Sammy & Amber
....and by "babies" I mean Sammy and Amber, our two cats. They were born from the same litter, which I guess makes them twins, but they couldn't look or act more different! Here are some tips and tricks for what has worked for us the last year, when it comes to our cats.
One of our first battles was deciding on cat litter. We have gone through just about every type of litter out there. Here's the break down:
Clay litter: bad for cats. Click here to read an article on clumping clay litters and the health dangers to cats.
Silica crystals: contains silica, and much like clay litter, can be a health hazard for cats.
Pine based litters: we tried these for a while but they track EVERYWHERE. Even with regular scooping, the pine pellets break down into dust and get in everything. The couch, the bed, the shower...anywhere that cats go, the litter goes.
Recycled newspaper litter: We used Yesterdays Mews for a long time, because it's flushable and recycled, but it STINKS. Maybe our cast pee a lot, I don't know. After about 4 days, our house would smell like a urinal.
World's Best Cat Litter: corn based and flushable, but it smells sour, which did not help with our smell issue. We switched back to the recycled newspaper after a small bag of this.
Arm & Hammer Performance: I read on moderncat that Arm & Hammer Performance is actually corn based. We're on our first bag of it, and it's working pretty well. It's a little too perfume-y for me but it's better than the smell of urine. It clumps and is not flushable, so we are using up our paper bags disposing of it. In my new quest to drastically reduce our use of plastic, I will go hunting for biodegradable bags to scoop the litter. We will probably stick with this one. It does track as well, but with the addition of a litter mat under the box, that has reduced drastically.
Sammy the helper...he's so clingy!
The other battle we've had is food. The cats loved Trader Joe's natural cat food, but it's not very economical. While at another store one day, I picked up a large bag of natural pet food by Purina...the cats were fine until we got almost to the bottom of the bag. Then they started throwing up multiple times per day. We were also using The World's Best Cat Litter at this time, so it could have been one or the other. We got rid of both. I called one of my vegan/health nut friends and asked her the name of her cat food. Evo. I love it. It's in a purple bag and is found at smaller pet stores (not chain ones like Petco). It's made from vegetables and meat. Yummy and good for the babies.
We also used to supplement their diet with raw food. I get the frozen kind that comes in nugget form. It's easy to regulate and all you have to do is thaw it in the fridge before giving it to them. They are being a bit snobby about the pheasant at the moment, though.
Amber, "smelling" the warmth of our daylight lamp, mid-winter.
Recently, some things have gone wrong with the kitties' claws, and after a trip to the vet's, I've added an omega 3 fatty acids supplement to their diet. Hopefully this will help with their dry coats and splitting nails.
Now all they need is a cute cat scratcher/tree from IKEA and they'll be set :) Some people say I baby my cats too much, but they are my equivalent of kids, and I would do anything for them. Wouldn't you do the same for your children?