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When Your Cat Has More Energy Than You; Toys For An Energetic Cat

I am a cat lover, no question about that.  I love my cats, however, when we brought home our sweet little Gherkin, we had no idea what we were really in for.  Perhaps it’s because it had been 6 years since we had a kitten or maybe it was because he had more energy than a nuclear power plant.  Seemingly, the only way to cope was to have a few toys for an energetic cat.

Mind you, I played and snuggled with Gherkin a LOT because he’s a kitten (and because that’s just what I do with kitties) and needs the extra love and attention.  Since I have a job, I can’t be with him all day, every day so I had to find some solutions to his endless amounts of energy.  This is how I dealt with an energetic little boy.

Toys For An Energetic Cat

Go Cat Teaser Wand – Our cats have had all sorts of teaser wands, feathers, plush, etc.  The kitty crew will play with them all but there is something about what’s at the end of this teaser wand.  There are a couples options; a bee or mouse and my cats love both.  They will play with the bee all by itself.  This is by far their favorite teaser wand!

Window Perch – This is great for even the laziest of cats.  All three of the cats thoroughly enjoy lounging on the cat perch.  They also like sitting on it to watch the birds or whatever else it is that they watch outside.  If you have the window space, you have to get one of these!

Feeder Ball – This is less of a toy and an interactive way to feed your cat.  This also slows your cat down from gobbling up food, so this too would be good for a larger or lazier cat.  The ball has a removable lid which makes it easy to fill with food.  The outside of the ball has holes that can be adjusted for the kibble size and to adjust the level of difficulty for your cat.  I advise making the feeder ball as easy as possible for the first few go arounds and increase the difficulty after your kitty has the hang of it.

Kick Stick – I was hesitant about this one but I gave it a try and bought a few kick sticks.  Their favorite kick stick, that gets a lot of attention, is a large durable denim kick stick with a pocket for catnip.  We tried microfiber and plush but it’s this denim kick stick that won them over.  Try different materials and see what works best for your kitties.

Automated Toys

Interactive Laser – Again, this is like playing laser with your cat without having to actually be there to play laser.  Hit the button, the laser turns on and after a while it automatically shuts off.  It also requires batteries but, they last a while.

Interactive Butterfly – Another automated toy that has the appeal of a fluttering butterfly going around in circles.  This one is pretty engaging and fun to watch the kitties play with it.  This model is nice because the base is wide enough that they can’t tip it over and you can turn it on with the tap of your toe. This toy doesn’t shut off on it’s own so you’ll have to stick around to turn it back off.

Mystery motion toy – This is a cute toy but you’ll need a hard surface, it won’t work as well (if at all) on carpet.  It has an arm with a feather at the end that rolls around under a piece of fabric, using random motions.  When Gherkin was a kitten he loved this toy so much that as soon as we woke up in the morning, he would run over to the toy and start crying until we turned it on.  It’s still a big hit to this day.  Yet another toy that could use an auto shut off feature but until they improve it, I will have to deal with it.

Flik Automatic Teaser – This is essentially like playing string with your cat minus the human element.  Most important, the cat actually plays with it!  You turn the toy on and the string flicks out at random times and has an automatic shutoff.  It requires batteries but they last a while so it’s worth it.  This is one of our favorites!

Other Strategies

As you can tell, my strategy is play as much as you can and in between distract, distract, distract!  I also rotate all their toys and put them away for a little while before bringing the toy back out for play.  This helps prevent boredom with any one toy.

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How to Make A Bed; A Cat Bed

Occasionally, in my spare time I enjoy a little knitting and might make myself or my husband a scarf or hat.  My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was young and then a little later taught me to knit.  (Her first attempt at teaching me to knit was a total failure because I just wasn’t catching on!)   I am by no means nimble with yarn and patterns are like reading Greek for me.   I can count on my hands the number of things I’ve ever knitted or crocheted.

With that said, every time I go to the craft store I see the over sized yarn and think ‘it’s so cool, what could I ever do with that?’  Then I saw a cat bed made from jumbo yarn, I had to make one too!

What You Need

I watched a number of YouTube videos and settled on this video.  The woman in the video is thorough and goes at a good pace.  Don’t feel bad about watching and re-watching the video, I did too!  I used two bundles of this yarn.  This is “arm crocheting” so no additional crocheting tools are needed.  I also used a binder clip to keep track of my beginning stitch, I found this extremely helpful in minimizing the confusion.

Ultimately, below is the “pattern” (using the term loosely since I can’t read patterns, I certainly don’t know how to write one) I used, consider them my notes, after using the video as a guide.  I made the bed larger to accommodate my bigger kitty, ~13lbs and possibly still growing.  The first version of the bed was way too small for Gherkin, luckily this is easy to unravel and try again.  Last thing anyone wants is a cat bed that no one can fit in!

The Pattern

  • Row 1 – 3 straight stitches
  • Row 2 – 3 double stitches (total stitches: 6)
  • Row 3 – 6 double stitches (total stitches: 12)
  • Row 4 – alternating 1 single stitch, 1 double stitch (total stitches: 18)
  • Row 5 – alternating 2 single stitches, 1 double stitch (total stitches: 24)
  • Row 6 – alternating 3 single stitches, 1 double stitch (total stitches: 30)
  • Rows 7+ – single stitch until desired completion

The whole bed took maybe 45 minutes and that includes starting over once to make the bed larger.  Once it was done, Gherkin could not wait to hop in and do what kitties do best, take a nap!  Tinkerbell and Tidbit also enjoyed the new nap spot!

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What To Do On Giving Tuesday

For most of us holidays are filled with the hustle and bustle of trying to see all your family, shopping, eating, drinking and generally being merry or at least giving it your best shot!  It starts on Thanksgiving, maybe even the day before for some, and the holiday marathon goes straight through until New Year’s Day recovery.  With the hustle and bustle aside, let’s talk about Giving Tuesday.

I personally like the holidays, I love seeing all the lights and decorations and I appreciate getting into the spirit of things with holiday activities and a few traditions.  Most of the time I don’t even mind shopping.  This year I think my favorite activity will be participating in Giving Tuesday.  Although Swanky Kitty donates a portion of proceeds all year round, I will be participating in Giving Tuesday as well.

There are a number of organizations that I wholeheartedly believe in.  I wanted to specifically mention the organizations that Swanky Kitty supports.

Organizations we support:

This year I am choosing HEART Animal Rescue because they gave us our little Gherkin!  What a great job they did raising this little boy until we were able to give him his forever home.  These are all great organizations and I hope you too participate in Giving Tuesday!

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What To Say When The Furballs Are Getting Bigger; Cat Fur Management

Let’s talk cat fur management, often a losing battle!  Luckily, I found it in the form of the Roomba!

At first, I hesitated to buy a “gadget” that vacuums my house at the touch of a button.  Luckily, we have wonderful neighbors that not only lend us a cup of sugar when we need it but let us take home and test drive their Roomba, who they’ve named “Sonny”, for a week.  It may be true that we kept “him” for longer but that is unconfirmed.

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What To Do When It’s Hotter Than Hot; Keeping Your Cats Cool

During the summer months, keeping cool isn’t only a priority for us but also for our furry loved ones.  Since I currently don’t have AC, (gasp!) I do get a little worried for my girls when the temperature starts to creep up.  So, a few things that I found helpful for keeping my cats cool and comfortable:

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Top Ten Must-Haves For New Cat Parents

As we know, with the warming temperatures, kitten season is around the corner!  Few things are more fun and rewarding than going to a shelter, knowing you are taking home a cute, little, energetic kitten or maybe a more mature, laid back (ie lower maintenance) cat.  This to ten must-have for new cat parents list goes beyond the basics food, water and vet visits.  These ten recommendations have been critically reviewed by Tinkerbell and Tidbit (aka the girls), who are different as a sleepy laid back night and a jittery, caffeine filled morning.

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When Cat Furniture Can Be Discrete; The Cat Crib

Ever find yourself sitting at your table to realize that your favorite feline is quietly sitting at your feet, perhaps one that sometimes imitates a clingy shadow?  I repeatedly find myself in this situation.  Ironically, my black cat is the one that lurks, lingers and silently sidles me, despite the bell on her collar.  As I often find myself trolling the internet for new and exciting cat products, I came across the Cat Crib!  No, it’s not an actual crib that you tuck your cat into every night.  This can’t be judged on its name alone!  This is a creatively designed product that, unlike some cat furnishings, keeps space and discretion in mind.  It’s a hammock styled cat lounge that attaches to the legs of a chair!  The best part is that it takes up no additional room and unless you know it’s there, most people wouldn’t notice it.   SOLD!

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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.

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Swanky Kitty Introductions

Introductions are due….

It all began one rainy night in October of 2009.  I had recently seen a litter of adorable kittens and being a cat person at heart, decided I needed to adopt one.  I made my trip to the pet store, trying to figure out what to buy as I hadn’t shared living space with a cat since high school.  Well over a hundred dollars later, I needed to go pick up my bundle of fur and even more difficult, decide which one to pick!  I knew I wanted a female because I already bought a pink kitten collar.  So I traveled out to the country to pick out my illegitimate barn cat that I would inevitably turn into a pampered house cat.  There were two females in the litter and as I’m making the heart wrenching decision, of course the one that gave kisses and ultimately won my heart was also the trouble maker that was scratching furniture 10 seconds before.  I knew then, there would be a battle of wills in the near future.  That was adoption day.  I brought home an 8 week old tuxedo kitten, who remained nameless for the next two and a half weeks since I couldn’t decide on the perfect name.  I, in turn, decided on the most imperfect name, Tinkerbell.

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