A Paw-sitively Creative Contest Where You Could Win $1,500

Source: www.tuftandpaw.com
Photo source: www.tuftandpaw.com
Do you love cats and have design chops or a flare for creative ideas? If so, Tuft + Paw has an amazing contest that’s right up your alley. They’re looking for feline furniture ideas that help cats, humans, and the planet.

If you think you’ve got a great idea for a sustainable cat bed, enter their contest, and you could win $1,500. Plus, your winning design will be produced in the U.S. and promoted as one of Tuft + Paw’s new flagship products. And your paw-some product will also be donated to animal shelters across the country.

There are only five simple guidelines for creating your original design:

  1. Make it sustainable: As part of Tuft + Paw’s commitment to environmentally responsible products, your cat furniture design should be made from ethically sourced and produced materials that don’t harm the planet.
  2. Make it affordable: Tuft + Paw want to keep costs down so that the final product is affordable for all cat lovers.
  3. Make it beautiful: Don’t skimp on style. They want to see something that adds a “wow” factor to modern homes and looks more like it belongs to an interior designer than a Tabby cat.
  4. Make it practical: Along with a physical prototype, you’re asked to include technical drawings that specify exact dimensions and instructions for how it will be produced.
  5. Make it easy to ship: Your design should be lightweight and easy to ship. This will encourage Tuft + Paw customers to donate your product to animal shelters. You get bonus points for collapsible flat-pack shapes, so it’s like you’re coming up with an IKEA design for cat furniture!

So leap up to your drawing board today as the deadline for submissions is October 31st.

Tuft + Paw specializes in providing cats with the best possible environment—one that also protects and enhances the beauty of our world. Their modern products are designed for your cat’s enjoyment and comfort, and they’re also sustainable and ethically made.

This company with a heart has thought of everything your kitty needs to enjoy the lap of luxury, while also being eco-friendly. This includes an assortment of cozy sleep products, including cat beds, hammocks, houses, and teepees. You’ll also find cat trees and perches, cat toys, and some of the best looking eco-friendly litter box furniture that I’ve ever seen. They’re worthy of an entire blog post of their own (watch for it in a future blog article—they’re THAT gorgeous).

To learn more about the sustainable cat bed design contest, and get inspired by Tuft + Paw’s beautiful cat furniture, visit their website at www.tuftandpaw.com.

A Gift Box of Natural Eco-Friendly Sisal Cat Toys

sisal-cat-toy

Cat owners on the lookout for a good deal on sisal cat toys will appreciate Natural Pet Company’s Megapack. Each sturdy but attractive, eco-friendly box contains seven different toys for hours and hours of fun and delightful play.

The colorful toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures – one toy even has bells. Several toys are mouse-shaped, purr-fect for bringing out your cat’s hunting prowess, or showing off her adventurous side. Each toy is made with natural materials, including sisal, a fiber used in ropes and matting that comes from the agave sisalana plant.

Yup, that’s a type of agave plant that is native to Mexico, but is cultivated and grown around the world. Agave plants are succulents, meaning that they store water in their leaves. They’re desert plants and thus, require much less water than other types of plants such as cotton. While you may know agave for its syrup or nectar (as a sugar substitute), agave sisalana is cultivated for its durable fibers. Sisal fiber is incredibly strong and flexible, making it the perfect material to make cat toys that withstand your kitty’s sharp claws.

One of the best things kitty will love about the megapack of toys is that playtime begins the moment you lift the lid of the box. There is no plastic to cut away or tear off. The toys are not individually wrapped. Just open the lid and let your cat choose from the variety of toys. When play is over for the day, you can store the toys in their own individual spots in the box for the next time your kitty is ready for some playful exercise. This is a great way to store toys safely out of reach until the next time your cat is ready to play, which might be sooner than later with these exciting toys!

The Natural Pet Company brings you in on the fun, too, with their interactive wand toy that you control. The wand is about 16 inches long, and connects to a 2-foot long bungee cord. At the end of the cord, a mouse dangles, ready to tantalize your cat into vigorous play. As you move the wand, your kitty will jump for his prey, until you reward him by lowering the mouse within his reach (that is, if kitty hasn’t already scored a connection with the mouse).

Cats (if they could talk), and their owners (who do talk) rave about this toy assortment. “…This set of toys is beautifully made,” says one customer. “…My cats like the toys and they seem well-made,” says another.

What an appealing idea to package seven toys in one box! The price is also appealing because you get a megapack of seven toys for one low price. Since online prices often do vary, click here to check the latest pricing. The Megapack makes a great gift idea for your cat, cats, or cat-loving friends and family (as in their cats will love the toys, maybe not the people so much!)

This May Be Why Your Cat Has Struvite Crystals or Cystitis

53590533 - portrait of a 10-year old female grey cat

Have you scoured the Internet for reasons why your cat keeps getting struvite crystals or recurring cystitis no matter what you do? Maybe you’ve tried everything. You’ve fed your cat the special prescription diet, or you’ve switched to a no carb, high protein diet of wet food. Maybe you’re adding a natural cranberry supplement to your cat’s meals, or you’ve switched to feeding a raw meat diet. If you’ve tried everything, but your cat still gets struvite crystals, have you considered your cat’s drinking water?

I’m not a vet, and what I discovered was through personal experience, so it hasn’t been thoroughly vetted—so to speak, nor does it mean that it will apply to your cat and their situation. However, I’m sharing my experience in the hopes that it may help other cat owners who are baffled over why their cats have persistent urinary tract issues.

This information is not intended to replace veterinary care. Struvite crystals can be life threatening so always follow your vet’s recommendations. But if you’re at your wit’s end, maybe this is the missing puzzle piece that will help prevent recurring crystals or cystitis in your cat.

“Some cats get them no matter what you do”

Over the course of my cat, Furball’s, 15-plus years, he’s had three instances of a blocked bladder due to struvite crystals. The first time it happened was when he was about two years old. I took him to the vet and he got the works: catheter insertion, subcutaneous fluids, antibiotics, and antispasmodics. About a thousand dollars later, I asked the vet what could be done to prevent struvite crystals from recurring in the future.

She told me to feed him a prescription diet and also to give him lots of water with his food so that any crystals would be continuously flushed out of his system. When I asked her why cats got crystals, her answer surprised me. Maybe veterinary medicine has improved since then, but she told me that they didn’t really know. “Some cats get them no matter what you do.”

I didn’t leave feeling very reassured, but I felt like I had no other options. So I gave Furball the prescription food and filled his food bowl with water. I fed him the diet for a few months, and the crystals were under control, but Furball’s normally lustrous coat turned dry, dull, and wiry.

He’d always had super shiny soft fur, so I knew it had to be the food. Since he’d been stable for several months, I decided to try tweaking his diet and eventually shifted him to a diet of half prescription food, with the other half consisting of a rotation of natural cat foods. He thrived on this diet, and was fine for years.

But then we moved to a new apartment, experienced an earthquake, and my husband accidentally dropped a tray of cutlery on the floor—all within a short timeframe. These events completely stressed out Furball, and it was not long before he had another case of a blocked bladder. I took him to the emergency vet, went through the usual routine, and got the same recommendations and lack of answers on how to prevent crystals. Sensing there had to be more I could do, I took him to a holistic vet once Furball was out of the emergency phase.

Views from a Holistic Vet

The holistic vet visit was very illuminating. No prior vet had told me about the importance of maintaining an acidic urine level to prevent struvite crystals. The holistic vet told me that was how prescription diets worked. They had additives to make the cat’s urine more acidic. She told me the same thing could be achieved by feeding my cat grain-free cat food that was high in protein.

She highly recommended that Furball get moisture from his food, namely wet food as opposed to adding water to dry kibble. She explained that simply adding water was hard on his kidneys because cats are desert animals not used to processing a lot of water. Here’s a list of the natural cat foods that she recommended.

She also told me that obesity and stress increased my cat’s risk of getting struvite crystals and a blocked bladder. So I made changes to his diet again, and Furball was good for another few years. But then we moved into our first house, and the baby arrived.

I don’t remember all that much from those sleep-deprived years of raising a baby/toddler. But I do recall there was a point where Furball started showing signs of straining to use his litter box, so I immediately took him to the vet. He once again tested positive for struvite crystals and he also had cystitis.

Furball was placed back on the prescription diet. I was advised again to give him as much water as possible, and we also had to give Furball antibiotics and antispasmodics. This time however, even though the level of struvite crystals in his urine went down, he continued to have recurring issues with straining to pee.

The vet was an assh*t, competent but with a tendency to dominate the animals. Furball hated him so I took him to another vet. This one was nice, but couldn’t offer any additional insights. The holistic vet wasn’t available, and then one day, my poor cat stopped eating. He became lethargic, and it looked like he had reached the end of his nine lives.

Rather than subject Furball to the stress of visiting the vet again when they had no new insights or information, I figured it would be better to let Furball pass away peacefully at home. He didn’t seem to be in pain even though he was not very responsive.

As I sat with my cat, crying and petting him, I got the idea to place my hands on his back shu points (acupuncture points) for the bladder. I imagined sending him loving energy through my hands, and an amazing thing happened. Furball began purring. So I stayed in that position for almost an hour, imagining healing energy flowing to my cat, and he continued to purr.

It was getting late so I said what I thought might be my final goodbye and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning not knowing what to expect, but surprisingly Furball was absolutely fine. He was running about, eating food, drinking water, and purring. It was like nothing had happened.

Realization

I kept wondering why my cat kept getting recurring cystitis when he was on the prescription diet, getting cranberry supplements, and drinking so much water. How did he get crystals in the first place when he was on a premium pure chicken, all-protein diet formulated for cats?

Then it suddenly dawned on me. Furball had been eating a dehydrated cat food that required the addition of water. And because of the cystitis and recent bout of struvite crystals, I was giving my cat extra water all the time. Was it the water?

When we moved, our new home was in a different municipality. Was the water in this district somehow different? It did seem to have a high mineral content because we always had a ring build up in the toilet bowl. Could the minerals be alkalinizing the water or causing sediment in my cat’s urine?

test-ph-cat-urineI needed pH testing strips like the ones used in high school science classes. I found pH strips on Amazon (the strips for testing cat urine can also be used to test water), and when they arrived, I tested our tap water. It tested slightly alkaline. No wonder my cat was forming crystals in his urine. He needed an acidic diet to prevent the formation of struvite crystals, and I was giving him lots of alkaline water. No one had told me to check the water. It’s supposed to be pH neutral, but it wasn’t.

I went to the grocery store, bought a bottle of water, and tested it with a pH strip. It was surprisingly slightly acidic. Perfect for my cat, but not so perfect for people or the environment. Anyhow, I’ve been buying bottled water for my cat for over three years now.

I know, I know, you’re cringing at the idea of bottled water. How can I do such a thing when California has been in a drought for four years, and when I wrote about hardcore ways to save water? And what about the plastic waste? Even New Delhi banned disposable plastics. So how can I in good conscience give my cat bottled water?

Well I’ll be honest. It’s one of those things you wrestle with. For some people, this crosses the line and I can respect and appreciate that. Furball’s my furbaby so I try to find other ways to offset the impact, kind of like buying carbon tax credits when you fly. The people in our household don’t drink bottled water—only the cat. We drink tap water and use reusable water bottles wherever we go.

Since I switched Furball to bottled water, I weaned him off the prescription diet again because it was making him vomit and made his coat dull. We also moved again, experienced a few earthquakes, and Furball was shut in a bedroom for an entire day while workmen with loud machinery cleaned and replaced the insulation in the attic.

Despite all of these stresses, it’s been three years and Furball has not had a single reoccurrence of cystitis or a blocked bladder. Fingers crossed that my kitty lives into his second decade in good health. And I hope your cat does too.

Easy Ways to Keep Your Pet Happy While Focusing on the Planet

It’s easy to be green AND have happy pets without sacrificing your commitment to environmental sustainability. Start making a difference with small changes, and you may even inspire your pet-loving friends to follow suit. Here are three simple ways to start “greening” your pet’s life.

1. Use Reusable Cat Boxes or Biodegradable Litter Boxes and Liners

While pets may have different temperaments and personalities, there’s one thing they all have in common: they pee and poop! Hopefully, your pets have great bathroom manners, and to help support them, look for accessories that are better for the planet.

For example, look for cat litter boxes made from recycled plastic. And it goes without saying that reusuable ones are best for the environment. But if you have to use liners or disposable boxes, look for biodegradable ones.

If you have a doggy pal, look for biodegradable dog waste bags too. Keep plenty of those on hand to clean up after a canine, especially when taking your dog for walks in public areas.

2. Freshen Up Your Home With All Natural, Eco-Friendly Products

From counters and carpets to windows and floors, there are many things in your home that require regular cleaning. However, as an eco-conscious pet owner, you may hesitate to keep chemicals in your home that could make your pets ill or harm the environment. After all, your four-legged pals spend the most time on the floor and often lick their fur too.

Fortunately, you can buy cleaning products that are safe for humans, pets, and the planet. Seventh Generation and Method are two widely available brands that you can easily find in many stores and definitely online.

You can also make your own cleaning products with simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. And you may already have these in your kitchen pantry!

3. Only Buy the Toys Your Pet Likes Best

Some pet owners go overboard when buying toys for their pets. But does your cat really need six different mice with feathers on the outside and catnip inside? Probably not. That’s why it’s a good idea to pay attention and notice which toys your cat plays with most often, and only purchase the most durable ones.

Similarly, watch your dog at play and determine which toys it plays with most often. Keep your dog entertained with these toys and only buy more when they break or get worn out.

Otherwise, you’ll waste money and resources by investing in pet toys too frequently. When you focus on how your pet likes to play and buy more durable toys, you don’t waste materials and still keep your pets happy, engaged, and content.

These simple suggestions are just a few ways you can help save the planet and pamper your pets. Start practicing them today, and before you know it, you’ll be looking for more ways to green your pet!

5 Amazing Wins for Mother Earth in 2017:
Good News from Around the World

environment good news, good news earthGood news! It’s not all doom and gloom for planet Earth. Positive changes are happening all around the world in a big way. Governments, citizens and non-profits are working together to protect endangered species and their habitats. Cities and countries are going green by embracing new technologies, reducing their dependency on oil and gas, and banning disposable plastics. The global shift to care for our planet is happening at an accelerated rate, and it’s unstoppable.

Here’s some good news to start off 2017:

1. Grrreat News for Tigers

Since this is a cat blog, let’s start off with some grrreat news for big cats. The wild tiger population is on the rise for the first time in a century. A 2016 survey counted 3,890 tigers, which is an increase from an estimate of 3,200 tigers in 2010. Tiger numbers are up in India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan as these countries work to protect tiger habitats and discourage poaching.

Source: National Geographic

2. Pandas Are No Longer Endangered

There’s even more great news for cats. The giant panda was downgraded from endangered to threatened. Why is it good news for cats? Because in Chinese, the literal translation of the Chinese characters for panda is “bear cat.”
Some encouraging numbers:

  • 17% increase in the number of giant pandas from 2004 to 2014
  • 1,864 wild pandas living in their natural habitat (not in zoos)
  • 67 panda reserves protect almost two-thirds of the wild panda population

Source: World Wildlife Fund

3. China Announces Ban on Ivory Sales

It’s a landmark year for elephants because the Chinese government is on track to ban commercial processing and ivory sales by March 2017. The ban reflects a dramatic change in public opinion over ivory. A recent study by Save the Elephants found that 71% of Chinese citizens were opposed to the ivory trade. That’s a huge shift in consciousness because in 2012, less than half of those surveyed were opposed to ivory trading. This big change has resulted in an 85% decline in ivory purchases. With less demand, the price of ivory has fallen sharply from $4,600 to $2,400 per pound. Less money = fewer poachers = more elephants in the future.

Source: Good News Network

4. Netherlands’ Electric Trains Now Run on Wind Energy

The Dutch keep leading the world with sustainable transportation. In addition to their extensive network of bicycle paths, every electric train in the country is now powered by wind energy. What’s even more amazing and inspiring is that Dutch railway companies made this pledge in 2015, and reached their goal a full year ahead of schedule. Just goes to show that when cities are committed to making a positive impact, they can change like the wind.

Source: Good News Network

5. Delhi Recently Bans All Disposable Plastics

Delhi is the third largest city in the world, with a population of 18.9 million. This Indian city recently voted for a complete ban on disposable plastics. Because Asian countries are the biggest consumers of these plastics, the ban will significantly help to reduce plastic waste. And the ban is inspiring enterprising businesses to develop new technologies such as edible plastics.

Source: TreeHugger

Be the Change You Want to See

While governments have been instrumental in many of these changes, the initiative for change always begins with citizens at the individual level. People make the difference. Education and raising awareness make a difference.

Will you help be the change you want to see?

Please share this article to inspire others. Thank you.

Love This! The Purrfect Valentine’s Day Gift for Your Cat

cat cardboard scratcher, heart bed, valentine's gift for cat
How purrfect that I saw this cute eco-friendly lounge and cat scratcher on Valentine’s Day! When your kitty steps inside, her heart will be filled with love. This heart-shaped bed is made from corrugated cardboard and non-toxic glue—plus it’s also recyclable. With its thick 1” walls, your kitty can snuggle up inside, and the 1.5” base makes a great scratching surface for her to stretch her claws.
cat cardboard scratcher, heart bed, valentine's gift for cat
Available in two fashionable styles, box color and leopard print, this scratcher can blend in tastefully with your home or make a statement. Whichever style you choose, at 14” x 12” x 3.5”, it’s super easy to find a cozy corner to place the lounge.
valentine's day gift for cat, recyclable cardboard cat scratcher lounge
While the physical bed itself allergy isn’t huge, it is BIG on heart, and quite durable. There’s even a picture of a person standing on the sides of this heart-shaped cat scratcher, so you can be sure that this bed can handle a cat. As one wise reviewer pointed out, cats love to fit themselves into tiny spaces. Your cat will be purring with love when you give her the purrfect Valentine’s Day gift. And that’s at the heart of Valentine’s Day—sharing love :). So even if you take a pass on this scratcher, give your cat some extra pats today, and tell her you love her!

5 Luxurious Eco-friendly Gifts for Your Cat

If you’ve been on the lookout for an extra special gift for your cat, here are five fabulous finds for your feline. They’re eco-friendly, decadent, and the purrfect way to show your appreciation for your kitty’s loyal and loving companionship.

1. The Ripple Rug – Thermal Cat Activity Play Mat

The Ripple Rug is a giant hide-and-seek playground, scratch mat, and cozy cat cave. This fun and interactive “rug” has an assortment of flaps and slits that can be adjusted to create an endless assortment of tunnels, caves, and peekaboo holes for your cat’s head or paws. You customize the mat by simply lifting and releasing to create random shapes and configuration. This has got to be one of the coolest and most innovative ideas for cats.
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Besides the great play value—and snuggle value after playtime, the Ripple Rug is also eco-friendly. It’s made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The non-slip rubber bottom is insulated to help keep the mat in place, and eliminate static electricity. The rug is lightweight and folds up easily for storage. While it’s not cheap, it’s not as expensive as you might think. You can check out the latest pricing for the Ripple Rug on Amazon.

2. Catnip Star

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For a little bit of festive luxury that won’t break the bank, the West Paw Catnip Star is a pawsome green cat toy. The star is green on one side (white on the other), and it’s also green on the inside because it’s filled with USDA-approved 100% organic catnip. Plus, it’s made in America, in Bozeman, Montana to be precise, by West Paw Design, a leader in the Sustainable Pet Coalition. This super-soft plush cat toy will surprise and delight your kitty and it’s available for under $10 at West Paw’s online shop.

3. ComfyCat Cave

The ComfyCat Cave is a cozy cat bed sustainably handcrafted in Nepal from 100% New Zealand merino wool that is responsibly sourced. This bed is super cute and can be popped open to create a warm and cozy cave for your kitty, or it can be pressed down for a more traditional cat bed.

catgeeks-cat-bed-review
When I first saw it, I have to admit I was a bit shocked at the price, but since my cat, Furball, has been a loyal and loving companion for over 15 years, I figured after 15 years, he totally deserved something nice to sleep in. The poor guy has been sleeping in assorted corners on the floor since we moved to a new home.

My biggest concern about the bed was whether it would be itchy, and whether my cat would actually go inside. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded. The merino wool is super soft and not the least bit itchy, and the opening was big enough for my 15-pound cat to easily step inside. As soon as I set down the bed, Furball immediately went inside to check it out. However, he prefers the bed in its “flattened” state and now, his favorite spot to sleep. I won’t lie, this bed is pricey, but seeing Furball enjoy his new bed so much has been worth every penny. Check out Amazon to see the variety of cat cave beds.

4. Catty Stacks

It’s hard to beat the humble cardboard box when it comes to “recycle and reuse,” and nothing attracts a cat faster than an empty box. Catty Stacks are a way to up level the box, both literally and figuratively. These modular boxes can be stacked and joined together in multiple ways to create a kitty condo or impressive cat playground. Made from sturdy recycled cardboard, Catty Stacks are strong enough to support cats weighing up to 20lbs.

Catty Stacks review

If you’ve been looking for a fun and attractive alternative to cardboard boxes, Catty Stacks look great in any home, and they come in an array of colors derived from vegetable-based inks. They’re super easy to assemble and set up, and 100% recyclable too. To learn more about the story behind this product, check out this interview with Frank Callari, the inventor of Catty Stacks.

And if you want to get your paws on a set of these brilliant building blocks, you’ll find Catty Stacks online at Amazon.com. While it’s rather ironic that they’ll be delivered in a cardboard box, this will be one of those times where your cat will love what’s inside the box even more than the packaging it comes in.

5. Ultimate Cat Scratcher and Lounge

What makes PetFusion’s Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge so much better than other scratchers? Size, good looks, durability, and eco-friendliness. But with over 4,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, don’t just take our word for it.

petfusion-ultimate-scratcher

The first thing you’ll notice about the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is how big it is. At 34″ long, 10.5″ inches wide, and 10.5 inches high, there’s plenty of room for your cat to comfortably lounge and stretch out. And if you’ve got more than one cat, Petfusion offers a jumbo-sized cat scratcher and lounge.

cat-jumbo-lounge-recycled

With a cat scratcher this big, it’s not easy to hide it from sight. Luckily, you don’t have to because it’s so attractive, you’ll want people to see it. Its designed so that you can also mount it to the wall and you can trust it will hold up well because it’s made from a recycled corrugated cardboard that is denser and more durable than lower priced corrugated cardboard cat scratchers.

The scratcher’s symmetrical design doubles its use because when one side wears out, you can simply flip the lounge over for a new scratching surface. The Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge is assembled with non-toxic cornstarch glue, comes with premium USA organic catnip, and is also the winner of the 2015 Eco-Excellence Award. If you’re looking to splurge on your BFF (best feline friend), this might be the ultimate gift for your cat to lounge, scratch, nap, and play. You’ll find the Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge on Amazon.

This Recycled Cat Litter Mat Stops Tracking in Its Tracks

Are you tired of cat litter going all over your home? Or what about those times when you step on a piece of litter with your bare foot? Gross!!!

Luckily, your days of unpleasant surprises and constantly sweeping up around the litter box could be coming to an end. Now, there’s an eco-friendly solution that saves you time and effort, and also helps keep your home tidy. Say hello to the Earthly Grooves Cat Litter Mat.

rubber tire recycled cat litter mat

And talk about eco-friendly! Earthly Grooves turns old tires into useful products that cat owners and their cats love. So instead of polluting up the air we breathe with burning old tires, these “waste” products are being recycled into cat litter mats. And the Earthly Grooves mat solves the dilemma of how to stop your cat from tracking litter around your home.

rubber tire recycled cat litter mat

If you’ve tried the grooved mats, the grassy mats, the lid on the box, and other solutions without success, then you may have reached the end of your leash. Some cat parents even spread newspaper under and around their cat’s box to keep the tracked litter off their carpets and floors. That doesn’t usually work too well, since the newspaper’s surface is slick and the litter eventually scatters. Cat paws can tear the newspaper and – voila! – we have a real mess now.

Microgroove technology catches litter
Micro-groove technology catches litter

The Earthly Groove Cat Litter Mat changes everything. The mat’s unique micro-groove technology is engineered to be the purrfect width and depth to feel good on kitty’s paws, while gently removing litter. When the mat fills with litter, clean up is simple and time-saving. Either vacuum it or give it a shake. Then it’s asthma ready again to do its job of collecting litter.

One happy customer shares this:

“After having it for a few weeks now, I have found that it successfully grabs something like 98 – 100% of litter off the cat’s feet as they exit the box. Every now and then I will find a single loose piece of litter on the floor, but it’s rare now. I’ve used a variety of litter mats in the past and none have ever worked this well. On top of that, this mat is easy to clean with a vacuum, thanks to its design, which features perfectly spaced grooves just wide and deep enough that pull litter off the cat’s paw pads but still allows said litter to be easily vacuumed up.”

There’s even more to like about Earthly Groove’s litter mat. It catches both solids and liquids including urine, which is welcome news if your older cat has bladder issues. Since liquid doesn’t soak into the mat, all you need to do is take it out and rinse for a quick clean.

Since the litter mats are made of 100% recycled tires, expect a tire odor to last for a couple days. If the odor lingers, Earthly Grooves’ top-notch customer service people say to either wash the mat with water, or let it sit outdoors for a day or two.

The Earthly Grooves Cat Litter Mat is made in the USA and comes with a 100% satisfaction and money-back guarantee. The last time I checked, the Earthly Grooves Litter Mat was priced competitively with litter-grabbing mats that aren’t eco-friendly, so this is a paw-some mat for the planet. Click here to see the current price on Amazon.

Board Your Cat

Search and you can find luxury cat boarding that will make your adored pet a very happy feline! An exceptional boarding facility has outstanding accommodations, meets high standards, and provides a friendly, qualified, and experienced staff that takes extremely good care of all of the cats individually and gives them lots of attention.

A fun and active time is provided along with the pet’s regular schedule with perhaps some added features. You can see for yourself by watching your pet on webcams while you are away, and thus you will know everything that is happening at all times when you have the chance to view the activity.

Felines can be boarded in a separate private luxury wing and can enjoy comfortable and clean standard or window penthouse condos with cozy napping areas that contain luxurious bedding, that have multiple play levels, glass fronts with an unobstructed view for the entertainment of the cat, and a hidden litter box on the lowest level. If there are two cats from the same family, they can share a condo at a discount.

There are premium meals up to three times a day, and your cat’s special dietary needs can be accommodated by being fed the home diet. There is ample exercise and relaxation, also.

Optional services that last 15 minutes may include private play sessions with your cat’s favorite toy, if you bring one, and even a bedtime story with a loving tuck-in! There are available catnip toys and tuna treats along with other offerings for an additional price.

Your cat’s health and safety are taken very seriously by continuous and detailed monitoring, and thus local veterinarians and pet parents are happy to refer you to such a facility.

The philosophy at the recommended Paw Print Inn is that your beloved “members of the family” are more than pets, they are pampered guests! So you can leave town for a vacation or on business and have peace of mind the entire time you are gone, knowing that all is well back home.

This is a sponsored post on the benefits of luxury cat boarding so that you’ll have more options for looking after your kitty.

How to Cool Your Home Naturally and Save Energy

cat-thermometer
Photo of Songbird Essentials Climbing Cat Window Thermometer

If you’re a cat and it’s 90 degrees outside, you’d visit the hottest room in your home, and pick a cozy spot in a blazing sunbeam to stretch out and snooze. You certainly wouldn’t want your human to turn on the air conditioner because you LOVE the heat.

On the other hand, if you’re a human, you’d probably find the hot weather stifling and stuffy. You’d look for the coolest room in the home, and bask in the refreshing breeze of the fan or air conditioner running at full blast. But during the hottest days of the year, home cooling is one of the largest uses of electricity in your home.

Approximately two thirds of American homes have air conditioners, and collectively these cooling units use close to 5% of all the electricity produced in the U.S. This adds up to 100 million tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year or an average of two tons per home. In addition to the environmental cost, air conditioners cost homeowners over $11 billion each year to run them.
(Source: Energy Saver, U.S. Department of Energy)

Here’s what it costs each month to run your air conditioner:

  • Central Air Conditioner (3500 W) – $245 per month
  • Large Window Unit (1440 W) – $100 per month
  • Medium Window Unit (900 W) – $62 per month
  • Small Window Unit (500 W) – $35 per month

Estimates are based on a rate of $0.14/kWh, with the unit running 16 hours/day. (Source: comfort-pro.com)

As you can see, it can be quite pricey to cool your home especially if you live in a hot climate. Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower your costs, save electricity, and naturally keep your home cooler.

1. Time the opening and closing of blinds and curtains

In the morning, keep all east-facing windows covered. Once the sun has moved higher in the sky, these windows can be uncovered.

In the late afternoon and early evening, close the blinds and draw the curtains for all west-facing windows. Depending on the time of year and how the sun shines in your home, you may need to do this for south-facing windows, too.

If you have slat blinds, angle the slats upwards to cut down on the amount of direct sunlight entering the room. And if you’re thinking of installing blinds, consider cat-friendly options that are also better for the planet:

  • Roller blinds made from eco-friendly materials
  • Slat blinds with cloth tape manufactured using greener processes
  • Honeycomb style blinds made with OEKO-TEX-passing fabrics; honeycomb blinds also help to insulate windows, saving you energy in both the summer and winter

For all blinds, keep string cords away from your cat. You can use a nail in the wall to hang a cord out of reach. For roller blinds, anchor the chain at the bottom so that it doesn’t look like a cat toy and is also safer for small children. And if your kitty absolutely must have a sunbeam to bask in, open the window covering just enough to let in some sun, but keep the majority of the window covered to maximize the cooling effect.

2. Take advantage of nature’s air conditioner

Open your windows at night and close them during the day to let cooler air in at night and keep warmer air out during the daytime. If you can, create a cross breeze to cool down your home faster.

This works particularly well in western states such as Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona where the nights are often much cooler than the days.

3. Program your thermostat–with a twist

Set your thermostat at the highest temperature that you can tolerate for the hottest time of the day. When it’s sweltering outside, that’s when your air conditioner is working the hardest to cool your home. It’s running more often.

And because the cold air blasts on longer, this makes you feel cooler so you can turn up the temperature and still feel comfortable. It’s like at wintertime when the heater turns on and you feel warmer because of the heat coming from the vents.

And while you’re adjusting the thermostat, why not consider setting it two or three degrees higher overall? Your cat will love basking in the heat. Just be sure to keep her water bowl topped up during the hot summer days.

When you cut back on running the air conditioner, you reduce carbon emissions and save big on energy costs. Imagine all the cat treats you can buy with the money you save!

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Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.