Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Life Hacks for Every Cat Owner

Life Hacks for Every Cat Owner

There is no doubt that we love our cats, but sometimes taking care of kitties can be a challenge. From cleaning the litter box to dealing with copious amounts of cat hair, life as a cat owner can be frustrating. However, you will find a few cat life hacks below that will leave both you and your cat purring.

Litter Box Hacks

One of the toughest parts about being a cat owner is dealing with the litter box. To make it less obvious that you have a litter box in your house, try hiding your litter box and improving the smell.

Rather than having your cat’s litter box out in the open, place your cat’s box under an end table or place it in a low cabinet with door removed. You can easily hang no-sew curtain so that your cat has some additional privacy. If you willing to get a little creative, there are plenty of projects that can help you hide the litter box.

If you find that the smell of the litter box is consuming your house, trying adding baking soda to your litter. It will help to absorb odors and even help extend the life of the litter. You can also add a deodorizer to your litter, but don’t add too much. Sometimes cats will stop using the litter box if it is too deodorized. Try sticking with an unscented version and only add a little each time you scoop litter out.

Scratching Hacks

Having your furniture and personal items shredded by your kitty’s claws can be extremely frustrating. If you find that your cat insist on sharpening their claws on the leg of your table, try wrapping it with sisal rope. This will help protect your table and give your a cat a place do to her scratching. Another great DIY solution to scratching is adding corrugated cardboard to small basket or box. Place it near a sunny window and your cat can bask in the sun, nap and scratching to their heart’s content.

It is perfectly normal for cats to scratch their claws on objects. It is how they remove the dead outer layer. You can help your cat out by trimming their claws. Putting aside a few minutes to clip your cats nails will go a long way for the life of your upholstery. If you find your cat is a little too fiesty, you can go to a vet or groomer.

Cat Hair Hacks

A never-ending battle for cat owners is controlling the amount of cat hair that is evident. Rather than shaving your cat complete, try hands-free grooming. Attach two stiff bristles (from new toilet brushes) to a board to create a grooming station for your cat. Chances are, your cat will love how the bristles feel and keep coming back to the station for more. The hair will be trapped in the bristles making an easy cleanup for you.

If you need to clean up cat hair in a cinch, wear a rubber dish glove. Run your gloved hand over the upholstery to wipe any trace of hair away. Rubbing a blown-up ballon will also produce a similar effect.

5 Interesting Facts About Maine Coons

5 Interesting Facts About Maine Coons

One of the most popular and oldest cat breeds in the United States is the Maine Coon. Supposedly the Maine Coon is native to the State of Maine but their origin story varies. One theory, that is a proven myth, is that Maine Coons are the byproduct of a wild cat and raccoon mating. Another theory suggests that the first Maine Coon can be traced back to one Marie Antoinette’s cats that was sent to America during the French Revolution. The last theory, and the most probable, suggests that Maine Coons originated from the breeding of short-haired domestic cats and longhair cats who belonged to Vikings or New England Seaman.

Although some of the theories may be questionable, there’s no question that Maine Coons are loved and adored by their owners. Their origination story is not the only thing thing that is interestring about these “dogs of the cat world“. Keep reading to find out five more interesting facts about Maine Coons.

1. Biggest Domestic Cat 

In the whole world, Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds.Typically, Maine Coons mature slowly, most reach adulthood by 3 to 5 years. These felines have muscular legs, large paws, and can weigh up to 30 pounds! Part of their size is due to their furry, thick, and dense coat.

2. “Dogs of the Cat World” 

Compared to other cats, Maine Coons have a similar personality to dogs. Like dogs, the Maine Coon loves to socialize and interact with humans. Often they will see you off before you leave the house, and be at the door when you come home. Rather than hiding when visitors arrive, your Maine Coon will make it his duty to greet anyone. Maine Coons are wonderful companions for children and typically get along with most pets.

3. A Cat that Loves Water 

Seeing a cat that loves water is a rare sight to see, but not for the Maine Coon. A Maine Coon loves to play with and even swim in water. If you have a Maine Coon, chances are you have caught them playing in their water bowl or try to sneak into the shower.

4. Maine Coons Are Winter Ready 

Maine Coons are dressed to face cold winter climates. On top of their thick water-repellant coat, their tufted paws act as “snowshoes” and their fluffy tail can be wrapped around their body as additional warmth.

5. Maine Coons Are Colorful Felines 

When we think of Maine Coons, we often associate them with brown coloring, similar to a raccoon. However, Maine Coons can come in an assortment of colorings, including but not limited to, smoke, mackerel, cameo, cream, and tortoiseshell.


The Dangers of Feeding Your Cat a Vegan Diet

The Dangers of Feeding Your Cat a Vegan Diet

One concerning trend that is rising in the pet community is turning your carnivore cat vegan. While you can make the decision to lead a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, do not make the same choice for your cat. Even if you have good intentions behind feeding your cat a vegan diet, it will do more harm than good for your cat’s health.

If we look back at history, our cats’ ancestors primarily survived by hunting small animals, like rodents and birds, resulting in a meat-rich diet. Cats are considered an obligate carnivore, meaning they eat meat out of biological necessity. Similar to cats, other obligate carnivores include, dolphins, hawks, seals, lizards, snakes, and most amphibians

Since meat was the only source for sustenance, cats’ metabolism soon adapted. On the upside, these adaptions allowed cats’ bodies  harvest water from the kidneys of their prey, but on the downside, cats are often unable to breakdown human pharmaceuticals.

Two of the biggest differences in cats’ metabolism is that they require high quality of protein and a supply of Taurine to be healthy.

In a vegan diet you won’t find an animal or animal-derived ingredients, like eggs or milk. All bodies, animal and human, need protein to function. In a vegan diet you will find grains, pulses, beans and legumes, act as a protein substitute. However, these foods have low biological value when compared to the protein found in meat. These plant-based proteins, don’t contain all of the necessary amino acids. For humans, this isn’t a big deal.

As omnivores, human bodies use the plant-based proteins as building blocks and the create the missing amino acids. The same can’t be same for cats. They need protein that contains “high biological value”, in order to keep body functions like tissue growth, healing and repairing functionally properly.

If you feed your cat a vegan diet, they will most definitely become taurine deficient. Taurine is essential in maintaining your cats health.Taurine is responsible for platelet function, growing healthy bones, hair growth, healthy heart muscle and proper eyesight.

If a cat has a deficiency in Taurine it can lead to retinal disorders, blindness, dilated cardiomyopathy, skeletal deformities in kittens, and the inability to clot blood.

If you want the best for your cat, don’t feed them a vegan diet. Without a steady diet of high quality protein and Taurine, your cat’s health and wellbeing can be dramatically affected.

A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat

Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My Nina Nandy Photohuman mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos  and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !