Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Catio

Welcome to my catio! I have indoor cats but they love being outside. They race to open windows to birdwatch, smell the flowers and grass, and watch insects and people go to and fro. (This is Maya relaxing by the welcome mat.)

Seeing how much they loved the outside - but wanting them to be safe - I looked at catios and enclosures. I didn't have a lot of money but I did have a screened in porch that we almost never used.
(Gandalf relaxes on a shelf.)

We bought heavy duty screening that is pet resistant. We keep their claws clipped and haven't had any holes. We do sit out there with them most of the time though. Although we couldn't afford a bunch of custom cat shelves and trees that were weatherproof, we could use patio furniture in creative ways. (Tayla lounging on the table)

Plant shelves for outdoors come in lots of styles and materials. We bought various heights and materials and some of the cats like to climb high and some like to lay under the shelves. They love the different textures - but the smaller the holes, the more comfortable it is for them to walk on. (Esther sunbathing half under a shelf.)

The screening prevents bugs from getting in and the indoor/outdoor carpeting is another texture and comfy place to play. The cats seem more confident and get kitty energy out there instead of running through the house or ambushing each other. We have a water fountain out there for them and I often bring out the wand toys too. Have any of you created an outdoor space for your cats?

Friday, May 16, 2014


Okay, so we all love and want the best for our pets. One of their requirements is clean and fresh water. I have read plenty of articles about how cats prefer moving water. Here are some links where you can read about it yourself:

Why Cats Prefer Moving Water

Does Your Cat Drink From the Water Faucet

If you don't want to leave your faucets dripping all day, a great option is to buy a cat fountain. They come in all different styles, sizes, prices, and materials. Many are plastic but they also come in stainless steel and ceramic. Some of them have extra containers that attach to them so the water doesn't run low for much longer. 

The pictures I am showing here all come from Amazon, but you can buy them almost anywhere you purchase pet supplies.

They have small pumps and filter assemblies that help keep the water cleaner for longer. Many of them say the filters last for up to 4 weeks, but it really depends on how many cats are using them and how many fountains you have. The more cats, the shorter the time they will be effective.

Make sure you check your fountain frequently for hair and debris. That can get into the pump and burn it out. The water level also has to remain high or your pump will quit working.

I recently discovered a great trick when cleaning my fountains. I got a spray bottle (they are cheap and come in lots of sizes, styles, and colors). I like to use a special color for each purpose so I don't mix up the one for my fountains with bleach cleaner or something toxic. I put in vinegar or a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide.

The vinegar or hydrogen peroxide mixture helps kill bacteria and the spray gets into the nooks and crannies you can't reach with your hands or even the tools sold to clean the fountains. If I'm using hydrogen peroxide, I usually use a mix of about half and half. Make sure to pray into all the holes of the pump as well because mold and bacteria can grow in the crevices and make your cats sick.

Just spray liberally and let it set on the surface for a minute. Then rinse the whole thing off and you're good to go. I have 9 cats and three fountains so I clean mine once a week. How about you? Any special tips or favorite fountains?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Meet My Pride

I have learned so much from my cats and I figured if I was going to share about it - you might to know who is who. So, I would love to introduce you to my pride. I say "pride" not because I'm proud of them (though I am) but because I have 9 cats - my very own pride.

This elegant poofball is the elder statesman of the group, Thomas. He is 8 years old and a confirmed Teddy Bear. We think he might be a mix with a Norwegian Forest cat. He is bigger than the average cat, fluffy, and has fur tufts between the pads of his feet.

This very dignified lady was adopted the same time as Thomas and she is the same age. She is a beautiful Tuxedo cat and a confirmed couch potato. She has no poise and is usually belly up.

Next up is Gandalf. He is a couple years old and smarter than all the other cats combined. He gets into cabinets, opens doors, gets on shelves I thought were inaccessible... He is heavier than he looks and very strong. He also loves to cuddle and jumps right into your lap to get head rubs.

I love this picture of Desmund because it looks like he has a huge head and no body. He is a healthy boy though, almost a year old. He is one of two cats rescued from under our local courthouse. He is very sweet and gets along with everyone. He is quiet though and likes hidey holes.

Okay, I love all my cats but Esther is special. She had a lot of health problems and injuries when she was rescued from the courthouse - but now she is healthy, shiny, and sassy. She is also wonderful with all the other cats and people. She has surprising habits like waiting until everyone else has eaten before she does. She grooms the smaller kittens and cuddles with them when they cry. She is a very special cat.

Danny is my slinky baby. He resembles a water balloon - wriggly, always changing shape, and tumbling out or over whatever he is on or in. He couldn't be sweeter either. He's very long and lean and lives for face rubs but doesn't like kisses. ;-)

I waited on Maya because she's the momma to our two youngest. She is hard to take pictures of because she's always moving. She's a very pretty calico girl with very long legs and an elegant face. She loves to carry around toys while meowing like she's caught dinner.

This is a picture of Tayla. This picture shows her long legs. She loves to cuddle and tickles with her kitty kisses while she purrs in your ear. She loves to chase wand toys and her brother.

This is Max. You can see he has one blue and one green eye. He has his mom's triangular face. He is very laid back, confident, and easy going. He plays hard and then cuddles hard.

So those are my furbabies. I'd love to hear about yours.