Wednesday, August 31, 2016

September is Happy Healthy Cat Month


 September is Happy Healthy Cat Month. There are many simple tasks pet owners can do to keep their pets happy and healthy. 




Happy, Healthy Cat Month Tips
Featured post by Dr. Danielle Bernal, Veterinarian with Wellness® Natural Pet Food
·         
     Instinctively, felines are natural hunters. Help your cat or kitten stay on top of their skills with plenty of play time together. Not only does this keep your cat active to support a healthy weight, it also keeps stress levels down and encourages bonding for a happy, purring kitty. Just be sure that you keep any laser pointers away from your cat’s eyes!

·         Cats don’t always like to drink water. While they may not have the same thirst drive as dogs, that doesn’t make hydration any less important. 

·         Due to their sedentary lifestyles, indoor cats are especially prone to weight gain, which can lead to a wide variety of health issues. It's best to pick cat food with wholesome ingredients, to make sure your cat gets the proper nutrition.

·         Cats experience boredom, too, and they can express it in ways you may not be so fond of, such as chasing other pets or shredding household items like curtains and furniture. Excite your feline friend by bringing a taste of the wild indoors, with perches by a sunny window or potted plants that are cat friendly. A few to avoid are tulips, lilies and English ivy–these are all toxic for pets!

·         Hairballs are unpleasant for cats and pet parents alike, but they can be managed with some extra grooming time and a proper diet.  Hairballs happen when stray hairs get stuck in the digestive tract as a result of self-grooming, and cats spend nearly 20% of their waking hours grooming. However, a few minutes of daily brushing can help catch those loose hairs before your cat does. 


·         Many pet parents love to treat their dogs with healthful snacks, but cats like treats too, and treating helps reinforce the bond between pet and pet parent. Look for recipes that are low in calories so you can treat them without feeling guilty. 


What do you do to keep your cat happy and healthy? Share your tips with us in the comment section!




This post was sponsored by Wellness, text and were graphic provided. Sandpiper Cat Blog was not compensated for this post. Consult with your veterinarian for your pet's health needs.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Giveaway: Morris the Cat's Well Groomed Kitty-Kit

With spring now arriving and after that, the dreaded bathing suit season (eek!), I know everyone's searching for ways to look their best. And Sandpiper Cat Blog's readers have a 'paw up' on the competition because we're about to get some style and wellness tips from someone who knows a thing or two about looking awesome... I'm talking, of course, about Morris the Cat. 

In case you're not familiar with this illustrious feline, Morris is the original celebricat, starring in over 50 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s up through today. He's even been called "the Clark Gable of cats," and that's about as debonair as it gets! In his "Dear Morris" column, he'll be answering some readers' burning questions about good grooming, and he's also giving away a well groomed kitty-kit, scroll down to the bottom to enter!


Dear Morris,

I love my cat, Baxter, but man, does he shed! Every time I leave the house I'm covered in cat hair. It's getting to the point where we can't even cuddle together without me looking like the sticky side of a lint roller! Unleash your wisdom, Morris... there must be something I can do.

Sincerely,
Hairy Harry



Dear Hairy Harry,



If your cat is shedding on you, the thing you should tell him is... "thank you!" Being covered in cat fur means you get to look like a cat, which means you get to look more awesome. However, if this isn't your desired effect (although I can't imagine why it wouldn't be), try wearing clothes the same color as your cat to camouflage the fur. Kind of like a cat camouflages himself in clean laundry--hey, come to think of it, that could be why you're always covered in fur! You can also try brushing Baxter a couple times a week to remove excess fur and redistribute the natural oils on his skin--now, that's what I call a win-win!



Dear Morris,



My teenage daughter spends 45 minutes in front of the mirror every day primping and brushing her hair. I think this is excessive but she tells me it's what makes her happy. Morris, since you always look fabulous, I thought you could give me some advice--what's the best way to get her to spend less time in front of the mirror?

Sincerely,
Fur-ustrated Mamma



Dear Fur-ustrated Mamma,



I know it may seem like I just wake up looking this good, but believe it or not, I put in lots of long hours licking my fur. In fact, as a cat, I groom up to 50% of the time I'm awake. Grooming not only makes you look good, it can be used for meditation--kind of like focusing really hard on a red laser dot. So I say, take the time you need to feel your best--whether it's 5 minutes or 45. It's a very purrsonal choice. 



Dear Morris,



Lately I've been looking slightly less than my best, which is unfortunate because I just started a new job and I wanted to make a good first impression. But instead, my eyes are all puffy and I just haven't been my chipper self. I'm not sure how to get out of this style rut. Morris, can you help me get my grooming groove back?

Sincerely,
Fashion Faux-Paw



Dear Fashion Faux-Paw,



Let me shed some light (and some fur) on this situation. The main thing I took away from your question is that you're STRESSED! Starting a new job can be stressful and can lead to falling out of typical routines and lack of sleep. I should know because every time I start shooting a new commercial, I only sleep 15 hours a day instead of 16. But don't despair! There's one failsafe way to calm those nerves and give you back your glow. I'm talking about a massage, specifically a kitty massage. We kitties LOVE to give massages--well, we think of it more as kneading but you humans don't seem to know the difference. A kitty massage will help you relax, and in turn, feel and look better. Plus, it's purr-ty much impossible to feel stressed when you have the love of a cat.


There you have it! Thank you, Morris the Cat, for sharing this invaluable grooming advice. Readers, how many of you have a good-looking, well-groomed feline at home? If you need a little help, enter our giveaway below for a chance to win a well groomed kitty-kit!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


This post is sponsored by 9Lives, text and pictures were provided. We were not monetarily compensated for this post but may have received free promotional items. Giveaway void where prohibited. Open to US residents only. Winner's response needed with 48 hours or prize will be forfeited. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spotlight: The Kitten Lady

Animal advocate Hannah Shaw is a warrior for orphaned kittens.

"I got into rescuing because I found a kitten in a tree, I had no plans to start,” Shaw said.  Shaw is an animal advocate working with Photographers for Animals, a nonprofit organization.

Shaw is pictured feeding Bruno, in the correct position.
Shaw gave a neonatal kitten workshop 101 on Saturday, March 19, at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter to a group of potential kitten fosters. Shaw started her brand, the Kitten Lady, as a small project that became a big deal. Eight years of kitten rescue under her belt, Shaw now helps inform others about the care of neonatal kittens.

"Everyone here is in a great position here to plan ahead of time,” Shaw said. She noted that even daily planning is essential to fostering kittens that are orphaned or without their mother.
  
Shaw went into detail about creating plans for the foster kittens. She suggested putting them in a place that is “cozy, private and easy to sanitize.”          

“Bathroom kittens are the hallmark of fostering. Everyone’s got a bathroom, so they end up keeping the kittens there,” Shaw said.

The audience was engaged and involved, asking questions during her presentation. Shaw brought organic baby wipes and kitten milk replacer to show what brands she prefers.

Image from @fairfaxcountyanimalshelter Instagram account.

“I almost drank a can of kitten milk replacer the other day, it looks just like a can of soda!” Shaw said. The crowd laughed, as Shaw explained the different types of nipples used in bottles for neonatal kittens.
  
Shaw stressed that feeding the kittens is often done incorrectly because people assume they know what they are doing.

“The feeding position is really important; the kitten must be belly down. It’s an art form and you’ll get really good at it,” said Shaw.


Another shot of Shaw feeding Bruno.
Shaw discussed serious issues and made recommendations for fosters, urging them to contact their vet if any urgent issues arrive. She said that neonatal kittens are similar to human babies; they need their faces cleaned after eating and they can burp. Unlike human babies, neonatal kittens need to be stimulated to pee and poop. Shaw explains that mother cats stimulate the kittens to pee and poop by licking them.
  
Shaw had two of her neonatal foster kittens with her, Bruno and Boop. Shaw used Bruno in a demonstration to show the audience how to feed him, stimulate him to pee and cleaning him afterwards.

Shaw stressed to the crowd that learning everything for neonatal kitten care can be stressful. Health situations that arise may seem like emergencies, because it is easy to panic. Shaw recommended that fosters consult with a veterinarian, if they are worried. She emphasized having a helper who can wake up in the early weeks of kittenhood to help with the feedings every two hours.  A support system is essential for both the foster and the kitten’s health. It is important to keep foster parents from burning out from the mental and emotional strain that fostering takes. The reward, according to Shaw, is being able to place a foster with a loving family.

Image from kittenlady.org (yes that is me in the bun & scarf on right). There was an ASL interpreter at the event.

The crowd asked Shaw how she felt about saying goodbye to her foster kittens. Often fosters “fail” by adopting their kittens because they have grown very close.

“Being able to say goodbye is an indicator of success. All I want to do is say goodbye to them, that’s the point,” Shaw said. Shaw told the crowd that each kitten out the door is room to save more. 

“You are amazing. You’re saving lives. You’re literally a life saver,” Shaw said.

Image from @kittenxlady Instagram account.

You can see the Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw, teach her neonatal kitten workshop 101 at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Northern Virginia on May 28, 2016 at 11 am. Sign up here!

Find Hannah, the Kitten Lady on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review: Yogi Cats by Paige Hodges

I like to read books that make me feel good after I finish reading them. This happy feeling might not even come straight from the content, but from the physical book, the colors and the entire aesthetic. Yogi Cats by Paige Hodges, is one of those feel happy books.


Hodges wrote Yogi Cats to combine both her love of yoga and cats. Hodges, as a young adult, got her first cat after finding a mouse in her New York City apartment. She eventually moved with three cats to L.A., California – where she took a yoga class. Hodges has practices yoga for over twenty years and credits her patience and balance to yoga.

Hodges founded Feline Yogi, a company that makes yoga mats just for cats. These two special areas of her life have led her to write Yogi Cats, which contains yoga poses for the beginner all the way to an expert level.

Each chapter of the book has two beautiful full color pages, with an adorable little cat doing yoga poses. Within each chapter are Instructions for yoga poses and quotes that are yoga inspired and reminiscent of relaxation. The cute little cat doodles on each page relate to what the chapter is covering.


One of my favorite passages is on page 24, which discusses why yoga and meditation can be helpful for stress and anxiety. As someone who is prone to stress and suffers from anxiety, I found this chapter on meditation to be very helpful.

My favorite quote in Yogi Cats is on page 52, “Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end.” –Daisaku Ikeda.


The pose that I felt relaxed me the most was on page 82, the Mountain Pose.

The end of the book has a 30-day yoga challenge, with intentions to help the reader form a yoga habit by commitment, intention and following through. Hodges’ feline yogini, her cat Pippy, writes the challenge.

If anything was going to get me to try to take a mental break and use yoga as a relaxation method – it would be this quote from Pippy, “Be aware of excuses. You humans love excuses. ‘My Netflix queue is full and I must catch up; I am too tired!; I can’t find my yoga pants! blah blah blah.’ The list goes on and on. You are responsible for setting your priorities. That may mean watching less TV or prying yourself away from Facebook, but it’s up to you and you only to make sure to find the time.”

Nothing rings more true to me, that spending too much time on the computer. I am a blogger and full time student after all! But Pippy’s reminder to me to be responsible and disconnect (and find my yoga pants, which I do know where they are), is much needed.

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.




Receiving a complimentary copy of Yogi Cats did not influence my review whatsoever. All my opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Cat Oscars: Meow Mix Announces the Year's Best Internet Cat Moments

Award show season is here and while there are certainly some human actors worthy of purr-aise, I think it's about time we acknowledge those creatures who know the best way to work a red carpet... is to shed on it!

Sandpiper Cat Blog has partnered with Meow Mix cat food to recognize the year's top four-legged performances in The 2016 Cat's Meow Awards.

That's right – this year's most anticipated awards show honors a flurry of furry faces. 

Meow Mix brand received more than 25,000 submissions from all over the country for the Cat's Meow Awards, which was established to celebrate the best cat moments of the year and the one-of-a-kind bond that only cats and humans share.

View clips from The 2016 Cat's Meow Awards show below:










Con-cat-ulations to the all of the 2016 Cat's Meow Awards finalists and winners! 

But let's face it, cats couldn't care less about glory or fame... that's why Meow Mix brand created a new line of Irresistibles treats so that you can give them the award they're really looking for. With real meat, a wide variety of flavors, and both soft and crunchy textures, your cat will be sure to thank you in his acceptance speech.

Go to https://irresistiblemoments.com/ and share your cat's irresistible moment to get a FREE bag and see tons of other cool cat content.


This post is sponsored by MeowMix The Acatemy. Text and videos used with permission of MeowMix. We were not monetarily compensated for this post, but may have received free promotion items for our consideration.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: Sleepypod mobile pet bed & carrier with PPRS handilock

Welcome to the first product review of 2016!

It just takes one car accident to change the way you drive forever. One car accident and you will always think about what could've happened. One car accident that left both physical and emotional or mental scars. You might wonder why I'm writing about car accidents on Sandpiper Cat...but there is a good explanation.

Today's review is about a cat carrier that is car crash tested, the Sleepypod mobile pet bed and carrier. As a survivor of a terrible car accident, in which our car flipped over and rolled onto the roof, my family takes safety for both humans and animals very seriously. That day, December 2, 1995 is ingrained on our minds and forever will be a reminder to wear our seatbelts.

I always felt it was important that the cats traveled in the car to the vet as safely as possible. This notion has led me to try to buckle cat carriers into the car. It has never been an ideal set up and it does not keep them as safe as I would like them to be in the car. Enter the Sleepypod carrier, which is a two in one deal - because you're getting both a stylish cat bed and a durable carrier.

Sleepypod is a brand that understands that safety is a huge priority for pet lovers like my family. Sleepypod has crash-tested its entire line of pet carriers, for their safety test program.

Image used with permission of Sleeypod.
New to the Sleepypodcompany is the addition of their PPRS Handilock, which is the Pet Passenger Restraint System. The PPRS Handilock evolved due to tests done with Sleepypod and the Center for Pet Safety (CPS). The PPRS Handilock has been crash tested - all the crash tests are done with realistic crash test pet dummies.




"Sleepypod mobile pet bed with the PPRS Handilock was named a Top Performing Pet Carrier in a Subaru of America, Inc. and Center for Pet Safety collaborative study to test the effectiveness of pet carriers and crates in crash situations." My family drives Subaru cars, so we are thrilled that Subaru has been working with Sleepypod.

Image courtesy of Sleepypod.

Adding the PPRS Handilock to the Sleepypod mobile pet bed has truly increased the safety of your pets in the car. When using the Sleepypod with the PPRS Handilock, it was clear that our cat(s) were in the safest carrier they have ever traveled in before.

Image courtesy of Teri Thorsteinson.

Having traveled from New Jersey to Virginia with a cat on three separate occasions, I relish the idea of having a crash tested carrier in the car. Knowing that my cat is nestled safely into the comfort of their bed turned carrier, is bound to make for a more relaxing drive for both cat and owner.

Back in October 2015, we had to take our cat Brooke to the dental vet for surgery. It is about an hour long drive, which is much longer than her usual 10 minute drive to the vet. A few weeks before we went, we left out the Sleepypod carrier with the top detached, so Brooke and the other cats could use it as a bed.


Knowing that the carrier would smell like home, we zipped on the top portion of the carrier on the morning Brooke had her surgery. She fit very nicely into the Sleepypod, which was easy to get her into and place securely in the car.


We buckled in the carrier with the PPRS Handilock and off to the vet we went. Brooke subsequently had check ups after her surgery, and all of her rides to the vet were done with style and safety, in her Sleepypod!
At the vet, Brooke waits in her Sleepypod.
I cannot recommend the Sleepypods highly enough! We are all extremely impressed with the quality and durability of the Sleepypod carrier. The Sleepypod Mini, Sleepypod Air and Sleepypod Atom models are also approved for airline travel as well (the medium one pictured does not fit under most airline seats).


In addition to the wonderful work done by the people at Sleepypod, they have an "crash replacement program," in which they will replace your Sleepypod carrier if it has been in a car accident at no charge.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

MeowMix Acatemy & Cat's Meow Awards

Sandpiper Cat Blog is thrilled to announce that we are part of the MeowMix Acatemy. The Acatemy is a one of a kind community where cat lovers can come together and share knowledge, cat related news, and get special perks.

The Acatemy is made up of both everyday cat lovers AND cat influencers.

The Acatemy hosted their first Cat's Meow Awards this past month and there are three great videos that we would love for you to watch!

The first video is for the Best Cat Cuddle Cat-egory!


The second video is the Best Cat-hlete Cat-egory!

Last is the Wild Cat Card Cat-egory!


MeowMix has also created a line of Irresistible treats to make all of your cat's treat worthy moments even more delicious. To get a FREE bag and learn more about the Cat's Meow Awards go to https://irresistiblemoments.com/share. Your cat will be sure to thank you with an acceptance speech.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the Cat's Meow Awards. What cat-egory would you like to see added next?

This post is sponsored by MeowMix The Acatemy. Text and videos used with permission of MeowMix. We were not monetarily compensated for this post, but may have received free promotional items.