#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!
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.
The dragon is doing great. She seems to love her new terrarium set up and is making it her job to try and eat all the insects that are supposed to be keeping her tank clean. I’m guessing I’m going to be needing to add more bugs before they have a chance to reproduce! I did add some mealworms to the tank. We’ll see how they survive. It’s awesome to see how active she is nibbling plants, checking things out, digging, climbing, etc. I’m really happy for her.
Cali is not happy about her increased walk schedule and decreased treats, but she’s doing well. The lump is definitely just fat, so not a problem, just something to keep an eye on. She is slowly getting weaned off of Apoquel and doing well so far. I plan to take her in for another shot of Cytopoint at the end of the month, and we’ll see how it goes from there. Cali also had a bath and haircut last week, I miss her fuzz, but she seems happier to have some of that thick mess gone.
Hector is Hector. She is doing great. I was worried about her getting cold a couple of weeks ago when the house felt a little colder than normal. She usually hates having a cover on her cage, but with the cold, I wanted to insulate her a bit. She’s getting used to having her blankie on each night, and actually seems to like it. I just put a small fleece over the top 1/4 of her cage. It gives her some insulation, but doesn’t block her view. So far so good!
The kitties are all doing well. Logan’s blood work all came back within normal ranges, so she is scheduled to have her teeth cleaned and the broken tooth removed on Thursday. Bean is very excited about all the outside animal activity as the weather is warming up a little. He’s found a new spot to hang out and hunt.
The gliders are also doing well. I was getting a little bit worried about my little guy, Miney. He has been smaller than the others since I got them, but I started to worry that he might be losing a bit of weight. I reached out to a glider expert through a FaceBook group to get some advice. She recommended “Glider Crack” which is a high protein temporary diet to help add weight to a sick or needy glider. The problem is that my other three boys definitely don’t need extra food!
It has been a bit tricky getting him out alone, but I’ve been able to do it for the last few nights. I wait until it is close to the time I think they will wake up, about 9pm usually, and I disturb the pouch where they all sleep. I offer treats to the three other boys to encourage them to leave the pouch, and I make sure their food is all set up for them. Once I get the three big boys out of the way, I remove the pouch with Miney in it from the cage. I’ve been hand feeding him the special Glider Crack, and he loves it!
In case you were wondering what kind of deliciousness is in Glider Crack, it is canned chicken, avocado, scrambled egg, calcium supplement, and water, all blended together into a lovely green slime.
Miney seems to be doing well. Other than being a little thin, he seems totally fine and healthy. I’ve added more food bowls and separated things out more in the cage, so hopefully if he is getting chased from food, he will have a better chance to get at it now. I’ve hand fed him for the last 4 or 5 nights, so I plan to take a night off. I don’t want him to become totally dependent on hand feeding. I’ll offer him more Glider Crack tomorrow night, and obviously I’m keeping an eye on him.
I saw this product all over Amazon before the holidays. Sounded good to me, no rawhide, made with chicken. I should have known better. It’s made in China, and for some reason so many pet treats that come out of China seem to lead to problems.
Over the weekend, a friend of a friend shared a story of their 8 month old puppy who had these treats and ended up needing surgery because they blocked the puppy’s intestinal tract. I searched around online and found many similar stories. This is NOT a safe product.
Cali has had a couple of these, and they didn’t seem to cause her any problems, but I just don’t see a reason to take chances. This bag is headed for my trashcan.
Just a reminder to be careful what you buy for your pets.
A couple of weeks ago I got an offer to try The Farmer’s Dog food for free. As someone always interested in new pet products, I had to try it out. It meant signing up for a subscription to their food, but I could cancel right away.
I went to their website and filled out a form about Cali, type of dog, size, any allergies or health issues, etc. It was a pretty simple process and only took about 5 minutes.
Six days later a cooler arrived. The cooler was packed with bags of food, a container to store open food packs, and an insulated bag! Really cute packaging!
Since Cali is a little dog, one pack of food is sized for four meals. It’s easy to use. I just squeeze the food out of the middle of the pack, and cut along the middle. Then I can squeeze half the food out of one side and put it in her bowl.
Clearly the food smells delicious to Cali, as the first time I cut open a pack she started dancing around. There was no transition to this food for her, she just devoured it immediately. I have no doubt this is a high quality food. The ingredients look great. It seems that beef is their standard base. They also have turkey, pork, and chicken options. I wish they had a seafood or fish option. Cali’s vet recommended a fish based food for her, and that has seemed to help with her dry skin and itchiness. Maybe being on the Farmer’s Dog for a long period would help her skin issues without the fish?
I would definitely consider feeding this food all the time, but it is expensive for me at about $20 per week, and Cali is a small dog. I would pay a bit more for fresh food, but I currently spend about $12 for a bag of high quality dry food, and about $22 for a case of canned food. The bag of dry food lasts me over a month, and the case of canned food lasts me at least two months. So I’m paying roughly $23 a month to feed Cali, and Farmer’s Dog would cost me over $70 per month.
I do spend about $30 per month on allergy medication for Cali, so IF the Farmer’s Dog eliminated the need for her medication, then the price difference starts to make more sense, but it’s a gamble to risk taking her off of her medication that has been working well for years.
I saw on The Farmer’s Dog website that they have a recipe for homemade food, and they hope to be offering a vitamin supplement at some point that you could purchase and make your own fresh food. I’ll definitely be looking into that when it is available. For now, I’m using one bag of the fresh food at a time, and switching Cali between it and her regular food as a special meal until my trial packs run out. Love the idea, love the quality of this product, just can’t justify the cost to my pet budget right now. Has anyone else tried it?
Who buys holiday gifts for their pets? Do you buy gifts for all your pets? I have to be honest, I haven’t found a whole lot that excites Wena, my bearded dragon, so unless she needs something for her tank, she usually just gets some extra Horn Worms, her favorite treat, for the holidays.
The cats and the dog always get something, and Hector the bird, LOVES presents! She gets so excited. She even unwraps her own presents. It’s definitely part of the fun for her.
I found a new-to-me website called A Bird Toy, that had some unique toys. I like that they sell parts, and you can create your own toys, and reuse/refill them. Don’t tell Hector, but she is about to get their “hulk bolt” for Christmas. It is a stainless steel bolt that attaches to the side of her cage, and I can refill it with wood blocks, beads, leather pieces, cardboard squares, etc. Hector is often afraid of new things, so I like the idea of the solid base that I can refill with different parts. I’m hoping she might be less nervous about the refills once she gets used to it. I’ll post a review after I’ve had a chance to use it with Hector.
The cats got a giant (taller than me!) cat tree for Christmas last year that they love. This year, they don’t really need anything big, so I’ll probably pick up some plastic springs, furry mice, and maybe a new cardboard scratcher. What are you getting your cats?
I haven’t really decided what Cali will get for Christmas yet. She has so many toys already! She isn’t a destructive chewer, so her toys last forever. Maybe it’s time for a new sweater. Cali loves her clothes! She was so excited to dress up for Halloween! We actually had trouble getting her dress off of her at the end of the night.
I’m hoping to find time to put together a Pet Wish List before the holidays. What kinds of things would like to see on it? What kind of pets are your shopping for?
What do you do with your pets when you travel? For me, the dog goes to a friend’s house. The cats, parrot, and dragon stay home with daily visits from a pet sitter. I like to make things as simple and easy as possible for everyone that helps out with my pets.
For the dog, that means making feeding time as simple as possible. At home, Cali gets a spoonful of canned food mixed with some dry food. This works for the pet sitter, of course, but it’s a bit of a pain for her to have to keep canned food in the fridge, measure everything out, and mix it up. I started making mason jars with the food all set and she just had to put it in a bowl, but the jars had to be refrigerated because of the canned food, another hassle.
For my last two trips, I discovered Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties, and they are exactly what I needed. The patties are freeze-dried raw, and grain-free. At the advice of my vet, I don’t prefer a fully grain-free diet, but I feed a dry food that has grain along with these patties to balance it out. Since they are freeze-dried, they are shelf stable.
With the Stella & Chewy’s patties, I can make up mason jars, pre-measured for each meal. They don’t need to be refrigerated, and all my pet sitter has to do is add water, shake, and pour in a bowl. Super easy and convenient!
What do I like about this product? The convenience is definitely what brought me to this product, but I’m also really impressed with the quality. These dinner patties are offered in 13 different varieties. I chose the Surf ‘N Turf variety with Beef and Salmon. Cali has allergies, so I find that fish based foods help her with her itchiness. The ingredients in this food are impressive: the first ingredient is beef, and the second is whole ground salmon. Each bag contains 14 ounces which lasts me a LONG time with one 10 pound dog.
Recommended feeding is 3 1/2 patties per day for a dog Cali’s size, but I supplement with regular dry food. For this last trip, Cali was fed 1/2 of a patty, plus a handful of her regular Halo Salmon dry dog food per meal, two meals per day. Two weeks of travel meals and I still have almost half a bag of the Stella & Chewy’s left over. One bag is priced at about $29.99.
If you are interested in a convenient raw diet, or if you want to do what I do and supplement some raw foods, I definitely recommend this product.
Pros: Convenient, Easy to Use, Good Ingredients, Raw food, Versatile (can be used as is or rehydrated,) Liked by my picky eater, great variety of flavors
Cons: I don’t have any real complaints about this product. It is a bit pricey, but all high quality foods are. I don’t like that it is Grain-Free, but that is a Pro to others.
Good News and Bad news, first the good! It only took two mornings for Bean to learn that waking us up at 4 or 5AM was not good for anyone. We did a few different things, so I’m not exactly sure which one worked, or maybe it was the combination.
The first thing I did was to stop feeding the cats canned food in the morning. They have dry food available at all times. They didn’t need breakfast. They asked for it for the first couple of mornings, but then they seemed to forget. Now I’m giving them a big serving of wet food once a day instead of the two wet food meals. Easier for me, no morning expectations, and easier clean up.
The next thing I did was to mess with Bean more at night. I played with him, patted him, groomed him, basically made sure he got lots of attention, whether he wanted it or not!
Finally, I brought a squirt bottle to bed with me. I didn’t want to use it, but he had to learn that screaming at 4AM was not the right way to get our attention. The first morning he came in and howled, I told him “no” and he did it again, so I squirted him. I aimed for his butt, and I’m not even sure the water hit him, but it did startle him. He left and didn’t come back.
At bedtime, I made sure that a quiet Bean knew he was welcome in our bed. I cuddled him and gave him lots of pats. I didn’t want him to think we didn’t want him in there. The next morning, he howled, I squirted way behind him, and he darted out of the room. He hasn’t been back to howl early morning since!
The bad news? I spent most of yesterday cleaning up Diarrhea. I currently still have two area rugs outside drying, and I just brought a third back to its normal spot after being washed, fun day, NOT!
It was one thing when the three cats were having diarrhea, but when the dog also started, I was so confused. The cats don’t go outside, they all eat different food. The dog doesn’t get into plants or anything like that the cats might have gotten into. Finally, I posted the issue on Facebook, and someone suggested it might be the water bowl, brilliant! It’s the only thing all four of them share. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with our water, because everyone else in the house is fine, but maybe there was something funky with the pet fountain.
While I figured out the fountain, a call to the vet was in order, but with all the restrictions during this pandemic, my vet couldn’t see them for a week! I couldn’t live like this for a week, and I knew my pets would all be dehydrated. I got a little annoyed with the receptionist that she couldn’t get me in sooner. I told her I would find another vet and hung up. Before I got a chance to call my back up vet, she called back and asked if I would bring in a fecal sample. I explained that I did that last week and it was negative. She told me to bring in different poop. With all of the pets having the same problem, I didn’t think that bringing in another sample would yield a different result. I told her no thanks. She tried to schedule me for next week again. I hung up.
Then she called me back a third time. She had talked to the doctor, a friend of mine for the last 15+ years. He knows me and knows my animals. He agreed to try a medication for them while I waited to come in. I picked up the medication that night. After just one dose each, no more problems! Thank goodness! I was running out of cleaner and we all know how hard it can be to acquire cleaning supplies during this pandemic.
I changed to my spare water fountain and put in all clean filters. I don’t know what could have happened to the fountain, but it seems to be the only logical cause. The fountain went through the dishwasher, now I’m leaving it for a bit. I did buy some cheap, generic filters for the fountain, and I’m wondering if there is a chance there was a chemical or something bad in those filters. I bought a ton of them, but it isn’t worth the risk. I’ll be throwing them all away.
The cats got canned food again last night, they were so happy. After two days of medication, everyone still seems to be doing fine.
Everything seems so crazy in the world right now. While I’m certainly concerned about all that is going on, I’m also happy to focus on the good for a few moments, so let’s talk pets!
The Dragon is cranky. It’s Spring shedding time and although much of her as already shed, she’s still got a lot of shedding to do, her head especially, and that seems to drive her crazy. I did discover some new greens that she is REALLY excited about. It used to be that the only green she really ate consistently was Arugula. I’ve tried so many different types of greens and she wouldn’t touch them. When I grocery shopped a few days ago, the store was totally out of Arugula. I thought I would try something different and I bought some pea shoots and broccoli sprouts. She is devouring them! This morning she ate a big bowl of them, and I just brought her another handful of the pea sprouts and she is gobbling them all up. I may have to bring her another helping.
I’m happy to find greens that she will eat so well!
Cali is doing fine, but she’s itchy. Spring is not the best season for her, and I’ve had to spot treat her skin, and also give her extra baths. I made need to bring her to the vet for an extra allergy shot, but so far she is hanging in there with the baths and spot treatments as well as her regular Apoquel.
I did clip her recently, and the short haircut also seems to help with the allergies. I can give her a really good scrub when I bathe her, and it is easier to get the topical sprays on her skin.
Hector is getting so brave! She’s still walking all around the house, and chewing and cardboard that crosses her path. The last few days, she has also been attempting short flights! I did clip Hector’s wings not long after we got her. I had taken her to the vet for a check up, and the vet suggested I clip her as she adjusted to her new home. I haven’t clipped her wings since. I’d prefer not to clip her, but if she starts flying and crashing I may have to clip her again so that she doesn’t hurt herself.
Hector has started a new little routine. After dinner and clean up, the family usually heads into the living room to watch a movie. Hector follows us to the living room now. I sit on the floor, play fetch with Cali, and Hector struts around checking everything out. Occasionally she will push a cat toy around or nibble on a dog toy. When she’s had enough, she makes this awful whistle/scream sound and we know it is time to give her a ride back to her cage.
Last but not least are all the kitties. All are doing well. Puck and Bean have been venturing outside on leashes a little bit. I’m starting to think it isn’t a good idea as Puck has been sitting at the door meowing like he is asking to go out. I don’t want outdoor cats, or even indoor/outdoor cats. I know everyone has different feelings on it, but it just isn’t my thing. The only time I’ve had an outdoor cat was when I had a barn in Texas and I had a barn cat. I used to worry every time I went out that I wouldn’t find him. I know I wouldn’t sleep if I had an outdoor cat and it didn’t come home one night.
Since I’ve given up on trying to get the cats to use new kitty litter, I’ve gotten a couple of mats to try and help contain the spread of the litter at least. I’ll post a review of the new mats tomorrow.
I’m also giving Primal cat food a try. I’ll get a review of that posted soon as well.
The last few weeks have been crazy. Thanks to Covid-19, there isn’t much of anything on my schedule. I’m certainly not going anywhere, but somehow I’m keeping pretty busy. I started a garden, and I’ve been keeping a personal journal of all that is going on, so maybe that is why I haven’t been inspired to write here, but I’m back!
I can’t wait to see what kinds of new creatures I meet as the local wildlife discovers my new garden. I put an outdoor camera on the garden so if there are any visitors I can catch them in the act!
The other night we found a small, lovely poop in my son’s bedroom as we were all heading to bed. This wasn’t the first time. We had been blaming Cali the dog, but we had started keeping her downstairs to keep that from happening and it still happened. Must be a cat?!? Yikes. I really freak out about the cats not using their litter box. So of course, I couldn’t sleep. Midnight, 1AM, 2AM, I’m up, stressed, why is this happening?
About 3AM, I had a revelation! It was all my fault! I had been messing with the cat litter boxes trying to find a solution to our tracking problems. I rushed downstairs and cleaned the litter boxes and returned them to our regular clumping litter. That was a couple of nights ago, and the problem has definitely cleared up. I was really enjoying the paper pellet litter and the pine litter, but I guess the cats didn’t like it as much as I did. Time to figure out a new plan. I’m not sure I will be able to find a litter that doesn’t track around the house and isn’t pelleted, but I’ll be on the look out. Does anyone have a cat litter that they really like?
The bearded dragon is doing well. I’ve managed to keep her well fed with greens and bugs even though my shopping is limited these days. She’s fat, happy, and having a nice spring shed.
Hector is Hector, what can I say? She’s still taking over the house, strutting around with her beak in the air, chasing cats, and destroying any cardboard that she can find. She is definitely enjoying all the out of cage time with me being home so much. She actually mumbles at me when I close her cage during the day if I have to lock her up. I bought her some lovely freeze-dried chop from Texas Freeze Dried Naturals. She didn’t eat it very well last time I tried it, but this time I’m using it to stretch the fresh chop I make. I’m adding a bit of the freeze dried to her fresh food every day so that I can use less fresh, and she is actually eating all of it. Old birds CAN learn new tricks!
I bought a handheld steam cleaner a couple of weeks ago. I had heard they were useful for cleaning bird cages, but hadn’t bothered in the past. I saw one on sale for about $30 on Amazon and thought it was worth a try. It was great! If anyone is interested, I bought a Bissell Steam Shot. It comes with brushes for scrubbing, and it is simple to use. I rolled her cage out on the back porch and went to work one sunny day. It isn’t a miracle cleaner. I still had to do some scraping, but it definitely got the cage cleaner than it has been in a very long time. I’m also finding the steamer handy for cleaning showers and bathtubs, bonus!
Cali has been super annoying lately. I’m not sure if it is because we are home, if the weather is nicer, if her allergies are bugging her, if she is bored? She barks at every little noise. I’m trying a couple of different things with her and it seems to be helping. First of all, I’m trying mandatory walks every single day that the weather permits. I’m also keeping treats around the house and working on basic training again. She knows some tricks and I’m trying to teach her more. She seems to be doing a little better. I’m not sure if it is the discipline of the training or the exercise, but whatever it is, I’ll take it! I need to put a haircut for her on my schedule.
Puck’s urinary issues seem to have cleared up, but I’m still wary. I’ve got him on the prescription diet, but it is super expensive with three cats in the house. There isn’t really a good way to feed him alone, so all the cats are getting it. I’m switching between the prescription food and a couple of non-prescription urinary health foods. I found a Purina dry food that I realized is making one of the cats throw up! I won’t be buying that one anymore. Bean also throws up, hairballs are the issue. I’ve been using a paste I bought which seems to help, but he still has occasional problems.
I’ve been researching cat diets, and I feel like my best bet is going to be putting all the cats on a raw food diet. I thought about making it myself, but with everything in various stages of being open or not lately, I didn’t want to have to try to track down healthy, fresh raw meats. I’m also worried about making sure they get all the right nutrients.
My research led me to Primal brand raw foods. They seem to be well respected and easily available. I like the idea of a commercial food because I’m worried my homemade food won’t be nutritionally complete. My local pet store sells both freeze dried and frozen versions of Primal raw food, so I’ve ordered a couple of different types to try. Hopefully I can pick it up today or tomorrow. Puck seems to be allergic to any type of fish or seafood, so I’ll be trying turkey and pork varieties. I’m hoping the cats like it, and maybe it will help keep Puck stable and help with Bean’s hair balls. Primal is expensive, but now that I have to use prescription food, it is actually cheaper than that, so worth a try. I’ve been feeding the cats a bit of canned food twice per day, plus free choice dry, so my thought it to sub in one meal a day of raw food and see how it goes. Of course, I’ll update here!
Bean is getting so big! I’ll have to see if I can get an approximate weight on him. He is just about 9 months old now. I’m 99% sure he is now our largest pet! Cali weighs about 11lbs, and I’m pretty sure Bean is heavier than that now.
Let me know what you and your pets are up to. Stay well.