Every cat owner that I know is on a constant quest to find the best cat litter – let’s face it the poo side of things is by far the negative side of cat ownership! Now that I have two little kitties at home, I have also realised that double the poo is really gross, and it is my least favourite daily chore keeping the litter fresh and hygienic.
Well known pet brand Bob Martin www.bobmartin.co.uk kindly sent me a bag of their Felight litter to trial, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you guys!
Firstly, I loved that it is antibacterial. I don’t even know what difference that makes in the cat litter world, but it makes me feel reassured. My kitten will run on my head, my bed, there is no limit to where he thinks he can perch, Knowing he’s dug through litter is gross but antibacterial litter helps my worries somewhat. The bag was very lightweight as was the litter (as the title would suggest) and it’s clean colours meant it did feel a step up from the basic supermarket range. It was however a little dusty – as most litters are!
It’s clumping was average, but it’s power to absorb the smell was actually very good!
As an animal conscientious brand Bob Martin donate over 83,000 litres of litter to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home every year and makes a cash donation to Battersea from the sales of Felight – it’s nice to know that by using Felight Cat Litter, you are helping homeless kitties.
Bob Martin’s Felight range is available in Asda, wilko, Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons, pets at home, and online at www.bobmartin.co.uk and in pet stores.
We’ve all heard of plug in and spray product ranges designed to help anxiety and stress in cats and also separate products for anxiety in dogs. Pet Remedy works across both species however, which is super useful for a multi-pet owner such as myself! Aimed at tackling stress and anxiety. the Pet Remedy formula is made using a low concentration Valerian essential oil, blended with Vetiver, Sweet Basil, and Sage. It works alongside the brain’s neuro-transmitters, which work by telling the nerve receiving the message either to calm (via GABA pathway) or get ‘fired up’. In times of stress or anxiety the nerves get over stimulated, which leads on to the many different signs of stress we see in our pets. The idea is that the blend of essential oils in Pet Remedy works alongside these natural relaxation pathways to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets. I am a bit of a sceptic when it comes to natural remedies – but I had heard of the calming effects of valerian so I was super keen to give it a go!
In December we welcomed a new addition into our little family – Lola the Goldendoodle. She is a giant boisterous bundle of puppy joy and I had feared for what our two resident cats Dexter and Floki would make of a dog in the house.
They’d never met a dog before, let alone shared their precious ‘territory’ with one! In fact even welcoming Floki into the family a year previously had been difficult, and it wasn’t until we moved to a new home that the cats really started to bond as they formed a territory that was not just ‘Dexter’s.’
We decided to try out Pet Remedy in plug in and spray version to help to manage the introductions, and make it as simple as possible for the new puppy and our lovely kitties. While they are very friendly lads, they both demand a lot of attention, and a little sister (of the dog variety) in the house would never have been their choice. When looking at what we could do to help the introductions (apart from the obvious such as stair gates,play pens and high climbing posts!) We were particularly swayed to try Pet Remedy simply because it’s inter-species unlike other brands that are solely for cats or dogs and not both.
We located the Pet Remedy plug in the living room, where most of the interaction was happening, with perhaps a sceptical view that it wouldn’t make much of a difference. It would of course be difficult to measure these things, but locating the plug in to one room certainly helped us to note the differences between where the formula was being circulated, and where it wasn’t. I am pleased to say that we were wrong to be sceptical, and that it worked really well! The cats and our puppy certainly seemed calmer. A lot calmer. We also found the travel wipes incredibly useful for when we were taking Lola out in cars, taxis, trains and buses for the first time.
I must warn, it does smell really strong. Enough so that I was convinced that Lola had done a secret poo in the house after it had been plugged in for an hour! Luckily no poo, just the plug in. Funnily enough it doesn’t actually smell like poo, it just smells very earthy and distinctive. I couldn’t compare it to anything else that I have smelled before. Perhaps that’s why it works so well. After all have you ever smelled an animal’s scent (particularly around their glands) and thought ‘oh, fresh linen!’ And a lot of herbal pills and potions (and medical pills and potions just they are coated to hide it) have a very strong smell. I stopped noticing the smell after a couple of days, and it was also reassuring to know that f we could smell it so could the pets so it could work it’s magic!
The most beneficial product that I tried was the calming spray. It stinks to high heaven, but it works fabulously. With time off over holiday periods we decided to sit our neighbours dogs, and one dog in particular, the aptly named French bulldog Biggie, was quite a character. He’d try to hump Lola, he’d bark at cats, people, run around for hours pulling toys apart, and he was very very needy. At one stage I almost hired a different sitter to take him, as he was getting so nippy with Lola! I then remembered the spray.
A quick spay to his bedding, and when we took him out his harness and he was a different dog, a lot more chilled out and more ready to play happily, be stroked and lay and rest than his prior anxious state.
We’ve since used the plug in and the spray to settle other dogs that we have looked after, and again amazing results in helping them to settle into a strange home. The only dog it didn’t work for was little Coco the jack russell – he was somehow immune. But 6 out of 7 isn’t bad!
Certainly Pet Remedy will never cure Lola’s barking when she wants the cats to play, or when they get a cuddle (she gets jealous) but it did make for a harmonious introduction. I will definitely be buying again.
Available via the officIal Pet Remedy website and in our Blog Shop! Yes we liked it so much that we got a selection of their products in to complement on our Blog shop. 🙂
My 4-year old cat Dexter has a toy monkey that he carries around with him and lays next to at night. When I introduced our new kitten Floki to the house, I knew that I wanted something similar – a larger toy – made for humans not cats that he can snuggle with in his basket. Gifting website Born Gifted provided the perfect solution with their gorgeous toy, the Steiff Mimmi Cat.
Handmade in Germany, the gorgeous collectable toy with her own Steiff trademark brass plated button in ear even comes with a detachable toy mouse! She is incredibly soft and plush and Floki loves his little cat naps with her!
If you are looking the purrfect christmas present either for your cat or a cat lover when this Steiff Cat will be the purrfect choice! Available on Born Gifted.
I always considered myself lucky, my cat Dexter is so chilled that I can brush his coat and clean his teeth each week and accumulation of cat hair was at a minimum in my house. No fuss! My parents have a menagerie of pets and always have done over the years. With two cats and two dogs pet hair can be a real problem, one that I was so smug as I didn’t have. That was, of course, until I got my second cat Floki. He may be a tiny wee kitten, but he molts like mad – and with the two of them dashing about like mad men while playing flying fur has become more of a common occurrence – and my old vacuum simply was not up to the challenge!
Vax offered to send me a Vax Air Stretch Pet Upright Vacuum Cleaner to try out. With its sleek design and extra long attachments (17 meter cord and hose!) I was quickly impressed!
The Air Stretch Pet means that I can even vacuum the bottom of the bed where the cats sleep, and the easy empty canister makes this a better choice for flea control. Even with the vet approved flea prevention drops, having two cats does mean twice the opportunity for them to bring in a stray flea. It is little well known that the most effective weapon against fleas is vacuuming regularly – this breaks the cycle by simply sucking away the eggs and larvae from your home. The heat and rumble of the vacuum can also however awaken dormant eggs, and with bagged hoovers the fleas can hop right back out! A bagless model means the ultimate in hygiene as you can empty each time with a flick of a clasp.
As you can see from the pictures the cats were very intrigued by its tall slim design – not so much when it was turned on however!
I’ve had vacuums in the past that drag my carpet and are hard to move around, I liked with this model that while the dirt was effectively pulled up, it didn’t hurt my back by sticking to the flooring. One really gross reality is now that I can actually see the hair this vacuum brings up, I realise my black cat Dexter molts more than I thought – and was just camouflaged!
My only criticism would be that I wished the fab additional pet attachment for upholstery had something to clip it to the machine while storing in between uses. In my mad house it is likely to become lost!
All in all a great gadget for pet owners, that I would thoroughly recommend, and even better this model is currently in the sale at half price for £129.99! Available online at www.vax.co.uk and in high street retailers. For further vacuum cleaner comparisons click here.
Verdict: 9 / 10
*Note: this product was sent to me in exchange for a review by the retailer. However this northern lass is quite opinionated, and all views are my own. Honestly, if I hate something I will tell you and if I love it I will rave about it!
Are you looking for something slightly different? Check out this list of top vacuum cleaners for pet hair.
I decided to get Dexter a few months after my little brother, Daniel, died. It was the worst time of my life and I was at risk of continuing an existence of grief that consumed my whole life and would not allow me to function. It sounds so corny but this little cat helped me through.
Dexter has been so much more to me than a pet this past four years. He’s an odd cat – loyal and chilled out like a dog – and he has seen me through the hardest of times. He licks away my tears and lets me hug him close like a teddy bear. I can’t even go to the loo without him jumping onto my lap he quite literally follows me everywhere.
It started on the day we picked him up, I got him in Newcastle and after a week with me at his ‘grandparents’ home he came to London to start his adventures. He slept all of the way home and pretty much lived in my cardigan being carried around (out of reach of my parents dogs!) for the whole week, he struggled with solids and he was the runt of the litter so we fed him kitten milk and built him up.
My ex didn’t argue when I asked to keep Dexter after the break up – everyone knows that Dexter sees me as ‘mam’ and that he (as much as me) couldn’t cope with a goodbye. That first night in the new house all on my own after 8 years of always having someone around could have been lonely. But instead, Dexter strolled around to check the house out, then curled right in my lap as if to say ‘this is my home’ I knew in that moment that with this little lad I would never be alone, it would always be me and him.
When I met my new boyfriend Matt he very quickly realised that Dexter is part of the deal!
Dexter didn’t even seem fussed when we brought home a little brother for him, I’m really proud of how he’s taken it all in his stride. Not only is he teaching him how to be a cat (Floki is a bit dumb and his mother abandoned him too young) but Dexter protects his ‘little brother’ too. Floki became trapped in the bathroom, the door was too heavy for him to push back out. I awoke to yowls and scrabbling – Dexter was waking us to let Floki out! When Floki ran out, they touched noses and there was peace in the house that morning. Back to chasing each others tails in the evening mind, but it was a wonderful moment while it lasted!
House parties are his favourite, he gets to put on a bow tie, and lay in the middle of the floor with his old toy (humpy monkey) and be stroked all night. He’s very vocal, if he wants a cuddle he will ask the guests! The next day he’ll be tired from the late night, and set his head on the pillow for most of the day (much like his hungover owner!)
Yesterday was Dexter’s 3rd Birthday, and we spoilt him rotten.
One of the main issues that I have had in introducing my new kitten Floki to my resident cat Dexter is they play fights. Dexter is a very chilled cat, and with a slow, planned introduction there has been no hissing, no anger, no aggression. (All of those are quite common given how territorial cats are, and for this reason I wouldn’t recommend getting a second cat unless you have a very relaxed resident kitty) What did start to emerge however as little Floki got bolder (and not so little anymore!) is a realisation of the difference in their energy levels. Floki wants to play, play, play all day (and night!) long and it’s too much for Dexter. He may only be three years old, but he doesn’t appreciate his tail being used as a scratch toy! For this reason I have doubled the toys in the house, and even have some that are lifted out for short periods to tire and entertain Floki giving him a natural way to dispense such curiosity and energy, and chew while he is teething!
Catit sent me their ‘Super Circuit’ to trial – it’s 62cm longer than their original speed circuit! It is really easy to clip together into any shape, and you’ll find some shapes make the ball roll faster so are better suited to a bouncy little kitten!
Both cats absolutely love this! Don’t get me wrong, as with all toys I will occasionally roll the ball, or spritz with catnip to keep the interest levels up, but on the most part they run to it themselves and have up to 30 minutes of whizzing around trying to get the ball at a time. I really appreciate how it is also helping kitten Floki with learning how to be less clumsy, and more coordinated. He is at a crucial stage in his development and I want him to be a great hunter, and to keep his balance when he goes into the outdoor world! I also love how close it brings them together. Play time truly is ‘brother time’ for these two, as for once they are not competing for my hugs or trying to catch each others tails.
You can buy the Catit Super Circuit on Amazon US , Amazon UK (our your local one of course!) and in pet retailers for under £20 – which is a bargain considering how large it is, and how durable it seems.
Verdict: 8 / 10 (This would have been a 10 if you got a spare ball! Mine rolled out of the packet when I first opened it, and it took me a day to find, so I think for clumsy owners a couple of spares would help. They are of course available online to buy)
*Note: this product was sent to me by the retailer in exchange for an impartial review . However this northern lass is quite opinionated, and all views are my own. Honestly, if I hate something I will tell you and if I love it I will rave about it!
Introducing a new kitten to the home is tricky – not least because you need two of everything! This will avoid confrontation over resources, and plain old jealousy. When it comes to litter trays it is advisable to have 1 per cat + 1. In my case that makes three! As anyone living in London will know – space in small London flats is at a premium – so I love the idea of a cat carrier and litter tray all in one.
Igloo Pets sent me a gorgeous igloo litter tray and carrier in one to review, which does just that. Firstly the igloo is a great size – my cats love to bury and dig in there, size in this case matters! Secondly the carbon filter top is a must (nobody needs to smell that!)
The door has a detachable screen for when you use it as a carrier, a very sturdy set of clips, and the best bit… the disposable cardboard eco-liners which you can fill with litter inside, and mean it’s very easy to clean.
As you can see from the pictures below, my cats Dexter and Floki absolutely loved it, and were both super intrigued by its shape.
I used the Igloo carrier/loo with the Igloo snow pet litter, the crystal clean and deodoriser sprays and I love knowing that not only do my kitties have less competition for their loo time, but also the whole process is as hygienic as it possibly could be. Looking for more traditional cat carriers? Why not check out these top cat carriers for travelling with your cat.
The Igloo range can be viewed at www.igloopets.co.uk. The all in one carrier/loo is priced at £38, and the sprays and litter accessories start from £3.99
Today marks the one year anniversary of my relationship with my gorgeous boyfriend, Matt Jones. As I started thinking about how much our lives have changed since we met I also had a thought which made me giggle – it’s very true that to date a ‘crazy cat lady’ means that you very much have to become a crazy cat man. Here’s a wee blog post about my experience…
When Matt first met my cat Dexter, he was given a rather frosty reception. At the time I had two cats (I lost my gorgeous Cleo in the custody battle with the ex) and they didn’t get along. Like rival siblings, they were usually either chasing around (half in play and half in pure hatred for one another) or were trying to both sit on my lap at the same time. This – coupled with the fact that he was probably throwing all of his efforts into securing me as his girlfriend – meant that Matts cat-ometer was truly on the ‘meh’ end of the scale.
Oh, and then there were the incidents. Having been used to sleeping by my side on the empty part of the bed (furry head on the pillow and all) Dexter was a little displaced at nights. It started with a few strategic clawings to Matt’s head, a stretched out kick of the back paw here, a bum hole to the face there. All a little awkward. Forget seduction – Dexter would howl outside the door to be let in and put a stop to that. And during a weekend cuddle Dexters jealousy reached its peak (of course all of my cuddles should have been for my cutie Dexter alone!) He started by knocking off candles and jewellery from the drawer tops, and then just knocked the bedside table over, smashing Matts glasses to smithereens. It was a little bit funny introducing my new boyfriend to friends at a party the next night with cellotape on his glasses!
In hindsight, I would have given the cats more attention. They had fun single me to dance and play with and all of a sudden my attention was diverted. Luckily for me, Dexter didn’t hold a grudge for long. He sharp realised two people = four hands for stroking. And he found his place in the bed (wedged between our heads) pretty comfy after all. And the accommodating Matt, could not love him more. He’s a fully fledged cat daddy now, running to shut windows to keep Dexter safe, waking him up in the mornings to kisses and chatter. Yes chatter – that’s how you know when you’ve converted someone, when they chat to your cat as you would a person!
Happy first anniversary Matt! thank you for being an amazing boyfriend and a wonderful adopted parent to my furry one. Here are a few of their cutest snaps together, enjoy!
Note: Rachel Mullaney is a blogger, and writes a London lifestyle blog, A Geordie lost in London. Check it out here