Pets Car Ride Safe Travel with Pet Safety Harnesses

Pets car ride safe travel provides vital protection for dogs and cats. This post, originally written several years ago, needed an update about pet car ride safety. With Magical-Dawg, we used a pet gate to keep him safely in the back seat, and later a halter that buckled into the seatbelt. And because he suffered from car sickness, we also used a great seat cover to protect the car seat. Learn tips for teaching dogs to love car rides here.

Bravo never cared much for car rides. At 120+ pounds, we couldn’t keep him safely contained, so thankfully, he rested nicely on the Kurgo seat cover we still use (see below). These days, I have a smaller safety harness for Shadow-Pup that secures with the seat belt for safe rides.pet car safety

Why Pets Car Ride Safe Travel Matters?

After the long “stay-cation” because of the pandemic, many folks now choose road trips and perhaps take their dog for a car ride as well. So I’m revisiting the subject of pets car ride safe travels.

Pets loose in cars can interfere with the driver, cause distractions and potentially cause accidents. During an accident, they may turn into furry projectiles that injure other human passengers as well as themselves. During accidents, pets get seriously injured, paralyzed, lost, or killed.

pet car safety

Dogs love to ride!

Currently, the United States has no standards or any tests at all for pet travel products, yet many manufacturers advertise claims of successful testing. Distraction protection differs from crash protection. Some pet products companies take this responsibility seriously.

pet car safety

Shadow-Pup wears a harness that’s attached to the seat belt. That keeps him out of the driver’s way, and protects him from sudden stops (or accidents!).

Crash Tests & Pet Car Safety

A few years ago I met Linsey Wolko, founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) at the BlogPaws event, and later interviewed her after Subaru partnered with them in 2013 to study the effectiveness of pet safety harnesses. There were mixed results among some of the most popular pet products on the market touted to provide pet car safety. NOTE: they used no living dogs in these tests, they conducted all with “doggy test dummies.”

The study chose eleven commonly available dog harness products to test that came in Small, Medium and Large sizes and advertised the product as tested for crash protection. Stuffed dogs served as the test dummies in the three size ranges, which a small 25-pound terrier conformation, a medium 45-pound Border Collie and a large 75-pound Golden Retriever, chosen to best mirror the conformation and weight of living dogs.

MGA Research Corporation, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contracted test facility in Virginia, performed independent, third party testing of the harness products. A minimum standard of performance was first tested, and the seven dog harnesses that passed went on to the “crash” phase of the test with the stuff dog dummies.

How the Pet Crash Tests Worked

The tests were created to result in a worst-case potential for injury. For instance, positioning the test dog dummy in a sit position increased the rotation/force in the crash. “The primary goal was to see if we can keep the dog on the seat,” says Wolko.

The “crash test” considers the potential “launch” of the dog from his perch on the car seat, rotation force, as well as how well (or not) the harness prevents doggy injury. Some tests not only resulted in catastrophic failure of fasteners and caused severe harness deformation/stitching failure, but also launched the test-dummy dog, stripped off the harness, or hung/strangled the test dummy. Shedding of the harness/leash also leaves the dog open to escape/becoming lost immediately after the accident.

Only ONE of the eleven company’s products passed the test with a five-paws-up ranking. See the results of the tests here. The Sleepypod ClickIt Utility Harness received Top Performer of those products tested. It controlled both launch and rotation of the test dummy dog in all three Small, Medium and Large product sizes. Note: Sleepypod also makes safety-tested carriers for cats and small pets.

pet car safety

Image courtesy of Kurgo

I am not being compensated for writing this post. Kurgo provided me with a free harness and seat cover in exchange for an honest review. Kurgo is not responsible for the content of this article.

What About Pet Car Safety for Big Dogs? 

I wanted to find a safety harness for Magic–but the Sleepypod product didn’t come in a large enough size. The one that seemed the best fit, Kurgo harness, initially failed the 2013 test, but the company was one of several that improved the design and enhanced quality control. I accepted a free Kurgo harness to review.

The materials and workmanship impressed me. The company really takes safety seriously. Unlike some other products, this isn’t simply a converted walking harness. Kurgo uses the same type of engineering design used by rock climbers who rely on buckles and tethers to keep them safe.

That said, because it has a ring on the front chest plate, the Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Harness works like a no-pull harness and turns your pup around if he does try to tug you along. For the all-important fit, you simply measure the dog’s neck and chest girth.

trufit-s.new-04

Image courtesy of Kurgo.

Fit for a Jumbo-size Magical- or Bravo-Dawg

I enjoyed having five places to adjust fit on Magic. However, the neck band at its smallest girth still ran loose on my GSD, but the company offers instructions how to make a DIY adjustment that worked like a charm. It’s also machine washable–kewl! Price ranges according to size, starting at $22 for the little guys and going up to $32 for the largest harness.

The chest pad reduces stress on the trachea and sternum and in the case of dangerous crashes, this spreads the force across the dog’s chest to reduce injury due to localized impact. The harness comes with a carabiner to attach the harness to your car seatbelt system. There’s also a 10-inch dog seat belt tether to allow more range of movement. Bravo inherited the harness and it also fit him (with adjustments).

pet car safety

Magic was a car-riding maniac. Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

How Pet Car Safety Crash Tests Worked

The Kurgo Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness and its steel Nesting Buckles has been tested in both tensile strength, static line test, and finally in a crash test using a sled test (see video, below).

Dog Harness Crash test videos show a 50-lb dog (dummy) traveling at 30 miles per hour. They conducted and recorded the tests at the University of Michigan, an accredited National Highway and Transportation Administration lab, using Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 213 for child restraint systems.

Magic weighs nearly 90 pounds so I wouldn’t expect the test dog at this weight to be the same result. And nope, I NEVER had a crash with Magic (or Bravo) in the car. However, it’s the best option I’ve found for big dogs while on the road.

What About Pet Travel Safety for Cats?

For pet owners of smaller cats and dogs, the absolutely best safety tip I can offer is to secure your small pet inside a carrier and seat belt the carrier into the back seat. Wolko recommends placing the carrier on the floor in the back seat, which works well for the smallest carriers.

As with harnesses, there are no required tests or standards that define “safe pet carriers.” Plastic can shatter, metal can buckle, so conduct due diligence in choosing your carrier. Remember that air bags that go off have enough power to crush and severely injure or kill a small pet.

For big dogs like my Magical-Dawg that won’t fit in a carrier, I have him secured behind a dog gate so he doesn’t try to drive. Now I can also secure him with his Kurgo harness. That keeps him out of my hair and from trying to push the gas pedal, too.

pet car safety

Images courtesy of CPS

Center for Pet Safety Studies: Update

“After our findings in 2013 [on harness safety], we were eager to continue working to bring accountability to the pet products industry, while highlighting the products that will help improve safety for the entire family during their travels together,” said Lindsey Wolko, Founder and CEO of Center for Pet Safety.

The 2015 Crate and Carrier Crashworthiness Studies evaluated leading crates and carriers advertised as crash tested and/or recommended for a vehicle. They used no live animals during these tests. Instead, the tests employed specially designed crash test fake dogs that approximated the size and weight of real dogs.
pet car safety testMany manufacturers claim their products are crash-tested, safe and even protective for your pet, but today there are no substantiating tests or standards in the U.S. The data gathered from these studies will assist CPS in formulating crate and carrier testing and performance standards. Learn to train pets to accept crates in this blog post. They evaluated four crates and eight carriers, and on July 24, 2015 CPS announced that three top products emerged in the tests:CPS-Subaru-5-300x200

Winners Of the Tests

TOP CRATE: Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8’ Tie Down Straps

TOP CARRIERS: PetEgo Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection and Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock

The full product performance report studies can be found at CenterforPetSafety.org. You can also now look for the logo (on the left) for products that have been certified safe by the Center for Pet Safety.

Kurgo Seat Cover

I am not being compensated for writing this post. Kurgo provided me with a free seat cover in exchange for an honest review. Kurgo is not responsible for the content of this article. Image courtesy of Kurgo.

Seat Cover to Protect Cars

I received the Universal Fit Kurgo Bench Seat Cover for my Toyota Camry, list price $45. My first impressions were the material is soil resistant canvas with a plastic backing to make it waterproof. It comes in either charcoal or tan, and looks very nice.

There’s a Velcro-close pocket in the seat back and front bottom of the seat, supposedly for doggy storage items. There also are Velcro openings for seatbelts to come through, important when using the Kurgo Harness or another crash-tested product to keep your pet safe. It’s recommended to hand wash with cold water and mild detergent or on “gentle” with front load washing machines, and to hang dry.

This is a great product for keeping hair, mud, or other bodily insults like diarrhea or vomit from car sick dogs off the car upholstery. Because it is a “universal” size, for my car the fit is loose and slides around a bit. There are elastic tie-downs for each bottom/side of the seat, and elastic loops to hook over each headrest. Essentially, the cover hangs from the headrests and drapes over the seat. An exuberant pooch could get it scrunched up.

That said, for cars with back seats that fold down, the additional back-of-seat attachment would augment security. The Kurgo Bench Seat Cover is a solid and quality option for toting your dog around. Be cognizant of size differences and read the reviews on the site, since different car “benches” may not fit as well as others.

Do you use a harness, crate or carrier in your car when traveling with your pets? What about dealing with the mess, do you have a seat cover? How often do you take your cats and dogs for car rides? Shadow-Pup channels his Magical-Dawg predecessor and loves car rides. How about your pets? Do tell!

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Pet Smell? 7 Pet Smell & Stain Removers for Pet Potty Accidents

Anyone who lives with pets benefits from an effective pet smell eliminator. Be careful your pet accident cleaner doesn’t cause more problems. A pet smelly carpet could draw the culprit back to the scene of the accident.

Recently a friend complained about a horrible pet smell with her dogs, and ask about an effective pet smell remover for her home. In her case, the dogs found a skunk and I referred her to this page with 3 home remedies for de-skunking pets. De-skunking formulations also work well for dogs that roll in poop or other aromatic fun.

Cats and dogs can detect minute chemical scents humans can’t fathom. That’s one reason dogs love underwear! Simply mopping up the mess may satisfy your nose, but the smell lures pets back to the scene of the crime to repeat the dirty deed, time after time.

Common Pet “Accidents” That Stain

There are many reasons for pets messing in the house. Learn about hit-or-miss cat litter box problems in this blog post. For new puppies, read about house training tips in this post.

At our house, our old-lady cat Seren-Kitty’s potty stains remind us of her last year with us (she nearly made it to age 22, so cut her some slack!). And again during his last six months with us, Bravo-Dawg left carpet reminders. He never lost his appetite, but often drank too much water and URPed meals up in massive amounts. I think it’s a pet rule to only vomit on pale carpet rather than easily cleaned tile. Less frequently, Karma-Kat has a hairball issue that again hits pale carpet rather than easy to clean surfaces.

pet smell remover

How to Clean Potty Accidents

Urine soaked into carpet proves particularly difficult to remove. With fresh accidents, pick up the solids and blot up as much liquid as possible. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaning products. Since urine has ammonia in it, such products may mimic the smell and make the area even more attractive as a potty spot.

Once urine dries on carpet or walls, “pee-mail” notes are even more difficult to locate and clean. Turn off all your lights and shine a high-quality black light on suspect areas. That makes urine glow in the dark. Don’t forget to check vertical areas such as walls and bedspreads that spraying cats and leg-lifting dogs like to target.

pet smell

How to Clean Pet Smells & Eliminate Pet Odors

The best products don’t just clean the area or cover up with perfumes. They neutralize the chemicals that smell bad. Urine contains sticky urea, urochrome (the yellow color), and uric acid. You can wash the first two away; however, uric acid is nearly impossible to dissolve and remove from surfaces.

Successful products not only clean away the urea and urochrome, they also neutralize the uric acid. They commonly use enzymes or encapsulate the urine molecules to contain the odor. Here are a few examples I’ve found to be successful and/or other professionals and colleagues have recommended to me. Ask for them at pet products stores, your veterinarian, Target, Walmart and similar sources, as well as online (some affiliate links included).

7 Pet Smell Removers

  • Pristine Pet touted as an eco-friendly option, lists more ingredients they WON’T use than those included in the formulation. I purchased the discounted product offer after seeing endorsements from pet lovers. It’s my new favorite because it removed years-old set-in stains, as well as new ones. It combines a professional-grade hydrogen peroxide, plus a micellar cleanser (borrowed from the beauty industry) to break down soil particles.
  • MisterMax Anti Icky Poo Odor removeruses live bacteria to eliminate any organic material left behind by your pets.
  • AtmosKlear Odor Eliminator developed for the automotive industry can be used straight or mixed with other cleaning preparations. Recommended for pet odors and other household odors (smoke, gym bags, basement mustiness, etc.).
  • Petastic formerly known as Nature’s Miracle, has been recommended by pet professionals for years. It employs an enzyme that breaks down and neutralizers the odor.
  • PetroTech Odor Eliminator is made from organic ingredients that “encapsulate” the odors. This product claims to be safe for use on “skunked” pets, too.
  • Urine-Off employs an enzyme that digests the urine molecules. The website also offers quality black lights for aid in finding and cleaning problem spots.
  • Zero Odor is not an enzyme, but composed of anti-odor molecules that bind with odor molecules and change them from smelly to non-offensive.

What’s your go-to product for getting rid of the “funk” in your pet household? Do tell!

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

5 Gift Ideas for Dogs & Their Humans

Birthdays, anniversaries, various holiday seasons–any occasion is the perfect excuse to let your little furry friend indulge. Or, well, sometimes the human parents get to indulge, too! Let’s just pretend that you’re buying these items for that cute face erupting into a series of excited barks. Ready to get started?

Thank you to UNCLE BUD’S HEMP DOG PRODUCTS for sharing this sponsored GUEST POST. I am being compensated to share this information about CBD hemp oil products for dogs, but BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD only shares information that is relevant to my readers. (Images provided by UNCLE BUD’S HEMP, copyright as noted)

Copr. Svetozar-Milashevich via Pexels.com

Duchess Fold-out Sleeper Dog Bolster

With a fold-out sleeping surface that opens out into a spacious quilted bed, the Duchess Fold-Out is perfect for a large-sized pet or a true dog-loving household with multiple pets. During the day, you can convert the bed into a comfy sofa for hanging out. 

The base layer has premium ComfortCore® Gel complete with five-layer cushion technology that ensures your four-legged friend has a wonderful sleep. You can choose from two colors, merlot velvet or soft gray in a textured fabric that is super easy to clean and maintain. Not that you’ll need to perform a lot of maintenance–this sleeper is specifically designed to repel spills and prevent them from setting and becoming stains.

Uncle Bud’s Hemp Dog Products

If you’ve been looking for the perfect organic grooming products, treat your pal to Uncle Bud’s range of CBD hemp oil products. The ingredients are safe for sensitive skin and suitable for all dog skin types. You can buy the complete set of grooming shampoo, conditioner, and deodorizer with confidence knowing that it’s certified as safe by the USDA. 

Rest assured that the products are free of parabens, sulfates, or colorants, and will leave your friend’s coat soft and shiny. The advanced formula with hemp infusions cleans and freshens with a combination of scents like chamomile, citrus, and lavender – a must-have for your furry friend’s grooming kit.

Copr. Catilan Balan via Pixaby.

Wild Earth Vegan Dog Food

Developed by veterinarians, Wild Earth Vegan dog food is a premium brand made with ingredients sourced only from plants. Each serving is loaded with nutrition to keep your pet energetic with healthy digestion. Dog parents dedicated to getting a high-grade, protein-rich diet for their pets would want to consider this dog food that is entirely free of meat and meat products, or any kind of preservatives, additives, or harmful fillers.

Each bowl contains the goodness of oats, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas topped with a generous content of yeast that provides dietary fiber and complete protein. Your furball will love its flavor and taste, and you’ll love watching him wolf it down. Even the pickiest of eaters seem to enjoy this food, so their treats are a great gift for your friend.

West & Willow Dog Portrait

This gift idea is undoubtedly for the human members of your family. Create a lasting monument to the cuteness of your furry friend with a custom pet portrait. You will be fascinated by the perfection of each stroke on the virtual canvas as created by expert digital artists. All that West & Willow requires is your favorite pet picture and the result will be a framed, accurate-to-life representation. You can also order a customized phone case show off your pet wherever you go. 

Copr. Alvan Nee via Unsplash

If you’re unsure about your photography skills, you’ll find a guiding tutorial on the website.

Brookstone® Motion Sensor Pet Water Fountain

Many dogs’ humans work long hours and find themselves preoccupied with whether their pal is comfortable at home. Install the Brookstone Water Fountain and your pup will always have fresh water to drink. This smart gadget is motion-activated and delivers the exact amount of water needed. The built-in carbon filter ensures that the water is always top quality. Fill the fountain from the sink and set it up for easy, clean access.

There you go–five of the best gift ideas that you must absolutely get for your furry friend to keep them happy and comfortable. If you just can’t wait for the next birthday or event to come around, we’ll completely understand.

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Cat Furniture Is Cat’s Meow: Tuft + Paw Modern Cat Furniture Options

Cat scratching got you down? But not a fan of the run-of-the-mill shabby cat scratch products at the local store? Boy, do I have some fun options for your cats!

cat scratching

I received a free Turrim Sisal Scratching Post from Tuft + Paw, so that I could offer an honest review of the product. But Tuft + Paw is not responsible for any information on this blog, and BLING, BITCHES & BLOOD only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers.

Tuft + Paw Modern Cat Furniture Options for Scratching Cats

Last month, Jackson Cunningham contacted me to help spread the word about his company’s cat furniture. He is the founder of Tuft + Paw, a California-based distributor offering unique, modern-style products for the discerning cat lover. Selections range from sleepers and toys to cat trees and shelves, scratch objects and litter box hide-aways. Cat scratching ops are part of the Kitty Bill of Rights, to keep cats happy.

I was sent the Turrim Sisal Scratching Post for Karma-Kat’s review. The post is 28″ tall, with the natural birch base measuring 16 ” square. It retails for $139. Check out the pictures for Karma’s reaction.

cat box

Karma loves boxes! So the cat tree parts in the box were bonus fun time for the kitty.

How Cat Scratch Furniture Is Designed

I also asked to be put in touch with the product designers, to offer some insight into how cat furniture comes to be. Jackson put me in touch with Stacy and Brian Werner, with answers to my furry questions.

“Our scratching post company was actually started in the 1930s when the founder’s cat started clawing at her new furniture. The founder decided to come up with a device that was more enticing than the couch. Thus, the Katnip Tree was born and patented in 1935.”

cat scratch post

The post and base come with pre-drilled holes, screws for assembly, and an instruction sheet.

“The current design of our posts are pretty close to the original of the 1930s. They are still handmade using 2x4s, rough outer material, with catnip built in. We believe our products are better because they are not mass produced and we use quality materials that can last for years and are not harmful to your cat.”

They say that the quality of the materials are very important. “For posts, we use natural sisal, certified organic catnip, and the wood is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.”

cat scratch post

Karma-Kat couldn’t wait for it to be assembled! The sisal covering, impregnated with catnip, proved irresistible.

Cat Scratch Testers

cat scratching post

Fully assembled in less than five minutes.

The Werners have two cats, Charlotte (6 yrs.) and Jasper (5 yrs.). Both were adopted from the same cat rescue about a year apart.

“Every day when I get home from work Charlotte trots over to her favorite throw rug and literally flops over so I can rub and kiss her belly. She loves to sit on my lap. We also sleep together every night!”

“Jasper is a character! He’s always getting into mischief, always opening cupboard doors so he can explore. He’s also a fantastic product tester because he loves to play with toys and scratching posts.”

“Jasper and Charlotte make great product testers! We also send new products to the cat rescues we work with, cat social media influencers, and sometimes a random person who has a cat.”

Products Designed with Cat Scratching In Mind

I asked how they developed ideas for new cat furniture designs. No surprise, a lot of it has to do with what the cat wants.

“We really don’t have a “process” for coming up with new products. For example, our Horizontal Scratching Post came about by accident. We made a post that we felt didn’t look good enough to sell, so we threw it on the floor for Charlotte and Jasper. They loved it! After watching them play with it, we figured we could turn it into a product.”

“We also listen to our customers. We had a lot of requests for a tall post, so we came up with a 36” Tall Scratching Post which has become of our best sellers.”

cat scratch post

The Turrim Sisal Scratching Post weds beauty with functionality and is a purr-fect fit in my living room — a great target to keep Karma’s claws off my furniture. The quality of the post is excellent. The price is hefty but well worth the cost, especially with the money back guarantee.

FROM THE COMPANY: At Tuft & Paw, all of our products are shipped in under 7 business days on all U.S orders. Your order will usually leave our factory after two business days.

If within the first 30 nights of using on your new Tuft & Paw furniture, your cat is not completely satisfied—for any reason—you may return it for a full refund.

Over to you. What types of cat furniture do you provide for your furry wonders? Do they have a favorite cat scratch object? Do tell!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give-aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Doc & Phoebe’s Feeder: The NoBowl Feeding Solution for Cats

Doc & Phoebe’s Feeder, previously known as the NoBowl Feeding System, has been a hit with Karma-Kat. And with me. Here’s why.

nobowl cat feeding system

Karma-Kat immediately loved his “mousie meals.”

DISCLOSURE: I am not being paid for this post, but did receive the product for my cats to try out, for possible review purposes. Doc & Phoebe’s Feeder is not responsible for the content of this article.

DOC & PHOEBE’S “NoBowl” FEEDER

Karma is a big ol’ man-cat and loves to play. Until recently, he had his best friend Magical-Dawg to chase and tag, but still enjoyed pestering his tiny, elderly sister-cat, Seren. Karma also liked to steal everbody’s food (the dog’s, Seren’s, even grab-and-go off my husband’s plate!). He’d gotten a bit broad in his ass-ets, if you get my drift.

Last year, while at the annual Cat Writers’ Association conference in May, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Elizabeth Bales, the brains behind an innovate and interactive cat feeding system. She offered to send me the NoBowl system (recently renamed Doc & Phoebe’s Feeder).

WHY NoBOWL FEEDING?

Cats evolved as hunters, active in short bursts of energy to capture prey. They typically eat several small (mouse-size) meals daily. Feeding from an always-full bowl may work for some kitties, but many become bored, pack on the pudge. They even develop what Dr. Bales terms “scarf-and-barf” behavior when they eat too much and then urp it back up.

Stimulating the cat’s natural instinct to hunt, and feed in a more natural way, can address a number of behavioral and physical issues our indoor-only cats face. Once Karma learned he had to WORK for his kibble, he began to slim down, spent less time pestering Seren, and even slept through the night.

Finally, this time of year it helps keep Karma “otherwise engaged” rather than un-decking the halls and climbing the Christmas tree. Oh, yeah!

doc & phoebeWHAT’S IN DOC & PHOEBE’S NoBOWL SYSTEM?

The Indoor Hunting Feeder is a complete bowl replacement for one cat, and provides for five meals a day. I was gifted with a double set, since we will soon (I hope!) be adding another kitty friend to our household. The standard Doc & Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Feeder costs $39.99 and includes:

  • 1  Trainer complete with multiple dispensing holes
  • 5 Feeders each with two dispensing holes – designed for any size kibble
  • 5 Feeder Skins designed to simulate the tactile feel of prey allowing your cat to grab, claw and use its teeth as it would in the hunt
  • 1 Scoop which holds 1.6 tablespoons (1/5th the daily ration of an average 10-lb cat)

For that reason, Karma-Kat gets his five “mousies” a day, place in various interesting spots throughout the house. Check out the video, below, for Karma’s reaction to the fun and games!

TAKE 10% OFF ENTIRE ORDER, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

(use code TAKE10 at checkout, expires Jan. 30th)

AMY’S RATING

I only have a couple of nits with the product. First, it’s a bit tricky to fill the mouse-containers with the scoop, although the scoop is very convenient for measuring. Also, if you have a big DAWG like our Magic, it may be a challenge to use the feeding system without a marauder stealing them. We solved that problem by placing the mousies in closed rooms–the bedroom at night, and my office during the day. Now, of course, with Magic and Seren gone, that’s no longer an issue.

Overall, I give the feeding system my highest rating and will be recommending the product to future clients. If you’ve not decided how to “gift” your cat-loving friends this holiday season, check out this indoor hunting feeder. Your cats will thank you!

cat behaviorHow about you? Do your cats enjoy puzzle toys, hunting games or have “issues” that might be addressed by this or a similar product? How do you manage them? Do tell!

Get more tips on cat-to-cat issues in ComPETability: Cats.

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!