Products

Giveaway: Temporary cat tattoos from Cattoo Design

temporary cat tattoos

I’ll admit it: I’m a wimp when it comes to pain, so there is not a chance that I’ll ever get a real tattoo. I do, however, like the look of tastefully done tattoos, and if I ever were to get one, it would, of course, be a cat tattoo.

And thanks to Kate Benjamin’s latest venture, Cattoo Design, I was able to get my very own cat tattoo! Kate recently launched a line of temporary cat tattoos, and she sent me a few to try.Continue Reading

Product review: Whole Life Freeze Dried Treats

Whole Life cat treats

The only treats I give to Allegra and Ruby are freeze dried treats. Because they only have one ingredient – real meat – they’re a healthy compliment to their already healthy diet of mostly raw and some grain-free canned food. And they both love their freeze dried treats.

Freeze drying locks in the freshness, color, original shape, texture, and aroma of food while providing the shelf-stable convenience of canned or dehydrated food.Continue Reading

Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo: the spilled litter terminator

cat with vacuum cleaner

If you have a litter kicker like I do (we won’t name any names here, but her name starts with the letter “R”…), you know it’s a constant battle to keep the area around the litter box clean. I’ve always used a Dustbuster, and it worked fine, but it didn’t always pick up everything. When the PR agency for Bissell contacted me to see if I wanted to try the Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo, I was definitely interested.

The Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo is a cordless rechargeable sweeper. The product is described as follows:Continue Reading

The Cat’s Trapeze

the cat's trapeze

When Kate Benjamin of Moderncat asked me whether I would like a Cat’s Trapeze for Allegra and Ruby, I was excited. I had visions of my two kittens flying through the air in an act rivaling anything Cirque du Soleil could put together.

Okay, no. It’s not that kind of trapeze. The Cat’s Trapeze is a unique product designed to provide active cats with an alternative to climbing the curtains and furniture. The sturdy cotton fabric withstands heavy use and the soft cushions provide a perfect place to nap.Continue Reading

Hundreds of cat greeting cards, only a mouse click away

cat thank you card

In this age of e-mail and e-cards, receiving a “real” greeting card in the mail is a real treat. I know quite a few of my friends feel that way, too, and as a result, I enjoy shopping for greeting cards. However, as with everything else in life, time is precious, and selection at card stores can vary greatly from one visit to the next. When the folks at Greeting Card Universe approached me about reviewing their cards, I was intrigued.

I got to choose a selection of five cards. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, not really, considering that Greeting Card Universe has 680 cat-themed cards to choose from!  I chose the thank you card above for its unique design and eye-catching colors, even though red is not usually a color I’m drawn to. I just thought the card was gorgeous.Continue Reading

Product review and giveaway: Martha Stewart double feeder and feeding mat

Marthat Stewart Pets double feeder

Martha Stewart Pets is offering a new line of pet products exclusively through PetSmart. A cat owner herself (click here to watch a slide show of Martha’s cats), Martha has devised many unique cat care solutions for herself and her animals.

One of these products is the Double Feeder pictured above. PetSmart’s PR agency sent us a set of the feeder and the Feeding Mat from the same line to test, and we are pleased to be able to offer to give away one of these combos to one lucky reader.Continue Reading

NVR Miss: the perfect litter box

NVR Miss litter box

When I adopted Ruby in April, I didn’t realize that I would be embarking on the search for the perfect litter box. Ruby is a vertical pee-er. I had never had one of those. My regular litter box wasn’t going to work.

She doesn’t spray. Spraying is usually done by male cats. When a cat sprays, he stands up, typically makes a treading motion with his back feet, quivers his tail and sprays urine onto a vertical surface such as a wall. Spraying is a marking behavior.Continue Reading

Product review, giveaway and $10 off Comfort Zone with Feliway

Comfort Zone with Feliway diffuser and spray

If you’ve ever had a cat with behavior problems, whether it’s territorial aggression, urinary marking, or simply a stressful trip to the vet’s, you may have been told to try Comfort Zone with Feliway® to help your kitty calm down.

Comfort Zone with Feliway® is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure. By mimicking the cat’s natural facial pheromones, Feliway® creates a state of familiarity and security in the cat’s local environment. As a result, Feliway® can be used to help comfort and reassure cats while they cope with a challenging situation and help prevent or reduce the stress caused by a change in their environment.Continue Reading

Product review: Sureflap Microchip Cat Door

SureFlap Microchip Cat Door

Guest review by Fern Crist, DVM

The SureFlap Microchip Cat Door is a new-to-the U.S. product from the United Kingdom.  It uses RFID technology to read a cat’s veterinarian-inserted microchip and determine whether or not to let the cat inside. This prevents strays, and other animals, from entering a home and adds a high-tech level of convenience to the homes of outdoor cat owners.

SureFlap offered to send one of these doors to Ingrid, and since Allegra and Ruby don’t go outside, but my cats do, she asked me to test and review it for The Conscious Cat.

Let me start out by saying that the Sure-flap Cat Door is a wonderful invention. My favorite feature: it is unlocked by the microchips my cats already have in place.

Our last cat door was unlocked by a magnet hanging on the cat’s collar, a concept doomed from the start. Cats mostly regard collars as irritations, something to be chewed, ripped, or tugged off as soon as possible. End result: a lost collar, a cat stuck outside, and you have to keep buying new magnets.

This door runs on 4 AA batteries, allowing it to recognize the microchip and unlock the latch. The batteries pop into an easy-to-reach chamber on the top of the door. You don’t have to stand on your head to get to the batteries. Well done, engineering team!

The installation procedure was not appreciably different from any cat door. I really like the tube extender, an optional part we needed so that the tube remained unbroken through the full thickness of the wall. All the parts click together easily. The hardest part was cutting the hole in the wall.

Once installed, the door needs to “learn” your cat’s microchip. This is done by the simple method of pushing a button and having your cat walk through the door. Repeat as needed, once for each cat. I was delighted to discover that the door remembers the microchips even if the batteries are dead or missing, removing the need to “re-teach” the door every time the batteries need changing.

After we had our Sure-Flap in place, I taped the flap open for a week so my kitties could get acquainted with the door without unpleasant sensations. Since it is easier for them to push through the flap with the microchip feature turned off, the second step was to leave the flap down but unlocked — batteries out.

The third and final step was the reinsertion of the batteries. To open the door when the microchip reader is active, they do need to squinch themselves up a bit to get the microchip, which is between the shoulderblades, close enough for the door to read.  However, they figured out pretty quickly how to position themselves (this part of the learning process goes faster if you have food on the other side!) and now the mechanics of the door are no problem for them.

I’ve only had one issue with our Sure-Flap: the diameter is a little tight for my larger cat. At a lean 16 pounds, he doesn’t so much walk through the door as ooze through. He looks for all the world like toothpaste coming out of a tube. In future models, I’d suggest that the opening be a little bigger.

While I can’t testify that the door is totally raccoon-proof, I can say that as of this writing, we’ve had several raccoons attempt to get through, so far without success. With our last cat door, a raccoon just needed to insert a claw under the flap and pull, and in he came.  This door seems to be made of sterner stuff.

A warning to consumers: the Sure-flap people sell an adaptor that is supposed to allow you to install the flap in a glass door or glass window, through the glass panes. This only works with single pane, non-safety glass. You cannot install the flap through existing double pane glass (the manual suggests you purchase a replacement double-pane piece manufactured with a premade opening in it, which may be prohibitively expensive), and safety glass will just disintegrate if you try to cut a hole in it. Be sure you know what kind of glass you have before you buy the adaptor.

Our first Sure-Flap is installed between our kitchen and our sunroom. We plan to install a second one between the sunroom and the deck, creating a double level of security against those pesky raccoons. We had planned to install it in the sunroom glass, but – well – you guessed it.

So we will be installing the Sure-Flap in the aluminum wall of our sunroom. The manual is discouraging about installation in metal walls and doors, since the metal might interfere with the microchip reader. With no other choice, we plan to use the glass adaptor to install the flap through the metal. Worst case, we can turn off the microchip function and leave the outer flap unlocked.  Hopefully I can post the results of this experiment in the future.

Overall, I rate this as an excellent product. Great ease of use, fabulous concept, strong construction. It could be a little bigger, but apart from that, I’m delighted with my Sure-Flap!

For more information about the SureFlap Microchip Cat Door and to purchase, please visit SureFlap’s website.

Dr. Crist has been practicing veterinary medicine since 1982, and has been working exclusively with cats since 1993.  She served on the board of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.  Dr. Crist is married with four children, two of which are not fuzzy.

Product review and giveaway: Tipsy Nip Organic Catnip Products

cat high on catnip

Allegra and Ruby were very excited when the mailman brought a package addressed to them the other day. They’ve learned by now that that means that there’s a new product for them to test!

The package came from Tipsy Nip™ Organic Catnip Products, the creators of the original Tickle Pickle™. According to cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy “your cat needs ritualized play—to hunt, catch, kill, and eat every day. That’s what they are built to do.” The folks at Tipsy Nip share that view, and they provide the perfect toys to fulfill that ritual.

All Tipsy Nip™ products are made from only the best quality materials and ingredients. Their mission is to create products that make cats insanely happy. They are committed to safe quality toys and treats. Everything that goes into the toys is made, grown, or manufactured in the USA. Their catnip is certified organic cut and sifted leaf and flower, and has been referred to as some of the best catnip available in the USA.

cats with catnip toys

We received two Tickle Pickles™, a jar of loose catnip, and a Tipsy Nip™ ball, which is infused with and nesting in organic catnip.

A side note: An estimated 50% of cats don’t respond to catnip. Whether or not cats respond to catnip appears to be genetically determined.  Kittens are not affected until they’re about two months old (if they fall into the category of cats that do respond).  Chances are that if your kitten hasn’t reacted to catnip by the time she’s six month’s old, she falls into the non-responsive category. Allegra falls into that category, so it was up to Ruby to review these products. Unfortunately, she is too strung out on catnip to write the review, so you’ll have to take my word for it that all the products were a big hit with her.

This is potent catnip! I could smell it before I even opened the box, even though the products were sealed in plastic jars and bags. As soon as I got the pickle out of the bag, Ruby went for it. You can see that she had a good time with it in the video below. According to Tipsy Nip, the pickle is made out of a durable tight cotton knit, so it should hold up well even to Ruby’s vigorous kicking!

httpv://youtu.be/2rBD0EeskxE

The catnip ball is extremely potent, too, and Ruby had a blast with it. She was so fast dribbling and chasing it through the house, I couldn’t get good video of it. Allegra enjoyed the wooden ball, but I think for her, it was the motion, and not the catnip, that provided the fun.

wooden cat toy with catnip

Ruby is sleeping off her catnip high, but she wanted me to tell you that she gives these products a very enthusiastic four paws up. Her comment: “Far out, Mom!”

For more information and to order, please visit the Tipsy Nip™ website.

We are giving away one Tickle Pickle™ to one lucky kitty! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment and let me know why you’d like to win the pickle. For an extra chance to win, share the giveaway on Facebook or tweet about it and post the link in a separate comment. This giveaway ends Tuesday, September 6.

You may also enjoy reading:

If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip, who will?

How to keep your indoor cat happy

Up close and purrsonal with Jackson Galaxy