Monday, May 14, 2018

Jackson Galaxy's Cat Camp Review

It was like I blinked and Jackson Galaxy's Cat Camp had gone by in a New York minute.

Cat Camp took place May 5-6 at Penn Plaza Pavilion (in New York City, if that wasn't obvious from the pun in the first sentence).

Cat Camp is an event for cat rescue advocates to gather, learn by attending informational sessions and panels, meet & greet cat celebrities and shop all things cat.

A whole room was dedicated for adoptable cats.

Cat Camp also had cats up for adoption from local NY rescues. Many of the cats that were available were seniors or special needs.

The vendor selection was supurrrb. One of my favorite booths was Oh My Cat. I picked up one of her eyemasks, such sweet patterns! It's very soft and comfortable to wear to sleep.

Stray Cat Social Club's debut at Cat Camp.
Stray Cat Social Club gave a sneak preview of their products, which were super cute.  Trap-neuter-return (TNR) and feral care are their main focuses. They will be available in summer 2018 (so paws crossed that is soon!).

It is always nice to be among like-minded people and see fellow cat lovers who you have met at past cat related events.

My Cat Camp haul! Jackson Galaxy cat nerd sweatshirt, magazines, a book, eyemask, and earrings from The Purrfect Accessory.

I heard that Cat Camp was bigger this year than last year, so hopefully 2019 will be bigger and better! It was fun to get to visit New York City and see all of the sights.

Were you at Cat Camp? Will you go next year?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Catsbury Park Cat Convention Review

Caturday in Catsbury Park by the sea.

Greetings from Asbury Park. Let's go to the Cat Convention!

I spent this past weekend  in a large convention hall surrounded by fellow cat lovers, looking at cat products and discussing rescue & advocacy. The turn out was about 5,000 people! That is Catsbury Park Cat Convention wrapped up in a nutshell.
The Asbury Park Convention Hall. Built in 1928-1930.

The first (of hopefully many) Catsbury Park Cat Convention was held at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey on April 7 and 8. The event was in conjunction with Catsbury Park Cat Cafe, which is New Jersey's first full service cat cafe.

Catsbury Cafe is a 501(c)3 non-profit and some of the proceeds from CPCC will go to their wonderful organization. Visitors can pay a fee to spend time in Catsbury Cafe and hang with their resident cats that are up for adotpion. The cafe also serves a variety of coffees, teas and baked goods.

The Convention had dozens of vendors selling their goods. It wasn't just cat related merchandise and apparel available. There was a plethora of vegan food options, a hair cutting booth and yes, even a booth for tattoos.

The line to get in was worth the wait. Plus the building is beautiful to look at inside.

There were also special meet and greet packages to meet pet celebrities like Lil' Bub, Nala, Pudge and humans, like The Kitten Lady. There were also cats up for adoption from the local Monmouth County animal shelter.

Doors opened at 11 a.m. both days. On Saturday I arrived about 11:20 and had to wait 20-25 minutes to get in the door. Sunday I waltzed right inside. It's always expected that there are going to be a lot of people for these events, a telltale sign that the conference was probably more popular than expected!

I was immediatey ready to start shopping for cat related items when I walked in and I was not disappointed by the vendor selection - there was something for everyone. I even picked out a few gifts for friends and family.

Cat pins & whatever pouch from The Floral Martian.
Shelfie print by Leeza Hernandez.
By far the mostpopular booth had to be Neptune Tattooville, which had special cattoos (cat tattoos) available first come first served. By noon, their waiting list was already filled for a few hours and they recommended for people to stop by their tattoo shop, about 15 minutes away.

I had actually been planning to get a tattoo and had thought about it for a month, so I did not want to miss the opportunity. Despite the fact that it would have been fun to get it at the convention, I ended up being very happy with my tattoo shop experience.

My first cattoo!

I chose to incorporate project semicolon, by getting a semi colon cat head tattoo. A simple tattoo and there were other girls in the shop who had come from CPCC. The one on one setting with a tattooer is definitely preferable to overlookers at a conference. My tattoo was done by Zack Bryson.

I had never been to Asbury Park before and I am coming home with some fun cat goodies and a very exciting new tattoo.

I drove two hours from Cape May to Asbury Park and it was a nice weekend getaway. The convention was well done and worth every minute that I got to spend there.  I was very impressed and I will definitely attend their next convention.

Check back later this week for my post about the time I spent at Catsbury Park Cafe!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review: Total Cat Mojo by Jackson Galaxy

Jackson Galaxy has done it again! He has written another book that is perfect for the cat lover in your life. Total Cat Mojo: The Ulitmate Guide to Life With Your Cat is a must have cat care bible.

Total Cat Mojo is a fastidious history of cats tied in with helpful anecdotes and facts from Jackson. He defines Cat Mojo as the confidence that cats exhibit when they are at ease in their environment and in touch with their natural instincts to hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom and sleep. 

The book is full of gorgeous illustrations, there is something eyecatching on every page. That is perhaps my favorite part of the book - because it is not just any other cat book.

Jackson along with his co-author, Mikel Delgato PhD, delve into all things cat and reveal how health and happiness for your cat(s) are accessible through understanding how they think and feel.

Total Cat Mojo will help the reader understand their cat and develop a better relationship with them. After all, who doesn't want to have a good relationship with their cat?

Jackson calls our cat's natural instinct the "Raw Cat" and discusses the variety of ways to create healthy and dynamic households. 

Topics Jackson covers includes establishing routines and situations with your cat, creating a Mojo map (where do you put the litterbox and cat furniture), litterbox rules as well as handling activities that can cause stress - like vet visits, aggression, nail trimming, etc. 

Jackson has various pages with additional information outside of the book.

Jackson Galaxy is a cat behaviorist and the host of Animal Planet's hit show My Cat from Hell and their upcoming show Cat Vs Dog. He is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!). Jackson is also the author of Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean

Mikel Maria Delgado is co-owner of Feline Minds, a San Francisco Bay area based cat behavior consulting business. She is currently working on her doctorate in psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, studying animal behavior and human-animal relationships. 

Read previous reviews of Jackson's books here: Cat Daddy, Catify to Satisfy, Catification.

Sandpiper Cat Blog was not compensated for this blog post but did receive a copy of the book for review purposes. All opinions are our own. Excepts from Total Cat Mojo copyright Tarcher Perigee.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Global Cat Day 2017

On October 16, compassionate people around the world come together to stand up for policies that protect the cats in their communities. Join Sandpiper Cat Blog and Alley Cat Allies for their Global Cat Day campaign. Take a pledge, your support helps us better advocate for cats who call the outdoors their home!

FACT: Local animal control laws often don't consider that the only safe home for a community cat is the outdoors. Inf act, many ordinances go as far as fining those generous caregivers who know all too well that community cats aren't socialized to humans and would be considered unadoptable in a shelter. Together, we can change local laws that punish kind-hearted cat lovers who help community cats.

FACT: Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the gold standard of cat population control. It's the only humane and effective method proven to stabilize and reduce cat populations. Under TNR, cats living outside are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, ear tipped, and then returned to their outdoor home.

FACT: So far, over 650 municipalities have implemented TNR ordinances and policies. Over the past fifteen years, the number has increased tenfold, and that number continues to increase. It's thanks to the advocacy of people like you that communities are embracing the humane, effective approach to community cats. 

I have recently moved to Cape May, New Jersey, and they have two programs for TNR. One being the New Jersey Trap Neuter Return Project. The other program is Animal Alliance of Cape May County, which offers low-cost spay and neuter programs. 

Read last year's post 2016, as well as other past years - 20152014201320122011.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: Weruva's Oh My Gravy, New BFF Flavors!

It's no secret that people are picky about what food they choose to eat. And there is no reason that pickiness shouldn't translate to what you feed your cats.

The face you make when you know something good is coming.

I learned about the Big 3 by partnering with Weruva, a luxirious, natural pet food dubbed "people food for cats" which is launching a line of gluten, grain and carrageean-free cat food in honor of International Cat Day. It's called B.F.F. OMG! (that stands for Best Feline Friend, Oh My Gravy), and it's all about preventing these big 3 cat concerns.

Weruva's bundle of new flavors!

Is your cat picky? Picky eating is usually a problem with texture, since cats are carnivores whose tongues and teeth are perfectly evolved for meat-eating. It's easy to see why a cat might dislike something without real shreds of meat - would you eat a steak with the texture of pudding? Weruva's food features these shreds of real meat right off the bone, which is why cats take to food like ducks to water (or a cat to gravy)!

The texture of their new food is sure to appeal to your cat.

Got an overweight cat? The problem is in the kibble. It's filled with unnecessary carbs, which are almost impossible for cats to process (they don't produce amylase, an enzyme which helps us humans digest our food). Weruva's B.F.F. OMG! has no kibble to worry about because it's 100% real meats in their true form.

UT-why? Urinary tract issues often stem from dehydration - even if you're giving your cat plenty of water. In the wild, cats stay hydrated through the food they eat instead of what they drink. Cats are used to "eating" their water - but most wet foods don't have nearly enough hydration to keep them satisfied. All of the products in Weruva's B.F.F. OMG! line are over 85% hydration, which satisfies their needs.

Steve can't wait to crack open these cans. 

The new line of B.F.F. OMG! cans and pouches feature land proteins like boneless and skinless white chicken breast, salmon, beef, duck, lamb and more. All recipes are grain, gluten and carrageenan free. And if you are a BPA-free home, check out the pouches because they are BPA-free.

Healthy eating isn't just for humans, it's for cats too.Visit or to find the flavors of the new B.F.F. OMG! line.

 A huge thank you to my friend Kate for letting me use Steve as my surrogate cat and official Sandpiper Cat Blog (New Jersey branch) taste tester! Steve gobbled his food up and asked for more.

Steve was happy to taste test.

 Sandpiper Cat Blog received a complimentary bundle of cat food from Weruva to review. SCB was not compensated for this post.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Cool Cat Collars

Having a cat that wears a collar and ID tag can be the difference between a lost cat being returned home, or being mistaken as an outdoor cat that never returns home.

Sandpiper Cat Blog always has been and always will be an advocate to have cats that wear collars with ID tags. Regardless of whether your cat goes outside or is strictly an indoor cat, it just makes sense to be on the safe side.

The reason my cats wear collars (and live strictly indoors) has to do with my dad's past cats. They were all outdoor cats (not uncommon at the time), who in the end went missing never to be seen again, or got run over by a car. Of course you can't stop the ladder other than keeping your cat inside, but the former might be preventable by having your cat wear an ID tag.

All of our cats (with one exception) wear collars and ID tags with their names, a phone number and say "I'm lost if outside." My cousin Madeleine came up with the lost if outside line, which was a fairly recent addition to our cat's ID tags.

Henry is our one exception to wearing a collar and tag. I've often judged people who say, "My cat hates wearing collars and we can't force him to wear one." Well, in a do as I say not as I do situation, Henry refuses to wear a collar - he physically takes the collar off and has choked himself in the process. He grew up wearing a collar with a tag - which maybe was too dangly for him as a kitten at the time, and he always acts as if he is wearing a collar with tag and he tries to go after it (even after years of not wearing a collar).

Henry in 2010, wearing a collar. We had embroidered collars with no tags for him.

Henry was very sick a few years ago and would take his collar off every night. Eventually we stopped fighting him to put it back on him, especially after he lost over half his body weight and was essentially at death's door. Henry is microchipped, and the world's friendliest cat, so he is the one exception to our collar/ID tag policy (to my chagrin).

Our other cats don't mind their collars, and it has always been fun to pick out collars to match their personalities.

Piper's new collar. While it comes with an adorable strawberry bell, with 8 cats we don't like them wearing bells. Just imagine 8 cats all jingling! I saved it to use for a craft project.

When the brand Cool Cat Collars  asked me to write a review of one of their collars, I was excited to pick out a fun new collar for Piper. CCC has quite a wide array of collars to choose from. From velvet collars, mustaches, glitter, real leather to various super heroes/heroines, there is something for every cat!

Their website even states: As you no doubt are already aware, the most important reason for getting a cat collar is safety. It is much easier to retrieve a cat should they go astray if they are wearing a personalized cat collar.

A neat thing about CCC, is that they only make saftey collars, that are fit with a buckle that will break away if it gets snagged on anything. Your cat collar can match your cats personality while keeping them stylish and safe.

Cool Cat Collars also sells toys, ID tags, harnesses, and bells and charms.

Cool Cat Collars is based in the U.K., and they ship wordwide. Find Cool Cat Collars on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sandpiper Cat Blog received a complimentary collar to review. Sandpiper Cat was not compensated for the review. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter Review

With cats, comes responsibility. With responsibility comes things like litterboxes. Mostly unavoidable, litterboxes can make households messy. If you’re a fastidious neat-freak (who has a lot of cats) like me, you will need durable litter and litterboxes that can remain clean without wasting litter. And I’ve found a great new litter that I’d like to tell you about.

During my entire life, we have always had cats. And I can only recall that we have changed the brand and type of litter we use rarely. I’ve known Tidy Cats clay litter most of the time – but clay is not the best litter as it kicks up quite a large amount of dust. And that dust travels everywhere in the house. Especially when you have eight cats who use the bathroom on the constant.

Here is a picture of Piper rather than a dirty litter box!

 I’ve tried to use newspaper pellet litter, which my cats refused to acknowledge as useable litter. It sat unused for a month. Since we were seeking to move away from clay litter, we also tried walnut litter. Words cannot describe my strong dislike of the walnut litter. It barely clumped and it just made a bigger mess scooping and cleaning than when my cats used the litterbox.

Eventually we found a wheat litter, that at the time, did not produce nearly any dust. And for a few years, we were very happy with the wheat litter. But apparently, all good things must come to an end and we started disliking the litter. Now, I don’t fault the litter itself, because there were many factors that could’ve contributed to it not working. It could be that having eight cats, heavy use of the litter required way more scoopage (yes I’ve dubbed that a word) than we could adequately provide; it could’ve been that the formula of the litter changed and we weren’t aware. We ship litter to our house was having issues with their packaging –because many of the bags came expanded with air, which changed the texture of the litter. Or lastly, and probably most likely, the company that shipped and delivered the litter was somehow letting air into the bags causing the litter to expand and not absorb urine.

So, when I got a sample of ökocat Natural Wood Clumping Cat Litter, I was game for trying a new litter. In fact, we were so desperate at that point, after only a few uses of the litter – we decided to order a few more boxes of litter and change out a few of our litterboxes completely.

It is safe to say that not only did our cats quickly take to the new litter, but it made scooping about ten times easier! Not to say that I (or my family) enjoys scooping cat litter, but the wood litter made scooping an easier task.

ökocat claims that their wood litter has a “proven performance as best in class, has seven-day odor control, absorbs 500% its weight, superior clumping, naturally lightweight and biodegradable.” Now, those are big claims but I feel confident stating that those claims are well met. Their litter is even flushable! Though, I have not flushed it myself and cannot vouch for the effectiveness of that. Even the boxes of the ökocat litter are environmentally friendly. The boxes are compostable and come with an easy to carry handle.

Our litter stockpile. 
Ökocat wood litter is made from “100% sustainable and renewable wood fibers found in nature.” They typically start with “naturally fallen timber or unused lumber materials that would otherwise go to waste. The wood is then chipped and pelleted along with proprietary plant-based binders that improve the finished product.” Ökocat takes it one awesome step further and complies with the policies of the Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forestry Preservation/Promotion Act. Ökocat is one of a kind because their “sustainable litters come from the earth, and can be returned to the earth and won’t sit in landfills for 100+ years like clay litters do.”

Ökocat’s most important component, in my opinion, is their odor control. Their litter traps the liquids and odors but does not use chemicals, scents, dyes and does so while not using any harmful materials. The wood pellet litter lasts so much longer than any other litter that we have used for our cats. It’s really quite impressive. And Ökocat litter lasts and reduces mess and waste which is a time and money saver.

Ökocat offers other varieties of litter including super soft clumping wood cat litter, long hair clumping (for long hair breeds), cracked pine, and featherweight clumping wood cat litter.

Before we go, we just have one reminder about transitioning your cat to a new letter. It is best to slowly start a litter transition and not completely shift over to the new product. Here is a suggestion from Ökocat on how to switch -