Give your Pampered Kitty a Workout with a Cat Gym

December 03, 2017
You spent a lot of money on couches, sofas, chairs, curtains, beds, rugs, and carpets, or even if you didn't they still cost a good chunk of change to repair or replace.  From your cat's point of view, your furniture is THEIRS!  If you are ok with that, you may stop reading here; you have officially become your cat's indentured servant.  Good luck with that life of servitude. There is an expression that every cat owner will agree to: "Dogs have masters, cats have staff".  If you are part of the staff, then your entire house is a kitty condo and this article serves no purpose.  If you are the master just letting your cat think she has a staff, (lets face it, those are the only 2 options!) then lets continue. 

Most kitty condos also serve as a kitty gym.  The main difference is that kitty gyms have more levels so your cat can jump around more.  They are completely carpeted so your cat can scratch to her heart's content, which is the best exercise for her.  Be sure to check around for the kitty condo of your choice. If you want a certain look or specific style, then a pet store will probably be your best bet. If a simple gym is suitable, then try a general shopping store that may have only a few selections but often will have better prices.

You don't need to spend a fortune on kitty gyms with special beds on them. If you let your cat talk you into it, you could be spending well over a hundred bucks on a kitty gym that does not serve the needs of your cat.  Remember, regardless of what your cat may tell you, YOU are the master.  Try not to forget that.

A kitty gym should have a perch or a platform on it that she can lay on, but not a bed.  You want to encourage her to exercise when on it, not sleep.  Get a kitty condo for that.  They are basically the same thing, but if she has one to play on, and one to sleep on, she won't get bored. On average cats sleep about 16 hours a day.  They spend about 2 hours a day scratching and the rest of the day annoying someone to pet them and caress them and feed them and just about anything else your cat has talked you into do by looking at you and purring.  A kitty gym will give them a place to scratch, the condo a place to sleep, and as for the rest, well I think you know your place.

One way to get your cat to start using this new gym is to walk her through what to do.  Your cat will think you are just playing, but she is learning what is acceptable at the same time.  Start by placing her at the base of the kitty gym.  Caress her and play with her a second to get her comfortable around the gym.  Then place her two front paws on the scratching post, squeezing slightly so she extracts her claws.  Run her claws down the scratching post very lightly.  You want her to get the idea that it's OK to scratch here, but you don't want to rip her claws out in the process.  Once you do this, you may just want to place her on a couple of the levels and just play with her on the gym.  You will get some personal time with her. She will get some exercise and get to figure out what the heck this contraption you brought home is.  Introducing your cat to her new tool like this is very good for you and her. 

After a week or so, you should see her play on it more often.  She will scratch it, lounge on it, and chase her toys on it.  You may even hide a treat or two on some of the levels to encourage her to jump around on it occasionally to look for treats.  A kitty gym will be a great investment for your cats' health and entertainment.

Five Homemade Toys to Keep your Kitty Happy

December 03, 2017

Sometimes cats can be very easily amused.  Don't be surprised or offended if your cat has more fun with the packaging of the toy you just spent a fortune on.  Here are some ideas for FREE toys that your cat should enjoy

1: Paper Balls
Again, simple things can very easily amuse cats.  Take for example: paper balls.  Grab a sheet of scrap paper and crumble it into a ball.  "Abra Cadabra" you just made your first cat toy.  Throw this to your cat and watch him chase it for hours.  A little piece of paper will fascinate her.  She will love the way it just rolls around and she just can't seem to catch it.  You think I am kidding, don't you?  Go ahead.  Try it.  What harm can it do?  If she does not like it, you spent ABSOLUTLY NOTHING! So go ahead and try it. 
Cats love these things, and unlike balls with smooth surfaces, these things can roll in any unpredictable direction, and on floors they tend to make a scratching noise that cats go bonkers over.

2: Old Socks 
Yes, you read correct: Old Socks.  Tie them in a knot the size of a mouse and you have the perfect cat toy.  It is best if the sock is from you or someone the cat really likes.  They will smell you on it, and therefore love it even more. Stuff some catnip in with it to spice things up.  You cat will chase this around for hours.  You might even consider tying a string to the end and dragging it along the floor.  This will make your free toy an interactive free toy!

3: Cylinders
There are two basic ways to go about creating a cylinder toy for your cat.  You can make a noisy one or a quiet one.  We all know from experience, most pets love things that make noise.  Cats, dogs, and husbands, as well as other varieties of pets love to make noise.

A film canister is one of the easiest things to make a toy out of.  To make it noisy, just fill it with some rice or a few small pebbles.  If you do this make sure you securely close the lid.  Using some type of non-toxic glue is best.  You don't want your cat eating raw rice.  It can cause lots of digestive problems that, unlike your film canister, are not free. 

You can also use old paper towel rolls; toilet tissue rolls, or just about anything shaped like a cylinder. Your cats will roll it around for hours.  If it is something large, like a carpet roll, your cat may also climb in it and have a blast.

4: Boxes
Cats love boxes.  They love to explore them and claim them as their new home.  If you bring home a new TV, make sure you check the box for any of your feline friends, because she will almost certainly be in there.  It seems that there is an invisible message written on boxes that only cats can see that says "VACANCY- FREE ROOM!"  Cats seem to be attracted to boxes.  They will get in, jump out, get back in, jump back out, and usually end up falling asleep in their new home.  To them, you just brought home a palace.  You are such a good servant.  She will reward you later, by allowing you to pet her!

5: Catnip
Place a little catnip in anything you can stuff it in that your cat plays with.  Socks, stockings, cylinders, make sachets and place them in boxes, corners, and kitty condos.  Your cat will get a sniff of this and go nuts.  She will be happy for hours. Please remember that catnip does not work on all cats.  Usually they do not affect kittens and older cats, and some are just genetically immune to the effects of this mint.  If nothing else, you can always make a tea out of it and drink it yourself.  Catnip tea is a great herbal tea for people.  But if your cat does like catnip, don't let her catch you stealing her catnip, or else it will be, "Off with your head!!"

Meowingly Good Massages for Cats

December 03, 2017
A relaxing massage is such an orgasmic indulgence. Each muscle worked over, rubbed down, and kneaded. Every ache seems to just go away, rubbed out of existence by your talented massage therapist. Massages are not only relaxing, but also very healthy. Relaxation is important to your over all health. They also will reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, promotes circulation, and emotional well being. Not to mention, it just feels wonderful, and you feel just as great once it is over. If you think you feel good after a massage, imagine how your cat will feel. After all, cats love the good rubbings and loved to be stroked. Not to mention, it has just as many health benefits for them as it does for us.

Massaging your cat is good therapy for both of you. You and your cat will find it soothing and relaxing. Massaging your cat also makes you both closer together, and allows you to easily bond with your cat. In multiple cat households this can give personalized attention to each cat separately. Petting, touching, stroking, and massaging helps bring down your cats blood pressure and increases their blood circulation. This is great for your cat's immune system and over all health. This also keeps you current with your cat’s skin and hair. If there are any skin issues or lumps they will be easily detected and treated early. And, by the time you are through massaging, stroking, rubbing, petting, and pampering, you can make any cat a friend for life!

Start by scratching behind her ear and you will have her undivided attention. She will stop whatever she is doing, and command that you continue. Indulge her demands and continue on with the massage. Rub her entire ear including inside of the tip. Scratch the top of her head between his ears. By now she should be purring purrs of utter delight.  This is a very good sign. Now move on to her other ear. Just like before, rub her entire ear including inside of the tip. Scratch and caress the side of her face, below the whiskers. Her whiskers are sensitive, so be careful around them. Now scratch under her chin. Most cats absolutely love to have this part of their bodies scratched and loved on. She will be happy to stay around as long as you keep touching her right.

Scratch the other side of her face. Scratch her ears again, just a little. Scratch the top of her head. In a continuous and fluid motion, stroke from the top of his head down his entire back. Scratch down her back several times with your hand wide open to spread across her entire backside. Scratch down her entire back and down the top end of her tail several times. Stroke her entire tail with your hand all the way around it several times. She is in heaven by this point she is like putty in your hands! Lay her down, if she has not already done it for you so that she is offering herself to you completely. Take one leg at a time and stroke it from her shoulder to her paw. Stroke each leg several times. Stroke anywhere else she will allow except her tummy, as this is usually seen as an invitation to play, which would defeat the entire purpose of the massage.

You cat should be very relaxed, happy, and purring like crazy now. Make this exercise take as long as you want. Cats can be patient when it suits their needs, so I doubt she will want to be going anywhere at this point.  She is in kitty heaven and she loves it.  You can take as long as you want and she is going to sit there and take it.  She is getting all the attention she can stand, and her kitty body is feeling all nice and massaged. You have made a friend for life. She is in heaven and she has a new found respect for you. She now has a masseuse on staff!  She loves being the queen.  Be prepared for the fact that she will now demand this attention on a regular basis.  Good luck!

Travel in Style with your Cat - How to Pamper Them on the Go

December 03, 2017

Cats can be rather difficult to travel with.  To most cat owners they can be quite a challenge.  Most cats whine, scream, hiss, and act as though they are being killed slowly and painfully when you put them in the kennel carrier to put them in the car.  Only about one in every hundred actually curls up and will relax when you put them in the carrier to go anywhere.  No one really knows why most of them go completely crazy when you do it. 

The first thing you will need to get is some kind of fabric crate, preferably one designed for cats. Since cats are not the best travelers and pet supply companies do not generally design stuff for the traveling cat, this step may pose some issues and problems.  Keep in mind they do make them; they do exist, just keep looking.  Fabric ones is the safest for you cat.  Usually when you place a cat in a kennel or crate, they go into defense mode.  They jump around sometimes trying to escape.  A fabric crate stops them from injuring themselves in the process.  They may still scream and hiss and make other horrifying noises, but you can have the peace of mind that you know your cat won't hurt itself in the process. Not to mention once your cat becomes accustomed to the crate, fabric is much more comfortable than plastic. After all, isn't it all about pampering your cat?

Once you buy the crate, the best thing to do is to get your cat accustomed to it so that traveling in it can be peaceful, relaxing, and hopefully very uneventful.  The best way to do this is to get the crate as far in advance as possible.  Place it in an area your cat passes by a lot.  Place a treat in front of the crate. If your cat eats the treat, praise her; pet her; make her feel all good and pampered.  When she is not looking place another treat just inside the door.  Again, if your cat eats the treat, praise her; pet her; make her feel all good and pampered.  When she is not looking place another treat further in. Again, if your cat eats the treat, praise her; pet her; make her feel all good and pampered.  Do this everyday for a few days.  You may even try putting her favorite toy or pillow in there.  Some people even feed them in there.  The point is to make your cat feel comfortable and safe in the crate. In her mind, she just found a neat little den and hideaway.  She knows it is OK to play with, because you give her treats and praise her and pet her when she uses it.  If your cat feels comfortable and safe in the crate, it won't go into defense mode when you travel with her.  She will just curl up and relax, and you can drive in peace!  You may want to do some short car trips prior to your long trip, just get your cat used to the car and the moving. 

If your cat still screams and fusses or gets motion sickness, call your vet and ask for a sedative.  If you don't like the idea of medicating your cat, please keep in mind that it is for the safety of your cat.  She will be very confused and disoriented and scared the whole trip.  This will stress her out, which can cause heart problems and possibly kill her.  Which would you prefer: Medicated and alive or non-medicated and dead from stress?  You decide.

Bringing along some pet toys and snacks for your pet will also make her feel better about this trip.  Remember, trips may be fun and relaxing to you, but not to your cat.  Your cat prefers to be at home, being lazy, sleeping, taunting the dog, and cleaning itself.  Trips are stressful for cats. Bringing a toy, or a snack, or some of its food, or something with catnip in it will help your cat feel comfortable and pampered during this stressful car trip. A pampered cat is a happy cat, and a happy cat is a safe cat. 

Pamper Your Cat - Cook for Them!

December 03, 2017

If you really want your cat to feel pampered, consider cooking for her.  I know what you are thinking: "COOK?  Who cooks for their CAT?"  Well in all actuality, cooking for pets is a common practice that has many benefits.  Home cooked food is fresher, healthier, and tastier than store bought food.  Not to mention, it will also extend the life of your cat by five to ten years. There are a few things to keep in mind when cooking for your cat.  Your cat has special dietary needs.  She needs five times the amount of sodium and protein as a dog needs; so don't feed her dog food.  It just won't do.  Also you should avoid chocolate, alcohol, and pork of any kind, onions, raw fish, and raw eggs.  These can tear up your cats' stomach.   Here are a few recipes that you can try on your cat:

7 ounces mashed sardines
1/4 cup dry non-fat milk
1/2 cup wheat germ

Mix ingredients. Roll into 24 small balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.
This recipe for Cat Cookies serves/makes 24.

1 bouillon cube (chicken or veggie)
Chicken - boned and shredded
Grated cheese
1/2 cup water
Pour 1/2 cup warm water over bullion cube and stir to dissolve. Add shredded chicken to water mixture just enough to form soupy consistency. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
1 small carrot -- finely grated
1 tablespoon cheese -- grated
1 teaspoon brewer's yeast
1 teaspoon dried catnip
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg -- beaten
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the meat, carrot, cheese, brewer's yeast, catnip and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Add the egg and tomato paste and mix well. Using your hands, roll the mixture into walnut - sized meatballs and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes until the meatballs are brown and firm. Cool the meatballs completely and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These freeze well.

1-cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup dried catnip
1/4 cup canned tuna (water packed) -- well drained
1/2 cup juice from drained tuna -- Add water if needed
1/2 cup corn oil
1 egg -- lightly whisked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix. Then add remaining ingredients and stir to form stiff dough. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more whole-wheat flour. Make dough into a ball shape and place on wax paper. Roll out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with animal shaped cookie cutters, if desired. Re-roll and cut more cookies until scraps are used. Bake on an un-greased cookie sheet for about 25 minutes. Store in a plastic bag, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered skim milk
1-teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg - beaten
Flavoring: Meat drippings, or broth (enough to make stiff dough).

Combine flour, powdered milk and garlic powder in a medium sized bowl. Add beaten egg, flavoring and mix well with hands. Dough should be very stiff. If necessary add more flavoring. On a well floured surface; roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with shaped cookie cutters of your choice. Place biscuits on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Store in a cookie jar or treat jar. 

You can search the Internet or visit your local bookstore to get more recipes.  There are hundreds of recipes for cat treats.  There are cookbooks dedicated to making pet treats.  Just do a little research and you will find anything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about home cooking for your cat.  You will need to experiment with your cat to find what she likes and doesn't like.  Once you find a few she does, she will look forward to getting those treats. 

Curious Cats - Five Ways to Keep Them Entertained and Pampered

December 03, 2017

There are five ways cat owners have learned to keep their cats entertained.

1-Catnip-Catnip is an all-natural herb.  You can buy it at any pet store, herbal store, or even a plant store.  It belongs to the mint plant family.  Cats react to this herb through their olfactory glands.  When a cat smells catnip, they go absolutely nuts!!  They start sniffing things, trying to chew the plant or stuffed toy, jumping around, sliding across the floor, and just start acting like a fool.  They love the feeling that comes with the catnip and you will get a kick out of watching them make a fool of themselves.  It will truly be an entertaining experience.  Now comes some scientific bad news.  Catnip does not work on all cats.  It has to do with cat genetics.  Some cats are genetically immune to the effects of catnip.  Some cats are genetically not immune.  On average about seventy to eighty percent of cats will entertain themselves and you when they are exposed to catnip. Also cats younger than 3 months or older than 8 years usually do not react to catnip. Kittens' olfactory glands have not yet developed enough to be affected, and senior cats' olfactory glands have ceased to function after a certain point. They can still smell, but the chemical reaction that causes them to get "high" no longer affects them.

2-Laser pointers-Laser pointers are an inexpensive way to keep you and your cat entertained for hours.  You can buy a laser pointer at just about any toy store or electronics store.  Just bring it home and let the fun begin.  She will chase that laser across the floor, into other rooms, up the wall, outside, into the dryer, around the corner, under the bed, and just about anywhere you point it.  Try not to point it at other people (unless you really don't like that person), on furniture, or anything you don't want your feline companion to accidentally scratch or knock over.  This can keep you and your cat entertained for hours, not to mention it is good exercise for your cat and good laughs for you.

3-Pet grass-This is one of the most overlooked options that pet owners completely miss. Pet grass is just a patch of specially designed grass for your pet to play in.  Most people don't realize that grass is a natural part of most animals' diets.  It aids in digestion, constipation, nausea, and other digestive problems.  You cat (or dog) instinctively knows this and eats it when necessary.  Aside from being a good health supplement, it can also be a fun thing for your cat.  Cats can tend to have an over active imagination.  Their little patch of pet grass can be anything they want.  To them, it can be a jungle or a green toy that moves when she runs her paws through it.  Occasionally your pet grass will get a bug or two in it.  This is perfectly ok.  It's grass.  Grass gets bugs.  Bugs can be hours of entertainment.  You cat loves chasing and tormenting them, and you enjoy watching them chase and torment the poor bugs.

4-Homeade toys-You can go to the store and buy your cat a fifty-dollar pet toy.  You can fork out the money and buy the top of the line pet toys.  Your cat will then ironically have a cruel since of humor.  She may annoy you by ignoring the expensive gift because she is more interested in the packaging it came in.  It makes crinkling noises and slides on the floor.  She will entertain herself for a good while with, not the toys, but the package it came in.  After doing this a few times, you will probably stop buying the expensive toys and get creative at home making stuff.  Two things that cats go nuts over will give you a solid example:  throw a balled up piece of aluminum foil at your cat.  She will chase it all over.  Fill a sock up with a few pieces of catnip and tie it off. Throw it to your cat and watch her go nuts!

5-Give into their demands-If all else fails, give into the purring and meowing and pet your cat.  Sounds simple, but she can be content for hours just sitting in your lap.  When she has had enough of you, she will politely excuse herself.

Kitty Condos - Why Should a Cat Have Her Own Place in Your Home?

December 03, 2017
Cats love to do many things, but there are 2 things cats like to do more than anything else.  They love to scratch and they love to sleep.  That is why a kitty condo is the best option for any pet owner.  Cats love to scratch anything that reaches higher than them and won't move when they touch it.  Couches, chairs, and beds are prime targets for your cat's razor sharp claws.  Cats also love to sleep.  On average cats sleep about 16 hours a day.  They spend about 2 hours a day scratching and the rest of the day annoying someone to pet them and caress them and feed them and just about anything else your cat has talked you into doing by looking at you and purring. 

You spent a lot of money on couches, sofas, chairs, curtains, beds, rugs, and carpets, or even if you didn't, they still cost a good chunk of change to repair or replace.  From your cats' point of view, your furniture is THEIRS!  If you are ok with that, you may stop reading here; you have officially become your cats' indentured servant.  Good luck with that life of servitude. There is an expression that every cat owner will agree to: "Dogs have masters, cats have staff".  If you are part of the staff, then your entire house is a kitty condo and this article serves no purpose.  If you are the master just letting your cat think she has a staff, (lets face it, those are the only 2 options!) then lets continue. 

Now if you agree that a cat does not need to be scratching your stuff, then you need to buy your little feline a kitty condo.  Once bought, don't expect her to just jump on and know what to do.  The first thing she is going to do is look at it and then look at you with a "What the heck is that, and why are you looking at me like that?" look on her face.  You are going to need to encourage her to use it; otherwise you just spent fifty to a hundred dollars on carpeted corner art.  WOW! 

There are a few things that you need to make sure your kitty condo has before bringing it home to display as art…I mean to give to your cat.  It should have at least one scratching post, a cat perch, a cat bed, and a cat tree (A.K.A. a kitty condo).  Scratching posts are probably the most important part of the whole deal.  Cats NEED to scratch.  This is how they keep their nails trimmed and healthy. They also get their exercise this way. Make sure it accommodates the amount and activity level of your cats.

You don't need to spend a fortune on kitty condos with special beds in them. If you let your cat talk you into it, you could be spending well over a hundred bucks on a kitty condo that does not serve the needs of your cat.  Remember, regardless of what your cat may tell you, YOU are the master.  Try not to forget that. 

 A cat needs a bed that is private, clean, and quiet. Old blankets, pillows and towels work great. These things seem to be where they tend to sleep even if you buy the most expensive cat bed. They will be just as happy with this as they would a silk lined bed stuffed with Egyptian cotton. 

Cats also LOVE perches.  They love to be up high looking at everything around them.  Some cat perches are designed to be placed on a windowsill so that your cat can look out of a window.  This is something that cats love to do. 

Kitty condos come in all shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and layouts that should meet the approval of your cat.  They are usually carpeted and give your cat several levels for lots of enjoyment.  It provides the perfect place for you cat to scratch, sleep, and perch from high on her throne.  Every kitty needs a kitty condo. Most will serve the purpose of a throne as well, and what kitty queen is not happy with a throne?  But just keep one thing in mind; if you spend more on your cats' condo than you did on yours, you need to rethink you and your cats' relationship.  You should not be part of the staff.  That's what the dog is for!