Pet Care & Learn
Pet Care & Learn
Filters & Contacts

Give Your Cat the Purrfect Green Holiday: 10 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas

Looking for eco-friendly holiday gifts for your cat? This list has 10 natural, biodegradable products to delight your furry friend this season, like catnip toys and scratching posts.
Read More

Ultimate Guide To Kitten Care: Nutrition, Health, and Hygiene

One has to have a heart of stone not to fall in love with a kitten. My first cat came into my life when I was seven years old. Minky was a tri-colored farm cat. We fed our cats milk, which they shared with a nocturnal hedgehog family that lived in our shoe closet. How we look after young kittens and adult cats has changed drastically. We’ve learned so much about kitten nutrition, good hygiene, and health. Kittens provide a lifetime of companionship and contribute to our well-being. Here’s what you should know if you decide to make a kitten part of the family. Crucial Factors to Consider Before Bringing a Kitten Home Kittens are easier than puppies. True. However, that doesn’t mean that choosing a kitten is easy sailing. Kittens need the following: Balanced nutrition (solid food, canned or wet meat protein kitten food) Feed-free feeding or a controlled feeding style; it works for most kittens Safe drinking water Veterinarian access to checkups and vaccination Sanitation access to litter Love and affection Undivided attention Basic understanding of feline needs In return, you’ll get to watch them grow rapidly into loving, playful cats.   Ultimate Guide to Kitten Care Here are a few tips to get you going: Make your home kitten friendly Cats and kittens tend to be curious and playful. Therefore, ordinary household objects can be harmful. Remove and store these items: Fragile items that your new kitten might knock over Remove and safely secure household chemicals, alcohol, perfumes Store delicate fabrics to prevent clawing Read up on house plants as some are poisonous Put up barriers to prevent escaping Have a cat bed Prepare a sanitation station litter box Have suitable clean water and feeding bowls Bring kitten necessities Kittens and cats have basic needs. You can save on toys by providing safe household items to play with, like cardboard boxes, paper rolls, and strings to entertain a kitten. But you can’t scrimp on proper nutrition and veterinarian health care facilities. These are the must-haves: Age-appropriate food fit for a cat or kitten's diet that is low on plant-based sources Access to clean drinking water A litter box or device A cat bed (though the kitten will more than likely make do with a sunny spot or your lap) Some toys Caring for a kitten (we hope you opted for one from an animal shelter) takes time. Luckily, there is a bunch of new tech gadgets for pet owners that provide convenience, peace of mind, and enhanced care for pets. According to World Animal Foundation, an automated litter box is one such device that offers several benefits for both cats and their owners. It saves time and effort by automatically scooping and disposing of waste, ensuring a clean litter box environment. Find a vet Being a pet owner means having a good rapport with veterinarians and their staff. A vet should make you and your feline comfortable and answer your questions and concerns. A vet not only provides basic health care like: Routine physical health checks Vaccinations Microchipping Flea and tick remedies Grooming advice Veterinarians are also an excellent resource to help you decide on a diet for your kitten and tips on understanding the complicated nuances of feline parenting. Start following a proper hygiene routine When your kitten enters your home, introduce them to the litter box. Cats are super easy to train, but you must provide the resources. Kittens take quickly to automated litter boxes, and it’s the perfect time to introduce them. Automated litter devices make your life easier. Here are some litter options: Clumping and non-clumping Wood Paper Clay Pine Wheat Grass Corn Walnut shell Hygiene isn’t just about litter. It’s also about grooming, getting the kitten used to your touch, and handling its ears, toes, nails, and all parts of its body. Caressing your cat is therapeutic for both of you. Don’t overlook the socialization thing Cats get pigeonholed as solitary creatures. They need socialization and contact with others at different stages of their life. You can introduce a kitten to your neighbors, friends, and the family dog. When you bring a kitten into a pet family, the introduction should be slow. Have a plan. Train your Kitten Cats are trainable despite what dog people say. A cat learns its name, and I suggest sticking to a simple two-syllable name. Repeat the name but don’t overuse it. Basic obedience training Cats respond well to methods like clicker training, positive reinforcement, and auditory markers to initiate your cat to words like ‘good cat,’ ‘yes or no,’ and other positive commands followed with affection. Set these conditions for training: The cat is awake and engaged Limit training to 1 to 5 minutes only Reward with treats or praise Repeat but don’t overwhelm the cat Train before supper but never withhold food Teach one skill Litter training Many pet parents can appreciate how easy it is to litter train a kitten. Provide a safe, accessible, yet private place for the litter box or automatic device that the kitten can access freely. Keep it away from noisy or high-traffic areas. Once you introduce a kitten to the area and box, they’ll remember. Tip: Keep the litter box tidy. It’s unhygienic for the entire family.   Mental Stimulation Needs and Exercise Cats are good at entertaining themselves with their tail. But here is what you can do to make life fun for your furry friend. Engage your kitty in puzzle games Puzzle games are a beneficial activity for cats. It provides mental and physical stimulation and echoes a feline’s natural hunting and stalking instinct. Further, it’s a great way to exercise a cat. Cat obesity is rising and leads to many health and joint issues. Puzzles make them work for their food. Play hide-and-seek Cats are natural game players. Hide and seek comes naturally to them, and don’t be surprised if they lurk behind furniture to pounce on you and yell 'Surprise!' Engaging cats and kittens in hide-and-seek can work both ways: they hide and you seek, or you hide and they seek. You can get their attention by calling their name or rattling their favorite toy or snack. Daily walk and exercise Harnessing and walking cats has become a popular activity. Training a kitten to a harness is easier than asking a senior cat. A senior cat will likely convey their discontent through body language. Train a kitten to walk in a harness by: Starting at a young age Getting a proper and secure harness that is escape proof Building a routine Making it fun Health Checkups This is the most expensive part of cat ownership. Though most cats are healthy and only require essential medical attention, there are a few musts. Vaccinations Protect your cat from diseases by keeping their vaccinations current, even if they're house cats. Animal healthcare professionals define vaccines as core and lifestyle vaccines. Core vaccines and lifestyle vaccines are routinely administered starting at 6 to 8 weeks. Some shots are also required by law. FVRCP Rabies FeLV Spaying/neutering Sadly, our shelters are full of loving cats. In the US alone, we have roughly 58.3 million pet cats and 30 to 80 million feral cats. Repeat this worldwide. Please spay and neuter your cat and consider rescuing it from your local shelter. Spaying and neutering not only protect from overpopulation but also promotes animal health. Tip: A spayed and neutered cat will not spray your bedding or soft furnishings with urine. No amount of cleaning or disinfecting will get rid of this odor completely. Grooming Needs Cats are famous for grooming themselves and have flexible and compression ribcages to reach tough spots. Brushing Helping your cat by brushing its fur promotes bonding and a healthy, shiny coat and removes excess fur. Start brushing your kitten to get used to the habit. They may make a game of capturing the brush. Bathing Good luck! Leave bathing cats to professionals. Cats don’t need to be bathed; they can swim but are not fussed about getting wet. Exceptions, of course, exist, and cats like to make liars out of us. Oral and dental care A healthy diet with crunchy food to help clean teeth is a good start, but cats can also develop tartar and gum disease. We recommend that kittens get used to having their teeth brushed; after all, all the cleaning they do with their cat tongues invites bacteria. Ask your vet how to establish a routine. Conclusion Nutrition, health, and hygiene are the foundation of kitten and cat parenthood. When you bring a kitten home, you promise to commit to its lifetime with love, patience, and ongoing care. Don’t forget to take advantage of the hundreds of valuable tips from vetted organizations.    
Read More

Natural Wood Cat Litter vs Clay & Silica: What's the Difference and Why Make the Switch Today

These days there are SO many choices when it comes to cat litter. We've come a long way from only having a few non-clumping, inexpensive clay litters to choose from. Now there is everything from crystal litter that changes colors, to all kinds of clumping clay or wood litter and several different food-based litters like corn, wheat, tofu, tea, walnut....and the list goes on. Plus, the price range can vary greatly and can really add to the monthly pet budget.  At the end of the day, it all comes down to using a litter that your cat likes, doesn't stink up the entire house, easy to scoop and clean, and also good for the environment.  Wondering how to decide? No one wants to waste time and money trying a bunch of different litters that don't work. Let's start by explaining the differences and why wood natural litter is the best choice for today's cat parents.  Wood works naturally without harmful chemicals or added perfumes or scents. Have you ever seen how a piece of wood will swell up when water is allowed to stay on it? If you have ever had a toilet leak or other leak where a wood floor is, you have probably experienced this.  Wood fiber also naturally prevents enzymes from boding with liquid and waste to stop the creation of ammonia & odor. It is a nice, natural "wood" scent that is pleasant for you and your cat. Though wood litter is very effective at neutralizing the odors of urine and ammonia, it isn’t so great at managing the smell of feces. To keep your wood litter box smelling good, it’s best to scoop solids as soon as possible and dispose in a biodegradable bag.  Clay or silica also absorb liquid but usually have added chemicals and perfumes. Clay litters contain bentonites which can be very dusty and cause respiratory issues. Keep in mind, a cat’s sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than that of a human. Your cat not only breathes it in when using the litter box, but also may injest it when cleaning their paws and you have to breathe when filling or cleaning the box.    okocat wood litters are precisely made and cut to absorb liquid on contact, naturally, to form solid clumps for easy scooping and cleaning with very little airborne dust. A plant-based ingredient is added to make it clump.   Wood litter is made from sustainable materials and is 100% biodegradable.  Clay litter still accounts for more than five billion pounds of strip-mined clay annually. Strip mining, a type of surface mining, involves removing massive layers of soil and rock to expose the minerals underneath. Through this destructive process, wildlife habitats are ruined and nearby waterways are polluted. Because it’s not biodegradable, it clogs up landfills, a situation that causes much environmental concern.   As the janitor of your cat’s litter box, hygiene and odor control are key concerns. Natural wood and paper materials are very absorbent and rely on natural plant fibers to trap odors so they can't escape and evade the home.   Clumping Wood litter lasts longer so you spend less and clean less.  A high quality wood clumping cat litter with great odor control is imperative to making it last longer. The clumps allow for easy daily scooping to remove only the soiled litter and leave the rest. Good odor control helps to keep the space smelling fresh without needing to completely throw out all the litter and replace it with all new litter.  ökocat natural wood clumping litter works so well, you won't have to change the entire litter box every week, saving time and money. It really is a litter that lasts longer due to its superior all natural absorption capabilities and odor control. With regular scooping, the base litter can last up to 7 weeks!  To make it last even longer, make sure you are using the right scoop so as not to waste any good litter.           
Read More

How can you tell if your cat loves you - 8 Ways your cat says, 'I Love You'

You love your cat to the fullest but do you ever wonder if she really loves you back? Unlike dogs who mostly wear their love on their face at all times and show it by giving you sloppy kisses, wagging their tails and snuggling, cats can be a little standoffish. They are more subtle in showing their love and of course, only when THEY want to. It's really all about building trust and understanding their love language as well as their boundaries.  A study by neuroscientist Dr. Paul J. Zak, Ph.D., for a BBC2 documentary, “Cats v Dogs,” showed that cats’ oxytocin levels (the hug, cuddle, bonding, trust hormone released in a mother bonding with an infant) increased by 12 percent after 10 minutes of playtime with their pet parents. Watching their body language is very important when it comes to understanding how much your cat loves you or another person.    8 Signs Your Cat Loves You 1. Kneading with their front paws This is something they usually start doing when they are a kitten and nursing to stimulate milk flow. Kneading is also a way for cats to activate the sweat glands in their paws and mark you as their own.  2. Purring One of the most obvious signs your cat loves you is purring. It's also a sign of happiness and contentment. Some cats definitely have louder "motors" than others, but we all associate that familiar sound with love. “Cats show their love by rubbing against you, purring when petted and of course curling up next to you,” says Dr. Ruth MacPete, DVM, The Pet Vet. 3. Head butts or "bunting" Cat bunting is usually perceived as a sign of affection. However, you may notice they also head butt inanimate objects around you too, including an okocat litter box! This is mainly to rub their scent onto you and to create a colony scent that only cats would be able to detect. But cats don’t just do this to just anyone and they certainly have to think highly of you to bunt to show their love.  4. A slow blink, blink Unlike some animals where it means aggression, cats will use direct eye contact with their human to show affection and trust. Half-closed eyes and or a slow blink is known as a "cat kiss" and shows they are very relaxed and feeling adoration towards you. Try doing it back!  5. Bringing you "presents" All of us cat parents have probably experienced this a time or two, especially if your cat goes outdoors. A lovely "gift" left on the doorstep, a mouse or bird that hopefully does not end up in the house too. I once had to capture a bat that our tuxedo cat had "gifted" us. Try to remember, this is a sign of love and your cat just wants to reward you.  6. Following you...everywhere & snuggling Can you not even go to the bathroom without your cat wanting in? Paws under the door? Or when you come home, she walks between your legs, rubbing, meowing and purring because she is so happy to see you. These are all signs of love and that they miss you when you are gone, or even when they can't see you.    7. Belly up Dogs do this all the time but for cats it's an ultimate sign of love and trust. Just make sure they are relaxed before you start petting that belly, because some cats will roll on their back to get their claws ready for attack!  8. Love licks or bites Who doesn't love a kitty kiss? Licking is similar to the grooming they would perform on their feline friends and allows for marking of each other. Grooming builds a bond between cat and human. Sometimes they will even try to lick or chew your hair. When a cat gifts you with a gentle nibble–or love bite–it's still considered a playful sign of love. But when the nibbling crosses into painful territory or gets too aggressive, it's no longer a love bite! It's super important to pay close attention to your cat's mood and back off if you see signs that they want to be left alone.  “The purr is very important. It’s the purr that does it every time. It’s the purr that makes up for the Things Under the Bed, the occasional pungency, the 4 a.m. yowl. Other creatures went in for big teeth, long legs or over-active brains, while cats just settled for a noise that tells the world they’re feeling happy.” ― Terry Pratchett          
Read More

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Cat Litter Last Longer and SAVE Money

Let's face it, most everything is more expensive these days and that includes cat litter. With the rising cost of labor, packaging and shipping, manufacturers have had to raise prices to help offset these as much as possible.  We are here to help you SAVE on your cat litter budget! Litter is not something you can do without and not something you want to buy the cheapest kind you can find. We've all been to "that" house - the one that just smells awful the moment you walk in the door.  Here are 5 easy ways to use less and spend less on cat litter. Use a high quality, natural clumping cat litter A high quality clumping cat litter with great odor control is imperative to making it last longer. The clumps allow for easy daily scooping to remove only the soiled litter and leave the rest. Good odor control helps to keep the space smelling fresh without needing to completely throw out all the litter and replace it with all new litter.  ökocat natural wood clumping litter works so well, you won't have to change the entire litter box every week, saving time and money. It really is a litter that lasts longer due to its superior all natural absorption capabilities and odor control. With regular scooping, the base litter can last up to 7 weeks!   Read Expert Review Simply add new litter as needed after you scoop, keeping about 2-3” in the tray at all times. Plus when cleaning the litter box, remember that ökocat is both biodegradable and compostable – making it better for the planet. One thing to keep in mind is that cats generally don’t like any change, so if you’re switching to a new litter like ökocat, you should start by transitioning slowly. Learn more >>> Get the right slotted scoop for less waste It's important to use a slotted scoop that is best suited for the texture of the litter. No need to get an expensive scoop, just make sure the slots are large enough especially if you are using a pellet litter like ökocat less mess.  You can find a large-slotted pellet scoop on many online sites. It is especially helpful when the slots in the scoop are located at back, this allows the unused litter can easily fall back into the litter box.  If you have a plastic scoop and need larger holes, just use a wire snipper or sharp scissors to carefully cut out pieces.  Recommendations: While we recommend any scoop with large slots, the top three scoops that are compatible with all varieties of ökocat litter are the Litter-Lifter Pellet Scoop, and BasicForm Cat Litter Scoop or modify a plastic one, watch how >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIQBjH9Qt0g.   Place a wide mat or rug under the litter box All cat litter tracks to some extent which means good litter gets outside the litter box. A litter mat will help catch the litter and then easily shake it back into the box or just use a broom and dust pan.  Even an old rug or towel works great as well. No need to purchase a special one.  Learn more about how to prevent tracking >>> Fill the box and scoop often Don't get skimpy when filling the litter box. We recommend 2-3 inches to provide enough depth for the clumps to form and rise to the top, leaving the bottom clean, no scraping or dumping needed. Don't fill it up too much though if your cat is a digger or a kicker or takes half the litter with them out of the box. A high-sided litter box works great to prevent that.  It's best to scoop at a minimum of once per day and remove any feces as soon as possible. This helps to keep the litter smelling fresh and therefore lasting longer.    Look for discounts and coupons We offer a printable coupon on our website here to print out each week if needed. Or if you order online, signing up for autoship can save you 5% or more on each order. Most retailers run different promotions throughout the year such as Buy One Get One 50% OFF which is the perfect time to stock up and SAVE.  Some small pet stores participate in the Astro Loyalty Rewards program for many pet products. ökocat  as a Buy 6 Get 1 FREE! Check with your local independent pet retailer to see if they have the Astro program.          We hope these quick and easy tips help you save money on cat litter. Use less, spend less, clean less with ökocat natural litter today!  
Read More

Natural Wood Cat Litter vs Clay & Silica: What's the Difference and Why Make the Switch Today

Read More

Top Reasons to Adopt a Bunny and What You Need to Know

Read More