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Kitten Care 101: Bringing Home your New Kitten

So you’ve decided the time is right to welcome in a new furry member of the family? Who doesn’t want a kitten – they are a lot of fun and there is definitely no shortage on cuteness, but they are a big responsibility as well. Some things you’ll want to consider before adopting your net cat; would a mature cat be better suited to your lifestyle or do you have the time and energy needed to raise a kitten? Should you adopt more than one cat to offer them some companionship? Are you willing to commit to being a pet parent for the full length of a cats life? The average lifespan for an indoor cat is around 15 years! So before you decide between adopting a kitten or a more mature cat – make sure you are prepared for the commitment that comes with raising a kitten. So what do you need to know to make sure you start off on the right paw with your new kitten? Follow along and we will make sure you are set up for success! Before Adoption Before you bring home your new kitten, there are some things you will want to get squared away to ensure a smooth transition into your home and family! Find a vet One of the most important steps to take first is to get set up with a good veterinarian. It is a really good idea to take your new kitten in for an exam right away. They will be able to check your cat for any health concerns and answer any lingering questions you may have on providing your kitten with the very best care – like selecting the most nutritional food or litter training tips. Supplies Before you bring home your new kitten, you will want to make sure you are well stocked on everything your new friend will need. Cat food: do your research or consult your vet to select the perfect food for your kitten Cat box & litter: ökocat wood clumping cat litter has you covered with 4 different varieties to meet your needs as a new kitten parent. ökocat super soft is a great litter to start with for new kittens and their tender paws ökocat dust free for kitties with sensitive noses or allergies Cat carrier: essential item for safe travel and trips to the vet Scratching post: avoid your cat tearing up your furniture by offering them a scratching post or cat tree Toys: toys provide your cat with a great way to get out their kitten energy, form bonds with you, and redirect their uses to play by scratching you or your furniture Food & water bowls Collar with bell and ID tags: especially important if you plan to let your cat outside, the bell will help warn away any birds in your yard Grooming supplies: a brush and nail clippers are essential tools to keep your cat’s fur unmated and their claws trimmed to avoid nasty scratches Ready your home One last thing to check of the “To Do List” before you bring your kitten home, is to make sure your space it ready for them! Kittens are wild little creatures. They are curious, feisty, and full of energy and will be sure to keep you on your feet. So take stock of your home, and put away breakables and anything that looks like an accident waiting to happen. Those wiley cats love to munch on those houseplants, but there are many that can be toxic to cats. Luckily ASPCA has created a list of toxic houseplants to help you keep your fur friends safe.   Welcome Home It is finally time to welcome your new kitten into their forever home! It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of having a new pet, but remember to go slow. Your kitten will need to time to adjust and feel safe and comfortable in their new home. The best way to help them with this transition is to set up a designated space for them to get acclimated to before you let them roam freely. This area should be away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house and full of any essentials they will need to be comfortable – food and water, a comfy bed, and a litter box. Start by placing their carrier in the room, leaving the door open for them to leave when they feel ready. Patience will be the golden rule here. Give your new friend the time and space they need to get used to their surroundings and their new family – you will all be cuddling and playing together in no time!
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7 Top Reasons Why Cats Make Great Pets

Yes, cats do have a mind of their own but they can also be very fun and playful and are generally easier to care for than dogs or other pets.  1. Cats Are Wonderful Companions   Cats can be very independent but they also like to just hang out or sit on your lap and purr.  There is nothing better than a cat purring on your lap after a long day. Usually they are as affectionate and loving as dogs, as long as it's on their terms, and they don't require a walk every day. They are soft and fit perfectly in your lap.  2. Cats Are Great for Apartments Apartments are more likely to allow cats than dogs. They require less space and are generally fine with living in a smaller home without having to go outside.  Because cats use the litter box and don’t need to be taken outside to use the bathroom or to exercise, it is easy to keep a cat in upper-level apartments or even high-rises.  3. Cats Are Fairly Low-Maintenance Kitties are mostly self-sufficient since they don’t need to be taken outside multiple times a day for bathroom and exercise walks. This also means less dirty paw prints and cleaning. Plus, there's no need to spend a lot of time on training after they learn to use the litter box.  Though cats still need love and attention just like dogs, they don’t require quite as much interaction as dogs. A cat is content to curl up next to you while you work, while a dog may demand your undivided attention. Cats can also be left home by themselves for longer periods of time, even overnight, and are usually less likely to get into trouble while you are gone. Just make sure they aren't using your favorite sofa or chair as a scratching post! 4. Most Cats Do Not Need Regular Bathing or Grooming Because cats spend so much of their time grooming themselves, so you rarely need to bathe them. They don't roll around in stinky things or wade through mud puddles. Cats really do not like to be bathed and there is no need to take them to a groomer, unless they are a long hair cat, saving a lot of money.  5. Cats Can Do Their Business Inside Cats don’t need to be taken outside in the middle of the night to do their business. Cleaning a litterbox is not fun but it is still easier and than having to go outside at night or in pouring down rain and having to carry around little baggies to pick up waste. Using an easy to clean litter like okocat, makes cleaning the litterbox less of a chore, plus it lasts longer too.  Cats are small enough that they can get plenty of exercise indoors, especially if you have plenty of vertical spaces for your feline friend to climb.  5. Cats Are Easy to Litter Box Train Most kittens already know how to use the litter box as soon as you bring them home. Even cats that were born stray or feral instinctively know to bury their waste after going to the bathroom. Usually all you have to do is show her where the litter box is and show her how to dig in the (clean) litter using your own hand.  6. Cats Can Be Left Alone  Because cats don’t need to be taken outside to do their business every few hours, they can be left home alone all day. Cats are also less prone to separation anxiety, and can tolerate being home for longer periods of time without their human. Cats can even be left home alone for a couple days as long as leave enough food and water and have enough litter boxes. 7. Their Food is Cheaper Cats generally eat much less than dogs, especially larger dog breed and normally do not require special diets or treats or bones.  
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Not So Secret Tips on How to Make Your Kitten Love Their Litter Box

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

All cats deserved to be loved and spoiled. Here are 8 creative ways you can pamper your cat anytime of the year.  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 like plant-based okocat. 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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