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.
Last night Puck was sleeping happily on the couch next to us. Logan decided to leave my lap and take over Puck’s spot. This is Puck wondering what the heck she’s thinking!
I’ve been wondering what the Dragon is thinking. Wena is still awake, and she’s a bit crazy. I’m not sure what is going on, but she is super active. She’s scratching at the glass of her tank, climbing everything. Basically knocking everything in her tank around every day lately. She’s never laid eggs since I’ve had her, but she could. I’ve added a dig box to her tank to see if that calms her down, but so far she doesn’t seem very interested in it.
This is the dig box. Just a small area with some safe soil for her her to dig in and lay eggs if she wants to. So far she has been climbing in and out of it, but that’s about it.
Friday, I took her out while I was working. Sometimes letting her sit on my shoulder settles her down, not this time! She was sitting on my shoulder and all of a sudden she leaped about 8 feet across the room! I was horrified! She’s never done anything like that before and I was really worried she was hurt. She got right up and looked at me like “What?” I watched her walk and she seemed fine, so I put her back in her tank to warm up.
She’s eating and pooping fine, just very active. She doesn’t seem to be shedding, which has made her crazy in the past.
As you can see in the background, she’s taken down all the foliage that usually hangs near the top of her tank. I’ve gotten tired of constantly fixing it, so now I fix it in the morning, she messes it up all day, and I fix it again the next morning.
The free fridge I got is working out great! So nice to have all the animal food separate so I can just grab them and feed. The little built in freezer isn’t the greatest, but it works. Unfortunately, there is one control for the temp of the fridge and freezer, so I’ve had to play with it to keep the freezer as cold as possible without freezing everything in the fridge part. I’m using the freezer for things like glider fruits and veggies I’m currently using, and using our other freezer for anything I need to store long term.
Glider food is still an experiment around here. I’ve been doing a lot of research, and it seems that there are many theories on how to properly feed them, but three basic diets that most glider people recommend. The first is the BML diet. It’s a modified version of a zoo diet. My boys were on this diet when I got them, but it is kind of a pain. It uses many ingredients, and they are all very specific and you aren’t supposed to substitute any of them. I have yet to be able to find Gerber Mixed Fruit Baby juice anywhere. Every place within a 20 minute drive has been sold out, and Amazon wants about $40 for 4 bottles of it. I’ve been making it and substituting a mix of Gerber Apple and Pear juices, not perfect, but not sure what else to do.
The next diet is a brand called Critter Love. They make a powdered formula that can just be mixed with water and fed. MUCH easier than the BML, but it also has very specific salads that you are supposed to serve with the liquid blend, and my boys don’t seem to really like the liquid all that much.
The next diet is pellet based, Pet-Pro brand Happy Glider pellets. I think this is going to be my choice of diets. The pellets come in about 6 different flavors, and the boys have been eating it pretty well for the last couple of days. The pellets get fed with one fruit or veggie per night. Once a week you substitute yogurt instead of a fresh food, and twice a month they get protein such as chicken or egg with the pellets. I like the simplicity of this diet, and not feeding a messy liquid is also a bonus.
This is a picture of my pellet experiment. I made a bowl with the same amount of pellets in each of the six different flavors to see which they ate the best. The first night, they ate most of the Honey Peach pellets (green bowl), and barely touched the fruity pellets in the red bowl. Blue bowl was the Chicken flavor and they ate that one pretty well too. My plan was to refill bowls and change locations of the bowls for a couple of nights to see if it was bowl location or flavors that they were actually preferring.
Last night was night #2 of my experiment. I forgot to get a picture, but basically the boys spilled all the bowls everywhere. There was no way to tell what they ate. So much for my experiment!
It might not be the most recommended thing, but since I have so many BML ingredients and a big pouch of Critter Love powder, I’m rotating between all three diets right now. It gives me a feel for what they eat and what is working for me. As I run out of ingredients, I’ll transition to the pellet diet fully.
The other experiment with the gliders is figuring out best cleaning practices. I started out using giant pieces of paper on the bottom of the cage like I do for Hector D. Byrd, but it was a bit smelly. I bought some custom made fleece cage liners from Tootles Original Suggie Shack on Facebook, and they are really nice! They definitely seem to help with the smell, and I have been easily going 3-4 days before I switch it out. They are also easy to wash, I shake them off outside and then wash them with my other fleece Suggie things, like their pouches. I’m still going back and forth on advantages of fleece over paper. It is nice to be able to change the paper and just throw it away, and I buy the big craft paper rolls for Hector any way. Unless… I wonder how a fleece cage liner would work for Hector? Then I would be creating a lot less waste without using a paper liner. I might have to experiment!
The gliders still don’t seem to like me much. I keep reading amazing stories about people who keep their gliders in the hoodie all day, or in a pocket. Mine definitely haven’t bonded to me yet, but I’m working on it. Many people recommend getting a bed tent to put on the floor and sit in it with the gliders. I haven’t wanted to spend the money yet, so I’ve been bringing them in the shower stall to let them climb around with me. They seem to be spending a bit more time with me when I do that. Patience is key here I’m sure.
A few of the pets had a nice nap together the other day. Today the house is chilly, so everyone has found their own spots to cuddle up. The gliders are all snuggled on top of each other as usual, Wena is under her basking light, and Hector is currently remodeling some cardboard boxes. Bean looks pretty cozy.
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?
Got a bird? If you do, you know they aren’t easy pets. They require a lot of attention, cleaning, play time, more cleaning, and feeding. I’ve owned birds off and on for as long as I can remember. I posted about my history with birds in the “Before Hector D. Byrd” post if you want to read more.
Every bird I’ve owned has taught me something. With Maverick, my amazon, I started to learn a lot about feeding parrots. I also came to the conclusion that I wasn’t happy with any commercially made parrot foods. I feed commercial parrot pellets, but mostly as a supplement. My birds have always had homemade food. It took Hector some time to get used to my food, but now she devours it. She anxiously waits by her bowl for her breakfast every morning. If breakfast doesn’t come fast enough, she whistles and bangs her bowl.
My feeding routine for Hector is that she always has a fresh bowl of pellets in her cage. I’m currently feeding her Zupreem Fruit Blend. Not only does she eat these pellets, and not just throw them, but she also likes to sort them. They pellets are different shapes and colors. Sometimes I’ll check her bowl and find there are only orange pellets left. Other times, she sorts out a different color. Food and entertainment, all in one bowl!
Just recently, I discovered Bird Street Bistro, and it seems to be the first food that can replace my homemade mix. I’m so excited! No more special shopping trip to get all the ingredients, and no more setting aside a couple of hours each month to mix up a batch.
Bird Street Bistro mixes are all natural, no added fillers or preservatives. They have about half a dozen different recipes to add variety to your birds diet. Prices are reasonable. When I first checked out their page, I was thinking their mixes were a bit pricey, but when I started to price out my own grocery list when I buy products to make my own recipe, I realized how reasonable their prices are.
I started with the Parrot Food Sample Pack. Knowing Hector isn’t a big fan of beans, I asked if I could swap out the Cajun Bean Feast flavor, and received their AppleBerry flavor instead. Different formulas need to cook for different amounts of time, but it seems that all can be done in about 20 minutes, and some take much less time.
Knowing that Hector LOVES cinnamon, CinnaSpice Delight was the first flavor I tried. Making this food could not have been any easier. I simply added water and some of the dry mix to a pot, brought it to a bowl, covered it, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. The whole house smelled so good while it was cooking! `The ingredients are wonderful, rice, millet, split peas, barley, couscous, currants, carrots, oats, barley, apples, etc. I love the different grains included in this mix.
After cooking, I let it cool to room temperature, then watched Hector devour it. Since Hector is already eating a similar, homemade version of this food, she had no trouble converting to it all all. I had some of my homemade food available, so I could mix the two foods if needed, but Hector was happy with the new food right away.
For birds that are converting from a different diet, they may need a little encouragement to eat a food like this. It took me MONTHS to get Hector to eat my homemade mash when I first started out with it. Patience is key with parrots. Don’t give up, be persistent, eventually they will give it a try. Don’t stress over wasted food. I always used to remind myself that the cost of vet bills for bad diet in the future would be WAY more than the cost of the food Hector was wasting. There are tips on the back of the bags to help get you started.
The next flavor I tried was the Southern Feast. My favorite part of this one is that it cooks in 3 minutes! Just add the mix to boiling water, stir for 30 seconds and remove from the heat and let sit. Hector also approves of this flavor. This one has couscous, wheat, millet, oats, carrots, peppers, quinoa, almonds parsley, cayenne pepper, basil, cumin, and kelp.
Mixing up one batch of Bird Street Bistro according to their directions gives me about a mason jar full of food, plus another meal. It works out well for me to make it, feed Hector, then store the mason jar of food in the fridge and I have fresh food for 4-5 days.
Instead of Hector having to eat the same batch of food for a month plus, now I can switch up flavors for her every time I make a batch, so she is getting a new flavor every few days. Bird Street Bistro comes in resealable bags, so I can make a batch, then I just put the rest of the dry mix into the freezer for storage. It’s so convenient! I also like that I have less stuff in my freezer since I don’t have a month’s worth of mason jars, I just have a bag of Bird Street Bistro, and the fresh mix in the fridge.
I will be trying the other flavors soon, and I expect that I will definitely be ordering more. With a product like this on the market, I see no reason to go through the time and hassle of making my own food.
The only negative I have about this product, is the veggie content. I feel that my homemade blends contain more veggies than Bird Street Bistro blends that I have tried so far, but it is hard to tell by looking. My homemade blends had bigger pieces of veggies for sure, but I’m wondering if Hector will actually eat more veggies with the new blend because she can’t pick them out. I’ve always supplemented Hector with fresh veggies on top of her homemade mix, so I will continue to do that while using Bird Street Bistro. I also need to check out their Viva La Veggies flavor and the Hearty Veggies. I have Viva La Veggies, but haven’t made it yet. I’ll also check out the Hearty Veggies next time I need to place an order. Based on the pictures on their website, it looks like both of these flavors have more veggies than the flavors I’ve made so far.
Another thought I had on the veggies was to add another product I use which is a chop from a company called Texas Natural Freeze Dried Products. They make a variety of freeze dried foods for parrots and humans. I like to keep some of their Freeze Dried Chop on hand for a quick breakfast for Hector if I forget to make or defrost her normal food. Their chop is a great product that contains a ton of veggies: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet peppers, yellow squash, red cabbage, apples, and strawberries. I can easily add a bit of this freeze dried mix to the Bird Street Bistro if I want to add some extra veggies to the mix.
I’m really excited about Bird Street Bistro foods. In the long run, it will save me time and money. I’m impressed with the high quality ingredients and the ease of use. I like the convenience of making up a batch that lasts a few days. I like the variety of grains in the product which not only help balance the birds diet, but also give it different shapes and textures to pick out of the food. Something I know Hector enjoys.
I know a lot of people think of birds and think they eat seeds. In the research I’ve done, I’ve grown to believe that seeds are not a healthy diet for captive birds. They are too high in fat and can cause liver disease and other problems later in life. Hector doesn’t eat seeds. She does get sunflower seeds as a very rare treat, but never as part of her regular diet. Mostly for treats she gets almonds(in the shell), cucumber slices, sometimes a whole grain, unsalted cracker with a little bit of almond butter, carrots, peppers, etc.
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.
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!
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.
Hector and I have a new routine lately. After I’ve fed everyone and opened Hector’s cage, I settle in at my desk. Hector used to be content to hang out on her cage, chew up some cardboard, and eat her breakfast. The last few days, after she finishes her breakfast, Hector comes to visit me.
She struts across the floor, squaking at the dog and cats and she makes her way. Yesterday morning, I happened to have a pet puzzle on the floor near me. I had been planning to put some treats in it for the cats, but Hector had her own ideas.
She showed me how she could easily open the little doors, so I put a couple of almonds in it and let her get to work. It didn’t take her any time at all to open the doors with the handles. She quickly pulled the cones off the puzzle and got the treats underneath. The only one she had any trouble with was the little sliding doors with the dog bones on them. I had to take it away from her at that point, because she was trying to chew the plastic and I didn’t want her to ruin the puzzle.
I told her to “Go Home” and she strutted by Bean and went back to her cage.
Teaching her to “go home” has been really handy. She actually does it most of the time, which for Hector is pretty good! Like a stubborn toddler, Hector listens when Hector wants to listen. She knows she gets a treat when she goes back to her cage, so she does it most of the time.
This morning when she walked over to visit me, I scooped her up and gave her a bath. A lot of birds like bath time, but Hector does not. She tolerated the bath, but got very quiet and refused to come out of her cage for a while after. Sorry bird, you needed that bath! I’ll be curious to see if she walks over to me again tomorrow morning, or if she decides to stay at her cage so she doesn’t have to have another bath.