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Not So Secret Tips on How to Make Your Kitten Love Their Litterbox

Did you know that litterbox problems are one of the main reasons cats are surrendered to shelters? And while in some cases inappropriate elimination has medical or stress-related causes, a lot of times an appropriate set-up can make your kitty love their litterbox instead of avoiding it. While your individual kitty’s preference may vary, here are some guidelines: Not all litterboxes are created equal When it comes to a litterbox selection, simple is better. An uncovered tray that is easy to get in and out is the way to go – avoid top entry boxes, boxes with sides so high a kitty needs to jump in, flaps and covers. After all, you wouldn’t want to have to go through obstacle course to get to the toilet, would you? Jo’s tip: If you have issues with litter tracking, place your box inside another, much larger one. Mess contained! Using a low-tracking litter, like Okocat Less Mess also helps! Size does matter Your kitty’s box should be 50% longer than their body (measured head to bum, excluding the tail) and twice as wide as their body shoulder to shoulder to make it comfortable for them to turn around. Jo’s tip: If you can’t find an appropriate size litterbox, get a large storage box instead and cut out an entry in one of the sides (remember, easy to get in and out!). Just be careful not to injure yourself! Multiply! Cats are like chips and it’s hard to have just one. If you live with multiple felines, you will need multiple litter boxes. The general rule is number of litter boxes = number of cats + 1. Place your boxes in various locations – two boxes side by side look just like one big one to a cat. Jo’s tip: If you just added a new member to your household and one of the cats suddenly starts eliminating outside the box, it can be a good indication that love is not necessarily in the air. Contact a cat behavior consultant or a veterinary behaviorist for help in integrating the kitties. Location, location, location Everyone likes privacy and a bit of quiet and peace when they’re using the bathroom and cats are not an exception. Place your litterbox in a spot that feels safe to your kitty. Avoid proximity of loud appliances, like washing machines or dryers that can start making noises unexpectedly and scare the cat. If you have a dog or a toddler, consider a location that is inaccessible to them. A baby gate with a pet door or a strap holding the door just ajar are just a couple of ideas how to limit their access. Jo’s tip: Make sure you have at least one box on every floor of your house, so your cat doesn’t have to run far to go to the toilet. This is especially important if they’re older or sick. What’s the scoop on litters? Clumping or not clumping? This can depend on your and your cat’s individual preference, just remember that the methods of scooping each type is different. When choosing your litter also consider how much dust it generates – clay and silica litters can be very dusty and even have impact on your cat’s health. Think like a cat – what would you like to be standing on? Soft, smaller particles, like ökocat Super Soft or ökocat Featherweight, feel better on cat’s paws. This is especially important if your kitty has sensitive paws (like all declawed cats do), is older or just a kitten. The other sense to remember is smell. Scented litters were created for humans to mask the smell, but they can be very aversive to cats, whose sense of smell is much better than ours. The better way to keep the litterbox from being smelly is to keep it clean. Jo’s tip: If you want to change the type of litter you’re using, make sure to make it gradual. Start by replacing ¼ of your litter with the new type, then make it ½ and ¾ at the subsequent full clean-ups before you go fully in with the new stuff. Cleaner is better My basic guideline when someone asks me how often they should clean the litterbox is scooping twice a day (I like to do it first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening), full litter change and clean up once a week and a new box once a year. This may be more often if your kitty is not feeling well or has a medical condition, and the box gets dirty faster than that. Avoid using any harsh cleaners, their smell may be too aversive for your cat. Hot water and soap are usually all that’s needed. Jo’s tip: Place a small trash bin with a tight lid or a Cat Genie bin next to a litterbox – it will make scooping the litter faster, easier, and less of a chore (win for you) and you will end up doing it more often (win for your kitty!). VERY IMPORTANT If you did your best to set up their bathroom the right way but your kitty is eliminating outside of the litterbox, do not punish them – take it as a sign that something is not right. Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can to eliminate any possible underlying medical causes. Your kitty should get a full medical check-up, including urinalysis, blood work and anything else your veterinarian deems necessary. If your cat receives a clean bill of health but still dislikes their box, reach out for help to a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (CCBC), who can identify the triggers and make a behavior modification plan tailored to you and your kitty. To find a CCBC, check this online directory: https://m.iaabc.org/consultant/ Guest Post by Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison, CCBC, CPDT-KA, a certified dog trainer and cat behavior consultant currently living in Houston, Texas. When she’s not helping pet owners from all over the country to rehabilitate their reactive dogs or solve litterbox problem cases, she has fun training her 17-year old kitten, Kicia, her Malaysian-born dog, Fuji, and her little flock of chickens. info@highfiveanimaltraining.com, www.highfiveanimaltraining.com  
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8 Ways to Spoil Your Cat

Did you know that August 8th is International Cat Day? As we look forward to celebrating cats across the world, we are thinking about how fun it is to spoil these sweet kitties. Here are 8 creative ways you can pamper your cat. 1. Create a comfy space for them. Offer your kitty lots of comfy sleeping places, such as a snuggly new cat bed, a kitty couch to lounge on or a window seat perch (so they have the purrfect place to people-watch). Your cat will love having multiple places around the house set up and dedicated to their napping habits.  2. Give them the gift of fresh water. A practical and great way to pamper your cat is with a pet drinking fountain, simply fill it up and your cat will get to enjoy the luxury of fresh flowing water. This is the perfect solution if you have multiple cats at home who always seem to be drinking water before you can fill it up, or even if you have one cat, but often are away during the day. 3. Indulge them with interactive toys. Make play time fun again, especially if you have an older cat, by getting an interactive toy. It keeps your cat entertained physically and gives them a mental workout as well. It will be so fun to watch them as they play and learn, no matter if they’re young or old! Two of our favorite interactive toys are the pop’n’play interactive cat toy and the Ralthy interactive cat toy! It is important to always monitor your cat as they play with interactive toys, and put them away when you are not present or not in use.  4. Pamper them with a “spa day”. Aren’t spa days just the best? You can pamper your feline friend by brushing their luscious locks and helping remove any loose fur to cut down on fur balls or matted hair. Plus, add in a little extra luxury by scratching them between their ears or even petting them all the way down to the tip of their tail (if they will allow it of course). 5. Treat them to a kitty garden. If you have a cat that gets the munchies on your house plants, then treating them to their own kitty garden is such a fun way to treat them. You can buy a cute cat planter plus seedlings and grow a mix of grasses like wheat, barely, oat and rye. This will not only be a cute addition to a window sill in the house, but also provides healthy greens full of good vitamins for your fur ball. 6. Make the switch to a natural litter. Treat your cat like a royalty by transitioning them to ökocat, a healthier, cleaner litter made from upcycled wood and paper remnants to create a planet-friendly, compostable cat litter. ökocat is a premium natural litter that clumps solid, is 99% dust free and stops odor before it starts without using any synthetic chemicals, toxic dyes, or artificial fragrances. Which means you can spoil them with a cleaner and healthier litter for your cat, your home and the planet. 7. Help them unwind with a little bit of catnip.  Catnip is a great way to relieve stress in cats, allowing your cat to be energetic at first, then enjoying a relaxing and happy state of mind. Cats simply love this special treat, you can give them just a little bit of catnip to snack on, or you can even buy special toys that have catnip in them. 8. Gift them with new toys. Buy a pack of fun and exciting new toys and you will revitalize and stimulate your cat. Not only will you be able to find a new way to connect and have fun with your cat, it helps your cat have a productive way to release their energy. As you look for new and fun ways to spoil your sweet kitty on International Cat Day, we hope that these suggestions are helpful and you can enjoy a wonderful day celebrating your feline friend.
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Don’t Throw It Out - How to Compost Natural Cat Litter and Bedding

Did you know that all of Healthy Pet’s products are 100% biodegradable and compostable? Not only are we committed to making sustainable products at Healthy Pet, but we also strive to produce minimal waste.  If you are a cat parent and use okocat natural litter, if you have a hamster and use carefresh small animal bedding, or own a dog that uses Puppy Go Potty paper litter, then you can sleep better at night knowing that you are creating a smaller carbon footprint for your furry friend. In the past when changing the litter box or cleaning out a small pet’s home, it has been common to simply toss the old litter or bedding into the trash. However, composting has recently become a great way to reduce household waste. How do I start a home compost? If you are interested in starting a home compost, it’s important to practice good composting standards for optimal aerobic decomposition. This means stirring, turning, watering, checking the temperature, and covering your compost every few days. Make sure there isn’t too much of one type of organic material in your compost pile. It does take some effort but it’s well worth it in the end. After a few months your compost will be ready to be used in your garden, and you can make it available to others needing compost. It will be fun to share how your pets helped contribute. If you have any questions or concerns regarding composting at home, we recommend checking your local ag regulations, reading more through the tips at EPA.gov and checking your state regulations. Can I compost poo?  It depends on what type of pet. You can compost the feces of any herbivore; bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and other small pets’ poo can all be composted along with the used wood or paper bedding like carefresh. Here are 3 basic steps on how to compost your herbivore’s poo: Place the droppings and used bedding on your compost heap, add straw and mix it in. Allow this to sit with other compostable items, turning the compost every so often as needed this allows for proper aerobic decomposition. Then place the “finished” compost on gardens once the compost has been sitting for at least six months. If you own an omnivore or carnivore (such as a cat or dog), we recommend removing the solid waste from the used litter and properly disposing with the use of a biodegradable bag. The feces of any omnivorous or carnivorous animals may contain harmful bacteria and should NOT come in contact with anything edible. After removing any solid waste, you can safely compost the rest of the litter and use it for ornamentals, flowers, shrubs or lawn after at least six months to a year. When composting litter you will want to make sure that is made from 100% plant-based material, such as okocat. You do NOT want to compost clay, sand-based or crystal litter, as they can actually damage your soil, especially a litter with synthetic toxins. Additionally, do not compost the waste of any animals who are ill, contagious, or taking medication, as these unwanted elements may wind up in your soil. A word of caution: pregnant women should avoid handling cat waste under any circumstances as it sometimes carries a virus that may lead to birth defects in a fetus. What if I don’t want to start a home compost, but don’t want to throw my excess litter or bedding into the garbage? If you are not interested in creating your own home compost bin or don’t have the available space, you may be able to use a yard waste bin or simply bring your compostable materials to local farms or a nearby community garden. Be sure to ask first if they will accept compostable materials with pet waste and what the requirements are. Some will take it if it is in a Biodegradable Products Institute certified compostable bag. BPI is a third-party organization that certified that every product being used will break down in its commercial composting facility. Most waste management companies have a commercial composting facility, especially if you live in a larger town or city. If you are struggling to locate one, we simply recommend googling “composting facilities near me”, give them a call and ask: If they provide a waste-management bin and the times they pick up compost If they do not pick up, when and how your compostable materials can be dropped off Any regulations of what should/should not be included in your compost materials The cost associated with working the yard-waste management Any additional benefits they provide (such as finished compost at a reduced price). So what are you waiting for? Start composting your used Healthy Pet products today!  
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3 Things We Learned from You About Working from Home with Your Cat

June 22nd is National Bring your Cat to Work Day, but with most of the nation working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions, we know that for many of you, every day has become  bring your cat to work day. We wanted to learn more about what you are doing to co-exist with your new feline coworkers, so we asked and you answered through comments on ökocat’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Here are the three main things we learned from you: 1. You are happy to let your cat crash your party. While working from home is not ideal, there are a few major perks, including hitting snooze a few extra times, skipping your morning commute, and especially enjoying time with your four-legged friends. Our new furry coworkers do require a little more attention than your typical office-mates though. It can be a bit distracting when your kitties are constantly finding new places to sleep, trying to distract you, and staring you down as you work. However, because you love them, you let them crash the party anyways.   In fact, Facebook user Lorri tells us, “Sometimes I work on the couch […] Bella wants to make sure I don't forget to pay attention to her. She will just lay on my papers, and how can I disturb her?” (via Facebook) Jennifer spoils her sweet cat Lily, “Lily loves my keyboard and my memory foam mouse pad. I had to get a new mouse pad and give her the memory foam one. ” (via Facebook) Michelle makes new exceptions for her cat Kara, “Since working from home, Kara has been quite needy and constantly wants attention, I decided to work outdoors to get some fresh air and even though she’s strictly an indoor cat, I let her hang out with me to get some sun!” (via Facebook) Kristin reminisced about working from home with her late cat named Josie, “My two current cats prefer to stay in my bed all day. But my sweet Josie girl always sat on my fabric when I had orders from customers. Whenever I was working she had to be in the middle of it.” (via Facebook) 2. You keep the treats and toys handy. As you and your kitty settle into a routine of what it looks like to work from home, it’s important to establish healthy boundaries to make sure your cat gets the attention they need, while still staying productive yourself. Convincing your cat that they don’t always need constant attention when they are convinced they deserve it can be tricky. However, a great way to help both of you stay sane is by providing lots of treats, toys and other distractions to keep your four-legged friend entertained while allowing you to stay focused. Instagram user Jelli tells us that her cat loves to join in on Zoom calls and check out the computer, so she just “sets up his own monitor so he can watch YouTube, along with a bed so he can sleep near me while I work.” (via Instagram) Elizabeth’s cats, Sobics and Littleman, each have different requirements, but she is more than happy to make sure they both get exactly what they need so she can get her work done. “Sobics requires one cat treat to get off my mouse. I now keep treats in my desk drawer. And for Littleman, I keep toys around so when he gets in the window and squawks loudly at the birds on the power lines, I can easily get his attention and get him OUT OF MY OFFICE.” (via Facebook) Jennifer advised that in addition to having appropriate cat distractions available, it’s important to “keep desk drawers closed lest your feline office mate steal all the pens, paper clips, etc.” (via Instagram) 3. You set up a separate place from them to sleep. Maybe your cat isn’t attention hungry, but prefers a nice long snooze on your keyboard, your mouse, your chair or any other inconvenient location. Simply set up a cat-friendly place for your sweet kitty to be nearby, but not in the way of your workplace. Dianne told us, “My coworkers (cats) love my keyboard, so instead of having them occupying it, I put a box near my set up to distract them.” (via Facebook) Elizabeth made the decision to, “put a hammock in the office to entice Sir Poogie Woogie of the Pudding Bears to stop walking & sitting on the keyboard.” (via Facebook) Working from home means needing to keep the litter box clean. Working from home also means it’s even more of a necessity to keep the litter box clean and free of odors. No one wants to deal with litter box smells in their home while working. The best way to assure no ammonia odor and easy, fast cleanup is by using ökocat® natural wood litter. Because ökocat is a healthier, cleaner litter with no artificial fragrances or synthetic chemicals, you and your cat don’t have to breathe in dirty, heavily scented clay litter or obnoxious odors. ökocat is 99% dust free making it the better choice for you and your cat as you spend more time at home together. Make the switch to a healthier clean™ and choose ökocat. - - - - - - From spoiling your kitty with treats to providing the perfect spot for them to sleep, we know how much you love your fur baby, so we hope you enjoy a little extra time spent with them on National Bring Your Cat to Work Day!  
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ökocat — Changing the World One Litter Box at a Time

We recently ran a giveaway in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to help by sending 20 people in need of okocat litter a coupon for a free box of ökocat. However, due to the high amount of responses, we were able to send out 100 coupons for a free box of ökocat across the US and Canada! Here are just a few of the many cat parents that received a free box of litter, our hearts were warmed by their stories and what they are doing to care for and love on their kitties.  “I have 2 babies. One is 4 and he’s blind since birth and one is 8 months and super active. They’re amazing together and are so happy since I have been laid off and the kids home from school. We get to spend so much more time with them! They are my everything and as important my own children. It’s been harder to afford things since losing my job, a free box for my babies would be amazing!” — Stacy, New York “I have worked with rescue for 16+ years. Recently had some health issues and had to stop volunteering at the shelter. I recently lost my 16-year-old beloved kitty from cancer. Just 7 months prior I lost my 12-year-old kitty also from cancer. Both were rescue cats. I have just adopted two young kitties who were born into a feral family. They are doing pretty good still have their jumpy isues. They are sweet and getting better every day. I have attached a picture of my orange girl Charlie and my multi-color long hair kitty Dorie.” — Sandy, Michigan “This is Grace. She was born to a feral Momma cat in my uncle’s backyard. She was one of three in the litter. She saved me. I had recently lost my fur baby who was over 16 years old. (Sadie) She was a special needs kitty and I was heart-broken without her. When I found Grace she was so small she could fit in the palm of my hand. Now she’s 4 years old and loves her life. I’ve used ökocat litter for many years and wouldn’t settle for anything less for my fur babies.” — Lisa, New Jersey “We run a kitty rescue shelter. We have taken in abused, orphaned, abandoned and feral kitties, along with some kitties from a high-kill shelter that were deemed by them as "unadoptable". We give them safety, love, full bellies and warm snuggles. We currently have 19 in our care, and all are loved and snuggled all day. Our business is based at home, but since it is art, our sales are slow and our gallery is closed. Keeping our supply of litter is very important.” — Joy, Washington “During this time of stay at home orders, in addition to my own three cats, I have taken to fostering a lovely momma cat and her four babies, and tomorrow two additional, bottle fed, kittens will be delivered to me for care and fostering.” — Dorothy, Virginia We are dedicated to helping cats in need, that's why we launched out okocause4paws program in 2018 which has donated over 10,000 pounds of ökocat natural litter to chosen shelters in eco-friendly cities across the United States, as voted on by our ökofans.Learn more about okocause4paws today!
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