The Purr Company Mews-Letter - June 2007

Hi and welcome to the June Mews-letter.

I'm finding it very hard to get on with any work today. I've been ‘at work' for about 4 hours now, but I've actually only got about half an hour of work done. (Don't tell Sam!)

"What's wrong?" You may be asking, well nothing really, except we have 2 very cute kittens running about the place who are demanding that I go and play with them rather than get on with the mountain of work I have on my desk. Apologies to anyone who is expecting me to get anything done for them today, I'm going to blame technical difficulties ;-)

I had written an appeal looking for homes for our cute new friends, which was going to be included in this edition of the Mews-letter, but within 10 minutes of their arrival everyone here went a bit daft and we had more offers for homes than we've got kittens.

Anyway, sorry you missed out, in fact I'm sorry I missed out as I'd love to keep them but I think 4 cats is enough for now!

It has launched an interesting line of thought though. If anyone is looking for new homes for cats or kittens, write in and we'll put the details in the next edition and see if we can help.

While I'm here, I also wanted to let everyone know that we've moved the Website to a new server. It's still at the same address ( ) but it should work faster than the old one and will be able to handle more visitors at once. The transfer seems to have all gone smoothly, but please let me know if you find anything not working or any broken images etc.

That's all for now, I have to go and play with the kittens some more, hope you enjoy this edition.

Best wishes




  1. Cats Can Have Allergies Too
  2. What is Pine Cat Litter?
  3. Special offer - 10% off Drinking Water Fountains
  4. Website of the month - Battersea Dogs and Cats Home


1. Cats Can Have Allergies Too

It is a little known fact that most mammals suffer from some form of allergy. Most of these go unnoticed as, upon contact with an allergen, the immune system mounts an effective defence and the threat is dealt with before the onset of any symptoms.

This happens every day for most of us in one form or another, be it with pollens, dust, microorganisms or a host of other potential nasties. The problem, as I'm sure you will already know, is the allergens the individual immune system is unable to effectively defeat.

Like most other mammals, cats can have allergies too. Unfortunately our furry friends can't tell us when something is irritating them and we have to be vigilant to detect the symptoms.

Luckily most of us cat owners are a little bit obsessive about our cats and know every little change that happens, but it's not always easy to determine the cause of a problem and allergies are often overlooked.

What are the signs of an allergy in a cat?

As with human allergies, cat allergies exhibit a limited range of symptoms, you just need to know what to look for. Determining the cause of a reaction can be a whole other challenge, but figuring out that it's an allergy in the first place can be half the battle won.

Symptoms can include sore or weepy eyes, excessive mucus, upset stomachs or itchy skin, but allergies can occasionally create some other unusual symptoms too. If your cat exhibits some unusual symptoms that are not on the list and you can't find another cause you should consider allergies as a possible cause.

How we found out cats can have allergies.

A few years ago, before we knew cats could have allergies, we noticed Bones was washing a lot, to the point that certain areas on his legs and belly lost patches of fur. We were, of course, very concerned about this and thought he may have some sort of obsessive mental disorder. (As you may already know, Bones is quite an unusual cat)

After monitoring him for a week and trying to discourage the behaviour, we took him down to the vet, who could find nothing wrong. We saw a behavioural psychologist, who said Bones seemed happy and well adjusted. We scoured the Internet, but came up with nothing.

By this time, (about 3 weeks later) he seemed to have stopped with the obsessive washing and the fur was growing back, so we decided we had no choice but to accept that it was a mystery that may never be solved.

About a year later we noticed the same thing happening. After a few frustrating weeks it cleared up again and all was back to normal and we were as confused about the problem as ever.

We continued to try and find a cause in anticipation of it happening again when a though occurred to me. It was like a lightning bolt of realisation. It took a bit of looking into to substantiate it but I'd hit the nail on the head.

Both episodes of obsessive washing had been in early spring as the weather heated up. Both episodes had started before a flea treatment. Both episodes had started to clear up within a week of the flea treatment, it was so obvious it hurt – Bones is allergic to fleas!!

Dealing with Bones' allergy is easy

We don't like to use chemicals unnecessarily, so the common 3 monthly routine treatments are out of the question, but years of cat ownership has taught us that outdoor cats will catch fleas in spring and summer, so they always get a treatment in early spring and early summer. They also get a treatment if we notice any of the wee beasties at other times, although that's quite rare.

You can't do anything about cats catching fleas, it's just something that happens, but we now look out for Bones washing more than seems normal and when we see him doing it we go on a flea hunt.

Most of the time we're being over cautious and it comes to nothing, but on a few occasions we've found one or two of the little blighters (the fleas that is, not the cats) and have immediately begun treatment. I'm pleased to say that this is a very effective approach and for the last couple of years we've prevented any serious reactions and bones has kept his fur coat in tact.

How does this relate to allergies my own cat may have?

Well, although bones' allergy is quite specific it's also surprisingly common, and the principle for dealing with it applies to dealing with most other allergies. If you work out that your cat has an allergy there are steps you will be able to take to minimise the risk of exposure. Further, you will know what symptoms to look out for and what steps to take should you find any.

If you think your cat might have an allergy, try to look for patterns in when, where and how the symptoms exhibit themselves. Take the cat to the vet and tell him what you've seen, they should be able to interpret the symptoms and do some checks to come to a firm conclusion.

In most cases, identifying the problem and putting preventative measures in place is all that is needed to save both you and your cat from a lot of anguish.

This article was first published in The Purr Company's regular Mews-letter, visit us for more cat stories and articles, a gallery of our visitors cats , cat videos and our online shop.

You may reproduce this article free of charge in any free newsletter or on any free web site on the condition that this resources box is included with any reproduction.

© copyright The Purr Company

2. What is Pine Cat Litter?

Author: Mayoor Patel

As people look for more healthful ways to handle the issue of proper cat hygiene in the home, pine cat litter may be a good solution. But what is cat pine litter and how is it a better alternative than all the solutions already on the market. Here are a few things you should know about cat litter made with pine that may entice you into giving the product a try.

Pine based cat litter is a natural alternative, much like many clay based litters. However one of the ways in which the pine type of litter differs from the clay is the number of additives that are infused into the litter to help it eliminate odors. The fact of the matter is that pine can not only absorb the liquid but also the odors without the need to add various chemicals to the process. What this means is that you have a product that is truly natural with just a minimum of chemicals added. Also, the pine scent does not just mask the strong ammonia scent of cat urine. The pine effectively kills the smell as it absorbs the moisture, and continues to emit a pleasing scent of pine

Pine cat litter also has the distinction of not creating the dust and off fly that is associated with some forms of cat litter. The lack of dusty residue is pleasing to many people, in that persons who are concerned with health risks associated with some forms of cat litter that do kick up quite a bit of dust don't have to worry about this happening. As an example, pine litter does not contain silica quartz or sodium bentonite, two of the chemical compounds that are in clumping cat litter. Both of these are purported to be health hazards, especially in regard to respiratory problems and cancer. With neither of these chemicals present, and with no dust residue to deal with, pine litter is a great alternative.

Finding pine litter is not hard to do. While not all supermarkets carry it, you should be able to find the pine variety in all major stores associated with major pet shop chains, as well as with a number of independently owned pet shops. Generally, you will find the price competitive with other types of litter, so the difference in cost will be minimal at best.

Pine cat litter has a lot going for it. With a fresh scent that lasts for a long time, excellent absorbing ability, the lack of dust residue and the absence of chemicals that appear to be health risks, pine litter is a great alternative for your home and pet .


3. Special offer – Offer Ended



4. Web Site of the Month - Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

With over 140 years since it was established and with numerous royal patrons and TV shows over the years, it's no surprise that Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has become a household name.

Taking in tens of thousands of cats and dogs each year also shows what a big operation this is, but their website has none of the cold corporate fluff one might expect from such a large organisation. In fact, upon arriving at the site you are greeted by a warm friendly page with enough interesting looking options to want to see more than one, but not so many as to confuse.

The site is divided into 5 main sections, comprising the four ‘R's (Rescue Reunite Rehabilitate Rehome) and the fifth ‘Lend a Paw' area, and the site seems to cover just about every aspect of the goings on at Battersea's 3 sites.

The rescue section covers the brilliant and essential work done by the staff, a full history of the organisation, behind the scenes photos and write ups and an abundance of other related information. This section of the site alone kept me there for over an hour.

The Reunite section has information about how to go about reporting your pet as lost or enquiring if they've been found and brought to Battersea. There's also a lot of good advice to help make sure they don't get lost in the first place.

The Rehabilitate section not only covers the work done at Battersea with regard to training and rehabilitating, but also has lessons and lots of good advice about psychological issues and pets. There's also an advice line for anyone having problems, which is detailed in this section.

The Rehome section deals with, as the name suggests, rehoming. As with every other area of the site, they haven't just put up their info and left it at that, there's a load of other related information for anyone considering adopting an animal, whether you're going to Battersea to find them or not.

Lastly but most importantly, the Lend a Paw section tells you all the ways you could easily and cheaply help out. Whether it's sponsoring a Kitty Kabin or jumping out of a plane, there's bound to be something you can do to support this organisation

My one and only criticism of this site is that even though their shopping pages are surely a good way to help raise the £10,000,000 needed every year to keep it running, the link to that section is far too subtle; I had been on the site for over an hour before I saw it. I'm sure most people would agree that sites like this can be forgiven for any commercial pushiness in aid of the greater good, so I wish they would make more of this section.

Overall, I have to say this is one of the best pet websites I've been to in a while, being not only a fascinating site but also a good cause, so visit them now!!


That's all until next time, thank you for reading.