Friday, September 30, 2016

Mews and Nips: Aristo-Cats Welcome Visitors to Britain’s Stately Homes

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When I visited England during my high school years, I loved visiting the country’s “stately homes” – large, historic mansions that were or are occupied by British aristocracy and are open to the public. Now these homes have found a new way to increase visitors: a growing number of tourists are being enticed by the possibility of meeting the felines-in-residence at these homes. Visit the Telegraph for the full story.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: on Sunday, we talked about the importance of being kind, on Monday, we presented an overview of Feline Anatomy 101, on Tuesday, we reviewed Raw Paws Pet Food, on Wednesday, we asked how safe your cat’s carrier would be in a car crash, on Thursday, we introduced you to some gorgeous new cat handbags from Triple T Studios, and on Friday, we reviewed the newest book by the author of the Dalai Lama’s Cat series, The Queen’s Corgi.

Today’s video of a famous Sushi chef preparing a special meal for his cat made me smile – what a lucky kitty!

Have a great weekend!

Photo via The Telegraph

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“No Tricks Just Treats” Halloween Giveaway Winner, and Special Discount for Conscious Cat Readers

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Congratulations, Kelley! You’re the winner of our “No Tricks Just Treats” Halloween giveaway from Georgia’s Gifts!

Look for an email from Ingrid.*

To see more of Georgia’s Gifts wonderful cat themed merchandise, please visit Georgia’s Gifts to browse and purchase.

Special discount for Conscious Cat readers

Use coupon code CCR10 and get a 10% discount on your order at Georgia’s Gifts. Offer expires 10/30/2016.

*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, September 29, 2016

From the Author of The Dalai Lama’s Cat Series: The Queen’s Corgi

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You’re probably just as surprised as Allegra looks in the photo above, wondering why you’re seeing a dog book on The Conscious Cat. The Queen’s Corgi: On Purpose is the newest book by David Michie, the author of the popular Dalai Lama’s Cat series – and it’s so wonderful, I just had to share it with you.

Nelson, the protagonist of the heartwarming story, is rescued from unscrupulous breeders who plan to destroy him because he’s not perfect: he has a floppy ear. Little does this puppy know what destiny has in store for him when he arrives at Windsor Castle. As the Queen’s littlest Corgi, Nelson adjust to life in a royal household and quickly charms his way into everyone’s hearts.

Nelson becomes witness to the Queen’s encounters with celebrities, world leaders and philanthropists. By observing the queen and her advisers, Nelson discovers the secret to living a purposeful life.

This charming, poignant and humorous novel about a dog’s life with the royal family packs a deceptively powerful punch as it offers profound life lessons that will leave the reader transformed at a deeper level.

The Queen’s Corgi is available on Createspace and on Amazon.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the author at no charge. Receiving the complimentary copy did  not influence my review. This post contains Amazon Associate links. 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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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Unique Handbags for Cat Lovers

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This post contains affiliate links*

Who doesn’t love a beautiful handbag – and even better if that bag shows off your love for cats! Triple T Studios has long been the leader in finding uniquely designed quality bags for cat lovers, and today, I’d like to show you a few of their newest designs.

All of Triple T Studios’ bags are vegan friendly – they are made from PU (poly) synthetic leather, a man-made material that represents the look and feel of genuine leather. This material is water-resistant and easily cleaned.

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The Mercy Black Cat Shoulder Bag is roomy enough to hold everything you need without weighing you down. This bag features a zippered inside and an outside pocket. This gorgeous, vibrant design is also available as a Mercy Black Cat Clutch.

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The Cat Walk Tote features a happy cat walking with her tail up and curled. The Cat Walk Tote was designed by Triple T Studios and is made exclusively for them. The back of the tote features a whimsical trail of cat paws creating a pretty pattern across the bag. The cat and the cat paws are carefully stitched in place. This design is also available as a cosmetic bag.

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The Cat Paw Lace Tote comes in Lavender Gray, Limpet Shell Blue, and Black. This pretty tote bag is two handbags in one! It features a zippered insert that fits securely inside the tote to keep all of your valuable safe and secure. The Insert is so pretty you might be tempted to attach the removable shoulder strap and use it as a handbag! Inside the insert you will find a zippered compartment on one side and two slip pockets on the other. The insert fastens securely into place with a snap and metal ring closure on each side of the tote. You can remove the insert from the tote for an open tote option.You can carry the Cat Paw Lace Tote on your shoulder with the comfortable 8.5″ drop or attach the strap for cross-body carry.

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We’ve previously featured the Pretty in Pink Handbag and Wallet. This gorgeous bag in the Pantone colors of the year, Pink Quartz and Serenity, creates a soft, eye-pleasing and sophisticated color combination. They also added an adorable hang tag featuring Cartoon Annie and a Limpet Shell Heart. The bag has a soft hand-feel, a wrap band with a hidden magnetic snap closure and a metal name plate add to the high-end look. The wallet features a sewn resting black cat with a Serenity ribbon. A heart-shaped silver tone pull and a zipper closure keep all of your valuables safely tucked inside.

For more information about these gorgeous bags, and to purchase, please visit Triple T Studios.

*FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of these 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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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Crash Test Kitty Helps Save Lives

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Crash Test Kitty with a canine buddy

It’s hard enough to get most cats into the carrier to take them to the vet, but have you given any thought to whether your cat’s carrier is safe, should you get into an accident? Do you know which carriers are safe and which aren’t? Do you know what the safest place in the car for your carrier is?

The Center for Pet Safety addresses all these questions and more. They are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to companion animal and consumer safety. Currently, their focus is on Pet Travel Safety. Using scientific testing and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard specifications, they study pet products and establish criteria and test protocols to measure whether pet safety products provide the protection claimed by advocates and intended by the manufacturer.

How Crash Test Kitty helps test cat carrier safety

Before you read any further, let me state that CPS does NOT use live animals in their testing. They use crash test dummies that simulate the dimensions, weight proportions and articulations of a feline or canine body. Crash Test Kitty is their newest team member and has been testing carriers since 2015.

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Crash Test Kitty posing with a human dummy for a photo op – obviously, holding your cat on your lap while in the car is not safe!

Crash Test Kitty helps CPS conduct rigorous crash testing on commonly available cat carriers. You can find the results of their 2015 study here.

Top performing carriers

The Top Performing Carriers from the study were the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock and the PetEgo Jet Set Forma Frame Carrier with ISOFIX Latch Connection. In July of 2016, CPS published the first Crash Test Protocol and Ratings Guidelines for Pet Carriers. Additionally, later that month Sleepypod voluntarily certified their entire carrier lineup with Center for Pet Safety: You can now look for the CPS logo on products that meet their rigorous testing and performance requirements.

If you’re not in a position to purchase a new carrier right now, Center for Pet Safety Founder Lindsey Wolko has this advice for you: “Don’t use the seatbelt to strap in the carrier. Place plastic carriers and soft-sided carriers on the floor of the vehicle behind the front driver or passenger seats.” Wolko admits that it’s counterintuitive, but the two crash test videos she shared with me, one for a soft-sided carrier (featuring Crash Test Kitty), one for a hard carrier, offer convincing evidence. Warning: even though the videos use crash test dummies, they may be disturbing to watch for some readers.

For more information about the Center for Pet Safety, and to support their important work, please visit their website.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: Raw Paws Pet Food

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Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat in their diet to thrive. Their systems simply aren’t designed to digest carbohydrates. A raw diet is one of the best ways to fulfill cats’ nutritional requirements. There are numerous benefits from feeding a raw diet to your cat, including improved digestion, reduced stool odor and volume, increased energy, ability to maintain ideal weight, better dental health, and better urinary tract health.

Embraced for decades by holistically oriented pet parents and holistic veterinarians, raw feeding is becoming more mainstream as pet parents look for alternatives to feeding highly processed commercial pet foods.

Raw Paws Pet Food

The folks at Raw Paws believe, and I agree with them, that the best chance of having a happy pet is through the best quality nutrition. They offer frozen raw food, freeze-dried raw food, as well as a line of treats and supplements. All of their products are sourced in the US from responsible and ethical farms, and are hormone, antibiotic and GMO free. Their products are minimally processed and don’t contain any additives or fillers.

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Putting Raw Paws Pet Food to the test

We got to test the frozen raw ground chicken. The 5lb tube arrived in a well packed container with plenty of ice packs, and was frozen so solid, it actually hurt my hands removing it from the box, even though the package had been sitting in front of my house in 80 degree weather for a couple of hours.

The tube needs to be thawed for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Once it’s partially thawed, you can slice it into manageable portions and refreeze whatever you’re not going to use within the next 3-4 days.

Allegra loved the food. Ruby wasn’t quite as enthusiastic, but she is not a huge chicken fan and tends to prefer turkey.

Raw Paws ground chicken does have bone ground in, but I did not see any visible fragments (something that has been an issue for me with some other brands in the past.) I like that the food contains (in addition to the ground in bone) nothing but chicken, chicken heart, chicken liver, herring oil and natural vitamin E. There are no veggies or other fillers added.

I found the 5 lb. tube a bit cumbersome to deal with. Allegra and Ruby eat about 8 ounces of raw a day, and I also occasionally feed canned food, so having to thaw out the tube, then measuring out smaller portions and refreezing, was more work than I want to deal with. Raw Paws Pet Food offers 8 ounce patties, which will be much more convenient for us, but the 5 lb. tube is a better value, so it just depends on what works best for your household.

Raw Paws Pet Food ships nationwide with free shipping on orders over $49 for non-frozen items, and orders over $199 for frozen items.

For more information and to purchase, please visit http://www.rawpawspetfood.com.

FTC Disclosure: I received this product for review at no charge. I also received a fee to feature this product. Receiving the free product and the fee did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion. Or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest and unbiased opinion.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Feline Anatomy 101

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Leonardo DaVinci’s quote “The smallest feline is a masterpiece” is never more true than when it comes to feline anatomy. In addition to being wonderful creatures in so many ways, cats also have some unique anatomical abilities that they share with no other species.

Basic feline anatomy

The following two diagrams help you familiarize yourself with basic feline anatomy. The chart below (of a male cat) shows you were all the internal organs are located.

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Did you know that cats have 244 bones in their body? Humans only have 206. This diagram of a feline skeleton shows you where all of your cat’s bones are located.

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A – cervical bones, B – thoracic bones, C – lumbar bones, D – sacral bones, E – tail bones, 1 – cranium, 2 – mandible, 3 – scapula, 4 – sternum, 5 – humerus, 6 – radius, 7 – phalangeals, 8 – metacarpals, 9 – carpal bones , 10 – ulna, 11 – ribs, 12 – patella, 13 – tibia, 14 – metatarsals, 15 – tarsal bones, 16 – fibula, 17 – femur

Fascinating feline anatomical abilities

  • Purring – the result of intermittent signaling by the diaphragmatic and laryngeal muscles
  • Whiskers – they help your cat identify and analyze everything she touches via sensitive nerve endings
  • Sandpaper tongue – to help with grooming
  • Jacobson’s organ – located in the roof of the mouth, this organ helps cats analyze scents. Your cat’s mouth will be partially open when she uses this organ. This is also known as the flehmen response.
  • Tail – it contains almost 10 percent of the cat’s bones, and acts as a counterweight in helping him keep his balance. A cat’s tail also communicates his mood. Understanding “tail speak” is an important part of reading feline body language.

Anatomical charts Wikimedia Commons

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