DEAR DR. FOX: I have a 10-month-old kitten who sits in the bathroom while I am in the shower. Before I get out, she usually paws on the shower glass and meows. When I get out, she acts like she hasn't seen me in a month. She wants to be held, meows like crazy and keeps rubbing her head on me and pawing at me.
I was wondering if you had any ideas why she behaves like this. I love it, but I am curious. -- S.E., Crofton, Maryland
DEAR S.E.: Many cats have a fascination with water, be it from a dripping faucet or a shower beating against the glass. They are fascinated by water droplets and will paw and pat their water bowls to create puddles on the floor to play with. When he was younger, one of our cats would race to watch the water in the toilet bowl when he heard the flushing sound. He is still occasionally curious when I am in the shower.
Your cat's intense greeting when you get out of the shower could be because she is concerned that you might get washed away. Most cats have an aversion to getting wet. Your cat could also have been stimulated by the odors of the shower products you use.
DEAR DR. FOX: I am writing in response to your column about the use of flea control chemicals on dogs. As a doctor of natural medicine, I, too, am aware of the toxic side effects of topical flea control products and no longer use them on my dogs.
After doing some research on the benefits of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids on skin health, I have been adding a half can of sardines packed in water to each dog's diet twice a week. Since then, I have encountered no more flea problems. The fish oil keeps their skin and coats healthy, and it appears to have the added benefit of repelling fleas.
I have also found that a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in water in a spray bottle is an excellent repellent when sprayed onto the dogs before a walk in the park or woods.
Nutrition is, of course, important. Although I do not make my own dog food, I have achieved the best overall results with a fish-based product, supplemented with fresh vegetables. -- D.M.P., Virginia Beach, Virginia
DEAR D.M.P.: Many readers will appreciate your affirmation of what I have long advocated. Unfortunately, some dogs and cats are allergic to fish, so I advise giving omega-3 fatty acids, derived from algae, in capsules available in most drug stores. Alternatively, organic butter from grass-fed cows will work. Some people also find a teaspoon of coconut oil in the animal's food improves the coat and may ward off fleas.
DOG FOOD RECALL
On Aug. 31, 2014, "Mars Petcare U.S. announced the extension of a previous voluntary recall of PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food products due to the possible presence of metal fragments. The recall initially involved 15-pound bags of PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food sold at Dollar General in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana ...
"The recall is now is being expanded to 55-pound bags of PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food products sold in Sam's Club in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
"Pet owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-800-305-5206 or visit www.pedigree.com/update."
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
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