Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back in California

We got back in California a few days ago, and let me tell you. This kitty did not miss the heat! She has been so lazy and hot the past few days, I've been trying everything I can to help her out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Night Patrol

Suki sits here at night and watches for her frenemy, the black and white cat who sort of lives next door / everywhere and sits on top of my car at night.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cat Sitting

Suki does not enjoy being left behind, but that doesn't mean she never is. Leaving your beloved pet with someone else is not only confusing for the animal, but it can also be nerve wracking for you too. What if someone accidentally lets your cat out? What if they forget to feed him/her? What if my cat thinks I have abandoned him/her? I'm always nervous when I leave Suki in the hands of someone else, but with a little preparation and a lot of comunciation with your cat sitter, i've gotten a lot more comfortable with it.


Before you go, you need to have enough wet food and/or dry food to last your cat while you are gone, and a few days extra just in case your return is postponed for any reason. If you don't leave enough food, you're relying on someone else to go out and get it for you - which is not only really inconsiderate, but also - they are probably just going to buy cheap food  (that is loaded with unhealthy byproducts) from the closest store possible.

Another important thing to take into consideration is giving your cat flea meds before you leave. The last thing you want is to come home and find tapeworm egg casings. Not only are they disgusting, but you don't want your cat sitter (who may not even notice) to have to deal with that. Especially make sure your cat has had flea meds if your cat sitter has cats at home who have fleas. They can travel in on the cat sitter and get on your cat, who could then eat them while grooming, and get tape worms. Yuck.


Whenever I leave the Suk and have someone checking in on her, I probably text that person every other day. Just getting a quick confirmation of "She's fine" makes a huge difference if you are worrying. It might be a good idea to ask your cat sitter to shoot you a short quick text every time they go over, just to calm your fears or worries.


Everyone is different, but I've got a few basic rules for anyone taking care of Suki. I do this because I want to minimize any possible risk of accident, injury, etc. I've put together a one-page sheet that you can fill out and leave for your cat sitter that covers most of the basics. You can fill in your own directions in certain areas.

Click here to download my one-page Cat Sitting Instructions sheet!

Am I missing anything? Leave a comment below with your advice relating to cat sitting!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Midnight Cat Snack

When I first got Suki, she almost seemed nocturnal. The first night I had her home, I had to lock actually her in the walk in closet so that I could get a few hours of sleep. (I found kitten Suki curdled up in the laundry basket the next day. It was adorable.) Up until just a few months ago, Suki would run around, bite my feet, use my body as a landing pad, literally meow in my face and lick my arms, all while I was sleeping. It was incredibly annoying, and for a while I had to lock her out of the bedroom at night.

The past few months I tried out a few things to see if I could alter her sleep schedule. In the evenings I try to prevent Suki from napping. I don't care if she naps during the day but between the hours of 7pm-12am, I try to keep her from catching any Z's. I'm not sure if this has had any effect over how long she sleeps at night but it has to help.

The other thing I've been doing is feeding Suki wet food right before I want to go to sleep. She wolfs it down in like a second because it's her favorite thing ever, and then she's really exhausted. She then climbs up into her cat condo to the very top, and sleeps through the night. I wake up in the morning and she is in the exact same spot and position. Once she hears me waking up she stretches, yawns, and then follows me meowing until I feed her some wet food!

Does your cat sleep through the night?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kitty Dreams


Peacock Feathers - Best Cat Toy Ever

I bought Suki another peacock feather the other day from a Dragons, Crystals, & Katanas type store for only $1. She tore apart our first one after about 6 months of rough play with it. Suki loves peacock feathers because they are long and billowy, and also smells like a bird. I have to actually hide it out of view and reach from her when we are done playing with it so that she doesn't destroy it. She would tear it up if I left it out.

Peacock Feathers are a great cheap cat toy if you can find any weird stores in your area that carry them! If you have seen them for sale online, please leave a link in the comments! Thanks!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Air Conditioner Cat

Sometimes when the heat bad, Suki stands on top of the air conditioner while it is on full blast!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Suki's Top Ten

So I decided maybe it would be fun to do a post of Suki's top ten favorite things.

1.) Wet Food
2.) Me
3.) Open Windows
4.) Peacock Feathers
5.) Fake Feathers
6.) Puff Balls
7.) Cat beds
8.) Air Conditioning
9.) Getting Her Nails Trimmed
10.) Dry Food

What's on your cats top 10? Leave a comment!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fancy Feast Appetizers Review

Suki and I are in Vermont this week and we haven't been able to make it out to a Pet Store yet, so we had to settle for whatever food we could get at the grocery store. Unfortunately most grocery store cat food is loaded with by-products (which Suki does not eat) but after checking the ingredients on all the cat food that I could select from, I found that these Fancy Feast appetizers were the only ones that did not contain by-products. So i bought one of each flavor they had.

These appetizers come in a variety of flavors. In addition to Seabass & Shrimp, White Meat Chicken & Flaked Tuna, and Steamed Wild Alaskan Salmon (shown in the above photo) we also bought White Meat Chicken in Broth flavor which Suki ate that one the first night before I could take a picture. She ate it very quickly, which means I think she liked it. 

Suki has also eaten the Seabass & Shrimp flavor. When I opened it, I was surprised to find that it actually contained recognizable shrimp inside. Suki was a definite fan of that as well. I think I should have only fed her part of the tray though at a time and kept the rest in the refridgerator. 

They say on the package to use these appetizers to supplement normal feeding routine, but since we are on vacation - we don't really have a normal feeding routine. Suki feeds whenever she feels like it from her bowl of dry food that we flew here with, and then in the morning I have been feeding her Trader Joe's canned cat food that we also brought with us. These Fancy Feast appetizers have been night time treats, and not every night as well. 

Is Suki missing out on any flavors? Leave a comment if you have bought them before and what your cat thought!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Caption Contest

Leave a caption in the comments below! The winner gets a Suki-approved cat toy mailed to them!

Contest ends September 1st, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier Review

I purchased the Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier (Medium) two years ago when Suki was only 5 months old. We were flying to NY for Christmas and she had never flown before. This bag has held up nicely with no rips or tears, and has provided safety and security for Suki in a number of air plane trips, apartment moves, and visits to the vet.

This bag is made for cats & dogs up to 16lbs, and the dimensions are 18" Long x 10.5" High x 11" Wide. The inside bottom of this bag is faux lambskin liner. It is removable (and replaceable) in the event of any accidents. I put a small blanket on top of it when I travel.

Three of the sides are made from a strong plasticy mesh which offer good ventilation and allow Suki to see what is going on around her. The mesh is really strong, and can withstand a lot of clawing while your cat is getting used to it.

The two ends have roll-up/roll-down shades that are held up or down up by Velcro. I put the shades down when we are flying, and I have the carrier under the seat in front of me so that Suki doesn't freak out with all the feet walking by. We usually sit on the aisle.

There are two pocket areas, but only one of them zips. I pack treats and a harness (when I remember) in the zipper pocket. I sometimes put my wallet and boarding pass in this zipper pocket too when I am carrying on my suitcase - in that event, the Pet Duffle is your carry on "personal item" so you can't use a purse too.

The detachable shoulder strap can double as a short leash, although this has never really been useful to me because Suki is not allowed out of the carrier at the airport (where I use this bag most). The only time she is allowed out is when we walk through security, but when we do that the leash must go through the scanner with my other luggage.

This specific model carrier has the Delta logo on it. I could care less about that aspect, but I found one perk is that when you are getting your boarding pass, the person at the counter doesn't think twice about whether or not your pet carrier is approved.

This pet carrier is the best one I have seen or used so far, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone traveling with a cat. Suki loves it too, and views it as her "safe zone". When we visit my family's cats, she watches them from inside her bag. Also, when she is trying to tell me she is ready to go home, I will find her in the morning sleeping in the carrier!

Do you have this carrier or one like it? Leave a comment!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Flying with a Cat as a Carry On

Suki and I are flying across the country late tonight, so I thought I would blog about what we bring when we travel and how we prepare. Suki has flown cross country on 16 different airplanes since we got her 2 years ago (4 trips - 2 planes there, 2 planes back) and I have never given her tranquilizers and we have also never had any accidents. She is totally chill about traveling by plane.

What to Pack

Pet Duffle with Mesh Sides (the one we use is Sherpa brand, size Medium)
Calming Treats (for taking off & landing)
Regular Treats
A Blanket (I pack one that Suki sleeps with at night)
A New Toy
Wet Food (for when you get to your destination)
Dry Food (for when you get to your destination)
Identification (Make sure your cat is wearing a collar or has a chip in case anything should happen and you get separated.)
Rabies Certificate (I always bring this just in case someone asks)
Last Check Up Receipt/Summary (I bring this too in case someone asks for some reason)

What to do before you leave

The first and foremost thing you need to do before you even book your flight is to check with the airline and see if there is room for your cat in the cabin. Most of the time there is absolutely no problem, but sometimes flights have a 2-4 pet maximum in the cabin, so it is important to reserve your spot.

Pet Fees for Domestic Trips in the USA:
Delta: $125 each way -  View Delta Pet Policy
Jet Blue: $100 each way - View Jet Blue Pet Policy
United: $125 each way - View United Pet Policy
Southwest: $75 each way - View Southwest Pet Policy
US Airways: $125 each way - View US Airways Pet Policy
American Airlines: $125 each way - View American Airlines Pet Policy

Suki has never peed or pooped in her duffle bag. I don't pack litter or anything like that, but I do sometimes put in some newspaper just in case. The trick is to take food away 8 hours before you have to leave for the flight. This gives your cat 8 hours to visit the litter box, but then not fill up on anything that will make them have to go while you are on the plane. Think of it as a half-day cleanse with snacks. Suki is too stimulated at the airport and on the plane to eat more than a few treats anyway. Figure out when you need to leave to be at the airport on time, and set a cut off time for food & water for the cat.

What happens at the airport

When you are traveling with a cat as a carry on, you have to go to the counter to get your tickets. They sometimes stamp your ticket that says "Fee Paid" with a dog or cat face, and that lets everyone you give your ticket to know that you're pet is approved. If you weren't asked to pay the fee over the phone when you checked with the airline, this is also when you would pay the pet fee.

After you get your tickets, you make your way to the security check point. This is the only part that I find nerve-racking because you need to take your cat out of the duffle bag, and carry her through a metal detector. Suki is normally pretty freaked out and clings to me, and I also hold her super tight, so we never have a problem. After the duffle goes through the scanner, you can then put the cat back in and keep her in until you get to your destination.

Taking Off

Most airlines don't let you sit in the middle seat when you are traveling with a pet, so hopefully you have reserved an aisle or a window. If you didn't, try to get reassigned or ask to switch with someone. The duffle goes under the seat in front of you. I have the medium size Sherpa bag which fits perfectly under airline seats. I am not sure how well the large size would fit, so I would not recommend getting that one. Place the bag under the seat in front of you with the mesh facing you so that your cat can watch you the whole time and feel safer.

After the duffle is in place, I usually put a calming treat in Suki's bag while people are boarding the plane. She meows quite a bit here because she knows what we're doing at this point and is not thrilled. Most people will notice you have a cat at this point, so have your speech prepared. Mine is something like this:
"Yeah, she's Siamese. We're visiting family and I hate leaving her behind. She's flown like 15 times. Yeah - she's never had any accidents or anything. Its hard to hear the meows over the plane engine, so thankfully its not too annoying for everyone."
Suki meows a little crazily when the plane is taking off, most likely because her ears are popping. Once the plane straightens out, she calms down a bit. I pet her occasionally and slip in some regular treats every once and a while so she knows I'm still with her. Suki mostly sleeps once we are up in the air though.


Same as taking off, Suki meows a little more here. Once the plane has landed, and you are allowed to move a little bit, I put the duffle bag on my lap and put my hand back in it to pet. When you are exiting the plane, make sure you say Thank You to the stewardesses and the pilot! They kept you and your feline safe so they deserve it!

Few Last Things... 

Don't be afraid to take a cat as a carry on on flights with stops. I've done it before (it is pretty unavoidable when traveling across the country). Suki knows once she is in the bag, there is no getting out until we get home, and I think she feels pretty safe in it.

Make sure you are prepared if you are traveling to a colder place than your cat is used to - have a blanket or a little vest so they don't shiver. Suki has traveled from California to New York in the middle of winter, and she did not have a winter coat so I had her wear a vest. She was fine with that on.

That's pretty much it! It's not as difficult or traumatizing as you might think. My cat just likes to be included and hates being left behind - so if your cat is like that, you'll be good on the plane. Plus, once they do it once - they will be fine in the future.

Have you ever flown with a cat? Leave a comment!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mini PETCO Haul

Last night I went to PETCO to buy some things for Suki. Mosty treats & toys but we also got some new food too. Every cat is different, and I not saying yours will like what I got, but Suki is pretty easy going and loved everything I brought home.

Here's what I got:
- Dried Salmon Snacks ($2.29)
- 1 pouch of Soulistic brand Chicken in Pumpkin Soup (review here) ($0.99)
- 1 can of Soulistic Nautical Nirvana (Tuna & Skipjack) ($0.99)
- 1 double sided feather toy with cat nip pouch in the middle ($2.99)
- 1 crinkly ball (wrapping paper type material) ($0.99)
- 1 pouch of calming treats ($7.99)

I put the two toys in Suki's box of stuff last night before I went to bed so that I could get a picture in the morning. When I woke up I noticed she had gotten the feather toy out of her box and brought it to the foot of the bed! It's a cool toy because you can move it with your hands and make it look like its a flying bird.

Here is a video of the Suk playing fetch with the crinkle ball. It was a big (and cheap) hit! I think she likes the noise.

Leave a comment! Thanks!

Soulistic Chicken Dinner in Pumpkin Soup Review

Suki tried a new food today. I was at PETCO last night and I noticed this pouch of cat food on on of their aisle displays. I glanced quickly at it, and what caught my eye was that it was "Chicken Dinner in Pumpkin Soup". I thought that was interesting, and Suki had never had pumpkin before, so I grabbed a pouch to test it out. The brand is Soulistic.

After doing some research, I learned that Soulistic pet food contains lean, whole cuts of free range boneless, skineless white breast chicken mean that is free of added hormones and steroids - or wild caught, sustainable resource dolphin and turtle safe fish. Plus a whole bunch of added vitamins and minerals. (Source)

I poured it into her bowl, and before I could get it on the floor near her water, she was up on the counter giving it a taste. What is great about this food, is that it has so much water in it. We live in a really hot place, so this is helps Suki to not get dehydrated too.

The one mistake I made was that I poured the whole pouch into a bowl for her. She didn't eat even half of it (I think she wasn't as hungry as I thought). I put it in the refrigerator for later. I think if I just add water to it when I get it out again, she will give it another whirl.

Have you tried this brand? What did your cat think? Leave a comment below! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

PETCO Premium Cat Tree Bungalow Review

Last spring, my Mom sent Suki and I this cat tree from PETCO and Suki fell in love with it. It has held up extremely well since last year considering the amount of use it gets, but there are a few negative qualities about it which I will discuss in this review.

When I first got this cat tree in the mail, it was actually missing one of the main support legs. I ended up calling their customer service line and they had a replacement to me within two days, which was really nice.  If you are ordering online, make sure you check that you have all the pieces before you start setting up! I had to take mine all apart and repackage it which was annoying.

Once we got a tree that came with all the right pieces, it was very easy to set up. I had it put together in a half an hour, of course, by that point I was really good at assembling and disassembling them.

Suki immediately found this tree really fun. She loves clawing at the carpeting, and trying to grab the hanging feathers. There are also little white caps that go over the screw heads thats Suki had a ball digging up with her teeth and then batting them around the room. A bunch of those are now missing. She doesn't seem to mind the exposed screw tops though.

Suki is a little too big to actually fit comfortably in the little cubby room area, but for a kitten it would probably be really a really cozy place. If I was able to set this up without the room, then I probably would have, but the very top poll screws into the roof of it. 

When picking out a cat tree, I thought it was important that it was tall enough satisfy Suki's need to be high up. This cat tree in particular is perfect height for me because the area at the very top is at my eye level. Right now I have it right next to my bed, and at the very top, where she can keep an eye on me, is where Suki ends up sleeps in a ball almost every night.

One bad aspect about this particular cat tree is that the support poll in the front right is extremely wobbly. It was always a little wobbly (I don't think the screw that secures it to the base is long enough), but now after a year it is extremely wobbly. It is more of a game for Suki to jump from it to the higher levels and not fall off. It still works, which is why I'm not too concerned, but it is not ideal.


The carpet material is nice and has stayed pretty clean. I've vacuumed it a few times and dust bunnies and other little things come off very easily. Suki never really uses the scratching posts on it, but that is because we let her tear apart our couch instead. Overall, this cat tree has held up and I think it is a good buy for how cheap it is. I just wish they would re-consider how the front right support poll is designed, because that part feels cheap and flimsy.

Leave a comment below if you have a cat tree or want one like this!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cool Surfaces for Hot Cats

As I previously mentioned in "Cooling off in 100°F Weather" Suki lives in Southern California, where it gets so hot inside and outside.  We don't have a very good air conditioner (it only cools off in about a 3ft radius right above it), so I've been looking for ways to keep this kitty cool.

One thing I have noticed is that Suki has really enjoys spending the hottest parts of the day on my yoga mat. For good reason to! While hardwood floors remain cooler than the carpet, the yoga mat offers some padding and a little bit more comfort for her.

It's also pretty funny to watch her stretch on it.

How does your cat or dog cool off in comfort?