Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: Egg Tart Cat Bed


While Allegra doesn’t much care for cat beds, Ruby is always happy to check out a new one, so she was delighted when we were asked to review the cleverly designed Egg Tart Cat Bed.

The “shell” of this adorable bed is made from plastic, the super soft “tart filling” cushion and velvety cover are made from a polyester blend. The cover is removable and washable. Generously sized at about 7 inches high with a circumference of about 17 inches, this bed will especially delight cats who like to sleep curled up.

Ruby started kneading the Egg Tart Cat Bed as soon as I set it out for her:

This is the softest, plushest cat bed I’ve seen in quite some time. Seeing Ruby in it always makes me think of the “The Princess and the Pea” fairy tale!

The Egg Tart Cat Bed is available from with free shipping in the US.

Special 15% discount for Conscious Cat readers!

Use code CONSCIOUSCAT at checkout


Eggs and toast, anyone?

FTC disclosure: We received the Egg Tart Cat Bed from We also received a fee to write this review. Regardless of payment received, all reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest opinion, or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest opinion.


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Santa Snacks for Dogs #ChewyInfluencer

Do you get a stocking for your dog?
We do!
What do you think of this one?

I couldn't resist this one for Ernest and Pete!

Perfect for any good dog!

As a Chewy Influencer, we were excited to receive a sample of Blue Buffalo Santa Snacks. I thought they make the perfect stocking stuffer for Ernest and Pete.

Good doggy treats!

These Kringle cookies are baked with oatmeal and cinnamon, barley, carrots, pumpkin and flaxseed. There's no corn, wheat or soy. No chicken or poultry either--perfect for pets prone to food allergies.  Ernest and Petey give them a five jingle bell rating!

Okay, can I eat them NOW?!

Has your dog been a Good Dog? Stuff his stocking with Blue Buffalo Santa Snacks!

Full Disclosure: We were provided with one 8 oz. bag of Blue Buffalo Santa Snacks for our honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Breakthrough Finding In Clinical Trial Offers First Real Hope for Treatment of FIP


A new clinical trial funded in part by Morris Animal Foundation has resulted in a critical breakthrough – cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) went into remission as result of treatment with a novel antiviral drug. This fatal viral disease previously had no effective treatment or cure.

What is FIP?

FIP are just about the three worst letters a cat guardian can hear. Feline Infectious Peritonitis is caused by a coronavirus that affects the cells of the intestinal tract. The corona virus in itself is a common virus in cats, and cats may not even show symptoms other than perhaps a mild gastrointestinal upset. But for reasons that have eluded researchers so far, in some cats, the benign virus mutates into a highly infectious version that then causes FIP. It usually affects kittens and young cats, and it’s virtually 100% fatal. FIP kills as many as 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 cats under the ages of 3-5.

The clinical trial

Morris Animal Foundation, as one of its animal health initiatives, launched its Feline Infectious Peritonitis Initiative in 2015, dedicating more than $1 million to improve diagnostics for and treatments of this fatal disease. The Foundation is committed to saving cats from FIP by funding a cluster of studies that has the potential to help animal health scientists better understand, treat and even develop cures for the disease.

One of these studies, launched in March 2016 by Dr. Yunjeong Kim at Kansas State University and Dr. Niels Pedersen at University of California, Davis, was a small clinical trial to investigate whether a novel antiviral drug could cure or greatly extend the lifespan and quality of life for cats with FIP.

“This research is the first attempt to use modern antiviral strategies to cure a fatal, systemic viral disease of any veterinary species,” said Dr. Pedersen. “Our task was to identify the best candidates for antiviral treatment, and the best dose and duration of treatment. Saving or improving the lives of even a few cats is a huge win for FIP research.”

The team conducted a clinical trial with 20 client-owned cats that presented with various forms and stages of FIP, treating them with the antiviral drug. At the time of publication, seven cats were still in disease remission, a positive step forward for a disease for which there is no known treatment at this time. “We found that most cats, except for those with neurological disease, can be put into clinical remission quickly with antiviral treatment, but achieving long-term remission is challenging with chronic cases. These findings give us more insight into FIP pathogenesis and also underscores the importance of early diagnosis and early treatment,” said Dr. Kim.

The best long-term treatment response was seen in kittens under 16 to 18 weeks of age with a particular form of FIP, and that were at certain stages in the disease’s progression. Unfortunately, cats with neurological disease associated with FIP did not respond as well to the drug and did not achieve disease remission.

The long road to drug approval

Unfortunately, the antiviral drug needs to be commercialized, which is a complex process that involves identifying potential companies interested in taking a drug through FDA approval and licensing. It could take several years before the drug is approved and made available for use by licensed veterinarians.

About Morris Animal Foundation: Established in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of animals through scientific innovation, education and inspiration. Our investment in research has yielded life-saving vaccines, new treatments for critical diseases, superior screening tests, and advanced diagnostic tools. We respond to emerging animal health threats that endanger entire species, and make new discoveries in basic animal biology to support applied research. With every study we fund – more than 2,600 to date – we strive to advance the science of veterinary medicine, honoring the founding principles of Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr., and benefitting animals worldwide.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Conscious Cat Sunday: The Holiday Edition


The weeks leading up to Christmas are my favorite time of the year, and I make a conscious effort to make time to fully enjoy the season. It’s easy to get lost in all the “busyness,” so today, I thought I’d offer some tips on how to make the most of this precious time.

Create meaningful holiday memories

I believe that setting aside time for family, friends, and of course, our cats, during this busy season is vitally important. It helps us slow down and create meaningful holiday memories. Research suggests that cherished memories from the past promote mental health and well-being. I previously shared some of the ways in which we make holiday memories at our house.

Holiday traditions

Holiday traditions are a way to mark the passage of the season. They give us the comfort of knowing that in this world of constant change, some things can remain constant. Most of my holiday traditions date back to my childhood, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. And of course, a lot of my holiday traditions revolve around my cats. I shared some of my traditions in a previous Conscious Cat Sunday column.

Finding holiday joy when you’re grieving

The holidays can be a very difficult time if you’re mourning the loss of a beloved cat. Grief, and the holidays, are stressful at the best of times. But even though it may seem impossible, the holidays can also be a time of healing, even in the middle of grieving. It is possible to feel grief and joy at the same time if you allow yourself to open your heart and experience the fullness of life. Last week, I offered some suggestions to  cope with pet loss during the holidays, and they apply to dealing with any kind of loss or grief.

Make time for quiet reflection

Christmas Eve has always been a day of reflection for me. To me, that day, with all its promise, and its magic, is an opportunity to take a spiritual deep breath. And perhaps it’s an opportunity to reflect on how we can make the promise of Christmas last all year long. Read Christmas Eve Reflections for a little more on why it’s such a purrfect day for quiet time.

What helps you make the holiday season meaningful?

This post was first published in 2014, and has been updated.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Mews and Nips: Alaskan Lynx Family Returns to Play in the Snow


Back in October, we reported on the Lynx family that came to visit the deck of Alaska photographer Tim Newton. Two months later, Tim’s wife Cathy woke up to a familiar sound: the family was back, frolicking in the freshly fallen snow! Visit Rugged Alaska for more photos of the adorable family, and watch the video below. You can even order a calendar with gorgeous photos of these beautiful cats.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: on Monday, we explained how to tell whether your cat is in pain, on Tuesday, we introduced you to Jackson Galaxy’s new rewards program, on Wednesday, I shared the second installment in our “a mouse in the house” saga, and on Friday, I rounded up some of my favorite Christmas books. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a Cat Cross-Body Bag from Triple T Studios!

Today’s video shows the Lynx family playing in the snow – enjoy!

Photo via Tim Newton Photography Facebook page

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Assisi Loop and Bonus Duffle Bag Winner


Congratulations, Linda Szymoniak! You’re the winner of an Assisi Loop and a bonus duffle bag!

Look for an email from Ingrid.*

For more information about how the Loop could help your cat, visit or contact Assisi Animal Health at, 866-830-7342.

*Winners are selected by random drawing. Winners need to provide a physical address to which the prize will be mailed within 72 hours of receipt of notification e-mail or announcement of winner’s name(s) on The Conscious Cat. If this information is not received within the timeframe stated, an alternate winner will be chosen.


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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Favorite Christmas Cat Books


This post contains affiliate links*

I love reading Christmas themed books, and I usually start right after Thanksgiving. I confess that this year, I started even earlier – I guess I’ve succumbed to the earlier and earlier start of the holiday season, mostly because I do adore those Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, and they started the end of October this year! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Christmas cat books for you – these are books I reread every year.


The Nine Lives of Christmas

I love reading romance novels, and around this time of year, I enjoy romance novels with a holiday theme. Add a cat to the mix, and I’m in heaven. The Nine Lives of Christmas became famous as a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie three years ago. I first read the story of Fireman Zachary Stone, a confirmed bachelor who doesn’t believe in love or commitment, and the stray tabby cat named Ambrose who shows up at his door when it was first published in 2011. Zachary takes Ambrose in and even though he has no intentions of keeping him, he starts to grow on him. When Marilee, an animal lover and veterinary student, teaches Zachary how to care for his new feline roommate, chemistry immediately develops between the two. Buy The Nine Lives of Christmas from Amazon.


A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped one Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas

James Bowen shares the story of how Bob helped him rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Bowen takes us back to 2010, when he and Bob were still barely scraping by while trying to make a living busking and selling Big Issue, a newspaper published on behalf of and sold by homeless people to help them get a step up in life. It’s a particularly cold and snowy winter in London, and Bowen is barely making enough money to keep the heat on in his apartment. Like all of Bowen’s book, this uplifting and heartwarming story will touch your heart. Buy A Gift from Bob from Amazon.


Oliver: The Cat Who Saved Christmas

This is the heartwarming story of a cat whose life changes when he is left homeless and scared after the pub where he lived burns down. Thanks to the kindness of the humans in his quaint English village, Oliver finds a temporary foster home until his guardian can rebuild the pub. As Oliver learns to trust again, he also becomes determined to help the humans around him. When he meets a little girl who desperately needs a friend, he realizes that the entire village needs help to save their Christmas. Buy Oliver: The Cat Who Saved Christmas from Amazon.


The Cat Who Came for Christmas

And then, of course, there’s the ultimate cat Christmas book, published in 1987, Cleveland Amory’s The Cat Who Came for Christmas. As much as I love all the other books, this is still my all time favorite Christmas book. The love story between the bedraggled white cat that shows up on Christmas Eve on the curmudgeonly Amory’s doorstep is a holiday classic. Buy The Cat Who Came for Christmas from Amazon.

Do you have any favorite holiday cat books? Share them in a comment!

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FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

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