Best and worst cat products - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Best and worst cat products

I thought as a help to our fellow cat lovers we could advise each other on products to buy and products to stay away from.

My cats' favorite toy is the laser pen. They like the plain dot. But I find that you have to start using them when they're young. If they're already middle aged they tend to not really care. At this point, my cat could be dead asleep and if I even bump the laser lightly, the cats will immediately jump up waiting for me to play with them.

Their other favorite toy is this teaser wand that has a fuzzy gray plush piece with a bell and tassels attached to it. The only problem with this is that they love it so much that they break them. I think I've bought about 10 of them already - luckily they're cheap. They often play with them by themselves and chew the end of the wand off or chew the string off. Now, they could be on the other side of the place and if they hear the bell, they run.

Knievel's favorite non-interactive toy is the classic mouse. He likes the little gray or white ones that are realistic more than the brightly colored ones with feathers and whatever attached. The great thing about the gray and white mice is that you can get 30 of them in a box for a good price so when they inevitably get lost you can always replace it.

Then there's always the garbage "toys". They love the fun size candy wrappers, plastic milk sealers, the plastic part that gets wrapped around the caps on bottles, empty boxes. For a while, this place looked like a dump because I just couldn't throw anything away because the cats were so cute playing with it.

I've tried 4 different types of litter boxes and I like the sifting litter boxes the best. They're really cheap and really easy to clean. The only problem I've ever had with them is that the clumps sometimes get stuck in the grate of the sifting pan, but this is easily fixed by always making sure that the litter is deep. If nothing else, I keep some latex gloves handy in case I need to clean it.

The worst is the automatic litter box. It's really expensive. The accessories are expensive considering how much you need to use them. If you fill the box too full of litter, then the rake can't push through. If you fill the box too low, then the clumps get caked on the bottom and the rake can't push through. The machine rakes the litter too quickly so it tends to break up the clumps instead of pushing them out and poo gets caught in the rake so I end up having to scrape it out with a plastic knife. If you have a lot of cats and there are a lot of clumps, then the rake has trouble pushing through. The machine is really noisy and if the rake gets stuck, it keeps trying over and over again. I've often been woken up because of that litter box. For a "convenience" item, it's just a lot of hassle, especially for the price. To top it all off, the thing breaks down pretty quickly.

I like getting the really tall cat trees. The only problem with it is that I get a little jealous because the cats started sleeping on the tree all the time instead of sleeping on my lap. But they love it so I can't bring myself to get rid of it.

I get remnant fabric from Wal-mart, put them inside the carrier, maybe with some toys, and leave the carrier on the floor for the cats to sleep in all the time. That way, when I go to the vet, the cats aren't afraid to go in the carrier. There have been times that the cat just jumps right in the carrier before I do anything. I remember one time I was only taking one Knievel and Zoltan jumped in. I had to force Zoltan out so I could take Knievel to the vet.
tammy is offline  
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 03:25 PM
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tammy, thanks for the information and your opinions. Where did you get your laser light pen? I want to get one for Skeeter. Do they make some especially for pets?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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They make some especially for pets, but I just use the cheap ones that I bought in bulk on ebay. I got 18 of them for around $20 + shipping. I know that sounds excessive, but it's amazing how many of these things we lose. Plus, I'm always giving them away to other cat owners. They're really common in pet stores on the internet and through catalogs and I think I've seen them in regular stores. I've seen pictures of mouse shaped lights, but like I said, my cats like the regular pointer to the shapes.

I forgot to mention that my cats also love to run through a concrete forming tube. It's just this really strong cardboard tube that my cats love to run through and it's the perfect size for medium to small cats. I got it at Menards for a couple bucks. When I have it propped up against a chair or something, they like to slide down it.

Also, I wouldn't recommend the sifting liners either. I may have just gotten cheap ones, but I find that they break really easily and I ended up scooping the litter anyway. If they don't break, you have to wait a while for the litter to sift through - it would be faster just to go through the litter with the scoop.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 09:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammy
I thought as a help to our fellow cat lovers we could advise each other on products to buy and products to stay away from.

Then there's always the garbage "toys". They love the fun size candy wrappers, plastic milk sealers, the plastic part that gets wrapped around the caps on bottles, empty boxes. For a while, this place looked like a dump because I just couldn't throw anything away because the cats were so cute playing with it.
.

Great thread!
My kitties LOVE the little "garbage" treasures they find too!!

Both of my kitties also LOVE love love their carrier. It's got screened windows and a soft fleecy pad in the bottom. They nap in it throughout the day and happily walk into it when leaving to go to the vets.
It's made by PetMate and comes in different sizes (best price I've found is at PetGuys. )


The best product I've bought recently is definitely a PetMate Deluxe FreshFlow Water Fountain.
I know most of you are familiar with the fountains, but for those of you who aren't... It's silent , holds lots of water (108 oz), and, the best part - they both are drinking more, especially my older cat. The flow of the fountain is adjustable, and it has a replaceable carbon filter. I was pleased to see both of my cats took to the fountain immediately. The difference I see in the amount they are drinking is impressive. There are more urine clumps in the litter boxes and they actually spend a longer time drinking when drinking from the fountain, compared to the quick sips they would take from their previous water bowl. The fountain is easy to clean and it's really easy to add water or change the carbon filter.
Oh, and the fountain came with a free PetMate Fresh Flow food bowl! It is nice and wide, with a high back. It actually keeps Windslow from spilling his dry food all over while eating (an impressive feat)!
(Best price I found on the fountain (with free bowl offer) was at PetGuys.)




equestrian is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 10:30 PM
 
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We have the exact same fresh flow for our cats. They LOVE it.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 10:55 PM
 
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Great thread guys, lots of good info.

Well, let's see. My cats love a lot of what you guys mentioned. They love the pole toys with bells, feathers, or the like on them. They really love those small, realistic mice as well. They are most fond of bread ties, milk carton top rings and hair scrunchies.

As for litter we scoop and prefer Scoop Away above all others. We have used Tidy Cats when it's on sale and even the Arm & Hammer kind, but Scoop Away is much better IMO.

I am hoping to soon get them a water thing like some of you have that is fountain-like. I have a self feeder bowl that holds quite a lot of food and slides down as they eat it. Works well since I have 6 cats.

For food they eat just about any kind of canned food and they like Purina hard foods. If I try to get away with a cheaper food, they do little but rake it all out of the feeder onto the floor. That's how I know if they like a food or not.

I have been leaving our cat carrier open more now as well, they get in it from time to time, but none of them stay in it long.
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