Giveaways

Take Your Cat to the Vet Week Contest: Share your stories

cat vet stethoscope veterinary exam

August 22 through August 28, 2011 is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week. Created by the makers of Feline Pine in 2009, National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week is sponsored by Petfinder.com this year. The purpose of this campaign is to remind cat parents to take their cats to the vet for regular physical exams.

Why is there a need for this campaign? According to statistics, cats are substantially underserved when it comes to veterinary care.  Even though cat owners consider their cats just as much members of the family as dog owners do, a 2006 study showed that dogs were taken to veterinarians more than twice as often as cats, averaging 2.3 times a year, compared with 1.1 times a year for cats, and significantly more dogs (58%) than cats (28%) were seen by a veterinarian one or more times a year.  Cat owners often express a belief that cats “do not need medical care.”   According to Dr. Michele Gaspar, DVM, DABVP (Feline), Feline Pine’s in house veterinarian, “there is a misconception that cats are independent and they don’t need the level of care that dogs do.  Cats also don’t show disease well. We can have cats who look normal but they are covering up a serious illness.”

The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends annual wellness exams for cats of all ages, with more frequent exams for seniors, geriatrics and cats with known medical conditions. I recommend bi-annual exams for cats age 7 and older. Cats are masters at hiding discomfort, and annual or bi-annual exams are the best way to detect problems early. Once a cat shows symptoms, treatment may be much more extensive, not as effective, and will also cost more.

One barrier to regular vet visits for many cat parents is the fact that vet visits can be very stressful for cats. During National Take Your Cat to the Vet, Petfinder.com will provide tips for making vet visits easier for cats and for getting the most out of your visit. Be sure to like Petfinder’s Facebook page so you don’t miss any of their tips.

 Vet Confidential pet health

We’re holding a contest during National Take Your Cat to the Vet week to help spread the word about this important campaign. Share a story of your cat’s vet visit in a comment. Allegra, Ruby and I will judge the entries, and the best story will win a copy of Vet Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Protecting Your Pet’s Health by Louise Murray, DVM. Contest ends August 29. For an additional chance to win, share this contest on Facebook or Twitter, and post the link in a separate comment.

Related reading:

Is your vet cat-friendly?

How to make your cat’s trip to the vet less stressful

Can classical music lead to better veterinary care for you cat?

Your cat may not be as old as you think

Giveaway: RC Pet Products cat collar, harness and leash

RC Pet Products Carlos cat collar leash harness

We have a great giveaway for the stylish cat today! RC Pet Products has generously offered to give away one kitty package to one lucky Conscious Cat reader. The package consists of a breakaway collar, harness and leash. And the best part is that you can choose from 12 different designs, so you’ll be sure to find something that will suit your cat purrfectly.

That’s Carlos in the photo above, modeling the “Under the Sea” design – doesn’t he look handsome?

cat harness

Allegra and Ruby don’t wear collars and they don’t walk on a leash, either, but if they did, they told me they would both choose the “Cat Sounds Pink” design above. Clearly, my taste in colors has influenced theirs. To view the different design choices, click here.

RC Pet Products

RC Pet Products’ goal is to provide fun, functional pet products that enhance your pet’s active lifestyle. They view pets as companions, guardians and family members; as such they deserve the same standard of product as we expect for ourselves. RC Pet Products is committed to creating innovative, fashionable and most importantly functional pet products that offer superior comfort and value.  Please visit their website and Facebook page to learn more about their products.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment and let me know why you’d like to win the kitty package, and which design you would like if you win. For an additional chance to win, share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook and share the link in a separate comment. This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31. This giveaway is limited to readers in the US and Canada only.

Product review and giveaway: Cascades Boutique cat teepee

cat house playhouse for cats cardboard house for cats

Allegra and Ruby are always excited when there’s a new product to review, and since they had so much fun with this one, I thought it was only fair to let them write the review.

Allegra: When this odd looking box arrived at our house the other day, Ruby and I went to check it out immediately. We do that with all boxes that come into the house, but this one looked really different.

Ruby: I saw a picture of a triangle with a cat in the center on the box! That looked really interesting. There were also words on the box, but I can’t read, so I asked Allegra what they said.

cats and boxes cats and cardboard boxes

Allegra: It says “Native American Teepee for fluffy little critters.” We’re fluffy little critters, Ruby!

Ruby: So this is for us? Woohoo!!!

Allegra: Mom took her time unpacking it. We couldn’t wait to see what it was! When she finally got it out of the box, it didn’t look all that exciting. In fact, it just looked like more cardboard. Now don’t get me wrong, I like cardboard as much as the next cat, it can be very tasty, especially the edges, but this was a bit of a letdown after what it said on the box.

Ruby: Allegra, look! Mom is making something out of the cardboard!

Allegra: I can see that, Ruby. It looks like a tent. Let’s see if we can help her. See, with our help, this is going much faster.

Ruby: Look, it has a little opening in the front. We can go in it!

Allegra: You go first, Ruby.

Ruby: Okay! Oooh, Allegra, this is fun. You should come in, too!

Allegra: That’s okay, Ruby. I’ll just check it out from the outside first.

cats playing with cardboard cat house

Ruby: Coward!

Allegra: Who are you calling a coward? Get out of there and make room for me. I can go in, too!

cat inside cat playhouse

Ruby: Wee! We can both go in it at the same time! Or better yet, I can hide in here and pounce on you when you least expect me to. Watch out – here I come!!!

Since Allegra and Ruby clearly prefer playing with the Cascades Boutique cat teepee to writing about it, I thought I’d add a few things. The teepee is made from nice, sturdy cardboard, and even though it didn’t come with assembly instructions, it was very easy to put together (take it from someone who shudders when she sees the words “some assembly required” on anything!). It comes with a couple of cute different decorations for the front of the teepee to give it that “authentic Native American look.”

You can see the girls checking out their teepee in the video below. It’s become a permanent fixture in our kitty playroom. Ruby uses it more than Allegra, and, not surprisingly, she uses it mostly to stalk Allegra! It seems like the teepee would hold up well to even rough play.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0NU9xBO3F0

You can purchase the cat teepee from Cascades Boutique online. They also offer a Cat Chalet. Both the teepee and the chalet are made from 84% recycled cardboard.

As a special offer for Conscious Cat readers only, Cascades Boutique will offer a 25% discount on both products on all orders placed through September 30. Use rebate code CONSCIOUT during checkout. And one lucky reader will win either a cat teepee or chalet! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment to let me know why you’d like to win, and whether you’d like to win the teepee or the chalet. For an additional chance to win, share this giveaway on Facebook or tweet about it, and leave the link in a separate comment. This giveaway ends Tuesday, August 23.

Great Rescues: a 16-month calendar and gift book

Great Rescues calendar and gift book

I’m a big fan of animal artist and writer Bernadette Kazmarski. Her photographs and cat paintings capture the essence of cats in ways that only a small handful of artists are able to do. Bernadette is a multi-faceted creative spirit:  artist, writer, graphic designer, painter, animal advocate, environmentalist.  From commissioned pet portraits to animal inspired merchandise ranging from prints to textiles to greeting cards, looking around Bernadette’s websites are a feast for the senses. 

Great Rescues is a 16-month desk calendar and gift book featuring 16 portraits of rescued cats Bernadette has been commissioned to paint in the 20 years she has been an animal portrait artist. This sixteen-month calendar and gift book is a labor of love.

“While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, were what compelled me to share them,” says Bernadette. “Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.”

Peaches by animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

I’m particularly thrilled that “Peaches” made it into the calendar. I commissioned this painting as a Christmas gift for a friend last year. The original was absolutely stunning. It’s always difficult to tell when you have an artist paint someone else’s cat whether they truly captured the animal’s spirit. I think that’s something only the pet’s person can truly judge. My friend burst into tears when she opened her gift – that probably speaks volumes, especially since she’s not someone who cries easily. The painting not only captured Peaches’ spirit, it also brought a tremendous amount of peace to my friend. Peaches, at this writing, is 19 years old, and my friend is well aware that time is short. She says the painting will help her keep a part of Peaches with her forever, in a very tangible way.

This is one of the most beautiful cat calendars I’ve seen. The paintings are stunningly beautiful, and the stories are heart touching.  And it’s so much more than just a calendar. It also includes a comprehensive resource section covering feline wellness, health concerns, household toxins and poisons, fun cat facts, and more. The spiral bound book also contains a generous amount of blank pages (with a beautiful faint cat design in the background) for notes, or journaling.

Great Rescues calendar and gift book Bernadette Kazmarski 

The calendar runs from September 2011 through December 2012. You can order the calendar directly through Benadette’s website for the incredibly low price of $19.99 plus shipping. Even though it’s only July, it’s never to early to order Christmas presents – Great Rescues makes a purrfect gift for the cat lovers on your list.

I’m giving away one personalized, autographed copy to one lucky winner. To enter, leave a comment telling me why you would like to win the calendar. Tweet about this giveaway or share it on Facebook for an extra chance to win. This giveaway ends Friday, August 12.

You can learn more about Bernadette Kazmarski and enjoy samples of her gorgeous art and photographs on her website and on her blog.

You may also enjoy reading:

An interview with animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

Thank you for nominating us for two Petties.
Voting ends at midnight tonight – please vote!

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Book review and giveaway: I am Tama, Lucky Cat

I am Tama, Lucky Cat

I am Tama, Lucky Cat by Wendy Henrichs, with illustrations by Yoshiko Jaeggi, is based on one of the versions of the Japanese legend of Maneki Neko, which literally translated means Beckoning Cat. Maneki Neko is also known as Lucky Cat, Welcoming Cat, or Fortune Cat. 

From the publisher:

Under the shadows of the white-capped mountains of Japan, a white cat with unusual markings arrives at the door of a rundown temple. With little more than a few grains of rice to share, a kind and gentle monk take him in and names him Tama, after the river of the monk’s boyhood memories. As Tama gets accustomed to life in the temple, he promises he will bring good fortune to his new master and the worshippers who come to pray. One afternoon, a mighty spring storm gives Tama the chance to do just that, and he earns the nickname “Lucky Cat.”

Heinrich’s almost lyrical style of telling the story, combined with Jaeggi’s absolutely charming illustrations, create a special magic. I found myself pausing at each page, absorbing the words, and losing myself in the pictures. The drawings of the cat capture feline body language and emotion purrfectly and make you feel like you want to reach out and touch Tama.  

In addition to telling Tama’s story, the book also provides a glimpse into Japanese culture and the teachings of the Buddha. When Tama first arrives at the temple, he realizes that his monk “never considered his own hunger, but looked with compassion upon the hollow cheeks of his people…It was for me and the temple worshippers that he wanted more food…more warmth…more comfort.”

This beautiful book is aimed at children ages 4-8, but I think adults will enjoy it equally as much.

I’m giving away one copy of this book. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment and let me know why you’d like to win the book. For an additional chance to win, share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook and share the link in a separate comment. This giveaway ends Friday, August 5.

July 26 update: Wendy Heinrichs generously offered a second copy for this giveaway, and she’ll even personalize and autograph it for the lucky winner!

This book was sent to me by the publisher.

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

Thank you for nominating us for two Petties.
We need your help to win – please vote every day!

Click here to vote

Giveaway: Voucher for Nature’s Logic cat food

Nature's LogicNature's Logic feline products

When the folks at Nature’s Logic approached me about doing a giveaway for you, I was intrigued, but since I wasn’t familiar with this company or their diets, I wanted to do some research first.

Let me first say that I have no personal experience with these diets. I like what I feed Allegra and Ruby, and I won’t use them as product testers for testing diets or treats whose claims I can’t verify. However, I can take a close look at diets I haven’t tried and evaluate them based on my criteria for what constitutes a species-appropriate diet for cats. 

My first criteria is always that a feline diet must be completely grain-free, and it must be canned or raw. I don’t recommend ANY dry food for cats. Nature’s Logic’s canned and raw products meet that requirement. The raw formulas are a little lower in protein than I like to see, I prefer to see a 95% protein/5% vegetables and other ingredients ratio, but at 90-92% protein content, I still consider them acceptable. 

Nature’s Logic believes that the safest and most natural source of nutrients for cats is food. According to the company, they have created the first and only, full-line of commercial pet food in the world with no chemically-synthesized vitamins, minerals, or other ingredients. Nature’s Logic states that all the nutrients in their formulas come from whole foods or 100% natural ingredients.

Nature’s Logic foods are said to be rich in high-quality protein, derived from beef, chicken, duck, lamb, fish, venison, and rabbit.

Nature’s Logic also makes Ponderosa Pine Cat Litter, which, according to the company, is 100% natural and made entirely from ponderosa pine. It does not contain silica particles found in typical clay litters. This litter is said to be virtually dust-free and safe for cats, kittens, and other small mammals. I have no personal experience with this litter, either – just like food, I won’t use my cats as product testers for litter. We like what we use, and we’re not taking any chances by switching.

Nature’s Logic is offering a voucher valued at $25 good for the following to one lucky reader:

  • one 3-lb bag Raw Frozen Diet or nine 5.5-oz cans Feline Diet
  • plus, one 12-lb bag Ponderosa Pine Cat Litter

How to Enter

Leave a comment below letting me know:

  1. Why you’d like to win this giveaway.
  2. Your choice of which of the two food types (raw or canned) you’d like to win.
  3. Your choice of flavors – visit the Nature’s Logic website to see available flavors.
  4. Tweet about this giveaway or share it on Facebook and post the link in a separate comment for an extra chance to enter.

This giveaway will end Tuesday, May 31.

For more information about Nature’s Logic and their products, please visit their website.

You may also enjoy reading:

The truth about dry cat food

Feeding raw: a veterinarian’s view

Giveaway: Furminator Deshedding Tool

Of all the brushes and grooming tools I’ve tried, the Furminator Deshedding Tool still wins hands down when it comes to controlling shedding in cats.  In fact, it removes so much hair that I remember being a little worried I might wind up with a bald cat the first time I used it on Amber a few years ago.

And now, Furminator has gone “deluxe” – redesigned with a new, sleek ergonomic handle and a  FURjector button that will release fur from the blade, but retaining all the same functionality of the original, it still removes undercoat and loose hair like nothing else on the market. 

I’m giving away one Furminator for Cats to one lucky winner.  If you’d like to win, leave a comment on this post and let me know why you would like one for your cat(s).  For an extra chance to win, tweet about the giveaway or share on Facebook and post the link in a separate comment.  This giveway is open until Saturday, May 14.

Thanks to the folks at Furminator, Inc. for making this giveaway possible as part of National Hairball Awareness Day. For more information on the cat product, click here. Winner will be asked to specify size of cat and whether they want the tool for long or short-haired cats.

You may also enjoy reading:

There’s no such thing as “just a hairball”

Some startling new thoughts on cats and hairballs