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.

The Hemp Toy That Cats Are Going Crazy For!

“The cats went crazy for it.” – Amazon reviewer

Chase the Hemp Cat Tail from From The Field (no, that’s not a typo there, “From the Field” is the name of the company) is a foot long cat toy stuffed with organic catnip, valerian root and buckwheat hulls. This makes for a fun-filled catnip toy that cats will love to attack and wrestle with.

hemp organic cat toy

The Cat Tail is made from all natural hemp fabric which is excellent for strength and durability. It’s also biodegradable so when it gets fully “yuck-ified” from cat drool and tattered to pieces after hours and hours of play, you can compost it for your flowers and plants.

Washington-based From the Field, makes Chase the Hemp Cat Tail and a full line of hemp cat toys. All of their toys are made in the USA with an eye on sustainability and a commitment to providing high quality natural toys for your cats.

You’ll find Chase the Hemp Cat Tail along with a full selection of organic hemp cat toys and natural pet products at From the Field.

Good News for the Environment: Big Cat Success, From the President, and a Windy Amazon

Sometimes it seems like all the news about the environment is BAD news. When I worked at World Wildlife Fund, I was amazed at how much good news there was, but it just didn’t get picked up by mainstream media.

Here’s the latest round-up of good stuff happening for our planet:

1) Tiger Populations Are on the Rise in India

Indian_Tiger

WWF International reported some great news for big cats. Seeing as this is a blog for cat lovers, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that tiger populations in Indian have dramatically increased by over 50% from 2006 to 2014.

As reported by WWF-International:

India’s tiger population has significantly increased according to the 2014-15 India tiger estimation report released today. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in numbers– from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014.

The increase in the tiger population can be largely attributed to better management and improved protection within tiger reserves and other tiger bearing protected areas. Poaching remains the greatest threat to wild tigers today with tiger parts in high demand throughout Asia.

Discover what’s helping India’s tiger population bounce back >>

2) President Vows to Take Action on Climate Change

In President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he stated:

“No challenge, no challenge, poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

This was reported hot off the press on the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) staff blog:

President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to tackling climate change in his State of the Union Address. As the president laid out his plans to revitalize the economy, strengthen security, and expand opportunity, he made it clear that the path to a brighter tomorrow leads straight through climate action.

Find out what the President plans to do to tackle climate change >>

3) Amazon’s Powering Up with Wind Farms

As consumers, we’re often looking at how we can reduce our power consumption by purchasing energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances. However, that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to how much energy is used to power the data centers that are the backbone of the Internet.

Amazon with its cloud services and web services is one of the biggest online players. It’s been a bit slow to switching to sustainable energy, but recently made a commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for their global infrastructure footprint. Their plans include building a 150-megawatt wind farm that will generate approximately 500,000 MWh of energy each year. That’s equivalent to what’s used by 46,000 homes!

Learn which are the most and least eco-friendly Internet companies >>

Recent Study Raises Serious Concerns About Bacteria in Pet Food

What's in your cat's food?
What’s in your cat’s food?

Here’s some disturbing news that should come as no surprise to Green Little Cat readers. It came to my attention from our friends over at The Conscious Cat:

“The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF), an advocacy group established by Susan Thixton, the publisher and founder of The Truth About Pet Food, recently published the results of an unprecedented pet food testing project conducted by U.S. labs late last year. The results reveal serious concerns for pets and for the human families that purchase and handle the pet food.

Testing results show that some of the most widely-purchased brands in the U.S. and Canada contained high levels of dangerous mycotoxins, problematic nutrient concerns and/or numerous bacterial contamination risks, including antibiotic resistant bacteria the FDA terms as “qualifying pathogens”. Funding for the project came solely from consumers, who raised nearly $16,000 via an Indiegogo donation campaign.”

What’s interesting to note is that 75% of the foods tested positive for bacteria that has been linked to rotten meat. What’s even more interesting to note is that the study results are being questioned, so it’s turning a bit into a “he-said, she-said, they-said” type of debate.

You can read more about the study and the ensuing questions at The Conscious Cat.

So, as a concerned cat lover, what can you do to keep your cat safe?

  1. If your cat is eating any of the foods listed in the study, the first thing you can do is call the manufacturer. There’s usually a 1-800 number on the package or you can visit their website to find contact info. Ask them directly about the study results and voice your concerns. Manufacturers want to provide safe food for your pet as much as you do because of huge liability issues and lost sales if there’s a problem with the food.
  2. Consider switching to locally made pet food from family-run businesses. I’ve written tons of articles reviewing different brands of foods and even reported on changes in ownership of companies too. You’ll find reviews in the Food category of this website.
  3. Consider switching to an organic cat food. While it certainly costs more, there are higher accountability standards for organic meat and produce vs. the conventional variety. The way I see it, I can fork out $50 for cat food every month or THOUSANDS of dollars in vet bills in a few years because poor quality food leads to more health problems. You just have to look at a human diet to see that people don’t thrive eating fast food alone. Which would you prefer? Pay a little more each month or shell out a huge amount in a few years? What’s best for your cat?
  4. Make your own food. This is a big commitment, but it depends on your lifestyle and how much you value your cat’s health. You also have to value your mental health too!

100% Recycled Rubber Cat Placemat

Keep your kitty’s eating area clean with this adorable cat face placemat from Oré Originals. Shaped like an oversized cartoon cat head, this cheeky mat is not only fun, it’s also functional and eco-friendly too.

It’s made in the USA from 100% recycled rubber which makes it both durable and practical. The rubber surface holds the mat in place on the floor and also keeps cat bowls and dishes from sliding around. If your cat is like Furball who likes to drag his bowl across the floor, this mat will help ensure the bowls don’t go wandering too far.
recycled rubber cat placemat ore pet
The placemat’s surface is just the right size for cats. It’ll help keep the floor protected from spills, kibble bits and that wet cat food that drops out of your cat’s mouth when she turns suddenly mid-chew because she heard a loud noise.

You can find the Oré Pet Black Cat Face Placemat for about $15 at Amazon.com. And if you’ve got dog, there’s a super cute recycled rubber dog bone shaped placemats too!

How to Make a Cat Treat Dispensing Toy from a Toilet Paper Roll

Here’s how to make a cat treat dispenser in three easy steps. Rather than spend $20 on a plastic contraption that your cat will outsmart in a few minutes, make your own eco-friendly cat toy using toilet paper rolls by following these simple instructions. It’s lots of fun, easy to do, each puzzle is unique, the cost is free and you can customize the difficulty level depending on your cat.

What’ You’ll Need:

  • 2 empty toilet paper rolls
  • Scissors
  • Small cat treat

Step 1

Cut one of the toilet paper rolls into rings about 1/4″ to 1/3″ in width.

instructions: how to make cat toy from toilet paper roll

Step 2

Place the cat treat inside the other toilet paper roll.

homemade cat treat dispenser instructions

Step 3

Stuff a few of the toilet paper rings into one end of the toilet paper roll so that the treat can’t easily fall out. Turn the roll around and stuff the remaining rings into the other end.

toilet paper roll cat toy and treat dispenser

Now you’re ready to give this treat-dispensing cat toy to your cat. The more rings you put in, the trickier it is for your cat to get the treat to come out. The fewer rings, the easier it is.

Here’s a video of Furball interacting with his toilet paper roll cat toy. He loves treats, so he’s quite persistent in getting the treat out of this homemade dispenser for cat treats. The laughter in the background is my preschooler.


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.
Check out Furball's cat toy book
Spoil Your Kitty the Green Way
Get Furball's cute ebook full of oodles of eco-friendly cat toys that are fun and easy to make.
Learn more >>

  Pets Business Directory - BTS Local