EDITOR'S MEWSINGS: True love is more than snuggles and adoration (though those are important, too). It also means taking care of those who depend on you. In this issue we feature articles on why kitty must never ingest any of that Valentine's Day chocolate, and – since February is National Pet Dental Health Month – the many important benefits of brushing your cat's teeth.


Tonight, one of my humans brought home a box wrapped in bright red paper and hearts. The card on top says "Be Mine." So naturally I sat on the box to let my humans know I was available to sample the contents, so they could be mine. But my normally obedient humans shooed me away. Where's the love?

– Sweet Kitty (on my own terms, of course)

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Dear Sweet Kitty,
The love is there, big time. Let me explain . . .

Your humans are celebrating Valentine's Day, a special day (invented by a cherub named Cupid, I think) when humans show how much they love each other (like they do every day with you).

Sometimes this means they give each other presents. The newly-arrived box probably contains candy, most likely chocolates.

Trust me, your humans have your best interests in mind by not sharing any with you. Candy and chocolate can be very dangerous for us non-humans. Let me quote from my feline veterinarian friend, Dr. Snowball (who already has the white coat . . . ):

"The high fat content in many confections and desserts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and even result in a potentially lethal medical condition called pancreatitis. Too much sugar can also cause stomach upsets. Even sugar-free candy can produce serious problems: The ingredient xylitol can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, and theoretically liver failure as well."

The biggie is chocolate, though. Humans savor it, but it's toxic to cats. Here's more information, written by a knowledgeable veterinarian, on why chocolate must never be fed to cats (or dogs or other animals).

As an alternative, why not make a play for a heart-shaped serving of catnip, or a toy infused with sweet honeysuckle? Or a big lovey session with you and your humans – that might be the best present of all.


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Got a question for Fancy? Her email is askfancy@mewsletter.com


Dear Dr. Schelling,

Why should I brush my cat's teeth?

… … … …
Dear Dr. Schelling,

My cat won't accept the toothbrush, not to mention . . . how will I find the time?

These two excellent questions are perfect for February, which is National Pet Dental Health Month.

As to why you should brush your cat's teeth . . . Imagine what would happen if you never brushed your own teeth! Plaque and food residue build up quickly, and over time these accumulated deposits damage your teeth and gums, causing odor, infection, pain, and tooth loss. This scenario is a reality for many housecats. Studies show that by as early as age three, 85% of cats have some form of gum disease.

So how do you incorporate kitty tooth-brushing into your already-busy life? It may be easier than you think. With some patience and practice, a one-minute daily routine can have a big impact on your cat's long-term health.

In this new article I present more in-depth reasons for brushing your cat's teeth, and lay out a simple plan for getting kitty to accept – possibly even enjoy – this very worthwhile preventive health measure.


Fancy's proud of her beautiful and well-maintained teeth, so that's what was on her mind this issue . . .

FINGER TOOTHBRUSH FOR CATS: My humans have become quite adept at using the finger toothbrush to efficiently clean my teeth and gums. As a result, my breath is fresh (for a cat) and my bite is pearly white.

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PETITE CAT TOOTHBRUSH: Now that I'm used to having my teeth brushed, I enjoy it. The gentle massage of the brush and the taste of the seafood-flavored toothpaste are mildly intoxicating. Afterward, I always get a treat and plenty of "good kitty" affirmations – so what's not to love?

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C.E.T. ENZYMATIC SEAFOOD TARTAR CONTROL TOOTHPASTE FOR CATS: I've come to think of toothpaste as a treat delivered in a different manner.

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Have a favorite product you want to review?
Send it to askfancy@mewsletter.com

A couple of issues ago, we asked about creative choices your cats make when
deciding where to sleep. In the next issue, we'll report on what you submitted, and we'll also
post pictures on the mewsletter site. You'll smile!
What topics would you like to see covered in future issues of the Mewsletter?
Let us know at comments@mewsletter.com

The cat pose, which is a part of many yoga routines, was developed centuries ago, from observing how cats arch their backs and
stretch their rear legs after a nap.

Finger Toothbrush for Cats Petite Cat Toothbrush Petitie Cat Toothbrush Tarter Control Toothpaste