Pumpkin does paperwork

Pumpkin does paperwork

Friday, July 12, 2013

Crazy K Farm's Kitty Holster(R) makes "walking the cat" easier

One of our cats loves to venture outside of his normal outdoor fenced-in area. He is very nimble and can squirm his way out of most "normal" harnesses. Normal harnesses like you see in pet stores are flimsy and hard to get on the cat. By the time you fuss with all the buckles and straps and so on, fluffy has just about had enough.

Not so with the "Kitty Holster" from Crazy K Farm. We were already on the hunt for the perfect harness which would be easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and secure. After doing a lot of searching in stores and on the web, we finally found the Kitty Holster and placed the order. They have several styles and sizes. Once we received our new Kitty Holster we tried it on Brodie and to our pleasant surprise, he didn't mind it at all. It is very easy to attach with a couple large velcro pads. There is a large "D" ring attached to the back where you attach a lead/leash. The material is light-weight, breathable but strong.

Brodie doesn't seem to give it much notice as he strolls around the yard sniffing all the "pee mail" from all the neighborhood cats and critters.
  • The product is well-made and durable
  • It is lightweight
  • Made of 100% breathable cotton
  • It has a cotton lining that is gentle on your cat's fur/hair
  • It contains no nylon, thin straps or plastic clips that can cause uncomfortable pressure points and skin abrasion
  • There is no harsh webbing to break or abrade your cat's hair 
  • Machine washable
I strongly recommend this safe and comfortable product to any cat-owner who wants to take fluffy on a safe cat-walk or venture out of the house for any reason.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Protect your domestic cat from predators in urban settings

Puma concolor - Mountain Lion
This week in Santa Cruz, CA - a Coastal California town near where I live - a wild mountain lion was roaming around in the downtown area near a local river. The mountain lion got trapped in the concrete-sided aquaduct, was tranquilized and safely returned to the wild, as it should be.

Of course you would be concerned about the safety of your own domestic cats, if a mountain lion sauntered into your own neighborhood. One of the local witnesses said her cats came inside on their own when the mountain lion was in the area. Smart cats, but if you have outside-only cats, they could be threatened by a wild predator like this.


Baxter inspects the enclosure
A possible solution to a threat like this is a secure outdoor enclosure for your outdoor cats which can protect them and still afford them the outdoor experience. Materials for such a structure can be obtained at local hardware stores and is fairly inexpensive. Commercial products specifically designed to protect small pets from larger predators in urban and some rural areas are available, but can be much more costly.

Our cats are indoor-outdoor cats. We have designated an outdoor area for them which is both cat-proof and predator-proof. It protects them from local predators, it prevents them getting into scuffles with neighbor cats and the local scavenger population (skunks, raccoons, etc), protects them from street accidents, and gives them a place to go "be cats" as they run around, eat grass and play. The main protective structure is components from a portable dog kennel which we purchased online. The entire "cage" is modular so parts can be reconfigured for different arrangements. It is very sturdy, long-lasting and not bad-looking.

Reclaimed tree-cutting refuse
makes a great jungle gym for our 3 cats
We have equipped the enclosure with cat-friendly items like high shelves, and a large "scratch tree" which is made from stumps and large branches. Our "cat run" is very effective and practical. Nothing is permanently installed or constructed so it can be moved, reconfigured, enlarged, etc. We have employed a number of other "cat fence-in" products in the area to keep our cats inside the area and keep other cats and small critters out, but people can come and go as needed.

I highly recommend folks with cats (and other small pets) to consider this kind of protective solution if you at all concerned about large predators in your area. Of course you will gain all the other benefits as well, and your pet(s) will be happy and safe.

As always, I am happy to answer questions and would certainly enjoy the opportunity to help you make your household safer for your cat.





Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cat "hacks" other cat's food box and steals treats

Even though we have set up individualized feeding stations for each of our three cats in order to keep their diets separate, occasionally, they discover and invent ways to circumvent our efforts. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence.


Baxter has his own food box, just like the other two cats in our household. Baxter has observed Brodie exiting his own food box and has discovered an opportunity to enter the box at a special time when the kitty door is still open as Brodie passes through it. Baxter simply enters the kitty door before it closes behind Brodie, thereby "hacking" his way into the "forbidden zone" of Brodie's food box.

"Smart" is a relative term, however. Despite the fact that Baxter is determined to, and successful at getting into Brodie's food box, it just so happens that, in this case, the food in Brodie's box is exactly the same as the food in Baxter's box. Baxter thinks the food in Brodie's box is somehow better than his own food. The only difference is the location, and the fact that the food in Brodie's box is Brodie's food, and not Baxter's food. In our household, Baxter thinks he "owns" everything so this is his way of trying to convince us that he now owns Brodie's food.

Individualized feeding stations works very well 99% of the time. Once in a while we have a "glitch" like this one. Still it is a great way to isolate diets of cats in multiple-cat households.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hardware Cloth Keeps the Squirrels out of your Suet Feeder

Squirrels are cute and everything, but can be a real nuisance. Especially when you're trying to feed just the birds. We had invested in a weight-sensitive seed feeder, and a cage for other seed feeders. We had been hanging a suet block feeder out at one of the ends of the bird feeder structure's arms. Recently we discovered a squirrel had found it.

So we had a number of options. We could increase the height of the post, and install a post baffle, but because the deck railing was 36" high, the baffle would have to be positioned at least 4-feet above that, making it very difficult for us to actually reach the feeders to refill them.

After doing a little research I decided to try 1/2" hardware cloth. I bought  a yard of 24" wide hardware cloth (mesh) from the local hardware store. I cut and bent it to fit inside the suet feeder. It needed to be a tight fit so the suet blocks could still be inserted easily.

After about 20 minutes of cutting and bending, I finished. On testing, the squirrel tried several times but gave up after a few days. The mesh is large enough so the woodpeckers and other birds can dine to their heart's content.

Now entertaining our cats go a little less expensive!



Saturday, February 2, 2013

DIY: Food Boxes help manage unique dietary needs of several cats

Private feeding stations with cardboard boxes and electronic cat doors to manage up to five cats' different dietary needs.

If you have several cats in your household, you probably know how difficult it can be to keep each cat away from another cat's food if one or more of your cats is on a prescription diet from your veterinarian, or if you have an overweight cat who needs weight-management formula.

Make your own Food Boxes to isolate up to five cats' food access to ensure they can each meet their individual dietary requirements.