Review of Cardboard Scratch Kitty Hotel

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I recently ordered this American Cat Club Cardboard Scratch Kitty Hotel for my cats. I thought it was cute. Plus, I was hoping it would encourage my cat, Motor, to spend more time in the bedroom. A comfy kitty hotel seemed like it would do the trick.

Cat Club cat hotel in box
The hotel needed to be assembled when it arrived. As you can see, it came in three pieces, including a cat scratcher for the floor, which is a nice touch, especially since Motor loves them, and the hotel pieces
The instructions were, to me anyway, not super clear, so I just went ahead and assembled the hotel from scratch (first pun of the article — will there be another one?)

It took about two to three minutes, since it was just a matter of folding and then inserting the tabs into the slots.Assembled Cat Club hotel
Both Motor and Poussey were really curious to inspect the assembled product. I took about eight pictures of Motor checking it out, but they all came out blurry, so here’s Poussey:
Poussey can cat hotel
I assembled the hotel this morning and, as of this evening, neither cat has gone inside it yet. Some cats are natural explorers. My cats tend to err on the side of caution and I’m pretty sure they will end up checking in (and there it is!) to the hotel soon.

I’m really hoping they enjoy it and it’s tempting to order more because there are so many different cute styles, including the ones below.


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Electronics company designs products that come in boxes designed for re-purposing as cat houses

Checking out what it’s like to take a cat on a walk

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With the weather warmer up and people getting out of the house more, who can resist a walk?

And, while many think about walking their dogs, I had to share these awesome pics of a friend who recently bought a cat carrier to take her cat on walks.

According to Shannon Elizabeth, of London: “James loves an adventure, so I bought him this handy cat backpack. I’ve been taking him on short trips outside. He’s now obsessed with meeting new people, saying ‘hello’ to the birds and being carried around like a prince.”

Thanks Shannon for letting me use these pics! And, now, I totally want to get my own cat backpack because, although London is a tad bit more exciting than our small town in the U.S., I think Motor and Poussey would enjoy a change of scenery too.


Company creates products to help pets travel in style and safely

Study finds that dog walkers get more exercise, even when weather isn’t pleasant



Our review of Soft Velvet Safe Cat Bell Collar, Adjustable Mini Collar Bling Diamante

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The full product name of this collar is actually:

“Soft Velvet Safe Cat Bell Collar, Adjustable Mini Collar Bling Diamante with Bells, Safety Quick Release Collars Belt 11 inch for Small Dogs and Cats (Black)”

I ordered it off of Amazon for $8.98.

There were a couple of key things that made me want to order it:

  1. I was looking for a collar with “bling” and this one definitely sparkles, and at an affordable price.
  2. It has a quick safety release. My cat, Motor, is wearing it in the pictures below. She’s an indoor cat, so I don’t have to worry about her getting caught on something outside. But, still, you never know what mischief a cat can get into, even indoors.

I was happy with it upon arrival. This is what it looked like straight out of the package. As you can see, it’s nice enough to make a cute bracelet.

cat collar







One thing I do want to note is that, yes, it does have a bell on it. Some people warn against bells on cat collars because they can bother cats with the constant sound (imagine having a jingling sound near your ears all day long!), and because some cats have been known to get their claws stuck in the bells either when scratching or when trying to remove the collar, leading to a painful removal process.

The grooves on this bell are nice and thin, but, if the bell seems to bother Motor, I will take it off. It looks nice and easy to remove.

OK…so, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for… What it looks like on.

























As you can see, Motor looks super fierce and on fleek.

If you’re interested in checking out this collar on Amazon, the info is below:



Why do they put bells on cat collars?

Smart collar captures dog activity and makes food recommendations

Making a chicken feeder from a recycled soda bottle

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today, I’m re-running a story originally published on Oct. 8, 2018. Looking back, I can’t believe how much the grandbaby has grown. The chickens have pretty much stayed the same size, however. LOL.

boy with chickens

The grandbaby out playing with his glider airplane near the chickens, who are free-ranging in the background.




Anyway, I had forgotten about this story until I went back into older posts and then I remembered how much fun it was to put together. I also think it’s timely now because, around here anyway, it’s been raining cats and dogs. Not literally; the chickens wouldn’t like that! But, if you have chickens and a lot of rain, you might appreciate this inexpensive way to keep your chicken’s feed fresh and dry.

Making a Chicken Feeder from a Recycled Soda Bottle
Soda Bottle Birdfeeder

We found this Soda Bottle Feeder for $3.50 at the Gift Shop at River Park North in Greenville, North Carolina, although we noticed you can also find it on for $5.99 and similar items for what we paid and upward.

Although it looked like it was for regular birds, we thought maybe it would work for our chickens, who are in the market for new bird feeders, so we decided to try it out. After all, the price was right.

To assemble:

We washed out an empty soda bottle and then waited to make sure it was all dry inside so they chicken feed wouldn’t clump and go bad.

The outer part of the black plastic shown above in the photo snaps off very easily.

We then poked two small holes in either side of the bottle, which was not as easy as we thought it would be because bottles are a lot more flimsy nowadays.

Once we got the “handle” inserted into the bottom of the bottle, we went on to filling the bottle with the feed. Our chickens prefer crumbles to pellets. We kind of expected getting the crumbles into the small bottle opening to be a laborious process, but, it was really simple.

We used a plastic pitcher (shown below) and poured the feed into the bottle while holding it over the bag of feed. It only took a couple of minutes to do this part.

plastic pitcher and bottle

Grandbaby helping with filling feed bottle

Our grandbaby, pre-bath, helping with the last few crumbles.

Then we just screwed the feed part onto our bottle and viola!

Finished bottle feeder

Time to test it out!

Our final step was to find a place to hang it up (we used an old shoelace).

Then, we waited to see if it would work…

You can see below, it takes Roo, our rooster, a few seconds to figure out how the feeder works. But, once he gets the hang of it, everybody starts getting in on the act.

We’re really happy with this experiment, especially given the fact that we it only cost us $3.50 and we recycled a bottle in the process!

chickens with feeder

Our review of Citrus Magic Odor Control Pods, and a handy, free litter change reminder sheet

Reading Time: 3 minutes

So, I was  doing some shopping recently and came across these:


As you can see they are “Odor Control Pods for Litter” from Citrus Magic Pet. With two cats, keeping the litterboxes fresh is a challenge, so I picked some up.

The pods aren’t very large. They’re about the length of an pinky finger, but they definitely individually pack a wallop when it comes to smell.

They come in different scents, including Fresh Linen and Ocean Breeze. I bought the Outdoor Fresh pods. It’s sort of hard to fragrance to describe but it is pleasant; kind of like a fabric softener or a laundry detergent aroma but very concentrated. 

Anyway, what you do is put a pod into the cat litter and it’s supposed to absorb odors for up to a week. According to the directions, If you change litter, throw out the pod with used litter after a week. If you scoop your litter daily, scoop out the pod after a week and replace it with a new one.

So, back to the scent. I have two cats and two different litter boxes. About five minutes after I put the pod in one of the litterboxes, I could smell the pod’s scent in the corner of the kitchen where the litterbox is kept. About ten minutes later, I could smell it throughout both rooms that had litterboxes.

I was little worried about the strong smell. Although pleasant to humans, I thought it might somehow scare the cats away from their litterboxes, but that didn’t happen. The pods smell very strong the first day of use, a little less so the second day, and then I don’t notice them having a smell after that.

I also wondered about the safety of the product, since I tend to be cautious when it comes to what I use to clean up around my pets. On its website, Beaumont Products, Inc. describes its pet product line as “a safe and natural, yet effective alternative to using harsh chemicals around those beloved members of any family.” In addition, I looked up the ingredients listed on the product packaging and nothing seemed terribly hazardous, although I would like to know more about what they use for “fragrance,” which is listed as one of their ingredients.

In addition to whatever “fragrance” consists of, the product is also made of water (main ingredient), sodium stearate, glyceryl stearate, glycerin, sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate.

Of course, the pods are not a substitute for regularly scooping and changing the cat litter, just sort of an added way of helping with odor prevention/masking.

And, by the way, another resource you can use is free: I previously created a free, printable sheet that can be used to keep track of when it’s time to change the kitty litter, which you can access — simply click here.

Related stories:

Wow, my pet needs a bath! E-commerce site sells ‘skunk ready kit’ pet owners can have on hand in case their dog has a close encounter with one of these critters and their strong-smelling spray

Company offers plant-based cat litter


Doughnuts for dogs

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We were in Sheetz in Greenville, North Carolina today when we saw a display with all kinds of fancy dog treats, including these Doggy Dough-mutts.

As you can see, they look good enough for people to eat. They look so good, in fact, that we did a double take when looking at the package because we just wanted to make sure they were actually for dogs.

Doggy DoughMutts

According to the Cosmo’s Snack Shack website, only six ingredients, including sweet potato, are used in this otherwise decadent-looking snack. And, if you’re wondering, the doughnuts are actually hard like a dog biscuit, not soft like real doughnuts.

We tested them out on our dogs, Scooby and Caramel. Scooby ate his immediately.

Below is Caramel taste-testing hers:

If your local Sheetz isn’t selling these and you are interested in buying them, you can check out the Cosmo’s Snack Shack site for more information about where to purchase:


Company creates products to help pets travel in style and safely

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sleepypod®, a Pasadena-based company that has received numerous awards for safety and design innovation, is redefining pet products.

For example, Sleepypod offers dog and cat beds that convert to travel carriers, which seems not only convenient for humans but comforting to pets who get to travel with something comfortable and familiar.

Sleepypod travel bed advertisement.

In addition, the company has focused on developing ways for pets to travel more safely. Sleepypod designs advanced crash test pets for the purpose of car safety research, testing its carriers and safety harnesses at U.S., Canadian, and European child safety seat standards. Every Sleepypod car safety restraint has been independently tested and certified with a top safety rating from the Center for Pet Safety.

Now, a new collection of products designed with safety, reliability and beauty in mind, will be available from Sleepypod starting Oct. 15

The new Sleepypod Everyday collection is made from hard wearing textiles with distinct lusters and hues, and includes:

The Locking Martingale Collar, which provides the gentle control of a martingale collar but also securely fastens for off-leash use. Small $17.99, Medium $19.99, Large 24.99

Sleepypod brings safety to everyday pet essentials. The new Sleepypod “Everyday Collection” is made from hardwearing textiles having distinct lusters and hues.

The Power Collar, a high tensile strength nylon webbing with the power to withstand 1,000 pounds of force. Large $24.99

The Breakaway Collar, a high tensile strength nylon webbing with a breakaway clasp that releases with pressure. Small $12.99

The Power Leash, a 6-foot leash with built-in traffic handle for extra control plus convenience of bag loop. Composed of high tensile strength nylon webbing and high strength snap hook that will withstand 1,000 pounds of force. Small $29.99, Large $34.99

Traffic Leash. Eighteen-inch tfor extra control plus convenience of bag loop. Composed of high tensile strength nylon webbing and high strength snap hook that will withstand 1,000 pounds of force. $19.99

Martingale Cat Harness, a high-grade breathable mesh cat walking harness design incorporates a martingale to prevent escape from harness. Small $26.99, Medium 28.99, Large 29.99

For additional information, visit

Source: PRNewswire/Sleepypod

Sure Petcare’s state-of-the-art activity and behavior monitor for dogs learns and reports the unique activity and behavior patterns of your pet

Reading Time: < 1 minute(—Pet product specialist Sure Petcare has launched Animo, the lifelong activity and behavior monitor, which learns and accurately interprets the unique behavior and activity patterns of a dog.

Animo delivers insights into a dog’s activity and sleep, as well problem behaviors such as shaking, scratching and barking, helping owners to understand the changing needs of their pet over its lifetime.

Worn on a dog’s collar, Animo is suitable for all dogs. Animo is also lightweight, waterproof and uses a standard coin cell battery, which lasts for six months.

Using the Sure Petcare – Animo app via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Animo monitors each of the following aspects of dog behavior:

  • Activity: Users can set daily activity goals, and view activity reports.
  • Sleep Quality: Hour-by-hour sleep quality throughout the night; a poor night’s sleep can be an indication of discomfort.
  • Calories: track calories burnt and compare to recommended targets.
  • Behavior tracking: displays incidents of increased barking, scratching or shaking.
  • Connect with family and friends: share access to the app with all care givers.

“Animo gives dog owners a window into their dog’s day: not only to tell them what he gets up to when they’re not around, but more importantly to spot changes in behavior and activity over time, which may signal changes in their pet’s health and wellbeing,” said Nick Hill, founder of Sure Petcare. “Combining Antelliq’s world-leading animal monitoring expertise, our pet industry experience and the advice of world-renowned dog behaviorists, Animo’s suite of algorithms begins to learn the animal’s unique patterns of movement; accurately interpreting them and reporting their corresponding activity and behavior types to the owner via our smartphone app. Animo tells owners more about their dog than they’ve ever known before.”

What is the stylish pup wearing on rainy days?

Reading Time: < 1 minutedog in raincoat

We love Meadow (a family member’s dog in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York) wearing this adorable raincoat.

As you can see, rainy days are no longer a drag for this adorable pup, as it keeps her nice and dry.

Unfortunately, the exact style of raincoat she’s wearing is not currently available on, which is where they purchased it, but a very similar style is the Frisco Rainy Days Dog Raincoat, which you can check out by clicking here.


Product Review: Pretty Litter

Reading Time: 3 minutes 


Bag of Pretty Litter

As we mentioned in a previous post, we recently got our first bag of Pretty Litter in the mail. Our cat, Jingles, has been using it for a few days, so we decided to do a review.

In the interest of disclosure, we should mention that we are an affiliate for Pretty Kitty, meaning if you click on their ad on our site and buy it, we do get a commission. That being said, we are giving an impartial review of the product.

So, to start, we first found out about Pretty Litter in an online advertisement. It sounded interesting, but also a little daunting because you have to sign up to get it delivered on a monthly basis. You can cancel anytime, though, according to the site, and, when we weighed the costs of buying cat litter and the annoyance of carrying home heavy bags or big, plastic cartons that end up useless and in landfills, we decided it was reasonable. Plus, whenever we need to buy cat litter, for some reason, we almost always forget to pick up a new bag at the store, so the idea of delivery is helpful in that respect.

Our first bag took about a week to come in the mail. And it came with an instruction card, which might sound kind of redundant for kitty litter. But, this kitty litter is different in a number of respects, the most interesting one is probably that it changes color when your cat urinates and the color helps you keep tabs on your cat’s health.

Kitty litter monitor card

As you can see from the top of the card above, there is a normal range, which is good. If you get other colors, you need to take your kitty to a veterinarian. For example, shades of blue to dark green indicate high alkalinity in urine, while red indicates, appropriately enough, blood.

This part was actually, oddly, kind of fun and also scary the first time Jingles used the litter box with the new Pretty Kitty litter in it. It was like waiting for pregnancy test results. We were keeping our fingers crossed that everything would come out okay. Fortunately, the litter changed a nice yellow color.

An aspect about this kitty litter that isn’t really promoted by the company (as far as we could tell and other than in the name itself) is that the litter really is pretty.

Yes, that probably sound strange, but when you first pour it into the litter pan, it is all white, like sparkly sand, not like any litter we’ve ever seen before. So, we thought that was worth mentioning, although that perfect, new terrain didn’t last long once JIngles dove in and got to work. (Although the instructions say it takes some cats a little while to adjust to the new type of litter, Jingles truly was thrilled with it and had no problem using it right away.)

To use correctly, you do need to make sure that you have at least two inches of litter in the pan, keep away from high moisture areas (like bathrooms), and scoop every day. But one bag is supposed to last a month, as long as you scoop every day.

It lasts so long because, according to the Pretty Litter site, “unlike clumping litter, PrettyLitter absorbs and then eliminates moisture.”

If you’re interested in more information, please click on the ad below:

Pretty Litter