommend the Hagen, the Cat Mate really takes it a step up!

Tape worm pills for cat with worms

Worms in cat

If you ever see very small white worms on your cat’s butt or in their feces, then your cat has tape worms. These little worms will typically be noticed in the cat-box waste, or as they bunch up in the cat’s fur around the anus.

tape worm pills

Fortunately, tape worms are easy to get rid of with these tape worm pills. These pills do not require a vet visit or prescription, and are fairly cheap. After giving the pill to your cat, the tape worms will die off within 24 hours. Dosage is generally 1 pill or 1.5 pills per cat, depending on weight. So long as you follow the proper dosage, these pills are perfectly safe for your cat.

For some tips that will make it very easy to give these pills to you cat, see our guide on howto pill your cat.

Tape worms are generally caused by fleas. When a cat ingests an infected flea, usually while grooming, the tape worms are then carried into the cat’s digestive system. Make sure to take care of any flea problems if you see tape worms.

Pilling a cat – Howto

Pilling a cat can be tricky business, until you get the basic process down. With the tips on this page, you’ll see how to easily pill your cat in a quick and efficient manner.

First, position yourself behind your cat. Then with one hand, hold your cat’s head from the top. The cat will not feel any discomfort as long as you hold its head by the cheekbones.

Next apply some pressure with your forefinger to the corner of your cat’s mouth. This will cause the cat to open its mouth, and when this happens, quickly drop the pill into the cat’s mouth so that it lands as far back as possible.

Finally close your cat’s mouth and rub its neck in a downward motion until the cat swallows.

Although some instructions state to tilt the cat’s head upwards, this is not advised as it makes swallowing hard to do for the cat. If the cat cannot swallow properly, they will just end up spitting the pill out.

Pilling some cats can prove to be very difficult, and in these situations you may want to consider a pill gun.

Here is a short video showing how to use a pill gun for pilling a cat:

Another good option are pill pockets, which are cat treats that are made to hide pills inside of. Greenies Feline Pill Pockets are my cat’s favorites, and the 45 pack is a great deal that will last you for quite a while.

Fixing Cat Behavior Problems & Keeping Your Cats Happy

wild house cat

If you have a “problem cat” who is angry, depressed and/or scared all the time, it can really make life with your cat very tough. Depending upon the severity of the behavioural problems, it can feel like a impossible situation to fix. But even what may seem like a hopeless cat can be turned around much easier than you think.

This is the first of a series of posts that will deal with this topic. In this post, I will just be covering some of the essential basics that provide outstanding changes. In the future articles, I will explore some of the more complex issues such as social dynamics in a house with multiple cats.

The key is to understand how cats think naturally, and what they need to satisfy their natural instincts and feel comfortable. If a cat is exhibiting bad behavior, it is almost always because certain needs are not being satisified, or the cat is insecure in its surroundings.

Cats need to feel secure with themselves and with their place in the household. If a cat is not given enough good attention, or if it is given too much bad attention, it may become insecure which leads to being scared or angry on a regular basis. It is important to refrain from physical punishment with cats such as spanking, as this will lead to the cat becoming insecure. This insecurity then creates or worsens behavioral problems. Cats do not understand this kind of punishment and instead, you want to redirect their “bad” behavior into “good” behavior. In this way, they will be trained to do the “good” things, rather than punished for the “bad” things. For example, if you catch a cat scratching on furniture, you want to regularly redirect the cat’s attention to something appropriate to scratch on such as a scratching post. This will train the cat to use the posts instead of the furniture.

Most cat behavioral problems are solved with daily, regular playing sessions. Cats have a natural instinct to hunt prey, and this energy needs to be put to use daily or else the cat will experience a form of restlessness, where it searches for an outlet. If the cat is not given an outlet for this instinctual energy, it may attack you or other cats/pets, it may tear up furniture or generally let the energy out in ways you do not want. The solution is to give the cat a good outlet, with forms of play that are acceptable. A couple of the best cat toys available for this kind of play are Da Bird and the Go-Go Cat Catcher – cats seem to universally love these toys because they are specifically designed to mimic the movement of real prey, which activates their hunting instincts and makes it a perfect outlet for this. Pretty much any cat will be jumping up in the air and running around in circles with these toys, and you can really get them worn out. This is what you’re aiming for, to get your cat breathing heavily and eventually laying down on their side. Once they do this, they’ve been fully played out and have exhausted their instinctual energy for now.

Cats love Da Bird:

Doing the above on a daily basis will produce surprising and profound changes in your cat’s behaviour and mood improvement.

Aside from play, your cat also needs to have its own personal space. A safe, personal place that a cat can have to itself is very important to it’s security, happiness and comfort levels.

Cats prefer higher places where they can look down on their surroundings. If your cat is often jumping up on places where you don’t want it to, this can be fixed by giving the cat its own higher place. Cat Trees are great for this, and for a smaller option you can install special Cat Shelves made just for cats to climb up and lay on. There are also cat trees that are designed to attach to the back of any door, such as the SmartCat Multi-Level Cat Climber. Another good option that is cheaper than the shelves is a Window Kitty Sill.

If for some reason having a higher area for your cat is not an option, then create a personal space somewhere special that they know is just for them. Place out a cat scratcher, cat bed, and maybe something they can crawl inside of and hide out.