Not Your Grandma’s Cat Magazine – Announcing the New Catster Magazine

Furball enjoys the premier issue of Catster Magazine

Furball enjoys the premier issue of Catster Magazine


The first and only time I bought a Cat Fancy magazine was over 10 years ago and it wasn’t for me. It was for a 90-year old lady who lived on a potato farm. She loved cats, so I bought the magazine to bring her some joy. I never bought one again because Cat Fancy felt old-fashioned, dowdy, and frankly, aimed at an older demographic.

Well, I’m excited to announce that Cat Fancy finally got a long overdue makeover and it’s now been reborn as Catster magazine. You may be more familiar with Catster.com, one of the most popular cat-centric destinations online. And just like its online cousin, the new Catster magazine is fun, fresh, young and modern.

Catster covers some of the trendiest topics and top names in the cat world. The magazine features the light and fun side of living with cats, including articles on feline products, health, diet, pet owners’ obsessions, confessions, funny photos, and more.

I’m a regular contributor to Catster.com, writing about eco-friendly cat products and topics natural and sustainable living for cats. That’s why I love that Cat Fancy is now Caster. The new magazine is contemporary and relevant for today’s cat lovers. Because I write for Catster.com, I received the purrk of an advance copy of the premier issue of Catster magazine.

I have to say that the new magazine has a fun and friendly vibe. It’s colourful, bright and even the typography feels modern. The first issue of Catster hit news stands on March 24th, so you can grab your copy right now. And if you’re a dog lover, there’s a Dogster magazine too.

The Cat’s Meow in Organic Cotton Fabric for Crafty Cat Lovers

When you’ve got a crafty project in mind, use cat print fabric made from organic cotton to wow and delight. Here’s a selection of whimsical, fun and cheeky designs to create pillows, pajamas, cat toys and more—whatever your imagination pounces upon.

1. Meow Haven by Monaluna

organic cotton cat print fabric  monaluna

This cute kitty design printed with low impact dyes on 100% certified organic cotton. Buy it by the half or full yard. Order it by the half yard on Amazon.com

2. Black Cats Organic Cotton Knit Fabric

organic cotton knit fabric with cats
This organic cotton interlock knit fabric is purrfect for anything you want to craft that needs a little bit of give or stretch. It’s a super soft knit fabric with a fresh and modern design.

You can get it made to order on the Sewn Natural Etsy shop

3. Here Kitty Kitty Organic Tossed Cats With Twine Grey Fabric

grey cloth with cats for crafts organic cotton

Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish for Clothworks is the creator of this GOTS certified organic cotton print. It’s available in a variety of colours, including white, black grey, pink and gold.

gold cloth fabric for crafts organic cats

Check out the different colors of Here Kitty Kitty Organic Tossed Cats Fabric.

4. Cats – Handmade Organic Cotton Fabric

caat print organic cotton fabric
This handmade organic cotton poplin is GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard). The cotton is lightweight and soft to the touch and it won’t shrink in the wash.

You’ll find it online at the .

5. Happy Drawing Too Organic Cats Fabric

cloud 9 organic cotton cat pring fabric sewing
The Happy Drawing collection by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 gets its inspiration from drawings in Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals. Sold by the yard and cut to order, you’ll find it on Amazon. Click here for details: Happy Drawing Too Organic Cats Grey Fabric

6. Cats on Daisy – Lillestoff

organic cat print sateen cotton
This organic fabric is a blend of 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane, making it a wonderfully soft jersey knit that is 100% GOTS-certified. Get it at the FunnyFabrix Etsy shop.

7. Spring Cats Organic Cotton Jersey

organic cotton cats
This fun and fanciful fabric is made from organic cotton and elastane. It’s also GOTS-certified, making it a great choice for creating dresses, tees and onesies for little kids who love cats. Find this and other cheery designs at the OttobreDesign Etsy shop

100% Organic Natural Cat Urine Odor Control and Stain Remover

Got a cat urine stain or odor problem and are looking for a way to get it out of your carpet or sofa? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to get the cat vomit out of your carpet? Here’s a natural and 100% organic pet stain and odor remover.

pet urine remover, cat urine stain, remove cat urine smell

I love how much the green industry has grown since I first started this blog. It’s been just over five years, but the growth in eco-friendly pet products has been astounding during this period of time. Back in the day, there were only a couple of eco-friendly options for getting the smell of cat urine out of the carpet.

I’ve been lucky in that Furball is very consistent in using his litter box, but there have been times where the little dingleberry has followed him out of the box into the living room. I think he just gets too excited to run off somewhere so he’s not fully done his business.

As well, he’s a high strung cat so when he gets stressed, he has a tendency to barf up hairballs and sometimes food onto the carpet. He can be surrounded by an ocean of hardwood flooring, but much prefers to run onto the rug or the light beige carpeted steps of the stairs to upchuck his stuff. That’s when I am so thankful for natural enzyme pet odor and stain removers.

As I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting products for healthy, natural and sustainable living, I was quite intrigued to come across the Jackie Doodles Odor and Stain Eliminator.

This is a 100% USDA certified organic natural cleaner for urine and vomit stains on your carpet or upholstery. It’s good for both dog and cat urine, and it’s also earth-friendly and safe for your pets and kids.

Jackie Doodles Odor and Stain Eliminator is an enzyme-based cleaner, like Nature’s Miracle, only this one is certified organic. The way enzymes work is that they digest organic matter to neutralize stains and odors. It’s important when using enzyme-based cleaners to not use any other traditional cleaners on the area. That’s because they kill the enzymes and prevent them from doing their clean-up job.

Basically, you wipe up the mess (e.g. cat urine or vomit), blot it as dry as you can with a paper towel and then go to town, spraying on the enzyme cleaner. Oh, you may want to test it on a small patch first in an indiscreet area if you’ve never used it before on the material. I haven’t had any issues with discoloration and enzyme-based cleaners, but you might want to check to be on the safe side.

Follow the directions and wait for the allotted time to let the enzymes do their work, digesting all of the remaining organic matter in your carpet or couch. Give it a wipe and that’s it. You may have to reapply it for a stubborn stain. Enzyme-based cleaners tend to work best for newer stains and pee accidents, although they are still effective for old ones as long as you haven’t used a chemical-based cleaner on the area. If you have, try cleaning away the cleaner with water (test if water stains in an indiscreet patch first), and then try the enzyme cleaner.

Admittedly, these natural cleaners based on enzymes tend to have a bit of a funky smell, sort of like fermenting hops. It’s not as bad as the cat pee or vomit, but it’s not fresh and clean smelling like a chemical cleaner. However, the smell does dissipate in a day or two and it definitely smells better than cat urine!

Out of 55 reviews on Amazon, 82% gave the product a 5-star rating. I think some of the lower ratings were due to the issues I mentioned above about using it on old stains or on stains that had already been treated with harsh chemical cleaners. The chemicals that they use often include polypropylene which is a crude oil derivative and used as a binding agent. It acts like a coating to seal in odors and prevents the enzymes from reaching the offending matter.

So the number one takeaway is to use the enzyme-based pet stain and odor remover first when an accident happens. Don’t use anything else first and you should see much better results. That’s why I like to have a bottle of the stuff on hand because I never know what Furball may surprise me with, but I definitely feel ready when I have an enzyme-based cleaner on hand.

If you’re looking for a 100% organic natural cleaner, you can find Jackie Doodles Odor and Stain Eliminator on Amazon.com.

Is Your Cat Getting Too Many Vaccines?

cat-vaccines

Photo: by Niamwhan for Depositphotos.com

In California, there’s a huge debate going on about the right to choose whether or not your kids get vaccines, but did you ever consider the same issue for your cat? I recently came across a petition on change.org, posted by Truth 4 Pets, about vaccines for cats and dogs.

While no one is recommending that you not vaccinate your pet, Truth 4 Pets brought up some interesting points concerning whether your cat really needs as many vaccines as they’re given. Apparently, some vaccines give lifelong immunity and booster shots may not be necessary. As well, given the age and risk of your cat, other shots may not be best for them.

In order to reduce adverse reactions and minimize the “vaccine load” for you cat, many top vet schools and major veterinary associations have actually changed their vaccination recommendations. However, many vet clinics are still following the older recommendations and thus, may be recommending more vaccines than your cat may need. Excessive vaccinations can increase the risk of adverse health conditions in you pet, including the risk for cancer.

According to Pets 4 Life’s website:

Top veterinary organizations (AVMA, WSAVA, AAHA, AAFP and AHVMA) and many top veterinary schools divide vaccines into “core” (with which all pets should be vaccinated) and “noncore” (which should be given only when a specific risk exists, if then).

Core vaccines for cats include panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies. Per WSAVA (p. 14): “All kittens should receive the core vaccines. [For panleukopenia] a minimum of three doses is recommended: one at 8–9 weeks of age, a second 3–4 weeks later and a final dose at 14–16 weeks of age or older should be administered. Cats that respond to MLV core vaccines maintain immunity for many years in the absence of any repeat vaccination.” According to vaccine researcher Dr. Ron Schultz, if your cat is already 16 weeks of age or older at the time of its first vaccine, only a single dose is needed to provide solid, long-lasting immunity. No booster vaccines are needed for most adult cats, except rabies as required by law.

The article on their website includes a detailed list of answers to FAQs as well as questions to consider when vaccinating your pets. If you’d like to know:

  • Which vaccines are required by law
  • An alternative to vaccination to test your cat’s immunity to a disease
  • How to be informed of all the risks associated with a vaccine

Then, check out the article Questions to Ask before vaccinating your cat.

 

 

5 Eco-Friendly Litter Scoops

1. ORE Pet Recycled Melamine Kitty Litter Scoop

ORE makes fun and eco-friendly cat products and their kitty litter scoop is no exception. This whimsical litter scoop is made from recycled Melamine and it features a foot-long handle as well as a paw-shaped scoop.

recycled melamine litter scoop
The melamine is non-toxic, lead-free and meets American, Canadian and European standards. The recycled melamine adds dots of colour to this fun accessory. No boring beige here! You can find this Recycled Melamine Kitty Litter Scoop on Amazon for just over $10.

2. SmartyKat Loo Ladle Cat Litter Scoop

Here’s an eco-friendly litter scoop made from recycled plastic. The SmartyKat Loo Ladle litter scoop features a wide-mouth design, extra-large scoop and a long handle to make cat litter scooping less of a chore.

recycled plastic litter scoop
It’s available in a nondescript tan colour, which is actually a good colour for camouflaging litter dust and waste. Less cleaning! You can pick up the SmartyKat Loo Ladle Recycled Plastic Litter Scoop for about $5 on Amazon.com and it qualifies for Amazon’s free shipping deal.

3. Van Ness Eco Litter Scoop

Here’s another beige litter scoop made from eco-friendly materials. It’s the Van Ness Eco Litter Scoop, made from plant-based materials and dyed with soy-based inks. Like the Beco Scoop, this one is also biodegradable.

Van Ness Eco-Litter Scoop
In addition to litter scoops, Van Ness also offers a full line of green cat products. You can learn more on the Van Ness website.

4. BeCo Eco Litter Scoop

The BeCo cat litter scoop looks just like every other typical litter scoop, but with one significant difference— it’s made from bamboo and rice husk fibres. This mix of natural materials is bonded together with natural enzymes as opposed to toxic glues, which makes the Beco Scoop 100% biodegradable.

natural fiber sustainable biodegradeable litter scoop
If you’re wondering how these scoops hold up to some serious cat litter box cleaning, the natural bio-composite is sturdy, strong and comparable to plastic scoops. However, this eco-friendly scoop is a pedigree above when it comes to being green. At under $10, the BeCo Eco Litter Scoop is pricier than a cheap plastic scoop, but it should last just as long and with the biodegradable bio-composite, you’ll have no guilt when it’s time to replace it.

5. Duranimals DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop

Sometimes, buying a scoop that is designed to last a long time is more eco-friendly than picking up a cat litter scoop made from natural materials. It all depends on how you use the product and how long you intend to use it. The Duranimals Durascoop fits the bill for durability. This sturdy litter scoop doesn’t bend or flex and it’s made from corrosion-resistant aluminum.
aluminum-litter-scoop
If you have multiple cat household, this might be the lifetime scoop for you. It’s lightweight, oversized with a comfortable grip to make it easier to clean your cat box or boxes, should I say? As on reviewer on Amazon raved, “This scoop makes my life easier. It’s strong. It sifts. It DOES NOT BEND. It does not fling. I love it. With 5 cats in the house, I need all the help I can get. This scoop is my best decision since I married a man who loves cats.”

Check out the Duranimals DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop with over ONE THOUSAND 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Purina Facing Lawsuits Over Claims That Beneful Kills Dogs and Makes Them Sick

benefulNestle Purina, makers of Beneful dog food, is facing a class-action lawsuit. It is alleged that the popular brand has caused thousands of dogs to get sick or die as a result of eating the food. What’s disturbing to me is that Beneful is marketed as a premium dog food that is better for pets.

The ingredient in question is propylene glycol, which is used as a food preservative. It’s also used in anti-freeze. Supposedly this ingredient is safe for humans (yep it’s in some of our processed foods) and dogs. However, it is considered a toxin for cats, so it’s not used in cat food.

Hmmm, if it’s bad for cats, it’s still considered safe for dogs? It certainly makes you wonder.

FYI, Purina also manufactures the following brands of cat food:

  • Fancy Feast
  • Purina Pro Plan
  • Purina One
  • Friskies
  • Cat Chow
  • Purina Veternary Diets
  • Beyond
  • Whisker Lickin’s
  • Kit & Kaboodle
  • Deli-Cat

Click here for more information on the lawsuit

Click here for more information on propylene glycol

Props to World’s Best Cat Litter for Trying to Go Viral

Ever see an ad that seems like it was created for the sole purpose of going viral? It’s like the ad is trying so hard that it’s obvious what’s going on. That’s the feeling I got when I received a recent promo from World’s Best Cat Litter.

This ain’t a knock on the litter or the campaign. It’s cats, they’re cute, it’s hard to go wrong. And I am sharing it, albeit maybe not in the context that the marketing department wants. If you’re interested in natural cat litters, click here For eco-friendly cat litterreview.

World’s Best recently released five captioned photos of cats to promote their corn-based cat litter. Maybe there’s too much marketing message and not enough cuteness for this to go viral? What do you think?

For example, this image is communicating how lightweight the litter is…
wolrds-best-lightweight

Maybe amping up the cute factor would have increased the virality of the campaign? Or showing something cat owners can relate to that makes you lol (or at least smirk inside your head). Probably a lot more effective than the giant purple button that says, “SHARE”.

For example, this video while very simple in production value, has probably attracted a lot more sharing and attention:

30 Seconds to Create an Eco-friendly Cat Playground and Breathe New Life into Old Cat Toys

Quite by accident, I discovered an easy way to create an interactive play area for my cat. This playground was so delightful that it inspired my 14-year old cat, Furball to leap and run around like a kitten.

And, I bet you’ve already got what you need to build this kitty playground in your home right now. You’ll need…drum roll please…

  • 10 to 15 books

That’s it. Simply scatter them in a random pile on the floor. You’ll want to make the pile high enough so that your cat thinks it can “hide” behind the pile, aka crouch below so it can’t see above the books.

I discovered this easy way to make a fun game for my cat purely by chance. I was going through my bookshelf and clearing out books that I no longer needed. As I was cleaning, I dumped the books that I was going to donate to the library on the floor. When I started playing with Furball later that day, he ran to hide behind the books and a fast and easy kitty playground was created.

It made his usual game of chasing the Rainbow Cat Charmer absolutely addictive for him. He was having so much fun running and jumping that it reminded me of when he was a crazy kitten and played so much that he once fell down from dizziness because he wouldn’t stop running in circles. It was just like the good old days because Furball went berserk attacking his old toy with renewed vigor.

IMG_2227

So, all you need to do is bust out an old cat toy, preferably something interactive such as a wand toy, Cat Dancer or something that dangles. Get your cat’s attention and then make the toy hide behind the stack of books.

IMG_2224

It’ll give your cat the opportunity to exercise her natural instincts of stalking. The best thing is that once you’re done, clean up is a cinch. Just gather up the books and put them back on your shelf!

If you’re looking for places to donate old books, here are a few suggestions:

  • Some libraries will accept used books.
  • If you have paperbacks, try posting them on PaperBackSwap.com.  It’s like a giant online book swap meet.
  • Gently used books for young children are welcomed by Project Night Night, which gives books, blankets and stuffed animals to homeless children.
  • Women’s shelters that support families are also a good place to donate books for kids of all ages.

If you’re doing some spring cleaning, here are a few more ideas on Where to Recycle Stuff.

A Great Value for All Natural Cat Treats – Review of Dr. Tim’s Natural Beef Chips

Our friends over at Chewy.com were kind enough to send Furball a container of Dr. Tim’s premium Natural Beef Chips. Being the foodie (aka “eat all food-foodie”) that he is, Furball graciously volunteered to sample the treats and gave me his honest opinion (as if cats could do otherwise!)

Dr. Tim's natural all beef freeze-dried cat treats

This is a two-paws up product! Err, perhaps it’s a better description to say this is a one-gulp-down treat.

Made from 100% USDA inspected beef hearts, these Natural Beef Chips are minimally processed. They’re basically freeze-dried beef hearts broken up into large bite-sized pieces.

I added a couple to Furball’s dinner and he knew there was good stuff in his bowl. Within a couple of seconds, he discovered the surprise treats in his bowl and gobbled them up in an instant.

The heart pieces are a bit on the large size compared to other cat kibble and treats. However, that’s what makes these such a good value. A 4-oz container is about 2 cups worth of dried pieces and for a cat, one or two pieces is enough. Dr. Tim’s recommends 1 to 2 treats per 10 lbs of body weight daily as a reward.

Unlike other cat treats made up of filler and flavourings, these beef hearts contain a high concentration of Coenzyme Q-10 and also high levels of taurine and L-carnitine.

The treats can be fed straight from the package or soaked in water to make them moist and tender. The only slight inconvenience is that because these are freeze-dried RAW beef hearts, you have to make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling as well as any surfaces that may have come into contact with the treats.

By the way, Dr. Tim’s Natural Beef Chips also made for dogs too! You’ll find them for about $15 at Chewy.com.


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.
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