- Pets and Animals
Top 5 Pet Supplies for Cats
The Best Pet Supplies I've Found
When you take on the responsibility of having a cat, you also take on the responsibility of providing the very best things your cat will need to live a healthy and happy life.
Any pet is totally dependent on you to research and provide the very best. In return, they give you their total unconditional love.
What follows is a listing of the top 5 pet supplies I get for my cat, Mozart, to meet his special needs.
I think that most of these will apply to any cat, with slight modification where needed.
1. Indoor Weight-Control Cat Food
Because I have chosen to raise Mozart as an indoor cat, having the right food for him is important. Up until he was about 10 months old, he was getting food designed specifically for kittens.
He started to gain a tremendous amount of weight after he was neutered so I asked the Vet if I could take him off the kitten food before a year, and she readily agreed.
I started him on IAMS Adult Indoor Weight and Hairball Care ProActive Health and was able to maintain his weight with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food a day.
Last Winter, one of my neighbors gave me a different brand of indoor cat food that her cat could no longer eat. I gave it to Mozart and he started constantly begging for food. He was not satisfied even with a full cup of it and gained two pounds within a month.
I immediately disposed of the remainder of the other cat food and returned to the IAMS. It took him about 3 months to get rid of the excess weight.
At about the same time, I had started going wheat-free and grain-free for myself and had tremendous health improvements. (See My Wheat Belly Journal Hub.) I figured if it helped me, why not Mozart, so I switched to the grain-free food that I purchased from the Vet.
Mozart loved the food but was constantly begging for more and actually gained weight.
I wasn't happy with what was happening to his weight. He was up to 16.8 pounds which is very bad. I stated looking for another food to deal with the problem.
I finally came across a Blue Buffalo blend that was specifically for adult, indoor cats with a weight problem. I started with the 5/8 of a cup and he was satisfied with that amount.
Over the past year and a half he has lost 2 pounds so he now weighs 14.8 pounds. He has self-monitored his food and has reduced his intake to just under 1/2 cup per day.
I'm hoping that he continues to lose weight to get to a healthy weight of about 12 pounds.
During his younger years, Mozart didn't seem to like anything other than his dry food. As he got older he started enjoying moist foods once in a while. Now as a treat I use the Blue Buffalo grain-free cat food in a can. He's picky though, and only likes it at room temperature.
If I put half the can in the refrigerator for later, he won't eat it. I tried briefly warming it in the microwave and sometimes that works and other times it does not. I only give him the canned food on a very rare occasion now. It is just too expensive to risk wasting a half of a can.
2. Natural Kitty Litter
Naturally, whatever goes in, must come out, and so it is with your cat.
I used the traditional heavy, smelly clay kitty litter for years and then I discovered Arm and Hammer Essentials Natural Clumping Litter. It is made from 100% natural corn fibers.
10 Pounds of this litter absorbs as much as 20 pounds of the clay, so you don't have to buy such heavy bags. It smells good and eliminates odor immediately except when the cat doesn't cover his poop because he is in a hurry.
Mozart loved it right from the start. There was no transitional time of adjustment. We both highly recommend it.
Update: I had been buying this at Walmart, but the one near me has stopped carrying and is selling a different version from Arm and Hammer. I tried it and twice since switching, Mozart has pooped outside of the litter. I never had this problem before. I see that Amazon still carries and will start ordering it through them if I can't find it locally.
3. Cat Litter Box
Of course, you need something to put the kitty litter in and preferably one that helps keep the litter (and any accidental overshoots) in the litter box.
I found one with raised sides that curve in with a small opening in the front. The litter box also flares out giving the cat more room to move around.
I tried to get a picture of Mozart while he was in it, but just like a kid, he wouldn't perform. The minute I put the camera away, he stepped into the box, did his business and scampered away.
Oh well, you get the idea, and his modesty was preserved.
Litter Train or Potty Train
I never tried to train my cats to anything but kitty litter, but I have had friends who have trained their cats to use the toilet and even flush it.
Here's an interesting book about the alternative to the kitty litter problem.
Which Would You Do?
Litter Train Your Cat
4. Pet Resistant Screens
Kittens love to climb; legs, curtains, and screens. It seems like the leg and curtain climbing stops as they grow older and bigger, but my cat, Mozart, still thinks the screens are the next best thing to climbing a tree.
I've replace screens twice only to have them damaged again a few months later. Now I have pet resistance screens.
I found Pet D Fence which is a screen that Mozart can't damage. He doesn't like the feel of it when he tries to stretch on it, and immediately jumps off it if he goes to take a quick climb.
The best part is, the screen does not damage, it still keeps the bugs out and doesn't block the view. The amazing thing is that even when Mozart was 16.8 pounds, it never showed any damage.
I highly recommend it...Mozart doesn't.
Last year I screened in my back porch using the pet-resistant screening. I was able to get a 100-foot roll of the screening which was 4 feet wide. It worked out perfectly and was reasonably priced.
Mozart loves it and has a perch which allows him to see over the fence into the desert. A few times he started to climb the screening while chasing a bug and it held his weight and was totally undamaged.
I'm really glad I did it. I'm enjoying it as much as he is.
5. Cat Climbing Tree
Having an indoor cat restricts the cat from his natural desire to climb to greater heights, like trees. Cat-climbing trees are great substitutes for a real tree in the house.
Mozart finds all types of things to do on his from just hanging around, chasing his tail, or using it as a scratching post.
There are so many varieties and sizes that the best I can tell you is that they are worth it and you just have to decide which one works for you and the cat.
There are ceiling mounted ones like the one I have here, or free-standing ones. Some have cubbyholes, while others have things dangling off them for the cat to bat around. I'm sure no matter which one you get, the cat will get lots of use out of it.,
Fun Exerise to Help Control Weight
Mozart is now 4 years old and tends to carry some extra weight because of being indoors.
In the summer we are in a cabin with a big screened porch and he spends evenings chasing real mice. He also likes to bring them into me to show me his prize, so I keep the kitty door closed, so he can just show it to me through the screen.
During the day, and when we are not at the cabin, he just tends to sleep a lot for lack of anything else to do. He'll attack his stuffed toy mice periodically but they just don't quite get him moving enough.
Last year I bought him a pet laser toy and he loves it. I move it around in circles, zigzags, up and down a wall or onto a chair. He jumps and twists and turns to exhaustion.
I keep the laser on my desk and when he gets bored or just wants to play, he comes over and knocks it off the desk. That's my cue. I turn it on and off he goes. He gets all the exercise he wants. The best part is that he can't pick up the light on the floor and carry over to me to admire his prize.