1-26-18 Friday

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From Whitney:

I have a question for the group mind (apologies if I’ve missed this elsewhere). In an effort to control the specific diets of two of four cats, we’ve gone from free-feeding to timed feeding with the bowls down at specific times a day. The bowls are down for 30 minutes. They come back to the bowls at least once. Those of you who also do this sort of feeding, how many times do you put food down? I’m concerned my cats aren’t getting enough to eat and that I should perhaps do a third feeding and just keep the bowls down for 20 minutes. They get treats once a day. Opinions, please?

I don’t have an opinion on this topic, but I know someone out there (maybe many someones!) does. Please chime in in the comments if you have advice!


A friend is looking for a t-shirt combo. Where the human’s face is printed on a cat-sized shirt which the cat will wear, then the human wears the appropriate sized t-shirt with the cat on that. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

If anyone has a suggestion, please chime in – but I’m thinking a baby’s t-shirt or onesie would work for the cat? You can get both a baby tee/onesie and an adult t-shirt at Cafepress!


Did I hear a cat early on making his-her recording debut?

Yes, Miz Poo wanted to be part of the making of that audio!


Do you miss having chickens at the new house?

I occasionally miss being able to go out and watch them (especially when I see chicken pictures I’ve taken), but neither of us misses the work of having them.


What kind and where do you get the heated cat beds…there were so many on Amazon I wasn’t sure which to choose?

The bed over by Khal (on the left) is one that I picked up in Maine. The tag says “Tiger Dreamz – Favorite Pet Products,” but I wasn’t able to find a link to it online. But that’s okay! It was kind of expensive! The other bed, the brightly colored paw prints, is a self-heating bed I got when Andrea was having her fundraising insta-auction to benefit Winnie’s Wish. I’ve got a couple of those and they are extremely well made and popular around here.

But to answer the question in a more helpful way – we have several of the Milliard thermal mats, which I bought off of Amazon. They’re good beds, the cats like them, and they get surprisingly warm. The only thing is that you want to be sure to wash them on gentle and hang them to dry, or the inside gets all bunched up. Which, to be honest, doesn’t bother the cats, but it bugs ME. If you’re into DIY, you could always buy one of those reflective windshield shades (like this), cut it into smaller pieces, and stick each piece in a pillowcase or other piece of material, and fold it over.


Speaking of kittens needing homes, my friend’s cats had kittens recently. She is in IL (near Decatur I think). Anyway, if anyone wants any I will try to put you in touch if you leave a comment here or find me on Facebook.


Has Khal ventured out to the catio yet?

He has! He figured out the cat door at Crooked Acres before we moved, so it didn’t take him long to find the cat doors to the screened porch. He doesn’t spend a lot of time out there, but he likes to go out every now and then.


Here’s a kitten I saw recently on Love Meow who also must have the loon gene. One of his pictures near the end of the post looks like he could be a baby Jake. BTW, this little guy’s vampire fangs make him absolutely adorable!

What a CUTIE!


I volunteer my photography skills to photograph kitties at a shelter in the Cincinnati area to spiff up their adoption profiles. I’m wondering if you might be missing a certain loony member of your tribe, because this guy looks quite familiar.

Ready for a Home

That boy certainly has a case of the loons! (I LOVE that you volunteer to take pictures of shelter kitties. You are awesome!)


I noticed your dog tray in Stefan’s picture. I bought one to corral the canned food my two cats seem to get everywhere. I love it!

They are the handiest things! I have them under all the food and water dishes, and even have one under the cats’ water fountain. I get mine at Petsmart (in the dog dish section), but y’all can find them on Amazon too. (Ooooh, they have them in black now, too! Mine are all white/clear and blue.)


Today, we are slackers.

Sheriff Mama (Kara), sleeping on the job.

Archie (and his toes), snoozing.

Stefan, such a slacker.

Maxi and Alice, practically snuggling atop the heated throw.

“Seriously, weird lady.” Oh hush up, Jake. You know you love me!

Stefan on the table. That table gets sun for the better part of the day, so it’s a popular spot.

Pretty Dewey.


2017: Crooked Acres Thursday.
2016: “Well, hello little mousie!”
2015: Meet Simon and Garfunkel!
2014: No entry.
2013: No entry.
2012: Ducks of a feather really DO flock together.
2011: The Box.
2010: She made her angry high-pitched meow, she stomped around, she glared at the basket.
2009: These sisters are so adorable, they kill me!
2008: To our surprise, the owl was still alive when we got home.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-26-18 Friday — 24 Comments

  1. Whitney, I have the SureFeeder – one for each cat. It can hold up to 32 microchips each, but I want to control the amount the eat and keep a few of them from being pigs. Also, if one is on renal food, I don’t have to feed that food to them all ($40 a small bag). Another benefit is if one stops eating, I know immediately. So…what I do, is see what the food says to feed a cat (usually by cat weight). If I am trying to get one to lose weight, I move down ONE level on the scale and feed them that much. I do split it up 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 in the evening. For those that do not pig out, they get a full bowl. Once the weight is lost, I feed that amount consistently to maintain their weight.

  2. I do timed feedings twice a day for my brood, because of one cat who is diabetic, but I feed him separately and leave the dishes down for the others for at least half an hour. There is a lot of taking turns and back and forth at the dishes, and I wait until the rest are all done before picking up the kibble and releasing the last cat. I do leave a couple of bites down for him as a treat – and a distraction, I can usually give him his insulin while he’s chowing.

  3. Also good for corralling canned food (or dry) that escape the bowls are the tops of big plastic storage bins, turned upside down. Also keeps the water from soaking the carpet when SOMEONE feels like playing in the water bowl.

  4. You wrote: If you’re into DIY, you could always buy one of those reflective windshield shades (like this), cut it into smaller pieces, and stick each piece in a pillowcase or other piece of material, and fold it over.

    I do this for the strays I feed — put several of those underneath blankets in boxes in my garage that has a cat door for access. On the really cold nights, it helps a lot. I also have a heat lamp, but only use it if the temps dive into teens/single digits. Native southerner here, HATE winter — especially as I get older and the cold aggravates my arthritis.

  5. I just want to say that I kinda love that you are in a phase right now on the site when we get to see the PR’s every day. I adore kitten photos too, but it’s also nice to have this extended time with the cats who feel like “family”.

    Also, a huge THANK YOU for the Rescue Remedy idea! I have one cat (male, of course) who has anxiety and as a result tends to spray when he’s stressed. He *was* on a generic form of cat xanax, but recently had stopped accepting the crushed pill in his food after a couple of years with no issue. So, I stopped the pill and now put RR drops in the water bowls around the house and he’s totally calm. Perhaps even more so than when he was on the pill!

    • I hope someone sees this, if not I’ll post again next week for the Friday questions.

      My Maggie cat went missing in November 2016. She liked to go out in our fenced backyard, and would always let us know when she wanted to come back in. Except one day she didn’t. She was microchipped, and I signed up with the PawBoost lost and found network.

      I never expected to see her again, but we were reunited in December ’17. She was sixty miles from home, and declawed (front and back paws). I think when her personality changed because she was in pain, someone dumped her out into the country.

      Of course I’m glad she’s back with me, but I’m furious at whoever did this to her. She’s clearly traumatized. I have to keep her separated from the other cats, and she will go in one instant from purring and letting me pet her, to hissing and biting.

      I’m open to suggestions. Right now, I’m treating her like a litter of feral foster kittens I won over: gentle, consistent presence.

      • Noelegy, I’ll post this question in Friday’s post, but in my opinion you’re handling it perfectly. Keeping her separated and letting her have her own space, treating her like a brand new, feral kitty, is what I’d have recommended. You might try adding some Rescue Remedy to her regimen – and maybe someone will have more suggestions – like I said, I’ll post this in Friday’s entry. 🙂

        (Also, what an AMAZING story, that she was gone for over a year and came back to you. I hate that she was declawed, and god knows what she went through in that year, but thank god she’s back with you!)

    • I love sharing them, and spending so much time with them… but I’ve been seeing a lot of kitten videos lately and it is KILL. ING. MEEEEEE. I’m ready for kittens! 🙂

      (I’m so glad the RR is working so well for you!!)

  6. We feed twice a day. We have one that pretty much only eats canned food. His brother will eat hard but likes the canned. So I split one can (the small can) in half and fill two bowls of the hard food. They both get fed together in the bathroom. The other two and the dog get fed in the kitchen/living room. They all finish their food within 10 minutes or so and sit outside the bathroom waiting and waiting. We tend to leave them in there for 20-30 minutes because they’re both pretty slow eaters. Whatever they don’t finish of the soft food, which is usually just bits and pieces, I’ll split between the other two cats with a few kernels of the hard. Then the rest of the hard gets put away for later.

    There are times they’ll eat less (the two in the bathroom) and that always makes me wonder/worry but the next feeding they’re chowing down. The two that finish quickly always act like they’re starving at feeding times but they’re full of muscles and are at a perfect weight.

    Since you’re doing it to control weight, if you notice they’re losing then either give a little more or let them feed a little longer to ensure they get enough. And the opposite if they’re gaining of course. 🙂

  7. 2 replies/responses: I cat sit for two cats who are fed with auto-feeders (they each have their own). The feeders go off twice a day for feedings and the kitties are always super excited when they hear the whirr that signals the auto-feeder. Two feedings seem to be plenty for them and they are perfect weight – I think the no snacking between meals keeps them trim. The auto-feeders wheren’t cheap but it was the easiest way to keep the cats on a set schedule. Also: because I keep dry food and water out in the same area I use a boot tray to keep spills from the messing up the floor – I bought it at Bed/Bath/Beyaon, but I bet you could find it anywhere.

  8. I feed my cat canned food 3 times a day and break the single can down into thirds (roughly). She is a grazer though and sometimes she eats right away and sometimes she doesn’t but it helps me to remember to check on her. She keeps to herself mostly and we have to keep her separate from the dog so she is not really with the family during the day, but at night when the dog is down she is. We always keep water out and a bowl of dry food as well which she will nibble on when the mood suits her. She doesn’t like treats.

  9. Another option for under food & water dishes is a plain old boot tray. Been getting them at Wal-Mart for years. They run around $5-6.

    • Boot trays are awesome! I had really big ones under the litter boxes for the longest time to help corral the litter tracking.

  10. Hi Robyn, if Gracie or George ever need to go to the vet and couldn’t walk, how would you carry them? I’m pet sitting this weekend for an old Bernese mountain dog who has bone cancer and her back legs are weak. I’m just worried about something happening to her. I’m so sad… I’ve been pet sitting her for almost 6 years and she is the nicest, happiest dog.

    • I’ve seen people use slings for large dogs that can’t use their back end.. get a slip of fabric that you can loop around their back end so you can hold them up. However, this doesn’t work well if they are also having issues with their front legs. at that point I think you are looking at carrying the dog, or getting a stretcher to carry the dog.

    • I actually emailed a response to you, but it may have gotten caught up in your spam folder. I said:

      George and Gracie only went to the vet a few times. With Gracie (who was about 110 pounds), we were able to get her into our biggest carrier and lift her onto the back of the truck, though it wasn’t easy. With George, we were able to get him into a carrier (actually, we had to take the carrier apart and rebuild it around him – he weighed 150+ pounds), but weren’t able to lift him into the back of the truck. We ended up taking him out of the carrier and half-lifting, half-pushing him into the back seat of the truck. At that time he was in pretty decent shape, just old.

      Honestly, if he hadn’t been able to walk, I’m not sure what we would have done. We might have been able to fashion some sort of sling to get him into the wagon, but I’m not sure that would have worked.

      (I hadn’t thought of a stretcher, but that seems like it might work!)

      I hope your weekend went smoothly and there were no emergencies!

  11. Those of you who also do this sort of feeding, how many times do you put food down?

    I have been, and always shall be (barring a health issue) be a twice a day feeder. There are a lot of ‘holistic’ cat owners who recommend three, four and even five meals a day (they must be stay-at-home pet people) because cats are hunters and must hunt for each meal and will hunt many times to get enough food to sustain them.

    However, I don’t necessariy agree that they should be fed throughout the day. cats are crepuscular meaning they are most active and see the best to hunt during twilight times. Yes, they might hunt several mice during the morning twilight hours and again at night time twilight hours, but that doesn’t necessarily necessitate feeding throughout the day. I don’t doubt that a cat would hunt during the day if they thought they could catch something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the cat should be fed regularly during the day.

    We put out food every twelve hours. We do not pick up the food.Many times the food is being finished 30 minutes before dinner time, and yes, I feed raw.

    If you are concerned that they aren’t eating enough, getting a scale and weighing them on a regular basis will help you know for sure.

    • You have to consider your needs, too. As with a baby, mother and baby work out between them what works best for them and all the self-styled “experts” and “advocates” in the world don’t get a vote. The truth is that there are too many people who think they know what’s best for you and your cat and how you should run your life, and it simply isn’t so. I feed twice a day, and it works fine for me.

      (Full disclosure: I am of the personal opinion that anyone who has a light enough schedule to be home to feed cats four and five times a day needs a life.)

  12. My cats are fed 1/8th cup of food, three times a day: morning, dinner, and bedtime. They eat what they are provided and then we take it away. Both are rescues so if we leave food out all day, they may just keep eating until they explode. We also monitor to make sure that one cat doesn’t eat the other’s food. It will be helpful if either one has to go on a special diet. If you let them eat for 10 minutes and then pick up the bowls and put them down 6-8 hours later, they’ll get the hang of it.

  13. I made some self-heating mats a while back. I used pieces of a mylar emergency blanket in the middle, and a layer of fleece on top and old sheet on the bottom. I initially had only stitched around the outer edge after turning everything right side out, but I ended up adding a couple more of rectangles of stitching. (Without the extra stitching, Boo would step on it and it would slide under him, which he understandably found irritating.) I still have enough mylar left to make approximately 73 more mats — I’ve been considering making more. I’m sort of leaning toward just buying a couple of heated beds at this point, though. Boo is a pretty old dude now, 17 next month, and I think he’d appreciate the extra warmth.

    • The heated beds are always popular around here! I actually have a mylar blanket and plenty of material, so I’ve been planning to make my own self-heating beds for, oh, about 7 years now. Maybe this year! (Probably not.)