Natural Cat Products -- Are They Worth It?
Natural Cat Products for the Feline in Your Life
I have four cats, and every day they remind me that they expect the very best. But natural cat products are not only often expensive, but also hard to judge -- what natural cat products ARE truly natural? When you are choosing to use natural cat products, you want to know exactly what is in those products. Many people are unaware of an organization called AAFCO, or The Association of American Feed Control Officials. According to their website, AAFCO is "a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies." In other words, this is an official governing body who aim to, among other things, determine what pet foods and products can legitimately be called "natural." Like the FDA in the human world, AAFCO is a guardian against scammers and frauds. If you are serious about giving your cat natural food and treats, then this is an organization you should know about.
So HAPPY You Care!
My Cats Love the Natural Way
My kitties thrive on natural treats, food, and even toys and litter. It does cost a bit more, but I feel better knowing that they're being given the best and safest products possible. According to the AAFCO, natural cat products must meet certain standards in order to be allowed to claim the "natural" label. This protects your cat from products that claim to be natural, but are really anything but. If you take the time to check up on the natural cat products you are giving your cat, you will be doing her a big favor and showing her you care!
Can You Test Natural Cat Products?
AAFCO provides a service that actually tests samples of cat and other pet products to determine exactly what is in them. Since there's no way to ask your pet if the product meets its claims, the best solution is to send a sample to the AAFCO Check Sample Program so the scientists there can analyze the cat food or product you are curious about.
inquiries concerning the CHECK SAMPLE PROGRAM should be sent to:
Dr. Victoria Siegel, Chair
AAFCO Check Sample Program
Office of Indiana State Chemist
Natural Cat Treats for Your Little Buddies
Time for a Quick Poll...
Do you have more than one cat?
Honest Pet Products Gets It Right
100% truly NATURAL wool cat toys handmade in Mongolia
This company has a beautiful website and is clearly on a mission to do whatever it can to keep your pet healthy and "living natural." Although they are heavily focused on dog products, their ethos extends to natural cat products as well. Through the Snow Leopard Trust’s Fair Trade cooperative, Honest Pet is connected to families in Africa as they work with the natural world to produce 100% natural cat toys. This is a reflection of the company's principled stand, not only on natural pet products, but on global stewardship as well.
By Loliloli (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Canned Organic/Natural Cat Food
Homemade Natural Cat Food and Treats
You can make natural cat food and treats right in your own kitchen -- and there are plenty of internet resources to help you do it. When you set about baking your own cat treats, you will know exactly what is going into your cat's system. Although this isn't for everyone, baking your own cat treats is a guaranteed way to keep your cat living la vida natural. Here's a recipe for homemade natural cat food that should make everyone happy:
2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs
1.5 cup homemade chicken broth
6 ounces of cooked chicken liver
one half medium cooked sweet potato
400 IU (268 mg) Vitamin E
50 mg Vitamin B-complex
3/4 cup bone meal (available on Amazon)
1 tsp salt
You should probably make a large batch, but only after making sure that your cat will eat it! This recipe provides essential nutrients and vitamins -- check with your vet before you make it! He or she may have some suggestions to make it perfect.
Time spent with cats is never wasted.— Sigmund Freud
Natural Flea and Tick Control for Your Cat
This is a little more difficult to manage, since the best ways to get rid of these harmful pests is with some pretty serious chemical deterrents. If your cat doesn't have an issue with these pests, and especially if your feline friend is an inside cat, then you should probably not risk it. But if your cat roams outside and comes into contact with other cats and other animals, then you should look into natural flea and tick control products. As always, it's a good idea to check in with AAFCO to see if what companies are claiming is true!
By Clavecin (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikmedia Commons
Natural Kitty Litter
You can, of course, make your own kitty litter -- it's not even especially difficult or expensive. Most "recipes" being with soaking newspaper and gentle dish soap until the paper is a paste, and then letting it dry; adding baking soda helps control odor. However, one possible option for you is to purchase a large amount of basic, chemical-free kitty litter from a big-box store like CostCo, and then augment it with your own natural additions: baking powder, for instance, or ground cedar chips. This method saves money and gives you a measure of control over the substances that your kitten is exposed to.
Amazon’s Prime Day — Lightning and Thunder!
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) attempted to bolster it’s sales during a traditionally slow time of year, and it worked like a charm. The event was called “Prime Day,” and it was rewarded Amazon Prime members with so-called “Lightning” deals that popped up during the day.
The only way to get in on Prime day is, of course, to become an Amazon Prime member.
Becoming an Amazon Prime Member
Amazon Prime members get free shipping on most (though not all) products that Amazon sells. Members pay $99 a year for this privilege, but if you regularly shop on Amazon then you’ll know that you can hit that mark in shipping fees pretty quick — making the one-year fee an excellent deal.
Amazon’s Secret Agenda
Offering the sale certainly increases visibility for the store, and it was a big hit in terms of the bottom line — data shows that sales jumped on the new “holiday” — but the real benefit may be an increase in the number of customers going for Prime membership. Prime members spend more than half again as much as the average non-Prime member. Amazon is certainly aware of this, and Prime Day looks like a smart way to get more Prime members. It also looks like a day that’s here to stay.