Debra Lynn Dadd

Starting kittens off Green!

QUESTION:

Hello!
I am in the process of adopting 2 kittens from the local humane society. I would like to make the products I buy for them as green as possible (without breaking the bank!) Does anyone have any specific recommendations or websites/stores that sell green(er) litterboxes, toys, food, and pet beds? I have looked into the Feline Pine litter, and plan to use it, but have not found any other green, cost-effective cat products out there yet. Thanks!

POSTED BY KARA GOVONI :: MIESSENCE PRODUCTS :: WWW.JKGOVONI.MIONEGROUP.COM :: OHIO USA :: 08/15/2008 3:59 PM


DEBRA'S ANSWER:

We use feline pine for our cat and have had our share of kittens over the years. You can read about our cat at At Home With Debra: Caring for My Cat.

Readers, suggestions for kittens?

Debra :-)


COMMENTS:

If you've been living with cats before you will basically know what you're doing. If not:

My cats hate the smell of Feline Pine and so did I, an alternative is luvlitters, only available online. I tried all litters available but my cats would only use the clumping Dr. Elsey's.

Dr. Elsey's is one of the few that is absolute fragrance-free.

Meanwhile they will only go outdoors, even in a snow storm.

Don't get those covered litter boxes, a larger dish pan and later (when they are fully grown) any large sturdy easy to clean box, and NO LINER or anything fancy.

For toys I can highly recommend purrfectplay.com, all organic and hand made in the U.S.!!!

I also made a lot myself with strings and old socks and catnip from mountainroseherbs.com, and of course boxes, boxes, boxes...

A cardboard box with holes cut in the top and some toys (that can also be some crumbled up paper notes you tossed in the waste paper basket) thrown inside, a maze built of boxes, they will basically let you know what excites them and you have complete control of what materials to use.

A must toy for any indoor kitty is da bird!! Not organic but an absolute must!

heartofvermont,com make all organic pet beds but you could also do that yourself. You can spend all that money and/or work but eventually it will be that old towel on YOUR favorite office chair where they will choose to sleep or your organic pillow, staring and breathing in your face until you FINALLY get up at 5:00 AM.

Food I can only recommend prey4pets.com, real food for carnivores.

Anything else is like feeding human children exclusively canned soup and captain crunch.

And remember: dogs have a master, cats have staff!

Although I consider us a democracy, with often lively discussions.

And last but not least I would like to thank you in the name of my feral born monsters that you plan to adopt from a shelter.

POSTED BY ULLI :: MARYLAND USA :: 08/18/2008 5:20 PM


Our old 20 year old cat seems to be learning at a faster rate than when he was young, he cuddles more, talks more, but has trouble grooming himself. Just mentioning this because some cats don't live that long. A couple of years ago, he "slowed down", going outside once or twice a day briefly but mostly lying in a corner beside the kitchen/dining roon door. He no longer came upstairs and we decided he was just old and should be able to do pretty much what he wanted to do.

Then one night Tom carried him upstairs as we have done with other older pets. We figure when he wanted to be independant, he tried going downstairs....he was down there in the morning. Then he really got brave and tried going upstairs....so we got him a little set of steps so he could get up on the bed. Now he comes and goes several times a day. The next step was to work out a potty solution as he is big and clumbsy and could no longer get in the cat box (they go outside, but we can't let them manage this on their own because then the Jack Russells could get out the same "cat door.") What we came up with was a rug beside the cat box which Harry uses to pee but then calls us and we put a bit of vinegar out of a plastic squeeze bottle on it. It gets washed every couple of days. We also found a larger plastic pan for under washers with a slight lip....which we have room for upstairs....would work well in a garage....which he can use. How do we know if he wants fresh water....he loooves fresh water...or the vinegar bottle....depends on where he is sitting after he calls us. Now who is smarter people or humans....they understand our language better than we understand ours....they get free vallet and maid service, free food, don't have to work, etc. In Harry's case he gets free massages and brushing...."he can't reach everyplace anymore."

POSTED BY JULIE :: INDIANA USA :: 08/20/2008 1:47 PM


A few years ago, I rescued a feral momma kitty and her two kittens (about 2 weeks old at the time). I ordered Evolution cat food online. There's lots of controversy about feeding your pets vegetarian style, but since it has been a part of my lifestyle for decades. I feel it is for each of us to decide. Evolution pet food is made by a veterinarian and, while I had fed a former cat homemade veggie foods, I wanted a less fussy way to prepare meals for the kitties. I purchased the bag of dry food. There is a little preparation: you add water to the dry kibbles and let it sit a little while before serving. All three cats loved the Evolution and immediately began to look better. Momma Kitty had been on the street for several years and so I was especially impressed with her easy acceptance. All three cats were healthy with fabulously beautiful furry coats and clear eyes. No respiratory problems, or digestive problems. Healthy stools all round, too. On the down side--Evolution is very expensive. For me and the kitties, it was a necessary expense that created healthy, strong and happy kitties.

POSTED BY REENIE :: FLORIDA USA :: 08/26/2008 10:21 AM


We use a clumping cat litter called "Swheat Scoop" made from wheat hulls. It is available in many pet stores and online and works well for us.

We buy organic cat food (wet food only) and treats from a local natural pet store called Bark (www.barknatural.com - yes, we are very lucky to have one in our area). I've heard that dry food is dehydrating to the system so we avoid it completely. Just observe some dry nuggets if you add a bit of water; usually they expand with the moisture, so imagine that inside the cat's/dog's digestive tract.

Once a week or so, I make a batch of homemade food from human ingredients; a favorite is chicken (75% meat, including gristle, skin etc) cooked with sweet potatoes and peas or string beans (25% vegs) in a little water. In a blender, I grind up all the vegs and most of the meat (with gristle, skin and cartilege but not bones), leaving some small chunks of meat for interest and texture. The consistency is like cooked oatmeal or grits. I've experimented with various combinations of vegs and meat so you may have to try a few combinations until you find one that your kittens like.

How wonderful to start your new family members out with such great care!!

POSTED BY MARY C :: MARYLAND USA :: 09/01/2008 2:03 PM


When I was helping with cat rescue at a no kill cat sanctuary, the favorite game of all cats, (even the most feral would peak out of their hiding spots and watch with great interest), was a homemade fishing pole made with some camp cord/string that I tied on to a section of a bamboo pole. The games began. BTW, some cats preferred to chase the cord as it was drug around on the floor, while other cats were definitely the jumping sort of hunters, and I just slung the cord about as they jumped. Some cats did both...jump and chase.

Picture mayhem with 12-15 cats playing. So I created a little order by calling out each cat's name loud and clear as it was his or her turn. All quickly learned this was how it was done, and not to butt in to another's turn. There were occasional few who couldn't wait their turn and butt in, but all in all this was great fun.

I had to run very fast in a small room to make it the right sort of pace for the play=hunt. Cats chewed on the cord a lot. And while there were several store bought fishing poles with metal hooks and feathers on the end, I didn't like to use them because of possible injury. Also, I tied a knot on the end of the cord so they could bite grab onto it and give a good tug.

POSTED BY REENIE :: FLORIDA USA :: 09/01/2008 2:31 PM


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