Monday, February 17, 2014

For Adoption: Diana The Superstar

Diana is a one year old long-hair, gorgeous Maine Coon type. Brown/beige tabby with beautiful white markings (chest, ruff, paws, tummy) & green eyes. Very playful, sweet, smart and affectionate. 

Lovely Diana was scared, hissy, and focused on just one task when she was rescued: protecting her kittens. She was a loving cat mom; her babies William, Kate, Harry, and Pippa did well and were adopted, two by two. Then Diana went into rehab with her rescuer, a professional cat trainer who honored Diana’s innately gentle personality and set about winning her trust with Reiki, Tellington TTouch, play therapy, massage, slow blinks, and lots of love. Diana quickly turned around and gave the precious gift of her trust. 

Diana’s story is heartwarming because under her gorgeous fur beats a heart of gold. Beautiful Diana is living proof of the transformative power of love: By now she has changed from a sad little waif into a regal, gorgeous cat worthy of her namesake, Princess Diana. She has a world of love and fun to share with a special someone. She loves to play and is friendly with other cats. She likes watching TV and lap-sitting. She enjoys tummy rubs and brushing. She rewards attention and affection with big purrs. She is a superstar!

Anyone interested in Diana, please contact Foster Mom Karen at 305 205-4646 or email her at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Let's Find a Home for Max

This beautiful black kitten called Max was abandoned in a dumpster in Coral Gables (Miami, FL) covered with fleas. Thanks to Graciela Downey who rescued him, he is totally out of the woods and has all his shots. He is six weeks old and is playful and frisky, very lovely. Max is now hoping to be adopted at the Coral Way Petsmart in Coral Gables. Anyone interested in Max please contact Graciela at
(For anyone living in the South Florida area)

UPDATE: We are happy to share the good news that Max has been adopted. Thank you for all of you who shared our post.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

#RecipeForMoments-Hansel the Cat Talks for First Time

A baby's first tooth, first steps, first words...these are small physical acts but in larger context, they are significant.

Working with feral, semi-feral and scared, rescued cats, whenever I can get closer or barely touch  a frightened cat, I want to jump with joy. More often it takes self control to hold still. Instead jumping jacks are replaced with tears of joy.

With six rescued cats, only one is terribly shy--Hansel. Recently, Hansel at the age of  four and half years of age, reached a new milestone. While the other cats are set in their ways, Hansel continues to emerge from his shell. Another year, another precious moment.

The story of Hansel & Gretel follows that of the story by the Brothers Grimm.The siblings were rescued from the evil clutches of wicked machines from the doom and gloom land of  The Construction Zone here in downtown Miami.

Hansel & Gretel arriving inside their new home

Hansel & Gretel as kittens July 2009

Their mother Midora gave birth to seven kittens. Sadly one was run over by a speeding vehicle in a parking lot. So Midora moved her nest across the street where new dangers lurked. Little Gretel was discovered  trying to scale a cement wall with her nails to reach her mother on the other side. Every fall produced a painful wail.   Gretel's fur was visibly ripped and dangling from her bone like a torn rag. I soon learned the excruciating pain was from a bone fracture. I could imagine the fear of the other kittens--the thunderous noises from bulldozers, automobiles, the wailing of little Gretel... 

Hansel play wrestles with his sister Gretel

I set out to capture her siblings with a trap and was successful.  The two sisters were adopted immediately, within days.  But Hansel was noticeably frightened and found comfort with his sister Gretel.  I secluded them in my oversized shower. Since Gretel could not walk, Hansel kept her distracted and played with her, licked her, and comforted her.  They became inseparable.

a few months later 2009

In time their personalities blossomed and Gretel gained confidence and in true Tortie fashion, emerged into a Diva, demanding attention and affection with her constant beckoning meows.  Meanwhile Hansel was clearly shy and reserved, frightened most of the times. Always quiet never a peep. I wondered why. Was he traumatized from the outdoor noises?  Or did he have birth defect to his vocal chords? Was it due to the fact that Gretel's daily treatment of her leg wound (cleaning, rebandaging, cuddling and cooing) afforded her more human- to- cat bonding?

Once Gretel's leg healed, efforts were made to get them adopted.  Several people expressed interest in Gretel but no one wanted the pair. In many cases I separated siblings during adoptions. But Hansel & Gretel were extra special.  Hansel was part of his sister's recovery. But it was clear Hansel would suffer more without his sister, especially in a new home. The two remain together today with me.

But Hansel appeared more reclusive. As his caretaker, I could not approach him to pet him.  Sudden movement or noise frightened him. Perhaps because our home in the beginning was a merry-go-round of rescue kittens, strangers entering our home to meet them, decorating (this was a new home for me too) and weekly monsters by the  name of "housekeepers" and "vacuum cleaners", Hansel would remain distant. Keeping this in mind, and learning the benefits of routine for my own health, I finished home decor and furnishing, adhered to a set schedule, and hoped for the best. At least Hansel lived indoors, free of dangers and had plenty of places to hide, plenty of food, water and unconditional love.

After one year, Hansel allowed me to approach him quietly and steadily and pet him. I wanted to shout with joy but remained a gentle giant.

In the second year, he gingerly climbed the dog stairs to my bed and lay next to me at arms length! Hansel came to me willfully!   I looked up at the ceiling as if peering to the heavens and thanked God for this milestone.

Recently, as I sat at my office desk, Hansel stood in his regal poise, looked straight at me or my profile (which I found extraordinarily odd  for a shy cat) and meowed in measured tones. He did it again. HANSEL WAS MEOWING, TALKING FOR THE FIRST TIME.   I froze and slowly like the hands of a clock, rotated my head in Hansel's direction and asked "What is it Hansel?".  He kept holding my gaze.  This was amazing. He really was telling me something.  Gingerly I stood up and repeated "Yes Hansel, what is it?". He proceeded to walk over to his cat bowl.  It was empty. I poured some dry cat food and he began to eat. He was telling me he was hungry and that the food bowl was empty.  UNBELIEVABLE! None of the other five cats ever did this.  I could share a number of stories boasting about the level of intelligence of my other cats, but this was remarkable.(Despite having a high definition video camera next to me at all times to capture these moments, Hansel  is still scared of the unknown object facing him and the beep noises that I have not been able yet to record his meows, yet).

Hansel looking straight at me and talking, telling me to follow him

Hansel is indicating the food bowl is empty

A few days later, Hansel spoke to me again. I followed him and this time he walked to the black velvet Ottoman. This was the petting throne of the living room. He paused and looked at me waiting. This was a signal that I had to squat to his level and remain parallel to the ottoman, wait for him to climb the ottoman and pet him.  Common sense told me, this was a result of many naps he took on the ottoman and I would take advantage to approach him quietly, on my knees and began stroking him. In deep slumber, he awakened and when Hansel realized I was petting him he did not flinch or run away.  I had gained his trust on the ottoman while he slept and the surroundings were calm.

Hansel on the Ottoman, the petting throne

Hansel has found his voice, his way of communicating.   In a third communication, Hansel assumes the position, lets out a meow and leads me to my bedroom. At first I assumed he wanted me to pet him on the bed. But he often scurried under the bed as I reach out to him. Then it dawned on me. He came to the bed at night while I was laying in bed. So I slowly stretched across the bed, my head on the pillow and he proceeded to park parallel to me so I could stroke his fur.  Some languages take more time to learn. I am constantly learning Cat Speak! 

Two valuable lessons I learned:

1- All cats communicate through body language and/or vocal sounds; listen and observe
  intently and you'll learn to decipher and differentiate.

2- Routine, patience, TLC and TIME is the winning formula to gain the trust of a scared cat, any cat, even feral ones.  This is called "socialization". For most cats it happens sooner. Hansel just needed more time.

Hansel's progression has taken several years. He will be five years old this July and this past month was another first for him.  I'm gushing with pride and joy.

I share this #RecipeForMoments so you too can nurture that bond with your indoor pet cat or outdoor community cat and help them live humanely, happy lives. Just remember it takes time. Even years for cats.   All creatures, big or small, two-legged or four legged seek the same comforts--food, shelter, and companionship. These are moments for the scrapbook. In our case, our scrapblog.

(Feel free to leave a comment below by clicking "Comment").

Do you have a special moment to share about you and your cat? 
Nature's Recipe® is looking for stories through the eyes of your pets. It's a chance to celebrate the special bond that connects our hearts and brings us so much joy.

Our story is a part of the #RecipeForMoments blog hop hosted by BlogPaws. Link up below to share your story of the bond you and your pet share. What do you think your pet feels in your special moments? Five random U.S. winners who link up their blog post will win a Nature’s Recipe® lightweight collar camera to capture special moments from their pet’s point of view. See BlogPaws for official rules and details.

This post is sponsored by Nature’s Recipe on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Nature’s Recipe For Moments on behalf of Nature’s Recipe, but we only share information we feel is relevant (and FUN) to our readers. Nature’s Recipe is not responsible for the content of this article.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#RecipeforMoments Hansel El Gato, Habla por Primera Vez

Primer diente de un bebé, primeros pasos, primeras palabras ... son pequeños actos físicos, pero en un contexto más amplio, son significativos.

Trabajando con, gatos rescatados salvajes, semi-salvajes y asustados, siempre que puedo estar más cerca o apenas tocar a un gato asustado, quiero saltar de alegría. Más a menudo se necesita autocontrol para permanecer quieta. En lugar de saltos de emoción estos se reemplazan con lágrimas de alegría. 

Con seis gatos rescatados, sólo uno es terriblemente tímido - Hansel. Recientemente, Hansel a la edad de cuatro años y medio de edad, alcanzó una nueva meta. Mientras que los otros gatos se encuentran en su camino, Hansel continúa emergiendo de su concha. Otro año, otro precioso momento.

La historia de Hansel y Gretel sigue la del cuento de los Hermanos Grimm. Estos hermanitos fueron rescatados de las garras del mal de las terribles máquinas de la zona de construcción aquí en el centro de Miami.
Hansel y Gretel llegando a su nuevo hogar
Hansel y Gretel cuando eran gatitos en Julio del 2009
Su madre Midora dio a luz a siete gatitos. Lamentablemente uno fue atropellado por un vehículo que iba a gran velocidad en un estacionamiento. Por esta razón Midora trasladó su nido a la calle donde nuevos peligros acechaban. La pequeña Gretel fue descubierta tratando de escalar una pared de cemento con las uñas para llegar a su madre en el otro lado. Cada otoño fue doloroso para los gatitos. La Ppiel de Gretel estaba visiblemente desgarrada y colgando de su hueso como un trapo desgarrado. Pronto aprendí que el dolor insoportable era de una fractura ósea. Me podía imaginar el miedo de los otros gatitos - los ruidos ensordecedores de las excavadoras, coches, el llanto de la pequeña Gretel ..

Hansel juega a la lucha con su hermana Gretel

Me dispuse a capturar a sus hermanos con una trampa y fue un éxito. Las dos hermanas fueron adoptadas de inmediato, en cuestión de días. Pero Hansel estaba notablemente asustado y encontró consuelo con su hermana Gretel. Yo los aislé en mi ducha de gran tamaño. Como Gretel no podía caminar, Hansel la mantuvo distraída y jugó con ella, la lamió y la consoló. Se convirtieron en inseparables.

Unos meses después en el 2009

Con el tiempo sus personalidades florecieron y Gretel ganó confianza y en la verdadera manera de un Tortie, se convirtió en una diva, exigiendo atención y afecto con sus constantes maullidos. Mientras tanto Hansel fue claramente tímido y reservado, asustado la mayoría de las veces. Siempre tranquilo nunca ni pío. Me pregunté por qué. ¿Estaba traumatizado por los ruidos exteriores? ¿O tenía defecto de nacimiento en sus cuerdas vocales? ¿Fue debido al hecho de que el tratamiento diario de Gretel de su herida en la pierna ( de la limpieza, cambio de vendajes, caricias y arrullos ) dio su unión más de humano a gato?

Una vez la pierna de Gretel se recuperó por completo, hemos tratado de conseguir que sean adoptados. Varias personas expresaron interés en Gretel , pero nadie quería la pareja. En muchos casos separé hermanos durante las adopciones. Pero Hansel & Gretel eran extra especial. Hansel era parte de la recuperación de su hermana. Pero estaba claro que Hansel sufriría más sin su hermana, sobre todo en un nuevo hogar. Los dos permanecen juntos hoy conmigo.

Pero Hansel se convirtió en más solitario. Siendo su cuidadora, yo no podía acercarme a acariciarlo. Un movimiento repentino o ruido lo asustaba. Tal vez debido a nuestra casa en el principio era el hogar de gatitos rescatados, extraños entrando a nuestra casa para conocerlos, el proceso de decoración ( era un nuevo hogar para mí también) y monstruos semanales con el nombre de "amas de casa" y "Aspiradoras", Hansel se mantendría distante. Teniendo esto en cuenta, y aprendiendo los beneficios de la rutina para mi propia salud, terminé la decoración del hogar y muebles, conforme con un horario establecido, y esperaba lo mejor. Al menos Hansel vivía en el interior, libre de peligros y tenía un montón de lugares para esconderse, un montón de comida, agua y amor incondicional.

Después de un año , Hansel me permitió acercarme a él en silencio y de manera constante y acariciarlo . Quería gritar de alegría, pero seguía siendo un gigante amable.

En el segundo año, con cautela subió las escaleras del perro a la cama y se acostó junto a mí con los brazos extendidos! Hansel vino a mí voluntariamente! Levanté la vista hacia el techo como si mirando a los cielos y le di gracias a Dios por esta meta alcanzada.

Recientemente, mientras me sentaba en mi escritorio de oficina, Hansel estaba de pie en la compostura regia, miró directamente a mí o a mi perfil (lo que me pareció extraordinariamente raro para un gato tímido ) y maulló en tono mesurado. Lo hizo de nuevo. HANSEL FUE maullando, HABLANDO POR PRIMERA VEZ . Me quedé inmóvil y lentamente como las manecillas de un reloj, giré mi cabeza en dirección a Hansel y le pregunté "¿Qué pasa Hansel?". Siguió sosteniendo mi mirada. Esto fue increíble . Él realmente me estaba diciendo algo. Cautelosamente me puse de pie y repetí " Sí Hansel, ¿qué pasa?". Él procedió a caminar hacia su plato. Estaba vacío.Le serví un poco de comida seca para gatos y empezó a comer. Él me decía que tenía hambre y que el plato de comida estaba vacía. ¡INCREÍBLE! Ninguno de los otros cinco gatos nunca hizo esto. Pude compartir una serie de historias haciendo alarde de el nivel de inteligencia de mis otros gatos, pero esto era notable. (A pesar de tener una cámara de vídeo de alta definición a mi lado en todo momento para capturar estos momentos, Hansel todavía se asusta del objeto desconocido en frente de él y los ruidos de pitidos que no he sido capaz todavía de registrar sus maullidos, aún).

Hansel mirándome directamente y hablando, diciéndome que lo siga.

Hansel está indicando que su plato está vacío.

Unos días más tarde, Hansel me habló de nuevo. Lo seguí y esta vez él caminaba hacia el Otoman de terciopelo negro. Este era el trono de caricias de la sala de estar. Hizo una pausa y me miró esperando. Esta fue una señal de que tenía que ponerme en cuclillas a su nivel y permanecer paralela al otoman, esperar a que suba al otoman y acariciarlo. El sentido común me dijo, esto fue el resultado de muchas siestas que tomó en el otoman y esto me permitiría aprovechar para acercarme a él en voz baja, de rodillas y comenzar a acariciarlo. En un sueño profundo, se despertó y cuando Hansel se dió cuenta que lo acariciaba él no se inmutó o huyó.Ya había ganado su confianza en el otoman mientras dormía y los alrededores estaban tranquilos.

Hansel en el Ottoman, el trono de caricias

Hansel ha encontrado su voz, su forma de comunicarse . En una tercera comunicación, Hansel asume la posición, deja escapar un maullido y me lleva a mi habitación. Al principio supuse que quería que yo le acariciara en la cama. Pero a menudo se escurría debajo de la cama cuando me acercaba a él. Entonces caí en la cuenta. Se acercó a la cama por la noche mientras yo estaba acostada en la cama. Así que poco a poco me tendí sobre la cama, con la cabeza sobre la almohada y él procedió a colocarse paralelo a mí, de manera que pudiera acariciar su piel . Algunos idiomas tienen más tiempo para aprender. Estoy constantemente aprendiendo ¡Gato Habla!

Dos lecciones valiosas que aprendí :

1 - Todos los gatos se comunican a través del lenguaje corporal y / o sonidos vocales, escucha y observa
  con atención y aprenderás a descifrar y diferenciar.

2 - Rutina, paciencia , Caricias y Cuidados, y el tiempo es la fórmula ganadora para ganar la confianza de un gato asustado, cualquier gato, incluso los salvajes. Esto se llama "socialización". Para la mayoría de los gatos sucede antes. Hansel sólo necesitaba más tiempo .

La progresión de Hansel ha tomado varios años. Él cumplirá cinco años de edad en Julio, y el mes pasado fue otro primero para él. Estoy desbordada con orgullo y alegría.


Comparto esta #RecipeforMoments para que tu también puedas alimentar ese vínculo con tu gato de interior o de tu comunidad y les ayudes a vivir humanamente, una vida feliz. Sólo recuerde que se necesita tiempo. Incluso años para los gatos. Todas las criaturas, grandes o pequeños, de dos patas o cuatro patas buscan las mismas comodidades - comida, refugio, y el compañía. Son momentos para el libro de recuerdos. En nuestro caso, nuestra nuestro libro de recuerdos en línea. 

(Siéntase libre de dejar un comentario a continuación, haga clic en "Comentario"). 

¿Tienes un momento especial con tu gato que quisieras compartir? 
 Receta Nature® está en busca de historias a través de los ojos de sus mascotas. Es una oportunidad para celebrar el vínculo especial que une nuestros corazones y nos trae tanta alegría.

Nuestra historia es parte de la Colección de Bitacoras de #RecipeforMoments  patrocinada por BlogPaws. Comparte tu enlace para que compartas el lazo que te une a tu mascota. Que crees que tus mascotas piensan en tus momentos especiales? 5 ganadores elejidos al azar de Estados Unidos que compartan el enlace su historia ganarán un ligero Collar con cámara integrada de Receta de Nature para capturar esos momentos especiales desde el punto de vista de la mascota. Visita BlogPaws para las reglas oficiales y detalles.

Este publicación está patrocinada por is sponsored by Receta de Nature de parte de BlogPaws Red de Bitácoras. Nosotros estamos siendo compensados para regar la voz acerca de Nature’s Recipe For Moments de parte de Receta de Nature, pero solo compartimos información que creemos importante(y DIVERTIDA) para nuestros lectores. Receta de Nature no es responsable por el contenido de este artículo.

Nose-to-Nose Awards--Nomination Time

It's that time of year for the nominations of the Nose-to-Nose Best Blog and Social Media awards for pet bloggers sponsored by BlogPaws.  We love these awards because all we need is your nomination.  

NO signing up.
NO voting everyday.
NO begging from us (except this one time!)


After FIVE years in existence we hope our hard work and dedication pays off so volunteers garner recognition and therefore Riverfront Cats as an organization can pursue bigger goals in helping to reverse the trend of homeless cats!

Therefore this is our first time asking for your help to nominate Riverfront Cats for some categories.

There are 12 categories total but here BELOW are some that are most fitting based on our efforts.
CLICK HERE to begin nominating Riverfront Cats. THANK YOU!!!

Riverfront Cats has now meowed around for five years. As you know we educate, we rescue, we share and we never stop uplifting feral and black cats--the least understood cat issues.

     Information you'll need:
     Blog's homepage link:
     Contact name for blog owner: Christine Michaels on behalf of Riverfront Cats (a nonprofit organization)
     Contact email for blog owner:
     Facebook page of nominee:
     Twitter page of nominee:

The blog post about the passing away of a feral cat Lion King. It shows that all cats are equal and deserve the same humane treatment. Readers commented, emailed and sent Facebook messages they cried a river.
     Information you'll need:
     Blog writer's homepage:
     Direct link to blogpost:
     Contact name for blog writer: Christine Michaels
     Contact email for blog writer:
     Facebook page of nominee:
     Twitter page of nominee:

Photos are a critical part of our blog and education efforts to elevate black and feral cats; to gain attention of any reader and demonstrate that cats are just as adorable, gorgeous, and intelligent as dogs; and to increase chances of adoption.

Whether indoor, or outdoor, stray or feral, rescued or abandoned, all cats are beautiful. The photos of the cats below are all rescues. Feel free to NOMINATE  ONE photo or all. But each one much must be nominated separately. ALL THE CATS featured are BLACK cats except for Geisha who is a tuxedo.

     Information you'll need:
     Direct link to photo: (Geisha)
     Direct link to photo: (Ninji)
     Direct link to photo: (Ninji 2 closeup)
     Direct link to photo: (Ninji 3- on chair)
     Direct link to photo: (Johnny Walker)
     Direct link to photo: (Romeo, a Riverfront colony cat)

     Contact name for blog owner: Christine Michaels
     Contact email for blog owner:
     Facebook page of nominee:
     Twitter page of nominee:

Miami has beautiful cityscape and waterviews and people.  Stray black cats are just as striking and gorgeous. We uplift black and feral cats through our design.

     Information you'll need:
     The blog link you are nominating:
     Contact name for owner: Christine Michaels on behalf of Riverfront Cats
     Contact email for owner:
     Facebook page of nominee:
     Twitter page of nominee:

Sure it's a low budget video and Christine, our founder, was willing to go beyond and embarrass herself to show that cat women are sexy/confident on the inside, by donning a cat suit and walking in the middle of the streets of Miami and striking sexy poses. The message is clear! Cat women come from all backgrounds and professions. We are compassionate not crazy.
     Information you'll need:
     Link to video:
     Contact name for video owner: Christine Michaels
     Contact email for video owner:
     Facebook page of nominee:
     Twitter page of nominee:

Riverfront Cats has consistently shared information regarding cat health, cats for adoption, networked with outside organizations to find homes for rescued or abandoned cats and for fundraising.  Rather than solicit funds from readers/fans regularly, Riverfront Cats has used social media to promote purchases of everyday items that benefit homeless cats, ie. purchases on Amazon, Black Cat calendar, Bottles of Wine to accumulate much needed funding.

     Information you'll need:
     Share a link to content:
     Facebook page of nominee:     
     Twitter page of nominee:
     Pinterest page:
     Contact name for 501c(3): Christine Michaels
     Contact email for 501c(3):

Thank you for your time to help us expand our reach, our voice and help homeless, feral and black cats!

Friday, February 7, 2014

End the Litterbox Shuffle with #PreciousCat

 Did you know that 10% of indoor cats soil outside the Litter Box?

Zeke used to urinate outside litter box at his former home
but he uses it just fine at the shelter!
Why? Read on!

Considering the millions of cats in this country, that is mucho accidentes--that's Spanish for "many accidents".  To meow a number, nine million cats have litter box aversion.

At Riverfront Cats, as a nonprofit dedicated to education and rescue, we hear a litany of reasons as to why cat guardians relinquish their cats due to behavioral issues. Inappropriate urination is the number one reason.

But there is hope so less cats are surrendered at the local pound or abandoned outside due to litter box fear and end the litter brand shuffle.

"Are these toys suppose to make litter box more fun?"

We recently had the opportunity to participate in the interview process with cat expert, Dr. Bruce Elsey the creator of  Precious Cat's Cat Attract Litter to ask him our burning questions about cats and litter boxes. In 1978, Dr. Elsey opened his first cat-only practice in the Denver metro area. His was the latest practice out of 13 in the entire country specific to cats.  The science behind dog health was leap years ahead that of the feline species. So without dogs in the waiting room, cats were more at ease and Dr. Elsey could focus his skills and contribute to advancing the science of cat health. Brillliant!

Cats Marking Territory with Urine vs. Inappropriate Urine Elimination

First we learned there is a difference between marking territory and inappropriate elimination.

According to Dr. Elsey, if the cat urinates in a line and does not turn around and sniff, then the cat is marking territory. Marking is a form of communication for cats to get their point across.  These alpha cats will still use litter boxes.

However if the cat forms a puddle, and turns to sniff, this is considered inappropriate urination, and likely a cause of litter aversion.

We once spotted blood  in smaller-than-normal clumps when cleaning the litter box. A sign of blockage? But with six indoor cats, how to pinpoint which cat had a problem? We did not observe any behavior change nor did we plan to wait. Checking the bottoms of each cat, sure enough we found traces of blood on Geisha. We rushed her to the vet to rule out a medical problem.

Looking at her, you would never know Geisha was ill.
Cleaning the litter box more than once a day, indicated something was wrong.

According to Dr. Elsey,

The number one reason to have blood in urine is interstitial cystitis. It’s more of a brain problem than a health issue and is brought on by stress. Those cats, 90% under 10 years old, will not have a urinary tract infection (bacterial). If you have a cat that has blood in its urine there is only a 10% chance that it has a bacterial infection. Interstitial cystitis is more stress related and the owner would have to work with the cat on behavior and work to change/enrich cat’s environment to change that.

Part of that environment is to ensure optimal space, exercise, the number of cats and type of litter.

In historic times, cats lived outdoors. As time evolves the outdoors pose greater dangers and it is encouraged to keep cats indoors. In doing so cat guardians have a responsibility to ensure cats have playtime to expend energy in the same way they used to roam as predators.

So you have an argument with your spouse and send him to sleep in the dog house to reduce tension in the household. Well cats also need a place to escape the drama and unexpected noises and intrusions.
Perches, ledges, and high places is a favorite retreat for cats.

Gretel , a total Diva, on window sill overlooking downtown Miami

Playmates help with exercise and energy. But too many cats in a household also risk increases in household tension.  Not everyone plays nice in the sandbox and multiple cats may lead to marking territory.

So this leads to the question: what are ways to ensure cats use the INSIDE of the litter box?

1. Location, Location, Location
Real estate is prime in Miami and the same goes for cats and their litter boxes. Keep boxes away from high traffic areas, in quiet area, with room to move around so it's not too close to the neighbors. 

2. Bigger is Better
Most cat guardians have litter boxes that are too small for their cats. The rule of thumb is one and half times the length of your cat so the kitty has room to turn around and cover and reduce chance of stepping in their elimination.

3. Convertible is the Way to Go
Can you imagine using portable potties several times a day? Enclosed, no air circulation, the stench... you get the picture. If you don't like it, cats don't either! Consider removing the cover

4. Clean Litter Box EVERYDAY
What if you flushed the toilet once a week? Need we continue with the image of the portable toilets  from above? PLEASE clean the litter box daily, or hire a pet sitter and housekeeper.

5. One Litter Box per Cat plus ONE
The rule of thumb is still the same. For every cat, get one litter box plus one extra box.  You can get creative with boxes and hide them in ottomans, end tables and cut out holes in the back. This may even motivate you to clean the litter box more often.

6. Feed Cats Moist Food!
There is a constant discussion about moist vs. dry and we have worked with many cats, both outdoor, indoor, rescue, adopted, abandoned... and talked to many vets. MOIST FOOD is beneficial.  According to Dr. Elsey kidney compromise is the number one reason for demise in older cats. We've seen it  too many times.

Cats are in a chronic stage of dehydration their entire life when on dry food and that’s not conducive to normal kidney function. Consider a cat’s diet in the wild would be a mouse with a moisture content of 80%; canned food is 72-82% moisture, and dry food has a 10% moisture. Cats simply don’t drink enough water to make up for the moisture deficit and this can have an adverse impact on kidney function. And that leads back to urinary issues.

7.Cat Attract Litter
If you follow the above steps religiously, then it's time to turn to your litter.  Cats like a litter that is as close to sand as possible, from a texture standpoint. Using sand indoors isn’t an option because even though cats like it, it doesn’t absorb. So Dr. Elsey created a formula in fine particle size, with an herbal essence that is pleasing to cats and that also absorbs.

The seven steps above will help reduce anxiety in your cat, lessen frustration for you and END the musical litter boxes and bring harmony and purrs and all around. Please share this link and help educate other cat owners and reduce the number of surrendered cats. It's all about education.

After this interview, we will be receiving the Precious Cat's Cat Attract litter to test it and provide our honest review in coming weeks. So stay tuned.  And now for a commercial break...

This post is sponsored by Precious Cat on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network . We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Precious Cat's Cat Attract formula, but Riverfront Cats only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Precious Cat is not responsible for the content of this article.

Ponga Fin a los Constantes Cambios de Caja de Arena con #PreciousCat

¿Sabía usted que el 10 % de los gatos de interior orinan fuera de la caja de arena?

  Zeke solía orinarse fuera de la caja de arena en su previo hogar
 pero ahora la usa sin problema en el refugio!
Por qué? Lee mas abajo 

Teniendo en cuenta los millones de gatos en este país, esos son muchos accidentes. Para maullar un número, nueve millones de gatos le tienen fobia a la caja de arena.

Aquí en Riverfront Cats, como una organización no lucrativa dedicada a la educación y rescate, escuchamos una letanía de razones de por qué los propietarios de gatos los abandonan debido a problemas de comportamiento. Orine inadecuado es la razón número uno.

Pero hay esperanza para que menos gatos sean entregados al refugio local o abandonados en la calle debido al miedo a la caja de arena y termine el constante cambio  de marcas de arena.

"Se supone que estos juguetes hagan la caja de arena más divertida?"

Recientemente tuvimos la oportunidad de participar en el proceso de la entrevista con el experto en gatos, el Dr. Bruce Elsey el creador de la marca de arenaPrecious Cat's Cat Attract Litter “donde pudimos hacerle diferentes preguntas sobre gatos y cajas de arena. En 1978, el Dr. Elsey abrió su primer consultorio solo para gatos en el área metropolitana de Denver. La suya fue la última práctica de 13 en todo el país solo para gatos. La ciencia detrás de la salud del perro era años bisiestos por delante el de la especie felina. Así que sin perros en la sala de espera, los gatos fueron más a gusto y Dr. Elsey pudo enfocar sus habilidades y contribuir al avance de la ciencia de la salud del gato. Brillante!

Gatos marcando el territorio con orina vs Eliminación Inadecuada de orina 

Primero nos enteramos de que hay una diferencia entre marcar el territorio y la eliminación inadecuada.

Según el Dr. Elsey, si el gato se orina en una línea y no da la vuelta a oler, entonces el gato está marcando territorio. Marcado es una forma de comunicación para los gatos hacer sentir su presencia. Estos gatos alfa seguirán usando las cajas de arena.

Sin embargo, si el gato forma un charco, y da la vuelta a oler, esto se considera un orine inadecuado, y es probable que sea una causa de fobia a la caja de arena.

Una vez cuando limpiábamos la caja de arena detectamos sangre en grumos más pequeños de lo normal. Un signo de obstrucción? Pero con seis gatos de interior, como determinar qué gato tenía el problema? No se observó ningún cambio de conducta ni tampoco teníamos  la intención de esperar. Chequeando el trasero de cada uno de los gatos, efectivamente, encontramos rastros de sangre en Geisha  la cual llevamos inmediatamente al veterinario para descartar un problema médico.

Viendola en esta foto, nunca pensarías que Geisha estuvo enferma
Al limpiar la caja de arena varias veces al día, pudimos detectar que algo no estaba bien. 

Según el Dr. Elsey,

La razón número uno para presentar sangre en la orina es la cistitis intersticial. Se trata más de un problema cerebral que un problema de salud y es causada por el estrés. Esos gatos, 90 % menores de 10 años, no van a tener una infección del tracto urinario (bacteriana). Si usted tiene un gato que tiene sangre en su orina sólo hay una probabilidad del 10 % que tiene una infección bacteriana. La cistitis intersticial es más estrés y el propietario tendría que trabajar con el gato en la conducta y trabajar para cambiar / enriquecer el entorno del gato para cambiar eso.

Parte de ese ambiente es asegurar un espacio óptimo, el ejercicio, el número de gatos y tipo de arena.
Los gatos necesitan EJERCICIO.

En tiempos históricos, los gatos vivían en el exterior. Con la evolución del tiempo el exterior representa mayores peligros y se recomienda mantener a los gatos en el interior. Al hacerlo los propietarios de gatos tienen la responsabilidad de asegurarse de que los gatos tienen tiempo de juego que les permita gastar energía en la misma forma en que solían hacerlo cuando eran depredadores.

Cuando tienes una discusión con tu cónyuge  lo envías a dormir al sofá para reducir la tensión en el hogar. Pues los gatos también necesitan un lugar para escapar del drama, ruidos inesperados y ataques.
Repisas  y los lugares altos es el refugio favorito de los gatos.

Gretel, una total diva, en la ventana mirando la ciudad de Miami
Compañeros de juego ayudan con el ejercicio y la energía. Pero demasiados gatos en una casa también arriesgan el aumento en la tensión de los hogares. No todo el mundo juega limpio en la caja de arena y varios gatos pueden llevar a marcar el territorio.

Así que esto lleva a la pregunta: ¿Cómo aseguramos que los gatos utilicen el INTERIOR de la caja de arena?

1. Ubicación, ubicación, ubicación
Los bienes raíces son de primera en Miami y lo mismo pasa con los gatos y sus cajas de arena. Mantenga las cajas fuera de las áreas de alto tráfico, en zona tranquila, con espacio para moverse y de manera que no quede muy cerca de sus vecinos.

2. Más grande, mejor
La mayoría de los propietarios de gatos tienen cajas de arena que son demasiado pequeñas para sus gatos. La regla de oro es  que la caja de arena sea una vez y media la longitud de su gato para que el gatito tenga espacio para dar la vuelta y cubrir y reducir la posibilidad de pisar sus heces en su eliminación.

3. Convertible es el camino a seguir
¿Puede usted imaginar el uso de orinales portátiles varias veces al día? Cerrado, sin circulación de aire, el olor... entiende la situación. Si no te gusta, a los gatos tampoco! Considere la posibilidad de quitar la tapa.

4. Limpie la caja de arena TODOS LOS DIAS
¿Qué pasa si descargas el inodoro una vez por semana? ¿Seguimos con la imagen de los baños portátiles explicada previamente? Por favor, limpie la caja de arena todos los días, o contratar a un cuidador de mascotas y ama de casa.

5. Una caja de arena por gato más una EXTRA
La regla de oro sigue siendo la misma. Por cada gato, asegúrese de tener una caja de arena más una  extra. Usted puede ser creativo con las cajas y los esconden en otomans, mesas bajas y corte los agujeros en la parte posterior. Esto incluso puede motivar  limpiar la caja de arena más a menudo.

6. Alimente los gatos con comida húmeda!
Hay una discusión constante sobre húmedo vs seco y hemos trabajado con muchos gatos, de exterior, de interior, rescatados, adoptados, abandonados... y hablado con muchos veterinarios. El Alimento húmedo es beneficioso. Según el Dr. Elsey problemas renales  son la razón número uno de muerte en los gatos mayores. Lo hemos visto demasiadas veces.
Los gatos se encuentran en una fase crónica de deshidratación durante toda su vida, cuando solo se les alimenta con comida seca lo cual no es conducente a la función renal normal. Considere la posibilidad de la dieta de un gato en la naturaleza sería un ratón con un contenido húmedo del 80%, la comida enlatada es 72-82%  húmeda, y el alimento seco tiene una humedad del 10 %. Los gatos simplemente no beben suficiente agua para compensar el déficit de humedad y esto puede tener un impacto adverso sobre la función renal. Y eso lleva de nuevo a los problemas urinarios.

7. Arena atrae gato
Si usted sigue los pasos anteriores religiosamente, entonces es hora de prestar atención a la arena. Los gatos, les gusta una arena lo más parecida posible a arena de verdad, desde el punto de vista de textura. El uso de arena de verdad en el interior no es una opción, porque a pesar de que los gatos les gusta, no absorbe lo suficiente. Por lo que el Dr. Elsey ha creado una fórmula de tamaño de partícula fina, con una esencia a base de hierbas que es agradable a los gatos y que también absorbe.
Los siete pasos anteriores le ayudará a reducir la ansiedad de su gato, a disminuir la frustración para usted y a poner fin a las cajas de arena musicales y traer armonía y ronroneos en todo alrededor. Por favor comparta este enlace y ayude a educar a otros dueños de gatos y reducir el número de gatos rendidos. Todo es cuestión de educación.

Después de esta entrevista, estaremos recibiendo la marca de arena Precious Cat's Cat Litter para probarla y proporcionar nuestra honesta opinión en las próximas semanas. Así que estén atentos. Y ahora una pausa para la publicidad...

Esta publicación esta patrocinada por Gato Precioso en nombre de BlogPaws Blogger Network . Estamos siendo compensados por ayudar a promover  Precious Cat's Cat Litter, pero Riverfront Cats solo comparte información la cual creemos que es relevante para nuestros lectores. Gato Precioso no es responsable por el contenido de este artículo.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Building Temporary Cat Shelters

The church bells are tolling, the horns are blaring,  reminiscent of Paul Revere's ride alerting of the British invasion, we hear a cacophony of news alerts,  "A COLD FRONT IS COMING". Many parts of our nation are paralyzed from snow blizzard. The tentacles of the January 2014 storm are reaching as far south as Miami.

In Miami the mercurial levels rarely fall below 70 degrees. On the rare occasions when Miami temperatures drop to 60 degrees, it is fodder for news reports across TV, radio and the Internet.

Regardless of where you live, outdoor cats are acclimated to the temperatures in their environment. Miami is no different.  Hence on the five days of the year temperatures drop to below 40, some community or outdoor pet cats do not survive. Perhaps their bodies are weak from unknown illness or they did not have shelter with enough protection from cold or wind.

This week temperatures were at a high of 85 degrees Fahrenheit and plummeted a whopping 40 degrees within hours.

Be sure to tap your car hood before starting the engine

Thankfully we were prepared. Lately we have experienced anomaly rain levels for this time of year. Normally the sun is bright, the weather dry. New Years week has showered more rain rivaling our summer days. So the early rains prompted Christine to build cat shelters. They in turn are now serving as shelters from the bitter cold.

OUR SOLUTION- Clear Plastic Storage Bins for #CatShelters

From experience and much trial and error, what we have found most effective to build shelters that the cats will actually use are clear plastic storage bins.  Many websites promote Styrofoam boxes. If you are confident they work for your outdoor friendly and feral cats, then do continue to use them. 

From experience,  the Riverfront Cats need two essentials:
  1. the ability to see their surroundings and
  2. two exits

This is why we use CLEAR PLASTIC BINS.

With a number of cats in the neighborhood-- a stray that may wander upon our colony, a passing raccoon or opossum, an unleashed dog out for routine bathroom break (we've seen it all)-- the Riverfront Cats need the ability to exit if another creature pokes their head into their shelter. No cat likes to be cornered. The clear plastic allows the cats to see their surroundings if they sense a human or animal is approaching.

HOW TO CONSTRUCT Temporary Cat Shelters
The materials we used were an exacto blade, electrical tape, pair of rubber gloves, strong muscles and long sleeve shirt and jeans.  The shirt and jeans are for you to wear.  The plastic is thick and difficult to cut so we use an exacto blade. CAUTION-- cutting through the plastic can be dangerous. The blade can skate off the plastic and puncture your finger or other body part. This is why we recommend wearing gloves, and layer of clothing to minimize deep cuts.

A person with strong arm can cut through the plastic quicker and more easily than Olive Oyl.  Find your Popeye.

Then we cut out a square on both sides of the narrow ends. 

And the electrical tape? Well the plastic is brittle and cracks will create jagged cuts. We recommend cutting those off and softening the edges with electrical tape. Cats may have to run in and out and scrape against the edges. We want to shield and protect cats, not increase their risk of injury.

Also we flip the bins upside down as the top portion is slightly wider for cats to lay and stretch. Also the lip is wider.

Johnny Walker inspects cat shelters
Electrical tape is used to soften the sharp edges

Next, since we are a nonprofit providing a community service, we chose to write a notice with permanent marker to minimize someone from removing the shelters. " Please Do Not Remove. [then in Spanish] No Quitar. Placed by Riverfront Cats..."

You'll notice we also flip the bins and lay them upside down since the original top portion is a little wider.

Shelter bin hidden in bushes
Can you see it?

Peering into bushes

Closeup view inside bushes

Since many of the shelters are placed near bushes and branches, the Styrofoam boxes would not be suitable as it creates high pitched noises when branches rub against the box.


You can purchase these type of storage bins at stores like Target.  The average price is $8.  Please know these bins do become more brittle over time and have to be replaced every three to six months.  But we have found it to be the most cost effective solution overall than building a custom or wood shelter that often are removed and go missing in our neighborhood.

Plastic shelter without any lining

Mama Cat (shelter behind her with brick tile on top)

Mama Cat featured above is a regular user of the cat shelter for rainy and cold weather.  She doesn't wander far and her perimeter is less than one block. 

Straw can be used during cold weather but straw is hard to obtain in downtown Miami.  Hay should never be used as it gets damp and wet and mushy. 

In making the rounds during bad weather, we see the shelters in use by the cats.  Such a relief!

We would LOVE to have shelters built by architects fashioned after a win-win-win solution in New York City for Feral cats called Architect for Animals. One year!

Until then, the above shelters are affordable, functional and provide shelter and refuge for the Riverfront Cats.