Mew Review III : Supplementary Warfare & Cat Idea

Okay so even I admit that the title of this review is kinda overly dramatic, but I am sure most pet parents would be familiar with the act of waging war. That is, the war that takes place at mealtime whenever our furkids refuse to eat!

The Honest Kitchen Invigor vs. Vibrant Pets Frisky Feline 

Late in November, our meows had the privilege of trying out a sachet of Vibrant Pets Frisky Feline. They were already using Invigor from The Honest Kitchen‘s range of herbal supplements, so when Nekojam.com kindly offered to send us a sachet of Frisky Feline, I was enthusiastic to let my meows give it a go. I will not republish any ingredient lists here, so please visit the official sites for all that, if you are interested.

To start off, here’s a little bit of background to my cats and their preferences, just to give this review a better perspective. I just thought I might state that my cats are probably not the fussiest of felines, but they too, have preferences like most average meows. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being most fussy and one not at all, I would rate Dyllis a 7.5 and Dexter a 4.5.

For most part, Dyllis and Dexter are like day and night – they typically have opposing preferences which can be as much of a good thing as a bad (ie. not fighting over the same toy = good; whilst not being able to find a single kind of cat litter they can both agree on, so that I can save money buying in bulk = bad!).

Like pretty much everything else, Dyllis and Dexter like different types of food, for example, Dyllis loves tuna and Dexter loves pork.

Dyllis is usually harder to please in general, where food is concerned, and if the wet food served isn’t to her liking, she would rather starve herself and subsist solely on kibble (don’t get me started on the harms of a mostly kibble diet). Dexter is not as difficult to please, but some brands (this includes the expensive, renown brands too) set off his sensitive tummy and we all suffer for it (read: wet stools). Thus it had been quite a challenge to create a diet they would both be willing to eat regularly and one that does not trigger Dexter off.

It is generally difficult to have them both agree on one type of food. So when they both dislike something, I have to admit it is pretty worrisome, especially when it is supposedly healthy 😛

In looking for dietary supplements, I decided at first to go with Invigor because our meows were already on THK – Prowl (raw-dehydrated food) once a day, and were doing very well. THK is a brand that I have grown to trust a great deal.

The-Honest-Kitchen-Invigor-Dog-Supplement-5.5-oz.

Our tin of Invigor did not disappoint. Upon opening the tin, one is met with a natural, fresh, herbaceous scent. It is a very fine powder that resembles green, dust particles.

Both meows accepted it without fuss from the very first day I introduced it into their morning meal, along with Prowl. I started out with less than half the indicated dosage, because I obviously did not want to risk Dexter getting sick.

However, from the time I began adding Invigor to their food, I noticed that they started eating voraciously – as though they were insatiable! It was a bit scary, they were begging for food non-stop, even after their usual portioned-meals. Dyllis suddenly was a different cat altogether, it was as though the mechanics in her tummy were switched on and she started eating proper portions. Prior to this, she ate like a model watching her figure, if at all. Dexter always ate with gusto, so going on Invigor just made him eat even more.

They are both young cats, but I doubt over-eating at any life stage is healthy. It was hard to keep to the fixed meals, though I did increase their portions slightly. If only to prevent them from becoming manic eating machines, I never got to the point where I had any desire to raise their dosage to match what was indicated on the packaging, as long as I made sure to include it in their morning meals dutifully.

I had hoped to enjoy the same smooth transition with the Vibrant Pets Frisky Feline.

The product is a wheat-coloured powder, but not nearly as finely ground as that of the Invigor. There was quite a noticeable scent from the yeast, but this was not as obvious when taken out of the container, in small quantities.

Vibrant-Pets-Frisky-Feline-for-Cats

On the first day I tried out the Frisky Feline, however, I must fess up to say that even at a quarter of the recommended dosage, my cats completely ignored their meal. No amount of coaxing could get them to eat anything. Even Dexter, who would usually humour me. In the past if I tried to feed him by hand, we could possibly work our way through at least half a plate of food. No such luck this time. I couldn’t even get into Dexter’s good books!

The next morning (the meows get Nutripe Fit in the evenings and some kibble overnight), I decided to reduce the (already reduced) dosage of Frisky Feline. At best, this was about one-sixth of the teaspoon. I still did not have any real luck, though this time Dexter was game enough to eat a few mouthfuls. We regretfully wasted everything else.

At some point, during that first week on Frisky Feline, I checked out their main site for more details and noticed that they wrote: “Our formula is blended so the most finiky cat will like it and requires no refrigeration.”

Something must be weird about my meows then, so I thought. I kept trying over the next few days, and got pretty much nowhere. Our regular feedings of Prowl (and tuna toppings) in the mornings and Nutripe Fit in the evenings, got completely ignored.

Fast forward a few days, I texted Debrah from Nekojam.com and told her I was getting nowhere with this review because my meows wouldn’t cooperate. Thankfully she was very understanding, being a cat slave owner herself. With her encouragement, I decided to pause the additions of all supplements for a few days – and let them have their usual foods.

Unfortunately for me, they still refused to eat. I became quite jaded too – I mean, it was hard work establishing a workable diet and I was kinda worried that the raw-dehy was being rejected alongside everything else, in favour of kibble. Thankfully Debrah had earlier recommended the Schesir range of cat food and we had ordered some to try it on the meows, which arrived in the nick of time. It literally saved the meows as they had rejected ALL their usual wet food! By all, I mean every wet meal excluding their kibble.

Slowly I had to turn their diet around once again, because I really do not want them weaned off the raw-dehy, for longterm health reasons. The Schesir helped us out quite a bit in this transitionary period. Some days were particularly difficult, and it seemed that all Dyllis would eat was tuna and kibble, but I was unrelenting. It did take a fairly long time, considering that  it is already end- January, to get both meows back on a proper diet.

Today, we are nowhere back to the same amount of raw-dehy they were once happy to eat, but gradually, I am putting more of it back into their meals. I can see a little ray of hope now. They are eating both supplements, the Honest Kitchen’s Invigor and Vibrant Pet’s Frisky Feline, daily, with Prowl and Schesir Tuna and Salmon in the mornings and a rotation of Nutripe Fit Venison and Lamb, and Schesir Tuna and Seabream or Schesir Chicken and Ham. [In related news.. Nekojam is now having a Buy 6 get 1 free Schesir promo, so you might want to order up some for your meows ^^] In spite of such a stressful, lengthy transition, my heart rests a little better to know that they have access to a good range of necessary vitamins and nutrients, required to grow strong and healthy.

To conclude, the kitty verdict seems to unanimously favour Invigor, though with lots of patience and a longer transition period, the Frisky Feline was eventually accepted too.

Since I’ve been at least partially swayed by the kitty vote, I would also recommend the Honest Kitchen’s Invigor, if there has to be a toss-up. However, if your cat is not fussy at all, or if you would prefer a supplement with yeast and a wider range of nutrients, you might want to try out the Vibrant Pets Frisky Feline. Though, it might be helpful to know that our experience was that the Frisky Feline is best fed with tuna or strong(er) smelling foods.

Stockist: Nekojam.com

The Honest Kitchen – Invigor retails at SGD36.00 for 156grams

Vibrant Pets  – Frisky Feline retails at SGD68.90 for 204grams

Cat Idea

Last December, Nekojam.com had a 15% discount for the Cat Idea range of products in their shop. The timing was good as I managed to snag some Christmas gifts for my meows 🙂 I ordered them a Cat Idea bed, a grooming spray and two brushes, a slicker brush and a steel pin brush.

What really stood out from this order is the slicker brush. It is by far the best item I bought from Cat Idea so far, even though I later found the cat bed (see below) was actually pretty well made too. Each Cat Idea brush comes in an array of 4 yummy colours and we chose them in the favourite colours for each meow 😛 Yellow for Dyllis and teal blue-green for Dexter.

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The slicker brush comes with a built-in metal rake that really comes in handy when I brush Dexter. Being a very poufy boy, Dexter requires twice a day brushing. Let’s just say that our two existing slicker brushes needed some backup 😛 One of these is a Ferplast slicker that sees Dexter running over excitedly whenever someone picks it up. He absolutely loves this old brush and I’d put up a picture of it here if it weren’t already so tatty looking. The metal wires on this brush pick up his loose fur very well, but over time, they have bent over in all directions. I had bought quite a number of brushes but none of them could win him over 😛

That has changed! Once this new slicker arrived, Dexter switched favourites pretty quickly. Even Dyllis’ new steel pin brush does not tempt him the least bit at all, when both brushes are offered! In case anyone is wondering, Dyllis however, still has not warmed up to any brush in particular. This is typical of her – she usually hates being brushed 😛

Here’s a close-up of the heads of both brushes..

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Cat Idea – Steel pin-head brush in Yellow

Cat Idea – Slicker brush with in built rake in teal / Tiffany blue

The Cat Idea Americano Cat Pod, is truly a dream – it comes in a dust bag and the middle cushion is removable, with a washable cover. It is evenly and generously padded on all sides, unlike some other cat beds we’ve seen. Both sides of the middle cushion is printed on, too. What I like especially is that the entire bed is clad in material that is thick and the stitches are neat and sturdy.

Here are some photos, with the bed placed on our home-made cat tree, which is a actually just a humble Ikea-hack 🙂

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To conclude my thoughts on Cat Idea, if you had to get only one item from the entire Cat Idea range, I strongly recommend the brushes. In particular, the slicker, of course! It is an absolute must-have if your furkid has medium to long fur.

As for the kitty verdict, Dexter helps deliver his verdict on the brush 😛 This is him, waiting to claim his brushing session because he saw me pick up his new slicker brush ^^

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Dexter: I see you have my brush… I’m here!!

Dexter: Ready and waiting….

Anyway, before I close this awfully lengthy review…… you probably need not stick to just getting one itemfrom Cat Idea after all!! Nekojam.com is currently running a Cat Idea promo from now until 19 February 2015 which allows you to put together a hamper of goodies from Cat Idea at $30 off the usual price 🙂 Wheee ^^

Click the image below to obtain the discount code from Nekojam.com 🙂

Cat Idea Promotion on Nekojam.com

Stockists: Nekojam.com

Pricelist: _http://nekojam.com/brand/catidea/

[Images that do not belong to hesedetang * have been used with permission from Nekojam.com]

Mew Review II: Raw-Dehy Treats and Random Extras

Nature’s Variety: Rawboost Minis vs. Visvit Snacks for Cats

This week our meows had the opportunity to try out Nature’s Variety Instinct Rawboost Minis. They are already on a main diet that consists of raw dehydrated elements, so I am always on the look out for other raw treats.

(The good thing about feeding raw food/treats as opposed to other cooked or baked food/snacks is that it is not as easy for the meows to put on the pounds with raw (my meows eat a lot, but are still in good shape. I am also glad I need not feel any guilt in handing out treats to my meows, haha..)

For variety’s sake, I usually avoid Tuna and Chicken when selecting treats as these already feature in their main diet, so for treats I tend to look out for Duck or Turkey. If none are available, I’d go for Salmon or Mussel raw-dehy treats.

Rawboost Minis comes in Chicken and Duck, whilst Visvit comes in  Fish, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Duck and Duck Liver. So naturally I went with the Duck/Duck liver versions.

2014-10-16-11-45-22_deco 2014-10-16-11-46-09_deco

At $13.80 for 63grams, the box of Rawboost Minis is more than twice the price of the Visvit’s 20 grams for $5.90. That said, this also happens to be the third package of Visvit we’ve gotten the meows as we go through them quite quickly so its popularity is quite obvious 🙂 Not that the meows can resist the Rawboost either. I personally think it might be better to get the Rawboost if there’s more than one meow about, so that there’s more of the stuff to go around.

Our meows get their raw-dehy treats handfed, one at a time, to prevent any tussles. They really love these treats and will obey commands like kiss, sit and stand when these treats are being used as rewards. For this reason, the Visvit pieces are not as ideal to handfeed, when compared to the larger Rawboost Minis nuggets.

My fingers get chomped on A LOT, so giving them the Visvit is not exactly my favourite experience. Each Visvit piece disappears as soon as it goes in the mouth. This causes a lot of anxiety in Dyllis and I can actually feel her stress levels rise, and her chomps get more intense.

From my observations, they seem to be more at ease with the Rawboost nuggets, as the morsel is bigger, they seem to worry less about me handing out more treats to the rival meow. They eat slower and I don’t get attacked by shark-bite! (For actual photos of the nuggets themselves, just google for images.. there are loads online :P)

Each Rawboost nugget disintegrates easily, into a powder form (similar in texture to a Primal raw-dehy nugget) so sometimes I do have to clean the floor up after treat time, but I do not really mind, as this means I can also break each nugget apart for feeding, if it happens that the nugget is too large, or if I want to limit their intake.

Each Visvit piece is already so tiny, there is truly no need to reduce it in size. In fact, it might be a great product improvement, if they could increase the size of each piece by 150 – 200%. In my case, it would make the human a happier customer since the meows don’t care anyway, as long as the treat tastes great 😛

Earthbath Tooth and Gum Wipes 

After agonising over toothbrushes and toothpaste, I finally decided to go the way of the humble wipe.

I know this will probably not leave their teeth as clean as the practice of brushing, but I certainly do not wish to have my cats runaway each time they see me coming with a toothbrush. Chasing the both of them down each time for teeth brushing will also be quite stressful for everyone concerned.

Both meows are currently accepting of body and ear wipes and I do not wish to undo the huge amount of conditioning that has made this situation even possible. For Dyllis, she has made huge, positive progress in allowing her human to clean her ears without so much as an unsheathed claw or whimper.

For weeks prior to purchase, I had already been opening their mouths to inspect their teeth, so I was hopeful of similar success (to the ear wipes) with the Earthbath tooth and gum wipes.

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It kind of worked. There was a bit of initial fuss, but not too much.

The first time the tooth wipes appeared, they were a little uneasy at having something in their mouth, once they realised that it was not going to be just a regular mouth observation. So I went slow and made gentle movements for just a few seconds at a time, not really caring about cleaning anything, but to condition them to the minty taste and texture of the wipe.

We have had 3 such sessions so far. They put up with it fairly well so I think it will become a part of the regular routine.

Random Grooming Shears

By chance, I found out that Daiso does sell grooming shears last year. This is a photo of my latest pair, and I am still actively using the previous pair. At $2 it is a really good steal!

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Dexter always has wayward butt fur that tangles up with the cat litter and other unmentionables. So this really comes in handy to trim down around the butt. Of course he doesn’t enjoy it, so I like that the point of the shears is blunt and that I am less likely to ram it into anything, in case of a struggle.

Regular shears will work too, but they leave the fur in a very unnatural crop whenever I try. Looking at the aftermath always makes me feel bad for my poor fur-trimming skills. Thankfully cutting with these is more forgiving 😛

Cotton On Kids Apparel

I have always enjoyed looking at Cotton On Kids’ clothing, so when Dyllis came along, we got her a few newborn-sized (0 months) tank tops from Cotton On 🙂

I altered the pink one, to shorten the straps, but thankfully I left the other purple one in its original state or it would not have fit Dexter’s broader shoulders. The tank tops were $5 each, from a post-season sale. I then added a pink Cotton On Kids bow to Dyllis’ top but Dexter did not allow me to put his on xD

I’ll leave it to the meows to show you their response, whilst I sign off for now 😛

Ribbon with an applique star and faux fur on left, $6.95; and elastic headband with pink fabric and cord ribbon on right, $2.00.

Dyllis’ “Ah huh, I know I look good.. You don’t have to tell me..” face.

Dyllis x Cotton On Kids

 Dexter’s “Bleahhhhhhh!” face xD

"Bleah!!" Dexter x Cotton On Kids

Dyllis x Cotton On Kids  Dexter x Cotton On Kids

Mew Review: Fetch-box.com, Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis and Dexter, the resident meows, have been having an incredible, nearly unbelieveable, fortnight of non-stop goodies, and it is still a long way off their respective birthdays 😛

For starters, in mid-September, I finally got my hands on a packet of Wellness cat treats, after months of wondering why Singapore suppliers only brought in the canine versions. The cats have been using Wellness Core kitten kibble, although pricey, since Dyllis weaned off the questionable brands their breeder was feeding. And so it was weird to me that they chose not to bring in their range of cat treats. Anyway, these treats were somewhat pricey too, at nearly 9 bucks per pack (my memory continues to fail, all I recall is that it cost more than $8.50. Do forgive!), for a small pack, but then again, most quality pet products are over-priced in Singapore.

The meows also got a restock of their favourite snack – Applaws wet food in ready to serve pods. (We don’t serve this directly to the meows in these pods because we don’t want any blood shed xD They are required to share each pod even though it is small – it is a snack! – and there is always a huge fuss to lick the plates clean. The ‘pods’ are also plastic and lightweight, guaranteeing a confirmed flight cum disastrous crash-landing, should it happen to get caught in any meow-ltercation.)

I am usually stingy with treats as the meows are fed a human-grade diet containing a raw elements that are made from USA-sourced ingredients and then imported from the USA. Thus I do not want to disrupt the feeding routine by feeding too many treats. This restock was, by my own standards, quite generous 😛

(Note: I promise, am not being/trying to be a snob about price vs. quality. I invest in their nutrition as I neither wish them to suffer ill health, nor I to suffer paying staggering vet bills. As pet food adds to expenses either way I see it, I’d rather not spend on food that could be very affordable, and later have my meows pay for my poor choice with their health.)

cat treats september

The Wellness Kittles didn’t last us very long. I don’t think it is real value for money, though it is still a high quality snack. I will probably buy it again, but only when I am inclined to splurge (there are better raw-dehydrated treats out there for less!). Dyllis, ever the biscuit monster, went crazy for Wellness Kittles as she does for most other biscuits, but Dexter wasn’t very interested. He would only accept one or two, I suspect out of courtesy for me xD

Fetch-box.com

Then the meows also received a surprise delivery with from Fetch-box.com too. Fetch-box.com offers a monthly subscription box of goodies for cats and dogs. The last time we ordered a box was at Christmas last year so it was truly a surprise to receive 🙂

Dyllis + Fetchbox

 

Here is Dyllis our professional meowdel (model) xD Dexter chose to sit this session out. (As always – click on the images to view the photo and others on Flickr)

 

Dyllis + Fetchbox
Dyllis + Fetchbox

The goodies in the Fetch-box package will be going to 4 rescue meows who have recently been taken in by our relatives 🙂

Nekojam ID Tags and cat collars from Cat Socrates

In addition to all of these, I finally made the trip to the newly open Cat Socrates branch at Katong. This is quite shameful it took me so long to visit as I live really close by, but only managed just to bounce over 😛

Cat Socrates is a local shop that I was always very fond of. I have been visiting its first outlet periodically since 2007 or 2008 (I can’t seem to pinpoint in my mind when I first set foot in it), whenever life gets too stressful to face. It is a cosy little store where each visit feels like a home-coming. I have taken countless of friends to the original outlet over the years and I had been looking forward to visiting the new outlet since its opening was announced.

Housed in the quaint old world district of Katong, the second shop is set in a newly refurbished shophouse. It is a pity my trip ended with no photographs. I was lazy did not bring my DLSR so I relied on my poor Samsung Note II which could not keep up with the day and crashed repeatedly 😛 (It is really my fault – I have about 3k photos in it. This reminds me that I need to do a backup soon!) Nonetheless, I will revisit with my camera soon!

For other photos, do visit Cat Socrates’ owner, Hellen Jiang, the Post Banshee’s photostream  on Flickr.

I got Dyllis and Dexter a pair of cat collars from their latest line of pet products.

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I’d already been saving a pair of ID tags from Nekojam Online for when I got them new collars, so I was pleased as pie to finally hang them on these sparkling new, bling-ing collars from Cat Socrates.

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

In particular, I liked the white collar with the pink bloom best. It has pretty crystal studs all around and is sturdy. It does not slide around if worn properly. Dyllis our vainpot, was quite pleased to wear it around the entire day, and was even in the mood to pose.

Dexter, of course, got the collar with the black polka-dotted bow. It is a very lightweight collar, akin to a bra-strap 😛 It is really pretty though, but I think my meows are a bit too fond of rough play for them to wear this one unsupervised. It is not heavy duty enough for Dexter who kept trying to chew off the bow, which in turn pulled on and tightened the strap 😄 Needless to say, he wasn’t very fond of wearing it as Dyllis was with hers 😄

The ID tags from Nekojam Online fit the Cat Socrates collars like a dream. These tags are made of aluminium and are very light and can be worn by cats and dogs.

Although every pet cat and dog should be micro-chipped, like ours are, ID tags are really useful as they allow the owner to insert a piece of paper with a contact number into the barrel.

Nekojam offers these tags in seven colours (Angel Silver, Gunmetal Gray, Peony Red, Tangerine, Apple Green, Ocean Blue & Fancy Violet) at the very affordable price of SGD8 per tag. Nekojam donates SGD2 from each purchase to Action for Singapore Dogs or the Cat Welfare Society (your choice).

I wanted neutral colours to match collars of all colours, so I went for Angel Silver 🙂

Here are the photos from the shoot xD

DexterDyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis
Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

It always gives me great assurance that the good people at Nekojam are pet lovers too, and this is highly evident in their dedication to quality brands.

The team at Nekojam Online is fronted by Debrah, a very friendly and approachable, self-confessed crazy cat lady 🙂 Once we started chatting, we became fast friends.

She is very dedicated, and often responds instantaneously to my enquiries. Sometimes she even personally delivers the orders herself! Whenever she does this, Dyllis always rewards her by allowing kitty hugs and cuddles xD

Anyway… The meows are happy so I am happy 🙂 Leaving you for now with Dyllis and Dexter on their home-made cat-tree ^^

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates