First of all, I miss this blog! Not sure why I’ have gotten out of the writing habit, but hoping to get back to it regularly!
I just heard about a new dehydrated dog food called Sundays Food. Looks like a premium food, no fillers. I got a discount code to try it out, so I’ll check it out and post a review. Cali is doing pretty well with her Cytopoint injections, but maybe a healthier food option will also help. Let me know if you’ve tried it.
Not exactly pet related, but sort of… I got a new tattoo. I had a vision of some kind of tattoo that could incorporate a bunch of my present and former pets. I had the idea of a footprint path, and my amazing tattoo artist, Benjamin Jeness at Summer’s End Studios, helped bring my idea to life.
From my ankle heading down, there are parrot claws, 4 sugar glider feet, then two each of rabbit, turtle, lizard, rat, chinchilla, ferret, cat, and dog. We simply had to include 4 glider feet since their fronts and backs are so different. I love the way it came out! I really wanted a horseshoe or two in there, but it just didn’t work out design-wise. Maybe I’ll find a way to add one another time. They are good luck!
This handsome boy is Marty. While I consider him part of our family, he is not my kitten, he is my son’s. He is living at college and loving life. Marty is keeping my son company, helping to relieve college stress, and even providing lessons on responsibility. Marty will join our crew when my son is home on breaks. Looking forward to getting to know him better.
Marty loves to go for walks on his leash, and loves meeting new people. He expects everyone he meets to pat him!
In general all the pet-family is doing well. I’ll post more detailed updates soon, and of course a review of that Sundays Food when Cali gets a chance to test it.
My cats have been playing with the Laser Tail Toy from PetSafe for a few months now, and they love it! I’ve used many PetSafe products over the years; toys, leashes, water fountains, and I find them generally to be good quality and fair prices. This laser toy certainly fits in that category.
The toy is roughly 7″ long and 5.5″ wide. It’s small enough to easily carry around in one hand. The device is very sturdy and can handle the cats pushing it, leaping on it, and even knocking it down the stairs. It has also been fine when I’ve forgotten about it and accidentally stepped on it, whoops!
The unit takes three double A batteries, and honestly they seem to last forever. As you can see above, it has three wheels that move the unit around on the floor. I have used it on linoleum, floor tiles, short carpet, and wood floors, and it seems to work well on all of them. It is able to move more quickly and freely on non-carpeted surfaces, of course, but it does work just fine on short carpet.
So what exactly does this toy do? It projects a laser on the floor. It’s simple and pretty awesome. For whatever reason, cats seem to love chasing laser beams. While it can be very enjoyable for humans to tease a cat with a handheld laser, this toy entertains your cat when you can’t, or when you just want to watch.
See that white circle above? That’s the power switch. Push it on, or push it off. It’s that simple. When it’s powered on, the toy turns on the laser, which projects onto the floor in front of it, and it moves. The toy moves backwards, forwards, left, right, and circles. It moves, stops, and moves again. It knows when it has bumped into something, and it changes direction. It will also turn itself off after a short period of time, so you could turn it on when you need to go out, and leave it to entertain your cats while you escape.
I keep this toy in the kitchen, for those times when the cats get pesty and need my attention, but I need to get something done. I hit the button on the bottom, and the cats are immediately off the counters, out of my way, and interested in what the toy is doing. Sometimes they just sit and watch it, other times they aggressively chase it, bat at it, and sometimes even knock it around.
Bean enjoys watching the laser. I’m not sure he really knows what to make of it. Sometimes he acts as if he is scared of it, but other times he enjoys chasing it. Most of the time, it’s a combination of watching and chasing.
Even though Bean is just a baby at barely a year old, he is still super lazy. A few minutes of play time, and he is ready for another nap!
Summary: I would definitely recommend this product for anyone looking to entertain their younger, more playful cats. My older cat, Logan, isn’t very playful anymore, and she doesn’t have any interest in this toy, but both of my younger boys enjoy playing with it. I do enjoy toys such as feathers on a stick and things like that which allow me to interact with the cats more, but this is a really handy thing to have when the cats need to play and I need to get something done. It’s sturdy, well designed, and long-lasting. I think it would be really fun to add a “tail” or other attachment to dangle off the back, but that might just get tangled up in the wheels. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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.
No doubt Bean is sweet, loving, cuddly, etc. BUT he has been harassing us at 5AM every morning! I’ve never had a cat like this. As soon as the sun comes up (I think) he comes into our bedroom and howls. He quiets for a few minutes if you pat him, but starts right up again if you stop. When we lock him out of the bedroom, he just howls out there.
I’ve been having enough trouble sleeping lately, the last thing I need is the cat howling at dawn. I’m really not sure what to do. I feel like we may have to resort to locking him up away from the bedrooms for a couple of nights to see if that breaks the habit. Anyone have a loud kitty? This is going to be a challenge!
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.
The weather has been crazy, sunny and spring-like one day, cold, windy, rainy the next. We’ve been taking advantage of any and all sunny days to open up the house and get some fresh air in. The kitties love to hang out near the screens, sniff the fresh air, and occasionally keep an eye on a chipmunk or two.
On the colder days, they all like to find a cozy spot to snuggle up.
I’m still experimenting with litter boxes, and now with cat litter as well. The Breeze Box is working out well for me as my extra/upstairs box. the litter doesn’t track, and it doesn’t smell. The two most important things to me. I still don’t think that box would work out for me if I only used Breeze boxes, but maybe it would. If I see them on sale again, I might buy another to try downstairs with my other boxes.
I keep three boxes downstairs, and all three were traditional tray boxes with clumping litter. As Bean is getting bigger, I was finding litter everywhere. Not only in the large trays I keep under the boxes, but spread into the carpet in the hall, up the stairs, just everywhere. If I didn’t vacuum every day, the hall was turning into a sandbox. My first experiment was to try a paper pellet litter. The litter I chose is: Purina Yesterday’s News Non Clumping Paper Cat Litter, Unscented Low Tracking Cat Litter.
The key to me was the “low tracking” part. It has been ages since I’ve used a non-clumping litter, but it was worth a try. I’m using the paper litter in just one of the three boxes. I didn’t want to overwhelm the cats. They started using it right away, but like the upstairs box, they are only using the new litter to urinate.
So far, I really like this litter. It is definitely not tracking. Once every couple of days I find a pellet or two on the carpet, but other than that these pellets mostly stay in the box. I bought a new litter scoop: and it is working out well. I’m finding the non-clumping litter to be much easier to deal with than I had imagined. Every day I run the scoop through it, pick up any chunks, and that’s it. About every ten days, I dump the entire box, wipe it out, and refill it, super easy. The new scoop is also working really well for my clumping litter. It has bigger holes, so I don’t have to scoop and shake, shake, shake. I just scoop, wait a second, and the clumps are ready to be dumped.
My only hesitation with this new litter is that the cats aren’t using it to poop. I’m trying to decide if I should switch another box to this paper litter, or maybe try another kind of litter in one of the other boxes, maybe a pine litter.
I definitely think that the pelleted litters are less tracking for us, and although I’m kind of shocked about it, I also think I want to move to a non-clumping litter. The way my boxes are set up, it is super easy to dump them every ten days or so, and it makes daily cleaning easier. I guess I’ll have to see how my litter costs are and if it is much more expensive to dump the whole box so often.
I definitely don’t love it when the pets beg, but when we eat in front of TV and Puck gets up on his hind legs like this, it is just too cute!
My other cat issue is that one of them has been throwing up hairballs pretty regularly. I think it’s Bean, but I’m not 100% sure. I’ve tried home remedies, like coconut oil, but haven’t had any luck. Last week, I tried a commercial product and it seems to be helping. Funny thing is that Bean is the only one who will eat it. I’m trying to brush him more, and using the hair ball remedy as well. Hopefully that will fix that problem.
Hector is quiet this morning, the Dragon is sunning herself. I should take advantage of the quiet house and get some work done. I’m putting together info on pet water fountains, and will have that posted soon. I seem to always be experimenting with new pet products to solve different problems. What are you experimenting with these days?
With many all over the world home more now, what are you doing to combat boredom for yourself, and your pets? Our dog is definitely getting walked more often. She’s also enjoying more time on her own in the yard when the weather is nice. Yesterday she went out and sprawled out on the deck in the sunshine.
Cali got a hair cut and bath a couple of days ago. She’s looking better, but I still need to even up her face a little bit and get those stray hairs away from her eyes. I hate when she has hair over her eyes.
The dragon is getting more out of cage time. Sometimes she sits on my shoulder while I’m working. It hasn’t been warm enough to take her outside for some sunshine yet, but hopefully soon. Unfortunately, floor time is tough for her with three cats in the house. I did bring her upstairs with me when I folded laundry yesterday. I was able to let her run around a bit in the closed laundry room, cat-free! Well, not quite cat-free, I kept seeing paws appear under the door.
Hector D. Byrd is having a great time! I open her cage when I get up in the morning, and it is only closed for short periods of time when I have to go upstairs or outside. Yesterday while I was on my computer she climbed down to the floor and started running around (she doesn’t fly) and laughing. The second I would turn to look at her, she would freeze and look at me.
A couple of nights ago, Hector joined us for family game night. She likes to be part of things. Another thing she likes to take part in is family dinner. We have been having family dinners pretty much every night since we are all home together now. Our dinner table is just a couple of feet from Hector’s cage, and she loves when we have dinner at the table. Since birds are social creatures, they love to eat with their flock. Hector will usually go eat something when we have food. She always has pellets in her cage, and depending on what we are eating for dinner, I will save her some veggies, or potatoes or very occasionally a baked french fry. Last night while we were eating, Hector was chirping and whistling and hanging out. My son left dinner a little early for an online meeting, and after he left Hector got down from her cage and walked over to me. I picked her up, put her on the back of my son’s chair, and she hung out with us and ate a fry. She was so happy! Our daughter was less happy. She is not a fan of birds!
The cats have been bringing their toys all over the house, Bean loves to chase anything that makes noise, ping pong balls, bell balls, and especially a toy mouse that makes a weird electronic chirping noise. That last one wakes up the entire house when he decides to play with it in the middle of the night! We have been trying to teach Bean to play Fetch, Puck plays, but Bean just grabs the toy and takes off with it. He can’t seem to figure out the bringing it back part.
I’m trying to come up with new ways for the cats, and especially Bean, the kitten, to amuse themselves. I’ve seen some interesting cat feeders lately where the cat has to do something to get the food out of the feeder. I found a brand called Catit that has some really interesting looking feeders. I’m hoping they will send me a unit or two to review. I’ll keep you posted.
Speaking of the cats, Puck seems to be doing well. He is acting normally and not spending extra time in the litter box. I’m feeding them canned food formulated for urinary health twice per day, and they also have dry food that is for urinary health now. I’m glad the little guy seems to be getting some relief. He is such a sweet kitty!
Is there any cat owner that doesn’t hate the litter box? With three cats and four litter boxes, it has been a battle lately. The Breeze box I have upstairs is OK. I made the mistake of buying some Amazon pads instead of the Breeze brand ones, and they don’t contain the smell nearly as well. I will use them up to not waste them, but I have to change them twice as often as the Breeze ones. I’ll be happy when I run out!
My other three litter boxes are just regular boxes with clumping litter. I don’t know what is going on with them lately, but there is so much cat litter on the floor! The cats are tracking it everywhere. I’m thinking of switching to pine litter to see if the bigger chunks spread around less. Either that or I need to find a new kind of box. Something has to change because I’m finding myself vacuuming almost every day to deal with all the litter.
Stay safe everyone. Enjoy the extra time with your pets, and let me know what you are doing to keep them and yourselves entertained.
Bean has been checking his crystal ball, but no news on when the Corona virus will clear up. We all hope everyone is staying safe and well. On a positive note, I’m hoping the extra time at home will give me more time to update this blog. Let me know if there is a topic you would like covered.
Before I get into an update on my own creature friends, just a note to spread the word that reliable sources say pets can not carry Corona virus. I’m seeing to many stories about pets being dumped at shelters because people are scared. Keep your pets close and let’s get through this together.
Hector is a bit tired of having people around all the time. While she likes attention and activity, she is a little upset that her routine has been messed with. She is dealing with our later breakfast time, but she would definitely like some more quiet time. I’m often finding her with her head curled up trying to nap on top of her cage.
Wena, the bearded dragon, is doing well. She’s been shedding like crazy and eating a ton. Thankfully I can still get live insect shipments delivered for her. Her body has mostly shed, but her head, back legs, and tail still need to go, lots of baths for her.
Bean isn’t always nice to Logan, but Logan can also be the cranky old lady. I do still catch Bean chasing her at times, but the other day I caught the two of them snuggling. Logan didn’t seem to mind Bean using her as a pillow. Nice to see them getting along!
Cali and Bean love to greet me when I come in the house even if I’ve only been gone a few minutes to grab the mail or put out the trash. Both are VERY happy to have people around all the time.
Our sweet boy Puck isn’t doing very well right now. I feel so bad for him. He still seems to be suffering the effects of the cystitis he was diagnosed with a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it is my fault. I’ve been trying some non-prescription urinary health cat foods, but not the prescription one, after yesterday when I had to call the vet again, I’ve got him on the prescription diet, and now he is also on pain killers again.
The problem is that we have three cats in the house, and the prescription food is super expensive. One tiny little 3oz can costs about $1.50. The other problem is that Puck doesn’t love canned food. He will eat a bit, then leave. This morning I mixed his canned food with a little extra water, and he actually seemed to really like that, and the extra water is supposed to be good for him. I invested in the prescription dry food as well, but it really isn’t sustainable to keep all three cats on this prescription food. The dry food is $40 for a 7lb bag, vs. about $20 for the 7 pound bags I used to buy.
This morning, Puck got his special prescription canned food, and the other two cats split a big can of the non-prescription urinary health food. Puck seemed to eat as much as he wanted before he left. Someone suggested a chip-reading feeder. I’m thinking about trying one, and setting it up so that Bean and Logan could eat from it, but not Puck, and then I can try to keep Puck eating only his prescription canned food. Of course the chip-reading feeders are also pretty expensive. Maybe I can find a couple of them to review and check out.
If anyone has any other ideas on keeping Puck healthy without spending quite so much on prescription cat food, I’d love any new ideas.
Parrots are fun and pretty and smart! Yes, all of the above, and they are also characters! But the truth is parrots are high maintenance and super messy!
I’m trying to get some work done this morning, and Hector strolls over by my desk. “Wanna come up?” she says, but when I try to pick her up she poops, runs off, and laughs!
The kitties had been playing with a toy, but Hector strolled over and took over. She was enjoying watching the ball go around the track, but when the kitties stopped playing with it because she showed up, she lost interest.
Hector moved on…
She decided to remodel the cat perch I made, with a little help from Bean. I had to redirect her back to her cage with an almond bribe. All is quiet for the moment, other than the crunch, crunch of the almond. Maybe I can get some work done!