Bart the ‘Zombie Cat’ Returns From the Dead

Bart-the-Zombie-CatIt was a scene straight out of “The Walking Dead” when a cat named Bart from Tampa Bay, Fla., rose from the grave, literally, after being hit by a car, declared dead and then coming back to life.

Bart’s owner, Ellis Huston, found the seemingly lifeless 23-month-old kitty lying in a pool of blood in the middle of a road a few weeks ago, and then enlisted a friend to help bury him. But five days later, Bart miraculously showed up on a neighbor’s lawn. Veterinarians from the Humane Society suspect that Bart clawed his way out of the grave, after magically being revived.

Although he was badly injured, had a broken jaw and had to have a severely damaged eye removed, Bart is expected to make a full recovery. A neighbor started a Go Fund Me campaign to help pay for his estimated $2,000 in veterinary bills.

If there’s ever another sequel to the movies based on the Stephen King novel “Pet Sematary,” I hope this kitty gets a starring role.

Photo from ABC News


Manhattan Assemblywoman Proposes Cat Declawing Ban

Linda Rosenthal
Manhattan Assemblywoman and animal welfare advocate Linda Rosenthal wants to ban cat declawing statewide.

In a development that I roundly applaud, Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has proposed a statewide ban on declawing cats, unless performed for medical reasons.

As Linda pointed out in a press statement: “It’s like taking off your first knuckle. (Cats) are born with claws and they are meant to have claws. It’s cruel to remove them for the sake of human convenience and saving your furniture.”

Although the bill has not yet been introduced to the state Senate, it has received the enthusiastic support of the Humane Society of New York and the Paw Project, a California pet welfare group that is dedicated to banning the declawing of cats.

As a long-time anti-declawing advocate, I can attest that this is a major form of animal abuse that can result in any number of health and behavior issues in cats, including lameness, infection, back issues and nerve damage and litter box avoidance, among many others.

The procedure is already banned in Europe, Australia, Brazil and Israel. A number of municipalities in the U.S. have banned this, the first of which was West Hollywood, Ca., with more expected to follow suit.

So let’s hear a big round of “a-paws” for Assemblywoman Rosenthal, and hope that this leads to a nationwide ban of this terrible affront to kitties.

Photo from the New York Daily News

Bruce Springsteen’s Daughter Asks N.J. Gov. Christie to Ban Puppy Mills

Bruce-Springsteen-DaughterBruce Springsteen’s daughter, Jessica, has personally appealed to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to pass legislation that would ban the operation of puppy mills in the state.

The Boss’s lovely offspring, 23, wants Christie to sign a bill that would amend the Pet Purchase Protection Law, which would require that pet stores disclose where the puppies come from and prohibit stores from selling pets from breeders who are not in compliance with state and federal animal care laws.

In a letter released to the public on Tuesday by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Jessica stated: “It is hard to believe, but currently, New Jersey pet shops do not have to tell consumers where the puppies they sell come from. (The bill) S.1870 will change this by requiring pet shops to disclose the identities of the commercial breeders and brokers from which they purchase puppies for resale.”

She added: “This bill will also begin to address the inhumane treatment of puppy mill dogs often resulting in sick puppies being sold in the Garden State by requiring pet shops to screen out those breeders and brokers that fail to comply with state and federal minimum standards of care.”

Jessica, a world-class competitive horsewoman, in 2012 beseeched the governor to sign legislation to make it illegal to slaughter horses for their meat in New Jersey, which he did. The fact that Christie is a huge fan of Jessica’s rock star dad reportedly was a deciding factor.

Meanwhile, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which advocates for pet retailers, begs to differ. The council released this statement on its website: “For New Jersey pet stores, this would be disastrous. As much as 40 percent of the dogs and cats sold in New Jersey pet stores come from these exempt breeders (who would not meet the requirements of the new law). Many stores would be forced to close.”

As someone who spent several years writing about the pet industry, I am of the opinion that this is absolute nonsense. An increasing number of pet stores refrain from selling live animals, opting instead to partner with animal shelters to host in-store adoption events, which is the prevailing − and highly successful − business model trend.

In addition, a number of municipalities in the U.S. have banned the sales of dogs, cats and other pets for profit, with more getting on board with this on a regular basis. Retailers in these areas focus instead on adoption events and an emphasis on expanding their retail products and pet services.

What do you think? As always, I welcome you to comment in the section below.

Photo from Getty Images

Vending Machines in Istanbul Feed Stray Animals

Turkish company creates vending machine that feeds stray dogs in exchange for recycled bottles, Turkey, August 2014Folks in Istanbul, Turkey can now recycle and feed stray animals at the same time, thanks to an ingenious vending machine that dispenses pet food and water every time someone inserts a plastic bottle or metal can.

The device called Pugedon was the brainchild of Turkish company YCN Yucesan, a long-time supplier of tractor parts, as a solution to helping Istanbul’s population of approximately 150,000 stray cats and dogs. The profits raised from the recyclables help to defray the cost of the pet food.

As people in Istanbul have been known to be less than enthusiastic about recycling and finding humane solutions to managing the large population of strays, this is a win-win for everyone.

Many other countries have expressed keen interest in the machines, which I think is a great idea.

Photos from YCN Yucesan

Oma’s Pride Recalls Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal Due to Salmonella

Omas-Pride-RecallMiller Foods of Avon, Conn., maker of raw and freeze dried pet foods Oma’s Pride and O’Paws, has issued a voluntary recall of Oma’s Pride Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal is sold frozen. It is packaged in clear 12 oz. (UPC: 8 79384 00017 9) and 2 lb. (UPC: 8 79384 00018 6) plastic packaging under the Oma’s Pride brand as a poultry blend with code #1524. It was manufactured on September 12, 2014 with a use by recommended date of September 12, 2015, and was distributed nationwide.

The recall was as the result of a routine sampling program by Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development resulting in a positive test for Salmonella.

Oma’s Pride has ceased the production and distribution of the product as the FDA and the company continue an investigation into what may have caused this. No pet or human illnesses have been reported at this time.

Consumers who have purchased this product are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Oma’s Pride Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-678-6627.

Photo from the FDA

Natural Ways to Ensure that Your Cats Live Long, Healthy, Happy Lives


Be sure to check out my latest article for Catster: 5 Natural Ways I am Making Sure that My Cats Live Long, Healthy Lives.

You’ll find a number of tips about the best dietary options for kitties; suggestions about vaccinations; recommendations for natural cat litters; holistic home remedies; and more.

Unfortunately, I have learned some very sad lessons the hard way. So I am hoping that my articles will help other cat parents and pet lovers in general to avoid the same mistakes.

Do you have any suggestions about natural health care and wellness practices for pets? As always, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

FDA Sends Warning Letter to Purina About ‘Unsanitary Conditions’ at Pa. Pet Food Plant

The FDA cited Purina for improperly preparing and packaging the above pet foods at its plant in Pennsylvania.
The FDA cited Purina for improperly preparing and packaging the above pet foods at its plant in Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia office of the Food and Drug Administration sent a stern warning letter to the Nestle Purina PetCare Co. plant located in South Whitehall Township, Pa., noting “significant violations” discovered during an inspection of the plant that the FDA conducted between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1, 2014.

Specifically, the letter noted that Purina’s low acid dog and cat foods were allegedly prepared and packaged improperly.

The cited products were Alpo Chop House Rotisserie Chicken flavor in Gourmet Gravy, Friskies Mariner’s Catch and Friskies Mixed Grill, all wet food in cans or pouches.

According to news reports, the violations involved:

  • Failure to process each low acid canned food in conformity with an FDA-specified process.
  • Failure to chlorinate or otherwise sanitize cooling water for the cooling canals and recirculated water supplies.
  • Failure to establish a system for product-traffic control. FDA inspectors say can conveyors and the reject chute did not have adequate protection to prevent an unprocessed can from falling into the cooling canal in case of a can jam or other equipment malfunction.

Keith Schopp, a spokesman for Nestle Purina at its North American headquarters in St. Louis, countered that the company is confident that there are no food safety issues or risks to pet health with the company’s products. He said the company was unaware of any product recalls or reports of animals being sickened by these products.

However, the FDA does not agree, and has warned Purina to remedy these alleged issues at the plant.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons

Not Made in China: Safe Pet Jerky Treats Brands and Recipes

Pet-Jerky-Treats-Made-In-ChinaThanks to my previous article about the controversy surrounding pet jerky treats made in or with ingredients sourced from China, which went viral, many people have asked me to recommend safe pet treats.

Among those that I would recommend are the brands below, which are 100 natural, free of artificial colors, preservatives and chemicals, as well as grains, and are all made in the U.S.:

  • Just Jerky Treats, which produces beef, chicken, sweet potato, pork and pig ears dog jerky treats with ingredients from farms in Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina and Tennessee.
  • Mercola for Pets Beef and Bison Bites, made with grass-fed beef and bison liver.
  • Tri Pom Chews, handmade chicken jerky treats that are 100 percent natural and made by a mom and pop company located in Bath, Maine.

In addition, many people now opt to whip up their own homemade treats. I found some great recipes on, my usual go-to source for people food recipes, and Natural Pet Recipes, a site with tons of recipes for safe, healthy homemade dog and cat fare. I also found a good recipe for cat nip kitty treats on Offbeat Home & Life.

My favorite homemade pet jerky treat recipe is easy, affordable and oh so healthy:

Homemade Pet Jerky Treats Homemade-Pet-Jerky-Treats-Recipes


3 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken, turkey breast, beef or bison steak

Optional: You can sprinkle a little Kosher salt, or drizzle with a bit of fresh lemon juice, which acts as a preservative.


Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Place meat in freezer for about 1 hour, which will make it stiff and easier to slice. Working on a thoroughly clean cutting board, slice the meat into very thin strips (I use an electric carving knife), lengthwise. Place the meat on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for about 3 hours. Allow to cool; store in a zipper storage bag in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

That’s all there is to it! These homemade pet jerky treats are not only easy to make, they are healthy and safe.

Do you have any recommendations for safe pet jerky treats brands and/or recipes? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons

Petco Pulls Chinese Pet Treats from Shelves

Chicken-Jerky-Treats-ChinaPetco is living up to the company promise to cease selling any dog and cat treats made in China, as the last of these products have been removed from all of the stores nationwide, and the online retail site.

As I long reported via my previous pet industry website, the FDA was bombarded with  complaints from pet parents in regard to these treats over a period of several years.

Between 2007 and 2013, the agency received reports of 3,243 dogs and nine cats being sickened, and 501 dogs and one cat dying after they ate chicken and other fowl and poultry treats from China. The pets were diagnosed with Fanconi Syndrome, which causes renal failure.

Although the FDA did release four warnings about these treats between 2007 and 2012, the agency refrained from issuing any outright recalls because no definitive cause for the pet illnesses and deaths could be determined.

Pet parents, meanwhile, organized protests and set up social media pages to warn others about the alleged dangers of these and other pet treats. The most prominent is Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made in China! which, as of this writing, has more than 8,000 members.

Then in early 2013, a bunch of companies that make these treats began issuing a slew of voluntary recalls because these turned out to contain poultry antibiotics not approved for use in the U.S. Initially, the recalled brands included Waggin’ Train, Canyon Ranch (both made by Nestle Purina) and Milo’s Kitchen, a Del Monte product.

Meanwhile, PetSmart is following suit with plans to eliminate all of these treats from their store shelves by March. It’s about time that major retailers did so. Now let’s see if other big chain stores follow suit, and the FDA finally stops the foot dragging to ban these treats outright.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

A Most Unique Cat Rescue Organization

Cape-Atlantic-Cats-Resale-ShopMy latest article for Catster is all about Cape Atlantic Cats of Ocean City, N.J., a combination feline rescue agency and boutique called Mew to You, where the proceeds from sales of donated gently used and new items benefit needy kitties.

Not only have I purchased a number of gifts for friends and family from the boutique, which is located in a former antique store at 10th and Asbury Avenue in the heart of the quaint resort town, I also adopted my Lily from this organization.

Aside from offering some truly wonderful items for sale, the cats and kittens available for adoption are housed right on the premises, in cheerful adjoining rooms where they can roam cage-free.

Be sure to check out my article here. It’s a “purr-fectly meow-velous” organization based on a most imaginative concept, that more people should know about.

Photo by Alissa Wolf