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 www.weruva.com or www.chewy.com 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 - https://www.healthy-pet.com/okocat/Easy-Tips-for-Transitioning-To-a-New-Cat-Litter.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

6th Anniversary of Sandpiper Cat Blog! And an update.


It's hard to believe that it has been six years since Piper came into my life on March 13, 2011. I feel like everyone says that about their pet's "gotcha day," but I think it is pretty different for us. Piper came to us half way through her pregnancy and she ultimately miscarried her kittens that night. She was really only a kitten herself, about 7 months old. And I was 18 years old.

Piper had a busy summer watching the Olympics. She was a big fan of Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps, Nathan Adrian and Anthony Erwin. She even tried to knock over Usain Bolt!

She and I are in such different places now. Piper is now about 6.5 years old and I'm 23. I was a senior in high school when we rescued Piper and now I am a college graduate and working in New Jersey. Yes, that's right - I don't even live with Piper right now! Which is really hard and sad for a lot of reasons because I have never been without a cat (with the exception of vacations). I miss her a lot and I get to FaceTime with her. I'll see her again in a few weeks when I go home for some dental work. But it is difficult not to live with any cats.

Piper did have some health issues in November and December 2016. In November she went in for her regular dental cleaning and they found a heart murmur. They took her back to the cardiologist and she was cleared to have her dental surgery, but she peed herself. She had a urinary tract infection and could not safely have her dental. 

A few days after the weird blood episode.

We took her home with pain medication and antibiotics, to get her healthy again. Maybe a week or so later, we had a very scary incident. I came home from shopping and saw blood all over the kitchen. I'll spare you any more details (and definitely no pictures), but as soon as I saw her bloody paws, I knew something was terribly wrong.

Piper with Henry.

My dad and I checked the other cats and decided it had to be Piper since she had blood matted in her fur. We scooped her up and rushed off to our closest emergency vet. They took her back right away to examine her. And to our surprise, they came back out and said they could not find any possible wounds or anything external - and could we bring back our other cats to see if it was one of them? Now that's all good when you have maybe two or three cats. But when you have 8 cats total...not so much. Plus we have a few who we have trouble even catching to go to the vet for their regular check up.


So we took Piper home, put her in isolation and started tracking down and examining all the other cats. After an hour of chasing around the other 7 cats, it appeared that no one had any wounds.


The best we can deduce is that Piper passed a blood clot in urine and the two diffused together to look a lot worse than it was. But still, walking into that scene in the kitchen will be an image that sticks with me for a while.

My mom took these beautiful pictures of Piper in the sun.

Piper did finally get cleared for a dental in December (only about a week before I had my wisdom teeth out, irony anyone?) and she did great. She does have resorption disease and they had to do some extractions. Hopefully, she will not need more in the future, but it is possible. 

And currently Piper has been isolated in my parents' bedroom since all of these occurences...she hasn't really wanted to leave. Especially because Bobby has been agressive towards her. So we have had some unsettled issues, like anyone with mulitple cats might expect. Piper does tolerate the other cats coming in the room, but she tenses up. We are working to try to get her back out in the general population, but it is taking some time.

Thank you to all of our followers for an amazing six years, and here is to more years of blogging! It wouldn't be possible without your support!