Hector D. Byrd hatched 30 years ago today! I feel so lucky to have her in my life. Her cage is in the center of our living space, halfway between the kitchen and my desk space, so I spend a lot of time with her every day. She’s sort of become my therapist. She’s always there for me to talk to, and she’s a great listener. She’s not a cuddly bird, but she loves to whistle, destroy anything made out of cardboard, and eat nuts! Her happy chirps and whistles have become part of our home. Love my red tailed Jungle Chicken!
My Logan girl has had a rough couple of weeks. About two weeks ago, she jumped on the back of the couch and peed a couple of drops, yikes! The boy cats had been chasing her, so I thought maybe they had just made her really nervous and I didn’t worry too much about it. Then I found a cat bed covered in pee. Hmmmm something wasn’t right. That night, Logan went over to scratching toy, climbed up on it, and peed a couple of drops again. The next morning I took her to the vet. Poor baby has some kind of urinary infection. The good news is that we caught it. A simple antibiotic shot seems to be clearing it right up, and she is back to her old grumpy self.
Since I got the CatLink boxes, I haven’t been using Pretty Litter, but I do have a couple of bags of it. When I had to confine Logan for a couple of days, I used the Pretty Litter in the extra litter box for her. I have to say, the crystals were turning red, a sign of infection. This morning, a couple of days after her antibiotic shot, the crystals are back to normal yellow. I guess they do work!
Speaking of the CatLink boxes. I still love them. It is truly life changing to not worry about cleaning cat boxes all the time! About once every five days, I open up the bottom, take out the waste litter in its easy little bag, throw it out, and put in a new bag, so easy! When I change out the bottom, I usually add some more clumping litter, and that’s it. Worth every single penny we spent on those boxes! With the optional step in front of the box, there is even very little litter tracking. Truly cat owner heaven!
Time to bring Hector more nuts and some new cardboard boxes, a perfect birthday for my feathered friend!
Happy Fall! The leaves are turning here in New England and it is so pretty out!
Lots of stuff coming up here on PetMomma soon!
I received my first shipment of Pretty Litter. I filled one of our four boxes with it yesterday. I didn’t bother doing a half and half kind of thing with our old litter because we have so many boxes. If the cats are hesitant to try it, they can use one of the other boxes, but within minutes of me putting it back, Martin (my son’s cat) had already tried it out.
This morning, it wasn’t tracked all over yet, so either they aren’t using it, or it really doesn’t track much. It’s very different than anything I’ve tried before.
I’ll be posting a full review in a week or two when the cats have really had a chance to check it out.
I’ll have another review coming soon… as you may know from reading here, I’m obsessed with pet fountains. I really think they encourage my pets to drink, and they have become mandatory around here.
This unit will be set up here soon and I’ll be posting the review. Curious to see how it compares to my current Pet Safe brand ceramic fountain.
Does anyone use a Pet Camera? New product to me, but I’ll be trying it out around here soon and of course posting a review when I get a feel for it. Puck and Bean are very curious to see if it will dispense cat treats as well as dog treats!
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!
Remember the online dog training course I posted about? I was going to try it with Cali, see if maybe I could teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I failed. Not because the program was bad, or Cali was a problem. I was the problem.
I couldn’t seem to be consistent. I’d work with her a couple of times one day, and then get busy and not try again for a few days. I’m not totally giving up. I do think a refresher would be a good thing for Cali. I have some training treats by my desk and anytime I think of it, I ask her to come, sit, stay, watch me, down, etc. I’m also working on recall when I put her outside. It’s better than nothing, but it also made me realize that the biggest problem with dog training is most likely the human and not the dog.
It’s so much easier to be consistent with a new puppy. You are excited to have them, you are still learning the routines of dealing with the puppy, and we all know house breaking is pretty mandatory training.
For now, Cali is super happy chilling on our new patio couch and continuing her old, lazy routines, but I do want to keep trying to be a little more consistent with training reminders for her.
Just a reminder that with the Fourth of July holiday coming up to please be careful with your pets. Fireworks, cook outs, parties, can all be upsetting to pets. Keep an eye on them, make sure they don’t overheat, and make sure they are safely contained during fireworks time. Happy Independence Day!
No one enjoys dealing with poop. It’s just part of life, and dog owners know it’s just something you have to deal with.
I’ve tried to teach Cali to poop in the woods, but apparently that’s just for bears, and she’s not into it. She likes a nice patch of grass, usually right in a path where we want to walk around in our yard.
So I scoop the poop, because poop happens. I’ve been using a connected scooper thing that I guess I should have taken a picture of, because I’m not finding pictures online. My old one was pretty beat up and dirty so I thought I’d spare everyone the pictures. It was just two wooden handles attached to a rake and a flat scoop. You separate the handles, use the rake to push the poop unto the flat part, then you can hold it closed with one hand and bring it to wherever you need to dump it.
I just bought this scooper set to try something a little different. I thought having two pieces might be a nice change, and I really like it. Instead of fighting to make sure the pieces line up properly to scoop like I used to have to do with the old one, now I just put down the little scoop part and use the rake to push the poop into the scoop and carry it off to be dumped.
Cali is little, so she doesn’t make giant poops. I’m not sure this little set would work all that well for a Great Dane, but for a little Morkie it works great. I can even pick up a couple of piles at once with it.
The surface is non-stick or lovely slick coating that rinses clean very easily. The rake part clips to the scoop part so they are easy to store together. Another bonus is that the scoop part has a flat bottom, so it sits nicely near the wall.
The unit went together easily. Each part was well marked and they just screw together. I saw some reviews that people said the parts kept coming unscrewed, but I’ve used mine about a dozen times now, and haven’t had any problems.
I can’t say that this new scooper has made me enjoy cleaning up the yard, but on a nice Spring day when the sun is out, it definitely isn’t the worst chore.
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!
Little Puck is s a super sweet and affectionate cat. Unfortunately, he also seems to be pretty delicate. He’s had urinary issues in the past, he’s allergic to seafood, and now he has acne on his chin. The poor guy is super itchy! I did some research and discovered that using a metal food bowl instead of plastic is recommended for cleanliness. Apparently plastic can harbor bacteria no matter how much you wash it. I already use a ceramic fountain, so his water shouldn’t be an issue.
I bought the Medium which holds about 4lbs of dry food. With two very different sizes of dry food, the feeder has proven to work well with both. The cats get a mix of Science Diet Oral Care formula (big chunks) and Iams Urinary Health Formula. The food flows freely into the bowl and doesn’t get jammed up at all.
Our old feeder would often get stuck and the bowl wouldn’t refill. Puck is a bit challenged when it comes to sticking his paw in the bowl to knock down more food. The other cats could do it without any problem, but Puck just sits next to the feeder and stares at us until we do it for him. My daughter thinks it’s because he doesn’t like to get his paws dirty, and she may be right. Thankfully, with this new feeder, the food flows easily and Puck doesn’t have to wait for us to knock it into the bowl for him.
The stainless steel insert is great. Super easy to remove and clean. The whole container comes about easily and can be run through the dishwasher for a quick and thorough cleaning.
The small or 2lb size would probably be fine for most people, but with three and sometimes four cats in this house, I like the 4lb size so I’m not refilling quite as often. The top screws on to the container keeping the cats from knocking it off, and also helping to keep the kibble fresher.
The top is easy to grab and twist, so refilling is easy. I like that the whole container is BPA free.
After three weeks of use, I’m still very happy with this product. The price was very reasonable, it’s easy to use, quick to clean.
The other part of Puck’s acne treatment has been wipes. I purchased the Pet MD Chlorhexidine Wipes and they aren’t Puck’s favorite thing, but they are helping.
Puck’s little chin looked dirty and scabby. He was itching it on everything. After changing his food bowl, and using these wipes for just a few days, he is itch-free! I started using the wipes twice a day, then moved to just once a day. They are just thin, medicated cotton rounds, super easy to use. I just grab one and wipe it all around on Puck’s chin. He gets pats and cuddles for a couple of minutes while his fur dries, then of course he eats some treats! I used them daily for about 8 days, now I’ll just use them about once a week, or as needed if he gets itchy again.
My son’s cat, Marty, was also having similar issues. He tried the same things I did, the new PetSafe feeder, and these wipes, and Marty is also itch free now, happy boy!
While I bought these wipes for Puck, they will be a handy thing to have on hand for all the cats and the dog as well. They can be used for many different types of pet skin issues including hot spots, cuts, insect bites, etc. They can also be used for cleaning and will help dry out any skin areas that need it.
Saw a Facebook post this weekend about a woman who was concerned her dog kept chasing and killing wildlife, chipmunks, bunnies, etc. Some people suggested muzzles. leashing, fencing, etc. I suggested a simple bell. It gives the wildlife a bit of a warning so they have a fair chance to get away. I always encourage people with outdoor cats to make sure they have bells on their collars as well. Why not give the chipmunks a chance?
If you are going to put a collar on your cat, indoor or outdoor, I highly recommend a break-a-way collar. I had a cat get stuck once, and it was scary. Thankfully, I was there to fix the problem right away. My indoor cats don’t wear collars anymore. They are microchipped, so on the off chance they were to escape, they have that for ID, but my cats are all pretty afraid of the great outdoors, and we are careful to keep an eye on our doors.
Cali got a haircut this weekend, well I cut her hair. I love how she looks when her hair is longer, but with her itchy skin, it just isn’t good for her. Clipping her short allows me to keep a close eye on her skin, and also makes it easier for her weekly baths. I find oatmeal shampoo baths really help with her itchiness. I’ll see how the winter goes. I like letting her hair get a bit longer when it gets cold.
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.
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.