Monthly Archives: May 2010

10% Off PetzLife Natural Dental Care

I just received this email promotion from PetzLife.  They’re having a Memorial Day sale and offering 10% off all of their products.

I wrote a review about their gel product awhile back. Suffice to say, it did a great job of keeping Furball’s teeth clean and he loved the taste of it.

Visit their website at www.petzlife.com and enter the code: “Memorial”

The coupon expires on June 1, 2010

So, Did the Cats Like the Dehydrated Raw Cat Food?

In February, I hosted a giveaway for Prowl natural dehydrated raw cat food.  Prowl is a natural grain-free cat food that’s high in protein and contains only 9 ingredients plus added vitamins and minerals. Thanks to the Honest Kitchen, makers of Prowl, several lucky readers won a sample of Prowl cat food.

I asked some of the winners for feedback to find out what their cats though of the food.  Here’s what they had to say:

Here’s Niji from Florida

ProwlWinnerNiji’s owner reported, “After coming home that night, I saw that she had left some food but had eaten most of it. She used to be a strictly dry kibble only girl, so with a little transition she’d more than likely do fine.”

And another winner from New York had this to say, “My boy cat inhaled the Prowl sample but the girl  didn’t seem too interested – she’s pretty picky to begin with and was probably expecting her usual wet food in the morning. My boy cat had left a tiny bit in the bowl so I saved it for later in the day and I did catch the girl cat taking a few bites here and there.”

Behind the Scenes at CitiKitty, the Cat Toilet Training System

You may have been following the adventures of Furball in my attempt to train him to use the toilet instead of a litter box. The toilet training kit was generously supplied to me by Rebecca Rescate, the owner of CitiKitty Inc. When she first contacted me to offer a CitiKitty to me, I thought she was a PR rep as I assumed the CitiKitty was produced by some giant conglomerate and the “green” label was just another big company cashing in on the eco-trend.

Then I found out that Rebecca was actually the owner of the company and that she really believes in being green.  That’s what inspired her to invent the CitiKitty in the first place.  I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her business, so here’s an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes at CitiKitty.

Me: For readers unfamiliar with cat toilet training systems, please tell us a bit about the CitiKitty and how to use it.

Rebecca: CitiKitty is a simple low-cost way of training your cat to use the toilet.  To toilet train your cat you need to gradually transition them from litter box to toilet and this can accomplished with CitiKitty.

Each CitiKitty comes with a specially designed Training Seat that fits on your toilet and is filled with a small amount of litter. Each week you remove one ring from the training seat. This gradually opens the hole in the center of the training seat while at the same time reducing the amount of litter for your cat. Once all the rings from the training seat are removed and your cat is using the toilet you can remove the device all together.

Me: How is the CitiKitty eco-friendly?

Rebecca: CitiKitty is manufactured from reclaimed plastic. In additional the printed materials in every CitiKitty Kit are manufactured on 100% Recycled (min. 50% post-consumer waste) paper. In addition to manufacturing our kit with the environment in mind we run a virtually paperless company and pay into our local electric wind-power program at our facility.

Me: What was your inspiration to develop the CitiKitty? Do you have a photo of your first cat using a prototype?

Rebecca: My inspirition to start CitiKitty was when I toilet trained my own cat Samantha at the age of 11. I was living in a super tiny New York City apartment that left little room for a litter box. Boy do I wish I took photos of her during the training! I didn’t know it would lead to a business one day so it was not something I documented. I have attached a funny (never seen before) photo of me assembling our first CitiKitty orders in my pajamas. All the kits you see if the photo were sent to DailyCandy readers after the product was featured by them.

citikitty2005

Me: How did you come up with the name, CitiKitty?

Rebecca: I believe it is harder to name a company name then it is name a child and I don’t say this jokingly, I am the mother of three great kids! It took about 3 months to come up with the name CitiKitty after hundreds of others and we chose it because it was catchy, had great meaning (for city dwelling cats that live in small apartments and need to be litter free) and Samantha gave it her purr of approval.

Me: Did you always plan to create a business or did it grow organically?

Rebecca: I never planned on being a business owner but I have always been entrepreneurial in spirit so CitiKitty a great opportunity for me to express my passion for unique consumer products.

Me: How has the CitiKitty design changed over the years?

Rebecca: The total brand of CitiKitty was given a facelift in 2009. The original CitiKitty brand was created by myself and a close friend in 2005 in one weekend. In addition to new packaging and a new logo we also made improvements to the kit in 2009 including a sturdier training seat, including a training insert with every kit making you able to go backward in the training process and including our premium grade catnip, CitiNip with every kit.

Green Presentation at Humane Society

This is pretty cool.  I met with a couple of people at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and we’re going to be working together in the future.  The plan is for me to give presentations on how to green your cat as part of their educational program. And, they’re interested in carrying my cat toy book (www.MakeYourOwnCatToys.com) in their store.

While I was there, they also told me about this new cat litter that’s eco-friendly and smells like ICE CREAM!  I did indeed see and smell the litter.  I’ll write more about it in an upcoming post.

Furball’s Cat Toilet Training – Day 27

Unfortunately, the cat toilet training experiment has come to an end.  Furball, who is almost 9 years old, made it known loud and clear that he had no plans on progressing to the next ring.  Thankfully he used the tray when he needed to urinate, but he just did not get used to it for pooping.

Furball had another accident today.  In the morning, I peered in the bathroom and didn’t see a present on the floor.  I suspected that he was perhaps holding it in.  He hadn’t gone yesterday, so I figured I would wait to see what would happen.  My nose did pick up the slight scent of fecal matter, but I dismissed it as general cat tray odour.

On his way to work, my husband called out from the stairs leading to the garage.  He found where Furball had decided to do his business.  This was Furball’s third accident and I had not made any changes to the toilet training set up, nor had I tried to move him along too quickly.  I’d say 4 weeks to go from cat box to one hole punched out of the ring would be taking it slow.

My mother-in-law is going back to Canada in two weeks, which leaves me on my own to look after my baby son.  Factoring this in with Furball’s increased anxiety over the past week, I made the decision today to stop the toilet training.

It is unfortunate, but I guess some cats adapt and some don’t.  Furball was not going to be one of the ones to use the toilet, at least not on this attempt.

We were using the CitiKitty which was generously supplied to us by the owner of the CitiKitty company.  I wanted to be able to report success since she uses recycled plastic and post-consumer recycled paper to make her product in the USA.  Unfortunately, I just did not have the time to devote to making it work.

It seemed to me that Furball did not like perching himself on the tray.  He normally uses a very generously sized box, so perhaps the switch to a small tray was too much for him.  As well, he likes to be in an enclosed, “safe” place.  His box used to be in the corner, protected on three sides.  Perhaps he felt too exposed sitting on the toilet, even with the bathroom door mostly closed.  With more praise and coaxing, I think he would have adapted, but I just don’t have the time to do this with the baby.

In all honesty, I do not believe that had we used the competitive product, Litter Kwitter, it would have made any difference.  The only difference would have been paying twice as much for a product made in China that uses a lot more plastic.  If anything, the Litter Kwitter with its much bigger ring sizes would have been more likely to have freaked out Furball.  I believe what it comes down to is whether your cat has the disposition to be toilet trained and you have the time to invest in training them.

There’s no way to predict whether or not your cat will take to the training.  I guess the only way you’ll know is to give it a try.  And, if you are going to try, in my opinion, you should use the product that uses less plastic, less packaging, less resources for transportation, is made locally and is made from recycled materials, which is the CitiKitty.

Here’s my two cents worth of advice (although I always advise people to only take advice from those who are successful at what you are asking advice for):

  • Have lots of time and energy to coddle your cat through the experience.  Doing this with a new baby is not a good idea.
  • Be careful of any scented products you use to clean the toilet.  They may spook your cat.
  • Go really slowly.
  • Make sure your toilet seat is attached firmly and level.  No seats that slope inwards.
  • Expect the toilet to be occupied with the tray for weeks and possibly months.
  • Clean the tray every day.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has successfully trained their cat.  While it didn’t work for Furball, it may be just the thing for your cat.

On the plus side, I discovered that Furball would still use the tray even if there was very little litter in it.  Based on this experience, I’m going to significantly reduce the amount of litter used in his box.  I scoop it almost daily anyways so might as well reduce our environmental impact a little bit more.

I had an epiphany for redesigning a litter scoop a few weeks ago and was thinking of submitting the idea to be an As Seen On TV product.  Now that we’re back to the cat box and I’m going to be using less litter, I think it’s time to proceed with this idea.

Furball’s Cat Toilet Training – Day 25

I was going to punch out the next ring in the cat toilet training kit.  After all, it had been 10 days since Furball’s last accident.

But, much to my dismay, Furball left another parcel beside the kitty litter bag today.  The only thing I could think of for the cause was that he finds the tray awkward for #2.  Also, I had cleaned the toilet yesterday, but anticipating a problem with any lingering cleanser smells (yes, even eco-friendly ones stink), I simply used some baking soda.  The other thing I did was start moving the foot stool gradually to the side of the toilet.

I moved the foot stool back to the front.  I cleaned up the mess (not in that order).  I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better day.  I can certainly see why people get discouraged and give up.  It seemed like things were going well.  Just goes to show that you need to go slow.


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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