Cat Café

Café des Chat adopted 8 cats from the SPCA. (Shingler, 2014)
Café des Chat adopted 8 cats from the SPCA. (Shingler, 2014)

Writing this blog has brought my inner researcher out. I have been searching the web regarding cat activities and cat related news quite often lately, and there is just so much interesting information out there. I have just discovered that there are actually cafés that are home to cats. It is mostly popular in other places around the world like Paris, however, in the last year North America has become home to their first cat Café right here in Canada. The Café des Chats Opened in August 2014 in Montreal. It is a lot like a regular café however it is home to eight cats that they have adopted from the SPCA. It has the normal décor one would see in a café plus bonus features for its feline residence such as plush toys, scratching posts, and cat trees with a great window view.

You can sit down, enjoy a coffee or tea, and play with a cat. To many cat lovers out there that is the ideal environment. It’s cozy, relaxing, and peaceful. Not to mention entertaining. I wish there was one in my community, I’d be spending much free time there. Although my own cats would probably get jealous. It is also a great way to promote adoption and help out the shelters with occupancy space.

I think this is a unique business idea, which I definitely approve of. There are most likely many disapproving benefactors out there, especially in regards to health regulations. However, I have a feeling this just a starting trend. There is already discussions of opening cat cafés in Toronto and Vancouver.

If they don’t come through with the closer to home cat café they are planning for Toronto then there is no doubt in my mind that will keep me from travelling to Quebec just to visit some cats and grab a coffee. I wonder if any of you other cat lovers out there are on the same page as me.

References

Shingler, B. (2014, August 31). Coffee, tea or meow? Montreal opens first cat café. Retrieved from The Star Canada: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/08/31/coffee_and_kittens_cat_cafe_opens_in_montreal.html

Asahi Kasei’s Cat Friendly House

Plus-Nyan House by Asahi Kasei (Hauspanther, 2013)
Plus-Nyan House by Asahi Kasei (Hauspanther, 2013)

I’ve recently come across architecture that has been dedicated to cats. There are many designers that have incorporated their pets into the design of their house. In Japan, Asahi Kasei’s Plus­-Nyan house is completely feline friendly and the interior architecture is unbelievable.

I have a feeling that if many of the cat lovers here in Canada had an unlimited bank

(Hauspanther, 2013)
Plus-Nyan House by Asahi Kasei (Hauspanther, 2013)

account they would include designs such as these into their own homes for their family kitties. I know I would! Designs like Kasei’s would for sure be a hit amongst many cat owners and even dog owners. This house is a giant playground for cats, however many elements are concealed well from human eyes, or are thoughtfully integrated to seem invisible amongst the architecture and features of the house itself. Kasei has included tunnels, shelving to be climbing steps, open air catwalks, a caged in deck, and a designated litter box area in the bathroom. I especially like that the litter box is integrated into the bathroom because cats are known for watching their humans while on their ‘thrown’ (My cats anyways). Maybe this way they will stop staring and be preoccupied with their own business.

(Hauspanther, 2013)
Plus-Nyan House by Asahi Kasei (Hauspanther, 2013)

As a business aspect, I think that architecture inspired by pets may indeed become a large factor for family homes in the future. I know many members of my family and friends would love to incorporate some designs such as these into their own homes. Maybe one day we will see more of this type of design in the average home. How about you? Would you like to incorporate pet architecture into your own home? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

References

Hauspanther. (2013, December 31). Unbelievable Cat-Friendly House Design from Japan. Retrieved from hauspanther: http://www.hauspanther.com/2012/12/31/unbelievable-cat-friendly-house-design-from-japan/

Where to Shop

I previously discussed what to look for when purchasing cat food. Now I am going to let you in on some secrets on where to shop to save you money and get the best products for less. Where you buy your cat food is almost as important as the cat food you choose. Grocery stores and superstores such as Walmart don’t necessarily carry the best qualified cat foods, or the best supplies/products but they carry them at lower prices and depending on what you are shopping for they are the best place to go, not to mention convenient. For products such cat food I would suggest shopping at pet specialty stores such as PetSmart or my recommendation, Ren’s Pets Depot. There are definitely benefits to shopping at both businesses.

Benefits of shopping at PetSmart:

  • Many locations
  • PetPerks
  • Pet Services: Grooming, PetsHotel, Dog Training and day camp
  • Low Prices: Many pet stores offer a rewards program where when you purchase a set amount of pet food bags you get one free. PetSmart’s prices are already so low that it equals getting that 11th or 13th bag free.
  • Price Matching
  • Online Shopping and in-store pickup

Benefits of shopping at Ren’s Pets Depot:

  • Price Matching
  • Rewards Program:
      • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend
      • Save $1 for every 100 points you earn
      • Frequent Buyer: Free bag after set amount (10 or 12 depending on brand)
  • Low prices
  • Online Shopping with free shipping over $60
  • Canadian

After looking at the benefits of both, many would choose PetSmart as their first choice. However other than the additional dog services and the fact that there are more locations, Ren’s to me is the better choice. If you have a Ren’s Pets Depot location near you I suggest shopping there. Ren’s rewards program earns you money back to spend in store whereas PetSmart’s Petperks only gives slight discounts on products. Ren’s will match prices to PetSmart’s products or any other business with the same product. Plus you get a free bag of food after you buy a set amount. PetSmart managers have told me that they do not provide the free bag because their prices are already so low. On the other hand Ren’s will match PetSmart’s low prices and give you the free bag of pet food. A bonus is that Ren’s Pets Depot is Canadian!

If you find any other great deals out there or would like to recommend other pet stores please leave a comment below!

References

PetSmart Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.petsmart.ca/

Ren’s Pets Depot. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.renspets.com/

Feeding Time!

Piper and Chewy (Chewbacca) eating together.
Piper and Chewy (Chewbacca) eating together.

Our cats are more than just pets to us, they are part of the family, and we want them to live a happy life for as long as possible. Choosing the right food for our pets is an important factor, and like many cat parents, I have searched the web looking for the answer to the simple question of what to look for in cat food. As I am sure many others have come across the answer is not as simple as the question. There are many controversies and disagreements when it comes to debating how best to feed cats. As confusing as the subject may be, I have come to some conclusions.

More meat and fewer grain products in the top five ingredients. Buying a grain-free cat food is best for cats because they are carnivores. Make sure meat is at least the first ingredient listed.

Stay away from corn, wheat, or soy as carbohydrate sources. If you do choose a cat food with grain, try to avoid corn, wheat and soy.

Artificial preservatives are a no go. Chemical preservatives such as BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin are used to extend shelf life and reduce spoilage however they promote reactions such as dry skin to medical problems such as liver and kidney disease.

No by-products. By-products may seem fit for some because cats in the wild will eat its entire prey, however there are concerns about just what’s in those by-products and its quality. By-products are usually not deemed fit for consumption by humans. Treat your pets as you would treat yourself.

Watch for specifics. Ingredients such as “chicken meal” are a decent cat food ingredient. However, ingredients such as “meat meal” can come from any mammal at all.

AAFCO approved. Check the label to ensure that the manufacturer has formulated its pet food to meet minimum nutritional requirements. Do this by looking for a statement on the packaging that says it is approved by the AAFCO.

After looking at these key figures, there are many quality cat foods to look into. If price wasn’t a factor, Orijen cat food would be at the top of my list. However, price is a major factor in pet food choice. Currently I am feeding my cats Blue Buffalo. It was in my budget and its ingredients fit into my peace of mind. Whichever cat food you decide to choose for your feline family member remember to make sure they get enough moisture into their diet. Dry food is the cheapest choice and most convenient. However, cats are known for not drinking enough water and this can cause Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). I give my cats a little wet food each morning as well as always having a water dish filled with fresh water. If you are planning on only giving your cat(s) dry food, then I suggest purchasing a water fountain. Water fountains will help encourage your cat(s) to drink more water because the movement and flow of the water draws their attention in.

There is a lot more information surrounding the best cat foods and what to look for. An article I read, explains how to read more than just the ingredients list. The way the product name is introduced on the packaging is also a factor. (Miller, n.d.) Overall choosing the best cat food for your pet doesn’t just benefit them. It benefits you as a pet parent because you get to see how a happy tummy can lead to a happy kitty.

If picking the right cat food for your pets has confused you as much as it has me (because of all the conflicting matters out there and all the discussions) I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/how-to-read-cat-food-labels

http://www.aafco.org/

References

Miller, K. (n.d.). How to Read Cat Food Labels. Retrieved February 2015, from WebMD: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/how-to-read-cat-food-labels

Help Your Community, Adopt a Cat!

Piper: a stray kitten that we now call family.
Piper: a stray kitten that we now call family.

There are approximately 10.2 million owned cats in Canada. One could only estimate the amount of homeless cats out there, and that would be very difficult. There are many shelters, SPCAs, humane societies, rescues, and other groups and individuals trying to help with this overpopulation problem. However one person or even a group of people, can only do so much with the amount of effort, time, and money needed to fix this problem. A report (Cat Over Population) done by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) states, “There is no one person, or group responsible for this problem. It is truly a community problem that requires a community effort to resolve.” (Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, 2012).As part of a community, with many stray cats, I am trying to let others be aware of this issue as much as I have become. I want to let you know how you can contribute to getting this issue under control, and to help this species of animal in general.

First, let me tell you a little about myself. My name Is Kristin McGillivray. I am currently attending Sheridan College in Ontario, and I am a cat lover. I live in a country area, and have been feeding, finding homes, and taking in homeless cats in my neighbourhood for many years now. There is just something about making a difference to an animal’s life that calls to me. I have started this blog to share news and awareness of various issues, and products that can help benefit you as a cat owner and benefit your cats. I always encourage cat adoption, and I am very supportive of getting your cats sterilized.

I know bringing your cat to the vet can be expensive, but it is in their best interest I promise you that. I ask all cat owners to please spay or neuter your cat(s). Even if your cat is kept inside, getting them sterilized benefits them. If your cat is allowed to roam free then I encourage you even more to please go get your cat fixed. There are many clinics that understand and that have reduced costs for sterilizations. The SPCA has low cost spay and neuter clinics in various locations, that also provide vaccinations, and chip IDs. If your cat is allowed outdoors, an ID is very important to make sure your feline friend always returns home.

Other than sterilizing your cat to keep the overpopulation from worsening, you can help by adopting from one of the many shelters throughout Canada. I have posted a couple links below to help lead you in the right direction. And remember, kittens may be cute, but adult and senior cats are in more need of homes. If you aren’t a cat person, or it’s just not the right time for you, you can still help out by donating, fostering, and by passing along the message. Please be aware that this overpopulation crisis won’t get any better without the help and support of every community. That includes you.

http://www.ontariospca.ca/

http://pets.petsmart.com/adoptions/?_ga=1.98006815.1818230806.1423846600

References

Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. (2012). A Comprehensive Report on the Cat Overpopulation Crisis.