Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Really Really Big Natural Cat Food Giveaway

I’m excited to offer Green Little Cat readers the chance to win one of three Variety Packs of natural cat food featuring some of Natura Pet Products’s most popular brands.

Natura’s EVO cat food was one of the winners of my Natural Cat Food Throwdown where I was selecting a  high protein cat food  to help Furball control his struvite crystals.  I based my choice on the Holistic Vet’s recommendations and narrowed it down to the most eco-friendly brands. Natura’s fresh ingredients are sourced in the U.S. and they are committed to making green changes in their company such as using a fleet of hybrid cars and building an eco-friendly office.

EACH GIVEAWAY PACK INCLUDES A SELECTION FROM THE FOLLOWING NATURA BRANDS:

1. EVO
This is a high-protein, grain-free cat food.  The giveaway includes one 5.5 oz can of each of the following formulas:

  • Cat and Kitten
  • 95% Beef
  • 95% Chicken and Turkey
  • 95% Duck
  • 95% Venison

2. California Natural
Natura Pet promotes this line as a “hypoallergenic” pet food.  The giveaway includes one 5.5 oz can of each of the following formulas:

  • Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Venison and Brown Rice
  • Deep Water Fish and Brown Rice
  • Salmon and Sweet Potato

3. Innova
Innova is described as the “first true holistic pet food”.  The giveaway includes:

  • Adult Cat Flex Beef and Barley Stew (5.5 oz can)
  • Adult Cat Flex Chicken and Brown Rice Stew (5.5 oz can)
  • One bag of Innova Cat Treats

HOW TO ENTER
To enter the Really Really Big Natural Cat Food Giveaway, simply click the link at the bottom of this article and you’ll be redirected to an entry form on my cat toy book website, MakeYourOwnCatToys.com.  Sorry, it’s not on Green Little Cat, but with the new baby due very soon, I’m having to work smarter as opposed to harder so I’m just reusing some code I wrote for a previous giveaway on the cat toy book site.

TRIPLE YOUR CHANCES TO WIN!

Because I’m really passionate about encouraging other cat lovers to go green for the health of their pets, families and the planet, I’ll triple your entries if you would be so kind as to help spread the word about greener living.  Please do one or more of the following:

  • Join our Facebook fan page
  • Click the “Share” button on the bottom of any Green Little Cat blog article to post it to your favourite social networking site.
  • Click the “ShareThis” link to email an article to a friend.
  • Send a tweet out on twitter and include our website: www.GreenLittleCat.com.
  • Tell a friend about Green Little Cat the old-fashioned way.

There will be a checkbox on the entry form asking whether you helped spread the word.  Check it to triple your entries.  Obviously, I can’t verify whether or not you did any of these activities.  It’s based on the honour system and I thank everyone for respecting the spirit of my request.  Some free cat food is definitely not worth compromising your integrity.  Thank you.

ENTER NOW
There will be three lucky winners.  Due to high shipping costs, the giveaway is limited to U.S. residents in the continental U.S. (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).  Please enter a maximum of once per day and the deadline to enter the giveaway is August 31st.

>> Enter the Really Really Big Natural Cat Food Giveaway

Lucky US Pets Get Stuck on Acupuncture

Interesting. This is the second time I’ve seen an article on Yahoo! about acupuncture for pets. There were a couple of interesting facts and figures:

  • “Out of 86,000 veterinaries worldwide, between 900 and 2,000 practice acupuncture, according to professional groups, whose numbers are also rising.”
  • The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society counts 900 members in the United States.

So, there are 900 vets who practice acupuncture for 150 million+ pets in the U.S. (cats are about 80 million).  Furball’s pretty lucky that we have Dr. Sara Skiwski nearby. :)

Read the Yahoo! article.

Published: • More Like This: Going Green

EVO Natural Cat Food Review

EVO cat food is made by Natura Pet Products. It’s a high protein, low carb and grain free natural cat food, which was recommended by Furball’s vet to help control his struvite crystals. EVO cat food made it to the taste test round of the Natural Cat Throwdown. In Round 1, I researched six different natural cat foods from a green perspective and only the manufacturers with a genuine interest in sustainable business practices made it to the next round. Of the companies I contacted, Natura Pet Products and Petropics (makers of Tiki Cat) were the only ones that seemed genuinely eco-friendly.

From my previous review of Tiki Cat, I was surprised when I opened the can of cat food and found it looked like a can of fish. EVO, however, appeared as I expected. It was a pinkish-brownish, uniform pate of wet cat food. As I always introduce cat food gradually to avoid digestive issues, I gave Furball about 1/8 of a can of the chicken and turkey flavoured cat food.

I wasn’t sure if he would like it because in general, he’s not a big fan of the poultry flavours, especially turkey. I watched expectantly and sure enough, he chowed it down without hesitation. Day 1 went by without incident, so I fed it to him again, increasing the quantity slightly. He seems to be happy with the food and once EVO is fully introduced in his diet, I’ll report back on how he does on it. Right now, it looks like I’ll be alternating between Tiki Cat’s fish flavours and EVO’s poultry flavoured natural cat food.

IMPORTANT NOTE

On Day 3, I upped the quantity to 1/4 can and Furball rewarded me by barfing the next morning.  I reduced the amount back to 1/8 of a can and waited a week before increasing to 1/4.  Fortunately, we’ve had no issues since.  So, remember if you’re switching your cat’s food, you have to do it SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY.  Go even slower than you think you need to.  It’s better for your cat and better for your carpets.

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Published: • More Like This: Cat Food

We Have a Winner!Eco-Friendly Cat Litter Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered our Eco-Friendly Cat Litter Giveaway.  I’m pleased to announce that Kent from California is the winner of the giveaway.  Kent wins a 10 lb bag of Close to Naturenow cat litter, courtesy The Organic Farm Store.  Close to Naturenow is made from soybean meal and potato starch and is 100% natural and organic.

If you didn’t win, but are interested in trying Close to Naturenow, please visit their website to find a retailer near you.  Check back soon as I’ll be announcing a “Really Really Really Big Natural Cat Food Giveaway” in the next few days.

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Natural Herbs and Acupuncture to Stop a Cat from Peeing All Over Your House

Dr. Sara Skiwski is a Holistic Vet, which means that not only is she a licensed veterinarian, she is also trained in herbs and acupuncture for pets.  She shared with me an interesting case about one of her patients, Spring, who at the time of treatment was a 3 year old female tabby.  Spring’s case was interesting to me because she had begun urinating in every room of the house, especially the baby’s room.  This started about the same time her owners had a new baby and also moved to a new home, which is similar to what my situation will be. The last thing I need when the baby arrives is for Furball to start peeing everywhere!!!

Spring’s family naturally made sure to rule out any physical causes for her inappropriate urination.  She was checked for UTI and also had her blood tested, but nothing significant was found.  She was given a couple of medications to try, but these didn’t help.  Her owners also worked with a behaviorist, but this didn’t help either.

When Dr. Skiwski first met Spring, she noticed that the cat was “chatty” and “pacing/searching” when outside of her carrier.  She also observed, “Nose was dry, tongue observed when mewing- red/dry. Teeth mild dental tartar and gingivitis. Pulses R>L- choppy, with deficiency in 1st L side mostly. Fur- a little dry and shedding a lot.”  The stuff about Spring’s pulses is Chinese medicine speak :).

Based on her examination, Dr. Skiwski recommended an herbal medicine for Spring and also gave her an acupuncture treatment.  In a follow-up visit two weeks later, Spring was doing a little bit better.  She was still urinating in some rooms, but at least not all of them. She  was also less restless at night.  Dr. Skiwski gave Spring another acupuncture treatment.

Two week later, there was more improvement.  Spring had stopped peeing in all of the rooms except for the baby’s room and she only did that when the door was left open.  Dr. Skiwski gave Spring another acupuncture treatment and recommended that Spring continue with the herbal medicine.

In a follow-up a month later, Spring only had one accident and she was also more relaxed at home.  She received another acupuncture treatment and kept up with the herbal medicine. At a 2 month follow-up, Spring was doing so well that she no longer had any accidents in the house.  Spring would also join the family when the baby was playing in the room.  She received another acupuncture treatment and her herbal medicine dosage was reduced in half.

At the 4 month recheck, unfortunately Spring had a relapse when the family ran out of the herbal medicine.  Dr. Skiwski gave the cat an acupuncture treatment and put her back on the herbal medicine.  Success!  The family followed Dr. Skiwski’s recommendations and reported that Spring stopped urinating inappropriately even when they moved again a few years later.

I found this case really interesting because the traditional western approach of medication didn’t help.  Even a behaviourist failed to alter Spring’s behaviour.  However, the combination of herbs and acupuncture  seemed to do the trick.  It just goes to show that you can use acupuncture to treat a host of issues, not just pain.  In Spring’s case, this treatment helped improve her mental state of mind, which resulted in a positive change in her behaviour.  The same thing applies to us humans too.  Of course, hopefully you’re not urinating inappropriately! ;)

If you’re looking for a Holistic Vet for your cat or dog and you live in Northern California, I’d highly recommend Dr. Sara Skiwski.  Her website is:  www.thewesterndragon.com

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Acclimatizing Furball to the Sound of Babies Crying

Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 11.32.02 PMThe wee one is due in about a month, so as the baby’s due date draws closer, it’s imperative that we train Furball to get used to babies because he can become aggressive when he feels threatened.  I’ve had Furball for almost eight years now and I will not be one of those people who gives up their cat (thus, contributing to pet overpopulation) because they weren’t able to train the cats to adapt to the baby.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been playing audio of babies crying for Furball to get used to the sound.  I’ll admit that it has been a challenge.  I would have thought that after a few weeks, he’d start ignoring it, but he still perks up and comes by whenever I play it.  Here’s a video of one of his early reactions.

It seems like he’s quite concerned that there’s a distressed being making these sounds.  He kept looking at me like I should do something to help.  Sometimes, he cries along.  A few times, he’s actually nipped me. That totally freaked me out, which is the opposite effect of what I was trying to accomplish.

Fortunately, the way to Furball’s heart is through his stomach.  So, I started giving him snacks and treats whenever I played the sound of babies crying.  I also pet him a lot too.  Today, I feel I may have made a breakthrough.  When Furball heard the crying babies, instead of wailing along, he came by and started to purr and rub up against me.  I gave him a little snack and he seems to be remaining fairly calm.

Ideally, I’d prefer it if he would ignore the crying completely, but I guess it’s not so bad if the cat associates the sound of a crying baby with happy things like food and petting.

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Published: • More Like This: Green Home

Win a Bag of Eco-Friendly Cat Litter — Last Day to Enter!

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter out eco-friendly cat litter giveaway.  If you’ve been thinking of making the switch to a more eco-friendly cat litter or looking for a green litter that clumps, we’re giving away a 10 lb bag of Close to NatureNow.  This 100% all natural and organic cat litter is made from soybean meal and potato starch.  The potato starch enables the litter to clump, which is something that not all eco-friendly cat litters do.

To enter, simply click the link below and you’ll be redirected to an entry form on my cat toy book website, MakeYourOwnCatToys.com.  Sorry, it’s not on Green Little Cat, but with the new baby due in a few weeks, I’m having to work smarter as opposed to harder so I’m just reusing some code I wrote for a previous giveaway on the cat toy book site.

ENTER TO WIN A BAG OF ECO-FRIENDLY LITTER >>

P.S.  The last day to enter the giveaway is July 15, 2009.

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Published: • More Like This: Going Green

Tiki Cat Review — Furball Tries Out a New Natural Cat Food

Tiki Cat, manufactured by Petropics is a low grain, high protein cat food that was recommended by Furball’s vet to help control his struvite crystals.  Tiki Cat made it to Round 2 of the Natural Cat Food Throwdown where I researched six different natural cat foods to find out which was made by the greenest company.  Petropics was one of only two companies that seemed to genuinely care about the enviornment.

Now that the moment of truth has come, will Furball like the food?

When I opened the can of Makaha Luau flavoured Tiki Cat, I was immediately struck by how much it looked like a can of fish.  It looked pretty much like the tins of sardines and mackerel that I would buy at the grocery store, only there was a bit of red gelatin surrounding the fish.  I tentatively spooned out a 1/4 of the 2.8 oz can.  It really looked like human food.

My reaction startled me because I was expecting some sort of pate-like mush, but instead I was looking at fish.  I noticed that I felt uneasy feeding my cat straight fish and wondered why.  Had I been so conditioned by pet food manufacturers that it was difficult for me to trust cat food that looked like food?  Appallingly, the answer was, “yes”.

It was interesting to observe that I expected cat food to look unappetizing.  Also, I thought of all the times I heard, “Never feed your cat tuna from a can” and here I was staring straight at a can of fish.  Trusting my vet, I put a spoon of the food in Furball’s food and reduced his regular food slightly.  I placed his dish down in its usual spot and watched Furball’s reaction.

He LOVED it.  Normally, I can distract him a bit when he starts to eat by petting or brushing him.  Not this time!  Once he dove into the meal, I could not pry his head from the bowl.  Tiki Cat is a resounding hit with Furball.

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Published: • More Like This: Cat Food

The Natural Cat Food Throwdown — And the Winner Is…

Six challengers stepped into the ring to see if they had what it took to survive the Natural Cat Food Throwdown.  These six different brands of natural cat food were entered into the competition based on the recommendation of Furball’s vet in our quest to find the ultimate natural cat food to help him control his struvite crystals.

Challengers were put through a vigorous questioning about the quality and source of their ingredients, processing facilities and most importantly, whether they were eco-friendly.  From the following contenders, only two made it to the next round:

  • Natura Pet Products
  • Nature’s Variety
  • Natural Balance Pet Foods
  • Petropics
  • Solid Gold
  • Wellness

The results were illuminating and proved that you can’t judge a cat food by its packaging.  Admittedly, I’d look at a package and if it seemed “granolay-hippy” looking, I would just assume that the company was a small socially-conscious ma/pop business.  I’ve learned that’s not necessarily true.  The best part about the Throwdown is that I now feel empowered and informed when I step into the cat food aisle of my local pet store.

So, the winners are Tiki Cat by Petropics and EVO by Natura Pet Products.  Tiki Cat is available in numerous fish flavors, while EVO has a couple of poultry formulas.  Both companies recognize the importance of green business practices and are taking tangible measures to be more eco-friendly.

Petropics has a slight green edge in that they don’t use Menu Foods to process their food and they are working at a political level to change industry practices.  However, their food is processed in Thailand, which is a long way to travel for a can of cat food.  They are actively looking for a greener alternative.

Natura Pet Products is a much larger company and is making company-wide efforts to be green such as switching to hybrid cars for its sales force and building an eco-friendly new office.  The main negative in my opinion is that they use Menu Foods to process their products.

NOTE: In May 2010, it was announced that Procter & Gamble is purchasing Natura Pet Products.  In light of this news, I revoked the championship award from EVO as P&G is not known for its environmental stewardship.

While there’s no “perfect” company, both Petropics and Natura Pet Products are demonstrating a commitment to the environment, so they’re both winners!

Now, it’s up to Furball’s finicky taste buds to see if one or both of these brands become a regular rotation in his diet.

Learn More
Read up on what I discovered about each of these companies.  Find out who said they had environmentally-friendly business practices because, “Our cans our recyclable.”  Which manufacturer refused to answer whether their products are processed by Menu Foods?  Learn about Natura Pet Products’ new eco-friendly office.  Plus, lots more!

Thank You for Caring and Sharing!
To share this important information with a friend, simply click the “Share” link to post to your favourite social networking site or “Share This” to email this post to a friend.

Published: • More Like This: Cat Food

The Natural Cat Food Throwdown — Does Solid Gold Take the Gold?

IndigoMoonIndigo Moon, made by Solid Gold, is the final contender in the Natural Cat Food Throwdown, where I emailed a number of natural cat food manufacturers to determine which was the greenest company.  Based on my findings of the vet-recommended foods, I would select a brand to help Furball control his struvite crystals.  Solid Gold ignored my email sent weeks ago, so I decided to call them.  Here’s what I found out:

They only have a dry food product that’s low grain.  This already rules them out because Furball’s vet recommended a wet food so that his diet would have a higher moisture content, which would help to prevent an episode of blocked bladder in the future.  For those of you interested, I’ll report on what I found out.

Pluses

  • Ingredients are human-grade and sourced from the U.S.
  • Food is processed in the U.S.
  • They don’t work with Menu Foods
  • No animal testing

Minuses

  • Customer service needed me to elaborate when I asked about green practices.  I suggested things like a green policy, humane animal practices and company-wide recycling.  It wasn’t until I asked about recycling when she was able to answer.  Asked if there was company-wide recycling, she told me, “No.”

THE JUDGE’S VERDICT

Because it’s a dry food and I’m looking for wet food, Indigo Moon automatically is disqualified from making it to the next round of the Natural Cat Food Throwdown.  Since this isn’t their fault, I thought I’d give them a fair hearing and report on what I learned.  Basically I learned that the company is typical of the pet industry, with no set policies or procedures to be more eco-friendly.  It just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  Looking at the “earthy” retro design of their bags, I always had assumed that Solid Gold was a progressive earth-friendly company.  No gold medal for this competitor :(.

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