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Favorite Cat Products

A 50-50 mixture of Scoop Away and Tidy Cat. Scoop Away is more solid and clumps hard quicker, but is dustier and harder to get the scooper through. Tidy Cat, blue lid, is looser and easier to scoop, but doesn't clump quickly and breaks apart. The combination works well for me, but I often end up using just the Tidy Cat.

Arm and Hammer and Fresh Step are highly scented and are too overpowering for me. I can't imagine how obnoxious they must be to the cats with their 6X better sense of smell. And, if the cats don't like it, they won't use the box.

Litter Boxes
I've recently needed a lot more litter boxes and had to resort to using some clear plastic Sterilite storage tubs that I had, about 8” tall. The cats and I both love them over the covered litter boxes. I used to put a sheet under them to catch the litter that's kicked out, but I've found that flannel-backed vinyl tablecloths mesh with the cut-pile carpeting and stick pretty well.  The tablecloths don't stick to Berber carpet, but are still stiff enough to do better than the sheets.  I have small brush and dustpan sets in each room to sweep the litter that is tracked out.   Since the plastic tubs are bigger, I don't have the cats peeing so much down the inside of the box. In the rooms I have one of each box, covered and uncovered, the cats will use the uncovered larger tub more often than the covered one. And, they're a lot cheaper, too.  

But, the best ones are the bigger storage tubs, 14"-16" tall, that my hubby cut out a part of a side to make a door about 8" wide and about 7" or 8" up from the bottom. It eliminates a lot of the litter being kicked out and two of my larger cats who don't squat all the way don't pee over the edge.  The cats and I all love them.  
Rubbermaid makes a scoop and holder set with a hook to hang it from something. Best price is Target for $2.69. I hang it on the side of the can I scoop into, the waste basket, litter box, etc. Love it. I keep Chlorox wipes in all cat rooms to spot-clean the litter boxes as needed, and especially the scoops every couple days. Bottles of Purell are in all cat rooms, and I use it after scooping.

After many bouts of diarrhea in my kittens, I changed to a no-grain food, and the problems cleared up almost overnight. Since then, all my cats and kittens are eating the same food. They're for all life stages, so there's no special food for kittens, so everyone eats the same thing. They're currently eating Nature's Variety, Instinct, Chicken. I get it from Animal Crackers, 343 Winding Woods Center, O'Fallon, MO.  It's just north of Feise on Hwy K, next to I-Hop. Canidae, Blue Buffalo, and other companies also make no-grain cat and dog foods. Cats are carnivores (meat eaters), have a very short digestive track and can't completely digest the grains. There are low-grain foods, but NO-grain is much better for them. It's also not any more expensive than the higher end cat foods that are loaded with corn, wheat, barley, rice, and soy. Read the labels.

Balls are the ultimate favorite. They love the soft pompoms that they can catch in their paws and mouth. Michael's and Hobby Lobby sell these in large bags of different size balls. Hard balls make cool sounds on hardwood floors, but they can't pick some of them up easily, so you need both kinds. The crinkle metallic balls don't last long, as they get torn apart. They love anything with a feather on it, but they don't last long, either.

Please, do NOT buy the mice and balls that have a continuous string wrapped around them. The cats can unwind the string and potentially swallow it. Trust me. They can also bite pieces from the balls made out of foam and styrofoam.

Scratching Post
Cats provided with tall scratching posts will, most likely, not use your sofa or chair for that purpose. You can make your own fairly easily. A 16” or 18” square plywood base. Two sections of 2x4, about 40” long, screwed together side by side to form a 4x4 post. Screw this post to the center of the base from the bottom. Get 100' of sisal rope (3/8” or 1/2”) and 1.25” flat-head nails from the hardware store. Starting at the bottom of the post that's screwed to the base, nail the end of the rope in several places to anchor it to one side of the post. Wrap it tightly around the post, from bottom to top, pushing down on the coils to condense them. Nail through the rope about every fifth round. Continue all the way to the top, securing the end with several nails. To clean occasionally, take it outside and spray it with a bleach water solution and let it dry.

Cat Trees
The ultimate ultimate favorite. If you have the room in your house, I highly recommend getting or building a cat tree. I built one from plans purchased online, and I've purchased an Armarkat tree on sale from Petco. The one I built took me three full days and weighs a ton. The Armarkat took 20 minutes to screw together and is much lighter. No contest. Fast beat cost for me. Both of mine are over 5' tall, have multiple perches, boxes, and built-in scratching posts. To clean, vacuum often and occasionally spray with the bleach water outside. The cats don't care about the fading.