11-22-11

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Sherry reminded me in yesterday’s comments that I haven’t followed up on the Cat’s Pride Fresh and Light litter that I was trying out. It’s been, what, two or three weeks now? Something like that, and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed – not only is the litter low-dust, it also clumps well, and at this point, the litter box full of Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light still doesn’t stink.

I like all of those attributes of the litter, of course, and I also like the bonus feature, which is that it’s a lighter litter. While 20 pounds of litter is, of course, going to weigh 20 pounds*, a container of Cat’s Pride F&L that is the same size as a container of Fresh Step weighs less, but seems to last the same amount of time as far as I can tell. And my back likes having less weight to lift when it comes to the 40 bazillion containers of litter we use every month. (I know your next question is “How much litter DO you go through in a month, crazy lady?” and I have no idea. I’m not sure if I WANT to know, but I’ll see if I can’t manage to keep track through the month of December and get back to you on that.)

I don’t know what the secret ingredient is that makes the F&L do such a good job of holding down the stank (“Holdin’ Down the Stank” would be an excellent title for a country song), but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably activated charcoal. The litter’s a bit darker than some other litters I’ve tried, and activated charcoal holds down the stank fairly well, or so I’ve heard. It might be something else entirely, but that’s my guess.

So in conclusion, I’m planning to stick with the Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light. It’s a decent price, I can get it at Walmart (it’s not available at Publix just yet, but they carry other kinds of Cat’s Pride, so I expect the F&L will get there soon enough), and it works really well. I’ll supplement it with Cat Attract litter, and hopefully the cats won’t have an issue with it (the litter box with F&L in it certainly gets plenty of use!)

Edited to add: The Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light I tried and am recommending is the Fragrance-Free version. They also make a scented multi-cat version, but the problem with that is that (a) it’s scented and (b) I’ve read online that it doesn’t clump as well.

*I once belonged to a weight-loss mailing list, and there was this woman who was INSISTENT that 5 pounds of muscle weighs less than 5 pounds of fat. Which it DOES NOT – five pounds is five pounds, whether it’s five pounds of lead or five pounds of feathers or five pounds of marshmallows. FIVE POUNDS IS FIVE POUNDS. When I told her that I was pretty sure she meant that five pounds of muscle takes up less space than five pounds of fat, she called me an idiot and told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. It’s probably been seven years – if not more – since that happened, and I still kind of want to track her down and pop her in the face for being such a dumbass. Lucky for her I’M A LAYDEE.

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I got an email from Cheryl, who asked:

I hope to solicit your cat wisdom. My husband and I have recently taken in an abandoned cat who had been living outside for about a month. She is a very timid little thing, but we are gradually making headway and she is learning to expect lots of love and belly rubs from us. However, as she was outside before we took her in (she had belonged to our next-door-neighbours and was outside a lot), she is starting to get very restless and begging to go back outside. We would rather that she remain an inside cat. We are pretty sure she would bolt if she got outside, and the yard is patrolled by her sworn enemies: the cats who live in the suite upstairs from us. We are concerned that the territory dispute would prevent her from recognizing our door as hers, and just bring discord to the established household.

This brings me to my question; do you have any ideas for making an outside cat more content to be an inside cat? She is about 3 years old, and probably needs a lot more to do than our 600 square foot home can easily give her. I have a Feliway plug in the house, but she still really wants to get out and go adventuring.

Does she have any place to climb? Cats really like vertical space, and the higher they can get, the happier they are. I’d recommend a tall cat tree, or a set of shelves with a platform that she can climb up to. Even a bookcase that has a chair next to it, so that she could jump up on top of the bookcase from the chair might work.

Also, if you don’t have a set play time with her every day, I’d suggest giving it a try for 15 minutes or half an hour (depending on her energy level). Use a laser light or a feather teaser or something similar to get her running and jumping and working off some of that energy.

One suggestion that I’m going to throw out there (though I’m sure that you’ve thought of it – and also, may not have room for it!) is adopting another cat so that she’ll have someone to play with, chase around, and cuddle with. Cats tend to be social creatures and that could stave off the boredom for her.

Mostly, I think what it’s going to take is time. Cats who have been outdoors have a tough time transitioning to being indoor-only cats, but it can be done, just hang in there with it.

If you guys have suggestions other than the ones I came up with, please feel free to share them!

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Do you remember Bill? Of course you do! He was one of the True Blood 6 (the litter that brought a LOT of new people to Love & Hisses). He looked like this:

2009-08-11 Bill

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2009-09-21-09

He was such a sweet boy (of course, all the True Bloods were, but Bill with his sweet, quiet ways just completely made us fall in love with him), and I was pleased to hear that he’d been adopted. I was even MORE pleased to hear that he’d been adopted by someone who was willing to update me regularly on how he and his sister Izzy are doing! I got an update email from Ann last week, and she said:

I am sitting down this afternoon to send you photos and update you on our WONDERFUL TWO YEARS with Bill… The official date is tomorrow but I’m starting early for his celebration!

He is definitely a happy cat! Although he still hasn’t yet won big sister Izzy over with his cuteness, most days they hang out in peace with a few hisses coming from Izzy. Just not snuggled up together. Occasionally they will both occupy the same piece of furniture – the bed or couch. But mostly, Izzy just puts up with him. He keeps trying to win her over though. He’s an eternal optimist!

He loves to bird watch. Chase the little fishie toys (I’ve bought about 30 but can only find 7 right now!). Climb the cat tree. Run thru the house at 90mph. Snuggle with momma. Snooze in the sunbeams. Beg for bacon, cupcakes, waffles, ham, and turkey. Loves to come get in ‘cave’ – when I’m on the couch with a blanket he will want under it to snuggle up and sleep! And he makes us smile with his antics.

Now for some photos:

Thank you again for raising such a good kitty!

Ann & BillCat

Thank YOU for the update, Ann! I can’t believe it’s been two years – it seems like it was just yesterday the True Bloods were running around freaking me out and making me worry that they were going to hurt their eyes after surgery. I’m so glad that that litter all found happy, loving homes!

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Everett is off to PetSmart in a little while (when I take the kittens to PetSmart, I try to get there very early so that the kittens have time to get adjusted before adoption hours start. Everett will probably need a little time to get reacquainted with Lucy, too, with whom he’ll be sharing a cage.). We are going to miss having him around, because he’s the sweetest, most laid-back kitten. He’s just an awesome cat, and he supports my theory that all black cats are completely amazing!

I’m sure that Patty and Charlie will miss him, too, they love following him around and harassing him and playing with him. I’ve ordered Lisa (who’ll be doing adoptions tonight and Friday) to get those Peppers adopted STAT.

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Poor Tommy. These little cats just can’t get enough of grabbing at his tail.

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Then Everett’s all “LET ME SNIFF YOUR PAW.”

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Chuckles. PLEASE. Am I going to have to get you a valium? Calm DOWN.

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Corbie’s all “That’s MY spot for chillin’.”

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Patty’s on the other couch, hanging out with Everett.

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“Lady, why you all up in my face?”

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Because you’re so CUTE, Miss Patty!

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“That’s right, I AM! And don’t you forget it!”

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Check out the big ol’ rabbit foot Charlie’s sporting.

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All kidding aside, our boy Charlie? A very, very hard sleeper. I don’t think a nuclear bomb going off would budge this boy when he’s snoozing.

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Snackin’ Time! There are 13 cats in this picture, click on the picture to go over to Flickr and see them all if you can’t see ’em here. The Peppers get to take part in Snackin’! Time! with the big cats. It’s a lot less hissy and smacky than you’d think.

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Stinkerbelle used to take her snack on top of the refrigerator. She’s gotten bolder, though, and now she takes it down on the counter. I have no illusions that we’ll ever give her her snack on the floor, but this is an improvement. She seems to get bolder when the days get shorter, for some reason.

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Newt fits pretty well in that basket, no?

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Previously
2010: Reacher has reached overload, apparently.
2009: I told Fred she’s a kitten magnet.
2008: No entry.
2007: Bath time in the condo.
2006: On ur desk slurping ur water (and about to take flight).
2005: I suppose this is one way to spoon.

Comments

Comments

11-22-11 — 13 Comments

  1. Everett sure is purdy!!!

    Oh Bill!!!! How lovely to see you again! Thank you Bill’s Mama for the update! Kisses to Bill.

    Best wishes to the Peppers….and Newt fits perfectly!

  2. Bill is SO adorable — what an fine fellow. Now, Everett, do your groove thing and get yourself and your family adopted soonest! Godspeed, young man. Remember when Charlie and Patty were scruffy, shy little things? Hard to believe. Snack on, Crooked Acres 13, and kudos to beautiful Stinkerbelle.

  3. One way you might give your cat a taste of outside is to try harness training. This would reduce the chance of her running off, and if you are with her there is not likely to be a cat fight, as the others would clear off from you.

    Another thing you could do to add entertainment is mount a bird feeder near a window where she can watch it. I hear there are DVDs you can put on to entertain cats.

  4. I second the harness training and the second cat-even a small space can usually hold two cats that like each other. If you get a young cat, they are likely to become friends fairly quickly (doesn’t have to be a baby kitten but under two is best).

  5. Our 3rd kitty was an outdoor/barn cat for her first year and a half, and then we brought her inside (long story short, my husband’s workshop was her cat cave and when he tried to reclaim it from the former 4-H bunny haven, Lizzy actually grabbed his ankle and bit him one day!!).Coyotes are a real concern out here in the country, too.
    I was a little worried she’d miss her roaming freedom, and at first she seemed to and made dashes for the door. She’s always been skittish and is very leery of my husband who has still not won her over (cat cave memories must stick tight…ha! he’s never been mean to her or anything at all like it). Since he’s the one who goes in and out the most, she doesn’t stick around the door much. She spends a lot of time in the windows (or rather behind the blinds and on the sills!) and we have a window bird feeder which is like turning on TV for the cats. We also had 2 housecats already and one of them is just a little younger than Lizzy and they play quite a bit together, helps that Ellie, the youngest, is laid-back and totally non-agressive. Playtime really helps them get rid of excess energy and also keep their weight down.
    Hope it works out and she settles in more as time goes by!

  6. Hmm, do you know if Cat’s Pride has a non-scented version? Since I only have two cats, I don’t have a problem with scent. But I’d always love a litter that’s low dust. If it’s even more low dust than Cat Attract, that’d be wonderful! I just really can’t stand scented litter.

    • Yileen, the Fresh and Light does have a non-scented version – what I should have said in the post (and will go back and add in) is that the version I tried was the non-scented kind. They also have a multi-cat version, BUT the multi-cat is scented and (from what I read about it online) doesn’t actually clump as well. So the unscented one is the one I tried and am recommending. 🙂

  7. Hey Billcat, good to see you looking so healthy and happy.
    I too would say schedule some playtime for the used to be outside cat, or how about one of those kitty kondos till she gets used to living at your house?
    Hey, I too have counter cats! Parcticularly when it’s food time, they seem convinced I will serve them quicker if they are one the counter bumping me, my arm, my hand…
    That Patty sure is a cutie! With those teeny weeny teefs of hers! Shame her brother’s such a stress head.
    oh, yeah, Newt fits in the new basket snug as a fig. get it? fig Newt-on? wait, what is that, anyway?

  8. I have 17 and that’s what it looks like when I feed them each day. Mine are pretty good about not getting hissy when its food time too.

  9. Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions. I’m making a concerted effort to play with her every evening as long as she wants, and already I think she is settling a little better. Thank you!