I’m going to talk about several cat products, including (but not limited to) Cat Food, Cat Treats, Cat Brushes and Cat Litter. I have two cats who are both turning seven this November. One of the two is far more finicky and sensitive than the other.
Gremlin is allergic to plastic but loves to chew on it which causes her mouth to swell up, and it costs $120 for the medication. So we have to, not only, use metal bowls but have to tend to any plastic laying around the house or else she looks like she’s been punched in the face. She also stress vomits… yes, she vomits when she gets too stressed. She will pop outside the littler box if it gets even remotely outside her standards (which often seems to be a single turd). So we’ve had some challenges to accommodate little miss fancy pants and make her, along with the rest of us, more comfortable.
As I mentioned, we can’t use metal bowls. However, before we figured this out we bought an automatic waterer and feeder. The Aspen Pet LeBistro Auto Gravity waterer was fine, expect that every time I filled it up, I made a mess putting into the plastic part. We ended up switching to a metal water fountain, Pioneer Pet Stainless Steel Fountain Raindrop Design, which the cats seem to really love. Gremlin likes to paw at her water and this apparently gives her what she’s looking for. It was easy to clean and setup. However, the motor busted a few months later. We’re still using the bowl and we plan to get a new motor.
The OxGord® Dog Feeder Automatic was great for a few months but then it’s motor broke too. I loved that you could program it to feed a certain amount at certain times. It was easy enough to figure out how to program. It’s really nice for vacations and keeping a proper diet when you work long hours. Since we had to switch to metal, we could no longer use the plastic feeder anymore, so we didn’t bother to replace it. We have yet to find a metal auto-feeder at a decent price.
Speaking of food, we have had some fun times with that. While plastic makes Gremlin’s muzzle bluster, poor quality cat food seems to make her break out with cat acne. Yes, your cat can get acne too! It looks like a crusty chin. Gremlin also happens to be the chunkier of the two cats. We asked our vet about healthy cat food and she said that Meow Mix was like lucky charms for cats. She said that we should get them a healthier brand.
I asked her what her number one cat food pick was and she said Blue Buffalo, but it’s pricier. In addition to getting a top recommended brand, we tried the formula for sensitive stomach. A 15lb bag on amazon is about $57. The cats didn’t appreciate the change and, at first, they wouldn’t eat it. So we gave them half and half… and they ate all the Meow Mix pieces and left the good stuff. I left it there overnight and then all day the next day… by the time night rolled back around, they gave it a try. They do get excited at dinner time, so I know they like it. If you tried to ween your kids off eating Lucky Charms to eat something better, they’d probably go on a food strike too! I will say that after a few weeks I was astonished at how soft Gremlin’s fur got. Previously, it was only Monster who had super soft fur.
When my husband lost his job (no longer an issue), we made a lot of cut backs. We didn’t want to deprive the girls of good quality just for the sake of cutting costs. So we had another talk with our vet and asked if there was a less expensive comparable cat food. She suggested Science Diet as the second best. Again, we were pleased that they had a formula for sensitive stomach and skin. Gremlin’s hair isn’t quite as soft, but her fur isn’t nearly as coarse as it was when she was eating Meow Mix. A 15lb bag on amazon is $37 (a twenty dollar difference). The cats seem to enjoy it, but overall, if it wasn’t for the price I’d go with Blue Buffalo!
On their birthday, International Cat Day, holidays, and when they’re under stress they get an extra special treat… Frisky’s Gravy Sensations. They are wet cat food in pouches and the girls go crazy for these. The minute I even touch the box of pouches, they get excited. As soon as I rip open the pouch, the insanity starts. If I feel like they haven’t been treated in a while, I’ll split a pouch between them.
Through out the year, they randomly get other treats, When they were kittens, they had a thing for cheese. It was cute at first, but we knew we couldn’t keep giving them cheese. Luckily, I found the chicken and cheese flavored Whisker Lickin’s. The girls, especially Monster, go crazy over these. If you crinkle a bag the right way, she’ll dive bomb you hoping for a treat. I’ve been able to teach them a high five trick with the lure of these treats. We also have found that they like the Tempations Dentabite treats, which helps clean their teeth. They are crunchy, unlike the soft Whisker’s treats. We alternate between the two treats.
In an attempt to get them more exercise, we got them some treat dispenser toys. We bought SmartyKat KnockOut Treat Dispensing Toy which is shaped like an egg. It’s heavy on the bottom and has an opening on the top. I had to show the girls how to use it, by pawing at it with ny hand and them seeing a treat pop out. After that, they would take turns getting treats out. It’s easy to fill and it’s small in size. We also bought the PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser which I like more. It’s easier to lose since it’s a rolling ball, but we always seem to find it again. You can put treats or actual food into it and you can adjust the hole size to make it harder or easier to get food out.
Now what all the cat food stuff out of the way, let’s talk about litter. At first, we had a big litter box that they shared, called Catit. It also had this door on it that trapped in a lot of the odor. While it was great for us, it wasn’t so great for the girls. They have sensitive noses and any time it smelled bad, Gremlin would protest. So we had to clean it all the damned time. To help with the odor, we used Arm & Hammer’s cat litter deodorizer. I’d clean the box, sprinkle the deodorizer on it, and mix it in. It actually works pretty good and doesn’t seem to bother the girls. However, as Gremlin and Monster are not keen on sharing, we finally decided to split up the litter boxes and try something different. If I don’t like the smell inside the box, how I can blame them for being unhappy about it?
We tried a self cleaning litter box a long time ago and that broke after a week. What is it with these crappy electric products? We recently switched to Lift n’ Sift litter boxes which are super easy to clean. You just lift the center pan and the litter falls through the holes leaving the clumps behind. You throw out the poo, put the sift pan into the empty solid pan, then dump the litter over the sift, then put the now empty pan underneath the pile. We still occasionally have to wash out the litter pans to deal with any build up or clogs in the sifting pan.
They aren’t covered, but the Arm & Hammer Deodorizer helps keep order under control (although, I do not recommend the double duty stuff). They are smaller in size, thus they kick litter everywhere! We put one of the boxes into a cardboard box and that seems to contain the kicked litter pretty well. I like the new boxes despite the size and the girls both seem a lot happier with them too.
Once upon a time, we were using this Van Ness Pureness Trackless Litter Mat, but we replaced that with the Arm & Hammer litter mats which work way better! These mats actually do contain the litter really well and I can vacuum over them decently. So far, I love the Arm & Hammer products.
As for litter, we love the Tidy Cat Light Weight 24/7 Performance litter. First of all, the light weight is truly far lighter than the typically heavy litter. We haven’t noticed any decline in quality either. We also prefer the 24/7 more so than the instant action. It keeps the smell under control better. It’s also clumping scoopable litter.
And lastly, the cat brushes! We’ve tried the double sided cat brush along with several other brushes. The soft brushes are useless. The wire brushes are too pointy and scratch. Monster and Gremlin both hated the wire brushes. Gremlin would make angry noises, run away, or claw at you if you insisted. However, Gremlin seems to absolutely love this new ShedMonster brush we got. I can run it over my arm without any discomfort and yes, it does remove shedding fur.
Feel free to ask me questions about my experiences with these products!