Monday, December 22, 2014

Keeping Out Old Man Winter, Written By: Nancy Peterson, Cat Programs Manager for The Humane Society of the United States

FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY:This is a guest post by Nancy Peterson, Cat Programs Manager for The Humane Society of the United States. We thank Nancy as always for her superb contributions to our blog!

Winter is the perfect time to accustom your pet to being an indoor-only cat. An indoor lifestyle is safer for cats and also protects wildlife from injury or death caused by outdoor cats.
However, some outdoor cats don’t want to come indoors because they’re feral – too afraid of people to be handled or adopted into homes. Strays, friendly outdoor cats with no known owners, also live outdoors if no one adopts them. Feral and stray cats are known collectively as community cats, and they deserve our concern and care.

Photo Courtesy of  Neighborhood Cats


Many people feed community cats, but it’s Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) that will really be effective and reduce their numbers, nuisance behavior complaints, and public health concerns. With TNR, community cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, identified as sterilized with an ear tip (1/4 of the tip of the ear, usually the left, is surgically removed), and if healthy, returned to the area where they were found. Ideally, a caretaker provides community cats with shelter, food and water, monitors them for injury or illness, and traps any new cats who appear.

A caretaker’s role is especially critical during winter when even the most resourceful community cats need a helping hand. A properly-sized shelter is essential because one that’s too big makes it harder for the cat’s body heat to warm the interior. If you’re caring for several cats, provide shelters that accommodate three to five cats who will stay warm by huddling together. You can build a simple or a more elaborate shelter or buy a pre-made shelter. If you choose to build your own, scrap weather-proofed lumber may be available at low or no cost from a home supply store.

Photo Courtesy of
Christopher Humby
of Scaredy Cat Rescue


Make the door of the shelter just big enough for the cat to fit through and face the opening in a way to prevent wind, rain, and snow from entering. Place the shelter where it’s hidden from public view but allows you access, and elevate the shelter slightly off the cold ground. If possible, also try to place the shelter in a sunny spot against a warm building or near bushes that keep their leaves all year to provide additional protection from nature’s elements. For extra security, camouflage the shelter with branches and leaves.

Since hay may irritate kitty noses and cause allergic reactions, stuff the shelter with a thick layer of straw into which cats can burrow and stay warm. You can also stuff pillowcases with shredded newspaper or packing peanuts. On especially cold nights, provide microwaveable discs, which hold heat for 12 hours. Don’t use folded newspaper, towels, or blankets because they absorb body heat.
If it’s really cold and you can’t regularly check the shelter, avoid straw and stuffed pillowcases and line the shelter’s inner walls, floor, and ceiling with Mylar. It won’t draw heat from a cat resting on it, but will reflect back the cat’s body heat. If you have access to electricity, you can buy an outdoor heated cat shelter or heated bed to place in the shelter. Avoid salt or chemicals to remove snow or melt ice around the shelter or feeding station. These products may irritate paws or be toxic if licked.
Food and water bowls can be placed in a hidden feeding station made of a large plastic container situated on its side. So that cats don’t have to go far to access their food and water, place the container near the shelter, which will help them conserve energy and warmth.

Cats may be chilled by eating frozen food and keeping canned food from freezing in the winter may be challenging. One option is to warm canned food at home and then place it in insulated bags for transport. You can also place canned food inside a well-insulated shelter far from the doorway, which may allow the cat’s body heat to defrost it if it freezes. To avoid this potential problem all together, you may decide to feed dry food only.

Despite their thicker fur and toasty shelter, cats use more energy keeping warm when it’s cold, so feeding them a higher calorie food may be helpful. However, don’t feed so much food that there are leftovers that attract other animals, including wildlife. 

Photo Courtesy of
Christopher Humby
of Scaredy Cat Rescue



A thick plastic container that is deep and wide will keep water from freezing longer than a thin plastic or ceramic container. You can also mix sugar or salt into the water, which will lower its freezing point. Salt will lower the freezing point a bit better than sugar. Start with a half to one level teaspoon of either in one quart of water and adjust the amount as needed. Don’t place water in the shelter because the cats will get chilled if it spills and avoid metal bowls since their tongues can stick to the metal. You can also remove a tire from its metal rim, stuff it with rocks, and place a water-filled plastic container in the center space. The black tire will absorb heat from the sun and warm the rocks enough to keep the water from freezing. A solar-heated water bowl is an even simpler option that can prevent or delay freezing.

Even their thick winter undercoat won’t protect cats from frostbite if they’re exposed to severe cold for a prolonged period of time. Frostbite, the loss of blood circulation, can affect a cat’s ear tips, nose, tail, toes, and any body part where the hair is thin. If the early signs of frostbite – pale, gray, or bluish areas – aren’t treated as soon as they appear, the skin in those areas may ultimately die. You may see swelling, blisters, and black or dead skin as circulation returns and the skin thaws. If you can touch the cat, the area may be cold, brittle, and painful. Frostbite is not to be taken lightly so seek veterinary care right away.

Community cats live in many places in the United States, Canada, and around the world where winter climates challenge their survival. Thanks to TNR resources in those places and dedicated caretakers, community cats have full tummies and warm shelters when old man winter comes calling.








Saturday, December 20, 2014

DOUBLE Winners of the Book: Double Trouble A-Z: The Adventures of Bugsy And Knuckles By Lou Belcher

Hi and Happy Caturday All!!

Thanks to all who entered our give-away for:

It is now time to announce our

"DOUBLE"
WINNERS!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can visit Pam and Sammy over at their blog:

and you can visit Claire at her blog:

HUGE CONCATULATIONS TO BOTH!

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's the FroliCat POUNCE™ !! Enter to Win!!

Hi my furiends! It's Cody and boy oh boy do I ever have a PAWTASTIC toy to show you!!!

It is the:

FroliCat POUNCE™


And it is my LATEST OBSESSION!!

Before I tell you about it, allow me to tell you when my obsession with the FroliCat™ line of toys began. Grab a soft cushion and some noms and sit back and listen! 
Way back in 2010 before Mom had a clue as to how to blog, she had a guest blogger stop by and talk about the:

 FroliCat BOLT™
Photo Courtesy of http://www.frolicat.com/

Mom was so impressed with this product that she HAD to get me one, and she did! FroliCat™ is a line of innovative cat toys, brought to you by ***Radio Systems Corporation. The toys are super fun and not only provide the ultimate in interactive play, but they are also ideal for your cat, dog, ferret, rabbit, etc. to play with on their own!. (Well, the human has to turn it on, but that's it! The toy does the rest! Your human can join you in play, but they don't have to! It's great for when your human is feeling lazy as mine often does!)

. All FroliCat toys are designed to engage your cat in enthused play!! 

That was back in 2010 and I STILL have my FroliCat Bolt! To this day it remains one of my favorite toys! But now, there's a NEW TOY IN TOWN!!

Meet the FroliCat POUNCE!!!!


Photo Courtesy of http://www.frolicat.com/


Now, how did I learn about the FroliCat POUNCE? Back in November, Mom attended the Novi Pet Expo and was wandering around aimlessly looking for something SUPER FUN to bring home for ME! She happened upon, stumbled into, the PetSafe booth and was IMMEDIATELY drawn to the FroliCat POUNCE! Why? Because it had a MOUSE and if there is ANYTHING that gets me MOVING, it's a MOUSE!!! "I'm all about da mouse, 'bout da mouse, no kickers, I'm all about da mouse, 'bout da mouse, no kickers..." well YOU get the idea!!! This isn't any ordinary mouse either, this mouse has a NAME!  His name is Marshal Maus™ !!  (He's a formal kinda guy!)

Now occasionally Mom comes in handy for something! Mom KNEW that she had to get this for me, and ever the cheapskate, thoughtful Mom that she is, she went home and contacted a "Magic Elf" that she knows, to see if she could not only get the FroliCat POUNCE for me to review, but she  also wanted to be able to have a give-away for YOU!

The "Magic Elf"  DEFINITELY worked some MAGIC! Within TWO DAYS I had the FroliCat POUNCE!!!  When it arrived I didn't quite know what to make of it, even Dakota was mesmerized!



What is the FroliCat POUNCE™ ?
POUNCE is an automatic, rotating, hide-and-seek cat toy. Marshal Maus™ is an electronic mouse, (that runs on batteries!!),  who zips around the circular path, zooming forward, reversing direction, hiding under obstacles, and occasionally twitching back and forth. The unpredictable movement stimulates your cat’s natural instinct to hunt, chase, and pounce on prey.



Speaking of "umpredictable" check out my reaction when I first watched the FroliCat POUNCE in action! Be sure to watch my head!!

If you notice, it didn't take me long to get the hang of it!!! Soon, I was so confident, I decided to try and eat that Marshal Maus! Mom had to intervene to prevent me from causing his early demise!


Mom and I both couldn't be more thrilled with the FroliCat POUNCE and have NOTHING negative to say about it! It couldn't be easier to operate. It runs on THREE AA batteries, (not included), has FOUR DIFFERENT SPEED SETTINGS (so you can control the speed of the mouse and the "teasing" factor!)  Also, once you turn it on it STAYS ON FOR 10 MINUTES!!!!!

It's so PAWESOME that my "Magic Elf" has said that I could have a GIVE-AWAY!! THAT'S RIGHT!!  THREE LUCKY KITTIES THAT RESIDE IN THE U.S.A WILL WIN THEIR OWN FROLICAT POUNCE!!! (An approx. $40.00 VALUE!!)

Entering is easy!! Just enter on the Rafflecopter below, the lucky winners will be announced on Saturday, December 27th!!! GOOD LUCK!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



***Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Radio Systems leads the industry in the development of innovative pet behavioral, containment, and lifestyle products and services. For more information, visit PetSafe.net.

In full disclosure: We were not compensated for this review/give-away. Since Mom reached out to the "Magic Elf" to receive/review the FroliCat POUNCE and asked if we could have a give-away, she chose to NOT  ask for compensation. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Secret Paws, My Favorite Holiday Tradition!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rachael Ray Nutrish. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  As always, thank you for reading and supporting our sponsors.

Hi my furiends!

It's Cody!  I am one thankful and oh-so-happy kitty!!!! Remember a few days ago when I told you  my Secret Paws package had arrived and Mom wouldn't let me open it? 

Well, Mom FINALLY
gave me Purrmission
to OPEN IT!
Ok, let me back up the bus a bit, I had to wait until sundown on the first night of Chanukah before Mom would let me near my package! The nerve! She had already made me wait for DAYS and the SUSPENSE was killing me!

Mom is one tough piece of kibble when she wants to be, that is for sure! Because it was the first night of ******Chanukah, Mom first made me paw around and find my pawsonal Menorah. Then, she made me put on my Yarmulke while she proceeded to document this debacle for all the World to see. Making me dig around and find my Menorah was completely ridiculous if you ask me, we don't ever LIGHT mine, because Mom says candles are too dangerous, but she wanted all of you to see the cute kitty Menorah she pawchased a few years back.



The things I have to endure to make this woman happy! Once this ordeal ended, Mom then requested that Dakota, Dad and I gather around their Menorah:



 (battery operated mind you, so much for tradition!) while we recited the candle lighting blessing for Chanukah:

Then, it was FINALLY time for me to find out WHO my Secret Paws package had come from!

Mom helped me open the box (I wanted to chew the tape but she felt that scissors were a better idea, go figure),  and I was completely blown away when I pawed open the envelope that was inside and saw this!
MY SECRET PAWS WAS NONE OTHER THAN
MELISSA AND TRUFFLES FROM
Click to visit their blog!



Secret Paws, My Favorite Holiday Tradition!
This is my third year participating in the Secret Paws gift exchange and it is a tradition that I hope will continue for as long as I continue to blog! Mom Paula does a most pawtastic job of coordinating all of the kitties, and it is a most anticipated event!

Mom and I were overcome with emotion when we saw all of the presents inside!!!! They were wrapped so beautifully!!! Mom didn't want to destroy the beautifully wrapped packages by ripping into  them,but I talked sense into her, I had waited long enough! There were a BUNCH of packages for ME!!


THERE WERE PACKAGES FOR MOM


THERE WERE EVEN PACKAGES FOR DAKOTA!!!

Mom was especially touched that Melissa and Truffles were so incredibly thoughtful to include Dakota! (To see what he received visit his blog!!)

Before I show you  all of the wonderful prezzies that I received look at what Mom got!


How appropriate that a kitty named Truffles, would get Mom chocolate TRUFFLES???? Mom was so touched at the thought that went into all of our gifts that she wouldn't stop screaming! Here is a photo of BOTH sides of the mug for you to see. Mom LOVES it!



Then, Mom was super touched by the kitty notepad because it reminded her of a photo of who else? ME, when I was a kitten!!!

Next, it was FINALLY time for ME to open MY GIFTS!!!!!!! I received not one, but TWO different kinds of kitty treats!!!  I also received a cat nip toy by one of my all time favorite makers of catnip!!!


And....a brand new Kicker toy from the Jackson Galaxy Collection by Petmate!!


I could barely contain MY excitement with all of these goodies and Mom was blown away!!! But...I KNEW there was MORE!!! I remembered when I was standing on the table smelling the packages, I smelled a MOST familiar and deeply loved scent!!


I knew that delicious aroma too well!  I smacked my lips with anticipation because I KNEW what it was!!! I pawed and pawed and sure enough, I was correct! It was:


"OH NO SHE DIDN'T!!!"
 OH YESSSSSSSSSSS SHE DID!!!!!
Melissa and Truffles both know that 2014 was my first year as an Ambassacat for Nutrish For Cats, a position that is near and dear to my heart and one that I treat with the utmost seriousness!!!! Mom was fussing that I was almost out of my Nutrish, and then...Melissa and Truffles sent me some!!! My all- time favorite flavor is the Chicken Purrcata, check out the delicious pieces of chicken!!!


I couldn't wait to dig in!!!


Thank you Melissa and Truffles
for your incredible generosity!
You made Mom, Dakota and I happier than you could ever know and we are beyond grateful! Thank you for all of the time, thought and effort you put into making us so incredibly happy! Now, if you will excuse me........there is a bowl of Chicken Purrcata with my name on it calling to me from the kitchen!!!


Love, Cody

******For the Fuzzy Tales Clowder and other curious cats! Mom found the answer to your question, "Why are there different spellings for the word "Chanukah?" Well, here is your answer that Mom found online:"With so many ways to correctly get the point of Hanukkah across, the proper spelling really turns into a matter of preference and mass appeal. If you want to fit in with the crowd, opt for the Hanukkah spelling, now the most widely used of the choices." So, ever the rebel who could care a rat's tush about "fitting in with the crowd"....Mom happens to visually prefer the spelling that uses a "C" and that is the one she chooses to use! So there you have it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Royal Cat Boutique: Kitty Treadmill Winners!!!!

Thanks to all who entered my give-away for the Kitty Treadmill from Royal Cat Boutique and THANK YOU for your patience with the Rafflecopter debacle!!

It is now time to announce the THREE incredibly LUCKY winners!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


HUGE CONCATULATIONS!!!
I know some kitties who are gonna be 
SUPER HAPPY!!!

ENJOY!
LOVE, CODY
 
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