After a year of begging and meeting our good behavior and grade requirements, we gave our 10-year-old daughter our blessing to adopt a pet. I was touched when she told me that wanted to rescue a black kitten because so many people pass up the black cats.
So off to Petco we went because they have cats that come directly from The Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA. I'm here to tell you that black cats rock because our daughter's little Lucy has been nothing but sweet, well behaved and loads of fun! And even though we already have two 7-year-old male cats that we also adopted from the shelter, we still had to buy several products for little Lucy's first year of life.
I also must add that Petco cats come spayed/neutered, with their necessary shots and with a micro-chip. Plus your first veterinarian visit is free with participating vets. I was impressed with the entire process.
So read on to see some unique cat...and dog...products that not only please your pet, but will please you too, because these items work well. We put them to the test!
Cool Cat Stuff
*Neater Feeder for Cats and Dogs - Even though cats are pretty fastidious, mine still leave a little mess around their cat bowls, so when I heard about the Neater Feeder, I couldn't wait to try it and it works great. It is a feeding system dish for cats and dogs that contains spills and splashes from messy pets. The two-part container allows food to stay in the top reservoir while water naturally drains into the easy-to-empty lower reservoir, protecting floors from stains and damage and making clean-up a snap. The Neater Feeder comes in multiple sizes, with the smallest cat size selling for $34.99 and the price goes up from there with the bigger sizes. Petco sells them, but you can also find a list of other Arizona retailers at www.neaterfeeder.com.
*Cat Trees for way less - Cat trees are terrific for felines, but they can be super expensive, some even selling for over $300! So I was thrilled when my friend told me that Ross occasionally carries big cat trees for way less. I bought a 7-foot cat tree for only $89.00 at Ross. I was thrilled and my cats have been on Cloud 9 ever since, plus they are getting the exercise they need to stay healthy. The Ross folks told me that they get the cat trees in on a steady basis, so customers can call the store to see if some came in before they make the drive.
*Litter Genie Litter Disposal System -- This is like the Diaper Genie for babies and it works wonders for your cat's waste. It is perfect for my daughter because she has to be responsible for her kitten. And since Lucy is her cat, the litter box is kept in my girl's room, so she is really happy that the Genie keeps the odors out and makes keeping her cat's litter box clean a snap. Simple to use, cat owners follow a quick 3-step process that includes first scooping the clumps, then opening the Litter Genie lid to dispose of the waste followed by pulling the handle to seal in the odors. I love how well this product works. We found ours at Petco for under $20.
*Litter box with a cover -- For some reason I had never purchased a litter box with a door, but we decided this time around we would try one and it does reduce odor quite a bit. We did have to train little Lucy to not fear the door by simply giving her a little push in and opening the door the first few times after she did her business. She caught on quickly and never had one accident.
*Dr. Elseys Precious Cat #1 Long Haired Cat Litter with Herbal Attractant -- I have tried just about every type of litter out there and this is by far, my favorite brand, plus each container comes with a coupon book with all kinds of pet coupons. Even if your cat is short-haired, I still love this brand because it is hypo-allergenic, biodegradable so it is earth-friendly, non-toxic with low tracking. It also traps urine on contact, so a lot less scooping on your part is needed. All three of my cats like it, too. I buy ours at Petco for $17.99 a container.
*Prescription Diet TD Dental Health -- Both of our boy cats have dental disease, which is quite common for cats. Since we started feeding them this food, that we buy at our vet's office, their checkups have greatly improved and the vet and I were really surprised with just how much better their gums looked after I switched to this brand. Ask your vet if they carry this type.
*Cat Toys to Love and to Avoid -- With a new kitten, you will need some cat toys because kittens have a ton of energy and need to exercise. We tried giving her some of the kids' old stuffed animals, but she chewed the eyes and other facial parts off and we didn't want her to eat the stuffing. Petco and all of the pet stores have a pretty extensive collection of all types of toys.
Do avoid toys with cat nip because kittens do NOT need the extra stimulation, as they are excited enough on their own! One of the best toys is the old fashioned feather on a stick. They truly love for their humans to wave that around. At the advice of one of Petco's cat experts, we would give Lucy a good amount of play time with the feather before bed to get her energy out so that she would learn to sleep at night with her humans. This nightly ritual, followed by a feeding, worked well to teach out kitten to sleep at night. And if you are on a budget, as many of us are, kittens love little balls made of aluminum foil. Just make sure that they aren't going to eat it first.
One other note, if you have an older cat that needs to exercise, then try a catnip toy because my older boy cats love it and will play and exercise with the cat nip-infused toys.
People Approved Pooch Products
Since I'm the crazy cat lady with three cats, I don't know as much about dogs, but my gal pals sure do, so I asked them what cool products I should share when it comes to canines and they had some great answers...
*John Paul Waterless Foam Dog & Cat Shampoo -- Did you know that Paul Mitchell has products for your pooch? I didn't until my friend, Bridget told me about it! With several items in the line, a favorite is the John Paul Waterless Foam Dog & Cat Shampoo because it is simple to use with no water required. Simply apply the foam shampoo to your pet's coat, work into a lather and then brush and comb until it is completely dry. The ingredients are made of a unique botanical blend that freshens fur in an instant. Sells for $12 at Petco.
*The FURminator -- Invented by a professional pet groomer and her husband, this cool tool de-sheds your dog's fur without cutting or damaging your dog's sensitive skin. Easy to use with great results, this brush gently pushes through the topcoat to remove the loose hair that sheds from the undercoat. The FURminator starts at $38.99 for small dogs and goes up in price from there based on your dog's size. The FURminator is also available for cats at pet stores.
*The Martha Stewart Microfiber Towel -- Along with Paul Mitchell, Martha Stewart has got into the dog spirit, too with her own invention called the Microfiber Towel. My friend, Bianca loves that the towel has human hand inserts that make it easy to towel dry your pup as well as
lift him out of the bathtub. Sells for $8.97 at Petsmart.
*Trader Joe's Dog Treats & Grain-Free food switch -- My friend, Julie tells me that if your dog is biting his paws, it may be a food allergy, so try switching to a grain-free food. It worked for them and she also swears by Trader Joe's dog treats!
*A good dog harness like The Gentle Lead-- Both Julie and my Mom, who have opposite-sized dogs, said to include that a good dog harness is essential when it comes to controlling pups on a walk.
What are your favorite pet products? Share here in the comments section and remember to check www.managedmoms.com for more pet stuff, beauty articles, parenting tips and more.