Feline obesity has become an epidemic: a staggering 53% of America’s cats are considered overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to serious health problems in cats, including diabetes and kidney failure.
Regular home-testing can help detect abnormal conditions at an early stage, enabling your cat to get timely veterinary treatment. This is especially important for cats, who are masters at disguising symptoms until an illness is often in the advanced stages, making treatment more costly, and often more complicated.
Monitoring your cat’s urination habits at home is extremely important: Continue Reading
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet. Cats shouldn’t eat dry food; even the grain-free dry varieties are too high in carbohydrates.
You can find many of the articles I’ve written about this topic in the Feline Nutrition section right here on this site. I also provide one-on-one consultations if you need help with transitioning your cat to a healthier diet.
What I look for in a food I feed and recommend
Protein is listed as the first ingredient on the label, and the meat/poultry used is fit for human consumption. If the meat is organic, that’s even better.
The food is grain-free (no rice, barley, or any other grains. Even though these are considered healthy in human nutrition, cats’ digestive tracts are not designed to digest the unnecessary carbs).
The food does not contain by-products, corn, soy, or any other fillers.Continue Reading
When you share your home with cats, accidents happen. Whether it’s the occasional hairball, or litter box issues, most cat guardians are on the quest for the purr-fect stain and odor remover. I thought I’d make things easier for you by recommending a few products that I have tested and use myself, and they really get the job done.
When you choose cleaning products, please don’t use any products that contain chemicals. Many household cleaners contain contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum based chemicals which can release volatile organic compounds into your indoor air. Some ingredients in household cleaners are known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected human carcinogens. Lysol, Pine-sol and other products containing phenols are deadly to cats as they can cause serious liver damage. Chlorox bleach, especially when concentrated, can cause chemical burns when it comes in contact with sensitive cat paws. Use pet-friendly products instead.Continue Reading
When I first heard about the CritterZone on Hauspanther, I was intrigued. Kate Benjamin calls the air purifier and odor eliminator a “game changer. ” Kate has 12 cats of her own, and combating odors is something that she deals with on a daily basis, so I figured she knew what she was talking about. I wanted to learn more about this air cleaner, and contacted the company. When I received the two sample units they sent me, I couldn’t believe my eyes: they’re tiny!
The CritterZone Air Purifier is only 4.5″ tall by 2.75″ wide by 1.75″ deep. The wall plug in unit protrudes about an inch from the wall in the back of the unit. The cord that comes with the corded unit protrudes less than .5 inch.
As far as product reviews go, this one had to be one of the girls’ favorite ones. I’ve long been an admirer of Brawny Cat’s absolutely amazing Big Baby Comfort Lounge and Big Sleeky Comfort Lounge. These loungers are works of art, made from beautiful natural cedar wood and heavy duty corrugated cardboard scratchers, but at price points ranging from $179 to $229, they were a little outside of my price range.
I was excited when Andrew, the human behind these exceptionally beautiful loungers, contacted me and asked whether we would like to review his newest lounger, the Sleeky Lounge XL. These loungers are made with a sturdy, hand burnished cardboard scratching surface, and a big, comfortable back rest and side bolsters. They look and feel like they’re made out of wood, and yet, they are priced at only $47.95! Andrew generously sent two of these Sleeky Loungs for Allegra and Ruby to test. I guess he figured that they would love them so much that it might cause problems if he only sent one!Continue Reading
Puzzle toys are a great way to keep your cats entertained and mentally stimulated when you can’t play with them. The toys are designed to be filled with treats, and they challenge kitty to retrieve the treats through varied openings in the toys. Most puzzle toy manufacturers recommend using dry food with these puzzles. Since I don’t recommend feeding any dry food, not even as treats, I recommend using freeze dried meat based treats such as Pure Bites or Whole Life.
There’s a huge variety of puzzle toys on the market. The toy shown above is the CatAmazing Puzzle Toy, and it’s remained a big hit with Allegra and Ruby. In addition to using treats inside the toy, I put smaller toys inside, and that works just as well as treats in terms of holding their interest.Continue Reading
Cats can go through finicky phases where they will turn their little noses up at a food they’ve been eating for months. This can happen when a cat is not feeling well, but it can also happen when a manufacturer has changed the formula. One of the ways to avoid this is feeding a rotation diet using different proteins, textures and flavors) so your cat doesn’t become dependent on any one brand or flavor. But sometimes, you just need a little extra help to tempt finicky felines to eat. That’s where flavor enhancers come in.
You can try sprinkling freeze dried chicken or salmon on top of the food. A little bit of tuna or clam juice drizzled over the canned or raw food can also help. Other “bribes” can include cooked meat, cut in small pieces, a spoonful of meat-based baby food (make sure it doesn’t contain onion powder). Some people have good luck with grated parmesan cheese (yes, the stuff in the green can).
When Lincoln Bark contacted me to see if I wanted to take a look at their newest product,Continue Reading
I’ve always felt that cats and yoga make for a purr-fect combination, which his why I was delighted when I discovered Feline Yogi, a blog with the tagline “Celebrating the Most Enlightened Species – the Cat!” Feline Yogi is brought to you by Pippy, a feline yogini who has her paws full to keep her humans in line: “They spend an obscene amount of time in front of their computers,” says Pippy, “when they could be taking care of my needs.” Pippy’s human Paige says she’s doing her best to be at the beck and call of any feline needs that may arise, while still making time for her own yoga practice – something she’s been focused on for over 20 years.
Paige is also the creator of the Feline Yogi Mat. Over the past two decades of practicing yoga, Paige found that inevitably, when she brought out her yoga mat, all her cats would immediately plop themselves smack in the middle of the mat, leaving no room for her. She decided that the cats needed their own mat.
We received a Feline Yogi mat for review. I couldn’t wait to seeContinue Reading
Do you exchange Valentine’s gifts with your friends and family? If you do, there’s bound to be a cat lover or two on your list. Even if you just send cards (and who doesn’t love to receive a real card in the mail in this age of e-cards), you’re probably looking for something that expresses your love for cats. Here are some suggestions that will be sure to delight the kitties or the cat lover in your life.
The Valentine’s cards shown in the photo above are hand-made linoleum block print cards by animal artist Bernadette Kazmarski. I love the vibrant colors, and the expression on the cats’ faces. Purchase these cards, and many other beautiful cat designs, in the Portraits of Animals Etsy Shop.
When it comes to toys, few toys are as popular at our house as Hauspather’s innovative creations. Continue Reading
Back in December, we were contacted by Your Cat’s Tree with an offer to review one of their cat trees. I picked the 44 inch Bungalow Sherpa Cat Tree shown below. Allegra and Ruby have been nagging me ever since to put it together so they could test it.
My two little product testers were eager to help with assembly when I finally took it out of the box a couple of weeks ago. Those of you who’ve read my reviews for a while know that the words “some assembly required” always instill trepidation, if not outright fear, in me. The description for this cat tree said “assembly instructions included, tools provided,” so I was hopeful that this wouldn’t be too much of a challenge Continue Reading