Review – PetSafe Healthy Pet Food Station & Acne Wipes


Yawning – Photo by Skylar Hamilton

Little Puck is s a super sweet and affectionate cat. Unfortunately, he also seems to be pretty delicate. He’s had urinary issues in the past, he’s allergic to seafood, and now he has acne on his chin. The poor guy is super itchy! I did some research and discovered that using a metal food bowl instead of plastic is recommended for cleanliness. Apparently plastic can harbor bacteria no matter how much you wash it. I already use a ceramic fountain, so his water shouldn’t be an issue.

After some research, I ended up buying a new feeder from PetSafe, the Healthy Pet Food Station. It’s working out great!

I bought the Medium which holds about 4lbs of dry food. With two very different sizes of dry food, the feeder has proven to work well with both. The cats get a mix of Science Diet Oral Care formula (big chunks) and Iams Urinary Health Formula. The food flows freely into the bowl and doesn’t get jammed up at all.

Our old feeder would often get stuck and the bowl wouldn’t refill. Puck is a bit challenged when it comes to sticking his paw in the bowl to knock down more food. The other cats could do it without any problem, but Puck just sits next to the feeder and stares at us until we do it for him. My daughter thinks it’s because he doesn’t like to get his paws dirty, and she may be right. Thankfully, with this new feeder, the food flows easily and Puck doesn’t have to wait for us to knock it into the bowl for him.

The stainless steel insert is great. Super easy to remove and clean. The whole container comes about easily and can be run through the dishwasher for a quick and thorough cleaning.

The small or 2lb size would probably be fine for most people, but with three and sometimes four cats in this house, I like the 4lb size so I’m not refilling quite as often. The top screws on to the container keeping the cats from knocking it off, and also helping to keep the kibble fresher.

The top is easy to grab and twist, so refilling is easy. I like that the whole container is BPA free.

After three weeks of use, I’m still very happy with this product. The price was very reasonable, it’s easy to use, quick to clean.

The other part of Puck’s acne treatment has been wipes. I purchased the Pet MD Chlorhexidine Wipes and they aren’t Puck’s favorite thing, but they are helping.

Puck’s little chin looked dirty and scabby. He was itching it on everything. After changing his food bowl, and using these wipes for just a few days, he is itch-free! I started using the wipes twice a day, then moved to just once a day. They are just thin, medicated cotton rounds, super easy to use. I just grab one and wipe it all around on Puck’s chin. He gets pats and cuddles for a couple of minutes while his fur dries, then of course he eats some treats! I used them daily for about 8 days, now I’ll just use them about once a week, or as needed if he gets itchy again.

My son’s cat, Marty, was also having similar issues. He tried the same things I did, the new PetSafe feeder, and these wipes, and Marty is also itch free now, happy boy!

Marty – Photo by Lucas Hamilton

While I bought these wipes for Puck, they will be a handy thing to have on hand for all the cats and the dog as well. They can be used for many different types of pet skin issues including hot spots, cuts, insect bites, etc. They can also be used for cleaning and will help dry out any skin areas that need it.

Doggy Stick Review and Hector Story!

Captain Hector

It’s always amazing to me to find connections to Hector D. Byrd’s past. Last week I received a message on Facebook from someone who had been a Hector fan back in her Ambrosia Software days. He was such a fan that he named the family’s cat after Hector! After reading an article that reminded him about Hector, he googled and found the Facebook page and was happy to see that Hector is still thriving. I feel so lucky to have this girl in my life and it is always special to hear from others who have been impacted by Hector in the past! Any other Ambrosia software fans out there?


Cali girl has been lucky enough to test out Doggy Sticks recently, and we’ve both been super happy with the results.

We have two Doggie Sticks, Moisturizer and Prevent Itchiness.

Cali has skin allergies and is often itchy. We’ve been using Cytopoint injections recently with good results, but she still has itchy paws, especially in winter. I’ve been using the stick on her paws whenever I see her chewing on them, and she instantly stops. The stick is super easy to apply, just pull off the top and twist up the stick. I hold her paw in my hand and rub the stick on her paws, easy as that. I use my hands to rub it in a little, but I haven’t noticed any issues with the product getting on floors or carpets, it sinks right into her skin. I really like that the stick doesn’t have any strong odors.

According to the company, the formulas are handmade each day.  Ingredients are natural: “The original moisturizer is made with organic, sweet almond oil and bamboo. The itch-free formula is made with coconut oil and a specialized bamboo mix for anti-itch that also recovers the skin.”
The key seems to be the bamboo used in both formulas, the company says it is a great natural anti-fungal solution. Original formula treats dry skin with bamboo as well as Vitamins E and A.  The Anti-Itch formula also uses Coconut oil.
With its all natural ingredients, Doggy Sticks can be used as needed. For Cali, I sometimes used it morning and night when her itchiness was really bad, but other times I didn’t need to use it every day.
I know with road salt I end up washing Cali’s paws quite a bit in winter, and I’m excited to have the Moisturizer Doggy Stick to help combat winter dryness and cracking. I’m guessing it will also be handy to keep her paws dry and comfortable in summer. The Anti Itch stick will be something I always keep on hand for her. It’s so nice to be able to give her some relief when she is chewing at her paws.
You can find Doggy Sticks at Doggy . The regular formula is currently selling for $5.99 and the Itchiness formula for $8.99.

Litter Boxes – the Continuing Saga

Does anyone with cats not hate their little box? If so, let me know your secret!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cats, but I HATE litter boxes. They smell, litter scatters everywhere, it’s dusty, the cats don’t want to use the box, etc. Depending on the day, I have all these complaints and more.

With three indoor cats in the house, litter boxes are always an issue. Most recently, I’ve kept two large boxes downstairs, and a third up in my laundry room. It has worked out pretty well, except that for some reason, the cats were peeing in the upstairs litter box, but pooping just in front of it, and not in it. It drives me absolutely crazy. I’ve tried different boxes, various kinds of litter, even different trays under the litter box. No matter what combination I chose, pee goes in the box, poop goes in front of it.

Yesterday, the clouds parted, the sun shone through, and I realized something! With the two boxes downstairs that are side by side, the cats usually poop in one and pee in the other, not always, but most of the time. Upstairs, they only have one box. Maybe that is why they pee in the box and poop in front of it? Could the fix possibly be that simple? Two litter boxes in my laundry room is definitely not ideal, but it’s better than cleaning up poop from the tray in front of the box all the time.

My garage stash had an extra litter box, so I put it upstairs next to the other box. Imagine my surprise when I checked it this morning and there was poop IN THE LITTER BOX!  Woot! Small victory for me. Also, win for the cats, because now they have two boxes upstairs which is apparently what they wanted. Does anyone else have cats that poop in one box and pee in the other?

I’ve given up on fancy boxes. Downstairs where I have plenty of room, the litter boxes are actually $7 cement mixing trays from the hardware store. They work great! Cheap enough to easily replace them when they get gross. Deep enough to help contain the litter, and the insides are rounded, so they are super easy to scoop. Upstairs I’m just using two plain plastic litter boxes.

My new favorite litter is OKO Cat brand. It’s made from wood, there’s no noticeable dust. With my old clay litter, I realized I would cough when cleaning the box, not good. No coughing with the new litter. The switch was very gradual, I mixed a little of the new litter in with the old and just kept adding more of the new litter until there wasn’t any more clay litter. The cats don’t seem to have any problems with it. I found this litter by accident. Although I’m usually well stocked on pet supplies, I ran out of cat litter a couple of months ago. The local hardware store only had the OKO Cat brand, so that’s what I bought. It’s been great! I did try their long haired cat version, but it was more like a pellet, and while it did track a little less, the pellets were harder to suck up with the vacuum, the cats didn’t like it, and I seemed to go through a lot of litter.

For the moment, there’s peace in my litter box world. I do want to try one of the fancy robotic litter boxes one of these days, but I’m not sure one of them would be all that helpful, and I’m not buying 3-4, $400+ litter boxes. My $7 boxes work just fine!

Anyone have any good tips for litter boxes? Types of boxes or litter that you really like? How about the LitterRobot any thoughts? Like it? Worth the money?

Gone Gliders

Puck doesn’t like the cold weather. He spends most of his time these days finding a cozy spot to cuddle up. It definitely took him a few days to adjust to not having Marty around. They really became good buddies! I wish I could explain to Puck that Marty will be back to spend the summer with us, but of course he doesn’t have a clue. He just knows his friend Marty is gone.

The sugar gliders moved to their new home a couple of weeks ago now. It’s taken me that long to adjust to not having them. For the first few days I would head to their cage to check on them and realize they weren’t here. That was happening a couple of times a day. I hadn’t really realized how often I checked on them!  I do miss the boys, but I’m also realizing that finding them a new home was the right choice.

I hate giving up pets. I definitely adopt pets with the plan to keep them for life, but I also understand that things can happen. The Gliders just didn’t fit here at my house. The cats constantly wanted to hunt them which kept me from taking them out as much as I would have liked to. 

When I first got the gliders, I put them in their bonding pouch and kept them with me while I worked almost every day. Unfortunately, it didn’t take the cats long to figure out what was in the pouch, and they would climb all over my desk and body trying to get the gliders.

The gliders needed a home with a glider-experienced home. I found a woman in a Facebook group that had three gliders and was looking for more. She knew about their weird diets and how noisy and smelly they could be, and she already understood what they were like as pets. I didn’t want them to go to a new glider home as I felt that the chances of them having to find another home one day was more likely. I charged a fee, not enough to get back the investment I had made in the gliders, but enough to make sure the person taking them was serious about it.

After the gliders were picked up, I realized the batch of food I had made to go home with them had been forgotten. While it wasn’t on purpose, it was nice to have an excuse to reach out and check in. The woman seemed very happy with the gliders, she had been spending time with them and was enjoying getting used to them. She did stop by a couple of days later to pick up the food I had made, super happy it didn’t all go to waste.

Things here are settling back in to “normal,” Hector is busy destroying boxes, the dragon has been brummating off and on. She hid out in her cave for a week or so, came out and ate, and hung out for another week or more, and now she’s back in her cave. It was nice having the gliders around to help eat her live insects when she isn’t eating!

Happy Winter! Stay warm.

New Year, New Friend!



Our son is home for college break, so of course his kitten is here for the holidays as well. We were all a little nervous about introducing a fourth cat to the house, but things have gone very smoothly!

Puck and Marty

3 Boys in a Tree

Marty is used to living in my son’s dorm room with him, so he had no problem moving into my son’s bedroom here at the house. We kept the cats separate for the first couple of days, and then started letting Marty loose when we were around to supervise. We had a couple of little hissing fights here and there, but overall, they are all getting along. Marty spent the nights locked in with my son for the first couple of weeks, and he was also locked up when we were out, but now he has free run of the house.

My old lady cat, Logan, is being a little cranky with him, but he has learned to keep his distance from her. Logan would prefer to be an only cat. She and Bean often hiss at each other as well. They mostly give each other space and it’s all fine.

Hector D. Byrd

Hector really surprised me this Christmas. Usually she is petrified of anything new. I put her gift on her cage expecting her to check it out from a distance, and she went right over to it and started tearing into the paper! So brave! It took her about a week to open the toy, but she seemed to enjoy the process. She’d tear up some paper and then ignore it for a couple of days, but she finally opened it and I hung it in her cage. I’m thinking I may always wrap her new toys and let her open them. It seems like a great way for her to get used to something new.

Puck loved all the many boxes around the house for the holidays and checked every single one many times over.

It was a year ago this week that I first got the sugar gliders. Sadly, I’m in the process of looking for a new home for them. They just aren’t a good fit here. The cats are obsessed with them. I thought it would be OK with them being marsupials and not crazy little rodents, but my cats still think they are fun to hunt. I can’t take the gliders out of their cage without the cats prowling around. I have to keep the glider cage partially covered during the day and fully covered at night when they are active because I’m worried about cat claws hurting them through the bars of the cage. If one of the gliders ever happened to escape the cage, it wouldn’t have a chance. I’ve been in touch with a woman from a sugar glider group that has a couple of gliders and wants to add to her colony. She seems knowledgeable and willing to put in the time to acclimate the my boys to her others slowly. She’s coming later this month to meet the boys and take them if all goes well.

I hate rehoming pets. I believe in the home forever thing, but there have been times in my life where I have had to make the very difficult decision to find new homes for pets. Yeti, a shelter dog I adopted had to go when he wouldn’t stop biting my kids.

For a few months now I’ve been trying to make a decision about the gliders. They are so cute and soft, but I can’t really enjoy them. Living with the constant worry of them possibly escaping the cage or getting away from me when they are out isn’t fun. They don’t get out of their cage enough because of it. Quality of life for them living in a cage all the time isn’t great. Yes, I give them the best food, they have plenty of toys, and they definitely enjoy each others company, but their interaction with me is limited, and I feel that this other home where her only pets are gliders will be a better fit. Fingers crossed it all works out.

Kitties and Cali

#With the colder weather, Logan and Puck have been snuggling more. Usually, Puck finds himself a cozy spot, and Logan works her way in. Bean is a solo guy, I don’t really find him snuggling with the other cats or Cali.

Puck was happily enjoying his cozy spot until Logan moved in.

Eventually, he figured out that she wasn’t leaving, and he went back to napping.

My new Sundays food for Cali shipped, so I’m still waiting on that. Looking forward to seeing how she likes it and sharing my thoughts on it. They have been sending me emails, and I’m intrigued about it being a dehydrated food, and having a “jerky-like” texture. I think Cali might really enjoy that.  We’ll see!


Pets and wildlife

Cali isn’t much of a hunter!

Saw a Facebook post this weekend about a woman who was concerned her dog kept chasing and killing wildlife, chipmunks, bunnies, etc. Some people suggested muzzles. leashing, fencing, etc. I suggested a simple bell.  It gives the wildlife a bit of a warning so they have a fair chance to get away. I always encourage people with outdoor cats to make sure they have bells on their collars as well. Why not give the chipmunks a chance? 

If you are going to put a collar on your cat, indoor or outdoor, I highly recommend a break-a-way collar. I had a cat get stuck once, and it was scary. Thankfully, I was there to fix the problem right away.  My indoor cats don’t wear collars anymore. They are microchipped, so on the off chance they were to escape, they have that for ID, but my cats are all pretty afraid of the great outdoors, and we are careful to keep an eye on our doors.

Cali got a haircut this weekend, well I cut her hair. I love how she looks when her hair is longer, but with her itchy skin, it just isn’t good for her. Clipping her short allows me to keep a close eye on her skin, and also makes it easier for her weekly baths. I find oatmeal shampoo baths really help with her itchiness. I’ll see how the winter goes. I like letting her hair get a bit longer when it gets cold.