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.