Friday, May 27, 2011

Air Travel & Cats, A Guest Blog By Kim A. Salerno Of

Planning to fly the friendly skies with your feline friend?  Following some common sense tips will help ensure a happy and safe flight for you and your cat.
Before you begin your trip, be sure that your cat is "up" for the journey. This means a visit to the vet for a medical checkup and to ensure that your cat is up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations. Be sure to tell your vet about your plans to travel by air. Your vet can recommend to you whether your cat is medically prepared for this method of travel.  However, you must also take into consideration the demeanor and temperament of your cat when determining whether airline travel is a good choice for your little friend.  You know your cat best.  Once you’ve got the green light, here are some tips that will help make you and your cat’s air travel happy and safe.

·         Be sure to familiarize yourself with the pet policies of the airline you are flying and take note of the following in regards to their pet policies:

o    Does the airline allow you to take your cat in the cabin with you?
o    If that option isn't available to you, does the airline have any restrictions on transporting your cat below the cabin?
o    Does the airline have any special pet health and immunization requirements?
o    What are the airlines specifications and requirements for pet carriers?
For a comprehensive list of pet friendly airlines and their pet policies, go to

  • Health Certificate:  During your pre-trip vet appointment, ask your vet to issue a health certificate for your cat.  This typically needs to be dated within ten days of departure.  Carry this with you while traveling with your cat, as it may be required at different points throughout your travel.
  • Non-Peak Flights:  Consider booking a non-peak flight, which typically means less passengers and more cabin room. This will help ease potential stress for your cat.
  • Direct Flights:  Use direct flights.  Changing planes with your cat may cause undue stress on your cat.

  • Flights & Extreme Temps:  If traveling during the summer or winter months, choose flights that will accommodate the temperature extremes, particularly if your cat is traveling below the cabin.
  • Same Flight & Notify Airline Staff:  Always travel on the same flight as your cat. Ask the airline if you can watch your cat being loaded and unloaded below the cabin.   In addition, when you board the plane, notify a flight attendant that your cat is traveling with you as special precautions may be taken.
  • Be Early:  Have everything packed early and leave early to allow plenty of time to deal with normal air travel as well as your cat’s needs. Keep yourself calm before the flight as cats sense your stress and anxiety.
  • Select the Right Carrier:  Carriers are available in both hard-sided and soft-sided.  Soft-sided carriers are more suitable for carry-on and tend to fit better under the seat.  Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as far as the appropriate size carrier for your cat.  The proper size carrier should allow your cat to be able to lie down comfortably, stand up and turn around.  Ensure for proper ventilation and comfort.  In addition, be sure to properly line the carrier with an absorbable material to catch waste and spills.  Find airline approved cat carriers at the TWP Store.
  • Carrier Familiarization:   Give your cat at least a month before your flight to become familiar with the travel carrier. This will minimize his or her stress during travel. In addition, include a favorite toy or item with your scent in the carrier with your cat for comfort.
  • Travel Label:  Affix a travel label to the carrier with your name, your cat’s name, the name of your final destination or contact person, home and final destination addresses, as well as your home, cell, and final destination phone numbers.
  • Proper Collar & ID:  Fit your cat with a collar that can't get caught in carrier doors. Affix two pieces of identification to the collar—a permanent ID with your name, your cat’s name, home address and telephone number and a temporary travel ID with the address and telephone number where you or a contact person can be reached.
  • Trim Nails:  Make sure that your cat's nails have been clipped to protect against their hooking in the carrier's door, holes, and other crevices.
  • Feeding:  Do not feed your cat for four to six hours prior to air travel. Small amounts of water can be given before the trip.  If possible, secure a collapsible travel bowl to the inside of the carrier and place a few ice cubes in it.
  • Photo:  Bring along a current photo of your cat. This will make it easier for others to help you find your cat should your cat get separated from you.
  • No Tranquilizers: Do not give your cat tranquilizers unless your veterinarian prescribes them. Make sure your veterinarian understands that the prescription is for air travel.
  • Upon Arrival:  When you arrive at your destination, open the carrier as soon as you are in a safe place and examine your cat. If anything seems wrong, take your cat to a veterinarian immediately.  Get the results of the examination in writing, including the date and time.
For more information on flying with your cat, visit - the premier online guide for pet travel. offers resources to ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe when traveling. Visit, to find a directory of pet friendly hotels & lodging across the U.S. and Canada, airline pet policies, pet travel tips, pet travel supplies, along with other pet travel resources.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Odor-No-More" Cat Litter Additive-Give-Away & A Guest Blogging Opportunity!

I was contacted a few weeks ago by a representative of ONM ("Odor-No-More") asking me to review their cat litter additive, a product to eliminate litter box odors.

I had many reservations. My main hesitancy in reviewing this product was I had just switched to a high quality cat litter, (World's Best Cat Litter), that I LOVE. My motto is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Since I switched to World's Best Cat Litter I do not have the litter box odor that I had with the litter I had previously been using.

Another concern was that by adding this product I may mess up the ability to flush World's Best Cat Litter by adding a product that I thought could possibly tamper with it's formula and render it ineffective.

Also, Cody's allergies have virtually disappeared since we switched to World's Best Cat Litter and I am fearful if I add something new to the equation they just might return.

I was forthcoming with my concerns and told the gentleman at Odor-No-More that what I would do is tell you about this product and let YOU, my knowledgeable and experienced readers decide for yourselves.

Odor-No-More is a "deodorizing super absorbent cat litter additive". On the brochure I received it states it:

  1. Eliminates odor and moisture
  2. Reduces litter consumption
  3. Reduces labor
  4. Reduces disposal
  5. It is eco-friendly, non-toxic
  6. Comes with a 30 day money back guarantee

To reiterate,  I  have not tried this product. This is where YOU come in. I am giving away both of the unused containers that I received to TWO WINNERS (one container per winner).

And, I am offering each winner the opportunity of testing/reviewing this product on Cat Chat as a guest blogger.

I need your HONEST opinion. If you love the product tell me, if you don't, I want to know that too!

If you are interested in this give-away/guest blogger opportunity please leave me a comment. If I am able to ship this product out of the country (anyone know if I can?) I am happy to open this give-away to EVERYONE.

Please leave me a comment stating your interest by MIDNIGHT (EST), MONDAY, MAY 30th. Winners will be announced on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1st.

In full disclosure,  from time to time I will feature products that Cody and I may not have tried ourselves but we feel they may be of interest to our readers. When that is the case, I will always let you know, as I am today. It is up to you, my valued readers, to form your own conclusions. I received  no compensation for this post.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nature's Variety Winners & A New Bloggie Friend!!!

We have WINNERS!!!

The eligible comments were all assigned a number
 and were chosen by




Please email me your name
 address and phone number to:
 cgittleman at mi dot rr dot com

Now to continue our fun, we have a new bloggie friend! Please stop by and say hi to our friend Athena from:


She is an adorable girl, isn't she?
She would love to make
some new friends!
Stop by and show her some 
warm kitty love
(doggies are welcome too!)
and tell her that
Caren & Cody from
sent you!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: "Mitska Says: A Cat's Eye View to Healthy Senior Feline living" By Mitska with help from CC Reider

As anyone who owns a senior cat knows, watching them age can be challenging and oftentimes sad. We are faced with so many questions, "My kitty is exhibiting such and such behavior, is this normal?" "My kitty is going through some physical changes, what's going on?" "My kitty has been diagnosed with such and such, what should I do?"

You will find the answers to many (if not all) of your questions in "Mitska Says: A Cat's Eye View to Healthy Senior Feline Living" as told by Mitska a fifteen year old Maine Coon  kitty who really thinks she is a "young" ten!  There are excerpts and anecdotes from Mitska herself that are charming and frankly I wish there had been even MORE of Mitska in this helpful book. The portions that featured Mitska were some of my favorite moments.

Cats ages 7 and up are considered to be "Seniors". The title "Seniors" brings with it many changes. These changes can be physical, emotional and behavioral and are often quite confusing to the cat that is experiencing these changes and their owners who love them.

Reading this book I was reminded of many things that my Bobo had experienced throughout his Senior years and I couldn't help but think how helpful it would have been to have a book like this to explain some of the changes that he was experiencing. If I had had a book like this it would have alerted me to some things that I would have loved a better understanding of such as:

  • "Senior Conditions & Illnesses"
  • "Veterinarians Answer  Your Questions"
  • "Nutrition And Hydration"
  • "The Scoop On Poop" (love that title!)
  • "Stress"
  • "Pain"
  • "Cat Health Studies"

I have never been  known to be concise in my opinions and in my writing and I think my dear friend Lisa Brewer from Lisa's Cat Lover's Pages  who IS blessed with this ability, summed this book up the best when she said:

"A wonderful book that will give you advice on how to keep your senior cat healthy and what signs to look for. Lovingly written with extensive research and help from veterinarians, this is a must read. You will also find a bit of humor as Mitska gives you advice on humans...Lisa Brewercreator and author of Lisa's Cat Lover's Pages"

To purchase this book please click here

We were not compensated in any way for this review other than we received a complimentary copy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meet Your Best Friend At The Zoo!!

Saturday & Sunday
May 14 & 15, 2011

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Detroit Zoo

Brought to you by:


The Michigan Humane Society and the Detroit Zoological Society will host the 19th annual spring Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo, sponsored by PetSmart Charities, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak. Hundreds of adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens will be available for immediate adoption from MHS and more than 20 additional organizations at the largest off-site pet adoption event in the country.

There is no charge for admission or parking for this event, 
which is held in the Detroit Zoo front parking lot.

Last year, the spring Meet Your Best Friend at the Zoo event found homes for 498 animals. Since its inception in 1993, the event has helped more than 16,000 animals find new, loving families.

Adoption policies and fees are set by each participating group and not by event sponsors. Adopters must present a driver’s license or state ID card. All dogs and cats will have received a medical checkup and age-appropriate vaccinations.
 For health and safety reasons, please leave current pets at home.

Participating Groups:

Adopt-A-Pet, Animal Rescue Connection, AuSable Valley Animal Shelter, Best Buddy Pet Rescue, Canine Companions Rescue Center, Faerie Tales Cat Rescue, Greater Hillsdale Humane Society, Humane Society of Livingston County, Internet Miniature Pinscher Service (IMPS), K-9 Stray Rescue, Last Chance Rescue, Little Traverse Bay Humane Society, Manistee County Humane Society, Metro Area Animal Adoption Association, Michigan Greyhound Connection, Michigan Humane Society, Mid-Michigan Cat Rescue, Midwest Small Breed Rescue, Missaukee Humane Society, Oakland County Animal Care Center, Precious Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.), Roscommon County Animal Shelter, Sanilac County Humane Society, St. Joseph County Animal Control, Tigerlily Cat Rescue, WAG Animal Rescue.

The event will be held under tents in the Detroit Zoo front parking lot,
 beneath the signature water tower,
 located at 8450 W. 10 Mile Road in Royal Oak

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday The 13th Funny-Welcome Back "Blogger!"

To be sung to the tune of the theme song  from the hit 1970s TV show,  "Welcome Back Kotter"

Welcome back, your site maintenance  was your ticket out.
Welcome back to that same old place that we hang about.
Well the blogs have all changed since we hung around,
But our blogger friends still  remain and they've updated now.
[ Lyrics from: ]
Who'd have thought you'd lead us (Who'd have thought you'd lead us)
To WordPress  (if you continue to screw us!)

Yeah we tease you a lot cause we've got ya on the spot,
Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!!!


Let's hope that after Blogger's scheduled "hour long maintenance" that turned into at least 14 hours long, you and I are spared anymore Friday the 13th shenanigans!! Superstitions? Coincidence? YOU decide!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Winners!! Hill's® Science Diet® Hairball Control Formula Cat Food!!

Thanks to all who entered!!

Winners were chosen by

The 15 Winners Are:







Please EMAIL me your addresses
 (no Post Office Boxes please!) to:

cgittleman at mi dot rr dot com

Monday, May 9, 2011

Feline Nutrition: Food Allergy Or Intolerance? A Guest Blog (And Give-Away!) By Jill Gainer From "Nature's Variety"

I’m Jill Gainer, Director of Communications for Nature’s Variety.  A big thanks to Caren and Cody for letting me take over Cat Chat today!  What an honor.

Cody and Caren have given me an opportunity to talk a little about feline nutrition.   In full disclosure, I have a dog, not a cat.  (Gasp!)  But it’s not for lack of love of our feline friends!  (I just have some highly allergic kids in my house.)    But we always had cats growing up.   Delilah, our Himalayan, did me the honor of allowing me to live in HER house for 17 years.   And when I got my first apartment after college, the first thing I did was adopt a kitten, Samantha.  So I am a cat girl.

We fed Delilah what we considered to be a good food- it was a well-known brand name supported with lots of advertising and a catchy jingle.  So when it came time to pick a food for my new kitten,  I took my cue from what we fed Delilah.   Was it a good food? Yes.  Was it the best nutrition for her?  Maybe not.    Pet nutrition knowledge has come a long way since then!  And consumers and pet parents are a lot more educated on what makes a truly healthy meal for their pets.

 It’s a well-known fact that cats are obligate carnivores, which means they really don’t need any grains at all in their diet.  (Think about it- cats were used at granaries to keep the mice out because they WOULDN’T eat the corn, just the mice.)   Additionally, cats can have food intolerances or food allergies to certain ingredients in their food, just like people do.

 So what’s the difference - Food allergy or intolerance?  A food allergy presents itself with physical symptoms such as itching, sneezing, skin problems, hot spots…very physical manifestations of symptoms.  Food intolerances are similar to when a human might eat something that upsets their tummy every time they eat it (like milk, soy, spicy foods, etc.)  Does your cat exhibit any of those symptoms?     In cats, the most common food allergies are caused by just a few ingredients:   seafood (surprise!) beef, dairy, corn, soy or wheat.  It’s interesting, because those were a lot of the ingredients in the food that I fed my cat!

  So what’s a cat lover to do?  Fortunately, both food allergies and food intolerances can be alleviated or even eliminated when certain “culprit” ingredients are eliminated from their diet.  Sometimes veterinarians will recommend an “elimination diet” to pinpoint exactly what the animal is allergic to.  An elimination diet removes all of the commonly known allergens then slowly reintroduces them one at a time. It takes a lot of patience and time (sometimes as long as 12 weeks) to complete the trial.

   Nature's Variety has just introduced a new diet for cats- Instinct Limited Ingredient Diets, which contain none of the common allergens for cats.  It’s a great option to try BEFORE going to a full elimination trial.  First of all, it’s grain-free.  Turkey meal is the first ingredient and tapioca is the only starch.  It provides a complete and balanced meal with simple ingredients, and none of the top allergens for cats.  Additionally, it’s coated in green tea for antioxidant support (and it’s really tasty- cats preferred it to our competitors in our testing).  I would be happy to send out a few bags if anyone would like to try it!  So contact Cody and Caren with your info (how to contact you should you be one of the five winners), by leaving a comment on this post by Monday, May 16th at MIDNIGHT (EST) and on Wednesday, May 18th we’ll draw five names and ship to the winners. Contest is open to the U.S. and Canada.

  For more info, check us out at

Thanks again Cody and Caren!

**Caren and Cody here. It was our pleasure to feature Jill as a spokesperson for Nature's Variety. In the interest of full disclosure we have not actually tested Nature's Variety Cat Food.  Jill contacted us for a review and since we do not use this food (and could not test it because Cody is on a special diet that I didn't wish to veer from) I felt I could not properly review it. I offered Jill the opportunity to guest post to further explain her product to all of us. We received no compensation for Jill/Nature's Variety appearing today.  From time to time we will feature products that we may not have tried ourselves but we feel they may be of interest to our readers. When that is the case we will always let you know, as we are today. It is up to you, our valued readers, to form your own conclusions. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Whether your children are two legged:

Or four:
Bobo and I Pre-blonde days!
It's A Mother's Love

Bobo and I

Just The Same

Cody and I on his adoption day July 28, 2007

Dakota, Cody and I 2007
I apologize for the poor photo quality!!
These are OLD!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Michigan! Help Carol’s Ferals ‘Double Your Dollars’

Carol's Ferals has launched a Spring Campaign on Facebook CausesDouble Your Dollars – to raise funds to pay for spaying and neutering.  This will allow them to help people who can’t afford the cost of the surgery themselves.  Up to $5000 of these funds are being matched by a generous donor.   That means that by meeting their goal, they will raise $10,000 to support Carol’s Ferals and the cats in West Michigan.

"Just because you can't touch them,
 doesn't mean you can't help them!"

Friday, May 6, 2011

A New Litter Box Deserves Nothing But The BEST-We Love World's Best Cat Litter!

The timing couldn't have been more perfect.  Around the time of my birthday, my Mom and I were given the opportunity of testing/reviewing World's Best Cat Litter.
We tested the clumping formula
for one or two cats
It also comes in
Multiple Cat Clumping Formula
and Scented Multiple Cat Clumping Formula
Available in 7, 8, 17 and 34 pound bags
"it's quite simply the best clumping cat litter on the market!"
At the same time Mom was having an extra room turned into an office for her us. She was going to finally move my litter box out of the room that would become her  our office  and move it into it's permanent home,  the our, bathroom (we're "roomies!!").

Mom  ordered me a new litter cabinet for my birthday, (it was about time! I had been using Grandpa Bobo's old, nasty litter box forever!) which would hide the litter and at the same time give me some much needed mancat privacy.
"This box has
 so many pieces!"

"let's see, we put a bolt here and another there"

Mom tried her hardest but after spending hours trying to put the box together she had to have her friend Cheryl come and finish it for her.
"Finally! It's finished! See the  old litter box to the right?
Mom was afraid I wouldn't use the new box

with new cat litter (she has such low expectations of me! Geeze!)
 and left the old litter box in the bathroom for a few days.

I thoroughly inspected the new litter box
and the new litter,
  it completely conformed with  my standards of excellence"

They even sent me this great mat to catch the litter. My Mom LOVES that this litter doesn't track all over the floor as much as the other litters that Mom used to buy for me.

This is how World's Best Litter looks in the litter tray. Don't worry! Mom scooped it and FLUSHED IT so you wouldn't see my "business"!! (yep, this litter is FLUSHABLE! It is safe for septic tanks, whatever those are). That is one of Mom's favorite parts of this litter. She also likes that it is:

That way, when I lick my paws and clean myself I am not eating all of that gravelly old litter that I used to eat. I am eating something that won't hurt me or cause a blockage. Mom was worried at first about my allergies possibly flaring up with this litter, but so far so good!! I haven't had any flareups!

Mom also likes that this litter works great on litter box smells (she did notice that World's Best Cat Litter  now has a new lavender scented formula  and she is waiting for that to be in the stores so she can buy it because she loves the scent of lavender).

Mom was very happy that she can purchase this litter at three stores that aren't far from our house! (PetSmart, Kroger and Pet Supplies Plus!)

Finally, here are four more things that Mom LOVES about  World's Best Cat Litter:





So guys, that's the dirt SCOOP on this litter! Mom is officially sold on it and you know what the best part is????

SO AM I!!!!

Mom and I were not compensated in any way for our my opinion. We were given a bag of World's Best Cat Litter to try and the great litter mat. Now, if you will kindly excuse me. I must go and make a "deposit."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tummy Contest!!

OK Cats is having a Tummy Contest and the competition is quite formidable!

Much to my embarrassment my Mom is submitting this:

This is my patented "please open the bathroom door, I gotta pee pose"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Karaoke for Kitties!!! A Benefit For Carol's Ferals!

It doesn’t matter if you sound like Beyonce or a cat in heat, head down to the Clique Bowling Lanes, 533 Stocking NW on Saturday May 7st from 9pm - 1am for a fun and hilarious evening, “Karaoke For Kitties,” a benefit for Carol’s Ferals.

Entrance is only $10, which includes free bowling all night long. You can pay to sing and participate in a silent auction. Rev. Charles Preston Smith will serve as host for the evening and a panel of celebrities will be on hand. A donation to help west Michigan cats can have you crooning with comedian, Stu McCallister. Or maybe a group singalong with Grand Rapids own Grand Raggidy Roller Girls is more your style? If singing ain’t your thing, a few bucks means a celebrity of your choosing has to sing any song you choose.  Or for the bolder, show off your pipes to the crowd all on your own.

“We’re incredibly excited about the opportunity to have a blast while raising money and awareness about Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and reducing the stray and feral cat population in our communities,” said Carol Manos, the Executive Director, who will also be on hand to sing her version of Life in the Fast Lane (or in this case, "Life in My Cat Brain").  For more information on this event, visit

Carol’s Ferals is a Grand Rapids, Michigan  based, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.  Carol’s Ferals aims to assist outdoor dwelling cat caregivers with TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) services.  Cats are accepted three nights weekly and are spayed/neutered, treated for fleas and parasites and vaccinated or tested for infectious feline diseases as needed or desired.  Sick or injured cats are treated and returned when in the best interest of the cat and cat population.  Carol’s Ferals advises cat fostering and adoption and does limited adoption of friendly cats and kittens.  For more information, go to: