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Cat Grass; Part II

The Cat Ladies Organic Cat Grass Kit

Cat grass is a staple in my house.  This is mostly because it helps reduce hairballs and my cats just generally like it.  It’s a calorie free treat!  For anyone that purchases or grows cat grass on the regular, you know that it only lasts so long and has a tendency to get moldy (usually when over watered) or die out when it has run it’s course.

My dedicated followers know that I’ve already written a post on the why’s and how’s of planting cat grass already but this is about and ease of use.  Let’s quickly recap a few of the cat grass growing options:

Box o’ Grass

This is just a plastic bin, potting soil and cat grass seed.  The box was big enough for the cats to lay in, which they did, so it required a good spot.  At the time the cats had a large second floor porch all to themselves, so this was the perfect solution and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

Catit Senses Grass Planter

This comes with it’s own seed and medium to grow the cat grass in.  This also was easy, smaller than the box o’ grass and had a grate on top to help prevent the cats from making a mess if they like to pull the grass out by the roots, which mine do.  I liked this for it’s tidiness.

Pet Greens Pre-Grown Grass

This is all about convenience.  Buy it, bring it home, put it out and the cats can chow down.  Simple as that.  However, I’m not sure if it was me or the grass but it always seemed to get moldy after a certain amount of time.  It’s possible I never mastered watering it but I followed the directions.

The Cat Ladies Organic Cat Grass Kit

The Cat Ladies Cat Grass Kit
The Cat Ladies Cat Grass Kit

This was actually given to me as a gift so I had to try it out.  This comes with it’s own compact dirt ‘disc’ and organic cat grass seeds.  This is interesting because adding water to the dirt makes it puff up and fill the mug, in a way that’s fun to watch.  The grass grows quickly and the mug doesn’t take up much room and possibly because of it’s size, the cats didn’t make a mess of the grass and dirt.

The Cat Ladies Organic Cat Grass Kit
Day 4

After the grass ran it’s course, this was easy to clean and start all over again.  The dirt comes out in one ball, which I threw into the garden and I rinsed out mug and put it in the dishwasher.

The Cat Ladies Organic Cat Grass Kit
Day 6

The ease of use along with the inexpensive cost of the refill kits, especially compared to other refill kits, has made this my new favorite cat grass.  It is as convenient as it gets, the grass grows quickly and at ~$4 per refill, this is more cost effective than purchasing pre-grown grass from the store.  This also makes a great gift for any of your cat lover friends!

 

 

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How To Keep Your Kitty Hydrated; Water Fountains For Cats

Gherkin & Water Fountains For Cats

We all know that drinking water is essential not just for us but for our best fur friends as well.  Pets should have clean water available to them at all times.  When I first brought Tinkerbell home, I made sure she had a dish for food and a dish for water.  As time went on and we added another kitty to the lineup, I thought maybe there was a better way.  After reading that cats are attracted to moving water because in nature stagnant water could harbor parasites and bacteria.  This is the reason water fountains encourage increased water intake and why I ventured down the rabbit hole of looking into water fountains for cats.

A Few Things…

Just a few things to keep in mind with all fountains.  First, they all require regular cleaning that takes a little more time and effort than just a regular bowl.  There are usually a couple pieces that come apart to be cleaned and then have to be put back together.  The second thing is that all of the fountains I’ve seen have a filter or two.  All of the below fountain have a charcoal filter that needs to be replaced regularly and some included a foam filter that can be cleaned are reused.  With that said, let’s discuss actual fountains.

Fountain #1

The first water fountain I bought was fairly inexpensive and made of plastic.  I think I spent around $30 and ended up returning it at least twice before returning it for good.  The pump was extremely loud and it generally didn’t do a great job.  Additionally, I don’t like drinking out of plastic, so why should my cats?

Fountain #2

Tdibit & Water Fountains For Cats

The second fountain I bought was a much nicer fountain.  I opted for the Petsafe Pagoda fountain which is made of ceramic, a larger size and a nice quiet pump.  This includes a charcoal filter and foam filter around the pump.  This setup is pretty straight forward and easy to clean.  I have also found the water pump online, so if need be, the only wearable part would be easily replaceable, which is a bonus.  Overall, the maintenance on this (filters, pump if needed) is fairly low cost so I expect this fountain to last a long time with minimal additional cost.

Fountain #3

The third fountain was the American Valley Nature Spa fountain.  I saw this advertised somewhere and thought it looked nifty.  This one had a separate reservoir to keep the fountain full and claimed to have UV purification.  It looked cool with the blue light and the sound of the water was very soothing.  After using this for a while, I took it apart and found it extremely difficult, essentially impossible, to clean and the UV purification (which I think is just an LED light) didn’t seem to help keep the internal tubing clean, that is inaccessible.  When we added Gherkin to our family, our third cat, the fountain just seemed to always be empty, despite opting for the larger reservoir.  Also, Tidbit would knock the reservoir off or into the fountain and end up getting water everywhere.  This fountain seemed like a great idea but for several reasons but just isn’t practical for us.

For All Water Fountains For Cats

With every fountain, I found the following:

  • Cats generally enjoyed it, sometimes playing in the water stream a little
  • The sound of the water running is relaxing
  • All fountains required some upkeep with cleaning and changing of filters
  • They volume of a water fountain was generally more water than an average water bowl
  • The fountain does seem to encourage more water intake

The Final Decision

In the end, I went back to our Petsafe Pagoda contain for a few reasons.  I like that it was made out of ceramic, versus plastic.  The fountain itself held a good amount of water and was relatively easy to clean, which was ultimately the deciding factor.  The fountain is just simple and straight forward to use and clean.  Of course the kitties all like it and continue to drink lots of water and dip their paws in the stream now and then.

Tinkerbell & Water Fountains For Cats

What To Look For

If you’re going to make the leap to get a water fountain for your cats, I would say to look for a few things:

  • good quality materials, for me this is ceramic rather than plastic
  • easy to take apart and clean
  • low maintenance cost of filters and possible parts
  • adding an absorbent mat under the fountain helps contain splashing from anyone playing in the water

The Pagoda cost a little more upfront but is worth it in convenience and knowing that I am able to give the whole fountain a good cleaning ensuring my kitties have fresh water, was ultimately the deciding factor.

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When The Cat Grass Is Greener

Have you ever seen cat grass in the store and wonder if your cat needs it?  Or has your cat dashed out the door, when your hands are too full to stop them, just to nibble on the yard?  Does it make you think there is something essential missing from their diet?  Aren’t they obligate carnivores?

Although it’s not known exactly why cats eat grass, there are a lot of theories ranging from digestive aid (the most commonly accepted), hairball relief, they like the texture, to it adds nutrients to their diet.  We can speculate on why cats eat grass, however, the bottom line is that no one knows for sure.  It is typically safe to assume it is not due to deficiencies or health concerns.  If your cat is binging on grass, rather than nibbling, or having a lot of upsets afterward, then that may be a matter for your vet.  However, it is generally considered safe to munch on some greens now and then.

Continue reading When The Cat Grass Is Greener