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.

The Weirdest Cat Product for Dandruff in Older and Overweight Cats That Actually Works!

Burt's Bees Dander Reducing Wipes for Cats
Looking for a natural solution to your cat’s dandruff and dander problem? If your kitty is overweight or getting older, she may be finding it harder to groom herself properly—especially in those hard to reach areas on her backside. Less grooming can lead to a greasy matted coat, dull fur, flaky skin, and an overabundance of dander and dandruff. Fortunately, there’s a simple, joyous, and natural way to help keep your cat’s coat shiny, clean, and free from dandruff flakes.

This is most definitely one of the strangest ones that I’ve come across. It was brought to my attention by readers of my blog. When I first saw it, I thought it was totally weird. But upon reflection and researching more into the positive experiences and raving reviews from cat owners, I’ve changed my initial thoughts, and I’d have to say it actually makes a lot of sense.

So what is it?

It’s the Burt’s Bees Dander Reducing Wipes for Cats. When I first saw this product, I derisively thought, What are these? Wet wipes for cats? And that actually IS the best way to describe them.

These Dander Reducing Wipes are EXACTLY like baby wipes, but instead of using them to wipe your baby’s butt, you wipe your cat with them (you can also wipe her bum too if needed). They look like wet wipes and are packaged like wet wipes, but since they’re for your pet, they cost twice as much. The price alone was enough to elicit an eye roll from me, but when I saw how popular they were with readers, I had to take a closer look. And since wet wipes are fairly inexpensive anyway, an addition few dollars really isn’t all that much for helping to control dandruff in your cat.

I’m admittedly a fan of Burt’s Bees’ lip balms, so I wasn’t surprised to see that the cat wipes were made with natural ingredients including Aloe Vera, honey, and colloidal oat flour.

What did surprise me was how much people RAVED about them. They raved on Amazon. They raved on Chewy.com with a 96{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} “Recommend Rating.” One pet owner estimated a 90{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} reduction in dandruff for their kitty. Others commented about a significant reduction in dry skin, shedding, and matting. And the general consensus was the wipes resulted in “soft fluffy fur.” The added bonus is that the majority of cats either didn’t mind being wiped or they LOVED being cleaned with the wipes.

People raved not only about how well the wipes worked, but also about how easy and enjoyable the whole experience was. It reminded me of the video of guy who held the tongue-shaped “Licki Brush” in his mouth to “lick” his cat. Come on, haven’t you secretly wished you could lick your cat even just once? I won’t tell!

Anyhow, instead of biting onto a big ridiculous tongue-shaped cat brush (By the way, you HAVE to check this out if you haven’t seen the Licki Brush in action. It’s hilarious!), you can get the nice bonding experience of grooming your cat with a Burt’s Bees Dander Wipe. Even if your cat doesn’t have dandruff, these wipes will help make her coat soft and shiny—and they’re especially helpful for reducing dandruff in big-boned (aka overweight) and older cats.

5 Eco-Friendly Dog Carriers: Dependable Totes, Crates and Kennels for Your Dog

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our very first DOG article. Yes, Green Little Cat will now feature articles for green little dogs—and green big dogs too! Many of our readers have both cats and dogs, so we felt Planet Earth would benefit from a broader focus for our blog. We’ll be making a few other changes in the upcoming months to reflect our new direction of greener living for people, pets, and the planet.

For dog owners who love their pets and the environment, what are your best options for eco-friendly dog carriers? If you’re traveling with your dog or you need a dog crate, you may be wondering if there are any green options that are sturdy, dependable, lightweight and comfortable for your pet. Here are five eco-friendly options that cover the gamut from functional to first class travel.

1) Petmate Kennels Made from Recycled Plastic

Petmate is a U.S. based company that has been making pet carriers from pre-consumer recycled plastic for a number of years now. Over 50 percent of Petmate’s products are made in the USA from pre-consumer recycled plastic content—and you’ll find them widely available at PetSmart stores and online.

eco-friendly dog crate kennel carrierPetmate is dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint, creating green collar jobs through innovation, and contributing to their local community. The Petmate Sky Kennel is a heavy duty kennel designed for traveling with you pet. It comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 15 to 30” high, and the largest size can support a dog up to 125lbs in weight. Click here to find the right size for your pup.

2) New Age Pet ecoFLEX Crate and End Table

Eco-flex eco-friendly dog crate furnitureIf you’re looking for an attractive and eco-friendly alternative to a metal crate, the New Age Pet ecoFLEX Crate and End Table combines function and form. It’s made from ecoFLEX, which is a blend of recycled polymers and wood byproducts. This blend of recycled materials resists staining and warping, and is easy to wipe clean. It comes in three colors to blend seamlessly with your home décor. And you can choose from four sizes from small to extra large.

3) Doggles Hemp Messenger Dog Carrier

hemp dog carrier, hemp dog travel bagFor a sportier bag to carry your dog, look no further than the Doggles Hemp Messenger Dog Carrier. This highly functional bag is made from durable hemp canvas, and comes with a soft pillow, cuddly blanket and portable water bowl. And there’s more! The bag also has UV mesh panels to protect your pup from ultraviolet rays, and there’s an exterior water bottle pocket, and a pocket for your cell phone and keys, too. You’ll find all sorts of traveling gear at the Doggles website.

4) Organic Denim Outback Messenger

Organic Denim Dog Messenger Carrier bagHere’s a stylish option from Bark N Bag, creators of eco-friendly pet travel bags and accessories. Their Outback Messenger is a trendy black denim made from organic cotton. Even though this bag looks like a standard messenger bag, Bark N Bag really considered dog lovers in its design, and this is evident with smart details such as a removable tether, magnetic snap closure, three fur friendly mesh panels for ventilation, and three zippered pockets to fill with doggy treats and travel essentials.

5) Barn N Bag Weekender Traveler Bag

Barn N Bag Weekender Traveler BagIf you need a mid-sized pet carrier, there’s the Bark N Bag’s Weekender Travel Bag. It comes in three sizes to accommodate dogs from 8 to 22lbs in size. It’s clever design lets you open the bag from the top, front, and side so that you can place your pet in the carrier in the way that is most comfortable for them. The Traveler Weekender also puts a new eco-friendly spin to old world charm. The bag is made from 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} certified recycled plastic PET bottles, has an organic cotton absorbent liner, and uses bamboo rafters to provide structure and support.

Organic Cat-Shaped Chocolates and Organic “Chocolate” for Cats

Looking for organic cat-shaped chocolates? Here are some sweet treats for cat lovers and cats this Valentine’s Day. Nothing says I love you like charming chocolate cats made from sustainable and organic chocolate. And this year, your kitty doesn’t have to miss out on the fun. Read on to learn about a safe chocolate alternative for cats.

If you’re feeling lucky in love, then chocolate fortune cats are the purrfect gift for the cat lover in your life, or purrhaps for you too. This creative confection is handcrafted in small batches by the award-winning Ms. Cocoa chocolate company. Available in vegan dark chocolate or organic creamy white chocolate, this fortune cat is right up the alley for eco-conscious cat lovers.

organic chocolate cats, chocolate fortune cat, organic cat-shaped chocolates, cat chocolates, chocolate cats

Unfortunately, if you don’t live in the U.K., you’re out of luck as Ms. Cocoa currently only ships to customers in the United Kingdom. But don’t consider yourself unlucky  because you can make your own organic chocolate cats with this adorable cat chocolate and candy mold.

cat chocolate mold, make your own chocolate cats

Making your own cat-shaped chocolates is surprisingly easy and fun. You actually don’t make the chocolate itself from scratch. Inside start with organic chocolate baking wafers or a baking chocolate of your choice. Then you simply melt it (you’ll need to “temper” the chocolate), and pour it into the cat-shaped mold.

Aside from a chocolate cat mold, you won’t need special equipment with a little improvising. In place of a double boiler, you can rest a steel mixing bowl over a pot of water–just be sure to use oven mitts when you handle the mixing bowl because steel transfers heat and the bowl will get quite hot.

And while a candy thermometer makes the job easier, you can get by with a standard meat thermometer if you monitor the chocolate closely while it’s melting. You can even temper chocolate without a thermometer.

And Here’s a Sweet Treat for Kitty…

Your fave feline might feel left out of the fuss if you don’t find a purrfect gift for her too. While cats should never be given real chocolate because it’s poisonous for pets, there is a wonderful chocolate alternative for cats. This organic catnip “chocolate” bar is a handcrafted felt toy. While it looks like a chocolate bar, it’s actually a soft felt cat toy filled with 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} organic catnip.

catnip-chocolate-bar

While your cat is encouraged to lick and bite this chocolate creation, keep it away from little humans who might just believe it’s real chocolate! You’ll find this chocolate bar for cats at the Ticketybootique shop on Etsy.

Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on organic cat-shaped chocolates, and “chocolate” bars for cats, you can delight the cats and cat lovers in your life this Valentine’s Day. And while you’re savoring a rich melt-in-your-mouth velvety chocolate bite, your cat can enjoy her own delectable “chocolate” catnip treat.

What You Need to Know About Prescription Pet Food

Today’s post is an infographic on 16 things you don’t know about prescription pet foods, but you really should know—trust me, you want to know these things to help you decide whether it’s worth the extra cost to feed your cat or dog a prescription diet. This infographic is brought to you (and reprinted with permission) from our friends at Top Dog Tips. That’s why there are pups throughout the infographic, but this information applies to kitties too.

Prescription-Pet-Food5902

 

7 Key Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Cats

omega 3 benefits for cats, photo source; 123rf.com

Although many people are aware of the benefits of Omega-3s for their health, did you know that they’re also really good for your cat? Discover seven ways that omega-3 fatty acids help your kitty stay healthy and thrive.

What Are Omega-3s?

Omega fatty acids are considered essential fats because your cat can’t naturally produce them on her own. Instead, she needs to get them as part of a healthy and balanced diet. There are two main types of omega fatty acids, omega-3s and omega-6s—and each can contribute to your cat’s health in different ways.

Omega-3s are the ones that most people are familiar with because of their benefits for the heart, skin, and brain. Good omega-3 levels have been linked to cancer prevention and curbing psychological disorders. And, as cat owners, we all want these benefits passed on to our beloved furry companion. Cats are already highly sensitive on their own!

Omega-6s are also essential fatty acids. However, it’s the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s that’s key to good health. It’s important that cats have a higher level of omega-3s because they help regulate the function of omega-6s. That’s because all fatty acids compete for the same physiological areas, thus, a poor ratio of omega-6s can lead to an increase in prostaglandins, which can significantly increase pain sensitivity.

Omega-3s in Cat Food

Often, we assume that cat foods are complete, but your cat may not be receiving everything she needs from commercial cat food, especially when it comes to omega-3s. Thus, it’s a good idea to supplement your cat’s diet with omega fatty acids. They can help with many common feline ailments like allergies, dander, and skin infections.

According to Jean Hofve, DVM, a holistic veterinarian based in Denver, Colorado, omega-3 fatty acids are “the most important supplement you can give your pet.” From the relief of joint pain to a healthy shiny coat, the benefits of omega-3s for cats are far-reaching.

Here are seven ways that omega-3s can help you cat stay healthy and thrive:

  1. Heart Health: The anti-inflammatory benefits of EPA (long-chain omega-3 fatty acids). Studies have shown that the use of omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood pressure and prevent ventricular arrhythmia in cats.
  2. Brain and Eyes: The DHA in omega-3s has been shown to play an important role in brain and eye development in kittens. These omega-3 fatty acids can also help keep the brains of older cats working at their optimum for longer.
  3. Healthy Joints: Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is best known for relieving joint pain and inflammation associated with arthritis in cats. The beneficial anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3s is attributed to their EPA content.
  4. Strengthen Immunity: Omega-3 supplements can support cats with a weak immune system. This is especially true for older cats that are more susceptible to inflammation and infections.
  5. Fight Cancer: Veterinarians are increasingly recommending omega-3s for cats with cancer. This comes after a study showed that omega-3 in fish oils can slow down the development of cancer cells.
  6. Healthy Skin: Omega-3s are regularly recommended for cats with dry skin. Many cat lovers report that dandruff problems go away once they introduced omega-3 supplements to their cat’s diet.
  7. A Shiny Coat and Fewer Hairballs: Omega-3s are also regularly recommended for cats who shed excessively. They help keep your cat’s coat shiny and reduce shedding to minimize hairballs.

Sources of Omega-3s for Cats

The sources of omega-3s for cats are very similar to those for people. However, we all know how much cats like pills, so you can’t just pop into your local Vitamin Shop and buy a bottle of supplements for your cat. Natural sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids include fish, seeds, and oils derived from these sources. You can also get supplements designed especially for cats.

Here are thee easy ways to add omega-3 fatty acids to your cat’s diet:

1. The Missing Link

cat-missing-linkThis powdered food supplement contains a healthy balance of omega-3s and omega-6s to help your cat maintain a healthy skin and coat. The Missing Link is made from whole foods and whole food concentrates including ground flaxseed, beef liver, sunflower seeds, dried carrot, ground beef bone, and oysters. And it’s super easy to give it to your cat. Simply sprinkle a small amount (varies depending on weight) on your cat’s food. And if your cat is a picky eater, start by adding a tiny amount to their food, and gradually increase until you reach the recommended level. Read more about The Missing Link.

2. Omega-3 Fish Oil for Cats

cat omega 3 fish oil supplementFish oil is an excellent source of omega fatty acids, but quality can vary. That’s why Deley’s Natural Fish Oil for cats is a great choice if you’re concerned about quality ingredients. This 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} pure fish oil is human grade with no additives, preservatives, mercury or toxins, and it’s packaged in a BPA-free bottle. Plus, Deley’s formula is more concentrated than cod liver oil or krill oil, so your cat gets more of the benefits with fewer of the calories. The fish oil comes in an easy to dispense pump bottle and is virtually odor-free–so no strong fishy smells in your home. Find out how cat lovers love Deley’s fish oil.

3. Feline Greenies Smartbites Cat Treats

cat-greeniesFeline Greenies Smartbites Cat Treats are a fun way to add omega-3s to your cat’s diet. They’re made with natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids, including fish oil and ground flaxseed. Smartbites come in two tasty flavors, chicken or salmon, making them ideal for finicky felines. Use them to replace regular cat treats so Kitty gets a healthy snack that nourishes her skin and helps keep her coat shiny and healthy. Get Greenies on Amazon for just a little over $5 a pack.

Now that you know the benefits of omega-3s for cats—heart health, brain function, immune system support, fewer hairballs, and a healthy coat and skin—you may want to pick up some omega fatty acid supplements for yourself too!

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.

A Gift Box of Natural Eco-Friendly Sisal Cat Toys

sisal-cat-toy

Cat owners on the lookout for a good deal on sisal cat toys will appreciate Natural Pet Company’s Megapack. Each sturdy but attractive, eco-friendly box contains seven different toys for hours and hours of fun and delightful play.

The colorful toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures – one toy even has bells. Several toys are mouse-shaped, purr-fect for bringing out your cat’s hunting prowess, or showing off her adventurous side. Each toy is made with natural materials, including sisal, a fiber used in ropes and matting that comes from the agave sisalana plant.

Yup, that’s a type of agave plant that is native to Mexico, but is cultivated and grown around the world. Agave plants are succulents, meaning that they store water in their leaves. They’re desert plants and thus, require much less water than other types of plants such as cotton. While you may know agave for its syrup or nectar (as a sugar substitute), agave sisalana is cultivated for its durable fibers. Sisal fiber is incredibly strong and flexible, making it the perfect material to make cat toys that withstand your kitty’s sharp claws.

One of the best things kitty will love about the megapack of toys is that playtime begins the moment you lift the lid of the box. There is no plastic to cut away or tear off. The toys are not individually wrapped. Just open the lid and let your cat choose from the variety of toys. When play is over for the day, you can store the toys in their own individual spots in the box for the next time your kitty is ready for some playful exercise. This is a great way to store toys safely out of reach until the next time your cat is ready to play, which might be sooner than later with these exciting toys!

The Natural Pet Company brings you in on the fun, too, with their interactive wand toy that you control. The wand is about 16 inches long, and connects to a 2-foot long bungee cord. At the end of the cord, a mouse dangles, ready to tantalize your cat into vigorous play. As you move the wand, your kitty will jump for his prey, until you reward him by lowering the mouse within his reach (that is, if kitty hasn’t already scored a connection with the mouse).

Cats (if they could talk), and their owners (who do talk) rave about this toy assortment. “…This set of toys is beautifully made,” says one customer. “…My cats like the toys and they seem well-made,” says another.

What an appealing idea to package seven toys in one box! The price is also appealing because you get a megapack of seven toys for one low price. Since online prices often do vary, click here to check the latest pricing. The Megapack makes a great gift idea for your cat, cats, or cat-loving friends and family (as in their cats will love the toys, maybe not the people so much!)

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!


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.