Healthy Cat Blog

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Archive #2

1 July 2004 through 31 August 2004.

Go to my most recent Healthy Cat Blog.

Or see Archive #1 (17 May through 28 June 2004)

31 August 2004

Alternatives to Iams Cat Food

What follows is my lengthy answer to a cat lover who uses Iams Cat Food, but wants to stop using their products due to their cruel animal testing. She wanted to know of options to Iams.

Here's my response:

Unfortunately, most of what we buy at the local grocery store and even at the vet's office isn't very good for our pets, let alone the animal cruelty issues. Depending on where you live, you may need to consider purchasing quality, cruelty-free cat food online. I'm lucky enough to live in an area that has "specialty" pet food stores, but usually I buy my cat food online mostly for the convenience.

After learning about the Iams boycott, I did some research on it and discovered that Hill's Science Diet also engages in cruel animal testing. That's what I was feeding my cats. There are a number of foods that do not cruelly test on animals AND that use quality products (none of that "meat meal" or by-product crap).

I've switched to Nature's Variety (Prairie) and I also found that Innova, Wysong, Wellness, and Newman's Own Organics are also quality products without cruel animal testing. You can search some of these products' sites and they will tell you the ingredients and their animal testing policies. Newman's didn't say on their site, so I wrote to them and got a response that they only do taste tests.

During my research, I came across an incredibly eye-opening book called, "Food Pets Die For," by Ann N. Martin. It's an expose of the commercial pet food industry. You would be amazed and disgusted at what is acceptable (by Canadian and U.S. regulations/standards) to put in pet food.

Also, I've leaned that just because a pet food is sold at my vet's office, that doesn't mean it's any better than commercial foods from the grocery store. Most vets are not taught about nutrition during veterinary school, and what they learn about foods comes from the pet food companies (sort of analagous to doctors and drugs). This is according to Ann N. Martin. She makes a good case for learning about your pet's nutrition on your own, in addition to just asking your vet for advice.

Anyway, it's my opinion that what we feed our pets directly impacts their health and longevity (and saves on vet bills), and I'll be feeding my cats only quality products from now on.

Sorry that this response is probably a little longer than what you needed! But I feel passionately about the issue after learning about the incredibly cruel and disgusting practices engaged in by commercial pet food companies AND how their products negatively affect my cats' health.

Good luck finding the right food for your cat!

30 August 2004

Cat Scratching Furniture?

Unfortunately, cats need to scratch! This helps not only keep their claws groomed, but is a muscle-strengthening action and toning action. See our Scratching Post page for more information about why cat's scratch and how to train your cat to use a scratching post.

Declawing is not an appropriate solution. The negative side effects are not worth putting your cat through this surgical procedure. Learn more about alternatives to declawing cats before taking this drastic and irreversible action.

The short of it is that cats need to scratch and there are ways to protect you and your furniture.

29 August 2004

New Free Shipping Policy at 1800PetMeds

1800PetMeds has decided to offer free shipping on orders over $39 on a permanent basis! This is a great deal and a great online discount pet pharmacy. All of their pet medications are top-notch and 100% guaranteed.

No special code or coupon is necessary to get your free shipping.

24 August 2004

Program Flea Control

Program Flea Control is a useful product in preventing flea infestations. It works by essentially "sterilizing" female fleas so that the eggs they lay never develop.

If your cat or kitten is particularly sensitive to flea bites, then you may need to add an adult flea insecticide until the Program starts to interrupt the flea life cycle and take effect.

Click this Program Flea Control link for further information.

28 July 2004

Three Days Left for Free Shipping at 1800PetMeds

1800PetMeds' offer of free shipping on orders over $39 expires on July 31. Don't forget to take advantage of this great offer. All their medicines are U.S. FDA and EPA approved.

Enter offer code 8652 when you place your order to get free shipping. --Expired.

25 July 2004

Where to Buy the Best Cat Food

It's taken a while, but I believe I've found the best (or at least one of the best) places to buy quality cat food online. I wanted to make sure that I found an online pet store that offers only quality products for your cat. This is a place that I feel comfortable buying all of my cat supplies from.

The Only Natural Pet Store sells the three top brands of cat food that I found to be among the best cat foods available: Nature's Variety, Newman's Own Organic, and Wysong's. The other cat foods they carry are also top notch, healthy food for your cat (and mine!).

You can click on this link to go directly to the Only Natural Pet Store. And right now they're offering 10% off on all pet food!

20 July 2004

Buying Cat Food Online

I've removed PETsMART as a recommended merchant from my cat food page. Unfortunately, since they are more of a discount pet supplies store, they don't carry the quality, human-grade and other quality pet foods that I've come across. While some of their cat food choices may be good, they don't provide enough of a detailed ingredient list to know for sure. I'll add them back as a recommended store if I learn that some of their choices are made with the healthiest ingredients for your cat.

What you feed your cat is so important for his or her health, that I think it's important to spend a bit more for quality. I'm searching for an online petstore that carries top quality, natural cat food at reasonable rates. I'll keep you posted.

19 July 2004

Trying a New Cat Food

Three days ago, I bought a new cat food: Nature's Variety. Since my cats are used to dry food, I bought them the dry food version of Chicken & Rice Medley.

Cats can become sick to their stomaches if you change a food too quickly. I've followed the suggestions written on my changing cat food page, and I've mixed the new food with the old (I was feeding Science Diet, but know that I've learned a little bit more about the quality of their ingredients, I won't be buying Science Diet in the future.)

While one of my cats (the younger one) is still eating the mix of both foods, my 12-year-old (Shayla) has been picking out the Nature's Variety food to eat and leaving the Science Diet behind. It looks like their transition to this healthier food will be quicker than I expected.

16 July 2004

Response from Newman's Own Organics

I received the following response from L. Phillips Brown, DVM with Newman's about their pet food. "NOO does not do animal testing, except to feed the food to see if it is palatable." That's great news.

Now we've got three brands of healthy, holistic cat food that is excellent for our cats' health and does not harm other companion animals in the testing of the products: Wysong, Nature's Variety, and Newman's Own Organics.

15 July 2004

Still Searching for the Best Cat Food

As I read more and more, I am becoming thoroughly convinced of the importance of having the best possible cat food for my two cats' good health. The conventional cat food brands, even the ones I thought were pretty good like Iams and Science Diet, do not have the best ingredients to keep my cats (and yours) healthy.

Yesterday, I mentioned that Wysong and Newman's seem to be excellent choices for my cats. Wysong does not do cruel animal testing and I am still waiting to hear back from Newman's as to what kind of testing, if any, they do. Newman's seems like an exceptional quality cat food, but I can no longer feed my cats food that comes at the cruel expense of other animals (it’s bad enough that they are obligate carnivores and need meat in the first place!), especially where there are other options.

Another brand that looks exceptional and does not do laboratory testing it Nature's Variety. I’m excited about this one because not only can I buy it online, but it’s also available at a local natural pet food store near me.

Of course, the one unfortunate thing is that these better foods are naturally more expensive. But I think it's a price worth paying to keep my precious cats as healthy as can be.

14 July 2004

Searching for the Best Cat Food

Ever since I learned about the Iams Boycott, I've been doing a lot of reading about cat food and cat food ingredients. Most of what I'm learning confirms what I've written in my cat food page.

However, I'm still searching for the best cat food brand for my two cats. The term "human grade" comes up a lot. It's used in such a way that it seems like an "official" term, something you'd have to get approval from some government or quasi-government organization to use on the label. Not so.

"Human grade" is not a regulated term. So while many of the "natural" pet food companies state that they use "human grade" ingredients, I'm still searching for the brand that has consistent information that assures me that it is the best for my cats' health. (By the way, the term "natural" isn't regulated either.)

Among the brands that stand out so far are Wysong and Newman's. I need to make sure that they don't do cruel animal testing before I'll feed them to my cats or recommend them to you. I'll keep you posted.

13 July 2004

Free Shipping at 1800PetMeds

Get free shipping on orders over $39 from 1800PetMeds until July 31.--Expired.

1800PetMeds only sells pet medications approved by the US FDA/EPA. All their products are 100% guaranteed.

Enter offer code 8652 when you place your order to get free shipping.

12 July 2004

Cats and Dogs

Can cats and dogs live together peacefully? We've all been taught that dogs and cats are opposites. And in many ways they are! But it is possible for cats and dogs to get along under the same roof. Some even can become the best of friends.

If you already have a dog companion and you're thinking about adopting a cat or adopting a kitten, check out our cats and dogs page for tips to make the transition easier.

11 July 2004

Cat Names

Cat names can be as diverse as people names, and in fact, many names serve for both cats, dogs, other pets, and humans. If you're bringing home a new cat or kitten that doesn't already have a name, read our cat names page for tips on choosing the best cat name for your cat or kitten.

9 July 2004

Boycott Iams Pet Food

I've just learned that Iams, who is now owned by Proctor and Gamble, conducts cruel and painful "nutritional" tests on cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies in their laboratories.

Until Iams, who also manufactures Eukanuba pet food, stops these practices, I ask you to consider boycotting their products. If you are currently using Iams or Eukanuba and decide to boycott Iams, please take a look at our changing cat food page to learn how to change your cat's food without any negative health effects.

8 July 2004

PETsMART Vacation Sweepstakes

Enter the PETsMART Vacation Sweepstakes between now and August 31, 2004, to win a vacation for four to SeaWorld. The prize includes airfare, hotel, etc.

You don't even have to make a purchase. You can mail in a postcard to the address in their rules. But any order you make between now and August 31st will automatically enter you into the sweepstakes.

Good luck!

7 July 2004

Cat Toys and Cat Health

Safe and interactive cat toys are essential for your cat's good health. They provide your cat or kitten with the exercise and entertainment she needs.

You need to be sure that the toys you let your cat play with are safe. For example, there should be no pieces of the toy that your cat could accidentally swallow. Also, you don't need to spend lots, or any money, on cat toys. You can make your own.

For some ideas on making your own and what to look for when buying cat toys, please visit our cat toys page.

6 July 2004

PetCareRx Special Savings

For a limited time, you can use this link to get free shipping on orders over $25 at PetCareRx.

You usually need to spend $85 or more to get free shipping at PetCareRx, so now's a good time to take advantage of this deal. I don't know the exact date when this offer will end, but they call it a summer special, so you may have a little while.

But be sure to come back here and click on this link to get the discount. If you go directly to their site, then you won't be able to get free shipping unless you spend $85.

5 July 2004

About Us

A few people have asked to learn a little about who is behind this cat website. Basically, it's one cat lover and her research team.

Visit our about us page to learn more and see pictures of us.

4 July 2004

Your New Cat!

Bringing home a new cat or kitten? Congratulations! See our cat supplies page for a list of the supplies you'll need for your new family member.

You can also visit our new cat page to find out how to ease the transition for your new cat or kitten.

3 July 2004

PETsMART Review and Policy Change

While doing research for my PETsMART Review page, I noticed that this popular online pet store has eliminated its free shipping for orders over $50. That’s too bad, as they have one of the biggest cat supplies inventory around.

PetCareCentral still has free shipping for orders over $50. And they only charge $4.95 for orders under $50. Their inventory is nearly as big as PETsMART's, although they are less well-known.

Perhaps with this new change in PETsMART’s shipping policy, PetCareCentral will become a tough competitor.

2 July 2004

Do You Need Pet Insurance?

Trying to decide whether to buy pet insurance for your healthy cat? For a list of pros and cons, visit our pet insurance tips page.

You can also read about what to look for in a good pet insurance policy.

1 July 2004

Scratching Post Training

If you're having a little trouble getting your cat to use the scratching post, try rubbing a little catnip on it. This will work for most adult cats, but not for kittens.

To learn more about why cats need to scratch and how to train your cat to use the scratching post, visit our cat scratching post page.

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