Cats & Gravity

Your Cat May Understand Physics Better Than You Do

According to a new study, cats understand certain laws of physics. Does this make them smarter than their owners? Dog lovers will probably have an opinion on this. If he were still around, Isaac Newton might have one as well.

This study may be viewed as evidence for cats having a rudimentary understanding of gravity.

And not just the “cats always land on all fours” kind of gravity. Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, led by Saho Takagi, collected 22 cats from Japanese cat cafes and eight domestic cats (they weren’t volunteers – cats don’t volunteer for anything) and tested their ability to understand the physics principle of cause-and-effect and some others.



Cat cafes? In countries like Japan where cats are popular but apartments allowing cats are not, cat cafes charge people an hourly rate to come in and play with cats. Sounds like a great plan to prevent the stray cat problem other countries like the U.S. have.

The researchers used a plastic container lined with an electromagnet and three iron balls to test the cats. They rattles the balls and dumped them out, then turned on the magnet, rattled the box (no sound) and nothing came out. Next they switched things around to fake out the cats – noise with no balls dropping, no noise with balls dropping.

According to the study, the cats demonstrated their awareness of gravity by moving away from the noisy box so they didn’t get hit by falling iron balls. Then they showed their awareness of cause-and-effect by staring longer at the box that made noise (anticipating the falling balls) and looking puzzled when sometimes nothing came out of a noisy box.

cat_physicsAt the risk of sounding like a biased dog owner … that’s it?

The results suggest that cats used a causal-logical understanding of auditory stimuli to predict the appearance of invisible objects. The ecology of cats’ natural hunting style may favor the ability for inference on the basis of sounds.


cat and dog


“Hunting based on sounds” sounds like the strategy of many animals, not just cats. If this is a demonstration of an understanding of physics, then there’s a lot of pets who could qualify for government grants to conduct government studies like this one.

Do cats understand physics better than some humans? Can you think of anyone you know who would flunk the “iron balls stuck to hidden magnets” test? Sober?

Did this cat sleep through the physics class on gravity?

Did this cat sleep through the physics class on gravity?


A Little Cat Wisdom

10 Things We Can Learn From Cats That Will Make Us Happier, Healthier Humans



2015-11-25-1448468135-5323815-Brutus.2.JPG Photo Courtesy of Lori Johnston and Brutus

I recently wrote an article “What We Can Learn From Dogs That Will Make Us Happier and Healthier Humans” Cats, clearly, would want to share their wisdom too. They have a different view of the world than dogs and both make our lives richer. While dogs are seemingly more concerned with your happiness, cats are more concerned with their own. What follows are 10 essentials to being more successful in work and life inspired by observations of my own cats, friends’ cats, and those that just show up for breakfast and dinner.

1. I love you but I love me more. Love yourself first. Clean your fur often, get 18 hours of sleep per day (or the human equivalent), eat little bits throughout the day rather than large meals and pursue things that interest you. Set high standards for yourself in all ways and stick to it as if no other options exist. Make yourself a priority at all times, physically, mentally and emotionally. When you are healthy in every way, you will see a world ripe with catnip mice and opportunity.
2. Accept the gifts and honor the intention. I will occasionally bring you a dead mouse or bird (or mostly dead anyway). It’s a gift. Even if it isn’t a gift you want, I gave it to you because I love you. There are gifts everywhere. Notice them, search for them and honor the intention of the giver whether it be a cat, some inferior animal (anything not a cat), a human or from the universe itself.
3. Focus on what you really want and be relentless about getting it. “No” is not an option. I’m hungry. You will get out of bed now and feed me or I will keep batting your eyelashes and walking on your hair as I cross your pillow. I will be pooping on the floor next to the litter box until you clean it out for me. I need to sit on the porch and I know you would love to get up right now and make that happen. Do the work to get what you need and want and enlist others to help you.
4. You teach people how to treat you. Role model how you want others to treat you and, gently but firmly, do not accept anything less. I would love for you to pet me now so I will rub on your legs and show you my charming side. And if you walk away I will follow you. Ok, now I’ve had enough so I’m going to bat your hand with my claws just slightly exposed. Please do not pet me when I am not in the mood.
5. Act like you are royalty. Be confident on the outside even if you’re not always there on the inside. If you fake being self-assured long enough you will trick your brain into believing it! Royalty does not do tricks, wear frilly clothes or acquiesce to any other ridiculous requests that are beneath me, might dirty my fur, cause me stress or wear me out. If I do something it’s because it’s good for me in some way. Yes, I’m sitting above you, staring down at you. As it should be.
6. Appearance matters. Clean your fur and wear nice accessories. Unlike dogs who will happily wear anything, with my kind the collar matters. It should reflect my personality. Bling, studs or simple elegance. I need my collar and other accessories to make a statement of who I am. Like it or not, your appearance shares how you feel about yourself with the rest of the world. Even though you have eloquent words, if your fur and accessories are a mess you undermine your royalty.
7. Be independent. I rely on you for food and water because I am in your house but I mostly rely on myself. I know that I get me through every day and am responsible for my own happiness. I love companionship but I need downtime too. I am in charge of my moods, emotions and needs.
8. Respect is essential. I will claw you, or at least respond with complete and obvious disdain for an extended period of time, if you wake me from a nap, take my catnip toy, bring a dog home or otherwise disturb my environment. And don’t bring home another cat either. I’m enough. I need all the attention you have time for. Please do bring home as many fish and birds as you like. Respect for me and our shared environment will make your life with me easier and I will be happy. I don’t need much but I do love respect.
9. Walk through your fear. Climb to very high places like on top of the door, refrigerator or a top shelf even if you don’t know how you will get down. Go where you want to go in life and don’t be afraid. You always find your way home even if you don’t know how you will do it while you’re on the journey. Being paralyzed by fear is for lower animals with much smaller brains than mine or yours.
10. Keep moving forward. You will land on your feet when you fall. And then act like you meant to do that. Don’t hold on to the act of falling, hold on to the act of being on your feet after the fall. We all fall from time to time. Get up and go forward. I don’t over analyze why I fell, enlarge the fall to a debilitating story about myself such as “I can’t do it” or “I’m not good enough” or “bad things always happen to me” or blame the fall on someone else. I don’t generalize the fall to other bad things that have happened or could happen. I leave it at, I fell. On to the next adventure.

While the advice dogs would give is more about emotional connection, happiness and love, cats are more practical and likely to teach you that obstacles and setbacks do not define you and that you are in control of your needs, emotions and goals.

Both perspectives are correct and necessary for a happy, healthy and prosperous life. Sometimes you have to take a hard stance with yourself particularly when considering where you are now and where you want to be but live every day to the fullest because the present moment is the only one we know we have for sure. And if you are lucky, you have furry companions close by to remind you what’s important.


The Healing Power of Cats

Science Proves Cats Are Holistic Healers

Science Proves Cats Are Holistic Healers

Story by: Steven Bancarz

Cats can make great friends and companions.  And they’re hilarious.  You can laugh endlessly at some of the cat videos on YouTube.  They seem to have almost taken over the internet in the last few years, especially with the rise of Grumpy Cat.  We tend to think of cats as cute little furry things, often unaware of the fact that cats are some of the most powerful healers out there.

Scientific studies have shown time and time again that cats are more than just good pets.  They are extremely therapeutic, and may actually be a good form of medicine for people suffering from heart conditions.

Did you know that owning a cat can reduce your risk of a heart attack? The finding was the main result of a 10 year study of more than 4,000 Americans by researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis.

After a 10 year follow up period, cat owners showed a 30% lower risk of death from heart attack compared to non cat owners.


This was due to a lower heart rate, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.  Lowering your risk of a heart attack by 30% is no joke.  This number gives holistic healers and even heart medications a run for their money.

In addition to the improved heart health, cats also cause a release of oxytocin in the brain.  Oxytocin is the feel-good chemical associated with the feeling of love, and is extremely healing to the body.  Serotonin and dopamine are also released in the brain as you are playing with your cat, which reduces stress and puts the body into a harmonious state and stabilizes your immune system.

Studies have also found that:

Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.

People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.

Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.

Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.

Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

While people with dogs often experience the greatest health benefits, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate.

Cat purrs (in additions to the actual cat itself) offer further healing power:


According to an article published in Scientific American, cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigators have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and promote healing.

You may find that having a cat on your chest while it purrs feels like a complete regeneration.  This is because the frequency of the cats purr is literally healing your cells.

Cats even outperform modern medicine


In a recent study, Dr. Karen Allen, a researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo, found that stockbrokers with hypertension who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did their non-pet-owning counterparts.

At the start of the study, the brokers were prescribed the anti-hypertension drug, lisinopril. Half of the participants were randomly selected to also get a dog or cat as a house pet. Six months later, Allen and her colleagues conducted tests in the participants’ homes to measure changes in blood pressure. They found that stress-induced blood pressure continued to rise in the brokers without pets.

The brokers who owned pets also had stress-related rises in blood pressure, but these rises were only half as high as those seen in the petless group. The pet-owning brokers had average systolic pressures (the first number in a blood pressure reading) that fell within the normal healthy range. Stress-related peaks in diastolic pressure (the second number in a reading) were also reduced.


The study, which was posted on the Univerity of Buffalo website and presented at am American Heart Association meeting, concluded that cats control blood pressure better than ACE inhibitors.  They are literally more effectively at regulating blood pressure levels than modern medicine.

Even WebMD has noted that:

1) “Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts” if they live with a companion animal.

2) “Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.”

3) People who suffer from high blood pressure, then adopt a cat or dog, navigate stressful situations with lower blood pressure than people who don’t have pets.

4) “Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without.”

Psychological Healing

A study published in the Frontiers of Psychology found that interacting with animals, such as cats, produced an increased trustworthiness of and trust toward other persons, reduced aggression, enhanced empathy and improved learning.  They concluded: “We propose that the activation of the oxytocin system plays a key role in the majority of these reported psychological and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interaction”.

Cats, because of the impact they have on our oxytocin levels, literally make us more empathetic and kind people.  I personally find that animals are spiritually healing for me.  When you interact with them, they don’t judge you, interrogate you, belittle you, or comment on you.  They simply provide you love and affection.  Because we know that they aren’t going to judge us, we experience no anxiety when we are around them.  In fact, the part of our brain that activates when we are self-conscious or socially anxious is completely relaxed when we interact with animals.


Taking everything into consideration, cats may be one of the best kept secrets in modern medicine.  Their special healing gifts were no secret to the ancient Egyptians however, who seemed to treat cats as some kind of gods.

They actually used to be worshiped in Egypt, and were often depicted wearing jewelry in hieroglyphs.  In fact, killing a cat, even by accident, was considered a criminal act punishable by death.

While they may not be gods, they are a medical wonder, and may be a great way to deal with the stresses of life.  From depression, to anxiety, to stress, to physiological healing, they are truly some of the best holistic healers out there.


About the Author: My name is Steven Bancarz, and I am the creator of ‘Spirit Science and Metaphysics’.  Thank you for reading this article! Within the next month, I plan to have my first YouTube video out called “How To Meditate”, and I am also currently building an online conscious forum to bring truth-seekers together to connect and share advice with one another.  If you are interested in staying connected, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter HERE.


Cats on Mars???

Ancient Cat Statue Found On Mars In Curiosity Photo, NASA Source, Jan 9, 2015, UFO Sighting News.

Date of discovery: January 9, 2015
Location of discovery: Mars
NASA photo:

Check out this animal statue on Mars found by the Curiosity Rover. At first, because its covered in Mars dust and tipped over, we don’t notice it. UFOovni2012 of Youtube however did see it and alerted the UFO research community right away. I admit its hard to see some things unless we add color or lines so our eyes can adjust to the textures of the photo. The object doesn’t seem to be made of rock, but like most artefacts found on Mars, is made of a 3D printed, layered material. This kind of printing allows its tech be be printed within it during its construction. Just like they are trying to do today here. SCW

Homeopathy & Pets


Homeopathy is a form of energy therapy that is used cure animals, like dogs, that are sick, have parasites or are in pain. It is a means of curing and strengthening the weakened electro magnetic field to make the dog feel stronger and rejuvenated.
What it is
Based on the thought “like cures like”, homeopathy believes that a medicine can cure a sick animal only if it can cause a similar sickness in a healthy animal. For example, a bee sting can be treated by a medicine, which has the same diluted venom.
Can it be used along with allopathy
Homeopathic medicines can be used even if allopathic or other medicines are being used, but it is believed that their effectiveness decreases if drugs, pesticides, cortisone and other immune depressive chemicals are being used.
Precautions while homeopathic medicines are being used.
· Homeopathy is an energy medicine and thus the dog should NOT be given garlic, onions, ginger and other root nodules during the course.
· Homeopathic medicines should be taken at least ½ hour before and an hour after eating. They should not be touched by hand and be given in the precise quantity mentioned.
· The potency of the medicine decides the effectiveness of the medicine. A drug that is less potent would require a stronger dosage than one, which is not.
Prevention of disease
· Homeopathy can be used in place of the rabies vaccine. It works by protecting the body by developing a stronger immune system. The chances of the dog turning rabid despite being given the vaccine inoculation are relatively reduced.
· It helps dogs affected by paralysis and deranged Central Nervous System symptoms, chasing imaginary objects in the air or snapping their jaws rhythmically in the air at nothing.
· Homeopathy in this light is PALLIATIVE as it prevents any breakdown of an organ and instead looks at preventive cure or at inducing a cure from the organ itself.
· Rabies, Canine Distemper and Aluminium as an ingredient in vaccines or as a pollutant in the food chain are known to be causative factors leading to skin problems, endocrine and digestion deficiencies, allergies, toxicities of the liver, kidney and heart with resulting failure of these organs.
· Allopathy can cause cysts and tumours, which are produced in the ovaries and the pancreas resulting in extreme abdominal pain at times even pushing the dog into a state of insulin coma. Homeopathy does not involve such doses of any medication and thus does not harm the dog.
· Breakdown of the body by allopathic medicines is not surprising as the widespread use of pathogens affects the brain, the central nervous system and thus affects each organ and tissue of the body.
· The pup can start on homeopathic medication by the time it is 3 months old. The puppy starts a series of six valent modified live oral vaccination 2-3 weeks apart until 6 months old and then a 6 month or yearly booster can be given.
· The requisite gap between vaccinations is around 6 weeks for the immune stimulating process to recover in order to respond properly to the next dose.
· Puppies are given medications for Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Corona, Parvo and Kennel Cough all in one vaccine. The first three are in one vaccine with the Leukaemia vaccine is separate.
· Rabies vaccine uses a modified live virus (still preferred by health care individuals) but lately killed Rabies is also available. This is given when the pup is 4 months old and then when he turns one. Sometimes booster shots are given every three years.
· You may not find oral homeopathic vaccines over the counter but check with vets and homeopaths.
· If breed dogs are treated with homeopathy, their offspring (at least second and third generation) may not be susceptible to breed problems such as hip dysplasia, wobblers, bloat, colic, inter-digestion pyoderma, elongated soft palates and hypothyroidism.
Homeopathy vs Vaccinations: Why Homeopathy is better
· The flaws of vaccination are the strengths of homeopathy. A vaccine with more than two viruses and/or bacteria decreases the presence of antibodies in the immune system of the dog making him more prone to sickness.
· Sicknesses like Canine Hepatitis and Leptospirosis require only one homeopathic vaccine for immunity for life. They DO NOT need a yearly booster.
· Homeopathic prevention is an option as it DOES NOT interfere with the immune system and aids in building a strong life force in the animal.
· Homeopathy vaccines can be used as treatment or prevention of the targeted disease entity. The parvo-homeopathic vaccine nosode is being used to treat the disease caused by the Parvo virus as well as to prevent it.
· Injections and boosters are traumatic and painful. Homeopathy is a more humane option.
Using Homeopathy

· Most homeopathic medicines can be used to treat any sort of sickness in the dog. The following medicines with corresponding potencies are available, however you can opt for a higher or lower potent drug depending on availability. These are twelve tissue salts that are safe for the dog
– Calcarea flour
– Calcarea Phos
– Calcarea sulph
– Ferrum phos
– Kali mur
– Kali phos
– Kali sulph
– Magnesium phos
– Natrum mur
– Natrum phos
– Natrum
– Silicea
· These are all available in potencies ranging from 1X being the strongest going down to 6X. You should choose one depending on the age of the dog.
· Ideally a small dog should not have a drug with a potency of 1X, although homeopathic medicine even in higher potencies is not really harmful.
The following are some common homeopathic medicines
– Aconite
– Arnica 30C
– Arsenic alb 200
– Belladonna 30C
– Hypericum 200
– Calendula 30C/ Q (Q potency indicates original solution and should be used for only external application)

for more, go to:

On Pets, Parasites, Prevention, and Protocols

New Parasite Prevalence Maps Help Pet Owners Prepare

July 18 2012

Story at-a-glance

  • The Companion Animal Parasite Council now provides online maps pet owners can use to see if the area they live in or plan to visit has parasite problems. The maps are a good tool to find general information about the presence of parasites in counties and states across the country. But they shouldn’t be used as a tool to scare pet owners into subjecting their animals to a barrage of potentially toxic chemicals.
  • The best way to protect pets from parasites is not to put them on monthly, year-round preventive drugs. Under certain circumstances, chemical preventives may be necessary, but they should not be used indiscriminately. They carry side effects like every drug, and their overuse is contributing to the problem of parasite resistance to these preventives.
  • No matter what parasite preventives you use, including chemical agents, your pet can still attract pests and parasites. In fact, even animals loaded with chemicals to the point of toxicosis can still acquire parasites.
  • Do all you can to avoid parasites, relying on natural preventives as much as possible, and then have your vet run a SNAP 4Dx test every six months to check for the presence of heartworm and tick borne diseases, as well as a stool sample to check for GI parasites.

By Dr. Becker

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has redesigned its website1 for pet owners and now features a set of maps you can check for information on parasite prevalence in a specific area.

If you’re only interested in heartworm disease, you can select your state from a drop-down menu on the right side of the home page to see the infection risk for your state. If you’d like more extensive information, you can view the entire U.S. map.

If you choose the second option, you can find out the risk for several different diseases for dogs and cats individually, by state. The maps include infection rates for:

  • Tick borne diseases (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis)
  • Intestinal parasites (roundworm, hookworm and whipworm)
  • Heartworm

You can also click on a state and see infection rates for individual counties, then hover your mouse over a county to see its name.

According to Dr. Christopher Carpenter, executive director of CAPC, “Our unique parasite prevalence maps provide localized statistics about diseases that affect dogs and cats in consumers’ backyards, and we update them monthly.”

Keep Your Pet Safe from Overuse of Parasite Preventives

I think these maps are useful for pet owners looking for general information about the prevalence of a certain disease in a certain location. The intent of the maps is to “… help drive clinic visits,” according to Dr. Carpenter, because “People respond to and appreciate it when experts share pertinent information.”

He goes on to say that CAPC hopes veterinarians leverage the maps “… to strengthen client relationships and consistently ‘tap consumers on the shoulder’ with facts that underscore the risk of parasitic disease that exists everywhere.”

Since the Companion Animal Parasite Council is sponsored by a “Who’s Who” list of major veterinary drug manufacturers, I think it’s safe to assume the real intent of the maps is to get pet owners to buy into the belief that every dog and cat in the country should be on parasite preventives year-round.

And while I agree pet owners appreciate learning information pertinent to the health of their furry family members, I think it’s extremely irresponsible of veterinarians to encourage the overuse of parasite preventives. These drugs, like all drugs, have side effects.

Just because a drug is used as a preventive doesn’t automatically put it in the category of “better safe than sorry.” This is a lesson the traditional veterinary community is slowly learning about vaccines. Every single thing we put into or onto an animal should be carefully assessed to insure its benefits outweigh its risks.

And keep in mind that even pets loaded down to the point of toxicosis with chemical preventives still frequently wind up with pests and parasites. There is no absolutely foolproof method for keeping every single pet protected from every single pest.

Around this time last year I saw my first dog patient with Lyme disease AND heartworm disease – conditions she acquired while taking a monthly, year-round heartworm preventive drug AND a spot-on flea/tick preventive prescribed by her regular vet. This is a good illustration of the ineffectiveness of some of these drugs, as well as the fact that parasites are growing resistant to them because they are being overused.

Preventing Tick Borne Diseases

  • In the spring, summer and fall, avoid tick-infested areas.
  • If you live where ticks are a significant problem, check your pet for the little blood suckers twice each day. Look over his entire body, including hidden crevices like those in the ear, underneath his collar, in the webs of his feet, and underneath his tail. If you find a tick, make sure to remove it safely.
  • Use a safe tick repellent like Natural Flea and Tick Defense. If you live in a Lyme endemic region of the U.S., your veterinarian will probably recommend you use a chemical repellent. Remember: it’s important to investigate the risks and benefits of any medication before you give it to your pet. Natural repellents are NOT the same as toxic preventives … they are not a guarantee your pet won’t be bitten by ticks….they only reduce the likelihood of infestation. So frequent tick checks are really important.
  • Create strong vitality and resilience in your dog or cat by feeding a species-appropriate diet. Parasites are attracted to weaker animals. By enhancing your pet’s vitality, you can help her avoid the ill effects of a tick borne disease.

Preventing Intestinal Parasites

  • Puppies and kittens can get intestinal parasites from an infected mother – either across the placenta or from their mother’s milk.
  • Beyond that, most pets acquire intestinal worms by eating infected poop. So the best way to prevent infection is to make sure your pet’s environment is clean and ‘feces-free.’ Pick up your pet’s poop and make sure she doesn’t have access to infective feces from wild or stray animals around your property or anywhere else outdoors.
  • Whipworm eggs in the environment are extremely resilient and resistant to most cleaning methods and freezing temperatures as well. They can be dried out with strong agents like agricultural lime, but the best way to decontaminate a whipworm-infested area is to replace the soil with new soil or another substrate.
  • Keep your pet’s GI tract in good shape and resistant to parasites by feeding a balanced, species-appropriate diet. I also recommend either periodic or regular probiotic supplementation to insure a good balance of healthy bacteria in your pet’s colon, as well as a good quality pet digestive enzyme.
  • Have your vet check a sample of your pet’s stool twice a year for GI parasites.

What You Need to Know About Heartworm Disease Prevention

According to heartworm preventive dosing maps, there are only a few areas of the U.S. where dosing your dog with 9 months to year-round heartworm medicine might be advisable. Those locations are in Texas and Florida, and a few other spots along the Gulf coast. The rest of the country runs high exposure risk at from 3 to 7 months. The majority of states are at 6 months or less.

Preventives don’t actually stop your dog from getting heartworms. What these chemicals do is kill off the worm larvae at the microfilaria stage. These products are insecticides designed to kill heartworm larvae inside your pet. As such, they have the potential for short and long-term side effects damaging to your canine companion’s health.

To reduce your pet’s risk of exposure to heartworms, control mosquitoes:

  • Use a non-toxic insect barrier in your yard and around the outside of your home.
  • Don’t take your pet around standing water. Eliminate as much standing water as possible around your home and yard by cleaning your rain gutters regularly and aerating ornamental ponds and decorative water gardens.
  • Stay out of wet marshes and thickly wooded areas.
  • Keep your pet indoors during early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are thickest.
  • Make liberal use of a safe, effective pet pest repellent like my Natural Flea and Tick Defense.

If You MUST Use a Chemical Heartworm Preventive …

If you live in an area of the U.S. where mosquitoes are common and you know your pet’s risk of exposure to heartworm disease is significant, here are my recommendations for protecting your precious furry family member:

  • With guidance from a holistic vet, try using natural preventives like heartworm nosodes rather than chemicals. Make sure to do heartworm testing every 3 to 4 months (not annually) as natural heartworm preventives can’t guarantee your pet will never acquire the disease.
  • If your dog’s kidneys and liver are healthy, try using a chemical preventive at the lowest effective dosage. This could mean having the drug compounded if necessary for dogs weighing in at the low end of dosing instructions. Give the treatment at 6-week intervals rather than at 4 weeks, for the minimum number of months required during mosquito season.
  • Remember, heartworms live in your pet’s bloodstream, so natural GI (gastrointestinal) dewormers, such as diatomaceous earth, and anti-parasitic herbs (such as wormwood and garlic) are not effective at killing larvae in your pet’s bloodstream.
  • Avoid all-in-one chemical products claiming to get rid of every possible GI worm and external parasites as well. As an example, many heartworm preventives also contain dewormers for intestinal parasites. Remember – less is more. The goal is to use the least amount of chemical necessary that prevents heartworm. Adding other chemicals to the mix adds to the toxic load your pets’s body must contend with. Also avoid giving your pet a chemical flea/tick preventive during the same week.
  • Follow up a course of heartworm preventive pills with natural liver detox agents like milk thistle and SAMe, in consultation with your holistic vet.
  • Always have your vet do a heartworm test before beginning any preventive treatment. A protocol I put in place in my clinic last year is to run a SNAP 4Dx blood test every 6 months on dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors during warmer weather. The 4Dx tests for heartworm and tick borne diseases. Because parasites are becoming resistant to overused chemical preventives, the sooner you can identify infection in your pet, the sooner a protocol can be instituted to safely treat the infection with fewer long-term side effects.





Outdoor Lives of Cats


 The Secret Lives of Outdoor Cats Revealed

By Natalie Wolchover, Life’s Little Mysteries Staff Writer
26 May 2011 4:24 PM ET
Forty-two cats, including this stray one, were fitted with radio collars and tracked over two years. Some of the collars also had devices that continuously monitored the cats’ every move. CREDIT: Illinois Natural History Survey


Where does your kitty go when you let her out? What do stray cats do all day? Do alley cats hang out with each other?

These are just some of the questions answered by a newly completed research project in which 42 free-roaming cats — some with no owner, some outdoor pets — were radio-collared and tracked for two years by researchers at the University of Illinois.

Together, the cats roamed 6,286 acres in and around the cities of Urbana and Champaign. The strays turned out to have surprisingly huge territories. One feral cat, a mixed breed male, had a home range of 1,351 acres, covering both urban and rural, residential and agricultural, forest and prairie areas.

“That particular male cat was not getting food from humans, to my knowledge, but somehow it survived out there amidst coyotes and foxes,” Jeff Horn, a former graduate student in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences who led the study, said in a press release. “It crossed every street in the area where it was trapped. (It navigated) stoplights, parking lots. We found it denning under a softball field during a game.”

Even though the free-roaming pet cats tended to stay within the two acres surrounding their homes, “some of the cat owners were very surprised to learn that their cats were going that far,” Horn said. “That’s a lot of backyards.” [MAP: See Where the Cats Wandered]

Another difference was that the pets engaged in vigorous activity, such as running or stalking, only 3 percent of the time, while the strays were active 14 percent of the time — they had to work harder to stalk and kill their own food.

Most of the cats tended to stay within 300 meters (984 feet) of human structures, said co-author Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, a wildlife veterinary epidemiologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey at Illinois. “Even feral cats were always within range of a building,” she said. “That shows that even though they’re feral, they still have a level of dependency on us.”

As for whether alley cats hang out together: nope. The researchers observed one feral cat chasing another out of a dairy barn. Another stray waited for a pet cat to emerge each morning and tried to chase it out of its own backyard. In an earlier study, co-author Richard Warner, an emeritus professor of natural resources and environmental sciences, followed about two dozen free-roaming cats over several years, and found that the two leading causes of cat deaths were other cats and disease.

The study was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management


“Janus Cat” 12 Years Old

Twelve-year-old two-faced cat is world’s oldest

By Zach HowardPosted 2011/09/28 at 10:53 am EDT

CONWAY, Mass, Sep. 28, 2011 (Reuters) — Frank and Louie, a gray feline with two mouths, two noses and three eyes, just turned 12 years old and is the world’s oldest, living two-faced cat.

This undated handout image, obtained by Reuters on September 27, 2011, shows a Massachusetts cat with two faces that has become the world’s longest surviving so called “janus” feline at 12 years of age. REUTERS/David Niles/Handout

Sara Wilcox, a Guinness World Records spokeswoman said he is the “longest surviving Janus cat,” referring to the name coined by British zoologist Dr. Karl Shuker, based on the two-faced Roman god of transitions, gates and doorways.

Frank and Louie has craniofacial duplication, an extremely rare congenital condition. The disorder, also known as diprosopia, can cause part or all of an individual’s face to be duplicated on its head.

It has been recorded multiple times in the domestic cat, but few two-faced kittens survive into adulthood, Wilcox said.

Frank and Louie was born on September 8, 1999. His remarkable life will be commemorated in Guinness World Records’ new 2012 edition, Wilcox said.

The cat’s owner, a woman only identified as Marty, lives near Worcester, Massachusetts. She was a veterinary technician in 1999 when a day-old, two-faced kitten about the size of her thumb was brought into her clinic to be euthanized.

The life expectancy for a two-faced cat is about four days because they usually suffer from other disorders.

“When he was first born, every day was a blessing,” Marty told a local radio station on Tuesday.

She immediately adopted Frank and Louie. The cat has one brain so both faces act in unison. Two of his eyes — the outermost ones — are normal, while the middle eye is larger but doesn’t function.

The cat eats on the right side, using Frank’s face, which is connected to his esophagus, while Louie’s nose twitches at the same time, his owner said.

Marty told the local radio station that the cat is more like a dog because it walks on a leash and loves car rides.”


Dogs Doin’ The “SHAKE”

Sit. Shake a Paw. Now Just Shake.


Before she begins a photo shoot, the fine-art photographer Carli Davidson spends time getting to know her models.

“I have my dialogue,” said Ms. Davidson, 30. “I want to talk to them before I get a portrait so I get a sense of the person.”

Ms. Davidson spends very little time working with models of the “person” variety these days. The subjects of her ongoing project “Shake” are not perfect. They’re not entirely graceful. They tend to drool.

Since photographer and subject can’t necessarily converse with one another, Ms. Davidson plays with each one before its 15 minutes of fame. The shake, when it comes, is usually provoked by a squirt of water.

It doesn’t always work. Models can, after all, be divas. “It’s not something that you have a lot of control over,” Ms. Davidson acknowledged with a laugh.

Ms. Davidson grew up in New York. Two of her early jobs — working on a nature preserve and later as a photo assistant — have converged in her career. She majored in sociology at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and interned at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, where she was hired to work with the zoo’s birds of prey.

But when she was injured in a car accident a couple of years ago, Ms. Davidson began making photos for the zoo, instead.

“Shake” is in its early stages. The series is an offshoot of a book project onpets with disabilities. While working on that, Ms. Davidson tested some new high-speed mono lights on a round-faced Bordeaux. “I uploaded the photos and I was cracking up,” she said.


It would be remiss not to mention the project’s ugly duckling, a 3-week-old kitten that had yet to perfect the “shake” motion. But at this point, the work is fairly dog-centric. Ms. Davidson has 10 canine subjects lined up over the next month and a half. Among them: a corded poodle — pleasantly dreadlocked — and a bug-eyed pug, “just one of the most hideously adorable dogs,” she said.