December finds us gearing up for the biggest holiday of the year. Our winter edition of the Mewsletter builds on that theme. A "Safe Christmas for Kitty" offers holiday dos and don'ts for cats. We review a special seasonal event at the Irvine Animal Care Center. We also have the "Environmental Enrichment" article which offers some great kitty gift ideas.


One of the articles I would like to encourage you to read is "The Christmas Kitten". This is a fun on going piece. The story is told through the kitten's eyes depicting the ideal adoption process. I would like to share an extra word with you on this subject.


When buying a kitten from a breeder you should be able to go to the cattery, even if it is in their home. An ethical breeder should have nothing to hide. Be sure to see all of their cats and their living conditions. Observing how a kitten is housed and raised is important in making a decision. The goal is to adopt a healthy well adjusted kitten. Have fun and choose wisely.


Cheryl Smith



   THE ADVENTURES OF ___________?

 Like us on FacebookPlease help us name him by clicking on our Facebook to submit your names. Or, you may email us at [email protected].   


The Christmas Kitten


No NameHi. I am an 11 week old Somali boy. My new mom is finding it difficult to name me. I was wondering if you could help? It may be easier for you to suggest a name if you know a little bit about me.


It was my lucky day when my new mom from California arrived in Colorado and picked me out of the litter. She had seen lots of pictures of me over the weeks prior to her arrival. My Colorado mom had told me I needed to make a good impression. When the door was opened, I bounced out from under the bed to make sure I was the first to greet her.


My California mom spent several hours getting to know me and my four siblings. She also visited with my real mom and dad, aunts, cousins and everyone else. I got so excited when I heard her say she wished she could take us all. We were all going to California, the whole litter!


Sadly, when it was time to go it was just me loaded into the carrier. I did not feel so lucky at that moment. Separated from my siblings by a mesh divider we said our goodbyes. I missed them already. Cheryl and Somali kitten


All the way to the airport I cried. My new mom knew I was missing my brothers and sisters. She promised I would make new friends. Finally I fell asleep next to Mom on the flight home.


We arrived in Orange County. A short drive later I was at my new home. Mom put me in a quiet room to rest and recover after my long journey.


The next evening Mom opened the door. There was a whole new world to explore. I was upstairs, downstairs, under things, over things and into things. I looked everywhere for my siblings but could not find them. Then I ran into this giant fur ball named Emma. I was so scared. She hissed. I hissed. There was a whole lot of hissing going on. By the end of the evening I was exhausted.


The following day Mom decided to try a different approach. She opened the door to my room and announced, "Look kitties I brought you a toy". Kitties... is there more than one of those fur balls? Did she just call me a toy?


I set out to explore. In the dining room I found that fur ball Emma, dangling her tail from a chair. Was this an offer to play? I batted it for a while and got thirsty. Emma followed me to the water bowl and was batting at my tail. Clearly she wanted to play! She didn't seem so scary anymore. Finally a new friend!


Emma and I played all day. She showed me all her favorite places and secret spots. I especially liked playing under the Christmas tree. We played for hours. Exhausted again, I collapsed in Mom's office with Emma. That is where I met PlaytimeCrop2 Bodhi, the biggest scariest fur ball of all.  


To be continued ...







Kitten purchased from:







Drake came to our office with a big problem. He had been vomiting for more than a week and could not hold anything down. His mom Stephanie had taken him to her local veterinary hospital, but left unsatisfied with no resolution to Drake's problem.


Frustrated, Stephanie searched the internet for some help. She felt Drake needed a cat specialist. After reading reviews of T.H.E. Cat Hospital she called and made an appointment to bring Drake to us, even though we were an hour away.


Often confronted with challenging cases we were ready for Drake as he came through the door. On careful examination Dr. Elston discovered two hard lumps in Drake's abdomen. The next step was to x-ray Drake's belly. This could be done while Stephanie waited.


The x-rays revealed a wad of lineal material in the stomach and the small intestine. What could it be? At that point Stephanie remembered she was missing some elastic hair bands. Surgery was scheduled.


Opening Drake's stomach revealed a wad of approximately 12 hair bands, cellophane and string. Opening the small intestine exposed 3 more hair bands. The surgery was a success. Drake was eating hours after surgery and only required an overnight stay. Since he was feeling much better and functioning normally again, he went home the next day.


This is an unusual case because of the number of elastic hair bands found in Drake's belly. It is not unusual to find foreign objects in the stomach of a cat. Cat owners need to be careful with what is left in kitty's reach when kitty is unattended.


More commonly this is a seasonal issue. Tinsel, string and ribbon are our biggest culprits. Please see our article "A Safe Christmas for Kitty".



drakeWe are glad we were able to help Drake. We hope he will lose his appetite for hair bands.  







As you are decorating for the holidays this year we encourage you to keep kitties safety in mind. Our mischievous furry friends often become over stimulated with the new d�cor. They can chew and nibble on a variety of items that may be toxic or fatal to them if swallowed. We would like to share with you a few items that may be of concern.


Tinsel is a holiday ornament to avoid. If swallowed this string can wrap itself around the base of the tongue or anchor itself in the stomach. Once this happens the tinsel will be unable to pass through the intestines. As the intestines move the tinsel can slowly saw through the intestinal tissue resulting in severe damage. Ribbon, yarn and thread are also items with the same dangerous potential and should be kept out of kitties reach.


Liquid potpourri is extremely toxic to cats. The result of a few licks of this fragrant potion can cause difficulty breathing, tremors, and severe chemical burns to the mouth.


Antifreeze if ingested by your cat can be fatal. Did you know some snow globes may contain antifreeze? A fatal dose for a feline can be as little as one tablespoon. What it does is cause kidney failure. If you think your cat may have ingested antifreeze seek veterinary care immediately.


The poinsettia has always been a holiday plant of concern although considered only mildly toxic. The more worrisome holiday plants are lilies. One or two bites from a lily can result in severe acute kidney failure in cats. Other plants of concern are holly, mistletoe and rosemary. Please inspect your holiday bouquets and discard offending plants.


We hope this information will help keep kitty safe this holiday season, so you will all be home to enjoy the holidays!





Have you ever noticed how a cat will sprawl out on the warm hood of a car? Do you often find your feline basking in the sun in her favorite window? Do you notice how she always seems to find the warm sheets or towels to cuddle in whenever possible? It is no secret our furry friends are heat seekers.


Did you know for a cat staying warm is not a matter of comfort, it is a necessity? Cats are endothermic (maintaining a relatively constant body temperature). This is what allows a cat to spring into action at a moments notice. In the wild, survival depends on this ability to act quickly as opportunity or dinner presents itself. The fuel to feed the fire is protein. A high protein diet is essential to maintaining your cat's warm blood.


Dry and canned cat foods are humane alternatives to the live stuff. Feeding your cat a high quality protein diet is essential to her health. Read the labels and compare common grocery store brands of cat food to the specialty brands such as Wellness and EVO. The most essential ingredient in the food is protein. What you should look for is the amount and quality of the protein. Protein is what keeps the internal fire burning in your warm blooded cat. Retail Area


At T.H.E. Cat Hospital we offer a wide variety of quality and prescription foods. Please come in and compare. Feel free to ask our knowledgeable receptionists to help decipher the labels and point out the differences. Good food is essential to the health of your cat. Many illnesses can be avoided with proper nutrition.








These days most of our cats live indoors. By keeping them indoors we are protecting them from the perils of outdoor life such as coyotes, cars, and neighbors who don't like cats. Our cats may live longer because of this lifestyle but typically are less active because of it too.


Inactivity can cause obesity in cats, and we see a lot of that in our practice. It can also cause boredom which can lead to undesirable behavior or depression. This is not really what we had in mind when keeping our feline friends inside.


We need to provide environmental enrichment for our indoor cats. This can 

 cat tree  easily  be done by adding a few things for them to our homes. A cat tree or cat furniture is a good start. These versatile structures provide a place for your cat to claw, play, climb and sleep. Cats naturally like to be in high places and what better place than a tree? In my book this is the #1 essential item to provide for an indoor cat.  


For those of you who find most of these structures unacceptable to your d�cor, we now offer reasonably priced custom cat trees provided by a local company. Come in and choose the style, height and color you find appealing, and we will have it made just for you.


Scratching posts provide good exercise and a place to stretch when cats do what comes naturally to them, claw. Be sure to have a few of them scattered around your home. If possible mix different styles for added stimulation.


Toys are also an essential item. Try to provide kitty with a variety of toys. Mice and balls filled with catnip or adorned with fur or feathers should be a staple item for kitty. Be sure to rotate toys weekly to keep kitties interest.


If you have 20 minutes a day to play with your cat please look into the Cat-A- Pole, Neko Flies or Da Bird. My cats beg to play with the Cat-A-Pole. It is a Neko Flies2  very long flexible nylon pole with an irresistible toy on the end of it. It gets them running and keeps them running. They love it! The Charmer is also a great toy. It provides a different type of play, more batting and rolling. It is good to mix it up. Just like people, kitty feels better with exercise too.  


For our heavier cats, we suggest a bowl designed to make them work for their food. This provides mental stimulation as it creates a challenge to find the food. For those cats that tend to eat too fast, it will slow down eating so kitty won't throw it right back up.


All of the items mentioned above are available in our store "The Cats Pajamas" inside of T.H.E. Cat Hospital. We have worked hard to provide items that will help kitty live a long, healthy, happy life. Please stop by to see our new inventory. We hope our suggestions are helpful.


Check out Takota playing with a Cat-A-Pole  Takota and the Cat-A-Pole  



I spend a lot of time on the trails of the Upper Newport Beach Back Bay. On several occasions I have seen "Babe", the resident Bobcat. Babe is an impressive animal with her muscular body and exotic patterned fur. One time I sat near her for about 10 minutes. I was in awe. It was a memorable experience.


This month for those of you who also appreciate the striking good looks of our local wild feline residents, we hope you will appreciate our breed of the month, the American Bobtail.


Unlike the Bobcat there is nothing wild about an American Bobtail except their looks. These cats can look very much like a Bobcat. They have large bones and big feet with the feature that sets them apart from the rest, the bobtail. No two tails are alike. The average tail length is between 1 and 4 inches. Thick fur which is found in many colors and patterns in this breed adds to its wild appearance. My favorite is the chocolate spotted tabby.

Takota Full Length Pic    

The Bobtail is affectionate, intelligent and an extremely gentle animal with people. They are known to have a calming quality about them. I have heard psychotherapists have used this breed in treatment programs because they have found them to be sensitive to people in distress.


The Bobtail is generally good with dogs and children. They are confident animals who will own your house the second their toes hit the floor. An enjoyable and entertaining cat, the American Bobtail is a breed worth looking into. Be advised, we hear from the breeders, they are like potato chips you can't have just one!  

Takota Standing    



On your next visit to T.H.E. Cat Hospital please allow a little extra time to meet our new resident cat, Takota. A Grand Champion American Bobtail, Takota is a striking example of his breed.


Takota enjoys people and is quite the social butterfly. He follows all of us around never missing an opportunity to greet a client and make a new friend. Because of his social nature we have decided to appoint him to the position of Ambassador.


Come in and meet our boy. We are happy to share him with you. FYI, if you are shopping and find him in the toy department, he can be very helpful. He knows all the best toys, just ask him.  




On Sunday, December 2, 2012 the Irvine Animal Care Center hosted the 6th Annual Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption Fair. Five hundred plus adoptable pets were featured along with fifty plus vendors and exhibitors. What a great event for such a good cause.Home for the Holidays


T.H.E. Cat Hospital was represented by Joni Anderson, Cheryl Smith and Dr. Elston. Takota came along as our Kitty Ambassador. 


There seemed to be a nonstop flow of people attending the five hour event. We made lots of new friends, especially Takota. Thanks to all of our clients who stopped by our booth to say hi. We enjoyed visiting with all of you.


The Irvine Animal Care Center raised over $40,000 for their programs through this event. This was an event record! They were pleased to announce 264 animals found homes. The Center was able to accept 117 animals into their 3rd Chance Pet's Program. A successful day as a total of 381 lives were saved. If you would like to learn more click here. Link to Irvine Animal Care Center

 These are fun cat videos for your viewing enjoyment! 
Takota Merry Christmas  
Merry christmas from Takota 
the staff at T.H.E. Cat Hospital!
To contact the hospital, or to make an appointment,
please call T.H.E. Cat Hospital
at 949-733-CATS(2287).