Category Archives: Other Cat Products

The Ultimate Bed, Scratcher & Play Combo for Cats – SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Review

If you live in a small apartment or house. you might find it hard to keep your cat things and human things organized. Cats can be like toddlers, scattering their toys everywhere. If you’re looking to cut down on clutter in your home, you might be interested in a multipurpose product that can cover almost all of your cat’s needs. Read further for our SnugglyCat Ripple rug review.

The Ripple Rug satisfies a combination of cat needs. It’s a spacious mat where your cat can lay down to have a nap or roll on her back to play with toys. The rug also serves the purpose of saving your carpet. Your cat can scratch to her heart’s content anywhere on the rug. 

One of the funnest things about the Ripple Rug is that it features several tunnels and holes for your kitty to hide or hunt for toys. The holes have safety slits so your cat (or small dog) can easily walk in and out. They’re also big enough for larger cats to easily enter or exit the tunnels. 

Available in a variety of home decor-friendly shades, including white, beige, brown, and dark brown, the Ripple Rug will look attractive in your home and are certainly a much better-looking alternative to having a bunch of cheap cat scratchers.

The Ripple Rug is also eco-friendly, a great alternative for minimizing the impact on the environment as compared to standard carpet-covered cat scratchers. This mat/bed/toy rug is made in the USA from recycled plastic bottles. For each Ripple Rug, 24 plastic bottles have been recycled.

Now you may be wondering, how do you care for the Ripple Rug? Do you vacuum it? Do you wipe it down? Unlike regular carpet, this rug is super easy to clean. It’s machine-washable, and you can spot wash it with soap and water. The rug is also hypoallergenic, mold, mildew, and stain resistant. And the carpet is design not to fray so you won’t have to worry about loose strings.

The back of the Ripple Rug even has a special non-slip backing, which keeps the rug in place while your cat is playing. This backing is removable and is machine washable in the delicate cycle.

Another neat thing about the Ripple Rug is that it’s about 500{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} bigger than other copy-cat mats or rugs. This allows for plenty of space for your cat or cats to jump around and hide. It’s purrfect if you have two or more cats, as none will get jealous!

If your cat has been bored with the same old feather or mice toys, consider treating her to the SnugglyCat Ripple rug. It’s an award-winning – ‘Best Cat Toys for Gifts’ on BuzzFeed, Vogue, and Heavy. Featured on NPR Planet Money, TODAY Show and Hallmark Channel. Learn more about the SnugglyCat Ripple rug.

Make Your Own Disinfecting Cleaning Spray That’s Safe for Cats and Granite Counters

Save money and reduce plastic with this natural organic cleaning spray cleaner recipe. It’s eco-friendly, has no vinegar, disinfects and is also safe for cats and granite countertops.

In my quest to reduce plastic in our household, it occurred to me that I could save money and cut down on plastic waste if I figured out how to make my own homemade all purpose cleaner. Even though spray bottles are recyclable, the spraying nozzle isn’t. So when I recently finished a bottle of Seventh Generation disinfecting spray, I thought to myself, “Why am I tossing out a perfectly good spray bottle? Why don’t I try to make my own natural cleaner?”

My husband had recently attended a Vipassana meditation course and he told me that the Vipassana center used vinegar solution to clean everything. He suggested we switch to vinegar, which reminded me of how when I worked in a fast food joint as a teenager (please forgive me), we used a vinegar and water solution to clean the windows, counters and food serving surfaces. 

I did some research and discovered that vinegar is indeed a great disinfectant. It’s powerful enough to kill e-coli and other gram-negative bacteria. Plus, vinegar as a cleaning solution is safe for cats too.

While I don’t like the smell of vinegar, I wanted to give it a try since it’s safe for cats. Then I did some more research and discovered that vinegar isn’t appropriate for granite counters because the acidity level will damage natural stone.

Since we use cleaning spray on the kitchen counters, that ruled out the vinegar solution. What else could we use that would be safe on granite, disinfecting, and also safe for cats? I needed to come up with a DIY all purpose cleaner without vinegar in it.

I found a castile soap cleaning spray recipe where you could add essential oils like lavender and citrus for disinfecting purposes. The recipe seemed promising. The only drawback was that many disinfecting essential oils are toxic for cats. What were my options?

I did some more research, and I narrowed down the field of potential candidates to rosemary oil and tea tree oil. According to PetMD, small concentrations of tea tree oil are considered safe for pets. It’s bad for pets to ingest them at full concentration, but small diluted amounts in the 0.1{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} to 1{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} range are used in natural products that are applied directly to pets such as a solution to eliminate fleas. 

On the other hand, rosemary oil was on a list of essential oils safe for pets. Since I prefer the smell of rosemary over tea tree, I decided to use rosemary oil for my first DIY batch of all purpose multi-surface spray cleaner.

Experiment #1 – DIY Rosemary Essential Oil

We have a giant rosemary bush so I thought, “Why not try making my own rosemary essential oil?” The internet delivered another recipe on how to make your own essential oils with a crock pot. All you needed was water. Check. A crock pot. Check. And rosemary. Check check check!

I started by gathering some branches from the rosemary bush. I did my best to strip off the needles and then filled a crock pot with about three cups of rosemary. I set the slow cooker for “high,” then turned it to “low” as directed, and let it do its thing for a few hours. The house was infused with the scent of rosemary, like a gallon of Pine Sol had spilled in my kitchen. 

By the end of the cooking period, the rosemary scent was so intense, I was wishing I had chosen tea tree instead. However, since the smell was so strong, I was expecting a highly potent oil.

Once the temperature of the mixture cooled down, I peered inside the crock pot and saw brownish water. I followed the slow cooker recipe for essential oils and allowed the mixture to cool. Then I placed the pot in the fridge overnight. 

I was looking forward to seeing a thin film of oil on top, but the next morning, I was disappointed to see that I still had a pot of brownish water. There wasn’t even a trace of an oily film. Perhaps I didn’t use enough rosemary or perhaps the plant I had wasn’t suitable for the crock pot method. 

I let the solution sit in the fridge for another day, but when I checked on it again, it was still murky brown water. I had to conclude that the experiment didn’t work for me. I did have a really deep brown liquid that smelled like Pine Sol on steroids. I thought, “Well since I’m supposed to extract the oil and then add it back to water, maybe I could I just use this liquid instead?”

In the end, the deep brown color was what made me take a pass on this idea. I wasn’t sure if it would stain white surfaces. I also had no idea how high the concentration of rosemary was in the mixture. I used the brown water to soak the kitchen sponge and reusable cloth wipe, figuring I was giving both a deep disinfecting treatment.

Experiment #2 – Homemade Disinfecting Cleaning Spray Recipe

After the failed experiment to make my own rosemary essential oil, I couldn’t bring myself to buy it at the store because I had such a big rosemary bush. Why pay for it when it’s growing for free outside in such abundance? I figured I’d tackle this DIY brewing again in the future. 

On the other hand, my husband already had a bottle of tea tree essential oil in the medicine cabinet. I reexamined the recipe for making your own disinfecting cleaner and realized I needed to do a few calculations in order to make sure that the concentration of tea tree oil was safe for my cat. 

Since the recipe had a range for the number of drops to use, I wanted to make sure that the concentration of tea tree oil was safe for my cat. The spray would primarily be used on the counters where the cat is not allowed, but we might occasionally use it if something spilled on the floor. 

I decided to make a test batch. First, I measured and poured 8 ounces of water into an empty spray bottle (Thanks Seventh Generation). Then I counted out drops of tea tree oil into a measuring spoon. According to Google’s online calculator, one drop is equal to 0.05mL. I wanted to confirm this to be sure that the concentration of essential oil was safe for my cat. 

Our dropper was making BIG drops because when I measured 10 drops, it was close to one teaspoon of tea tree oil. If I had followed the recipe based on the online calculator, I would have far exceeded what was safe for pets. At this point, I realized trying to adapt a DIY cleaning spray recipe to be cat safe, while using imperial measurements was ridiculous and difficult. As a result, I converted everything to metric.

10 drops of tea tree oil from our NOW bottle was close to 1mL of liquid. 8 ounces of liquid is equivalent to 236.6mL. So 1mL divided by 236.6mL is  0.4{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8}, which is well below the recommended cat safety range of 0.1 to 1{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8}. But how much would be enough to disinfect and kill germs?

To help me answer this question, I looked at the ingredients list on the Seventh Generation bottle. It listed a concentration of thymol (thyme oil) at 0.05{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8}.—so 1/20th of a percentage of thyme oil was sufficient to create a disinfecting spray that they claimed, “kills 99.99{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of germs botanically.”

According to this study on ScienceDirect, “Thyme and tea tree oils reduce biofilms significantly.” I interpreted that as a “close enough” basis to use the Seventh Generation concentration as a guideline for how much tea tree oil to add to my eco-friendly cleaning spray concoction.

With this information in hand, I made a test batch with 236.6mL (eight ounces) of water, 10 drops of tea tree oil (1mL) and 15mL (one tablespoon) of castile soap.

This would give me a 0.4{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} concentration of tea tree oil, which was much higher than the 0.05{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} concentration of thymol in the Seventh Generation disinfecting spray, yet still in the safe range for applying directly to pets. Since the spray was only going to be used on the counter and floor instead of the cat, I considered this to be a safe amount to use for my cat. 

Please note, that this amount may differ for your pet and how you use the cleaning spray, so please consult with a veterinarian before making your own spray. If you absolutely must disinfect a surface for safety, don’t blindly trust my calculations. Consult with a specialist to confirm that this concentration is actually disinfecting.

Making the cleaner was as simple as pouring each element in the spray bottle and giving the bottle a shake. I didn’t even use a funnel because I’m lazy. I should also mention that I didn’t use distilled water either. This was a test—a proof of concept.  

After mixing everything together, it was time for the moment of truth. 

I took the batch of homemade spray cleaner and sprayed it on the cooktop and on the cabinets below the cooktop where drops of sauce inevitably get splashed. Would this cleaning mixture smell okay and would it actually work? If it did, this would be a great cleaning spray without vinegar. Could this castile and essential oil spray smell nice AND clean?

The Results of the Make Your Own Cat Safe Cleaning Spray Experiment

There was definitely a noticeable difference. It was much easier to remove food spots with the cleaning spray than just water. It also gave the surface a “glide-y” feeling while I was wiping. The surface was slightly streaky after it dried. In addition, the wiping cloth felt a bit stiffer than usual when it dried off. I figured this was an indication that I should try reducing the amount of castile soap in the next batch to minimize this effect.

Smell-wise, it was not unpleasant—nothing like a vinegar and water solution. It was surprisingly mild. In terms of cleaning, I tried a side-by-side comparison where I used the spray on one side and only a damp cloth on the other.

In conclusion, would I make my own spray again? Was it worthy to replace the Seventh Generation natural spray?

To answer the first question, YES. I felt the cleaning action was sufficient and equivalent to using the Seventh Generation for cleaning. The only thing I’m not 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} sure about is whether the homemade spray actually kills bacteria and germs. 

My husband wants to cultivate some bacteria in petri dishes to test it out, so stay tuned for experiment #3. Once we get the results from that, we’ll know whether we can trust that the DIY tea tree oil spray is doing its job.

In the meantime, we’ll use vinegar and water on non-granite surfaces to disinfect, and use the DIY spray for general cleaning when disinfecting is not mandatory. E.g. wiping up bread crumbs. And for times when we’re handling raw meat, we’ll stick to the commercial product.

Money Saved by Making Your Own Eco-Friendly Cat Safe Cleaning Spray

I haven’t yet tested the antibacterial properties of the spray, so for now, I won’t yet be using cat safe multipurpose spray to clean surfaces that have been contaminated by raw meat or other harmful bacteria. However, most of the time, I use cleaning spray for general cleaning. Switching to this DIY formula will save us money and significantly reduce plastic and eliminate the waste from throwing out a perfectly good spray nozzle.

If you’re into numbers, here are the calculations on how much money you’ll save.

Please note the following assumptions:

  • For future batches, the amount of castile soap will be reduced to 12.5mL per 273.3mL because the test solution was a little too filmy
  • When making the recipe, it’s not possible to fill a spray bottle to full capacity because you need extra room to shake the contents. However, for comparing similar volumes and costs, I’m going to base the calculations on producing a 768mL bottle of spray cleaner, which is the same amount in the Seventh Generation bottle.
  • I’m using tap water instead of distilled water because I’m not that fancy. The cost of water is not included in the calculations.

The Calculations:

  • The original recipe makes 249.6mL of solution (236.6mL water + 12mL castile soap + 1mL tea tree oil)
  • 768mL/249.6mL = 3.08, which is the number of times you need to multiply the recipe to equal the amount in the Seventh Generation spray bottle
  • 3.08 x 12.5mL of castile soap = 38.5mL of castile soap to make 1 bottle of spray cleaner
  • 3.08 x 1mL of tea tree oil = 3.08mL of tea tree oil to make 1 bottle of spray cleaner

Cost of Castile Soap:

  • One bottle of castile soap makes 12.29 bottles of spray cleaner: 473mL bottle of castile soap / 38.5mL of castile per bottle of spray cleaner = 12.29 servings
  • You use $0.98 of castile soap for one bottle of spray cleaner: price of castile soap $11.99/12.29 = $0.98

Cost of Tea Tree Oil

  • One bottle of tea tree oil makes 19.2 bottles of spray cleaner: 59mL bottle of tea tree oil / 3.08mL = 19.2 servings
  • You use $0.58 of tea tree oil for one bottle of spray cleaner: price of tea tree oil $11.20/19.2 = $0.58

Total Cost of DIY Multipurpose Spray Cleaner

  • It costs $1.80 to make one bottle of multipurpose spray cleaner: Total cost = $0.98 + $0.58 = $1.56
  • Making your own cleaning spray is 61{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} cheaper than buying it: a bottle of Seventh Generation costs $3.99 at Target (Total Savings = $3.99 – $1.56 = $2.43 per bottle)

Recipe for Multipurpose Cleaning Spray That’s Safe for Cats and Granite Counters

Please note that this is a DIY concoction so I can’t vouch for how effective it will be for killing germs. And because I am not a veterinarian, I can not vouch for the pet safety. However, if you’ve read this entire article, you’ll see that the concentration of tea tree oil is within the 0.1{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} to 1{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} safe concentration listed in the PetMD article. Tea tree oil is commonly found in many pet shampoos.

I feel comfortable using this spray on my counters and floors, but you should consult with your veterinarian for your pet. For food safety, you should consult with an expert as I am only using this spray for surfaces where the risk of bacteria contamination is low (until I conduct an experiment with bacteria in petri dishes). However, the science says that tea tree oil is disinfecting.

After these obligatory disclaimers, if you’d like to save 61{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} on your cleaning supplies and eliminate 12.29 plastic spray bottles by using one bottle of castile soap and a small bottle of tea tree oil, here’s the final recipe for a bottle of multipurpose spray cleaner that can be used on granite and has tea tree oil for disinfecting. This is based on the recipe and guidelines in an article written by Karen Peltier for The Spruce.

Makes one almost-full bottle of spray cleaner (24oz in a 26oz bottle)

  • 3 cups (710mL) of water
  • 7.5 teaspoons (37.5mL) of castile soap – I used Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soap made with organic oils
  • 3.08mL of tea tree oil – This is tricky to measure using teaspoons, but a half teaspoon is equal to 2.5mL and one-eighth of a teaspoon is equal to 0.6mL, which is close enough to 3.08mL. I used the 2oz bottle of NOW tea tree oil. If you use a lot of tea tree, it’s about 15{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} cheaper to buy the 4oz bottle of tea tree oil.

Directions:

  1. Use a funnel to add 2 cups of water to an empty spray bottle that can hold at least 26oz of liquid (I used a standard Seventh Generation spray cleaner bottle)
  2. Add the castile soap
  3. Add the tea tree oil
  4. Shake well.
  5. Add the remaining water and shake again. Allow the cleaning spray to sit for several minutes until the foam settles.

If you’re like me, once you make your first batch of DIY natural organic cleaner, you’ll be tempted to clean. Lol! Go ahead, try out your homemade spray and see if it’s the purrfect cat safe disinfecting cleaning spray for your home

http://www.montauk-monster.com/pharmacy/valium has the longest half life of any benzo and that is arguably why it is the hardest to stop after long term use. Be careful.

Make Sure You Provide for Your Pets with an Automatic Pet Feeder

Are you planning to leave home for several days? If you have pets that you will need to leave behind, you’ll have to make sure they are provided for. The usual solution would be to leave them in the care of a minder. At a pinch, you could even leave them with your parents or siblings for a few days. But if you can’t rely on these outside sources of aid, you’ll have to get hold of an automatic pet feeder.

Why is it Such a Good Idea to Buy an Automatic Pet Feeder?

These handy new automatic pet feeders are a real life saver. When you have to leave your pets at home for an extended period of time, you will naturally worry about them. You want to make sure that your pets will be able to feed themselves. After all, you won’t be there to grab the bag of dog food out of the cupboard on their behalf.

Using an automatic pet feeder is the best way to solve the problem. This device is designed to measure out an appropriate measure of food at the time that you choose. This way, your pets won’t wolf down all the available food in one gulp, thus leaving themselves open to hunger for the next few days. The food will be distributed by the device in an even manner that will keep your pets healthy and happy.

An Automatic Pet Feeder Lets Your Pets Know You Care for Them

Even when you are forced to remain away for home for an extended period, you can still show your beloved pets that you care for them. The best way to do so is to buy an automatic pet feeder. This will take care of their nutritional needs so that hunger will not be added to their list of worries. Since they are already bound to be missing you, this is the least you can do on their behalf while you are gone.

The Time to Buy Your Automatic Pet Feeder is Now

If you are planning to leave on an extended personal or business trip, you need to buy an automatic pet feeder right away. Thanks to the power of the free market, there are plenty of new models for you to choose from.

It’s easier than ever to log on to the world wide web in order to find the perfect type of automatic feeder for the needs of your pet. This is a process that takes a few seconds to complete. Once you’re done, you can rest assured that your pet will have plenty to eat while you’re away.

A Paw-sitively Creative Contest Where You Could Win $1,500

Source: www.tuftandpaw.com
Photo source: www.tuftandpaw.com
Do you love cats and have design chops or a flare for creative ideas? If so, Tuft + Paw has an amazing contest that’s right up your alley. They’re looking for feline furniture ideas that help cats, humans, and the planet.

If you think you’ve got a great idea for a sustainable cat bed, enter their contest, and you could win $1,500. Plus, your winning design will be produced in the U.S. and promoted as one of Tuft + Paw’s new flagship products. And your paw-some product will also be donated to animal shelters across the country.

There are only five simple guidelines for creating your original design:

  1. Make it sustainable: As part of Tuft + Paw’s commitment to environmentally responsible products, your cat furniture design should be made from ethically sourced and produced materials that don’t harm the planet.
  2. Make it affordable: Tuft + Paw want to keep costs down so that the final product is affordable for all cat lovers.
  3. Make it beautiful: Don’t skimp on style. They want to see something that adds a “wow” factor to modern homes and looks more like it belongs to an interior designer than a Tabby cat.
  4. Make it practical: Along with a physical prototype, you’re asked to include technical drawings that specify exact dimensions and instructions for how it will be produced.
  5. Make it easy to ship: Your design should be lightweight and easy to ship. This will encourage Tuft + Paw customers to donate your product to animal shelters. You get bonus points for collapsible flat-pack shapes, so it’s like you’re coming up with an IKEA design for cat furniture!

So leap up to your drawing board today as the deadline for submissions is October 31st.

Tuft + Paw specializes in providing cats with the best possible environment—one that also protects and enhances the beauty of our world. Their modern products are designed for your cat’s enjoyment and comfort, and they’re also sustainable and ethically made.

This company with a heart has thought of everything your kitty needs to enjoy the lap of luxury, while also being eco-friendly. This includes an assortment of cozy sleep products, including cat beds, hammocks, houses, and teepees. You’ll also find cat trees and perches, cat toys, and some of the best looking eco-friendly litter box furniture that I’ve ever seen. They’re worthy of an entire blog post of their own (watch for it in a future blog article—they’re THAT gorgeous).

To learn more about the sustainable cat bed design contest, and get inspired by Tuft + Paw’s beautiful cat furniture, visit their website at www.tuftandpaw.com.

This May Be Why Your Cat Has Struvite Crystals or Cystitis

53590533 - portrait of a 10-year old female grey cat

Have you scoured the Internet for reasons why your cat keeps getting struvite crystals or recurring cystitis no matter what you do? Maybe you’ve tried everything. You’ve fed your cat the special prescription diet, or you’ve switched to a no carb, high protein diet of wet food. Maybe you’re adding a natural cranberry supplement to your cat’s meals, or you’ve switched to feeding a raw meat diet. If you’ve tried everything, but your cat still gets struvite crystals, have you considered your cat’s drinking water?

I’m not a vet, and what I discovered was through personal experience, so it hasn’t been thoroughly vetted—so to speak, nor does it mean that it will apply to your cat and their situation. However, I’m sharing my experience in the hopes that it may help other cat owners who are baffled over why their cats have persistent urinary tract issues.

This information is not intended to replace veterinary care. Struvite crystals can be life threatening so always follow your vet’s recommendations. But if you’re at your wit’s end, maybe this is the missing puzzle piece that will help prevent recurring crystals or cystitis in your cat.

“Some cats get them no matter what you do”

Over the course of my cat, Furball’s, 15-plus years, he’s had three instances of a blocked bladder due to struvite crystals. The first time it happened was when he was about two years old. I took him to the vet and he got the works: catheter insertion, subcutaneous fluids, antibiotics, and antispasmodics. About a thousand dollars later, I asked the vet what could be done to prevent struvite crystals from recurring in the future.

She told me to feed him a prescription diet and also to give him lots of water with his food so that any crystals would be continuously flushed out of his system. When I asked her why cats got crystals, her answer surprised me. Maybe veterinary medicine has improved since then, but she told me that they didn’t really know. “Some cats get them no matter what you do.”

I didn’t leave feeling very reassured, but I felt like I had no other options. So I gave Furball the prescription food and filled his food bowl with water. I fed him the diet for a few months, and the crystals were under control, but Furball’s normally lustrous coat turned dry, dull, and wiry.

He’d always had super shiny soft fur, so I knew it had to be the food. Since he’d been stable for several months, I decided to try tweaking his diet and eventually shifted him to a diet of half prescription food, with the other half consisting of a rotation of natural cat foods. He thrived on this diet, and was fine for years.

But then we moved to a new apartment, experienced an earthquake, and my husband accidentally dropped a tray of cutlery on the floor—all within a short timeframe. These events completely stressed out Furball, and it was not long before he had another case of a blocked bladder. I took him to the emergency vet, went through the usual routine, and got the same recommendations and lack of answers on how to prevent crystals. Sensing there had to be more I could do, I took him to a holistic vet once Furball was out of the emergency phase.

Views from a Holistic Vet

The holistic vet visit was very illuminating. No prior vet had told me about the importance of maintaining an acidic urine level to prevent struvite crystals. The holistic vet told me that was how prescription diets worked. They had additives to make the cat’s urine more acidic. She told me the same thing could be achieved by feeding my cat grain-free cat food that was high in protein.

She highly recommended that Furball get moisture from his food, namely wet food as opposed to adding water to dry kibble. She explained that simply adding water was hard on his kidneys because cats are desert animals not used to processing a lot of water. Here’s a list of the natural cat foods that she recommended.

She also told me that obesity and stress increased my cat’s risk of getting struvite crystals and a blocked bladder. So I made changes to his diet again, and Furball was good for another few years. But then we moved into our first house, and the baby arrived.

I don’t remember all that much from those sleep-deprived years of raising a baby/toddler. But I do recall there was a point where Furball started showing signs of straining to use his litter box, so I immediately took him to the vet. He once again tested positive for struvite crystals and he also had cystitis.

Furball was placed back on the prescription diet. I was advised again to give him as much water as possible, and we also had to give Furball antibiotics and antispasmodics. This time however, even though the level of struvite crystals in his urine went down, he continued to have recurring issues with straining to pee.

The vet was an assh*t, competent but with a tendency to dominate the animals. Furball hated him so I took him to another vet. This one was nice, but couldn’t offer any additional insights. The holistic vet wasn’t available, and then one day, my poor cat stopped eating. He became lethargic, and it looked like he had reached the end of his nine lives.

Rather than subject Furball to the stress of visiting the vet again when they had no new insights or information, I figured it would be better to let Furball pass away peacefully at home. He didn’t seem to be in pain even though he was not very responsive.

As I sat with my cat, crying and petting him, I got the idea to place my hands on his back shu points (acupuncture points) for the bladder. I imagined sending him loving energy through my hands, and an amazing thing happened. Furball began purring. So I stayed in that position for almost an hour, imagining healing energy flowing to my cat, and he continued to purr.

It was getting late so I said what I thought might be my final goodbye and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning not knowing what to expect, but surprisingly Furball was absolutely fine. He was running about, eating food, drinking water, and purring. It was like nothing had happened.

Realization

I kept wondering why my cat kept getting recurring cystitis when he was on the prescription diet, getting cranberry supplements, and drinking so much water. How did he get crystals in the first place when he was on a premium pure chicken, all-protein diet formulated for cats?

Then it suddenly dawned on me. Furball had been eating a dehydrated cat food that required the addition of water. And because of the cystitis and recent bout of struvite crystals, I was giving my cat extra water all the time. Was it the water?

When we moved, our new home was in a different municipality. Was the water in this district somehow different? It did seem to have a high mineral content because we always had a ring build up in the toilet bowl. Could the minerals be alkalinizing the water or causing sediment in my cat’s urine?

test-ph-cat-urineI needed pH testing strips like the ones used in high school science classes. I found pH strips on Amazon (the strips for testing cat urine can also be used to test water), and when they arrived, I tested our tap water. It tested slightly alkaline. No wonder my cat was forming crystals in his urine. He needed an acidic diet to prevent the formation of struvite crystals, and I was giving him lots of alkaline water. No one had told me to check the water. It’s supposed to be pH neutral, but it wasn’t.

I went to the grocery store, bought a bottle of water, and tested it with a pH strip. It was surprisingly slightly acidic. Perfect for my cat, but not so perfect for people or the environment. Anyhow, I’ve been buying bottled water for my cat for over three years now.

I know, I know, you’re cringing at the idea of bottled water. How can I do such a thing when California has been in a drought for four years, and when I wrote about hardcore ways to save water? And what about the plastic waste? Even New Delhi banned disposable plastics. So how can I in good conscience give my cat bottled water?

Well I’ll be honest. It’s one of those things you wrestle with. For some people, this crosses the line and I can respect and appreciate that. Furball’s my furbaby so I try to find other ways to offset the impact, kind of like buying carbon tax credits when you fly. The people in our household don’t drink bottled water—only the cat. We drink tap water and use reusable water bottles wherever we go.

Since I switched Furball to bottled water, I weaned him off the prescription diet again because it was making him vomit and made his coat dull. We also moved again, experienced a few earthquakes, and Furball was shut in a bedroom for an entire day while workmen with loud machinery cleaned and replaced the insulation in the attic.

Despite all of these stresses, it’s been three years and Furball has not had a single reoccurrence of cystitis or a blocked bladder. Fingers crossed that my kitty lives into his second decade in good health. And I hope your cat does too.

Easy Ways to Keep Your Pet Happy While Focusing on the Planet

It’s easy to be green AND have happy pets without sacrificing your commitment to environmental sustainability. Start making a difference with small changes, and you may even inspire your pet-loving friends to follow suit. Here are three simple ways to start “greening” your pet’s life.

1. Use Reusable Cat Boxes or Biodegradable Litter Boxes and Liners

While pets may have different temperaments and personalities, there’s one thing they all have in common: they pee and poop! Hopefully, your pets have great bathroom manners, and to help support them, look for accessories that are better for the planet.

For example, look for cat litter boxes made from recycled plastic. And it goes without saying that reusuable ones are best for the environment. But if you have to use liners or disposable boxes, look for biodegradable ones.

If you have a doggy pal, look for biodegradable dog waste bags too. Keep plenty of those on hand to clean up after a canine, especially when taking your dog for walks in public areas.

2. Freshen Up Your Home With All Natural, Eco-Friendly Products

From counters and carpets to windows and floors, there are many things in your home that require regular cleaning. However, as an eco-conscious pet owner, you may hesitate to keep chemicals in your home that could make your pets ill or harm the environment. After all, your four-legged pals spend the most time on the floor and often lick their fur too.

Fortunately, you can buy cleaning products that are safe for humans, pets, and the planet. Seventh Generation and Method are two widely available brands that you can easily find in many stores and definitely online.

You can also make your own cleaning products with simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. And you may already have these in your kitchen pantry!

3. Only Buy the Toys Your Pet Likes Best

Some pet owners go overboard when buying toys for their pets. But does your cat really need six different mice with feathers on the outside and catnip inside? Probably not. That’s why it’s a good idea to pay attention and notice which toys your cat plays with most often, and only purchase the most durable ones.

Similarly, watch your dog at play and determine which toys it plays with most often. Keep your dog entertained with these toys and only buy more when they break or get worn out.

Otherwise, you’ll waste money and resources by investing in pet toys too frequently. When you focus on how your pet likes to play and buy more durable toys, you don’t waste materials and still keep your pets happy, engaged, and content.

These simple suggestions are just a few ways you can help save the planet and pamper your pets. Start practicing them today, and before you know it, you’ll be looking for more ways to green your pet!

5 Luxurious Eco-friendly Gifts for Your Cat

If you’ve been on the lookout for an extra special gift for your cat, here are five fabulous finds for your feline. They’re eco-friendly, decadent, and the purrfect way to show your appreciation for your kitty’s loyal and loving companionship.

1. The Ripple Rug – Thermal Cat Activity Play Mat

The Ripple Rug is a giant hide-and-seek playground, scratch mat, and cozy cat cave. This fun and interactive “rug” has an assortment of flaps and slits that can be adjusted to create an endless assortment of tunnels, caves, and peekaboo holes for your cat’s head or paws. You customize the mat by simply lifting and releasing to create random shapes and configuration. This has got to be one of the coolest and most innovative ideas for cats.
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Besides the great play value—and snuggle value after playtime, the Ripple Rug is also eco-friendly. It’s made in the USA from 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} recycled plastic bottles. The non-slip rubber bottom is insulated to help keep the mat in place, and eliminate static electricity. The rug is lightweight and folds up easily for storage. While it’s not cheap, it’s not as expensive as you might think. You can check out the latest pricing for the Ripple Rug on Amazon.

2. Catnip Star

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For a little bit of festive luxury that won’t break the bank, the West Paw Catnip Star is a pawsome green cat toy. The star is green on one side (white on the other), and it’s also green on the inside because it’s filled with USDA-approved 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} organic catnip. Plus, it’s made in America, in Bozeman, Montana to be precise, by West Paw Design, a leader in the Sustainable Pet Coalition. This super-soft plush cat toy will surprise and delight your kitty and it’s available for under $10 at West Paw’s online shop.

3. ComfyCat Cave

The ComfyCat Cave is a cozy cat bed sustainably handcrafted in Nepal from 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} New Zealand merino wool that is responsibly sourced. This bed is super cute and can be popped open to create a warm and cozy cave for your kitty, or it can be pressed down for a more traditional cat bed.

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When I first saw it, I have to admit I was a bit shocked at the price, but since my cat, Furball, has been a loyal and loving companion for over 15 years, I figured after 15 years, he totally deserved something nice to sleep in. The poor guy has been sleeping in assorted corners on the floor since we moved to a new home.

My biggest concern about the bed was whether it would be itchy, and whether my cat would actually go inside. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded. The merino wool is super soft and not the least bit itchy, and the opening was big enough for my 15-pound cat to easily step inside. As soon as I set down the bed, Furball immediately went inside to check it out. However, he prefers the bed in its “flattened” state and now, his favorite spot to sleep. I won’t lie, this bed is pricey, but seeing Furball enjoy his new bed so much has been worth every penny. Check out Amazon to see the variety of cat cave beds.

4. Catty Stacks

It’s hard to beat the humble cardboard box when it comes to “recycle and reuse,” and nothing attracts a cat faster than an empty box. Catty Stacks are a way to up level the box, both literally and figuratively. These modular boxes can be stacked and joined together in multiple ways to create a kitty condo or impressive cat playground. Made from sturdy recycled cardboard, Catty Stacks are strong enough to support cats weighing up to 20lbs.

Catty Stacks review

If you’ve been looking for a fun and attractive alternative to cardboard boxes, Catty Stacks look great in any home, and they come in an array of colors derived from vegetable-based inks. They’re super easy to assemble and set up, and 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} recyclable too. To learn more about the story behind this product, check out this interview with Frank Callari, the inventor of Catty Stacks.

And if you want to get your paws on a set of these brilliant building blocks, you’ll find Catty Stacks online at Amazon.com. While it’s rather ironic that they’ll be delivered in a cardboard box, this will be one of those times where your cat will love what’s inside the box even more than the packaging it comes in.

5. Ultimate Cat Scratcher and Lounge

What makes PetFusion’s Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge so much better than other scratchers? Size, good looks, durability, and eco-friendliness. But with over 4,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, don’t just take our word for it.

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The first thing you’ll notice about the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is how big it is. At 34″ long, 10.5″ inches wide, and 10.5 inches high, there’s plenty of room for your cat to comfortably lounge and stretch out. And if you’ve got more than one cat, Petfusion offers a jumbo-sized cat scratcher and lounge.

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With a cat scratcher this big, it’s not easy to hide it from sight. Luckily, you don’t have to because it’s so attractive, you’ll want people to see it. Its designed so that you can also mount it to the wall and you can trust it will hold up well because it’s made from a recycled corrugated cardboard that is denser and more durable than lower priced corrugated cardboard cat scratchers.

The scratcher’s symmetrical design doubles its use because when one side wears out, you can simply flip the lounge over for a new scratching surface. The Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is assembled with non-toxic cornstarch glue, comes with premium USA organic catnip, and is also the winner of the 2015 Eco-Excellence Award. If you’re looking to splurge on your BFF (best feline friend), this might be the ultimate gift for your cat to lounge, scratch, nap, and play. You’ll find the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge on Amazon.

Board Your Cat

Search and you can find luxury cat boarding that will make your adored pet a very happy feline! An exceptional boarding facility has outstanding accommodations, meets high standards, and provides a friendly, qualified, and experienced staff that takes extremely good care of all of the cats individually and gives them lots of attention.

A fun and active time is provided along with the pet’s regular schedule with perhaps some added features. You can see for yourself by watching your pet on webcams while you are away, and thus you will know everything that is happening at all times when you have the chance to view the activity.

Felines can be boarded in a separate private luxury wing and can enjoy comfortable and clean standard or window penthouse condos with cozy napping areas that contain luxurious bedding, that have multiple play levels, glass fronts with an unobstructed view for the entertainment of the cat, and a hidden litter box on the lowest level. If there are two cats from the same family, they can share a condo at a discount.

There are premium meals up to three times a day, and your cat’s special dietary needs can be accommodated by being fed the home diet. There is ample exercise and relaxation, also.

Optional services that last 15 minutes may include private play sessions with your cat’s favorite toy, if you bring one, and even a bedtime story with a loving tuck-in! There are available catnip toys and tuna treats along with other offerings for an additional price.

Your cat’s health and safety are taken very seriously by continuous and detailed monitoring, and thus local veterinarians and pet parents are happy to refer you to such a facility.

The philosophy at the recommended Paw Print Inn is that your beloved “members of the family” are more than pets, they are pampered guests! So you can leave town for a vacation or on business and have peace of mind the entire time you are gone, knowing that all is well back home.

This is a sponsored post on the benefits of luxury cat boarding so that you’ll have more options for looking after your kitty.

The Best Recycled Cardboard Cat Scratcher and Lounge

Here’s an eco-friendly long-lasting cat scratcher that’s big enough for your cat, and it looks good too! In the past, most corrugated cardboard scratchers were either flimsy, too small, ugly, not made from recycled cardboard, or all of the above. Well, those days are over now because PetFusion has completely revamped the humble cardboard cat scratcher.

PetFusion Recycled Cardboard Cat Scratcher Review

The first thing you’ll notice about the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is its size. It’s a gargantuan 34″ long, 10.5″ inches wide, and 10.5 inches high. Even the biggest kitties can comfortably recline on its surface. The scratcher is also a hefty 7.5 lbs helping it to stay put when your cat leaps on. And if you’ve got more than one cat, Petfusion offers a jumbo sized cat scratcher and lounge for multiple cat households.

When cat furniture is this big, you can’t discreetly hide it in a corner. The good news is that you don’t have to. This is one good looking cat scratcher that you want people to see. You can even mount it to the wall by following the simple instructions and using inexpensive brackets.

best recycled cat scratcherThe modern design, balanced proportions, and walnut brown color of the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge blends in harmoniously with almost any decor. If anything, it might make your furnishings seem shabby in comparison! But as cat people, we all know that kitty comes first :).

PetFusion uses a premium cardboard that is denser and more durable than lower priced corrugated cardboard cat scratchers. In addition, the symmetrical design doubles the life of the scratcher—when one side gets worn down, all you need to do is flip it over for a fresh surface. Some people even suggest cutting the scratcher in half when both sides wear out so that you can make two new scratchers. Your cat may have nine lives, but this scratcher has at least two or three!

The Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is made of recycled corrugated cardboard and non-toxic corn starch glue. It also comes with premium USA organic catnip. With over four thousand 5-star Amazon reviews, it’s no surprise that this cat scratcher won the 2015 Eco-Excellence Award.

While the Petfusion cat scratcher does cost more than other scratchers, it’s better made, lasts longer, looks better, and it’s also made from recycled cardboard. You’ll find the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge on Amazon.com.

Not Your Grandma’s Cat Magazine – Announcing the New Catster Magazine

Furball enjoys the premier issue of Catster Magazine
Furball enjoys the premier issue of Catster Magazine

The first and only time I bought a Cat Fancy magazine was over 10 years ago and it wasn’t for me. It was for a 90-year old lady who lived on a potato farm. She loved cats, so I bought the magazine to bring her some joy. I never bought one again because Cat Fancy felt old-fashioned, dowdy, and frankly, aimed at an older demographic.

Well, I’m excited to announce that Cat Fancy finally got a long overdue makeover and it’s now been reborn as Catster magazine. You may be more familiar with Catster.com, one of the most popular cat-centric destinations online. And just like its online cousin, the new Catster magazine is fun, fresh, young and modern.

Catster covers some of the trendiest topics and top names in the cat world. The magazine mans health features the light and fun side of living with cats, including articles on feline products, health, diet, pet owners’ obsessions, confessions, funny photos, and more.

I’m a regular contributor to Catster.com, writing about eco-friendly cat products and topics natural and sustainable living for cats. That’s why I love that Cat Fancy is now Caster. The new magazine is contemporary and relevant for today’s cat lovers. Because I write for Catster.com, I received the purrk of an advance copy of the premier issue of Catster magazine.

I have to say that the new magazine has a fun and friendly vibe. It’s colourful, bright and even the typography feels modern. The first issue of Catster hit news stands on March 24th, so you can grab your copy right now. And if you’re a dog lover, there’s a Dogster magazine too.


Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.