A few weeks ago, Alan casually mentioned something in a comment that really made me think:
“One of our CH cats is a burrower, so we got a few old wool blankets, folded them up so he can crawl in, and put them in his favorite places. One night, after he’d fallen down the cat steps leading to the bed, my wife moved one of his “burritos” to the foot of the steps as a landing pad. Anchoring it securely also helped him get a firm stance when reaching for the first step, and he hasn’t fallen from the steps in at least a year.”
Alan, thanks for sharing that tip, because it’s a solution I’ve been searching for!
You see, our downstairs floors are hardwood, but our second floor and stairs are carpeted. Having carpeted stairs is great for Ellie, but she always has a little trouble when she’s transitioning from the carpeted stairs to the hardwood or vice versa.
This trouble became super apparent a few months ago when she had a little accident coming downstairs. As she stepped on to the hardwood, she lost her footing and slipped, falling into her water dish (which was in the area where their plates are in the photo). We immediately reorganized a few things and moved the water dish (and food dishes) in a more appropriate place. Although that solved part of the problem, it didn’t solve the issue of Ellie not having sure footing while transitioning to or from hardwood.
That’s why Alan’s tip is an excellent one. I’m going to look for a carpet or mat that has a grip on the back to lay on the hardwood floor in front of the steps. That way, Ellie can transition to something that has more texture, which will hopefully decrease the number of times she loses her footing — or at least give her a little something to land on!
I realize this seems like an incredibly simply solution — but sometimes the best solutions are the simplest and most obvious. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Have you tried something like this in your home? If so, please share in the comments!
The time has come for our “bear couch” to retire.
Through the years you’ve gotten sneak peeks of it, and I guarantee that it’s been well loved through its “lifetime.”
As Matt and I look toward the new year, we decided that would include a new couch. Consequently, that also includes some couch strategy.
While there are certainly some things that I’ve learned to not care too much about when having CH cats, I did want to take our CHers into account when picking the right couch. How so? Glad you asked.
So when couch shopping, so much more needed to be taken into account than just comfort level. We also looked at:
- The back of the couch. Some couch backs were one piece, others had thin backs with separate back cushions. Ellie loves sitting on the back of the couch, so we figured a thicker back would work best for her.
- The height of the couch and the space (or not underneath it). We wanted to make sure the cats could climb onto the couch easily, and if necessary, climb under it.
- And naturally, the fabric is key. Our bear couch had a beautiful, woven almost tapestry-like fabric on it. Unfortunately, those fabric strands and strings were easily snagged, pulled and torn. So when looking for a new couch, we decided to take the fabric into account. We wanted something that (if possible) wouldn’t show wear so quickly.
Thankfully we got a fabric swatch, which I then tested at home with a safety pin. I plucked and plucked away at the fabric, trying to mimic cat claws. I’m happy to say the swatch passed the test (it didn’t show a thing!), so I’m hoping that’s a good preview of what’s to come. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
Thanksgiving is now in our rearview mirrors, and as we look forward to Christmas, odds are you may be thinking about putting up your tree.
OK, you can stop laughing. No, really.
I know, I know, for many of us, Christmas trees are simply huge cat toys. As I’ve learned in the last few days, it’s CG’s most favorite toy in the world. No kidding — he’s been acting very kitten-ish around it. It’s bizarre and adorable. But did I mention I don’t want him electrocuting himself or tipping it over?
Seems I’m not the only one living with this predicament, and fortunately for the rest of us, Patty has found a solution that may help with some of that. Here’s her story:
“I don’t know if any of your other readers have problems with their kitties and their Christmas trees being toppled over, but Spaz has a thing about the tree, and he tries to climb it. It is bad enough for a normal cat to try to climb the tree, but I would come home and find the tree laying on its side at least once a week. I have found a solution for the problem and I have not had the problem since.
You know the outside glass tables with the shade umbrella that the pole goes through the center of the table and into a cement disc stand? The cement base for the shade umbrella is the perfect size for an artificial tree. It keeps the tree standing with all of Spaz’s attempts to climb it. This also works great for normal cats as well. I have found a lot more joy in the Christmas season being able to have a tree and to keep my tree and decorations intact and standing.
I was so afraid that I would find Spaz pined under the fallen tree and injured in some way that I didn’t put one up for a couple years. I was on a mission to make it work for me and my cat, I got a brainstorm when I noticed the stand for my shade umbrella sitting under the glass table. I have been using this technique ever since.”
Thanks for sharing, Patty! Other readers, do you have other tips and tricks when it comes to cat-proofing your Christmas? Please share in the comments!
I was very impressed when I heard that a cat would be joining the Monopoly token family. Granted you didn’t choose it; fans voted for it in an online contest, but I was glad to see it was added nonetheless.
I saw it as a tiny step toward the country ending perpetual, negative cat stereotypes. By adding a cat as a token, Americans around the nation were saying “We want this!” — or at least they saw a cat as a better choice than a robot, diamond ring, helicopter or guitar. Which may or may not be saying a lot.
Anyway, I wanted to write to you today to say thanks, but no thanks.
Thanksgiving Day I saw your commercial that “promotes” your new cat token. The potential was great, the execution was an offensive disaster.
Throughout the commercial cats are portrayed as stupid, threatening and dangerous. I can’t believe the lengths the commercial goes to in order to make the point that there’s an “easier way to play Monopoly with a cat.” I can’t decide which was worse: Making the black cat come across as a vicious creature (they have a hard enough time getting adopted), or making a cat disappear in a puff of smoke only to be replaced by a cat token. Yes, if only we could get replace our cats, life would be more enjoyable. Right. Great idea.
I felt it was a smack in the face of the thousands of amazing people around the country who are trying to break those disparaging stereotypes in order to help place great pets in homes that deserve them.
Here’s the irony: Hasbro was working with Petfinder to help homeless pets. From November 4 through 30, Hasbro was showing its support for Petfinder adoption groups by giving $1 for every purchase of the Monopoly Classic Game. Hasbro said it would donate up to $10,000.
What I don’t get is this: If Hasbro was essentially trying to help organizations that adopt out cats, how on earth did they think it would be a good idea to portray cats the way they did? There were so many other ways you could have shown cats interfering with a game, instead of making them come across as jerks.
I know it was all intended as a “joke”, but this joke just cost you a customer.
First of all, thank you for reading. Seriously, you have no idea how much I appreciate you.
I may never find out who you are (we can change that!), but every year I’m ever more appreciative of all of you. You see, I started writing about CH cats in 2009. Since then, I’ve had a major site refresh, added another CHer to my family, and have learned so much more than I could have imagined. I never would have thought back in 2009 that I’d still be blogging today, and that I would have met as amazing people as I have. So thank you, truly.
Second, step away from your computer (just for a moment!) and go grab a loved one. This could be your CHer, a family member, anyone. Give ‘em a hug and take a moment to appreciate who they are, and what they’ve brought to your life. Even though your CH cat may try to squirm out of your arms, at least you’ll be able to take a moment to stop and give them a little Thanksgiving loving.
Speaking of, Happy Thanksgiving. I wish you and yours a wonderful day filled with warmth, love, and gratefulness.
And of course, as we each go off to enjoy our day, I wanted to leave you with a few tips that are helpful not only for today, but throughout the holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I’m so grateful for all of you!
I don’t know about you, but I have one email account that gets some crazy emails. Thanks to everything from the latest spam scheme to emails intended for another Amanda Maurer (my maiden name), my mailbox fills up pretty quickly, so I sometimes dismiss emails rather quickly.
That said, when I got an email from the folks at the Natural Pet Company, I gave it a second look. They were wondering if CG and Ellie would like to try out some new cat toys they had made. I decided to order them to give them a shot, and full disclosure: I paid for the toys. I feel it was only right to pay for them, as it would prevent me (and our kitties!) from being biased in a review.
You have to admire the origins of these toys. Two guys in the UK decided to start the Natural Pet Company after realizing that the cat toy market is dominated by big brands and many of the toys available are made of plastics or synthetic materials.
They were inspired to start the company after making some simple cat toys at home. Initially, they handmade the toys, but when the orders kept coming in, they decided to look into other production options.*
Currently, they have three products for sale**: a Cat Toys Megapack, a 4 oz. bag of natural catnip, and a feather wand toy. They have plans to expand their cat line and start other pet lines in the future.
So what did we order?
- A wand toy: A fabric mouse — with feather tail — attached to a wooden handle via an elastic cord.
- A mouse toy: This mouse is made of wrapped twine; there’s a rattler inside.
- Three woven wicker balls: Inside each one is a small bell. There are several ribbons attached to the ends of each.
Once our package arrived, we placed everything (box included) on the floor to see what CG and Ellie would go for first. Not a surprise (sorry, guys!) the box was the runaway hit. Both inspected it to no end. CG climbed in and claimed it his own. Ellie started pawing at one of the box flaps, and enjoyed gnawing on it. At that point, Matt and I decided to encourage them to play with the toys. Read more…
It’s a common story: Someone encounters a kitten or cat, and it soon becomes very apparent that the feline has trouble walking. Perhaps it wobbles when it walks, maybe it falls over all of the time. One thing is for sure: This cat isn’t normal. So what’s the deal?
If you have the ability to help, my first recommendation is that you take the cat to a vet or a shelter — preferably a no-kill, otherwise they may have to put him down upon admittance. Only a veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose what’s going on with the cat, and sometimes they may not be able to.
You see, there are many conditions out there that can lead to similar symptoms. Sometimes ear mites can bug a cat’s equilibrium and cause him to wobble when he walks. Perhaps the cat was previously or is injured. Or perhaps it’s something more.
One of those possibilities is a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. Cerebellar hypoplasia, or CH, is a rare condition some cats are born with that results in wobbly walking.
Here’s the thing: Sometimes folks are quick to believe that their cat has cerebellar hypoplasia. Like with humans, it can be dangerous to diagnose the condition on your own, which could result in a mis-diagnosis. Yes, the condition may sound just like what your cat has, but at the end of the day, you really need to check with your vet.
If your vet isn’t familiar with cerebellar hypoplasia, you can try finding one who is familiar with CH near you.
So here’s the point: I really hope your cat is going to be OK. To truly find out what’s going on with the cat, you need to take him to the vet. While you’re there, you can certainly bring up cerebellar hypoplasia to see if that’s a possibility. That said, I want to prepare you that it may not be CH, and it’s best to work with your doctor to find out what it is, and what you can do to help your cat.