The Cats and the Bees
By Sandy Robins
Did you know that July 10 was “Don’t Step on a Bee Day.” Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? If you don’t believe me, go to a website called DaysOfTheYear.com and check this out along with national waffle day and national gummi bear day…
The whole idea of this day is to help preserve bees, which are in danger in many parts of the world. While saving bees is a good thing, they can present a problem when you have cats. Cats find them irresistible to watch, chase—and catch.
We have a succulent on our balcony where the cats are allowed to sit safely and sun themselves. Every year it produces a huge stem with hundreds of tiny yellow flowers and with it comes the bees that probably get more pollen from this one stop than from flitting from flower to flower.
Fudge couldn’t care less. Been there done that—this occurs every year. But Ziggy is fixated, watching their every movement. It must make him dizzy when several bees arrive at once and flit all over this huge flowering stem. When one bee lost its sense of direction and flew inside Ziggy took after it at high speed. I had to spring into action to prevent ensuing conflict.
After a couple of weeks of this, I realized I couldn’t sit and watch Ziggy watching the bees any longer because eventually he could catch one and probably get stung, so I cut off the huge stem and put into it into a vase instead.
What do you do if your cat gets stung on her nose, paws or anywhere else? First off, if possible, get the entire stinger out. (Note: wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and bumble bees don’t leave their “stingers” behind.) A credit card is your best friend when it comes to removing a stinger. Use the credit card to scrape it away, making sure you get the whole stinger. Don’t use tweezers or your fingers as you might end up releasing more venom into or onto your cat. A sting won’t be too painful for your cat, according to veterinarians, but the site can swell up quickly. Ice will help reduce the swelling and it’s also a good idea to apply an antibiotic cream.
A friend’s cat chomped on a bee and got stung inside his cheek. That necessitated a trip to the vet and an antihistamine injection. In fact, any bee sting is definitely worth a follow up to the vet because cats can have an allergic reaction and go into shock. They might have difficulty breathing if the tissues of the throat swell. In addition, their blood pressure could plunge, resulting in a life-threatening complication. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after being stung, take her to a veterinarian immediately.
Sorry bees. Next year when this plant flowers, I am going to cut off the flowering stem and put it in a vase straight away. I am going to buy Ziggy a toy that replicates a bee on a wand and play with him instead.
About the Author: Sandy Robins is the 2013 winner of the “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Award.” Her work appears on many of the country’s leading pet platforms, such as MSNBC.com, MSN.com and TODAYShow.com. She is a regular contributor and columnist in multiple national and international publications, including Cat Fancy, as well as the author of the award-winning books “Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat” and “For The Love of Cats.” Learn more about Sandy on her website or Facebook page. #welovecats
5 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This 4th of July
Keep Pets Safe this 4th of July. For Americans, Independence Day is a time for celebration and reflection. This is especially a time to honor veterans and active duty soldiers who have paid and continue to pay the ultimate price for Americans to remain free.
However, every 4th of July thousands of pets are scared away from their homes by the fireworks. Many are lost and most end up in shelters never to be claimed by their original owners.
Keep pet safety on your mind, please be sure that we take extra precautions and planning around our Independence Day. Our pets tend to be fearful of fireworks and loud bangs. To keep your home and your pets safety a top priority on the upcoming holiday to do list, we have outlined 5 tips to pet safety on the 4th of July.
With the holiday fast approaching, Animal Behavior College (ABC) encourages pet owners to prepare now and take extra precautions to ensure they protect and keep their four-legged friends safe and secure.
4th of July Pet Safety Tips:
Prepare in Advance. Make plans in advance to ensure pets are micro-chipped with current contact information and are wearing a secure collar with appropriate identification tags. Tags should include: your name, a current phone number (preferably your mobile number) and the name and contact information of the microchip company. This will prove helpful in locating your pet in the event he becomes lost or manages to escape.
Keep Your Pet Comfortable and Inside Your Home. Observance activities can overexcite your pet, while festive foods and treats meant for humans can harm your pet’s health. If possible, safely secure your pet away from the soiree. Be sure to communicate clear instructions to guests not to feed your pet, as doing so could cause inflammation of a digestive gland and can be very painful and serious. Alcohol is toxic to dogs and cats. Never leave unattended alcoholic beverages within their reach.
Watch Your Pet Around Children. Some dogs have difficulties interacting with children. They become anxious, stressed and exhibit verbal behaviors and actions such as growling and biting. To avoid negative situations and signs of trouble, closely monitor the interaction between the dog and child. If the dog ignores your command and becomes too aggressive, move him to a secure area or crate.
Hire a Pet Sitter. With an abundance of activities and guests to tend, hiring a pet sitter is an option. Pet sitters adhere to your pet’s routine, provide exercise and walks, administer water and feedings and spend quality time. This personalized care not only relieves owners of guilt and worry, but also gives them an opportunity to relax and fully enjoy their guest and festivities.
Move Pet to a Quiet, Soothing Area. If a pet sitter is not an option, consider moving your pet to a safe place such as a crate, quiet room or escape-proof part of the house. Be sure to check occasionally to ensure there is plenty of water. The center of your home is a great place to allow your pet to feel safe and secure. If anxiety for your pet is too much during fireworks, consider ordering them a Thundershirt to have on-hand for the holiday festivities.
No Fireworks for Fido. For dogs, fireworks and reverberations leave them feeling agitated, startled and stressed. Keep dogs away from fireworks displays and noisy celebrations. Instead, create a peaceful environment by blocking outside sights and sounds, closing blinds and curtains, leaving on the radio or TV and providing their favorite toy or blanket.
Lastly, should your dog get scared and escape, contact your local animal shelter and animal control agency right away.
Animal Behavior College offers three certifications: Dog Obedience Program (DOP), Grooming Instruction Program (GIP) and Veterinary Assistant Program. For more information about Animal Behavior College, visit our website at www.AnimalBehaviorCollege.com.
Heat Awareness Day 2014
Several states are already experiencing above normal temperatures and sizzling, record breaking heat. Weather predictors such as the 2014 Farmers’ Almanac indicate that this summer will be exceptionally hot across much of the U.S. Since heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S. (According to the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Animal Behavior College encourages pet owners to prepare now to ensure they protect their dogs and cats from heat’s devastating effects. National Heat Awareness Day on May 23 serves as a great reminder.
“Summer is one of the busiest seasons for most people,” said Steven Appelbaum. “With so many activity-filled days, it is easy for dog and cat owners to forget that extreme heat can be potentially fatal. Planning and early preparation are key to ensuring pets are comfortable and safe.”
Pet Summer Safety Tips
The college recommends five readiness tips to help your pet beat the heat and other summer safety-related concerns:
Prevent Heat Stroke. As your pet’s body temperature increases, it cannot accommodate excessive external heat. Extreme heat can lead to heat stroke resulting in multiple organ dysfunctions. Keep your pet out of the heat and in a cool, shaded area. Provide access to water.
Prevent Sun Burn. White dogs and cats and those that have thin or no hair are more susceptible to sunburn. Just like humans, they can sunburn. Use pet safe sunscreens and keep your pet out of the sun. Some sun blocks contain potentially harmful ingredients, so consult your veterinarian before applying sunscreen to your cat.
Avoid Dog Walks on Hot Pavement. Pavement can get extremely hot and can cause lacerations, paw infections and burnt pads. Unfortunately, these injuries are often not apparent to the human eye. Walk dogs when temperatures are coolest or in shaded areas on the grass.
Keep Your Pet Safe Around Water. It is a myth that all dogs are good swimmers. Keep a watchful eye on them around pools, lakes or any other body of water. Ensure fresh water is available to ensure your pet does not drink water from the pool. Visit our blog to learn more about Dog Water Safety.
Safely Remove Ticks. Ticks transmit disease, which can cause fatal complications. If you notice a tick on your pet, it is important to remove it immediately and carefully. Visit our blog for tips about properly Removing Ticks.
Ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh water and a way to cool off. Never leave pets in parked vehicles. If you notice that your pet is in distress, visit your veterinarian right away.
By following these easy heat awareness and safety tips, you and your pets will enjoy a fun and safe summer season.