How to buy cat food

Cat Food Buyer’s Guide

What the best cat food has

  • More meat, less grain in the top five ingredients. Grain-free is best for your resident carnivore, say cat food critics like veterinarian Lisa Pierson at They suggest looking for meat as the number-one ingredient.
  • No corn, wheat or soy as carbohydrate sources. If you do choose a cat food with grain, steer clear of corn, wheat and soy, all of which can trigger allergies in some cats, say veterinarians at WebMD.
  • No artificial preservatives. None of the cat foods discussed in this report add chemical preservatives like BHT, BHA and ethoxyquin.
  • A good safety record. There’s much concern about the quality of what goes into pet foods since the massive, deadly melamine recalls of 2007. Subsequent, smaller recalls for salmonella and other issues have done little to quell fears. Look for cat food from a company that maintains good control over the sources of its ingredients. Some companies go the extra mile by doing their own independent tests. Companies that have acted responsibly in the past — such as being forthright with their customers when something has gone wrong — are more likely to do so in the future.

cat food

Know before you go

Dry versus canned. Dry cat food often costs less than canned, and it can be convenient for cat owners who want to leave food out for the cat while they’re gone. Most veterinarians see no problem with dry cat food. Others say cats really need wet food, because they evolved to get moisture from their prey. Veterinarian Lisa Pierson at says cats have such a low thirst drive that they’ll never drink enough from the water dish, and dry-fed cats run the risk of painful, potentially life-threatening urinary problems.

Some vets recommend dry food to keep cats’ teeth clean, but others, like Pierson, say that’s a myth: “The idea that dry food promotes dental health makes about as much sense as the idea that crunchy cookies would promote dental health in a human,” Pierson writes.

What about raw? Some cat owners and experts say it’s best to feed cats what they would eat in the wild: raw meat, bone and organs. You can buy frozen raw cat food designed to closely mimic a cat’s natural prey. Dehydrated near-raw foods (steamed to kill pathogens) are another alternative.

Are byproducts a concern? Some say that byproducts are perfectly acceptable, as a cat in the wild will eat its entire prey — bones, fur, internal organs and the rest. However, others are concerned about just what’s in those byproducts and the quality of their sources, noting that a lack of standards allows the inclusion of animal products that would otherwise not be deemed fit for consumption by humans — or their pets.

What’s your budget? The very best cat foods — with plenty of high-quality meat, no grains or fillers, nothing artificial — are usually the priciest. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to feed your cat well. For example, Trader Joe’s Chicken, Turkey and Rice Dinner (Est. 79 cents for a 5.5-oz. can) gets good reviews from cat owners and experts alike, though it’s not grain-free.

Watch for vague-sounding ingredients. For example, “chicken meal” is a decent cat food ingredient; experts say: High-quality versions include chicken meat and sometimes bone rendered to remove moisture (useful for making dry food). On the other hand, “meat and bone meal” can come from any mammal at all. “Animal digest” means soft animal tissue that has been “digested” into liquid form using enzymes. Although these are all legal pet food ingredients, top-rated foods don’t use them.

Watch out for hype. Some terms on a cat food label have legal meaning, while others, such as “natural” and “premium” do not. “Human-grade” is often used by makers to describe their food in advertising and on their web site, but only a few companies can legally use the term on its product labelling.

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How to buy cat furniture

How to buy cat furniture

Need the Best Cat Furniture for Your Cat? Learn How to Select It

Choose the Best Cat Furniture for Your Cat
There is no doubt there are too many different kinds of cat furniture on the market today called in different ways like condos, trees, scratchers, playgrounds, towers, etc. And the people with cats at home should be able to recognize the best ones that are good enough to satisfy felines’ needs of playing, climbing, scratching or just watching the world outside.

Select the right item depending on cat’s personality

The right furniture for every cat or kitty depends on her age, size, what she like to do and what she play with. Since you live with your pet, you are the only person who knows his habits and if you do not know then it is time to start observe them and think what he might needs:

– If your cat is elderly or not very mobile you should not choose a high tree. Instead, select some short model with spacious perches, beds or condo that will offer more room for the pet to play and explore without having to climb too much. All components of furniture should be positioned so that the cat will be able to reach them without problems. A cat hammock is a good option as well because it will offer hours of rest for every lazy cat.

– However, if you have a younger or very active cat you should consider a tall tree, tower or gym that will offer more places for climbing, scratching and playing

– On the other hand, if your cat loves to play or sleep in enclosed areas then she will need a condo or just an item with a tunnel, cradle or just a house. If she likes to snuggle in small objects like a basket, choose cat furniture with round or oval beds

– If the cat likes to scratch more than climbing or sleeping provide her with a playground with a carpet or sisal scratching post that will keep her claws in excellent condition. And if you have more than one cat, choose a big cat tower with many sisal posts, perches and houses, because every cat wants to have her own place.

Which tree or tower is suitable for my cat?

Most of the cats are very active and playful, and people very often choose a tree or tower because of the different levels they offer. But before choosing any particular item you should consider some issues:

cat tree– First of all, the model and size depend on the cat’s climbing abilities. Cats are great climbers, and the tower should be as tall as possible. They just love heights and feel more protected when they’re up high.

– The item must have a wide base that will ensure sturdiness and stability. If the tree topples over when the cat jumps on it, then she may refuse to use it again.

– Components like perches, platforms or ladders must be spacious enough so that feline can climb up and come down without slipping or falling. Be sure these parts can hold the weight of the cat as well.

– If you are choosing between items with rounded or flat platforms, keep in mind that some cats prefer just a flat surface to dig their claws into. On the other hand, rounded platforms or beds will provide more security, and some kitties will not sleep or relax in places where they do not feel secure. Your cat may fall down from a flat platform when she falls asleep.

– Holes of tubes or tunnels must be large enough to match your pet’s size. Most of them are not made with super-sized cats in mind.

– If you think you will move to a new house or apartment in a year or two, choose furniture which can be easily assembled and disassembled.

How to recognize the quality items?

The selection of cat playgrounds nowadays is so large and sometimes confusing. It is important that you consider the needs of your cat and you have to make a choice based on the quality and the price of the product.

The general rule is that you get as much as you pay for. If you find a cheap product, it is probably made of poor quality materials, the construction is unstable, it will be not quite safe for your cat or it will just not last as long as more the expensive ones.

That is why you should know more about the different constructions and materials used with cat furniture, and whether the item is modular or comes assembled.
Wood vs Plywood vs Pressed Wood

Solid wood

There is no doubt that the best material for furniture is real solid wood, and the durability is what makes it preferred. The solid wood furniture is heavier, which makes it more stable, and moreover it will last for many years. However, some small disadvantage of solid wood may be that it is possible over time small cracks to appear on the surface. It is not such a big problem because it will not affect its stability and it can be used in the same way as before. We recommend that you keep these items away from sources of extreme temperatures as well.


Plywood is made from thin sheets of veneer (layers of wood that are peeled from a spinning log) that are cross-laminated and glued together with a hot press. Throughout the thickness of the panel, the grain of each layer is positioned perpendicular to the adjacent layer. The finished product is made from an odd number of layers so that balance is maintained around its central access. Since it is made from whole layers of logs rather than small strands, plywood has a more consistent and less rough appearance than OSB.

Press Wood or OSB
OSB or Pressed Wood is made with heat-cured adhesives and rectangular-shaped wood strands that are arranged in cross-oriented layers. Produced in large, continuous mats, OSB is a solid-panel product of consistent quality with few voids or gaps. The finished product is an engineered wood panel that shares many of the strength and performance characteristics of plywood. Read more about these two materials here.


Carpet vs Faux Fur and Faux Fleece

When choosing a covering material you should be aware in most cases that cats do not care what their furniture is covered with. They are more interested if it has more extras like perches, hammocks, condos, tunnels or cradles, and if the item is tall enough to satisfy their urges to climb and play. However, sometimes cats will not use furniture that is not covered with carpet. So, you have to watch your kitty and find out what her preferences are.

faux fleece faux fur

Most of the kitty furniture on the US market today is covered in faux fur, faux fleece or carpet. Although the first two fabrics are artificial, they are durable enough to withstand cat scratching. They are thinner, but have almost the same quality as regular carpet and will stay in good condition even after many years of intensive use. Sometimes cat owners are very picky about the covering material and think these two materials are not soft enough for their pets. But they are easy to clean, and the items with fur or fleece are cheaper.


On the other hand, the carpet is softer, thicker and heavier than faux fur and faux fleece and comes in more colors. But it should be open (not looped). Looped carpet (berber) often gets caught in cat nails. When felines scratch on berber carpet since it is one continuous thread, it pulls the whole length of the piece, and the carpet looks bad very quickly.

One disadvantage of carpet is you will have to work harder while cleaning it. Also, if you teach the cat to scratch on the carpet furniture, you will send her wrong signals that it is not a problem if she scratches over your expensive home carpet. So, if you prefer the carpeted furniture, just be sure it has at least one sisal pole for scratching. Last, the carpeted items are more expensive.


Sisal Rope

Sisal ropeSisal scratching post

A tree with sisal poles is much better than carpeted poles. We have found that cats tend to prefer the natural sisal rope over the carpet. Sisal rope is 100% natural product, and it is wonderful scratching surface for cats. They just love its smell and love to scratch on sisal rope which brings them healthier nails. The sisal rope also is so strong it will last for years.

It is hard to say which covering material might be best for your cats. So, let you pocket and cat’s needs be your guide to be your guide.


Modular or Fully Assembled Item

Modular Cat Furniture

There are two types of furnture for cats depending on how they are built. The first type are those that are shipped fully assembled and ready to use and the second one need to be put together.

The ones that require assembly are called modular furniture. They come completely unassembled (all parts put in the box), and you need to put all parts together. In this way, they are easy for transportation, and you can move them from place to place with little or no effort. Usually assembly is very easy and requires only one tool, which is included in each set.

The modular cat items have the reputation of not being very sturdy, but that is not always true. They are mostly made abroad, and their quality depends on the manufacturer and the materials used. Also, the stability of the product depends on how well it is being assembled. If you choose such an item, be sure to tighten everything firmly when you put it together.

The furniture that comes ready for use is mostly made here in the USA and is typically of high quality, but they are also the most expensive ones. They have solid wood frames and weigh more, which make them more stable and durable.

How to Introduce the New Cat Tower to Cats

Cat in BoxMost of the time cats are very impatient when they see a box and look forward to open it. And if you took a cat tower which must be put together they will gladly help you.

But, not all cats will do that. Some cats are just a little bit skittish with any new objects and will need some time to get acquainted with the new cat tree. You just have to be patient.

Sometimes felines need a few hours to get used to the new tree, but sometimes it might take longer. In both cases, however, you should try to predispose your pet to use it.

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