Licking Cat

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS

The following is a list of favorite supplies with links so you can buy them.
These are not official endorsements, but products that Samantha likes and recommends to other cat owners.
We hope they help you create a cat-friendly home that makes both you and your cats happy!

 

FOR THE HOME

  • Cat litter: I've tried them all and always come back to Naturally Fresh. It's soft on my cats' paws, it prevents odors really well, it's super easy to scoop, and it's biodegradable. It's only made with one ingredient: walnut shell. That’s as natural as it gets. It's pet, people, and planet-friendly!

  • Litter box: It's important to ensure there are no obstacles preventing your cat from entering the litter box. You want that box to be so attractive to your cat that they want to use it. It should be uncovered, have a low entry (especially as their joints age), it should be large enough that they can move around in, and it should be scooped at least once a day, washed once a month, and replaced once every couple of years. This litter box is fantastic! I bought one, and after noticing that all my cats preferred this one I replaced all the litter boxes in my house with these. 

  • Elevated bowls: Elevating your cat's bowls makes it easier for them to eat, especially as their joints age. A better eating posture can also help cats with stomach issues. It won't solve stomach issues though, so always consult your vet if your cat is not well.

  • Water fountain: Keeping your cat hydrated is so important for their health. Cats' wild instincts tell them that stagnant water could be dangerous, so many cats prefer running water. I like this fountain because it only has one spout of water, like your sink's faucet, and they don't have to get their head wet when drinking if they don't want to. Plus it looks sleek and futuristic.

  • Odor neutralizer: No matter how often you scoop the box or change out the litter, there can still be some unpleasant smells from time to time. This spray doesn't cover up the odor, it eliminates it. It's non toxic and cruelty-free too. I've recommended it for friends with cats and they've noted that it also works on stinky teenager rooms and shoes.

  • Scale: A cat's weight can give you so much insight into their wellbeing. Cats can overeat or under-eat when bored, stressed, or ill. Weighing your cat regularly will help you help them live their best lives.

  • Nail trimmer: Even if your cat regularly uses a scratcher, we still need to trim the hooked tip off their nails every few weeks before walking becomes painful for them. This nail trimmer is simple and easy and the one I always use and recommend.

  • Wipes: As fastidiously clean as cats are, they still may need a little help every once in a while. When "poop-foot" emerges from the litter box, I grab these natural, organic, unscented wipes.

  • Doc & Phoebe's indoor hunting feeders: Giving your cat the opportunity to feel like a hunter is more than enrichment, it's necessary. When you scoop your cat's favorite food into these mouse-shaped food puzzles and hide them around the house it helps prevent boredom and eating too quickly, and it could even help keep your cat from waking you in the middle of the night.

  • Cat sofa: OK I'm adding one frivolous product here. I have a velvet cat sofa in my living room and it's not only a great conversation peice but makes for the cutest photos! I mean, it can be considered enrichment because it gives your cat its own spot that's raised off the floor. But mainly it's just really cute!

FOR ENRICHMENT

  • Wand toy: Cats are born to be predators and we need to give them the opportunity to hunt in order for them to feel their best, mentally and physically. After years of working with thousands of shelter cats I can confidently say that this type of wand toy is the clear winner among wand toys. I've seen scared cats, shy cats, senior cats, every type of cat get so excited and feel confident, like the hunter they were meant to be, when playing with this wand toy.

  • Tall, sturdy scratcher: Cats have to scratch things. It's instinctive and you should never discourage it. When it comes to scratching, cats need a scratcher that is taller than they are when they reach their arms up over their head while standing, and it should not move, wobble, or fall when they put all of their weight on it. This scratcher checks off both those boxes and is a favorite of so many cats.

  • Cat tree: All cats need vertical territory, the opportunity to be up high, in order to feel confident in their environment. And they also need something sturdy to scratch. Cats have to scratch, it's instinctive and you should never discourage it. So a cat tree with a scratcher on it covers both of these instinctive needs. Most people assume cat trees are expensive, ugly, and take up a lot of room. But I've found that this cat tree is none of these! It's neutral, sturdy, inexpensive, and had a tiny footprint. I have 3 huge, rowdy cats and I've had this exact tree for 3 years now and it still looks great.

  • Food puzzle: Cats in the wild have to work to find their food. Many house cats are bored, and boredom leads to all kinds of issues, behaviorally and physically. So it's beneficial to have them use their brain and paws to get their food. Food puzzles also help cats eat slowly, which keeps them full longer. I recommend this food puzzle because it's the perfect level of difficulty. 

  • Hidey bed: Many people don't realize that hiding is actually enrichment for cats. Cats in the wild hide. It's an instinctive behavior. So we should give our cats the opportunity to hide in appropriate places. Rather than hiding under furniture, allow your cats to hide in plain sight with a hidey bed. I have a very confident cat and he loves to sleep in his hidey bed in the sun all day long.

  • Cat clicker: Train your cat to do something! Just try it! Find a video online and give it a shot. Your cat will love it and it will deepen the bond between you two. Clicker training can solve so many common behavior issues too. And these clickers have a soft, quiet click which doesn't startle cats the way traditional dog clickers (box clickers) do.

  • High-value treats: Utilize treats as an easy way of training your cat. My cats only get treats when they're doing something I like and want to see more of. And these freeze-dried turkey hearts are the highest value treat I've found. These are reserved for nail trims and clicker training, so they last for months. My cats are obsessed with them!

  • Sparkle Balls: Cats love to bat these sparkle balls around and carry them in their mouth. They're great for shelter cats too because they're soft, small, and washable!

  • Catnip banana: No cat enrichment list would be complete without adding a Yeowww! catnip banana on there. They must put some magical catnip in there because cats go crazier for these than I've seen with any other catnip toy! They're the best!

  • Bouncing bird toy: While it's best to be hands-on and interactive when playing with your cat, like when you make a wand toy move the way their prey would, this is a fun option for when you're busy. You hang the toy from a doorway and it bounces and flies around as your cat grabs and bites it. Just remember to put it away when you're not around so your cat does not hurt itself or ingest that long elastic string. It's a good idea to remove toys from your cat's environment anyway, so they stay exciting.