Behind the Scenes, Cat News, Product Reviews & More!
Behind the Scenes, Cat News, Product Reviews & More!
I cannot believe summer is almost half over! Where did it go???
I've had a lot going on this year and I have not been good about regular blog posts, but hey, I did do a bunch of social media updates! Its easier for me to take a photo, write a few things, and send it on, than it is to sit here and think in front of my laptop. So yeah... I've spent time thinking about the direction of this business and what its future holds. I've been working on the little things, like packaging, and making plans to hopefully attend more craft shows in the fall. I've been playing around with different website designs and services, but I haven't found one I truly like to date. So for the time being, this is my website! If you have any problems ordering from here, please visit our Etsy shop at http://oddballcattoys.etsy.com.
But enough of that! What's going on here? What's new?? Well, for starters, we have more new felt cat toys! I am totally obsessed with these toys. Not only are they colorful and can be stuffed with the fresh Herb, cats LOVE them! I gave a few felt toys to the cats in the office where we live. The owners kept remarking they've never seen him play so much, so hard!, with any toy! His brother also got in on the fun and apparently he was also hard to please. I have to keep feeding them new cat toys every so often, keep them entertained and happy! I know some of you are thinking that your cat probably wouldn't like them, because they're kind of like store bought toys. I can assure you, these are MUCH BETTER! My cats helped me pick out the material, because they too hate store bought toys. I use a fresh organic catnip and/or valerian mix, whereas store bought toys could have old non-potent herbs in them. Finally, they don't look like your typical cat toys, so cats will "think" they're stealing something of yours! Its a win-win all around. :-) If your kitty hasn't tried one yet, PLEASE DO! You will be glad you gave it to them!
Below are our newest felt toys- Butterflies & Mice! Both toys are NOT FLAT, they have a fun poof to them, thanks to a little eco-stuffing and Herb!
I've also added some fun new yarn cat toys, and a couple of odd Hair Tie Cat Toys. I've also been working on some fun cat toy packages too, where your kitty gets to sample a fun variety of toys! Currently the majority of these packages are only available in quantities of one, but I could reproduce more if requested. I'll be putting together additional packages shortly! I may end up just posting them here on the website vs. Etsy. So what kind of packages would you be interested in seeing? Please let me know, I always appreciate suggestions!
Here are the most current cat toy packages for sale -
I never thought this day would happen, where Benny would live to see his 3rd birthday. We had been through so much in such little time, first dealing with his life threatening seizures, then being unfairly thrown in quarantine to die.
Benny has taught me how precious life really is with our furry friends, and how strong their will is to stay with us. Benny could have given up and not survived. I've never seen a cat fight so hard for his life, and to live. He won, and he is thriving today!
He's going to be spoiled rotten on his official birth day, I can tell you that much! :-)
Our bond has really grown through these hard times. Its not easy owning a special needs cat. He needs additional care and support, to make sure he stays healthy and thriving. We make sacrifices, and he costs more than our other cats combined. But he gives us so much more in return! He knows when I'm sad, and comes over for one of our special cuddles. When I need to unwind at night, sometimes I'll take my tablet and go to bed early. He'll flop on the bed on top of me, purring up a storm. He enjoys "helping" me brush my teeth every day, and loves "helping" select food from the fridge whenever we're in there. He loves being picked up, and will excitedly throw his arms up for you to pick him up! He's a big cat with a tiny kitten heart.
Benny is just an awesome cat.
I really encourage you to take the time and open up your hearts to the special cats in need of love, help & support. Don't ever think of your sacrifice or the cost of their love. Giving back to the ones that can't speak up or help themselves, is the best thing you can do in this world.
Happy Birthday, Benny! And many happy more birthdays to come!
I went to Petco on Saturday to buy Benny some of his favorite refrigerated food. Of course, who can go to one of these stores without saying hi to the kitties awaiting adoption!
I always feel so bad I cannot take another home with me! I greeted each kitty and spent as much or as little time socializing as they wanted. There was a very vocal ginger male that tried grabbing me from his cage door, and on the opposite side, a very scared but sweet ginger female. She totally broke my heart! She was laying under her shelf bed, trembling. I said some very reassuring words to her, and she finally came out with a cute little meow to sniff my finger.
After a little bit, I had to get on with my shopping trip. I couldn't stop thinking of these kitties, and decided that I needed to do something for them, to make them feel safer and happier until they were adopted. So what did I do? I bought them each a toy! I know, its crazy, its not one of my handmade goodies, but I didn't have any on me at the time.
We gave them each a fun mouse to play with. Oh my goodness, they all went crazy for them! They went from being upset and nervous to having the time of their lives throwing their new toys around! Cats really do need a little something of their own, it helps their nerves and comfort levels. It was especially very heartening to see that scared ginger have fun with hers!
All it took was just a little gift from me, and it made all the difference in the world to them. As we were getting ready to leave the store, a mother and child were looking at the kitties in hopes of taking one home. Now that they're out being themselves, it shouldn't have been hard to convince them to adopt!
I'd love to see everyone do this small favor to homeless kitties. Please take a moment to bring gifts to your local shelter, or buy something for the kitties to play with while you're at the pet store. You can do your part in helping them get to their furrever homes quicker!
I was very happy to get a few things accomplished today, including some new toys and a brand new cat collar! Most of my time has been spent rebranding this business and all the fun things that come with it.
So what are the new toys? Here's a sneak peek! I have included their Etsy listings, I have yet to add the newest products to this website (sorry!).
I have some new knit cat toys on the way too, balls, mice & more! I'm trying to decide if I want to add additional color choices to favorites, take away the old favorites and replace them, or create new pieces altogether. Hmmm... I'm not sure, but I think cats need some more donuts in their life, namely purple, red & yellow! ;-)
I'm slowly getting the rebranding and renaming done. I was aiming for the beginning of February.
I need to get back to work, so have a great weekend! Please make sure you share your kitty stories with me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Look for us at @oddballcattoys!
The day I had to do a photoshoot with the new felt toys didn't go very well, as you can see in the above photos. I sat the toys down on the bed and left the room for a moment. When I got back, this is what I found- Gracie rolling around in all the felt toys!
So, what makes a felt toy so fun & unique? Besides being very colorful, they can be 100% stuffed with catnip, catnip/valerian combo, or just plain stuffed with eco stuffing if your kitty hates scents. Many of the toys have some sort of fun accessory, like feathers, boas & ribbons. As with all Oddball Cat Toys, they have the option to be left off. The cool thing about the non-kicker designs, is that the toys aren't super stuffed and maintain a "flatter" shape.
Why do cats go crazy for felt? I'm guessing its the soft texture? I have no idea! They react to felt more strongly than fabric, from my experience. The catnip scent also infuses perfectly into the felt, making them very odorous. Its funny, because Dee Dee wasn't a fan of catnip toys at all... until I placed a star felt toy into her paws. Oh boy, did she go crazy! She knocked everything off the table, rolling around with the star.
How sturdy are felt toys? As far as I can tell, they do survive rougher play! Benny gets bored with them because he's unable to chew them up, unlike fabric toys and even (SIGH!) yarn toys. He's tried, and at worst there was a tooth mark from his very strong jaw. I'm not saying its impossible, but they have so far survived my toughest toy tester!
What kind of cat would enjoy these toys? Definitely catnip lovers, to start! Felt toys are jam packed with fresh organic catnip! Cats that enjoy carrying their toys around will enjoy the smaller felt toys especially- Boots, Puzzle Pieces, Gummibears, Stars & Hearts. All can easily be bunny kicked and licked like crazy!
How big are these felt cat toys? Kickers are 9 inches long by around 1.5 wide. Everything else is between 4-5 inches in diameter. They're still super fun to kick, but they are easy to be carried around.
Here's a little gallery of the different felt toys. I have so many fun felt pattern options! I picked out certain patterns to go with certain cuts. If you see a felt pattern you really like but don't see it in the desired pattern, it can be custom made!
Happy New Year, everyone!
It has been such a crazy hectic few months! I was so busy with working on the business, orders and taking care of cats, that I had no time to blog. While its great to be that busy, I really wanted to stay consistent!
I'm not sure about my blogging schedule for 2017. I will be focusing on a regular email newsletter to send out either twice a month or possibly once a week. I'll figure out the frequency once I finalize the content details. You will be able to sign up through my website, Etsy Shop, and social media channels. It will be an opt-in only, I do not add emails unless requested by you personally.
I'm also trying to figure out the best social media platform to get small updates & fun photos out on. Instagram is fun, but I find it a challenge to figuring out the winning strategy. I think there's a way of integrating my Instagram post on this website, so you non-Instagrammers can still have fun with our photos!
Another piece I've been doing is Etsy Shop Updates. I like to highlight a fun photo or new product regularly. If you're an Etsy customer, be sure and favorite my Etsy shop so you'll get these updates automatically. They display on your "homepage" when you're signed into Etsy.
On to the fun parts of business- CAT TOYS!!! I started launching my newest line of cat toys- felt cat toys. I will review them soon in depth, but here's a quick overview for today-
* Felt Cat Toys are 100% stuffed with Catnip, unless stuffing is requested
* I weighed one of the new Kickers, and it weighed .6 oz with the catnip!
These toys will really be a hit with your catnip crazed cats!
As far as knit cat toys go, I still want to carry them for those yarn crazy felines! I have some beautiful new yarn to try out, including some fun variegated colors & brights. I'll be deciding on the new product line up this month.
With the new year, I'm making a lot of changes to the business in general. Its gone from a hobby to something I would love to see grow into a well known brand. I know I promised a lot of changes last year, so now is the time to implement them. I'm very excited to see where this goes.
And I'm sure you've all been wondering how my mysterious Benny is doing. He is doing very well! His health remains under control with no flareups or episodes. He did have a couple of days where it was like he had a stomach virus, but he quickly recovered from it. His raw food diet literally saved his life. I will be covering that diet in a future post. So, yes, Benny is Benny. He was demoted from lead product tester to customer service when he started literally eating the toys. It has something to do with his condition, I'm sure, because he gets this crazed look and his eyes are hyper focused. If he doesn't eat when he wants to, or sometimes when he gets done with a meal, he will just literally eat something he really shouldn't attempt. That's part of the reason why I'm expanding out into other materials, because he has yet to behave that way with a felt or fabric toy. (yay!)
I'll end the rambling post for now, but look for future (and better!) posts shortly! Enjoy the rest of your day! Do something fun with your cat(s) tonight!
Here is the follow up post I promised, about what happened to Benny to get him thrown into quarantine.
Benny was doing great the day he went to the foster’s house. He was being fed a strict diet and every few days, a small dose of lactulose to keep the ammonia levels under control in his system. Benny was kept from getting too overstimulated, and if he got mean with any of the cats, he was put in his own room to cool down. We had him managed.
I understand fully now the questions you need to ask ANYONE, no matter their background, before you leave them in charge of your cat. The foster and I had gone through his history and treatment, and I felt comfortable in her caring for Benny. My mistake was not realizing she might have read my texts, but she had no understanding of his actual condition, or the importance of diet and isolation to keep him managed. The mistakes made in her home led Benny to become extremely stressed and sick, and as a result, he bit her daughter out of redirected aggression.
What is redirected aggression? It is a typical cat issue when something happens to get them so upset and stressed, that they lash out on something near them- another pet or even you. They don’t fully understand what they’re doing, they’re trying to protect themselves from this danger.
So what made Benny so stressed? Here’s what I believe happened. Benny wasn't given his own space, so that he could acclimate to the new household and all of its people and pets. Golden rule of ANY new pet is to put them in a separate room! They need to go through a slow introduction phase to ensure they’re not getting stressed. Stress in cats leads to them either becoming extremely scared and hiding, or lashing out and possibly biting someone.
Benny was also given access to the wrong food at some point. The foster denies this happening, but at the time of the incident, he was showing signs of being unwell- drooling for one. Unfortunately they did not realize what I had been saying for months about his condition is what was happening in front of them.
By dinnertime, Benny wasn’t feeling very well, and he was getting more and more stressed out at his new surroundings. He had a lot of cats following him around the house all day, and he had nowhere quiet to go to relax. To make things worse, they had a dog. A barking energetic dog. I had let them know that Benny was marked at the shelter for dog aggression, and warned he may have a problem with the dog.
The family arrives home for dinner, and the dog is let in. I’m not entirely sure what happened, my guess is the dog was wound up and super excited to see the family. Benny freaks out at the dog and jumps on a nearby chair, back arched and in obvious distress. The daughter runs over to comfort him. It wasn’t said, but I’m certain she bent down to his level, and he lashed out and bit her, the closest thing to bite was her head.
It is very unfortunate that this event had to happen. They did not recognize the standard signs of cat distress- arched back, growling, jumping up high to try and get out of the way of something (in this case the wild dog). They ignored the very important procedures in bringing a new cat into the household.
As a result, Benny became one of the misunderstood “aggressive” cats and was sent to the shelter to die after “mandatory” quarantine. Note- it is only an option to turn an animal in for a bite. Benny had been up to date on his shots and was given a clean bill of health. Rabies are very rare in the US, and especially in cats. Not understanding his health condition led to a misunderstanding of his aggression, and drooling from being ill that would otherwise mimic an animal with possible disease.
What complicated the quarantine, was the fact the shelter was not understanding of redirected aggression. They had googled cat aggression and labeled Benny’s condition as “Idiopathic Aggression”. This means that he’s always in a constant state of stress, and because this was his 2nd bite hold, he would continue to bite people without cause. Wrong. Very wrong. As with any cat, if you get them stressed enough or in abusive situations, bad things can and will happen. They will scratch and they will bite. They are only doing it to protect themselves as a natural instinct. Very few cats suffer from actual idiopathic aggression, where the trigger isn’t known. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out the triggers, and you must deconstruct every piece of the situation until you find the root cause. In Benny’s case, it was the new house and especially that noisy dog!
The Benny I know is a very laid back cat, and he is seldom ever stressed about anything. He does get nippy sometimes when he’s not feeling well (he has hepatic encephalopathy and the excess ammonia in his system can make him more “aggressive”), but it has never been a danger. If a cat is showing signs of stress or illness, #1 rule- keep your face away from them! If you do need contact, let them sniff an outstretched finger or a hand with fingers down. Making the scent connection will help calm them, and keep you safe. #2 rule- give them space! Safely move them to a location where they can have quiet time, be it an unoccupied room, bathroom or kennel. #3 is a huge one- OBSERVATION. Cats can’t communicate to us very well when something’s wrong, so its up to us to keep watch for signs of illness and distress.
What happened with the foster really scared me of Benny’s future. We are very observant owners, and we can manage him. I’m not saying this to be mean to anyone, but not all cat owners have the time, knowledge, or determination it took to understand what made Benny tick. He’s not the right cat for many people. I work from home and am around most of the time. I also have a background in medical and investigations. I don’t encourage just anyone to go out and adopt a special needs cat just to save their life. It really takes the right people and the right household to make the special needs cat thrive. Hats off to anyone in this situation, I know how hard it is some days, and some days you are sacrificing your life to get them better after a setback.
Please watch for another blog post to be released in the next couple of days!
Quick note: I am finally back to writing! We unexpectedly sold our house in mid-August, and I had to take some time off for the big move. I’m back now and am ready to continue my work to save cat lives! I’m going to start with a summary of September. Each major thought will have its own blog post in the coming days.
Once Benny was diagnosed with the liver shunt & hepatic encephalopathy, his health greatly improved. The vet had recommended special liver care diet food, which turned out to be the wrong food for him. My fiancé did some research and found a natural raw diet recipe for cats with health problems. Once we got him on the recipe, all of his symptoms disappeared and he became a regular cat within a couple of days. (I will cover his raw diet in a future post)
As he recovered from his mysterious illness (I am now convinced he has no serious liver issues), we became convinced that Benny needed a different environment in order to maintain his health. Every time he got overstimulated, he would go after the other cats. He would pull hair out of his buddy, Gracie, and he would corner the shy cats. We were having an impossible time some days keeping the peace, and he’d be spending hours in a room by himself. It broke my heart to separate him, but the other cats deserved peace. My oldest cat, Angie, was in a constant state of stress. She felt so tense, and she’d scream and growl constantly. She even slashed me a few times out of redirected aggression. She wasn’t seeing quite right because she was so fearful of her environment. Albeit, Benny wasn’t hurting them, but he was controlling their actions and environment. I decided that rehoming was unfortunately the best option for everyone. Because of his complex issues, I didn’t feel comfortable giving him to a regular person, and if he went to the shelter, they’d kill him immediately.
I reached out to a special rescue in Wyoming called Second Chance Cat Rescue. They take in special needs cat and other homeless cats. Their cats are either adopted out, or remain with the rescue if they aren’t adoptable. It sounded like the perfect place for Benny, and they agreed to take him. Unfortunately before they had an open space, I had to move from my house.
We decided to downsize our lifestyle and move into an RV permanently. My three cats- Angie, Gracie & Dee Dee, love the RV life. We spent 6 fun months in an RV in 2015 and always wanted to return to it. With Benny going off to the rescue, we felt the time was right to try it again. I didn’t think Benny would enjoy the life if he remained with us, and we would have further issues.
I had met a woman through the local humane society when I adopted Benny, and she agreed to foster him until Second Chance had a spot. We had been talking through Benny’s illness and recovery, and I felt comfortable with her. She had over four years experience fostering a variety of cats, including some with special needs. The local humane society raved about her, so I thought Benny would be great in her care.
I dropped Benny off the morning we moved out of our house. He was excited about his new surroundings, and quickly disappeared out of my view. He barely said goodbye to us, so I thought all was well until I’d pick him up for the rescue. I couldn’t be more WRONG.
I’ll go over what exactly happened in a later blog post, to make sure these mistakes doesn’t happen again (if I can help it!). There is a right and a very wrong way of introducing new cats into a household. Good intentions and love for animals won’t help them immediately adjust, and sometimes things happen when the cat gets overstressed and overstimulated.
So, I got a call about 5:30pm, about 9 hours after dropping Benny off. The foster let me know that Benny had bit her daughter, and it was bad. There was blood everywhere and her husband was really upset. Her daughter was doing ok and even tried cuddling with the now calm Benny just after it happened. She had gotten a couple of small bites to the head & neck area. Head wounds can bleed a lot, so it looked a lot worse than it ended up being. The foster and I chatted that evening on text message. She said that Benny would have to go to quarantine for the bite, and there was nothing I could do about it, it was a state law.
Benny was brought to the same humane society that I adopted him from in June. The medical director Googled aggression in cats, and decided Benny had idiopathic aggression. She told me he was a ticking time bomb and was dangerous to society. After the mandatory 10 day hold, they were going to give him a shot to make him go to sleep so he wouldn’t be in this constant state of “distress” (oh, thank you for trying to romanticize killing my cat!). I no longer had rights to my cat at that point, because someone had told the shelter I dumped the cat, I no longer wanted him. Yes, that was a very wrong statement!
The story got more interesting. When I adopted Benny, I was told he had been a stray and he had been in bite hold. I assumed he was wandering around, a kid got too close to him, and Benny nipped him out of fear. The parents called animal control and that was the story. The shelter called his previous owners the day after the bite, and were told the story of both the wife and child being bit by Benny, in the head. Because of his aggressive history, he was not allowed to be adopted out and the shelter stood by their idiopathic diagnosis. I will cover more of this part of the story in a later post, about cat aggression and cat abuse.
I really meant the best for Benny to go off to find his forever home with the Rescue, and now he was stuffed in quarantine for all the wrong reasons! I fought hard for Benny to be released back to me. I ended up getting the help of some wonderful strangers, one of which who ultimately paid Benny’s hefty release fee. Benny was released from kitty jail on September 24th.
After Benny's release, he came back home with us, to the RV. The plan was to bring him the next morning to Second Chance Cat Rescue, they had found him a last minute spot. What happened next completely blew me away- Benny was a different cat! He was SOOO happy to see us, ALL of us- Angie and Dee Dee especially! He flopped down on the couch next to Dee Dee, put his head on her stomach, and I swear he made lovey eyes at her. She hadn’t seen a loving Benny before, so her look of, “Oh my God! Mommy! What do I do?” was priceless. A day later, Benny and Angie were cool with each other. Angie was only upset and growling constantly for about a day, then she was fine. Gracie was at first mad at her buddy, then they were racing around like nothing ever happened. So, what is up? Why was everything fine in the RV, but was a big challenge zone in our house? I will be writing more about this too!
I can’t tell you what a horrible, awful experience all of this has been. During his 10 day quarantine, I don’t think there was a day I didn’t cry for my cat. I slowly came to realize on the day of his release and afterwards, what a huge mistake I had made, how I didn’t know my cat at all. Heck, I really didn’t know anything about cat behavior! It was a slap upside the head, a lesson in humility. I had to defend myself to some tough critics, but I’m glad they pushed me so hard. I don’t want my mistake to happen to anyone else. Now, I didn’t do the wrong thing at the foster’s house, nor did I have any reason to suspect she couldn’t handle him and this was going to happen. The one thing that would have saved Benny from this nightmare was simple- educating myself on cat matters. Cat education. What is really going on with your cat and why. I really want to help educate people on the simple cat matters, because it’ll help save so many lives.
Look for my follow up blog posts in the coming days!
I'm in the process of doing a lot of changes, both to the website and to the Oddball Cat Toys business. I wanted to take a moment to tell you about them, so you're not left hanging (I'm sorry!).
First off, I am going to become a dedicated cat blogger. I will have regular posts on everything cat, from health issues, behavioral issues, introducing new cats, product reviews, and cat photography. I see a huge void out there, and I'm going to work hard to try and fill it. My goal is for everyone here to become confident, informed owners that own thriving cats.
Second, I will be moving off this website and owning a Shopify store. I'm in the process of setting it up. I'll be moving older blog posts to the new website. Shopify offers a better platform, and definitely a better store for those of you who don't want to purchase over on Etsy.
Third, I'll be adding an email newsletter. I'm not sure how often I'll be putting it out, if it'll be once a week, twice a week, twice a month... Its a great way to stay up to date on news and blog posts without going on social media.
I'm working on rebranding the business, so look for a new logo and design shortly! I'm so excited to have taken this business from a small cat-approved hobby, to a cat-owned business. And they really do own it. I have so much employee theft going on, you have no idea. hehehe
I plan on shortening the business name to just Oddball Cats. That way it can be Oddball Cat Toys, Oddball Cat Gemstone Charms, Oddball Cat Blankets...
I'm hoping to create what I call the Benny Bulletin. Its named after my special needs cat. The purpose is to help educate shelters and rescues about potential typically missed health problems that cats may suffer from when they arrive at the shelter. The goal is to help save lives and get more kitties adopted out! Benny would have been killed at the shelter had anyone seen his symptoms. His treatment ended up being simple, and I think for other cats it could be the same case. Why kill when you can save?
And with that, I'll leave you to enjoy your Friday! TGIF, and I will see all of you next week!
In the days following Benny's diagnosis, so many things have crossed my mind. There really isn't a lot known about cats, and their health problems. For instance, how many people know that excessive drooling in a cat, or odd aggression, may mean liver issues?
The thought that scared me most was how many cats are probably quickly euthanized after suffering what the owners believed to be neurological "damage" following a seizure. Cat epilepsy and seizures aren't like those suffered in dogs and even humans. Seizures typically happen for a reason, it is fairly rare for a cat to just have a seizure for a random reason. They may have an illness leading to a chemical imbalance in their system, or they might have suffered head trauma.
What is a typical seizure like in a cat? Before a seizure happens, there can be a period called "Aura" or "Pre-Ictal" state. They may excessively meow, pace, circle or vomit. Seizures are normally a very short duration, around a minute or two, and involve the cat falling over and jerking/convulsing They may empty their bladder or bowels.
The stage after the actual seizure is the most crucial, where I'm sure mistakes happen and healthy cats are euthanized. Cats go into a recovery period called "Post-Ictal". This state can be very scary for us owners to watch. Cats may suffer temporary deafness, blindness, paralysis, aggression, and other symptoms. You may be horrified and think your pet is damaged, and that's it. They're done for. Actually, no. Cats may stay in this particular state from anywhere from a minute to hours after a seizure. The majority will fully recover and be normal once its run its course. I say this understanding is extremely crucial, because I didn't know about this the first time Benny had a seizure. I really thought he was gone, he suffered irreversible damage. The vet suggested euthanizing him, because of how bad it looked. Benny was blind, aggressive, not moving properly, and drooling. Benny was caught in this recovery state for several hours. After it ran its course, he was 100% normal again.
We decided to wait and see with Benny, looking for signs of improvement over the hours. I am very grateful we gave him time to recover, because we would have lost our precious boy that night. Knowledge is key.
Unfortunately there is a small percentage that do suffer permanent damage and will eventually have to be euthanized. Brain tumors, cancers and other fatal conditions may lead to this. I cannot stress enough that YOU NEED TO FIND THE CAUSE of the seizure before you make any hasty decisions. Once the quality of life goes and they suffer, it is time to let go. Otherwise, be there for them, help them recover.
If your cat does suffer from a seizure, the best thing you can do is:
1) REMAIN CALM. Remember that the cat really isn't there, the body neurons are misfiring and they are not feeling anything.
2) Get the cat to a safe place where they can't hurt themselves if they are moving. KEEP THEM FLAT. BUT BE CAREFUL! Cats may unknowingly lash out and you run the risk of being bit or scratched. If you know your cat well enough, you'll understand the risks of having your hands near their face when this is going on. With Benny, I moved him behind the shoulder blades, so it would be difficult for him to bite me. Other methods include getting them on a blanket, and moving the blanket. I do NOT recommend putting them into anything with a side on it. We made the mistake with Benny in letting him have his head propped up against the side of a box. He nearly choked to death on the thick mucus, before we discovered the mistake.
3) Keep the cat cool. Sometimes their body temps can rise and they run the risk of having heat exhaustion or heat stroke if the room is warm. Cats keep cool by their paws (like for a human its the inside of their wrist). One method is to invest in a pet cooling mat with a gel insert, the other using a product like a Frog Togg blanket.
4) Take notes, and if this isn't usual for your cat, take video. Anything you can do to help the vet understand what happened will help get your cat a quicker diagnosis and treatment. If the cat is just epileptic, unless its something very unusual, you won't have to worry about this. Benny was able to get diagnosed quickly without the invasive tests because I had notes and videos.
5) Offer the cat a safe place following the seizure to recover. When Benny was at his worst and not able to see or move around, we placed him in a large kennel. Other options would be a room without any dangers, such as stairs or places the cat could potentially climb or get stuck and hurt themselves. Remember, they may not have the best coordination, eyesight or thought processes just after a seizure. We need to keep them safe while they recover.
6) BREATHE. It is really truly awful to see our pets struggle so badly, but we need to be there for them. Offer them comfort. Gently talk to them and if allowed, gently touch them or stroke them. They really appreciate your help, concern and support. If we lose it and freak out, it will only frighten them more.
My whole experience with Benny was a complete eye opener. I thought I was just adopting a random cat and it was going to be just that easy to add him to the household. It wasn't. About 1.5 weeks after we adopted him, we started dealing with seizures and erratic behavior. It caused us a lot of stress, both emotionally and physically. I put my business on hold to take care of him, and spent so many hours researching potential causes and treatment. It was really the worst time I went through. I didn't know at the time if I'd have him another hour, day or month. I didn't know if there was an end to those awful, scary seizures.
I'm telling you this because in the end, it is so worth it to help them and save a life. His lessons, even in the month and some days since we adopted him, are having an impact. My blog helped save another cat with similar symptoms. I am in the process of creating what I call the Benny Bulletin, to give to local shelters to alert them of missed and mis diagnosed cat health issues. The goal is to save as many lives as we can! This Bulletin will be available for everyone to read, and it'll be available to download as a PDF.
Benny would have easily died in the shelter, had they seen any of his later set symptoms. I saved Benny's life, and now I'm ready to save more. Please help me in this quest by passing along my blog to fellow cat lovers and shelter workers! Thanks so much, says Benny!
Here's the article on Pet MD that I used as a source: http://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/common-emergencies/e_ct_seizures_and_convulsions.