MeOW and welcome to an unService Cat Monday on Service Cat Monday. Which, due to technical difficulties beyond our control is wayyyyyyyy late. Now that was a mouthful wasn’t it? Anyways, fur mommy’s sanity and to furee up some time, Service Cat Monday question and answer and Training tips will resume in the new year. Altho’ mommy did say that our posty today could actually qualify as a Service Cat Monday posty. So, fur that reason, the followin’ will be in human English fur reader and translator ease. Actually, mommy will be doin’ most of this posty herself. But, you know Raena and me have to have our own meows ‘bout everythin’, so we’ll be includin’ our 2 cents too. Fur now, mommy, take it away.
Disclaimer: This is a Sponsored post. We received the Litter Robot Open Air III in exchange for our honest opinion. As always, we tell it like we see it and only bring products we feel would be of interest to you, our readers and friends.
Thank you baby. As you all know this blog is all about the girls. And, as special as they are, there are still things they can’t do and require a human touch. Most of you know that I’m disabled and need help with a few things. Let me give you a little back story before we proceed. Dezi came to me as a very sick little girl at the age of 2 1/2 – 3 weeks old. She had one of the worst cases of tape worm I’d ever seen in a kitten her size. And, with all that baby fine fur, the diarrhea, and the worms exiting her little body were constantly getting stuck to her bloomers. My response was to clean the litter box and her every time she exited. I must say, it was definitely the right thing to do, but it had lasting consequences. Long after the worms and diarrhea were gone, Dezi expected me to clean the litter box the minute it got used. As far as she’s concerned, we could have 10 boxes and she would still want the one that was used to be cleaned.
When you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense. I mean, would you want to use a toilet that hadn’t been flushed after it’s last “visitor”? So, as much of a chore scooping might be, I didn’t really give it a second thought. But, c’mon now, all of us kitty parents know the litter box is probably our least favorite thing about being owned by cats. As I get older and my health declines, scooping at certain times of the day gets more difficult. And with the wheelchair broken, getting to the box first thing in the morning is almost impossible. That brings us to today’s topic, Automated Litter Boxes. If you missed our post about Litter Boxes, Litter and Feline Urinary habits, you can catch up by clicking here.
Automated litter boxes have been around for quite some time now. So, I began my search for the “purrfect” automated box that could meet all the needs the girls have and still work for me and my budget and ideals. Ideals being no clay litters. As a Vet Tech I’d seen too many kitties come in with blockages from clay litter, to be comfortable using it especially with long haired cats that get it stuck to their bloomers. That right there, made it almost impossible for us to use one of those automated raking systems. Not to mention the actual box size available for kitty to do their business. But, today’s not about the “bads” of certain boxes, but rather the good and bad of the automated litter box we chose.
After much research, reading reviews, watching videos, and studying how and why the equipment works, we decided on the Litter Robot Open Air III. Now I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until I could actually see a video up close that I decided this was a good product. My initial thoughts were that the litter must end up in the top of the box since it rotates around to empty itself. With that thought, I couldn’t imagine why any cat would want to use it. After all, how would you feel if somebody pee’d or worse on your ceiling and you had to sit under that smell when you went to the bathroom? Thankfully, that’s not the case at all. you’ll see in the video below that the roof of the box stays free of dirty litter and smell. Before we get to the video, let me tell you what we were looking for in an automated litter box.
Covered: Raena occasionally still tries to swat Dezi’s tail when she’s in the litter box, so we have to have a covered litter box for privacy issues.
Size: Dezi is a large cat and Raena will be, so they need plenty of room to get in, turn around, stand, squat, dig and exit.
Works with almost any Litter: I’m not changing my mind and using clay litter, so the box we choose must allow for the litter we currently use: Swheatscoop and/or Garfield.
No Continued Expenses’ beyond electricity and inexpensive filters: Being on a fixed income means I can’t afford to by additional expensive boxes, special bags or trays.
Night Light: Yes I Know it sounds silly, but something happened to Dezi when our apartment flooded and she won’t go to the litter box in the dark.
Easy to Use: The girls must be able to enter and exit with ease.
Easy to Clean: Even the cleanest of kitties and “dustless” litter can eventually get any box a little dirty. But, due to my disabilities, handling and cleaning the size box the girls require must be easy.
Safe: The girls can sometimes get a little dig crazy and curious, so I don’t want anything around that could hurt or cut them.
Flexible Timer: Since Dezi will often pee and then need to poo almost immediately after, we need to be able to set a shorter timer than the traditional 15 minutes.
To watch on Youtube click here.
The Litter Robot Open Air III meets all our needs. If I had to say something negative, it would be about the Control Panel. As most of you know, the girls are Service Cats, and as such they are trained to turn on and off certain equipment. And, as a lot of you may recall, Raena’s been turning on all the power toys since she was about 8 weeks old. So, if I could, I would probably have a small door of some kind covering the buttons on the Control Panel. The thing is, there probably aren’t many other cats out there pressing the cycle button besides Raena; so I can’t really fault the Litter Robot peeps for not thinking about that.
They recently launched the Litter Robot Open Air Connect. If you already own a Litter Robot Open Air, you can purchase the upgrade equipment and install it yourself without voiding any warranty you may have or having to purchase a whole new system. The app connects your Litter Robot to your Apple iphone or ipad and allows you to monitor the waste drawer levels, usage and you could even trigger it to cycle if you have a kitty like Dezi that just peed and now needs to poo and can’t wait the 3 minutes.
The Litter Robot Open Air III sells for $449.00, with the Connect upgrade it’s $499.00. Trust me, I realize that’s a lot of money. I don’t make this recommendation lightly. But, after all the research I’ve done, and after having the unit in our home, I must say, the Litter Robot is worth every penny. The company sells replacement parts for the entire unit, so that you can replace only what may break or wear out in the future. They do sell reconditioned parts and units as well, so that may be another avenue to consider. Yes, it’s an investment, but, aren’t your cats worth it? Aren’t you worth it? As cat owners, most of us scoop the litter box without even thinking about it, but it’s really nice not having too. I definitely give the Litter Robot Open Air III 2 thumbs up. I’ll let the girls tell you how they feel.
Fanks mommy. Me luvs PB. It’s pawsum to always have a clean pawtty no matter the time of day or what you might be doin’. It’s an all paws up from me.
Is it mine’s turn now? Well it’s a bout time. I’s luvs, luvs, luvs PB the Litter Robot. I’s luvs to ride the rim sometimes. It’s so much fun. I’s still tryin’ to figger out how to make sissy go ‘round and ‘round like a ferris wheel. Fur some reason, it won’t cycle with her in it?. Other than that, I’s give it 4 paws up too.
(Dezi shakes head.) That’s a safety feature Raena. Fankfully, PB has better sense than you do. Cuz guess who’d be getting’ the whacky paw ifin you did send me ‘round and ‘round?. Anyways, we sure are glad PB’s working in our house. Ifin ya’ have any questions, thoughts or comments, purrlease leave ‘em in the comments section. And, any purchases thru the links in our posty mean we make a few green papers. Our Blessin’ today fur the Blessing Train is Health. We have been blest with good health. Yeah Raena’s eyes might be a bit purroblematic, but overall she’s healthy and we’re both happy.
Till the next time……………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Mommy A: Black
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle with
Hurry Raena, we’ve gotta write our Blest Sunday posty. Mommy has to go.
I’s not like it, sissy, I’s not like it one bit. Just how does she think she’s gonna manage without us?
Me doesn’t know, Raena. She’s never done this befur. Least not in me’s life time. Me ‘members sis Lexi used to meow ‘bout it, but that was a long time ago. All me knows is that mommy said she needed to try to do this. She never wants us to be in a pawsition to run outta noms ever again. And she wants to be able to take you to the V E T to find out what’s wrong with your eyes without havin’ to worry ‘bout what it’s gonna cost or ifin she’s gonna be able to affurd it. She said it isn’t like it’s furever, it’s just a few weeks.
A few? I’s thought she said 6 weeks?!! Doesn’t matter, I’s just don’t like it.
Well Raena, me’s not to happy ‘bout it either, but mommy always knows what’s bestest. She says she needs to at least try, so me thinks we should be suppurrtive. After all, standin’ in a cold barn fur 6 hours pickin’ the yucks outta pecans that she happens to be ‘lergic to, on a conveyor belt doesn’t sound like somethin’ mommy would do fur fun. It’s not like she’s goin’ out to that farm to play with the cows and horses.
I’s guess you’re right sissy. We better be on our bestest behavior and say lots of extra purrayers fur mommy. Meowin’ of purrayers, we’ve been sayin’ extras fur all our furiends lately. We know this time of year can really be hard on some, and we’ve been askin’ God to be sure and let everypawdy know how much they are luvved and that we’re here fur ‘em. The song below actually happens here more than ya’ might think, so we thought we’d share it with ya’. At least one of ya’ needed to hear this today.
To view on youtube click here.
We have at that Raena. You know we thought it was gonna be a purretty bare Christmas this year. And then, outta nowhere, we received some purretty amazin’ blessings. Awnty Cindy and her brofur uncle Marshall and the kitties sent mommy, and us of course, a nice big roast and butter fur butter spoons, and, cheese and hawaiin bread, mommy’s coffee, those chocolaty chippy brownies and even a gift fur mommy. Fank ya’ll so very much. We can’t wait fur mommy to cook up that tasty roast.
And, the very next day sissy, we got a box from that yummy Pittman Davis company that has those tasty turkey tom lurkeys. fanky fanks to LouLou, awnty Suzanne and uncle Don, we’re havin’ smoked turkey fur Christmas.
Can we cook him now mommy?
(Dezi licks lips) And fur days after too Raena. Me can’t hardly wait. Me can still ‘member the one they sent us last year. Mmmmmmmm We are so very blest.
Yep sissy, mommy spent most of the week cryin’ those happy tears.
Yeah Raena, that’s our mommy. She’s a very emotional peep. That’s okay, we’re purretty emotional too. We wanna remind everypawdy to take a minute today and every day to give thanks fur the Blessings in your life. There’s still time to hop on the Blessing Train fur our 12 Days of Blessings. Altho’ we’re not so sure it’s a blessing yet, we’re fankin’ God fur the oppurrtinutiy mommy got to make a few dollars. So, our blessing today is Opportunity. Mommy says, when oppurrtunity knocks, ya’ gotta answer.
Don’t furget, we’re also linkin’ up with the Kitties Blue fur Sunday Selfies, sissy. And with mommy bein’ gone, we’ll have to visit when we can. Hopefully, she’ll be able to help us some when she gets home. She’s leavin’ us here cuz she says it’s not fair to make us sit out in the cold all day when there’ll be so many peeps ‘round that could help her ifin she needs it. Hmmmpht They can’t alert, I’s say.
Raena!!! Be nice. Fank you all fur your luv and furiendship. We’ll be ‘round to visit soon.
Till the next time………………………………………Be Blest!!!
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. It’s been really crazy ‘round here this week. Well, at least fur mommy. I’s been takin’ a lot of naps. I’s get tired watchin’ mommy run ‘round like a chicken with her head cut off.
RaenaBelle!!! That’s not very nice.
Maybe not sissy, but you know it’s the truth. We’ve not been able to visit our furiends and meow at ‘em. Nor have we gotten to go out and look at all the Christmas lights. And we fur sure haven’t even got to write our letters to that Santa Paws guy yet. I’s thinkin’ mommy’s too busy. We need to teach her how to relax.
You may be right Raena, but me doesn’t think anypawdy could teach mommy to relax. Ya’ know a doctor told her once that she was missin’ the relax gene. Anyways, mommy said we could write our letters next week and there’d be purrlenty of time. We’ve got to get our Christmas cards out this weekend. And, since we can’t go to the nursin’ home this year, we’re thinkin’ ‘bout makin’ a carolin’ video fur our bloggy. Ifin mommy can figger it all out that is.
I’s have faith she will, sissy. After all, isn’t that what this season’s all ‘bout…Faith?
Partly Raena. But that’s good enuff. Me will have faith with ya’. Me knows we’ve got some great reviews comin’ up fur everypawdy. We’re gonna even let mommy tell peeps ‘bout our new spaceship next week.
Spaceship! What spaceship?
Ya’ know, PB, our new pawtty box.
Oh Cool. I’s luvs PB, don’t you?
Save it fur the review Raena. In the meantime, we’ve got another Blessin’ fur the Blessing Train and our 12 Days of Blessings. Altho’ it’s turned cold and mostly dismal outside, the sun still shines down upon us. We’ve been given another day to live and spread joy. Every breath we take is the Blessing of life. One fur which we are most grateful. Havin’ such scary and unsure beginnings, we have been Blest with a most wonderful life.
You’re so right sissy. Life’s not always purrfect, and we don’t always have everythin’ we want. But, we have everythin’ we need. We hope you all will jump on the Blessing Train with us and share your Blessings this holiday season. We purromiss to be ‘round to visit as soon as we can. Mommy’s purromissed to get unbusy and help us soon.
Till the next time………………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Raena: Navy Blue
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
RaenaBelle and Deztinee
MeOW Welcome to Service Cat Monday. What started out as a simple Training day post quickly evolved to encompass all things Feline. It’s the one day a week, we focus on educating and writing fur the humans in our lives. We wanna thank all of you fur your questions, comments and readership this past year. Keep the questions comin’. ‘Member, the only dumb question is the one not asked. This will be the last Service Cat Monday post of the year 2017. But, don’t worry, this series will return fur 2018. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the complexities of the Feline Behavior (pun intended). That bein’ said, let’s get the business outta the way and get on with today’s post. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
We get asked a lot about food and proper nutrition for us kitties. As most of you know, we eat a raw freeze dried food and are adamantly opposed to feeding any kitty a kibble only diet. And as most of you also know, we have semi scheduled feedings and don’t believe in leaving food out all the time for kitty. What we mean by Semi-Scheduled, is that we eat at specific times a day. Altho’ breakfast is served when mommy can get up and make our plates, dinner is almost always served within a hour of the same time each day. Those plates are available for a limited time and then empty or not, they disappear until the next meal time when they are replaced with a fresh plate of food. One comparison you can make between kitties and humans is, if you can sleep without getting up to eat, so can we.
To understand kitty’s nutritional needs, we must look at the feline roots, the wildcat from whence we came. We believe in creation, and that God created the first cats. However, you want to see it, Cats exist and are among the few True Carnivores. We call them Obligate Carnivores, meaning they MUST eat meat to survive. The dictionary says this about Obligate: Biologically essential for survival. Cats Can Not live much less Thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet. A cat’s teeth are designed to rip flesh and chew meat, muscle and tendons. The cat’s tongue is barbed to help it remove fur and feathers from their prey. Cats lack the physiology required to break down or digest vegetation, starches and/or some carbohydrates.
Cats’ require certain Amino Acids such as Taurine, Tryptophan and Arginine that is found in animal flesh. While the human body is capable of breaking down carbs and producing certain Amino Acids on it’s own, the cat must get those from their food. A cat who doesn’t get the required nutrients in their diet, may go blind, suffer muscle loss, other illnesses and even die. A cat in the wild, will also get moisture from their prey. Cats consume blood, predigested vegetation and other wet contents from their kill. This practice has led to a smaller liquid intake by cats and more concentrated urine. We’re all familiar with the overwhelming smell of cat urine. However, fresh water should still be available for kitty at all times.
(Meat Meal) Looks more like chicken feed than somethin’ us
kitties can sink our teethies into.
So, let’s take a look at Kibble. It’s a well known fact that the first three ingredients listed make up the largest part of a food/feed. Now we know every bag of kibble lists a moisture content. But, we also know anyone who has ever touched a piece knows there’s nothing moist about kibble. If you were to put a piece of kibble in a spoon full of water, the kibble would soak up all the liquid in no time. So, imagine what it’s doing inside kitty who never drinks their 8 glasses of water a day (mol). No, kitties don’t need 8 glasses of water a day, that part was a joke. But seriously, cats don’t always drink enough water, so when kitty eats something that will absorb any liquid around it, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Some grain free options. Does a kitty look like a rabbit?
There are 2 basic diets available, regular and grain free. Grain free diets commonly include starches such as potatoes. As we pointed out earlier, cat’s generally Do Not have the ability to break these down. An inability to digest these starches in cats may cause kitty to become gassy, have diarrhea or bloat. Kibble may also cause kitty to gain weight and be at risk of becoming obese. Kibble only diets also increase kitty’s risk of Urinary problems. For many years now, it’s been known that a lot of the pet food manufacturers use less than desirable ingredients in their kibble and even canned feeds. The laws protecting animals and ensuring the quality of food are too often not enforced. Animals that have been euthanized or died from illnesses/disease are often used in the manufacturing of pet feed. Even companies that charge outrageously for their products are guilty of these practices.
Me hopes mommy doesn’t ketch me cleanin’ Raena’s plate.
Even more alarming than the above is what happens to a kitty when kibble is left available at all times. Contrary to the belief that kitty will go hungry overnight, or while you’re away at work, we kitty’s were never intended to eat 24/7. And believe it or not, we can even last a few extra hours when you’re running late. Most kitties can safely go without a meal every now and then without any harm or danger to their health (Only healthy cats, not those affected by an illness or disease. Please speak with a VET before fasting any cat who is sick). Let’s talk about kitty’s sniffer and food for a minute. When kitty smells food, a chemical reaction happens that causes kitty’s body to produce needed acids to break down the food for use. When food is left out all the time, kitty’s brain is on overload. The body can quit producing those acids or over produce them which can lead to illness, obesity and even death. A hunting cat isn’t always successful and may not eat every day. We’re not suggesting you fast kitty, but we are saying, kitty doesn’t need to eat all day and night.
Dry Freeze dried Primal (not recommended by manufacturer).
Now we luv the gravy.
A few years ago, me was a grain free kibble eating kitty. Until that is, me got sick and mommy learned me’s urine pH was off the Alkaline charts. Me was on a Semi-Scheduled feeding, but me’s body just couldn’t break down all those potatoes. Me was stubborn and didn’t want to give up me’s kibble. Thankfully, mommy’s more stubborn than me and knew what was best. While we don’t recommend it, mommy began to feed me the Freeze Dried Raw food…DRY. Freeze Dried raw should be reconstituted with water or broth. However, me just wouldn’t eat it, so mommy left it as is. About a week later, mommy began serving me’s freeze dried raw on a damp/wet plate. A week later she used her fingers to sprinkle water across the top. The next week, she added a spoonful of water and so on. Now me can’t imagine eating a food without that delicious gravy. The more the better me meows.
We also added water fountains to make drinking more appealing and fun. After much research and many calls to pet food manufacturers about their ingredients and manufacturing policies, we eat and recommend the Primal line of foods. They truly use human grade ingredients. Yes, it costs a bit more than kibble or canned, but it’s the next best thing to mommy making our food herself. And, for those who don’t want to touch raw ingredients or need easy raw food due to travel, it’s convenient. Me’s urine pH is healthy and normal now, and Raena and me are generally healthy and happy.
Me’s lappin’ up the last of the gravy so mommy can add more.
If you’re not ready to make the Raw leap, canned food is the next best choice. It is a myth that kibble cleans kitty’s teeth. It is also a myth that a Persian cat and a Siamese cat have different nutritional needs or require breed specific formulas. That’s one of the craziest money grabbing schemes we’ve ever heard. All Cats are Obligate Carnivores and therefore require the same nutrition…MEAT. Not meat by products or meat meal made up of some unknown animal parts or plant proteins. Mommy says when deciding what meats to feed us, she likes to think about our wild ancestors. She asks the question, What kind of meat would kitty hunt for if left to their own devices? Very few cats actually fish. Most of a cat’s food sources come from land mammals who eat both meat and vegetation and supply kitty with all the nutrition he/she requires.
Well we do hope this has helped some of ya’. Obviously, this is a huge topic and there’s much more we could have added. So, ifin ya’ want us to expound more, let us know. Fur now, we’re gonna wrap this up and do some more Christmas purrep. Don’t furget to leave your questions, comments and/or topics below or send us an email. And, you can ketch up on any posty you may have missed by clickin’ the links below. One last thing, our Blessing today is Good Food and Nutrition. Fanks mommy, fur lookin’ out fur us.
Till the next time…………………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses