Friday, March 30, 2018

Should you get a rabbit for Easter? #MakeMineChocolate



With Easter right around the corner, I thought I would take a moment to talk about a campaign that is near and dear to my heart, the Make Mine Chocolate campaign.


Domestic rabbits have an 8-12 year lifespan, to know these rabbits don't make it a year is heartbreaking. To see rabbits turned into shelters in droves or to find bunnies abandoned to the wild, or worse.

Rabbits are not "easy" pets. They definitely fall under the 'exotic' category. Finding a vet comfortable in a rabbit's unique physiology is not easy. Rabbits make much better pets when they are neutered so that needs to be a high priority - and it is not cheap. They need to have a constant supply of hay because if they stop eating their gut can go into stasis and they can die. They also need fresh greens. Rabbits love items that are less than healthy for them, like high sugar fruit and toast and it is fine to feed them in limited amounts but they can cause health issues if you give too much of it.

They are prey animals and as such, they have a high flight reflex. They can thump their back feet and make noise to warn others and if you pick them up improperly you risk them being so afraid they try to get away and break their own backs.

Nails and teeth never stop growing so they will need to be maintained. Giving rabbits appropriate things to chew on will help them wear down their teeth so they don't become an issue. Sometimes they do anyway and you will need to take them to the vet on a regular basis for teeth trims - or learn to do it yourself. Nails can be trimmed at home but again you run into an unwilling participant and the quick is hard to see and it can grow quite long if you don't trim them often. The quick can also bleed a lot if you cut it.

Rabbits are wonderful pets, but you need to be educated in their care and be willing to commit to a decade of ownership if you want one. Otherwise..


Go for the chocolate, or stuffed, kind.


Read some of my other posts for Make Mine Chocolate a mission of the Columbus House Rabbit Society - here  or individual posts:


Thursday, March 29, 2018

I am so going to sneeze on that!! #lifewithcats



When we moved to Montaña Casa de Gato (I totally need a better name for this house), it came with a mud room right off the garage. We had visions of putting the litter boxes in this room, but I quickly figured out that I didn't want the cats anywhere near it because right outside the door to the garage is the garage door. The door also does not have the best latch at the moment (on the list of 1001 things we have to do at this house) so the door has the potential risk of popping open.


It is a little hard to see in this photo, but the far door has a window, and the garage door is about two feet from that door and it is open so you can see the trees through it.

Anyway, back to the first photo. I had the door open because I was working in there and Skippy bolted right out there like he had a mission. He HAD to be there, stopped a few feet in and then proceeded to sneeze out a giant wad of snot. Apparently, that was where the snot was supposed to go.. and yes, I am that type of blogger that I'm going to share it with you, aren't you glad you stopped by? (be forewarned, there is another poop post coming up)



I've talked to the vets about this and none of them think we should treat him for it. Both he and Eli sneeze one every couple of days, distributing little globules of snot where ever they may land. Fortunately, for the most part, they land on their faces and they lick it off so I don't have to deal with it but occasionally I need to break out the tissues.. sometimes it feels like I have a houseful of toddlers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Donating to the local shelter with Chewy and Fussie Cat #chewyinfluencer


You might have noticed that I haven't started a kitten watch this year and I haven't really started talking about fostering very much since I moved. One of the reasons for that is I can't get a shelter to return my inquiries about fostering. There is a shelter that is fairly nearby and I have filled out an application on the weekend and was told someone would get back to me the next week. Well, so far, no one had.

When I saw this month's influencer offerings by Chewy.com (where they offer me free product to review on the blog), I thought I would request the Fussie Cat Market Fresh Chicken and Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food and make a donation to the shelter as a way to get them to notice me. This is what Fussie Cat has to say about their Market food:

Fussie Cat Market Dry Cat Food is created with the freshest and finest ingredients for your feline family member. Cats are notoriously fussy when it comes to their food and require a diet based on animal proteins to truly thrive. That’s why Fussie Cat tailors the taste of each recipe based on actual feline feedback to ensure it’s equally delicious. This Physiologically Tuned and grain-free recipe features real meat as the first ingredients to provide complete, high-quality protein and an excellent source of vitamin B12, riboflavin and phosphorus.

I had a few cat beds that I adore but my cats never used, so I thought I would take those too. I had also bought several cases of cat food on Black Friday figuring they would also be a donation, so I piled it all up and took it down


Shelters are always in need of cat food donations because they are still very much an overlooked pet despite the overwhelming numbers of them owned by people and turned into shelters. Shelter pets rarely get high-quality donations as $10 bought that large bag of Meow Mix. The 24 packs of canned food were $12 a piece and the bag of Fussie Cat is $30 and is half the size of the Meow Mix.

I was so happy that Chewy gave me the opportunity to do something nice for the shelter cats.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Cutest Cat gets to try Fancy Feast Purely Natural Filets Cat Food Topper - #chewyinfluencer


Since Fleurp won the Cutest Cat survey last week, I thought I would let her have first crack at this month's Chewy Influencer offering - where they send me free product in exchange for an honest review - of Fancy Feast Purely Natural Wild Alaskan Salmon Filets Cat Food Topper


This is an interesting product as it is just a few simple ingredients and it looks very much like a salmon fillet. Since they all look exactly alike and with the wording on the package I'd say they are formed and not 'real' salmon fillets but created ones, but I am okay with that.


I picked salmon over the other flavors because they called it wild Alaskan salmon, and I am trying to get more omega 3s in my older cats to help with their kidneys and their arthritis. But in the end it comes down to will the cats like it?


And to be fair, I put some down for the others.


And they promptly cleaned the plates.

Hey, can I have some more??

Monday, March 26, 2018

And the Cutest Cat is...


Taking in a third of the vote, the winner is


Fleurp is anticipating her prize. You will get to see it tomorrow.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Catification


When we were looking for a house, we had a few requirements. We were spoiled at Casa de Gato having three bathrooms and we wanted a house with a master with a bathroom. This house has one, but it is in dire need of being remodeled as we can not use the shower as the previous owners installed a walk in tub where the shower should be.

One of the downsides of this house is the master isn't really big enough for a king bed.  It is long and narrow. The bed fits on the sides, the one side that has the door into the room so the wall is short and it doesn't fit our nightstands and the other side has the windows so the bed will block the windows and the nightstands made for perches for the cats to look out the window - which negates being able to put anything on them.  We initially put the bed on the short wall, but we had no time to find new smaller nightstands so we quickly decided to move the bed in front of the windows. This depressed me because laying in bed and watching the snow fall was nice, so we moved the bed back last week.

To give the cats somewhere other than our nightstands to sit on, we put a cat tree and made some space in the shelving units for them to hang out.


Muffin can't get into the bed without the stairs, but the placement of the stairs at the edge of the bed allows her to get up on the at tree and then she climbs over into the basket.. she is THRILLED with this because I think it reminds her of days when her joints didn't hurt as much and she could climb into things like this.

If you notice on the top of the shelving unit we placed a cat bed. This is Eli's new favorite spot. 16 years old and he gets up there like he is four. Once we get someone in here to fix the bathroom I'm thinking I'll put a few floating shelves over the bathroom door and down to the dresser that is on the wall to the left. But we also have plans to put a master upstairs with a really elaborate bathroom with a dressing area so we might end up moving up there long before I get to it.

(and in case you were wondering, they are still sitting on the nightstands and it is super annoying)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cutest Cat Contest - A poll



I bought a "World's Cutest Cat" cat toy from CatLady Box and while I had every intention of doing this post while the Olympics was on, I just didn't get to it. Since I can't pick a favorite, you get to (see the poll at the end).  The winner will get an extra treat and their own blog post next week.


Who do you think should win?

Jack
Muffin
Eli
Twee
Fleurp
Skippy

Friday, March 16, 2018

Checking in with Maxwell and Ducky


One thing that is really nice about social media is that I get to stalk a few of my former fosters. A few weeks ago I put a call out to people who have adopted from me asking for updates on my fosters to blog about. February is notoriously slow on this blog and I usually do a Former Foster February, but this year I was just so overwhelmed with moving and making sure my cats were not overly stressed (they were highly stressed) that I just couldn't get into blogging.

But the most infamous kitten pusher who has adopted some of my foster kittens outside of me, Kathleen, sent me an update on her two kitties Maxwell and Ducky.

You may remember them as Maxwell and Faraday. Or you might have seen them on the Hallmark video



Here is what Kathleen has to say:

We’ve had these 2 glamour pusses almost 4 years. They joined our 2 other cats and our Boxer Millie. Ducky, formerly Faraday, is a big, silky love bug, who doesn’t understand the concept of personal space. He monitors the comings and goings of the rest of the gang, feeling it necessary to give everybody a thorough sniffing when they come in. He’s also in love with the dog and pretty much throws himself at her, doing a shoulder roll under her nose so they can spoon.

Maxwell (the Bold) is more outdoorsy, preferring to spend most of his time outside during the milder months. It takes him a while to settle in once winter comes, but right now he’s quite content to demand play time whenever the Catman is around. It keeps his skills honed for when he takes up his wildlife management job come Spring. Like a well-oiled machine, Max takes down the catnip toy on a string. Once he kills it, he sits down and readies himself to do it all over again. And again...



Thank you, yet again, Kathleen!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cat Owner Questions: What is this black gunk on my cat's nails?



In the forty some odd years I have been a cat owner, I rarely see this addressed. It pops up from time to time and people make wild assumptions as to what this build up on their cat's claws can be. Often it is thought to be the accumulation of fecal matter from the litter box when they poop or cover it up. People often are highly turned off and disgusted by this type of build up.

So what is this black gunk on my cat's claws? What if that gunk is brown? Does the color of the gunk make a difference?

Not really. That brown gunk on my cat's claws is a build up of oil and skin cells from the cat. I wouldn't doubt that there is some litter box dust in there, but it is not poop or fecal matter. The color seems to depend on the color of the cat.

Should you clean it off? You can. If your cat is older and has mobility issues it might be hard for them to groom it properly and scraping it off will help. I have read that you can also use a baby wipe if you have one handy (unscented, organic if you can, cat-friendly would be better) and that helps remove it but don't be surprised if your cat reacts like you are doing something painful. It is a weird feeling for them and the quick and the claw base are both sensitive areas.


Please note: no cats were harmed in the taking of this photo but Skippy was not amused with me in the least.

Do you have any random questions about cats? Throw them in the comments and I'll see if I can find you the answers.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Pay attention to me!!


Because of my lipedema, I need to spend time on a vibration plate. The other day when I was 'just standing there" Jack decided he needed some attention.


Muffin was all "whatever, I have nip." Jack wasn't getting the attention he wanted so he went off and got a toy. He usually carries it to me, crying out pitifully, until I see him doing it at which point he drops it - which makes it very hard to get a photo of it. As soon as we make eye contact he leaves it where he is and comes to me for praise. This time it was halfway up the stairs.


Yes, Jack, you are a good boy.
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