Wednesday, October 7, 2009

KMR warning update

Everyone who fosters needs to check the smell of their KMR powder! If it does NOT smell like milk, call PetAg (the company that makes it) at 800-323-0877 and tell them. They will send out a replacement in liquid form.

The rancid KMR powder is due to excessive heat while shipping! It is NOT a manufacturing issue or anything related to PetAg. It is the fault of the shipping companies letting the product sit in enclosed trailers in the summer heat.

There is no way to tell which packages will be rancid before they are opened. It is not by lot number or by expiration date. It is by when and how they were shipped.

PetAg is being very nice about this issue. I called about our can, and the lady was extremely polite and kind. She is sending liquid replacement that can be stored for up to a year and a half, and sending a call label so the rancid powder can be sent back free of charge.

They are going to reformulate KMR powder so that it stands up better to extreme heat and doesn't separate as much. The liquid wasn't affected at all.

The lady said that some of the symptoms the tiny tuxies had (diarrhea, listlessness) could have been caused by the powder, but since they didn't have the vomiting usually associated with food poisoning that it wasn't the whole story.

Please, please, PLEASE pass this on to individuals and organizations who foster!

Warning about KMR

If you bottle-feed kittens, or know someone who does, check the smell of the KMR powder. Some shipments have been exposed to heat after they left the plant and smell "off". If it does NOT smell faintly like milk, don't feed it. Information on the PetAg website to report it.

I checked the can that I fed to the tiny tuxies, and it smells really bad. I'm going to report it in the morning. I *hope* it didn't cause their deaths! :*(

The KMR wasn't the whole cause of the tiny tuxies' death. There's a new post on this blog with the information I got when I called the company.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Designer Poop Bags at PetSmart

Do you use poop bags for scooping the litter box? There are new designs available exclusively at PetSmart. 120 bags, half printed with a black paw pattern on pink and half with a blue heart pattern on black, for $11.99

Available in-store and online.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Free Fancy Feast heart dish

If you get Fancy Feast for your cats, be sure to stock up now to get a free pink heart dish! The canned food variety packs now have a limited-time dish included in the package. Look for them at your local Petco, PetSmart, and Wal-Mart stores, among others.

Save your UPC symbols for a mail-in clear dish offer as well.

Get this deal in stores only.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

13 ways to love your litter bin

I incorporated the Thursday thirteen theme into a post for the 30 hubs in 30 days challenge, which ends today. I did a parody of Paul Simon's 50 ways to leave your lover. It's 13 ways to love your litter bin, about how to reuse those plastic bins that the litter comes in. If you have any other ideas for them, you can tell me in the comments.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Make a cat bed from an old end table

Our friends over at Footloose & Fancy Free's Cat-A-Blog have a great post today! They have a link and pictures detailing how to make a fancy princess (or prince) cat bed from an endtable.

Click here to read about it.

Nutro dog and cat foods being recalled

Nutro has issued a voluntary recall of some of the varieties of their Natural Choice and Max foods. If your dog or cat eats a Nutro food, please read this article!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The scoop on our new litter choice

After a bout of bad asthma, I decided to rethink using clay litter. Even though many brands of regular clay litter, both clumping and non-clumping, are supposed to be "virtually dust-free", they still have dust that can aggravate allergies and can cause cancer over time in both humans and pets. Think black lung disease.

Any cat litter can cause lung problems over time, but I seem to be especially sensitive to the dust from the clay litter. Other cat people had been posting about the World's Best Cat Litter (corn-based) and Yesterday's News (paper-based), so my husband and I looked at the alternatives at the store. We decided against the paper-based brands, because we didn't want our cats to generalize and use random sheets of paper as their litterbox. Corn was the other choice on the shelves at Wal-Mart, where we were already shopping, and we didn't want to make a second stop at the pet store. There are litters made from other materials as well, such as wood shavings (Feline Pine).

We came home with one small container of Tidy Cat and one 10-pound bag of Pro-Pet Fresh Results corn litter. Fresh Results has a strong pine smell. I wanted to get World's Best, but Wal-Mart didn't carry it and the box needed to be changed asap. With five indoor cats, it's definitely a priority. I dumped out the contents of the litter box, and poured the Fresh Results in after letting interested noses sniff it. No one backed away. Quite the opposite, in fact. In they went, two using it at the same time. Even though they badly needed it, they would not have used the new litter if they disapproved.

The next test was the stink test. About 5 minutes after I put the new litter in, Carbon left a big poop, covering it up nicely. His can stink up the house faster than any other cats', even when quickly buried. The smell dissipated in two minutes, except right over the box. A bit of the litter clung to Carbon's paws because of his long fur, but he shook it off as soon as he jumped out. We won't worry if he licks some of it, though, because it's plant-based.

The third test was the scoop test. I was impressed with the clumping quality, even when they had just used it. The clumps were solid and small. The claim on the bag says that Fresh Results will hold more liquid than the clay litter, and I believe it now.

All in all, I'm very impressed with our new choice, and I believe it will be around the same price as the clay kind. A 10-pound bag of the Fresh Results was $8, and the equivalent amount (based on the bag's claims) of clay litter is between $6 - $10 depending on brands and type.

If you want to try corn-based litter, check the store you normally buy litter at to see if they carry it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Great prices this week at Petco

If you shop at Petco and don't get their e-mail flyer, here's this week's highlights:

  • Buy Wellness dry food and get 3 cans of the wet food free
  • Fancy Feast is 30 cans for $15
  • Cat furniture is 15% off
  • Buy a gallon of Nature's Miracle and get a spray bottle size free

Most of these deals are in-store only. Click here to find a Petco near you.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Reclaimed office furniture

Jake, Jonah, and Fionna have a new kitty cubby that they wrote about today! If you go to their blog, you can see Jake happy as can be in it. It looks like a paper-sorter or a printer cubby, and their mom found it at a going-out-of-business sale.

She also found some carpet samples, and isn't quite sure yet what to do with them. I offered a couple suggestions, but if you have any others feel free to comment on her original post (and here as well so we can all read them). I'm sure with all her design expertise she will think of something fun!

My suggestions for carpet squares/samples:

  1. Attach one or more to the wall with carpet tacks as a small scratching post. Be sure to use carpet tacks and attach to the studs, or else it won't work. There is a glue you can use, but then you can't remove it later.
  2. Scatter throughout the house or in strategic areas for nap places. This especially works for hardwood floors or linoleum, but works even for carpet because the smell and texture is different from the normal flooring so it attracts cats.
Moderncat also had a couple ideas back in February: gluing striped carpet squares on a vet receptionist desk for a stylish scratching post and finishing a cozy nook on a catio. Click here to see the directions and results for both projects.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Use Frontline or Advantage? Check the packaging!

Thanks to Hurricane Pet Rescue for telling the Cat Blogosphere about this! The EPA has a warning to check packaging for Frontline and Advantage. Some of the packages may be incorrectly labeled because they are imported from other countries, and therefore are illegal in the US. They might also be labeled for the wrong species.

This is not a new problem. According to the EPA website, it has been ongoing since at least last August, but it is important to remind people every once in a while so that we don't let any slip by and accidentally poison our pets.

Click here for the EPA's guidelines on what to look for.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Roundup of Deals

If you live in Chicago, check out this post on "The Cat's Meow" for low-cost vet services and free pet food.

For coupon deals and other savings, click here for the "Pet Coupon$ & Deal$" site. You can search the cat section for specific categories, or browse all the current deals. The site is run by Anders, aka "Snuzzy", from Catster/Dogster. There is even a search for free stuff, including an engraved metal tag from the Humane Society of Canada that has a pet recovery system.

I am adding the "Pet Coupon$ & Deal$" site to my blogroll so the latest deal there will always be featured in the sidebar here. Be sure to check it out when you visit.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nutro is being investigated

The FDA is investigating Nutro, and it could result in criminal or civil charges. Nutro makes Natural Choice, Max Cat, Ultra, Special Kitty, and Complete Care. They also make Greenies, but the investigation is only about the food so far. Dogs and cats have been getting sick and even dying after eating Nutro.

There is no recall yet, but it is advisable to switch your pet to a different food.

See this article for more information.

Warning about the "free drug card"

There was a story about a free discount prescription drug card on the news tonight, and it looked very promising: no fees, accepted at every pharmacy. The station had a link to the site for more information and getting a card. I looked at the website, then did a search on Yahoo! using the name of one of their partner websites: "freedrugcard". The first two pages were all mirror sites, then I came across one that tells the real story:

These drug cards and their websites are making money for individuals. That could either be legitimate or fraudulent, depending on the circumstances, but there are red flags. There is no record of the parent company or any affiliated companies on the Better Business Bureau. There is a yearly charge for the representatives who offer the websites to print cards (and collect your e-mail address). It has all the trademarks of a pyramid scheme. I personally would never use this card or give my e-mail address to any of these websites.

Please be careful accepting things at face value. If it sounds like it's too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research first before giving anyone your e-mail address. Please let other people know about this as well. I left a comment already on the KOIN 6 website (the tv station that ran the story) with the information included in this post.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Using the 3 R's for cat products

Happy Earth Day! One of the easiest ways to save on cat products is to use the 3 r's: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

  • Does your cat have toys he isn't playing with? Put them away in a drawer for a few months, then take them out again. They'll seem like new, or like old friends he hasn't seen in a while.
  • If your cat reacts to catnip, buy some made from the leaves and treat her toys with it.

  • Look for items on Craig's List. Often in the pet section, there will be posts selling carriers, leftover doses of flea medication, cat trees, and other products. Ask questions about anything you buy to make sure the seller is honest. Pay with cash, and meet in a well-known place like a fast food restaurant or go with a friend. Sanitize any used products so your cat doesn't get sick, and rinse well if you used bleach.
  • Ask for higher-end items on Freecycle. Who knows, maybe someone in your area got a new crate and wants to give away their old one, or their cat doesn't like the water fountain, or they have a stroller they haven't ever used. Maybe they moved and didn't take their pet along, or their cat died and they're not getting another one, so they have bowls and toys. It never hurts to post and see. It is expected that you offer an item first, then request, but what you offer doesn't have to be the same category or the same value. Again, sanitize and rinse the product you receive.

  • Do you have something your cat has never used? Post it on Craig's List or Freecycle. On Craig's List, you can trade items. On Freecycle, everything is given away with no strings attached.
  • If you know other cat people in your area, organize a used toy trade. Everyone brings one or two (or more) toys that their cat is tired of, and goes home with new ones. Again, sanitize and rinse any used toys.
If you would like to reduce your cat's carbon footprint even more, I found this post with other tips.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

$3 off coupon for cat litter

If you use "Yesterday's News", a recycled newspaper litter, Purina is offering a coupon for it. Karen Nichols (Skeezix's mom) has a good post with the link to the coupon here. Happy Earth Day tomorrow!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Are your pets lead-free?

I just posted a comment on Moderncat's blog about concerns with lead poisoning, but it bears repeating here. Simple switches in a few household items can prevent poisoning and save you money in the long run on vet bills.

Did you know that most glazes on items (even food-use items for humans) IF they are made in non-USA countries, have lead in them? If they are made in the USA, they have to be made with a lead-free glaze. If they are made in foreign countries, they can have lead in the glaze. China and India are the biggest offenders.

My mom worked for the Oregon state government lead program, and the biggest offenders for household items made with lead are paint from pre-1978, household dust in houses built before 1978, water from household lead pipes, crystal and leaded glass, made-in-China porcelain and ceramic glazes, window blinds, Christmas lights that are not made in the USA, and crayons and paints made in China and India.

The US has strict laws on lead levels for most products IF they are made here. Window blinds, food/water bowls, and household dust are the main threats for cats (and dogs, and human babies). Do not let your cats lick or bite the window blinds if you have anything except for wood blinds. Have your tap water tested for lead (there is a home test for this, contact your government office), and if there is lead you can get a filter. If unsure of the lead content of your water, use cold water or filter your water. Wet-mop or wet-wipe surfaces such as the floor, counters, and window ledges frequently to prevent dust buildup in pre-1978 houses. If there is peeling paint, paint over it (most house paint is layered, and there can be lead paint under the newer layers in pre-1978 houses).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2009 Northwest Pet & Companion Fair in Portland, Oregon

For those in Portland, Oregon, the Pet Expo (aka Northwest Pet & Companion Fair) is this weekend. It takes place at the Expo Center on Saturday and Sunday. The hours on Saturday are 9:30-6, and on Sunday 10-5. I went to this expo last year and three years ago, and it was great. I even brought my cat, Tabby. It takes up one of the exhibition halls, and has booths and exhibits ranging from pet food to animal rescues to on-site adoptions to workshops. About half the exhibits are dog-related, and the rest are almost all general animal-related or adoptions. This year, there are two cat-specific booths with information. You can bring your leashed or otherwise contained animal with you, for the admission price of $1 per pet or one can of dog/cat food (to go to AniMeals on Wheels). The cost for humans is $8 ($5 students/seniors and free for children 5 and under).

Click here for more information.

Click here for a $2 off coupon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Low-Cost Vaccinations

Many cat owners do not give their pets every vaccination for various reasons: possible side effects, too much hassle to take the cat to a vet, or cost. If cost is stopping you, consider taking your pet to Petco. Even though there's no full-service veterinarian there like there is at Petsmart, there is a visiting veterinarian.

Luv My Pet, the vet that contracts with Petco, is reliable and reasonably priced. You can see all their prices here, and there is no "office visit" charge like at a vet's office. They have a general "kitten package", a general "cat package", or you can choose individual vaccinations and tests.

Be sure to get there a few minutes early, as there is usually a line (mainly dogs). If your cat has been vaccinated before, or is taking medications, bring that information along. At the end of the visit, you will get a record of what was done, which you can bring to your regular vet and keep with your cat's information. If you lose the paperwork, you can download the information from their website (once you register).

Click here for more information.
Click here to find a clinic at a Petco near you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Internet Sale on Flea Medications

If you have a muliple-cat household like we do, you know the cost of flea medication adds up. Sometimes I buy ours from 1-800-Pet Meds and get free shipping as well as reduced prices. They're running a sale through May 15th on all Frontline and Advantage, as well as products for dogs. You save $5 off their regular prices, plus free shipping on orders over $39 (which means one 6-pack of flea drops).

Click here for this buy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Dangers

Karen Nichols (mom to Skeezix the cat) reported today on her blog, "The Cat's Meow", about Easter dangers: Easter grass, lilies, chocolate, old eggs, and getting pets at the holiday. It is well worth the read, as ANY of these can have dire effects. At any holiday, or special occasion, keep a close eye on your cat and look at things from his/her point of view. What would he/she find most enticing? Is it ok if that object is played with/bitten? Could it be ingested?

Many plants are poisonous if bitten. ANYTHING that looks like a string will be played with. Easter grass and Christmas tinsel can get wrapped around an intestine and cut it. These all are serious dangers that will send your cat to the emergency room, racking up high medical bills with a good possibility that the pet won't make it through. PLEASE keep these dangers out of your house. There are other alternatives, which Karen Nichols states in her article.

I wrote about the dangers of chocolate on my cats' blog. My mother had a dog who ate a whole Whitman's sampler box and had to go to the vet. The dog we had when I was little took a bite out of a chocolate cake because she found it too irresistable, even though (maybe especially) because it was up on a counter.

Click here to read Karen Nichols' article.

Click here to read my post on chocolate.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Together Tag from Catster/Dogster

If you are a member of Catster, you already know about the Together Tag. I am going to order one today for my cat that goes to visit nursing homes. Before I heard about the Together Tag, I had been researching the various microchipping programs, but I was not satisfied that a microchip would be read if it was even found on Tabby if she was lost. Most shelters only have one kind of scanner for the chips, and there are three companies that make the chips. There is not yet a universal scanner.

The other permanent option, tattooing, is not generally offered in my area. Also, tattooing anywhere but the ear has to be shaved to be read.

The third option, of course, is a collar tag. Granted, cats tend to lose their collars, but mine wear harnesses instead. One of our former cats had a metal tag with her name and our phone number on her harness. She escaped out the door while I was unlatching her leash, and was gone for two days. I got a phone call on the second day from a lady in the apartment complex down the street. She had spotted Lydia and read the tag on her harness, then called me. I went down the street and got a very scared, but happy, cat.

Even if your cat wears a collar instead of a harness, I would recommend a collar i.d. tag. If the collar comes off, it can be picked up by someone and read. Then, you have an idea of where your cat has traveled. If your cat is found with the collar still on, then he or she will be returned to you as soon as you can meet with the people who found your pet.

The Together Tag is not just a collar tag, however. It offers some of the services that a microchip does. It is a pet recovery service, a lost-and-found ad, and it contacts the local shelters about your pet. The tag has a unique code on it, and a page on which gives the finder information to locate you and any special requirements for your pet (diet, medications, etc.) while waiting for you to reclaim him/her. The information you submit can only be read by someone who has the pet's unique code, and you can put as much or as little information as you think necessary on the page. You can even include alternate addresses and out-of-state contacts, for use during an emergency or a national disaster.

The tag is also the cheapest recovery system offered to this date, priced at a one-time fee of $24.95, and tested under many environmental conditions (including disaster-related conditions like fire and salt water).

Click here for more information or to buy a Together Tag. For each tag purchased, $5 goes to the Red Cross.

Friday, April 3, 2009

TradeWinds Tapeworm Tabs

Walmart has great prices on human medications, but on cat medicine? According to their website, it does. A bottle of three TradeWinds tapeworm tabs, which costs anywhere from $26-$34 at most pet stores, is only $16.76 online, with free shipping to the Walmart nearest you.

We use these tabs, and they work right away. Within a few hours, the worms are gone. We've never needed to re-dose the cats, as long as we use the recommended dosage (1 tab for 9 lbs and under, or 1 1/2 for over 9 lbs). Of course, you also need to use a good flea medicine afterward or else they will eat another flea and get worms again.

To see this deal, click here.

Welcome to the Frugal Feline!

Welcome to the Frugal Feline! This blog was created to showcase great buys on interesting, classy, chic, and needful products for cats and their people. If you know of a thrifty product or a bargain that you wish to be featured, you can leave a comment telling me about it.