Another Pet Fountain Review!

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!

Laser Cat Toy by PetSafe

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.

Cat Stuff

Puck Checking Outside

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.

Cali and Bean

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.

Please sir, may I have another?

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?

Sanity

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

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 😉

The Tree

We finally got the tree up last night. We were afraid to put it up too early with some travel we had, since we didn’t think leaving Bean home alone with the tree would be a good idea.

I’m happy to report that the tree survived it’s first night! Bean and Puck were both very curious about it last night, but they aren’t overly obsessed with it.

Happy Holidays!

Snow Day

It has been snowing for well over 40 hours now, and the snow is still coming down. Yesterday and this morning as I work at my desk, all my furry friends are keeping me company. Cali’s open crate is right next to my desk.

When Cali doesn’t have to fight the cats for a spot in the crate, that’s where she will hang out while I’m working.

Logan and Puck often like to snuggle up in or on top of the dog crate. Puck also spends a lot of time on time of the dragon tank as he LOVES her heat lamps. Today, the two cats are hanging out at the extra desk next to mine, just watching everything that is going on.

From this spot, Puck and Logan can watch everything going on around them. They have a view of Hector, Wena the dragon, and me!

Speaking of the Dragon, she’s happily hanging out in her hammock, enjoying her heat lamp, oblivious to the heinous weather going on outside. Smart lizard!

And then there is the one and only Hector D. Byrd. While I’m working, Hector spends her time strutting around, chewing up boxes, and chasing the cats. She also likes to chat at me, especially if I happen to get on the phone.

Unfortunately, Little Bean hasn’t realized that he needs to leave Hector alone yet, so I have to be super careful. I’m working on teaching Hector to “Go Home” which means to go back to her cage. It’s really handy when the cat is being too playful and I can tell Hector to “Go Home” and she heads back out of harms way on her own. Again, I’m always within a couple of feet of them, making sure everyone stays safe.

I keep a folded up towel on one side of my desk, and Bean spends a lot of time there. Yesterday, every time I sat down at my desk, Bean would come over, meow at me, then attempt to climb up my leg. I’d scoop him up and settle him on his towel where he will cuddle up and sleep as long as I’m sitting at my desk. Today, Bean has decided to snuggle up on the chair behind me.

I really love having him snuggle up in the corner of my desk.  It’s nice to be able to reach over and pat him, but it’s also nice to not have him stepping on my keyboard!

Stay warm everyone. Hopefully this snow will end soon!

 

My Dilemma

The Female

 

A few years ago we adopted two cats from a shelter. My son fell in love with the gorgeous, long-haired male cat, but he was part of a bonded pair and had to be adopted with his female friend.

We had a gut feeling that we shouldn’t add two cats at one time because of Logan, our older female cat., but we thought we would give it a try. The female cat was pretty awful. She hated people, and loved cables. She had a nervous habit of eating cables, and in our technology-filled home, this was a disaster! I lost count of how many phone and watch charging cables we had to replace.

The male cat was gorgeous!

He was a big giant of a cat, and we all loved him, but he was a bully.  He chased our Logan, and also the female cat he was supposed to be bonded with.

For almost a year, we tried to get the three cats to get along. We didn’t need them to be best friends, but we did need them to stop fighting. Eventually, Logan got so nervous that she started urinating all over the house. We worked with a vet, we medicated, we used hormone scent diffusers and special collars. Nothing seemed to help. As much as we hated to admit defeat, we talked to the shelter where we got the cats, and we brought them back. It was awful. I felt better when I called the next day to check on them and they had already been adopted again!

Since then, my son and I have been desperately wanting another long haired cat. We rescued a kitten that we were told was a Maine Coon Mix. Puck is an awesome cat, but he’s short haired and only 7 lbs.  We don’t think there is a whole lot of Maine Coon there.

We love our Puck, but we are still searching for our long haired cat.  I’ve been watching rescues for quite awhile, and I never seem to be able to find a long haired male kitten. We’d really like a Maine Coon with their dog-like personalities, and there are some in rescues, but not kittens. With our cranky older lady, Logan, we are afraid to add any more adult cats to the mix, and she seems to get along best with male cats.

I started looking to breeders. Maine Coon kittens are even hard to find from breeders! Many that I spoke with have all the kittens in a litter reserved before they are even born!

The Dilemma – Eventually, I found a breeder that has two male kittens that will be available in a few weeks.  What to do?!?!? In some ways, I hate the thought of buying a cat from a breeder, but I also don’t think we can find the right fit at a rescue this time. I know there will be more rescue pets in my future, and there have been plenty in the past, maybe we buy a kitten? What would you do?