Bean and Cali went to the vet today. Bean for his annual check up. He’s all good, weighed in at his almost 16 lbs, and got his rabies shot.
Cali got her Cytopoint injection to help with her itchiness.
Mostly we talked about Logan. We’ve decided to try her on medication to try and help her anxiety. I don’t love the idea of medicating, but I hate the idea of having our couch peed on all the time even more.
We’ll start her on meds next week after my weekend trip when I’m home to monitor her for a while. Fingers crossed it helps!
Anyone else have cats with litter box issues? How did you solve it? Leave a comment.
My new CatLink Pro arrived yesterday. First impression? It’s BIG! The footprint is probably only 6″ bigger than a “regular” litter box, but it’s tall. Set up was a little finicky. We had to play with it a little to get it on our Wifi, but it wasn’t that bad. I read that any type of clumping litter works in it, but I don’t think the OXO Cat litter that I prefer is going to work out. It seems a little too light weight. The box is supposed to say when the litter is full, but ours kept saying it needed more litter. Eventually I realized I had over filled it, had to empty out some litter, reset it, and eventually we got it set up properly. I think a clay-based scooping litter will work better, and I plan to try that.
It has only been set up for one night. So far the cats haven’t used it. Bean is curious and stuck his head in, but that’s about it so far. I may spray a little catnip spray in there to encourage them. I’ll keep you all posted.
In other news, I’ve been using Pretty Litter for about a month. It definitely different than the traditional clumping litters I have been using.
I like how lightweight it is. Easy to fill and dump the box.
I’m not sure how well the “health monitoring” really works. My litter was just brown/yellow all month, so I guess that means regular healthy cats which is great. I don’t think my cats have any health problems, and nothing showed up with the litter, so I can’t tell you how well the health monitoring works or not, but I like the idea of it.
The cats took to it right away. We went from OXO Cat wood clumping litter to the Pretty Litter in one box. The cats had no hesitation in using it at all. They actually seemed to prefer it. I’ve got two boxes upstairs and tried the Pretty Litter in one box. While they continued to use both boxes, the Pretty Litter box definitely had more frequent visits.
As far as tracking, I do think it tracks less than regular litter, but I think part of that is because it is such tiny grains so it isn’t as noticeable. It did track some for me, but definitely less than my regular clumping litter. There was a little worry about my wood floors. The tiny grains of litter feel really gritty, and I’m not sure if they would actually scratch the floor or not, but I was careful to sweep it up and not find out.
Odor control is good. It dries out the poop quickly so the smell doesn’t last. I definitely noticed when the litter box needed to be changed. Urine should get mixed in when you scoop the poop. Those urine spots dry out when they are mixed in with the litter again.
Pretty Litter lasts like they say it does. I have to say that I was impressed the litter went a full month before I felt like I had to change it. I was using it in one of my four boxes, so I wasn’t sure how long it would last. There wasn’t any doubt when it was time to change the litter box. The Pretty Litter was no longer white, it was yellow, and it started to smell. The urine spots no longer mixed in and they started sticking to the bottom of the box.
Positives – it definitely makes the box easier to clean than regular clumping litter. I only had to scoop the poop, and the litter is small, so I didn’t have to shake out the litter scoop forever. I can honestly say it probably took me less than half the time to clean this box versus regular clumping litter. Other positives, good odor control, less tracking, easy to maintain the box. Another positive is that the cats took to it right away. No transition stress. It’s also lightweight and easy to refill and dump the litter box.
Negatives – it’s gritty. I worry about it scratching wood floors. And my only other negative was the price. Two cats the cost is $44 per month. You can’t buy it on Amazon, and it seems like the only way to buy it is with a recurring subscription.
My take? Overall I like it. If I only had one or two cats, I’d probably keep using it. For me with four cats it isn’t economical. I do have a couple of bags left, so I’ll keep using it in one box, but I can’t use it in my new automatic box because it doesn’t clump. Anyone else tried it? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know.
I finally found a pet fountain that I LOVE! Review soon…
I love my kitties, but I definitely hate litter boxes. With four cats in the house, the little box seems like a constant struggle. I’ve been using cement mixing trays from the hardware store for two of my boxes. I like that they are big, cheap, and relatively easy to scoop because there are no hard edges in the box, the sides slope in.
Currently, I have two, double-sized (cement mixing trays) litter boxes downstairs, and one covered box upstairs. It had been working out pretty well for a while, but lately things have been messy. I have litter mats in front of all the boxes to help with tracking, but lately the cats have been using the mats as boxes. First there were random poops on the mats, now it has been getting more regular and I can’t stand it. I also found urine on the mats recently which is definitely NOT OK.
It seems I have to keep two litter boxes upstairs. I’m not happy about it, but I’ve just ordered another box to go there. I have a standard, front open box up there now, and I’m going to add a Petmate Booda box which is supposed to help with tracking. I’ll review it in a couple of weeks when I’ve had a chance to check it out.
For the downstairs boxes, I ordered another regular, front open, covered box. I’m hoping I can fit it in the space I have with the two cement mixing tray litter boxes.
I’m still happy with the OXO Cat regular litter I’ve been using. I go through a lot of scoopable litter, and I find this one does well controlling odors, scoops pretty easily, and while I don’t think I’ll ever find a little that doesn’t track at all, this one doesn’t spread around quite as badly as others I’ve used.
I made a trip to PetCo today to look at litter boxes to see if I was missing anything, but came home to shop on Amazon. I just can’t beat the selection and pricing on Amazon. While I was searching for boxes, I came across a system to sift litter. It’s separate from the litter box, so it works with any scoopable litter and any box. It’s a container with a sifting top, so litter is poured from the box into the sifter, chunks caught in the sifter get dumped in the trash, and the clean litter that ends up in the bottom just gets poured back in the box. I hadn’t seen a system quite like it before, so I bought one to try and I’ll post a review. It’s called the SiftEase Litter Cleaner. I’ll post a review in the next couple of weeks. Has anyone tried this sifter or anything like it? Let me know! I’ve tried sifting litter boxes and had some luck with them, so I’m thinking that I might like this. I’ll let you know!
Someday I dream of a house full of self cleaning litter boxes, but I always see mixed reviews of them, even the fancy LitterRobots. I just saw a company called CatLink that has some interesting looking boxes and water fountains. I’d love to get one of their boxes to review. Has anyone here tried this brand?
Labor Day weekend is coming here in the US, a sign of the end of summer for a lot of us. The weather here is already cooling off, but it did mean we got to take Cali for a nice hike the other day. She even went for a little swim!
Bean and Puck have been super busy lately. Not sure if they are sensing a change in the weather or what, but there is lots of running, climbing, pouncing, and wrestling. Bean has become obsessed with watching hockey. We worry he is going to take down the TV one of these days!
The other pets are doing well. Cali had her spring Cytopoint injection last week, and is feeling so much better! The Dragon is eating everything in sight!
Hector is doing great. She’s been very vocal lately and often whistles back and forth with me in the afternoon. Sometimes it is distracting trying to get work done, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
Clipping Hector’s nails shouldn’t be that big of a deal. She’s really good about being held in a towel. I don’t have to trim her nails all that often as she does wear them down on her different perch surfaces, but it has been time to cut them for a couple of weeks. I’ve been putting it off because I need help. I can towel her, but I need a second person to actually clip her nails. We had some time this weekend, so I convinced the husband to help me.
Everything was going well. We got the first foot done in no time. Hector was calm, even making her cute little psss, psss, psss sound, like she is whispering a secret. We got to the second foot and Hector was curling it up tight, so we had to separate out her toes. Second to last nail accidentally got cut too short, ugh. It wasn’t too bad, so we clipped the last nail, and I got some cornstarch.
It seemed like the bleeding was stopping, so I kept holding her and talking to her, I started rubbing her head. Well, silly me, she had a bunch of new pin feathers coming in, and I guess I rubbed one the wrong way, now her head was bleeding!
Thankfully, I’ve read that the best way to stop a pin feather from bleeding is simply to pull it out, and this was a super tiny feather on her head. I was able to grab it with tweezers and pull it out and the bleeding stopped immediately. One problem solved!
Of course during all that, her short nail started bleeding again. Every time I thought I had it stopped, Hector would decide she was done being held, she’d try to get away, and the nail would start bleeding again.
My husband went to look for a Styptic pencil, but we couldn’t find it anywhere so he headed to the drugstore. I’m busy trying to keep poor Hector calm. I brought her outside because she loves to hear the outdoor birds, and that worked for a few minutes. As long as she was still, the nail was fine, but as soon as she struggled it started bleeding again.
Drugstore number one didn’t seem to know what a Styptic pencil was! Off to store number two!
I had the idea of making a cornstarch paste with some water and kind of encasing her nail in the paste. It seemed to be working. By the time Dave headed towards the second store, the bleeding had been stopped for awhile and I was feeling better about not having to rush to the emergency vet. I didn’t want to take a chance on putting her back in her cage and messing with her toe until the Styptic pencil was in sight. I continued to hold her, offered her some water, took her outside again as a distraction.
She seemed to be doing well, so I finally put a towel in the kitchen sink and let her stand on her foot. Success! No more bleeding. I offered some of her favorite snacks while she was hanging out in the sink, but she wasn’t interested in any of them.
Hector was NOT happy about being in the sink. After a few minutes, I didn’t want to stress her out anymore, so I put her back on her cage. She was pissed at me, and made some of her nasty loud coach-whistle sounds, but she seemed OK. I checked on her constantly over the course of the afternoon, and by dinner time she seemed totally over it. She was holding up that one foot at first, I’m sure that nail was a little sore, so she got lots of extra nuts and even two banana chunks to distract her. Today she is acting totally normally, other than not wanting me to pick her up, I can’t say I blame her.
Although I can trim Hector’s nails at home, next time I’ll leave it to her vet. Birds are so delicate, and we were very lucky yesterday. I’m thankful that I’m not a panicky kind of person so I was able to stay calm and take care of her, but next time I’m going to trust in the professionals so if anything does happen, she is already in the right place to get help. It’s also a good idea to take her to the vet for regular check ups, so I can just do both at once.
We also have a brand new Styptic pencil in the medicine cabinet that will hopefully be handy and easy to find nice time we need it!
This is Bean in a holiday sweater. It has nothing to do with this post.
For someone who spent years having pets without ever using a pet fountain, I feel like I’ve become a little bit obsessed. This new one is my third. My other two still work fine, but I actually lost a part for my ceramic one recently.
Pet Safe’s website had the part for me. I had to buy it as part of a kit for $6, then I would have had to pay $5.74 to ship it. I hate that. So I went to Amazon to see if they had the part. They didn’t, but I did find a stainless steel fountain for $29.99. I’ve been wanting a stainless fountain for awhile. It’s supposed to be much easier to clean, but they are usually pretty expensive. So instead of paying $11.74 for the part, I just bought the Stainless fountain.
I found this fountain happened to be on sale. Today the price is back up to $45.99, so I’m happy I didn’t wait and I just bought it when I did.
It’s a super simple setup. I literally didn’t need any directions. Very few parts in the box. You get the bottom dish, the filter/motor, and a top cover.
You put the filter on the marks inside the bowl and it suction cups to the bottom. There are two different spouts for it. One makes a small arch of water aimed up, and the other just spills the water into the top.
This is the underside of the top piece. The little plastic area to the right opens and you insert a filter. The white spout on the left side of the picture goes into the bowl over the filter and locks in to suck the water up into the top.
This is the top piece. The white plastic slit on the right is the top of the filter. The water circulates from the fountain, the white nozzle on the left, and gets filtered as it falls back into the bowl through the filter on the right.
Pros, it’s super simple design that is easy to clean. I love that it is stainless and just washes right out. The filter is one piece, easy to swap out as needed. They say it only needs to be replaced every couple of months.
I am using the fountain nozzle, but I like that there is another option. If you have a timid cat, using the nozzle that doesn’t spray the water up might be more appealing to them.
Another Pro is that the majority of the water stays in a covered bowl. Less chance of junk getting into the water, and a better chance of the water staying clean. The basin is a little shallow, but it does seem to stay cleaner that way.
After using this for over a week now, the biggest con to me is that I’m not sure when it needs to be filled. Yes, the pump shuts off automatically when the water level gets too low, but with my other pet fountains I could see into the bowl so I knew when the water needed to be refilled. This one I have just been refilling every couple of days. With three cats and a small dog, every other day is about right for us.
Puck had no fear and checked it out immediately.
It didn’t take long for Bean to come over and check it out himself.
I’m really happy to have a stainless fountain to use. I’m not a big fan of plastic fountains and wouldn’t get another just because of how hard they are to clean. If you are looking for a fountain, this one works out great and is reasonably priced, especially if you can find it on sale!
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.
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?
There are days when I get super busy and feel bad for my pets that maybe they haven’t had enough attention that day, or a long enough walk, etc. For the most part, I think my pets are pretty spoiled, but there can be a day here and there when I’m busy. Right now, I’m thankful to have a houseful of pets! I have to say with all the crazy going on in the world, I’m so super thankful for each and every one of them.
Taking care of all my pets brings me joy. I don’t see it as work or a chore, I love cleaning their cages, brushing and feeding them, making them comfortable. Having the routine of animal care has been super helpful to me in this time of no routines.
The pets are also amazing for stress relief. When I find something is getting to me, I take a deep breath and snuggle a kitty, or take the dog for a walk.
There have been so many stories in the news lately about shelters emptying as people are stepping up to foster and adopt. Not only am I happy for the animals that get to start a new chapter in their lives, but I’m happy for the humans that are adding animal companions, living stress relievers to their lives.
Cali is probably the least stress relieving pet these days, but we love her like crazy. She’s always been a bit anxious and nervous, and she knows our routine is off. While she is enjoying more walks and extra snuggles, she’s also barking more and being a bit extra nervous and jealous of the other pets. She had a nice bath yesterday, and within the next day or two, she’ll be getting a home hair cut! I miss seeing her eyes! I’ll post another picture of her once I get her all clipped.
I’m happy to report that Puck seems to be doing much better! He seems comfortable again and isn’t spending all his time in the litter box. I’ve got him on the prescription diet, and I’m trying to get as much water into him as possible. I’m feeding him canned food twice a day, and even adding some water to the canned food. I don’t want to take away his dry food totally, because I feel that will cause him more stress, but I’m definitely encouraging him to eat more canned. I also added another water bowl next to the dry food dish. I’m not sure it will help or not, but it can’t hurt.
While I was writing, Cali was curled up on the floor next to me, but she got nervous when someone pulled into the driveway and she started barking and pacing. Puck came over and snuggled up near her and she calmed right down. There’s something pretty special about that little cat.
Bean is Bean. He keeps growing like crazy. I’m curious, and slightly nervous about how big he might get. I’m pretty sure he weighs about the same as the dog now, probably 11+ pounds. He’s 7.5 months old!
I hope everyone is finding comfort somewhere, whether with family, pets, etc. Find something to be thankful for today, whether it is a cup of coffee, food on the table, or extra time with children, and give all your pets an extra pat from me 😉