It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post dedicated exclusively to cats, so I thought I’d wrangle together a few of my recent favorite cat-related finds and share them with the rest of you cat lovers out there. I always find it so interesting when I share part of my home life (like a room tour) on A Beautiful Mess and a large chunk of the comments end up being cat-related questions about how I keep my cats away from potentially poisonous houseplants or deal with cat fur (in case you’re wondering, the answers are, a.) they aren’t that interested in them, and b.) I clean it up constantly). Now, on to the cat items!Ok, one electronic item that has changed our life is this pet tracker device. Both our cats love to be outside and although Charlie (the grey cat) has never run away (she’s much too scared), the second we introduced Mac to the outside world he pretty much immediately jumped over the fence to explore. I definitely went into panic mode because I didn’t want him to get lost or into a fight with another cat, but no matter what we tried he would just jump over when we weren’t looking and then we didn’t know which direction he went in. I even bought a giant super soaker to spray him as he was about to jump over. Didn’t care. Did it anyways. Most collars that have GPS trackers are too big for cat’s necks, but Todd spent hours searching online and found one that has a directional tracker on it instead. Basically we play “hot and cold” and move in the direction where the beeps get faster to find Mac. Plus, his collar beeps as well when it’s in tracking mode and he’s learned that if he’s beeping, he’s in trouble and he heads home. Every once in a while I feel like the tracker gets confused and can’t tell which direction he’s in, but most of the time it works really well.
I recently made this little house bed for Mac and I think it’s SO CUTE. When we got Mac I put a cat bed next to our bed so he could sleep nearby but it juuuuuust wasn’t that aesthetically pleasing to the (i.e. my) eye. I saw a dog bed on Pinterest that I loved but the directions were in Swedish or something and the proportions were way off, so I got a few lessons about the power tools at work and made my own. Not too bad for my first big project! He’s such a mamma’s boy, so he spends a lot of time cuddling with me and night and then jumps down to his own bed when he feels crowded.
“But why doesn’t Charlie have her own bed made with love?” Because she own the bottom half of our bed and she isn’t moving from there for nobody…
Cat food has always been a bit of a battle between me and Charlie. I started feeding her an Friskies flavor once she was done with kitten food, but I didn’t like how many dyes were added to the food (it’s pretty much florescent orange) and any time she got sick on the carpet it would leave a bright orange stain that wouldn’t budge. After three stains in the same room, I switched her to an all natural cat food from the health store that was made of oats and pine needles (or something like that), but she hated it. I even mixed them together with the orange bits but she would only pick out the ones she liked. I even bought all the other healthy brands they carried but she wouldn’t eat any of them. I felt like a Mom playing the, “We are just going to wait until you eat that or you can go hungry game,” but she never gave in and, apparently, would rather starve. I eventually went back to the orange kibble so she would at least eat something, but I didn’t feel good about it. Thankfully, LUVSOME contacted me and asked if I would be interested in checking out their cat food, so I looked at their Natural flavor ingredients the next time I was at the store and was happy to see it had much less dye than her last food. I mixed it in with her current food for a bit until we weaned out the old flavor and I haven’t had any problems with her eating it. I still would like to try and get her to like some of the organic brands with no dye, but I feel like this is a step in the right direction for a while.
If you’re wondering what food Mac prefers, the answer is “any.” He’ll eat anything.As far as good cat finds go, I was wandering around a flea market last weekend deciding if an expensive coat was worth the money and I found this vintage kitty letter holder. He even has a spot to store a pencil straight up where his tail goes! Elsie has a dachshund version of this that I love so I was thrilled to find “my” version of such a cute idea. I did a bit of paint touchup since his ears were red and his eyes a scary green. They made him look a little crazy so I just painted on the features I thought he should have. Love it!
Aren’t they just too much? As far as how they are getting along goes, things are about the same as they were last time I gave an update. There’s still moments of hope for BFFness (they slept about 8″ away from each other on the bed most of last night), but there’s also a fair share of growls (Charlie), hurt feelings (Mac), and rude incidents involving pouncing on others who are sleeping (Mac on Charlie). I started pushing their food bowl closer together while they eat thinking that will inspire good feelings on crabby Charlie’s part. Maybe?These two are about as opposite as they can be, but they are still my saving grace when Todd is away and I wouldn’t trade their little faces for anything. Got any cat products that you’re into right now?Additional adorable photos by Sarah Rhodes and Janae Hardy.
I love Orijen food for my two cats. I switched them when I realized how much unhealthy crap was in their other food. They LOVE the stuff. They switched easily with almost no weening/mixing. The only cons are that it’s really expensive, it’s difficult to find locally, and it smells bad (likely because it’s made of real fish and not just protein by-products). I’ve noticed a big difference in how soft and shiny their coats are. They’re also more active, and their poop doesn’t smell as bad.
Thanks for the tip Tina!
What a couple of cuties! I love the bed you made, too. Now I want to make my cats beds, too. And that letter holder is such an adorable find! Do you mind if I ask where you got those pink outdoor chairs?
Maybe you looked into this already when you were looking for trackers, but we have a Tagg pet tracker (http://mbsy.co/8VM87) for one of our cats, and really like it! Yes, it’s a bit big, but she’s 9 lbs and it works on her. She doesn’t seem to notice or care about it AT ALL. We would love to keep her inside (we keep our other cat indoors), but she won’t have it. One day about a year ago she disappeared for three days, and we freaked out since she had never been gone for more than an hour or two before. It turned out that she must’ve been trapped somewhere, because when she finally came home she was covered in dust and dirt and seemed very happy to be back. So we got the Tagg tracker, and have been very happy with it. There’s even an app so when we get an alert that she has gone outside of her home zone, we can track her right down. It works really well. Plus, it has an activity tracker, which means that I can look at a breakdown of how much she’s moving all day, haha. Turns out she spends from 70-90% of her day “resting,” but it’s really funny to me that I basically have a fitbit on my cat. Anyway, I’d highly recommend it! Here’s a referral link: http://mbsy.co/8VM87
A couple of cat foods my cats like are Natural Balance and this one by Precise: http://precisepet.com/cat-formulas/precise-holistic-complete-grain-free/dry/grain-free-turkey-chicken-with-spring-yellow-peas/ One of my cats has problems with grain, so finding a grain-free food they both liked was a challenge. We’ve tried quite a few over the years. Good luck pleasing your picky eater!
Those chairs are from CB2 but they are already unraveling a bit 🙁
That tracker sounds great, I’ll look into it more. Thanks Rachel!
Hiya! Your cats are super cute. I love the idea of a tracker – two of our five cats (yes, five) are outdoor cats and while they tend to stick pretty close to home, it might be nice to be able to track them. I’d really love a GPS with an iphone app. Now that would be sweet! In terms of food, we feed ours grain-free all-natural stuff. We used to feed them Blue Buffalo, but our regional supermarket (Publix, holler!) started making a grain-free organic dry pet food, and it’s radically cheaper than BB. We give them dry chow in the morning and at night, and at night they get a little spoonful of tuna. In terms of products, we recently got this scratching cube from target – it’s the corrugated cardboard type, but in the shape of a cube. The cats can scratch on top, or inside, and we can turn it as the sides get scratched. They love it, and it’s so mod and cute that I don’t mind having it out.
I love the cat bed! I’d seen the Swedish dog bed on Pinterest and admired it, I’m so impressed that you built your own!
It makes me smile so hard that you are as crazy a cat lady as I am! All the kitty inspired crafts are some of my favorites – I’m still looking forward to testing my sewing skills with that cat face purse!
The cat tracker reminds me of one of my all time favorite movies, That Darn Cat, (which you likely already know of but just in case you haven’t) about a prowling kitty who helps a meddling Hayley Mills solve a burglary. The FBI guy uses one of those, hilarity ensues. A 60’s Disney classic with jazzy tunes too.
And I will second the Orijen recommendation, we switched to it after it was recommended for our corgi who suffers from seizures. Something about the low glycemic index helps regulate them, and after noticing how much energy she had we got it for our kitty too. You can get it at Mama Jeans, $20 for a five pound bag and they have minis for a few bucks if you just want to try it out.
I’ve made some cat toys before, like stuffed mice and feather, string & stick contraptions, but my cat only had a moderate level of interest… I’d love to see your take on handmade cat toys!
what a pair of cuties! gosh, totally missing my cats right now. a little cat company always makes everything better 🙂
OMG I love your stories about the cats! Keep ’em coming.
The pink mirror in the background is the most perfect shade of soft pink.
I LOVE your kitties! So cute! Wish I could get my cats to sleep in their beds but they prefer my face and chest! HA!
Still looking for the perfect all natural food- Good luck!
What are the dimensions for the cat bed? Do you have any wood plans for it?