Feline Hall of Fame

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As a kitten, Oscar was very playful. As a matter of fact, he would play so hard that he would drop on the floor and go to sleep where he landed! The family hoped he would slow down as he grew up. No, Oscar kept on playing hard. One day while he was playing out in the yard, he jumped so high that he landed in the birdbath! He didn’t like the water, but he loved the feeling of jumping.

That made him wonder what he could find by jumping in the house. The family was always putting things up high where he couldn’t reach them. Well, he was going to fix that! First, it was the kitchen counters, then the bathroom sink, tables, dressers, etc. He was driving everyone nuts! They tried two-sided tape and special pads you could buy to keep cats off the counters. None of that worked. They finally tried spraying him with a squirt bottle.

That didn’t work either. In fact, he became so well known about his ability to resist the squirt bottle that he was voted into the Feline Hall of Fame.

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Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

Where’s Mergatroid?

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Winter was almost over. The sun was getting warmer and Mergatroid liked to lie on the window sill to soak up the heat. It felt so good on his body! Not only that, he could watch everything going on outside. The snow was melting; people were out walking. Some of them even had dogs with them. Mergatroid was glad that he was inside because he didn’t really care for dogs.

One day the family decided it was time to do some cleaning. Not just regular cleaning, but washing and shampooing everything. The kids were in charge of their rooms while Mom and Dad worked on the living room. It took all day, but they washed the walls and the ceiling, dusted the furniture and were ready to shampoo the carpet when they realized that nobody had seen Mergatroid for a long time. They looked all over the house and in every room, but he was not to be found. Where was he?

When they finally found him, they had learned a very valuable lesson!

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If My Cat Were President

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My first thought would be that it would be a disaster! However, he seems pretty smart about some things, like getting me to do what he wants me to do. Maybe he could get something done. However, the capital would have to move to Wyoming before he would even consider it.

Sammy, you are now President of the United States.

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You don’t need to hide. It’s really true!

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Oh, I can tell that you are REALLY EXCITED about this opportunity.

You’re going to have to give up some of your activities, such as ghost writing for me.

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You’ll have to have an office staff

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who hopefully won’t play around too much and get their jobs done.

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Then there’s the matter of Congress. Hopefully, some cats will be elected that can do something for the country instead of being so dysfunctional. (Well, maybe not)

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You’ll also have to work during the day most of the time and not the middle of the night.

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Oh, let’s see. You’re going to need to have the Secret Service around you all the time.

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Now that you have your staff, what are you doing to do for the country?

Homes for everyone.

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Plenty of things to play with.

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Food for everyone.

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That’s pretty basic stuff, Sammy. Is there anything you do for us humans?

Oh, I see. You can listen to us and see what we need. That’s very nice.

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It looks like the interview is over. He’s giving me that knock-it-off look.

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Guess we’ll have to wait until the “President” is ready to talk to us again.

Have a wonderful President’s Day on Monday, everyone.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

Happy Valentine’s Day to my Cats

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s not only love between a couple, but love and respect for all people and even animals that you cherish. So let’s celebrate this special day with pictures. No words needed in some cases.

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Because I love my boys and they love me, I make this promise.

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I know this was short, but I’m sure you get the message. Pets are family and deserve the best we can do for them. Have a wonderful Valentines Day, readers, and I LOVE the fact that you read my blog.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

I’m So Crabby!

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The day started out great. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and Hector had a chance to go outside and play. There was still snow on the ground, but it was starting to melt because of the sun. Since he hadn’t been outside for a while because of snowstorms, he really enjoyed exploring everything that was uncovered. He was having so much fun bouncing around. However, he lost his footing and fell face first into a pile of slush. That didn’t make him happy, but Mama cat cleaned his face when he went inside.

After a nap, he wanted to play with the kids in the house, but they were too busy. That made him sad so he went looking for his siblings. They didn’t want to play either! He kept telling himself that it was okay and that he would find something to do. Eventually he found some yarn sticking out of the bag that the Mom of the house had left out. Oh, boy, was that ever fun! He had that yarn everywhere by the time Mom found him. She decided he was still dirty and gave him a bath which he didn’t like at all!!

By the end of the day, his attitude has certainly changed. This is what he was thinking to himself:

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Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

Make Your Own Food Puzzles for Cats

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As I told you last week, I would share the five different ways of making food puzzles that I found. These are pretty simple; you can buy more complicated ones on Amazon.

1. Take a shoe box and cut random shapes for your cat to discover

Take a small cardboard box and cut holes that are larger than the size of your cat’s paws. Cut these holes in random places and use random shapes like circles, squares, triangles, etc. Tape the flaps of the box closed and then toss some dry kibble in there. Shoe boxes make good puzzle feeder boxes.

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2. Toilet paper rolls can make a fun alternative cat food puzzle

What cat doesn’t love to bat around a roll of toilet paper? Take the cardboard center from the toilet paper roll and cut holes in it that are a little bigger than the size of the kibble. Fold the ends in to close them and you have an easy and cheap puzzle feeder.

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3. A plastic water bottle makes a durable long lasting food puzzle

You can also make one out of a small plastic water bottle.  All you need to do is cut holes in the plastic bottle and then pour some dry kibble in. Replace the cap and you have a feeder that’s simple for the cat to roll around, plus it makes an alluring sound.

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4. A plastic holiday egg (if you have that around) is a very durable and fun food puzzle

Cut a couple of holes in the top and bottom section of the holiday egg using the X-ACTO or utility knife.  Trim away any remnant plastic so the opening is as free as can be.  Place some kibble inside the holiday egg, reassemble it and give it a test before rolling it out for play. Widen the holes as needed to ensure kibble can pass through.

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5. An egg carton is a ready assembled food puzzle

All you need to do is take an egg carton and put some dry food in the cups! Cut the carton in two so you can have two puzzles.  The carton will slow down your cat’s eating, and if they are nimble with their paws, they can fish food out of the cups!  Easy breezy.

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When you make homemade puzzle feeders, you should be around to supervise the playing.  Most of the above puzzles are safe enough but it’s always a good idea to watch your kitties when trying something new.

Our cats do get bored, so shake it up and try a new puzzle every week.  And, for those who aren’t as handy or if your kitty needs more of a challenge, Amazon has some sturdier cat food puzzles.

I’m making some puzzles from small containers of cottage cheese. Will let you know how things turn out! If you have used food puzzles for your cat(s), please let us know about your experiences.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

Food Puzzles For Cats!

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One of the New Year’s resolutions that people make, including me, is to get into better shape physically and lose some of those pounds we put on over the holidays. We need to think about our pets too, not only at this time of year, but all year long. My vet told me that neutered male cats have a real tendency to put on weight. Once that starts, it’s hard to control. Had heard about food puzzles so decided to check it out. Here’s what I found.

Cats love to play with toys and chase fake mice around the house and this sometimes extends to their food. And when bored, our cats tend to eat more especially when dry food is let out all day long.  Food Puzzles can help make cats work for their food while stimulating them at the same time.

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What are food puzzles?

Food puzzles are contraptions or home-made puzzles that make cats work for their food. The puzzles can be as simple as putting dry food in a closed and empty cottage cheese container and cutting a hole in the side, so that the cat has to bat around the container to get the food to fall out

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Food Puzzles can help our cats from over-eating and behave better according to a new study

 

Cats given food puzzles thrive as they tend to be more physically fit and happier. It seems there are also fewer behavioral problems, such as aggression and over-grooming, than cats with regular food bowls.

“Food puzzles provide cats with exercise and mental stimulation,” said review co-author Mikel Delgado, a doctoral candidate of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Delgado is also a certified cat behavior consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.  “It gives them an outlet to let cats be their natural predatory selves.”

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Indoor cats tend to be overweight since they don’t have to work for food and get less exercise 

Indoor kitties are often given unlimited food, and don’t have to work for their dinner.  “It’s no wonder that indoor felines have a high risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, joint problems and chronic lower urinary tract signs,” she said. Indoor cats can also have behavioral problems, including attention-seeking and stress-related behaviors, such as house soiling.

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In the review, cats that used food puzzles were thinner and behaved better

Food puzzles can alleviate those health and behavior problems. In the review, Delgado and her colleagues assessed about 30 cases that they had personally observed when food puzzles helped kitties. For instance, an obese 8-year-old male cat lost 20 percent of its body weight after using food puzzles for a year. Another case was a pair of sibling cats. They were constantly meowing for food, wanting the owner’s attention and stealing leftover food from dirty plates on the counter. The owner stopped leaving out leftover food, and gave the cats food puzzles, which slowed down both cats’ eating. Afterward, the cats stopped meowing for food so much, and they left the owner alone while they were distracted with the food puzzle.

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Food puzzles have worked on kittens and even senior cats

Food puzzles have worked on kittens, senior cats, three-legged cats and blind cats.  Delgado did caution  that young, old and disabled cats should be given easy puzzles as a way to ensure that they’re getting enough food.  And, for the cats who love them, keep them challenged by changing the puzzle.

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I think I’d better get started on making some food puzzles! Found some directions for making five different ones which I will share with you next week.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667