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Kitten Eddie Says Thanks For Shopping So He Could Eat Well & Have Fun Toys

Kittens have it rough when they’re born outside. And it’s often a wonder that so many kittens grow to adulthood with everything they contend with in the wild. There’s illness, injury, cruel people, and predators. And little Eddie lost three of his tiny kitten siblings to one of those hungry, hunting feline enemies.

This poor guy and his littermates were born to a friendly mom who got thrown out of her Michigan home for getting pregnant. Fortunately for him and his remaining brother and sister, Faerie Tales Cat Rescue got to them before an attack could come again.

Eddie, Finn, and Gemma got the chance to be silly kittens who only have to worry over which toy to play with and how much food they can fit in their belly, thanks to you. Shopping with iHeartCats means more than getting cute and quality merchandise. Buying that shopping cart full of goodies gives compassion, too! Eddie and so many kittens and cats like him appreciate your fabulous taste and drive to do good.

Feline Good with Yummy Donations

When you shop with iHeartCats, you’re empowering our partnership with Greater Good Charities because every purchase funds meals and other necessities for cats in need. The GOODS Program, a pet food distribution initiative in the Greater Good Charities family, has been keeping hungry bellies full for over a decade. To date, the GOODS program has delivered over 578 million meals to shelters and rescues across the country. That’s more than 6,000 truckloads delivered to hungry animals!

These food donations help kittens like Eddie and his siblings grow strong and healthy for their forever homes. Toy donations from the GOODS program also offer the kittens a good time and the all-important mental stimulation every feline needs.

“Eddie was so happy with the tweeting bird toys from Hartz. We gave one chirpy bird toy to each group of kittens in each run of habitats, and it was hilarious to hear chirping through the entire store as ALL the kittens enjoyed their new toy introduction,” shared Faerie Tales Cat Rescue. “Eddie gained so much attention playing with his toy that he received an application for him and his brother Finn, and they went to their forever home together this weekend.”

The kitties and the cat lovers of Faerie Tales appreciate every donation that arrives at their doorstep. These little things make big differences!

“The GOODS program has helped us provide food for physical health and now toys for emotional health of our cats/kittens, allowing us to focus our resources on vetting and adoptions. Thank you, Hartz, 4 Paws Animal Rescue Ambassadorship, Greater Goods Charities. #Amplify the Good. #hartz”

So, come on, you feline fancier, get to shopping and help us fund toys and food for every kitty in need of love and rescue!

The following products provide quality food for shelters and rescues, helping them reserve more of their precious funds for medical expenses, supplies, and spreading the word about their adoptable pups and kitties.

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You Shopped With Purpose And Helped Heal This Pair Of Sweet Kitten Littles

Sick kittens are all too common in the cat rescue world. And like so many other littles, Lexi and her sister Maddie landed in the care of Mystery’s Haven, struggling with severe upper respiratory infections, with Lexi’s eye succumbing to the illness. The poor kittens were also infested with fleas, which ate away any energy Lexi and Maddie had. Getting them better seemed a near-impossible task.

But the cat lovers of Mystery’s Haven in Michigan were ready to heal the sick babies and banish the fleas so they could grow into happy and healthy kittens. They couldn’t have done it without you, though. By simply shopping with iHeartCats, you’re funding compassion, healing, and a chance at forever happiness. And we just can’t thank you enough. Neither can Lexi and Maddie.

Funding GOODS for the Good

When you shop with iHeartCats, every single purchase funds donations for felines in need. Whether you purchase a cute cat shirt for yourself or supplements for your cat, that cart full of goodies gives compassion. Through our partnership with Greater Good Charities, we ensure shelter cats receive food and other necessities while waiting for their forever home. To date, the GOODS Program has delivered over 578 million meals to shelters and rescues nationwide. That’s more than 6,000 truckloads delivered to hungry animals!

But it’s not just about the food; the GOODS Program also ensures that rescues and shelters receive other important necessities, including toys. And when kittens have toys to play with and good food to eat while in rescue and foster care, they learn how to be happy and loving cats for their forever home.

Almost Missed Forever

As sick kittens in a recently discovered feral cat colony, Lexi and Maddie also missed this chance, with Jenny of Mystery’s Haven explaining, “A local TNR group that is working on a colony of cats, came across little Lexi and her sister Maddie right on the side of the road where cars were zipping by!”

“The kind rescuer scooped them up and reached out for help to get them right in for medical care. Lexi’s eye had ruptured, and both little girls were pretty sick with upper respiratory infections,” Jenny said. “They were both inundated with fleas, skinny, and no energy. The fleas were literally eating them alive!”

But after a successful enucleation surgery and excellent care, the tables turned. Lexi kicked the fleas and devoured the delicious food donated by the GOODS Program to become the playful kitten she was meant to be.

“Lexi is feeling so much better, and she is just a little ball of energy that never wants to stop! She is a very sweet and happy little girl!”

Lexi and Maddie’s recovery serve as another great example of what working together can do!

“Thanks to the amazing toy donations courtesy of the GOODS Program, Hartz, and 4 Paws Animal Rescue, we are able to provide fun and enrichment in addition to keeping their bellies filled with yummy, healthy food!”

We thank you for your part in these sweet kittens’ miracle! Keep shopping and keep saving lives!

The following products provide quality food for shelters and rescues, helping them reserve more of their precious funds for medical expenses, supplies, and spreading the word about their adoptable pups and kitties.

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Thank You For Giving These 5 Kittens A Chance To Grow Up Happy & Healthy

When feral cats are left to roam intact, the result is litter after litter of kittens. So many of these sweet babies succumb to the harshness of life as a baby in the wild. But groups like LosGatos Foster Animals work hard every day to save these little lives. And one rescue call recently led them to discover eleven kittens in a shed in Madison Heights, WI.

Two mother cats had given birth to their litters in the shed, and these little ones were in rough shape. Nearly half of them passed away, but five babies survived despite their tough odds. These kittens, with one tabby baby in particular, needed medical attention and lots of good food to help them get healthy. And because you shop with a purrpose, cat lover, you made sure these kittens had all the food they could possibly eat!

Feeding All The Furry Mouths

By shopping with iHeartCats, you’re empowering our partnership with Greater Good Charities and enabling donations via the GOODS Program, a pet food distribution initiative in the Greater Good Charities family. This vital program has been keeping hungry bellies full for over a decade, and to date, the GOODS Program has delivered over 578 million meals to shelters and rescues across the country. That’s more than 6,000 truckloads delivered to hungry animals.

If you’ve ever raised a kitten, you know those tiny bodies can put away a truckload of food! Just think about all the food LosGatos needs to feed those five kittens and every other furry mouth in need. They’re sure happy to see those donations roll in because every can and sack delivered means more money for medical care.

And with one of the youngest kittens from these two shed litters hovering near death, medical intervention was certainly needed to bring him back to life. And once stable, that’s where the food came in and helped the little one get up on his paws.

As LosGatos explained, “With the food from the GOODS Program, he has gone from being malnourished to finally growing into his little body and having his fur come in.”

“These little babies, with the help of GOODS, were able to put up a strong fight.”

And these junior cats will now get the chance to become happy adults who will one day learn the joy of a forever home. You gave them that chance, and we can’t thank you enough! So, keep shopping and help us save more lives.

The following products provide quality food for shelters and rescues, helping them reserve more of their precious funds for medical expenses, supplies, and spreading the word about their adoptable pups and kitties.

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Thank You For Shopping & Helping This Bungalow For Cats In Need Save Lives

Kittens need all the help they can get, as life can be cruel to the littlest furry ones. But groups like Kitty Bungalow Charm School work hard to give these deserving feline babies a chance to find forever homes with families who will always cherish them. Yet, they can’t make kitty dreams come true without you, cat lover!

When you shop with iHeartCats, every single purchase funds donations for cats in need. Whether you purchase a cute cat shirt for yourself or supplements for your cat, that cart full of goodies gives compassion.

Through our partnership with Greater Good Charities, we ensure shelter cats receive food and other necessities while waiting for their forever home or even after returning to the streets after a successful TNR adventure. But just how does that food make it to rescue groups helping cats and kittens live better lives?

Saving Kittens and Cats with GOODS

The GOODS Program, a pet food distribution initiative in the Greater Good Charities family, has been keeping hungry bellies full for over a decade. This initiative turns the cash from your purchase into delicious food every shelter is happy to see. More food donated means more money to spend on medical care for sick and injured cats and spay/neuter initiatives.

To date, the GOODS Program has delivered over 578 million meals to shelters and rescues nationwide. That’s more than 6,000 truckloads delivered to hungry animals! And all this food makes it possible for the cat lovers of Kitty Bungalow Charm School to save more lives.

As a community cat organization and kitten socialization facility, Kitty Bungalow explained, “We focus our attention on providing services for the most vulnerable of felines.”

“Our cats and kittens come from the mean streets of Los Angeles, whether it be directly from TNR, pulling from LA Animal Services, or working with our remarkable rescue partners.”

In a city the size of Los Angeles, there’s an unending line of cats who need help. Kitty Bungalow does all they can to help those cats and the people who care for them.

“Kitty Bungalow provides the community with access to free TNR services, which allows for thousands of community cats to be fixed, receive vaccines and flea treatment, and get returned to the people who care for them.”

Absolutely Charming

And when it comes to the baby kitties, Kitty Bungalow welcomes hundreds of kittens each year into their Charm School.

“Kitty Bungalow intakes hundreds of kittens each year into Charm School. Our dedicated family of onsite volunteers and foster parents care for our “students” and use fear-free socialization techniques to take street cats from ‘hiss to home.’”

“As a No-Kill facility, we believe that working together is how the best lifesaving strategies come to be.”

The cat-saving mission couldn’t happen without your drive to do good. We, and so many cats who know better lives, thank you for shopping with iHeartCats. Your purchases make all the difference to a feline in need.

The following products provide quality food for shelters and rescues, helping them reserve more of their precious funds for medical expenses, supplies, and spreading the word about their adoptable pups and kitties.

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The Most Common Eye Problems in Cats

Photograph of a cat with a visible cataract in one eye, illustrating an eye condition that affects feline vision

Eyes are sensitive structures – and we all know the distress that we feel if we have a painful eye. Cats are no different, and painful, diseased or injured eyes can swiftly deteriorate, so seeking veterinary advice is important.

Cats can get a variety of eye problems, from conjunctivitis to blindness. This article aims to explain more details about the common eye problems in cats.

Common Symptoms of Eye Problems in Cats

If your cat has an eye problem, the most obvious clue is that one, or both eyes, do not look “normal”.

A cat’s eyes should be wide open, with little blinking, and no discharge from the corner of the eyes. The surface of the eyes should be bright, clear and free of blemishes, and the whites of the eyes should not have a reddened colour. The pupils of left and right eyes should look similar in size and shape.

The main symptoms of eye problems include the following:

  • Squinting: where one or both eyes are kept half (or fully) closed.
  • Swelling: the lining of the eye or the eyelids can swell, preventing you from seeing the eyeball.
  • Redness: the white of the eye may appear reddened.
  • Discharge: this may be from one or both eyes. The discharge can be watery and clear, or yellowy green. It can be seen around the eye, or down the front of the face from the inner corner of the eye.
  • Rubbing: the cat may be rubbing at the eye with their paw, or rubbing their head along the ground.
  • Third eyelid: this may be protruding from the corner of the eyes.
  • Abnormal pupils: either dilated, or pinpoint, or sometimes one eye’s pupil may just look very different to the other.
  • Signs of blindness: these can include disorientation, bumping into objects and failure to find things such as litter box or food.

11 Most Common Eye Problems in Cats

Some eye disorders are much more common than others in cats, and eye conditions can vary in severity and consequence. Here’s some of the most common ocular problems in cats and how to spot them.

1. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is defined as inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the protective layer of transparent tissue that covers the entire eye, and the inside of the eyelids. The conjunctiva is the first line of defence for the eyes, so if the eye is in contact with anything irritating (chemicals, pollens, viruses such as feline herpesvirus, bacteria etc), conjunctivitis is a common result.

The eyes look reddened, there may be visible swelling of the fleshy lining of the eye, the cat may rub their head along the ground, or rub their eyes with their paws, and there may be a yellow or green discharge.

2. Keratitis or Corneal Ulceration

Beneath the conjunctiva, the next layer of the eye is known as the “cornea”, which is the surface of the eyeball itself: inflammation of the cornea is known as “keratitis”. This is often seen as a blemish on the front of the eyeball itself: there may be cloudiness, or pigmentation.

If the cornea has been more severely damaged, this can create a small crater-like area, known as a corneal ulcer (or so-called “ulcerative keratitis”). This can be very painful and requires urgent treatment. A cat with a corneal ulcer may have the affected eye closed, and may refuse to allow you to examine their eye because of the pain. This situation requires urgent veterinary intervention.

3. Keratoconjunctivitis

Often, both the conjunctiva and the cornea are inflamed at the same time: this is known as keratoconjunctivitis. The signs listed above, of conjunctivitis and keratitis, are seen at the same time.

When people talk about a cat’s eye infection, they normally mean conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis. There are four infectious organisms that are the most common causes of conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis in cats: two bacteria (Chlamydia and Mycoplasma species), and two viruses: feline calicivirus (FCV) and feline herpes virus (FHV) also known as feline viral rhinotracheitis.

It’s important to have a veterinarian examine any cat with keratoconjunctivitis, so that the best treatment can be given.

4. Uveitis

Image of a cat displaying symptoms of uveitis, showing eye inflammation and highlighting a potential medical concern

Inflammation of the eye can present as a blue-ish, opaque look to the affected eye, and should warrant a trip to the vet.

The pupil of the eye (the black hole in the center) is a shape that is created by the iris, a muscular sheet that widens (dilates) in low light, and narrows (contracts) in bright light. The iris is also known as the uveal tract, and if this becomes inflamed, this is known as uveitis.

The pupil becomes more constricted (smaller), the pupil may turn a reddish-brown color, and the front of the eye may appear cloudy. Complications include the risk of glaucoma, caused by the accumulation of excess fluid inside the eye due to the inflammation, which may lead to blindness or even the loss of an eye.

Possible causes of uveitis include viral diseases such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

5. Physical Trauma to the Eye

Cats’ eyes can be physically damaged by many situations, from cat scratches to fights with other animals to road traffic accidents. A small foreign body, such as a grass seed, may cause damage if this becomes stuck in the eye (e.g. behind the eyelids).

Physical damage can be mild (e.g. just conjunctivitis), medium (e.g. corneal ulcers) or severe (e.g. a ruptured eyeball, or a prolapsed eyeball).

If there is just mild trauma (e.g. a slightly inflamed eye which the cat can still open normally) then a simple approach of bathing the eye with mildly salty water and allowing some time to pass may suffice. If the trauma is more serious (e.g. the eye is completely closed, or if there is obvious physical damage) then an urgent visit to the vet is needed.

6. Prolapsed Third Eyelids: Haws Syndrome

Cats, like most animals, have an extra set of eyelids that are located on the inner corner of each eye. These are known as ‘third eyelids’: they move across the eyeball like a windscreen wiper whenever an animal blinks. Normally, the third eyelids remain hidden, but in Haws Syndrome, the third eyelids can be seen protruding from the inner corners of both eyes. Cats with this condition are perfectly healthy in every other way.

There are several possible causes. It could be a side effect of gastro-intestinal disease, the cat may have worms, or a mild virus known as a Torovirus may be involved.

Most cases of Haws Syndrome are self-limiting: they get better by themselves, usually after two or three weeks. As long as a cat continues to be healthy, hungry and happy, there’s no need for treatment.

7. Blepharitis

Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelids, causing them to look swollen and sore. There are many possible causes, including eye injuries and secondary bacterial infection following viral infections. A detailed veterinary examination is recommended.

8. Blocked Tear Ducts and Tear Overflow

Normally, tears are produced by tear glands around the eye, and after lubricating the surface of the eye, they exit through tear ducts and then out through the nose. If the tear ducts are blocked, it is common for tears to spill down the front of the cat’s face, from the corners of the eyes. This is more commonly seen in flat-faced breeds such as Persians.

9. Blindness

Photo of a shorthair cat that is blind in one eye

Blindness can be obvious in cats, with marked changes to the eye, but it can also be more subtle, so owners should be aware of behavioral changes such as disorientation.

Vision is important to cats, and blindness is a serious problem. This can develop gradually and imperceptibly, in which case cats are sometimes able to adapt to their new situation, or it can happen suddenly (e.g. due to a bleed at the back of the eye caused by high blood pressure).

It can be difficult to assess blindness in a cat: you may notice that both pupils are dilated (the pupils are bigger and the eyes appear blacker than normal), or that your cat may not notice objects or a waving hand in front of their face. An urgent veterinary assessment should be carried out if you suspect that your cat has visual abnormalities.

A detailed examination of your cat’s eyes first by your primary veterinarian, and then often by a veterinary ophthalmologist is needed to investigate the blindness, with detailed scrutiny of the retina and the optic nerve, checking for problems such as retinal detachment. Treatment depends on the cause, and may or may not be possible.

10. Cataracts

A cataract describes when the lens in the center of the eye degenerates, changing from the normal transparent structure to an opaque, milky-white color. A cataract causes a physical obstruction to the passage of light to the back of the eye, resulting in partial or total blindness.

Cataracts can be a hereditary issue: some breeds, including Birman, Persian and Himalayans, are more likely to develop cataracts. There are other possible causes (including uveitis). Cataracts can be treated by surgical removal, although this is a specialized operation, only carried out by veterinary ophthalmologists.

11. Intraocular Neoplasia (Cancer)

Various types of neoplasia (cancer) can affect the eye: the iris is the area most commonly affected. Brown or black spots which grow bigger may be caused by melanoma, and lymphoma can cause the iris to become thickened and irregular, causing a misshapen pupil. With such serious eye disorders, a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist is often recommended.

How to Care For Cats’ Eyes

Healthy cats do not usually need to have any attention given to their eyes, other than monitoring them to ensure that they remain looking healthy.

If a cat has a mild eye problem, simple home treatment may be given. First aid for a suspected eye infection involves a pet owner bathing the eye twice daily in mildly salty water. Add a teaspoonful of salt to a pint (450ml) of boiled water, which is then cooled down before use. Moisten a ball of cotton wool with this solution, and apply this gently to the cat’s eye, soaking the discharge to make it easier to wipe off. Repeat this every few hours.

If the eye condition is not back to normal after twenty four hours of this treatment, you should take your cat to your local DVM veterinarian. Your vet can examine the eye using special veterinary equipment such as an ophthalmoscope, a tear test, special dyes and local anesthetic drops. Treatments for eye conditions often involve medicated eye drops, although sometimes oral medication is needed as well.

Also Read: Cat Eye Infections: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment


What are the most common eye infections in cats?

Cats are prone to viral infections which can cause eye symptoms, such as feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus. They can also get bacterial infections in the eyes.

What does a cat eye infection look like?

Cats with conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis often have swollen eyes, discharge from the corner of the eyes, a blue-ish or opaque look to the eyes and may be squinting or rubbing at them.

When should I worry about my cat’s eye?

You should see a veterinarian if your cat shows signs of pain or discomfort, such as squinting, holding the eye closed or pawing/rubbing at the eye. You should also see a vet if the eye looks a different colour, very red or swollen. If your cat has a mild discharge, you can clean it at home but should seek veterinary attention if it doesn’t resolve in 24 hours.

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Can Cats Drink Oat Milk? Health & Safety Explained

Last Updated on: September 27, 2023 by Crystal Uys

oat milk in a glass on wooden table

Plant-based milk like oat milk is becoming a popular substitute for cow’s milk, so more people are using them in their homes. If you are someone who likes to give your cat milk, you are probably wondering whether oat milk will be a better and potentially safer alternative than dairy-based milk.

There’s no doubt that some cats love drinking milk, but is the plant-based substitute safe for your feline companion? Oat milk is safe for cats to drink in moderation. This article will give you all the answers you need as to whether oat milk is safe for your cat to drink and how healthy it is for them.

Is Oat Milk Safe for Cats To Drink?

Yes, oat milk is safe for cats to drink on occasion, and it could be a better option than cow’s milk for cats with sensitive stomachs to lactose. This is because oat milk does not contain any lactose and the few ingredients used to make this milk aren’t very unhealthy. Most cats are lactose intolerant after weaning from their mother’s milk, and lactose naturally occurs in dairy products.1

This makes oat milk a better alternative for some cats since it contains fairly digestible ingredients that are well tolerated by many cats. However, it seems to have fewer nutritional benefits than cow’s milk. Avoid feeding your cat oat milk that contains added sugars, risky preservatives, and added salt since this isn’t going to be healthy for your cat. Always double-check the label of any human foods you plan to feed to your cat to check for potentially unhealthy ingredients.

You can give your cat one to two tablespoons of unsweetened or homemade oat milk in moderation. Keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores that benefit from a meat-based diet, so oat milk shouldn’t make up a large or regular portion of their diet.

long haired cat with green eyes licking with tongue out
Image credit: Lina Angelov, Unsplash

Plant-Based vs Dairy Milk for Cats

There is a variety of plant-based milk such as oat, almond, rice, and soy milk that are dairy-free and contain no lactose. However, there is also lactose-free dairy milk, making it a better option for lactose-intolerant cats. Cats can drink both plant and diary-based milk with guidance from a veterinarian if they have no adverse health effects from drinking it. However, milk in any form is not a necessary part of a feline diet (after weaning) and should only be viewed as an occasional treat.

In terms of nutrition, dairy-based milk has a slightly higher nutritional value and is enriched with a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. Plant-based milk like oat milk also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that may benefit your cat, plus it is high in fiber and low in sodium. Some cats will have difficulty digesting certain plant milk while being able to digest small amounts of dairy-based milk just fine or vice versa.

Most cats will have no problem drinking a small amount of dairy, but other cats who are lactose intolerant will have trouble digesting the lactose found in goat and cow’s milk. This could lead to your cat having gastrointestinal upset like bloating, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. Kittens will drink their mother’s milk up until they are weaned, but once that kitten starts to depend less on drinking their mother’s milk for sustenance, fewer digestive enzymes (lactase) are produced.

So, cats that drink milk containing lactose when they have too little lactase will have trouble digesting the dairy-based milk. It’s uncommon for cats to have difficulty digesting small amounts of plant-based milk because it contains no lactose and has fairly digestible ingredients. However, each cat may have a different reaction depending on any allergies or food sensitivities they have.

oat milk in a glass and pitcher
Image Credit: Alter-ego, Shutterstock

How Healthy Is Oat Milk for Cats?

Most store-bought oat milk is a blend of water, plain rolled oats, preservatives, a touch of salt, and sugar (for sweetened versions). Oat milk is free from lactose, soy, and even gluten if it is made from gluten-free oats. Although the oats themselves are not bad for cats, that doesn’t make them the healthiest or nutritionally beneficial food for carnivorous cats. Cats should get most of their nutrients from a balanced meat-based diet, and not from oat milk.

Oats are a good source of fiber and a combination of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and B6, potassium, magnesium, and niacin which may benefit cats. You can either make your oat milk at home or you can purchase store-bought oat milk for your cat. The best option, in this case, would be to make homemade oat milk for your cat since you will know exactly what goes into the recipe.

This gives you the option of only blending water and plain rolled oats for your cat, and you can exclude ingredients like salt and sugar which your cat doesn’t need. If you do choose to buy oat milk for your cat, opt for the unsweetened version with no added salt.

Furthermore, oat milk is low in fat and contains a higher amount of protein than many alternative plant-based milks. While cats don’t need milk in their diet, if you want to give it to them as an occasional treat, oat milk can be a good option. Cats who have food allergies to grains shouldn’t be given oat milk, since oats are a type of grain.

Do Cats Need to Drink Milk?

Cats have been depicted for decades drinking milk from saucers in illustrations, advertisements, and movies, which has led many cat owners to believe that milk is necessary for cats to drink. The truth is that cats don’t need milk in their diet, whether it be plant-based or dairy-based milk. You might believe that milk helps to hydrate your cat better than water which can make it a substitute, but this isn’t a good idea.

Giving your cat a saucer of milk shouldn’t replace their water intake, and clean, fresh water is the best source of hydration for your cats. Many cats can become dependent on drinking milk as a replacement for water if they are given it often, which isn’t a good habit to start for your cat. Unless your cat has a health issue and your cat’s veterinarian recommends enticing them to drink using milk, water should be your cat’s main source of hydration. If you do plan to feed oat milk to your cat, it should not replace their bowl of fresh water.


Unless your cat has allergies to grains, oat milk is completely safe for them to drink in moderation. Making homemade oat milk for your cat is going to ensure the safety of the ingredients since the salt and sugars in some store-bought oat milk aren’t going to be the healthiest for your cat. If your cat has trouble digesting dairy-based milk because of lactose intolerance, you can switch them to oat milk as a treat with guidance from a veterinarian.

The lower sodium and fat content with higher fiber may also appeal to cat owners looking to give their cat an occasional drink of milk that is healthy and lactose-free.

Featured Image Credit: Naumenko, Shutterstock

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Over 200 Cats Removed From NY Home in Hoarding Situation

Over 200 cats were recently removed from a New York home in a hoarding situation, according to WHAM. The homeowner now faces charges of animal cruelty and neglect.

More than 200 cats recovered from New York home

An investigation has been ongoing for months into a home on Courtright Lane in Gates, New York. On June 9, officers seized 107 cats discovered in “horrible conditions.” More searches uncovered a total of 209 cats. Investigators from Lollypop Farm Humane Law Enforcement finally arrested the homeowner, Reinhardt “Roy” Belke, on Monday.

“The conditions on the premises were unsanitary and inhumane,” Lollypop Farm’s Vice President of Humane Law Enforcement Reno DiDomenico said in a release. “The house was filled with excrement and garbage, causing toxic ammonia levels.”

Some cats were so sick that they had to be euthanized. Many others are now in the care of Lollypop Farm.

“A number of the cats were humanely euthanized as their health conditions were beyond medical treatment, but many of the cats have since been adopted into loving homes within the community,” DiDomenico said.

Homeowner hoarding cats faces animal cruelty charges

Authorities charged Belke with eight counts of overdriving, torturing, injuring animals and failure to provide sustenance. He also faces 107 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal. Additionally, he may face one year in prison or a $1,000 fine for each of the 107 counts. There were no charges for the cats Belke willingly surrendered.

“Hoarding is something that is not really against the law, but the (lack of) care of the animals is against the law,” DiDomenico said.

The town also cited Belke for the conditions inside the home. A local cleanup company is working on sanitizing the property. A trial commences in mid-October.

Meanwhile, many of the cats recovered still need adoptive families. Feline friends eligible for adoption are viewable on Lollypop Farm’s website.

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How to Calm Your Cat During a Thunderstorm

Indoor tabby cat sitting in the window gets surprised by the storm and rain

Most cats don’t like thunderstorms and there are several good reasons for this. Thunderstorms are loud with sudden flashes of bright light. This is scary for some people, so for a cat, with their sensitive hearing and inability to understand what is happening, it can be downright terrifying.

Quick Overview


Many cats don’t like thunderstorms, because they are loud and bright, and they can easily pick up on the changes in atmospheric pressure that come with a storm.


Signs of a frightened cat might include, hiding, restlessness, trembling, an increased heart rate, and inappropriate urination or defecation.


There are many ways to help a distressed cat during a thunderstorm, from using calming supplements and soothing synthetic hormones, to ensuring accessible hiding spots with a favorite blanket or toy.

If you have a cat who is frightened by thunderstorms, read on to learn about why they become so scared and what you can do to help.

Why Are Cats Afraid of Thunderstorms?

Some cats, of course, won’t be too bothered by a thunderstorm. But for the majority of cats, thunderstorms are a really frightening event. Let’s take a closer look at why:

1. Cats Can Sense When a Storm Is on the Way

Cats are sensitive to the changes in atmospheric pressure and the build-up of static electricity in the air that occur well before a storm arrives. Whiskers (vibrissae) are extremely sensitive to these changes in the environment.

There are nerve endings at the whisker tips which transmit information to the brain where it is then processed. All of this means that anxiety sets in well in advance of the thunderstorm itself.

2. Cats Have Excellent Hearing

Cats are extremely sensitive to sound and hear much better than we can, and even better than most dogs can. Those loud thunderclaps that sometimes take us by surprise sound even louder to your cat. Before the thunder starts, the sound of heavy rain or hail can also be frightening for your pet, especially when beating against windows or falling onto a roof or skylight.

Bear in mind that cats can hear sounds 4-5 times further away than humans, so your cat hears the storm approaching well before you do.

3. Cats Can Sense Vibrations

Cats can detect tiny vibrations in the ground through their paw pads. A cat’s paw pads contain nerve endings called Pacinian corpuscles which enable them to detect vibration frequencies between 80 and 240 Hz.

This means that your cat can probably detect the distant rumble of thunder through their paws. A cat’s feet are so much more than just cute little toe beans!

4. Cats Have Excellent Vision

White cat sitting beside a window at home

Some cats will not be distressed during a thunderstorm, but many find storms very frightening.

Cats can see six times better in dim light than a human can. The sudden flashes of bright lightning that accompany all the loud noises of a storm will add to your cat’s fear.

5. Cats Are Always on High Alert

Cats are often in a state of hyper-vigilance because of their highly adapted senses. This mean that they sometimes overreact to things that are actually harmless. For instance, a single sudden loud noise such as a door slamming can send your cat bolting for cover.

Although this fight or flight response makes cats well adapted for survival in the wild, it also means that they are likely already be in a heightened state of anxiety when a thunderstorm begins, exaggerating their fear response even further.

6. Cats Don’t Know What’s Coming

When a storm comes, we’ve learned to expect the accompanying claps of thunder, flashes of lightning, and torrential rain. For a cat, storms are unpredictable and they don’t know what’s going to happen next. The sights and the sounds seemingly come out of nowhere, making them scary.

7. Some Cats Might Be Predisposed to Fearfulness

Cats with unknown backgrounds, a history of neglect, or generalized anxiety, are more prone to thunderstorm phobia. If a cat has previously been trapped somewhere during a storm, or been left on their own, they are more likely to have an increased fear response to a thunderstorm in the future.

How Do I Know Whether My Cat Is Afraid of a Thunderstorm?

Cats sometimes hide signs of fear or anxiety better than even dogs, so you might need to keep a close eye on your cat during a thunderstorm to check that they are doing OK. Signs or behaviors that your cat is scared might include:

  • Running away
  • Hiding
  • Trembling
  • Restlessness
  • Increased vocalization
  • Increased heart rate
  • Inappropriate urination/defecation
  • Reduced appetite
  • Excessive scratching

What Can I Do to Calm My Cat During a Thunderstorm?

1. Create a Safe Space

When a cat is frightened, they usually prefer to hide away somewhere. Ensure that your cat has plenty of options where they can seek shelter and comfort and wait out the storm until it has passed.

Place a favorite toy or blanket for them to snuggle up with. Ensure that your cat’s favorite bed is accessible in case this is where she feels safest. If your cat chooses to hide away during a thunderstorm, then it is best to leave them alone, rather than trying to tempt them out.

2. Keep Them Indoors

If you know that a storm is on the way, then keep your cat inside until it has passed. Remember to let everyone in the family know not to let your cat out and ensure you lock the cat flap temporarily.

If the storm has already started and you think your cat might be hiding outside somewhere nearby, try to lure them inside by rattling food boxes or jangling toys.

3. Close Windows and Curtains

Closing windows helps reduce the noise level from the sound of thunder and closing curtains or blinds will reduce the impact of bright lightning flashes. This will help to create a calm environment for your cat to feel safe in.

4. Use a Pheromone Diffuser

A small white cat sleeps peacefully

A favorite blanket or toy can do a lot to help a distressed cat feel calmer during a storm.

Pheromone diffusers such as Feliway can be very effective at helping to ease anxiety in cats.  These synthetic pheromones will have more of a calming effect if they are plugged in and switched on all of the time, rather than just as a storm begins.

There are also other pheromone products you can try, such as sprays to spray on your cat’s bedding, or in the area where they like to hide.

5. Turn the Radio On

Playing music through a radio or TV helps mask the scary sounds of storms. A study conducted by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow showed that playing classical music has a soothing effect on dogs, and the same is likely true of cats.

6. Try to Stay Relaxed

Your cat can pick up on subtle signs of stress or worry that you might be showing and this can increase their fear. Remain calm and relaxed yourself, especially if your cat has chosen to hide out in the same room as you. You can help to provide reassurance to your cat by speaking to them softly and calmly.

7. Offer a Distraction

Some cats might appreciate a distraction from the sights and sounds of a thunderstorm. Catnip toys, puzzle feeders, and even simple items such as a cardboard box, all offer a good distraction for your cat until the storm passes. Some cats might just want to hide, and that’s fine; never force them to play if they are happier hiding under the bed or in a closet.

8. Use Calming Supplements

Calming supplements in the form of liquid, tablets, or capsules that can be opened and sprinkled on food, can sometimes help your cat to relax during a storm. Most supplements are often best started a few days before the scary event, especially if you know that a storm is predicted.

9. Try Desensitization

To help your cat cope better with future thunderstorms, try and desensitize them to the sounds of thunder. There are thunder sound effects available online that are designed for this use.

Play them very quietly to start with and in each session, play the sounds a little louder, all the while checking that your cat is still comfortable. Offer treats while the sounds are playing to create a positive association for your cat. If your cat is showing signs of anxious behaviors at any point, go back to the previous volume setting and build up more gradually.

It is normal for a cat to be scared of thunderstorms and they will often hide away until they pass. If your cat seems especially terrified, or does not recover quickly after the storm, then speak to your veterinarian for further help and advice.

Also Read: Petting Aggression in Cats: What It Is & How To Stop It

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my cat be OK during a thunderstorm?

Cats might show signs of fear and anxiety during a storm, but they usually cope with this by hiding away somewhere they feel safe and they will usually recover pretty quickly after the event. If your cat is showing extreme signs of anxiety during a storm, talk to your veterinarian for further advice.

Should I lock my cat in during a thunderstorm?

Most cats will be safer and feel less scared if they can hide away in the comfort of their own home. It is usually best to keep your cat inside during a storm, where you know they will be safe and the sights and sounds of the storm are muffled.

Can I give my cat anything to calm them down during a thunderstorm?

There are various calming supplements for cats that might help ease any anxiety your cat feels during a thunderstorm. They are usually most effective if they are started a couple of days before the event. Speak to your veterinarian for more advice about which supplements might work best for your cat.

La vie du chat

Kitten Left in a Park but Adopted by a Cat, He’s so Clingy He Sticks to Everyone Like Glue

A kitten was left behind in a park and then adopted by a cat. He is so clingy that he sticks to everyone like glue.

sleeping snuggly kittenAimee

About two months ago, a tiny kitten was seen in a park, all by himself. The finder asked around but no one came to claim him.

At around one week old, the kitten desperately needed a mom or round-the-clock care from a bottle feeder. After realizing that the kitten had been abandoned, the finder reached out to her local rescue, Be Their Voice Animal Rescue, for help.

Aimee, a board member of the rescue, sprang into action upon receiving the plea. She took him into her care and had a plan in store for the tiny orphan.

orphaned kitten tinyHe was found alone in a parkAimee

A couple of weeks prior to the kitten’s rescue, Aimee opened her home to a mother cat and her litter of six who had been born in a shelter. The cat named Lucy was so elated to be out of the kennel and into a comfy home.

She stepped out of the carrier purring and immediately sought affection.

kitten snuggling catHe was adopted by a sweet cat momAimee

Having a nursing mom is important to the wellness of a neonate. Aimee placed the little orphan with Lucy and hoped that she would accept him.

Within seconds, Lucy took on the new baby, started caring for him and let him nurse with her own. Despite being the tiniest of the bunch, the rescued kitten could hold his own, jockeying for Mama’s attention, wriggling to her face for extra TLC.

kittens nursing catAimee

While the mom was raising all seven, Aimee provided supplemental feedings for the rescued baby to help him catch up in weight.

« He purred and needed snuggles after every feeding. I thought it was just every once in a while, but it was every time, » Aimee shared with Love Meow.

sweet kitten adorableHe grew a rotund bellyAimee

Despite being two weeks younger, the kitten named Rerun was able to keep up with his siblings, reaching one milestone after another. He looked almost as big as the other kittens.

Rerun never skipped a post-meal cuddle session with his foster mom.

snuggly kitten lap catHe was very clingy and insisted on having cuddles after every mealAimee

He would drape his body over her neck, cuddle with her face, snuggle on her chest or wrap his arms around her leg, clinging to her until he nodded off to sleep.

« He played with his adopted siblings, but he really seemed to enjoy human interaction. He’s a Velcro kitty. »

snuggly cuddly kittenAimee

When other kittens tried to roughhouse with him, he would swipe at them with one paw and hold onto his foster mom with the other.

As much as he loved playing with his siblings, he insisted on being with his people every chance he got.

sleeping cuddly kittenHe fell asleep while cuddling with his foster momAimee

When Aimee was not in the kitten room, Rerun would join the others in a snuggle-pile. He always seemed to be the center of every cuddle-fest.

Rerun has grown by leaps and bounds since he was found in the park as a tiny orphan.

snuggly kittens cuteRerun also enjoyed cuddles with his siblingsAimee

Some things never change – he clung to his foster mom on day one and still does the same with his people to this day.

When an adopter came to meet the kitty crew to see whom she would vibe with, Rerun immediately made himself known. « He climbed in her lap and made himself right at home. »

lap kitten cat sleepingHe curled up on the visitor’s lap and chose her to be his humanAimee

The sweet boy purred nonstop until he fell asleep in her arms. Needless to say, he solidified the choice for the adopter that day.

« Rerun (now Pita) went to his forever home. New brother Pickles took no time at all welcoming Pita to the family. He is showing Pita all the toys and beds, » Aimee shared.

cat kitten best friendsPickles and PitaAimee

Pita has blossomed into a beautiful young cat with a big personality. Now, he has a wonderful family to cuddle with every day.

kitten cat best friendsBest of friendsAimee

Share this story with your friends. More on Aimee’s fosters and Be Their Voice Animal Rescue on Instagram @_catz4life_ and @fostercatsfordays.

Related story: Cat Gives Indoor Life a Try After Living Outside Most of His Life, Turns Out It’s the Best Thing Ever

La vie du chat

Melatonin for Cats: Overview, Dosage, & Side Effects

Cat struggling to sleep while lying down on a sofa

Melatonin is a hormone that may be supplemented for cats, especially to help with sleep problems and behavioral disorders. In this article, you’ll learn what melatonin is, some indications it may have for cats, side effects to be aware of, and some frequently asked questions.

Melatonin for Cats Overview

Medication Type:

Hormone, neutraceutical

Medication Form:

Oral forms include tablets, capsules, gummies, and chewables. An implant form is also available.

Brand Names:

Available as a neutraceutical/supplement under many company names. Dermatonin is one brand of implant marketed for animals.


May include a calm mood or help with sleep cycles. When given to breeding female cats, melatonin can prolong the period between estrus (heat) cycles.

Available Dosages:

Supplements are available in many dosages but 1 – 10mg is most common. Range may be as low as 0.5mg and as high as 20mg.

Potential Side Effects:

May cause sedation and affect sex hormone secretion/fertility


Melatonin should be used very carefully in any cat intended for breeding, male or female.


Melatonin should not be used in any cats with a known sensitivity. 

About Melatonin for Cats

Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body in response to darkness. When melatonin is released, it provides a relaxing effect and helps the body get ready for sleep.

Because of its sleep-inducing qualities, melatonin has been used in pets for a long time as a supplement to help with disorders of the sleep-wake cycle. It can also be useful for other behavioral problems where inducing a feeling of calm sleepiness is desired.

As a hormone, melatonin has been found to have an effect on sex hormones and fertility. This attribute may be of benefit for cats used for breeding to help control female cat heat cycles.

Day/night cycles and changes in the photoperiod (daylight length) during the year can affect hair coat growth. While more common in dogs, melatonin may also be used to treat cats that develop seasonal hair loss (alopecia) or other forms of hair loss that cannot be explained by allergy or a skin infection.

There is no FDA-approved form of melatonin that is used for cats. Melatonin is widely available as an oral supplement that is produced by multiple companies in several dosage amounts.

Melatonin also comes in the form of an implant that goes under the skin. The most common brand that is marketed to animals including cats, is Dermatonin.

Dose for Cats

There is no labeled dose of melatonin for cats. Dosing has been based on clinical experience and limited studies. Because there is a wide range, check with your veterinarian for the best place to start with dosing for your cat.

Sleep Disorders

Doses range from 1.5–6mg prior to bedtime. Doses as high as 12mg every 12 hours have been prescribed.

Similar dosing may be used for other behavioral concerns where a sense of calm is desired. Melatonin has not been shown to be as successful for stressful events as other medications like gabapentin. However, doses similar to those used prior to bedtime for sleep disorders have been used.

For Suppression of Estrus/Heat in Female Cats

For suppression of estrus/heat in cats, doses of anywhere from 4–30mg per day have been used. An 18mg subcutaneous (under the skin) implant has also been used, which suppressed estrus for 2–4 months.

A high degree of variability has been found in the use of melatonin for breeding control in cats. It is best to consult with a veterinary reproductive specialist/theriogenologist before undertaking any serious hormone therapy for breeding cats.

How To Administer Melatonin to Cats

Large grey cat receiving a supplement

Oral forms of melatonin supplements available over the counter come in many different forms, including tablets, capsules, chewables, oral solutions, and gummies. Many pet health supplement companies also have chews or treats developed for pets.

Melatonin can be given with or without food. It can be helpful to initially hide pills in a cat treat or some canned food. If your cat will not take a capsule or pill or doesn’t find a chewable very tasty, you may have to pill your cat by mouth.

There is a subcutaneous implant, like the brand Dermatonin, that goes under the skin. This may be an option for cats who won’t take oral medication at all. This may be a preferred route for cats used for breeding or for hair growth disorders responsive to melatonin.

If you don’t have experience giving your cat injections, it is best to consult with your vet before using this form of melatonin. Further instruction or training may be needed, or it may be best for your veterinarian to oversee the injection of the implant.

Side Effects of Melatonin for Cats

Melatonin is considered very safe for use in cats. As a natural hormone the body already produces, adverse events are considered rare.

Sedation in the form of sleepiness is very common to see. This effect is often why melatonin is used and so may be expected and desired.

When used for hair growth disorders, breeding, or other cases where we don’t want to see a sleepy cat, a dose of oral melatonin can be easily adjusted. There are many different doses available.

Melatonin should be monitored carefully in cats used for breeding, as it can disrupt fertility cycles and affect pregnancy. This may be desired to help with controlled breeding, but if used for behavior or another purpose in a breeding queen or tom, it is important to be mindful of its potential impact on sex hormones.

Overdose and Emergencies

There is little clinical evidence for overdoses of melatonin in pets. Higher doses may make a cat more tired, but it is very unlikely that a dose exceeding what is recommended will have a significant impact on health.

There is a lot of variability in melatonin products that are available. So it’s important to stop product administration and contact one of the following immediately if you have concerns about seeing side effects after giving your cat a dose of melatonin:

  • Your veterinarian
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435)
  • Pet Poison Helpline (1-855-764-7661)

Potential Drug Interactions With Melatonin

Image of a cat sleeping peacefully, capturing a serene and restful moment of feline relaxation.

There are a couple of medications that may have interactions with melatonin.

With the exception of benzodiazepines, which may be used in some cats for sedation, anxiety, or seizure management—use of the other medications in this list is either rare in cats or not recommended.

This does not mean benzodiazepines and melatonin cannot be used together. Use should be considered in light of risks of potential side effects versus potential benefits.

  • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax): Use together with melatonin may increase sedative effects.
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet): Rarely used in cats.
  • Succinylcholine: Rarely used in cats
  • Warfarin: Not recommended for use in cats.

Always discuss starting any new medications or supplements with your veterinarian to see how they may interact with other medications your cat is currently taking.

How To Store Melatonin

Generally, melatonin should be stored at room temperature in air-tight containers. Because there are many melatonin products available, check individual products for storage guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Melatonin Safe for Cats?

Melatonin is generally very safe for cats. As a natural sleep hormone produced by the body, side effects other than inducing a state of sleep or light sedation is very rare.

What if I Miss a Dose of Melatonin?

Melatonin is generally very safe and overdoses are rare. It works within the body for 12-24 hours and many pets receive it only once a day. If you miss a dose, there is little risk in giving another sooner within that 12-24 hours period. There is likely no added benefit however, to giving melatonin more often than every 8 hours.

How Long Can Cats Take Melatonin? 

Long-term use studies are lacking, but as a natural sleep hormone, no long-term use concerns have been raised either. In many cases with sleep or hair growth disorders, benefits of melatonin are likely seen because of a deficiency. Supplementing long-term in these cases is simply replenishing what the body needs.

What Time of Day Should Cats Take Melatonin? 

When used for helping with night time behavior disorders and to help regulate sleep cycles, melatonin is best given an hour or so prior to bedtime. 

When used as part of a protocol to relieve fear or stress caused by specific events, melatonin is generally given at least 2 hours prior to the event.

Melatonin may be used morning and evening if used as part of a protocol for generalized behavior disorders.

Can I Give My Cat OTC Melatonin?

Yes, in fact over the counter melatonin found at a human pharmacy or pharmacy department is the most common variety that is used. Because over the counter supplement products are not subject to the same regulations and restrictions as prescription medications, it is important to look for products of good quality. Looking for the USP Verified Mark is one way to feel comfortable about the quality of any human supplement product you use for a pet.

If you have questions about a melatonin product or dose, make sure to check with your vet prior to giving it to your cat.

View Sources

Dermatonin. Accessed August 3, 2023.

Gollakner, R. Melatonin. VCA Animal Hospitals. Accessed August 3, 2023.

Plumb DC. Melatonin. In: Plumb DC, ed. Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook. 9th ed

Ruviaro Tuleski GL, Silveira MF, Bastos RF, Pscheidt MJGR, Prieto W da S, Sousa MG. Behavioral and cardiovascular effects of a single dose of gabapentin or melatonin in cats: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 2022;24(12):e524-e534. doi:10.1177/1098612X221124359

Schäfer-Somi S. Effect of melatonin on the reproductive cycle in female cats: a review of clinical experiences and previous studies. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 2017;19(1):5-12. doi:10.1177/1098612X15610369