9-30-16 Friday

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The post from 2007, about cats under bowls looking like hermit crabs made me think of this: kittens acting like turtles.

That is way too cute!


It seems like Darry is kind of a loner. Does he do as much interacting with the other kittens as they seem to interact with one another?

He does interact with them a lot – it just makes him nervous when I’m in the room, and he tends to watch either from a distance or from my lap. Once I leave, he’s generally right in the middle of their shenanigans.


I was wondering, what type of steam mop do you use on your hardwood floors? I have been wanting to get one, but I wasn’t sure how well they work.

It’s a Bissell Powerfresh steam mop – this one. I got it at Amazon, but you might be able to find it at Walmart or Target. It’s easy to use, and I think it does a great job! I don’t use it often – usually just when I need to scrub down the foster room between litters, or if the floors in the rest of the house are looking particularly rough – but when I do use it, I think “Why don’t I get this out and use it more often?”


Robyn, I have a question for the collective. My Henry has fur that gets super staticky in the winter. Can anyone recommend a pet-friendly anti-static lotion or something I can use? Things that don’t come in spray bottles are preferred. My vet was entirely unhelpful on this front. Thank you!

GD provided this link, saying Check out this site. The first option is a mister, but keep reading!

I find that running humidifiers make a world of difference in our house – I have three Crane humidifiers (one cow, one elephant, one pig – those are Amazon links, but you can get them at Target and probably Walmart, too). I also have a humidity gauge that gives me a sad face when the humidity is too low, and I sometimes want to throw the stupid thing across the room when I’ve got all the humidifiers running and a big pot of water boiling on the stove, and the gauge is all “It’s not enough!”


So, I go with humidifiers and find that it helps – I’d like to hear other suggestions!


Hey Robyn! I’m wondering if you’ve done a post that specifically talks about the kitties(and your) favorite things? Scratchers..beds..etc. Trying to nail down the necessities before I put in an order for our recent rescued addition.

I haven’t done a post – one of the things on my “to do” list is to have a page of links that I can direct people toward. It’s one of the things I haven’t gotten around to yet, obviously. Here’s a list of what comes to mind, and I hope if y’all think of something I’ve missed, you’ll chime in!

(All Amazon links are affiliate links – we earn a tiny percentage of sales made from people who click through to Amazon. I highly recommend that you do a little Googling around for the best deal instead of just depending on the Amazon link.)

Shark Cave! (Jake loves this thing.)

Cat-headed carpet scratcher tray. The permanent residents and the fosters alike love this thing. And it’s adorable!

Ham-Micks by Forty Paws. The cats (especially Alice) LOVE these. I don’t put them in the kitten room as often, but because they get so wild in there that the Ham-Mick ends up in the water dish more often than not.

Sunny Seat Window-Mounted Cat Bed. They claim this will hold up to 50 pounds, and I believe it. My only gripe is that you can’t lower the shades/blinds with it in place, so you either have to lower the blinds/shades over it, leaving a big gap where passing neighbors can Kravitz in at you, or take it down every night, which is a pain.

The bowl scratcher – a favorite of kittens and permanent residents alike.

Pioneer SmartCat scratching post. If you can only get one scratching surface, this is the one. It’s super sturdy, high enough for the cats to really stretch up along it, and they can sit on the top. You can buy a perch to put on the top – it makes a little more room and comes with a soft pad. I have perches on top of both of mine, but there’s enough room at the top for them to sit, even without the perch.

With the weather (finally!) cooling down, these self-warming cat beds are a favorite at our house (there’s a bigger one, too, if you prefer).

I’ve provided the Amazon links on these, but most (if not all) can be found at Petsmart or Petco, and a lot of them are available at Target or Walmart, too.

Da Bird. The way the feathers move through the air drive the kitties crazy.

A simple feather teaser on a stick (with no string) is good to have on hand, too.

Crinkly mylar balls. Cats love to play soccer with them, will chase after them if you toss ’em, and if you want to get their attention, crumple the ball in your hand and they’ll almost always turn and look. I consider this toy a must-have, and buy them in bulk.

Kitty Boinks. Yeah, they’re not cheap unless you buy them in bulk (which I do.) A few times a year, Coupaw has them on sale, and I try to snatch up a bunch when they do. Oh, look – they’ve got ’em right now! Go get a pack or two, y’all, you won’t be sorry. I like to stick them on the end of my fingers and tease the kittens with them. They’re stretchy, so you can push the ends in and let go, and they’ll fly across the room. Target has 4-packs of similar toys, but I think the original Boinks last longer. (Eventually, they’ll fray at the ends and need to be thrown away.)

Cat Crazies! I love these just ’cause they look like little crowns, and provide excellent picture opportunities. They’re light and cats like playing soccer with them or carrying them around. You could get the same effect using milk jug rings I SUPPOSE, but the Cat Crazies will maim your instep when you step on them in the middle of the night, and who doesn’t want that?

I found these practice golf balls in Target one day (I don’t know why on earth I’d have been in the sportsy section, but for some reason I was) and bought a pack. They like playing soccer with them, and they’re nice and light, and travel fast. I thought, when I bought them, that I could stick a few catnip leaves through the holes for more fun, but I haven’t gotten around to that. Who knows if I ever will?

Fur-covered toy mice. A must-have – not necessarily the ones I’ve linked, but ones that are covered in fur (faux or otherwise), and preferably ones that rattle.

Wooden puzzle box. It comes with a few toys, but you can put any toy that’ll fit inside this box, and the cats will drag ’em out and play with them. I wish it came apart so you could clean it inside and out, but it doesn’t. I manage to clean the inside with a rag and a knife (to push the rag through) well enough. It also comes in a bigger size, but I prefer the smaller one because it takes up less room.

Track toys! You can go with the basic one (always a hit) that’s just a ball in a round plastic track. There’s the Bergan scratcher/track toy with a scratching pad in the center. There’s the Tower of Tracks toy, which I have not tried myself, but I’ve seen it often enough on other blogs that I feel pretty confident suggesting it. There’s the track toy with an attached mouse for them to smack at (that one is similar to the one I currently have in the foster room, and it’s quite a hit). Last, but certainly not least, there’s the Bergan Turbo Track, which the kittens adore, and so does Stefan.

Okay, that’s a lot of stuff, isn’t it? If I were to pare it down to the must-haves, I would say you really need a bed (maybe a couple of them), a feather teaser, scratching post, toy mice, and mylar balls. You can always get more stuff if you need to, but that’s a good place to start!

Y’all – what have I forgotten? Now that I’ve written all that out (and my GOODness, I can go on and on about cat paraphernalia, can’t I?) I’m going to simply copy and paste into a new standalone page and link it from the sidebar to make it easier to find.

ALSO, if you know of a place where any of these items are cheaper, please say the word and I’ll add the info


Darry, keeping a wary eye on me. You’d never know from his pictures what a lovebug he is – he always looks so worried or suspicious!

Sweet Miss Juniper. That girl needs a kiss! (That’s Hemlock laying behind her.)

Two-Bit gets his ::thlurrrp!:: on. Isn’t that basket cool? It’s another cool thing I got from the Winnie’s Wish Insta-Auction.

Ponyboy thinks it’s pretty cool, too.

“Watchin’ you, lady.”

Darry, giving Hemlock the once-over.

Ponyboy in the sun, purring up a storm. That boy has a seriously loud purr. Check it out below (turn your volume way up, but don’t blame me if it lulls you to sleep).

YouTube link

Two-Bit was posing so nicely, ears forward, his best smile on, and then Juniper batted at his tail, which brought out the Ears of Annoyance.

The ornj Greasers. That smile on Two-Bit’s face is cracking me UP.

Juniper pulls Ponyboy in for a kiss.

Sodapop pulls Ponyboy in for a hug.

Hemlock gives his best Mister Innocent look.

Ponyboy, chilling on the Fancy Sofa.

Darry, doing the same.

Hemlock and Juniper are continuing to do well, so off to Petsmart they’ll go tomorrow morning. Could tomorrow be their lucky day? I sure hope so!


Video! (You may have seen it on Instagram or Facebook yesterday, but it’s utterly adorable. It’s so short because I had to pick her up and squeeze the stuffing out of her.)

YouTube link
Juniper is committed to tail cleanliness, and not afraid to show it.


Jake’s all “::SIGH:: It’s not a FANCY Sofa, but I suppose it’ll do!”


2015: “You gots more bottle over there, lady? Askin’ for a friend.”
2014: On Tuesdays, we leap.
2013: Livia said “I am not EVEN going to ask what’s going on. I think ignorance is the way to go at this point.”
2012: No entry.
2011: “OH, scratching post, you are so big and strong!”
2010: VERY MUCH do Kara, Sugarbutt and Tommy disapprove when we have the nerve to leave the back yard. Look at the judgmental faces on those three!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I almost died from the cuteness.



9-30-16 Friday — 15 Comments

  1. Love the toy ideas. One of Patches’ absolute most favorite toys is a simple pipe cleaner that has been twisted up. He brings it to me so I can throw it for him.

  2. Kicker toys, with or without catnip, are a favorite in our house as well as most of what you already listed. Oh and plain old shoe strings!

    • Yes, kicky toys are a favorite in my house as well, as are straws and the mylar balls Robyn mentioned. I do not, however, recommend turning on one’s shower without checking for their presence first. *sighs and tries to get teh dye out of the grout*

  3. Make your own furry toys! I always have shedding cats here so after combing one or several, I have enough fur to make a ball. Start rolling it in your hands, adding a touch of liquid (water or spit, don’t judge) as you go. They can get nice and tight and stay together really well. Then toss. The other cats don’t seem to care whose fur it is and many times a few of my older girls will wander around with it in there mouths, wailing to beat the band.

    • We do that too, and they’re always a favorite! I run them through the wash a couple of times, rolled up in an old sock. 🙂

  4. Hi Robyn! Your Shark Bed link is not to a Shark Bed … it leads to a “cheeky” British novel. Perhaps a sign of your current reading preferences? Anyhoo….

  5. Thank you Robyn, for the toy list. I must say that kitty boinks – also known as kitty flicks disappear from our homes almost immediately. Later we find them inside closets, under heavy appliances and sometimes in our laundry. I believe they are the most popular toy in our two households.

  6. I’ve bought cat toys at the local DollarTree ($1 for any single item), for example, the holey golf balls. My clowder are such slugs now (most are past the 10 year mark) that I can’t get them to play for anything, but over the years I’ve always found that the simplest toys for them to have fun with are things I was going to throw away as trash, such as the twist ties from bread and veggie bags. I had one who went crazy for the bags my tea bags came in, crumpled. She got a new one daily, sometimes more than once a day. I can’t begin to guess how many of those were lost under the fridge over the years.