Welcome Back Divine Creatures Newsletters!

Dear Pawrents,

It has been many years since I have written our newsletters and I apologize for the absence. I used to receive a lot of very positive feedback and I hope you continue to enjoy them!

There certainly has been a lot of news since my last newsletter in 2015. You may not be aware that I was diagnosed with breast cancer 8 months after I had my beautiful daughter, Skyler. I had stage 3 cancer which meant I needed to take a step back from the front-of-house but I was always here, behind the scenes, caring and looking after the cats, running the business administration, managing staff, etc. I underwent treatment for 2 years with multiple surgeries and am now in remission allowing me to step back into the front-of-house position and Owner/Manager role!

I often get asked how I thought of Divine Creatures. I founded Divine Creatures in 2010 after 20 years as a Veterinary Nurse. The idea came to me about 15 years ago when my then boyfriend proposed to me! Our ‘happy ever after’ was almost derailed as I had to very seriously explain that we could not go ahead with our destination wedding, I would never be able to find a suitable cattery to board my cats. At the time, I was the Emergency Manager at the Veterinary Specialist Centre and would see many cats becoming sick or were grossly neglected when boarding in substandard catteries. After extensive research, there was not one cattery that considered all aspects of cat welfare and safety, so the concept of Divine Creatures started with my husband’s full support!
I set out to achieve a highly professional and organized facility … not a backyard show … I was after absolute perfection! A customer focused (the cat being the customer!), welfare oriented, every risk omitted, safe, tranquil, open house facility with a standard of excellence being delivered for each cat in my care. A spotlessly clean home away from home with Aunties who love and nurture.
Divine Creatures has been open 9 years now. My amazing dedicated and loyal team have been very carefully recruited and trained to my standards (with over 70 policies and procedures!)
Kate is the Cattery Supervisor, a qualified Veterinary Nurse and is the most senior staff member having been with Divine Creatures for almost 4 years. She embraced an enormous amount of responsibility during my treatment and is an incredible asset to the business. Kate’s duties include hiring staff, managing the catteries and providing in-house staff training.
Briony is also a (very very soon to be) qualified Veterinary Nurse and a key staff member on our team. Briony has taken on a significant amount of responsibility within the business such as ordering, organizing the catteries, social media and actively involved in managerial decisions.
Karen has her Certificate IV in Captive Animal studies and is one of the most dedicated cat mums I have met! Her love and passion for cats shine through when she is at work, often going above and beyond for our resort guests.
Kristian is our newest member and comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience! She has been a Veterinary Nurse for 7 years and has moved over from veterinary nursing to solely concentrate on her passion – cat care!
To better serve you and our guests, I am also a qualified as Cat Psychologist obtaining level 4 Diploma (Distinction) in Advanced Feline Behaviour and Cat Psychology. Most of the staff have also obtained their Certificate II in Cat Behaviour which brings cat welfare considerations to the primary focus of the care we deliver.  I do not advertise the service of Cat Psychology, however, if you do have a behaviour concern I can provide inhouse consultations for our resort guests. Please feel free to email enquiries@divinecreatures.com.au to book an appointment.

I hope to continue providing you with stress free holidays and peace of mind that your fur babies are also having a stress free, luxurious and pampered holiday.

Purrs and Smooches from
Cat Aunty Jules

Jules’s Cat Tips

Feed your cat only half their breakfast before a trip to the vets or Divine Creatures. Once you place your cat in the carrier feed them a small amount of their most favourite meal or treat to create positive association with the cat carry cage. Be sure to continue the reward at the end of the trip!
Use lots of Feliway in the days before the travel, during the travel and once returned home to help reduce stress.

Commercial Cat Food vs Raw Foods

Commercial Cat Food vs Raw Foods

Over the last few years the raw food diet has become increasingly more popular amongst cat and dog owners. Perceived benefits are that there are no preservatives, all natural, can help with allergies and assist to clean their teeth.
Cats have lived with human’s for almost 10000 years and during this period cats would usually eat what they would catch. This meat would be fresh and come from a variety of sources. As cats became increasingly more domesticated and living in suburban areas, these opportunities declined. Commercial cat food has been around for the last 100 years and gained popularity from the 60’s when cats were kept more as family pets. Commercial cat food has been developed with increased feline research, tested and is nutritionally balanced.
The risks associated with feeding a raw meat diet are nutritional imbalances, health risks to the cat and health risk to humans.
A variety of potential pathogens can be present in raw meat, including meat intended for human consumption. Although produced and processed with care, this meat is never truly fresh and has many handling and storage processes before reaching the consumer which can inadvertently introduce pathogens such as E.Coli, Clostridium spp,  Campylobacter and Salmonella. Because freezing and freeze-drying do not destroy all of these pathogens, both home-prepared and commercial Raw Meat Based Diets are at risk of being contaminated with possible pathogens.
Pets or animals that consume contaminated meat may become ill, but even if they do not become overtly unwell or appear healthy, that is not to say they don’t pose a risk to others. Studies have shown that the bacteria can shed from infected animals into the environment for many days, sometimes even weeks in the environment (and yes, this means your house) while appearing healthy. This poses a risk to the humans sharing their environment. High risk groups are young children, the elderly and people with a compromised immune system.
There are many explicit opinions about feeding raw meat. Most people are either absolutely against or absolutely for feeding raw meat. We recognize that each cat is an individual and that you will make a well-informed choice based on what you believe is best for you cat, whether this is raw or dry food.
Because of the potential health risk to our boarders and our staff from animals that are being fed a raw meat-based diet we would like you to be aware that at DC we have implemented a “No raw food” policy. We trust that you understand that we cannot accept this risk.

References
Freeman LM, Chandler M, Hamper BA, et al. Current knowledge about the risks and benefits of raw meat-based diets for dogs and cats. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 2013;243, 11, 1549 – 1558.
The “BARF” trend – Advantages, drawbacks and risks. Vet Focus 2014;24:16-23.
https://www.consumersadvocate.org/cat-food

Kind Regards

Dr Yvonne Van Der Veek
Business Veterinarian

What are the better foods to feed my cat?

 

Ziwi Peak

Ziwi Peaks is one of the best foods you can feed both your cat and dog. Here is why?

  1. ZIWI chooses to only source from humane, ethical and sustainably managed local farms that exceed the strict New Zealand government regulatory standards. They also work closely with the New Zealand government to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed all regulatory standards required for ethical farming practices.
  2. ZIWI to uses only animals that are free ranging and grass fed, all year round. Their Beef, Lamb & Venison are all sourced from free-range farms with no feed-lots, barns or cages. This natural feeding provides superior levels of beneficial nutrients and unsaturated fatty acids.
  3. As New Zealand is an island nation with strict bio-security there are no infectious animal diseases such as BSE (mad cow) or foot and mouth disease. The small, remote location and our strict border security ensures New Zealand is at very low risk of infectious disease.
  4. All of the meat and seafood ingredients are sourced from export-certified facilities. Their quality control team works closely with all of our suppliers to ensure the ingredients not only meet, but exceed our stringent requirements.
  5. The fish is caught in the Southern oceans of New Zealand and strictly managed by the New Zealand government to ensure maximum sustainability. New Zealand’s seafood industry has been ranked the most sustainably managed fishery in the world, twice!

Royal Canin

50 Years of research and development have gone into creating the Royal Canin diet.

Royal Canin diets are complete and balanced. A balanced, high quality diet can actually increase their life expectancy! The nutrients in each Royal Canin diet are specifically tailored to meet the needs of each individual animal. Protein, fat, carbohydrate, energy, vitamin and mineral levels are all carefully balanced.

  1. High quality ingredients provide the nutrients your pet needs. Pet foods often have an ingredients list and a nutritional analysis available on the packaging. It is important to understand that ingredients and nutrients are very different things!
    Ingredients and nutrients are both very important, however it is the nutrient (e.g. protein) that is vital to the body’s needs, not the ingredient (e.g. chicken). The quality of a diet should not be determined by the ingredient list. Super Premium quality diets ensure the correct ingredients are selected to provide the optimal nutrient blend for your pet.
    No single ingredient is superior to another; the sum of all ingredients in a diet delivers the overall nutritional profile. The quality of the ingredients may however differ between diets, and can help explain the price difference between a super premium diet and a more economical product. The better the quality of the ingredient selected in a diet, the easier it is for the cat or dog to absorb and use the nutrients.
  2. Royal Canin foods are highly palatable
    Royal Canin diets are carefully designed right down to different kibble shapes and wet food textures to appeal to even the fussiest of pets. There is even a money back guarantee, if your pet doesn’t enjoy their new bag of Royal Canin simply return it to the store it was purchased from for a full refund.
  3. Royal Canin diets cater for every life stage. From development and growth, to adulthood and old age, diets in the extensive Royal Canin range contain every nutrient that pets need at their different life stages. Some Royal Canin ranges also have targeted nutrients that can help with specific health sensitivities such as gastrointestinal, skin and weight issues. Royal Canin Breed Ranges are even more specific and have nutrients that focus on the health issues experienced by different breeds.
  4. Quality in means less quantity out!
    Royal Canin diets are highly digestible – this means better quality and fewer stools for owners to clean up! Continuing a new puppy or kitten on their current Royal Canin diet will also reduce digestive stress and upset, helping them to transition to their new home more easily.

Science Hills

There is a lot of information available for Science Hills. Here are a few good reads

  1. Science Hills Nutritional Philosophy
    https://www.hillspet.com.au/about-us/nutritional-philosophy
  2. Research & Relationship with Veterinarians
    https://www.hillspet.com.au/about-us/nutritional-philosophy/research-and-innovation
  3. Pet Nutrition Centre
    https://www.hillspet.com.au/about-us/nutritional-philosophy/global-pnc
  4. https://www.hillspet.com.au/about-us/nutritional-philosophy/properly-balanced-nutrition
Click HERE to Start Shopping! Help Support My Pet Shop & Your Local Australian Owned Small Business
Microchip Cat Feeder

  • This unique pet bowl has been designed for multi-pet homes to stop pets stealing each others’ food
  • Ensures that prescription food is consumed by the right pet
  • Sealed bowl keeps food fresher and free of flies
  • Suitable for both wet and dry food. Bowl capacity 400 ml or two pouches of wet food

$195.20

Fung Shui Style Fountain

  • Nurture your cat’s innate desire to drink from flowing water
  • This modern design fountain will look great in any home.
  • The affordable price tag allows you to give your pet clean and fresh drinking water with style.
  • Comes with a replaceable charcoal filter and is dishwasher safe.

Now only $65!!

Cat Face Kitty Bowls

  • Finally! A Stoneware pet bowls are made of the highest quality ceramic and is incredibly cute!!
  • Each bowl is hand painted and oven-fired to resist fading and chipping.
  • These stone ware bowls are designed to last for years and the fresh, unique designs make a statement
  • Size: 13cm

$15 each