Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tiki After Dark

There is nothing like a halloween tiki party... with the new catfood Tiki Cat After Dark!  I don't know about your cats, but mine seem to sleep all day and come alive at night! The simple reason is that cats are nocturnal by nature. Wild cats hunt during the night and our domestic four pawed friends retain this behavior as "night owls"!  


Another reason is a typical housecat's lack of activity during the day when their pet family is at school or at work. Even cats that develop sleep patterns like ours wake up several times a  night and once awake, they are ready to play leaping with every move you make!





Just Natural Ingredients

Tiki After Dark is a favorite gourmet cat food in our household and my gang of five considers it a real treat when they get it. Best of all Tiki Cat  Food After Dark is grain free and high in moisture providing my cats with a carefully designed diet that mimics a natural prey diet.  The  moisture content is especially important and the first thing that  Sabu does is devour the tasty liquid broth. The Chicken with Quail Egg actually had a half of an egg which was an enormous hit with the gang of five!


Health Perks

  • The Variety Pack provides some interesting and different recipes that keep my gang of five coming back for more - they like it and it is good for them- this of course is the biggest perk of all!
  • The food is grain free and high in protein, each recipe also includes liver, heart and gizzards.
  • Low in carbs, which is especially important if your cat also eats kibble.
  • The added chelated minerals and vitamins support a complete and balanced diet.
  • High-moisture recipes help supplement cats that don't drink enough water and helps maintain good urinary and digestive health.


This 12 pack offered by chewy.com includes: Chicken and Duck, Chicken, Chicken and Beef, Chicken and Quail Egg, and their new favorite Chicken and Pork.  Chewy.com sells this Tiki After Dark at a 10% discount with free two-day shipping for orders over $49.





How To Encourage Your Cat To Sleep At Night

Forget locking the bedroom door unless you want to be serenaded!  The best solution is to increase your cat's daytime activity. To do this you might want to provide things to stimulate your cat to decrease the number of hours she sleeps during the day.

  • Scratching Post to increase daytime activity (see my last blog for details)
  • Get a Bird Feeder - this can hold your cat's attention for hours. 
  • Get a Cat Tree or Install a Window Perch - with a view outside this can be like "cat TV"
  • Increase your Playtime- play with your cat at night before bedtime to tire your cat out!
  • Purchase or adopt another cat for your cat to play with during the day




Thursday, October 12, 2017

Why Cats Scratch & A Solution!

The instant that the new cat scratching post arrived from www.chewy.com the gang of five was excited.  It seems they know when the front door opens and a box arrives from chewy that it is for them!  The cat scratcher by Frisco comes beautifully packaged with easy instructions for assembly that took all of about five minutes. 



The Frisco Cat Scratching Post is 33.5" H x 16" L x16" W and the base board dimensions are 16"L and 16"W making it extremely sturdy. The Frisco cat scratching post is available exclusively at chewy.com. The post comes in two color choices, cream and brown and is 26% off the list price of $45.99 making it $33.99, an excellent bargain for the quality of this item.



Key Benefits 

There are a lot of things I like about this cat scratching tower, most of all I like the way my cats, young and senior have responded to it. 


  • The layer of durable woven sisal covers all four sides and entices my cats to dig right into it and so far it seems to have stood up to the test of claws!
  • This post is big enough to allow Mocha to do a full body stretch while digging in bringing out the wild kitty in him!



  • The plush baseboard makes this tower super sturdy.
  • The top makes a perfect place to perch
  • The plush carpet is soft on the paws of my four footed felines.
  • The tower is a conspicuous object that satisfies their natural urge to scratch and mark their territory.
  • Helps to keep their nails healthy and my furniture safe.(luckily, they don't scratch my furniture!).



Why Cats Scratch

It has long been assumed that cats scratch in order to sharpen their front claws, as it turns out, studies have shown this is a secondary reason. Research on cat behavior suggests that the major reason for scratching is communication. By roughing up the bark of a tree (or the leg of your favorite chair or rug) the cat is letting other cats or people know where they are and what they are up to. 



According to Animal Behavior Associates, cats tend to choose a small number of conspicuous objects  in their environment to scratch, such as a tree, fence post, scratching post, the corner of a couch, etc and return to scratch them repeatedly. This scratched surface leaves a highly visible mark that can be easily seen by other cats. The scent glands in the paws of a cat leave scent marks by making the scratching movements.




Although studies have not concluded as to why cats scratch, it is thought that this is a territorial warning or could be a marker that this particular cat lives in this area and is alive and well. They scratch as a form of communication. They also scratch during play or while stretching as a greeting or as a way to relieve frustration.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Halo Cat Food and A Trip to the Beardsley Zoo

This month, I am all about Halo Cat Food thanks to www.chewy.com. There are many things I like about Halo, but one outstanding thing is their sense of ethics.  Halo is very active in giving back to local shelters. As a matter of fact every time you buy Halo, they donate a bowl of cat food or dog food to shelters to help nourish and transform shelter pets to give them their very best chance at a forever home.




 Halo is also a Giving Tuesday partner with the Humane Society and has helped to raise more than $200,000. They also help feed pets rescued from extreme abuse and natural disasters and transports them to high adoption areas.


Halo's Chicken Pate

Since the gang of five enjoyed Halo Holistic Chicken and Chicken Liver Dry Cat Food, I decided to review Halo's Chicken Pate  thanks to www.chewy.com and they loved it. Two things I  liked about it right off was that it smelled really good and it looked appetizing with little flecks of spinach in it.

Just Natural Ingredients

Halo has been producing high quality holistic pet food for thirty plus years. A mantra at Halo is that they use only whole meat, in this case chicken and chicken liver in a chicken broth.  There are no rendered meat meals of any kind used in Chicken Pate making it easy for your cat to digest.


For Indoor Cats

Research shows that indoor cats are not as active as outdoor cats. This particular chicken pate is four paws up because it is grain free and specially formulated for indoor cats. The indoor cat food has essential fatty acids that protect house cats' skin and coat from the effects of HVAC systems and keeps them at a healthy weight. These recipes provide complete nutrition with quality ingredients but with lower fat and fewer calories that will help maintain the weight of your cat.





Ingredients

The Recipe 

Chicken, chicken liver,  chicken broth,  natural flavor, tricalcium phosphate, spinach, guar gum, carrageenan, carrots, potassium, chloride, cranberries, sweet potato, calcium carbonate, salt, minerals, choline chloride, vitamins, taurine, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)  magnesium sulfate, and  rosemary extract.



Minerals 

Iron Amino Acid Chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate,  sodium selenite  potassium iodide

Vitamins 

Vitamin E Supplement,  thiamine mononitrate,  niacin supplement  d-calcium pantothenate,  pyridoxine hydrochloride,  riboflavin supplement,  vitamin A supplement, 

biotin,  vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, and folic acid.


Additional Health Perks

  • Highly digestible because no meat meals
  • A good source of additional hydration
  • A great source of fatty acids that support healthy skin and coats
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • BPA free cans
  • Non-GMO Vegetables (veggies sourced from farms that prohibit use of Genetically Modified Seeds)
  • Protein averages from 33% to 30%


Lynx Kittens @ Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

This summer the Beardsley Zoo, Connecticut's only Zoo announced that their new Canada lynx kittens born in April at the Zoo are both girls. The kittens were named by Spencer and Wesley Elkind of Greenwich after winning the opportunity of what to call the kittens. Spencer, age 12, and Wesley, age 11, said the names have special meaning, and added, "We chose Penny and Ruby because they are our favorite cats at our house. We love them so much, and know visitors to the Zoo will love the lynx kittens too." Don't miss a visit to the Zoo this fall to see the girls!

Lynx are light brown to gray in color, similar in appearance to a Bobcat but larger with longer legs.  The tip of their tail is black and they have long black ear tufts, giving them their distinctive appearance. Lynx lead a solitary life except during the breeding season and when mothers travel with their young. Lynx kittens learn to actively hunt and as adults they are exceptional stalkers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hello Halo Cat Food

This month I was so impressed with www.chewy.com - even when their headquarters in Florida were affected by the hurricane, our cat food and our products to blog came on time! I have since learned that www.chewy.com is also donating pet food to areas affected by the hurricane in Florida and in Texas - what a wonderful company to look after our unfortunate four legged friends in those states. 

This month, I decided to try Halo Holistic  Chicken and Chicken Liver Dry Cat Food and my gang of five loved it!  Even fussy Maxx likes it!  It is good for them because it is made with real chicken and specially formulated for indoor cats. This food is a great healthy option because of the many key nutritional benefits and a real bonus is that this food is well priced for the high quality of ingredients used in this formula.

No Meat Meals

The most important health benefit is that Halo uses whole meat proteins only, they never use meat meals.  The trouble with meat meals is that they are a rendered  high heat processed and dehydrated combo of non-human edible remnants from slaughterhouses and fish processing factories. Pet food companies use these "meat meals" because they are less expensive than whole meat.  A meat meal is less digestible and is high in ash content due to the heat process. According to AAFCO protocol tests this Halo cat food comes out on top in terms of digestibility. The real test here is that all my cats like it.



The Proof is in the Poop!

Yes! According to the packaging, "the proof is in the poop" and I can't wait to see if this is true!  Halo notes it that because of this cat foods proven digestibility you can expect to pick up after your cat just a little bit less and, in general feed them less. The chain of logic used here is that when you feed your pet a whole meat food that is more digestible your pet utilizes more of it- and, the more nutrition your pet benefits from, the less you pick up as waste.


Dream Coat

This highly palatable and digestible formula also includes a proprietary "DreamCoat" supplement.  This is especially important for long hair cat owners. This formula grooms from the inside out so to speak by adding an essential blend of pure oils that supply essential omega fatty acids that support a full, shiny coat...just like the maxx has !


Additional Health Benefits

  • This product is heavy in protein and includes sustainably-raised, cage free chicken in addition to chicken liver and dried egg product. 
  • Halo is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. The formula includes: non-GMO vegetables, sweet potatoes, blueberries, carrots and cranberries.
  • In addition to no meat meals, this cat food has no hormones, antibiotics, artificial colors or preservatives.

Reviews

In addition to my humble opinion, Halo Holistic  Chicken and Chicken Liver Dry Cat Food  was recommended by 97% of the people that bought this product and reviewed it; 89% gave this product 5 stars -- or should that be 5 paws?  Best of all, www.chewy.com is offering this food for 20% off.

Where Fleas Hide

It is fall already, how summer has flown by.  The coyotes are back, I hear them howling late at night...and it seems that this year the flea and ticks season is worse than usual. My gang of five are banned from going outside (except on their leash) especially with the coyotes in the back woods.  The two pests I do watch out for when we are out are fleas and ticks. I have scoped out a few places where these pesky parasites like to hide and thought I would share them with you.

  • Tall Grass is a favorite place for ticks, it seems they like to climb up and latch onto a passing person or pet. The solution is to keep out of the tall grass and to mow your lawn regularly. No romping in late autumn meadows for us! Interestingly, well irrigated mowed lawns are not a viable habitat for flea survival, they need a moist, humid area that is sheltered from the wind and sun. Fleas can't survive in areas that get a lot of rain, are well irrigated or poorly drained.
  • Piles of Leaves are colorful and yes kids love to run and jump in them... and my cats love to play with piles of leaves, but there is one problem... leaf piles are perfect sanctuaries for fleas.  A colorful pile  of leaves provides darkness and humidity and is a perfect flea haven. It is best to keep your cats and dogs away from piles of leaves and to pick them up after raking and dispose of them.
  • Shrubs and Trees attract fleas because fleas like wet, warm, shady, humid areas and are particularly attracted to trees and shrubs. It important to trim back shrubs and rake out any leaves that are under them.
  • Pet areas that your dog or cat frequent often also attract fleas - they seem to have an uncanny ability to latch onto a dog or cat in their favorite spot.   A dog house, a favorite shady spot under a deck or porch, dense ground cover or a crawl space are all flea hot spots that should be noted and avoided. My cats love to go under the deck to eat the long grass that grows there, I guess that is off the list of things allowed for now!

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Turbo Charged Birthday!

In August my Max turned nine years old and Zoey and Zivah turned two...how time flies! To help celebrate these birthdays, www.chewy sent us the most amazing gifts -- treats by Wellness, an interactive cat toy by Kong Active replete with catnip and their favorite toy of all, the Turbo Scratcher interactive cat toy.  Best of all www.chewy.com is selling this toy at a 38% discount.

All my cats have taken a serious liking to this toy. I have a smaller version of this made by a different company but they really were not interested in playing with it, I think it was too small and the ball was too difficult for them to get at.  Size matters and is the reason why my cats, especially Zoey really loves this toy which is big enough to lay on and scratch away!   The Turbo Scratcher measures 16x16x2.  Zoey seems particularly fascinated by the ball and the sound it makes (reminds me of a eggs clinking in a kettle of boiling water) when batting it around.


Zoey loves to sit on the scratching pad in the center of the Turbo Scratcher and watch the ball go around her after she gives it a good bat with her paw! When I added a little catnip to the center scratch pad this was the icing on the cake!  I like the fact that the center pad is replaceable because they are all scratching it and batting the ball around! On another note, the other thing they seem to love are bags with tissue paper and their chewy box!!



Key Benefits

This toy was popular right out of the chewy.com box!  It also has some key benefits.

  • It decreases unwanted scratching because the pad is made from corrugated cardboard
  • It offers cats of all ages hours of fun
  • It keeps cats active with the added treat of catnip
  •  A replaceable pad and ball are available
  • It comes in a number of fun colors

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Choosing Cat Food - Three Tips

Your cat's nutrition is important for a happy and healthy life.  When choosing a cat food, I usually look for three basic things.  The first thing I look for are whole proteins like chicken, duck, salmon, beef or liver. The second thing I look for is to make sure the food is grain free.  The third thing I look for is the addition of vitamins, vegetables and fruits.


Merrick's Backcountry Freeze -Dried Raw Meal for Cats

This month www.chewy.com sent me a package of Merrick's Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Mixer to try. It is chock full of protein that will provide your cat with a nutrition packed boost of raw that your cat craves. The Real Salmon recipe contains freeze-dried pieces of real salmon that not only locks in freshness but this food is easily digestible. Best of all this month www.chewy.com is offering this treat at 20% off.



I like the fact that this protein rich kibble is mixed with vegetables, fruits and vitamins making this a healthy choice.  All of Merrick's formulas are made in the U.S.A. and they are free of corn, soy, wheat and gluten. They also don't contain any by products or artificial preservatives.  The flavor of this food is sealed in with the expert freezing process used by Merrick making it a tasty treat and mixer.

Two Ways to Mix It

You can use Merrick's Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Mixer two ways.  For a complete meal you can serve it as is or re-hydrate it by adding 1/4 cup of water per one cup of Backcountry Freeze Dried Raw.  The Merrick website actually has a feeding calculator that helps you determine the portion size for each meal!

The second way to use Merrick's Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Mixer is to just add it to your cat's regular wet food or kibble mixture. Make sure you reduce the amount of the other food accordingly to avoid overfeeding.


The Taste Test

The real test of any food is whether your cats will eat it. All my cats seemed eager to try the raw boost -- even themaxx got into the action. As usual, my cats seem to prefer to eat this mixer as a treat and in their dry kibble food.  It is important to remember to slowly transition your cat to a new food over five to seven days.  Make sure you continually increase the amount of Merrick food while decreasing the amount of food in your cat's previous diet in order to reach a healthy balance.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Wellness and your Cat... Plus 5 things Never to do....

This month, www.chewy.com has sent me a new food by Wellness Core called Simply Shreds Grain Free Wild Salmon and Tuna in a savory broth, and this snack definitely gets two paws up. Wellness Core is crafted with carefully sourced, thoughtfully prepared ingredients in order to bring more love to mealtime and snack time. Save 10% by ordering from chewy.com



About Wellness Core Simply Shreds for Cats
These handy pouches are a grain free boost of pure protein perfect for snacking or topping. They consist of 100% natural cooked shred of fish (or poultry - it comes in several varieties). This hearty and healthy snack will satiate even the pickiest eaters...my gang of five loved the salmon and tuna. I also liked the fact that it is in a savory broth that adds water to their diet.


Product Description
The amazing thing about this nutrient dense food is that each recipe is made with four ingredients or less!  It is packaged in an easy to use 1.7 oz pouch that is sold by the case that includes twelve packets.  This food is a great snack and is intended to be fed in conjunction with a complete and healthy cat food diet. There are several ways your cat can enjoy this food; it can be used as a topper on wet or dry cat food or fed to your cat as an extra special treat, Sabu and Zoey love the extra treat factor!


Ingredients
There are only three ingredients in the Simply Shreds Wild Salmon and Tuna mix that includes: salmon. fish broth and water sufficient for processing tuna.



About Wellness
Wellness, is a family-owned company of pet parents on a mission to raise the bar in pet food, because they believe the right choice at mealtime forms the foundation of a long, happy life together. That's why they do things the right way, not the easy way—they are 100 percent focused on natural nutrition all the time, crafting their pet food and treats recipes that are carefully sourced and thoughtfully prepared. They use the finest, natural ingredients, ensure the highest quality standards, and create delicious recipes pets crave to make every mealtime count. 



TOP FIVE THINGS NEVER TO DO TO YOUR CAT

1. Never put your cat outdoors unsupervised. If your cat is an indoor cat putting them in the great outdoors can confuse or frighten them... keep kitty harnessed or leashed for your peace of mind and to reassure the cat with your presence.

2. Never leave windows open without a screen. By nature cats are curious and an open screenless window (been there... my cat knocked it out because the screen was not secure) so-- make sure your screens are secure...  if they aren't this can lead to roof climbing (they like it - you won't) or worse, a fall  depending on the roof and screen.

3. Never put off a vet visit.  Even if your cat acts healthy cats can have subtle health shifts that an annual exam can identify and treat.

4. Never hold your cat on your lap while driving- it just isn't safe or smart.  A range free cat can become a flying object if you stop quickly.

5. Deal with  hairballs, never ignore them. Cats groom constantly - if you have long hair cats, give them a hand and groom them.  This will help reduce the number of hairballs by reducing the amount of hair your cat swallows... plus brushing is a wonderful way to bond with your cat.