Monthly Archives: December 2016

Is Christmas Shopping Going To The Dogs?

So, what’s your cat getting for Christmas this year? If you’re like most cat people, you’re looking for toys, and you’re buying them online.

The most reviewed cat toy on Amazon: The Catit Design Senses Play Circuit, a long “peek-boo-track” with a colorful ball inside.

Going To The Dogs

This year, holiday shoppers are expected to spend an average of $62 each on Christmas gifts for their animal companions, according to a study by SLI Systems, a provider of e-commerce solutions and services for mid-size to large Internet retailers.
But a big chunk of the money, the company found, is going to the dogs. SLI looked at 3.5 million searches on eight pet products websites. Searches containing the word “dog” were 2.5 times more popular than searches for cat items. 
Dog beds were the most common search, edging out collars and even toys. But while dogs might sleep the holidays away, cats will be up and running. Most of the people shopping for cats were looking for toys and scratching items.
Maybe because dog beds can be expensive, searches that included the word “sale” were 16 percent more common among dog owners than they were among people who were looking for gifts for cats. 

Amazon’s Top Ten 

If you’re still looking for gift ideas for your cats, these are the top 10 best sellers on Amazon.

Tip For Christmas Shopping For Cats

I have to admit I’m one of those millions of Amazon Christmas shoppers. That’s where I find the most interesting gifts for my cats. They love Hot Cats, and I can’t find them locally.
No matter what your cats love to play with, here are some things to keep in mind when you’re Christmas shopping for cats.
  • Make sure the toys are big enough for adult cats. Many toys, especially the bat and swat toys that you put on the floor for the cats to play with themselves, are designed for kittens, not adults.
  • Cats don’t care whether their play mice have eyes and bells, and sewn-on eyes and bells can be a choking hazard. 
  • Look for toys that are durable and well-made. There’s nothing more frustrating than catching a “mouse” and having it fall apart at the seams. 
  • Avoid toys that are filled with nutshells, beans or polystyrene beads. These, too, could be a choking hazard if the toy falls apart.
And here’s one more holiday tip. Save those cartons your online purchases come in for your cats. A big box with crunchy packing paper inside could be the best Christmas gift of all for a cat! 

NoBowl Cat Feeding System – Because Every Cat Hunts

NoBowl Cat Feeding System
A “skin” holds the NoBowl cat

food container.

So you’re thinking your cat’s sort of fat and lazy. Here’s something that might get him up off the couch and slim him down.

The NoBowl Feeding System provides portion-controlled dry food meals in little plastic containers that fit inside “skins.” The skins look and sort of feel like mice.

The idea is to hide the “mice” around the house, so your cat has to hunt for his food.

When he finds it, he can swat the mouse around until all the food falls out, and then he gets to enjoy a small meal.

How Cats Like To Eat

Instinct tells cats to eat several small meals a day. Outside, they might hunt and eat what they catch as many as 20 times in a 24-hour period. And Mother Nature doesn’t present their food in plastic bowls or on cute ceramic dishes.

Their mealtime ritual is to watch, pounce, shred their prey with their teeth and then eat it off the ground. No dinnerware needed.

Veterinarian Susan Bales, who developed the NoBowl system, says “food is only half of the mealtime equation.” Hunting, she says is just as important. And when we deliver our cats’ food to them in bowls, we’re “denying them the ability to fulfill this instinct.”

Looks Like A Mouse, Feels Like A Mouse… Sort Of

The soft fabric skin of the NoBowl Feeding System is intended to simulate prey. Cats can grip it with their claws to pick it up and push it around like they would with a real mouse. Bales says its shape is designed to move and roll like a mouse would.
The plastic dishes holding the dry food fit inside the skin and are secured with a drawstring. 

Sounds Great, But…

The question is, will cats hunt for dry food? If they can’t smell it from a few feet away, will they even bother looking for it? If the “mouse” doesn’t move and squeak like a real one does, is the thrill of the hunt missing from the equation?

And cats love routine and predictability almost as much as they love catching things. Cats who live outside and spend their days hunting still appreciate finding a bowl of food delivered to the same place at the same time every day, although they’d probably be just as happy with only the food and no bowl.

I envision very hungry, grouchy house cats if they have to spend their days tracking down motionless, almost-odorless bits of cereal, which is what dry food really is.

My cats don’t eat dry food because it’s so bad for them in so many ways. And we don’t have plastic dishes. But if we did this, I think I’d use the mice to replace the bottomless bowl of dry food and leave them in places that were easy to find. Then, the cats would have the fun and stimulation of “killing” their food, even if they didn’t have to hunt for it. They’d still get their wet food in bowls, in the same place, twice a day.

If you want to try the NoBowl Feeding system, you can buy it online on Bales’s website.  And if you do try it, I’d love to know what your cats think. You can tell us in the comments section below.

Certified Humane Cat Food

Open Farm dry cat food is Certified Humane.

Open Farm, a Canadian pet food company, recently introduced its Certified Humane dry cat food in the US market.

To be certified humane, food must come from farms where animals can express such natural behaviors as flapping wings and moving around freely in their environments.

They must also live free of cages and gestation crates and be raised without antibiotics, growth hormones and animal by-products.

To find out where to buy Open Farm cat food in the US, visit Certified Humane’s Where to Shop page.