Category Archives: cats

Litter Getter Review

Cats make a house a home but litter box smell can make home life nothing but strife. Litter box issues can spring from a variety of issues. If your vet has ruled out physical or emotional problems and the box is kept clean and accessible, Litter Getter might help attract your cat to the box — and not the carpet or bed.

blog_buy_lg_now_-e1412825715335Sprinkle some Litter Getter on top of the litter and the scent promises to attract cats to the box. This can be particularly helpful for blind or elderly cats. The all-natural ingredients include herbs mixed with soy oil and rosemary extract.

According to the company’s website, they were inspired by Jackson, a blind cat. Jackson’s progressive loss of sight made it difficult for him to find the litter box. So his family eventually created a product that helped not only Jackson — but cats everywhere. We were intrigued, so we wanted to try Litter Getter with Stanni and Lennie.

First off, the granules had a vaguely grassy scent that blended nicely with the pine litter.  We did consider the very detailed directions a bit of overkill. Just open the container and add a dusting on top of the litter and lightly mix it in.

Now, the real test. What would Stanni and Lennie do? Stanni picked up the scent immediately. She marched over to the box, sniffed intently and walked away. Maybe she was simply processing the smell but 2 minutes later she was in the box. She didn’t seem to love it or hate it but Litter Getter got her attention. She had the same reaction on Day 2. So by that standard, Litter Getter works.

Lennie seemed to react like a typical young male. The scent attracted him pretty quickly but his first reaction was to sniff, dig and kick litter all over the bathroom. He seemed quite proud of himself. It neither attracted him nor repelled him from the box.

Our take: Litter Getter can be an effective way to draw elderly or sick cats to the box and we endorse any product that helps seniors. The ingredients are natural but check with your vet to make sure your cat doesn’t have any issues with any ingredient.

Watch the video below to see Litter Getter in action as Aries the cat gives his review.

Remember, daily litter maintenance is a must to keep your cat — and you — happy. Petfinder.com offers the following tips for keeping cat box odor at bay:

1. Scoop the box daily or more.

2. Replace the litter twice a week.

3. Replace the litter box once a year.

4. Try litter deodorizers.

5. Find a brand of litter that smells best to you (and your cat).

6. Keep the litter box in a well-ventilated area.

We would like to add our own thoughts to No. 5. Heavily-scented clay litters can aggravate breathing issues for your or your cat. While we believe the cat always wins when it comes to choosing the litter, always consider natural products such as pine or wheat-based litter. Better for your cat; better for everyone’s health and environment.

Please leave a comment if you have used Litter Getter or any “litter training” product. We’d love to know what you think.

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The Cutest Senior Cat Contest 2011

We’re baaaaack.

November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, so to honor our furry elders, we will have OCR’s third annual Cutest Senior Cat Contest. It’s an “American Idol” for cats — without the comments from Simon or Paula. It’s simple, fun and best of all, the top cat wins coupons for six months’ worth of World’s Best Cat Litter. The winner will have their choice of regular, clumping or scented formula. And that’s not all… we decided to do coupons, so our friends in Canada can take part. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

To join in the fun, simply upload a photo of your senior cat (age 8 and older) and include their name and age. OCR’s community will vote for the feline who embodies the cat-itude that makes seniors so very special. Remember, it is important to include all the information on the form and your cat’s age. Cats that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge are also eligible. You can submit an entry from November 1 to 14; voting will be from the 15th to 22nd and the winner will be announced on November 29th.

While we love puppies and kittens, this contest is one small way the get the word out that seniors have so much love and wisdom (yes, wisdom) to offer. This will be the first year I’ve done the contest without Bubba, the inspiration for OCR. Although he lives on through OCR’s wonderful community and my memories, this year’s contest is specially dedicated to him.

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And the Winner is…..

Hana didn’t need a contest to be a star. For 16-and-a-half years, this lovely girl brought happiness to her family. Unfortunately, time catches up with all of us, and on November 15, 2010, Hana crossed the Rainbow Bridge. A death in the family is always hard and you never really get over it. Meantime, it was nice to see how the OCR community appreciated Hana’s beauty and sweet soul. She won the contest — and our heart.

Our condolences go out to Hana’s family. It is a bittersweet way to end OCR’s second Cutest Senior Cat Contest on Facebook. Nevertheless, it is a reminder of how precious time and our cats are and the importance of savoring every moment.

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OCR’s Cutest Senior Cat Contest is Back

Chyna Bear chills after entering OCR's Cutest Senior Cat Contest.

OCR’s 2nd annual Cutest Senior Cat Contest launched today and it is rocking Facebook thanks to our friends and fans — but most of all, those fabulous felines that deign to share our lives.

Every November, OCR celebrates Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month with an American Idol-style contest that lets the community choose their favorite senior cat. And once again, we are happy to partner with World’s Best Cat Litter for a grand prize that includes a 6-month supply of litter. (I’ve tried WBCL and give it two paws up).

If you want your cat to glitter in the OCR Hall of Fame — and win the litter — it’s really simple.Visit OldCatsRule on Facebook, and click on the the promotions tab and upload a photo of your cat along with the cat’s name and age. But don’t wait too long because the contest ends November 14. The winner will be announced by the end of the month. Think about it: you won’t have to run to the store for cat litter and can focus on last-minute holiday shopping or parties.

All contestants must be at least 18 years of age and live in the United States.

 

 

 

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Pet Insurance: Should You Buy It?

By Heather Green
OldCatsRule

No one has to tell you that there are tons of products being marketed for pets that are completely unnecessary and wasteful of your time, money, and effort. Seriously, who needs a designer Snuggie for dogs? Sometimes it’s fun to buy novelty items for pets, but the upshot of it is that we know when we’re buying stuff we don’t need for our furry friends. If only it were so easy to decide whether or not to buy pet insurance – but with the following discussion of benefits and caveats, you should be able to figure out why insurance is worth it (or not) for you and your pet.

The Benefits of Pet Insurance

  • If you have an older pet, the good news is that insurance can help you save on increasing health care costs, compensating for the more frequent and extensive health issues that often afflict older pets. With new technological developments, treatment prices are going up steadily. For example, when pets are found to have cancer, chemotherapy and radiation treatments are now available and can cost you thousands of dollars if your pet is uninsured.
  • Once you’ve met your deductible, your insurance company will take care of the rest. Often, these deductibles are priced from $50 to $200, but more at-risk pets may require higher ones.
  • Monthly payments are pretty low, ranging from about $17 to $50. Older pets and those who have been consistently ill are likely to require payments at the higher end of the spectrum, but if you ever need to pay bills for chemotherapy, broken bones, ingestion of foreign objects, vehicular accidents, or other extreme cases, you’ll be glad you chose to pay each month.
  • Most insurance plans cover a wide variety of potential mishaps and illnesses. For example, car accidents, dog attacks, accidental poison or foreign object ingestion, X-rays, surgeries, cancer, diabetes, heartworm issues, allergies, arthritis, other illnesses, and even preventative care are all covered. You won’t have to pay for your annual checkups, dental cleaning, or vaccinations when you purchase pet insurance.
  • You can choose any vet you’d like to use.
  • Depending on which insurance company you select, you may be able to enjoy benefits like discounts on food, boarding, and training in addition to vet bills.

Factors to Give You Pause

  • Because monthly insurance payments depend on your pet’s age, breed, and location, the insurance you need for older pets is often much more expensive. However, if you buy insurance while your pet is still young, you’ll have a better chance of having a more reasonable monthly payment once your pet begins to age.
  • Hereditary problems, genetic conditions, and predisposition to issues like hip dysplasia often are not covered or require an additional monthly charge.
  • Declawing is not covered.
  • If your annual vet bills total less than the amount you spend on insurance, you’re wasting money.

Making Your Decision

Even if you end up paying more for insurance than you would for vet bills, pet insurance might be the right choice for you if you want the peace of mind that comes with it. You won’t have to worry about any surprise charges, expenses, or decisions about treatment based on price ranges. It’s impossible to tell whether or not your pet will ever need insurance, but some animals are more predisposed to illness or other health conditions than others. For these types of pets in particular, insurance tends to be a popular option, but premiums are higher in these situations. In the end, it’s up to you as you decide how much of a strain your budget can take, whether or not you can afford another monthly bill, and how important your pet’s health is.

Heather Green is former veterinarian tech, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice on online nursing colleges

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Therapy Cats and the Power of Purr

Snuggling next to a purring ball of fur can make the weight of the world a little easier to endure. Bubba has helped me in that department for many years.

However, certified therapy cats are relatively rare. While we have nothing against dogs, we believe in purr power is an underutilized resource.

TheCatSite.com notes that cats are less likely to knock over large medical equipment. However, they require careful training  before starting this new unique career. The CatSite offers some tips for assessing your cat’s potential to be a therapy pet. The Delta Society and Love on a Leash are also valuable resources for aspiring therapy cats.

I would simply like to point out a few stories of people who have been helped by therapy cats. From SnikSnak.com, I learned about Marie, a senior citizen with no friends or family — until Handsome came along. This is how one little Persian cat helped a lonely, depressed old woman:

“She remained curled in a fetal position with no interest in living. She had sores on her legs from constant scratching. After Handsome became Marie’s roommate, whenever she tried to scratch herself, he would play with her hands or otherwise distract her. Within a month the sores had healed. But even more incredible, she was so fascinated with the cat that she asked the staff about his care. Before long, she was inviting other residents to come visit with her pet.”

And , About.com‘s Cat Guide. shared a reader’s story:

“I’ve suffered from clinical depression and ADHD all my life. A year and a half ago I finally sobered up after a battle with drug abuse and stayed sober after intense treatment at hospitals, outpatient work, therapy, and medication. My life was a little more stable without the drugs but I still found it really hard to interact with people and get out of bed each day let alone stay organized and try to be even a little productive. I made the decision to get a cat and 4 months ago I brought home two little two-month old fluffballs: Genghis (an orange tabby) and Fidel (a tuxedo cat). They have been such a blessing. I finally feel like my life is becoming normal and all the bumps are starting to smooth themselves out. It started with knowing that no matter what I had to get up everyday and take care of them. Now I can’t wait to get out of bed. They’ve done what no therapy could ever do. Whenever I feel down they come over looking for pets and to curl up beside me”

Lastly, I want to pay tribute to the many times, Bubba and his late brother, Pudpat, got me through some sad times. Bubba is still a touchstone, doing his best to help me through the past year-and-a-half. I can never repay him — simply cherish him more with each day.

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The Daily Cat: Nutrition Help for Aging Cats

From the Editors of The Daily Cat

As a cat ages, changes occur in the way its body functions, so it makes sense that what it eats might also need to change. The following list of health issues may be more common in aging pets.

  • Decreased immune system function
  • More frequent intestinal problems
  • Decreased mobility
  • Dental issues

For mature cats with health issues, you can help by providing special nutrition for their special needs.  Here’s how.

Decreased Immune System Function
Throughout a cat’s life, a process called peroxidation occurs. Peroxidation is a normal process that the body uses to destroy cells that outlive their usefulness and kill germs, parasites, etc. but also can destroy or damage healthy cells. As a cat ages, the damage caused by peroxidation accumulates which, in turn, increases the risk of certain problems, such as infections.

Antioxidants are naturally occurring nutrients that help maintain overall health by neutralizing the peroxidation process of cellular molecules. Some antioxidants, such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lutein, are naturally occurring nutrients.

Recent research has found that dogs and cats fed a diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E, lutein, or beta-carotene had improved immune responses and vaccine recognition. This may be especially important for aging cats, because studies have found that as cats age, immune responses can decrease.

More Frequent Intestinal Problems
Older cats may have higher numbers of unfavorable bacteria and lower numbers of beneficial bacteria in their intestines, which can result in clinical signs of gastrointestinal problems (e.g., diarrhea).

Feeding a diet containing fructooligosaccharides (FOS) — a unique fiber source that helps nutritionally maintain healthy intestinal bacterial populations — promotes growth of beneficial bacteria. Beet pulp, a moderately fermentable fiber source, also helps maintain intestinal health by providing energy for the cells lining the intestine and promoting small, firm stools.

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