Cats are unique. Ask any cat owner and they’ll share with you many stories of the silly, special antics that make sharing life with a cat a very special thing. One thing is for sure, cats are the kings of the “jungle,” your house! And they are hunters, even in play…
Providing your cat with the right nutrition and enrichments can ensure both of you many years of happiness.
Come see us for the best in nutrition, litter, supplements & well researched, family-owned pet foods!
Here’s the Poop on Litter
We all have to face the box… and dealing with it can impact both your and your cat’s health. Litter plays a significant role in cat health, from ingested material (grooming paws and privates) to lung function and health. And to make it even more complicated, it’s not just the type or material that you choose… because cats have preferences. And changing the program could make the litter box unappealing, driving your cat away. Here are some facts & tips on litter:
- Determine if you will use clumping or non-clumping, natural fiber or clay. We offer clay litters that are very low dust, and from eco-responsible companies. We also offer a variety of litters that are good for the environment and a cat’s health, even very similar to clumping clay litters if you like! If you have a cat who is used to only one type and you want to switch, introduce the new litter slowly & as un under-layer that mixes in as the cat digs. They accept it if they uncover it!
- Choose litter that will be accepted by your cat & be dust free. Litters free of perfumes and dyes are healthier for your cat, and kittens should only start on natural litters (like non-clumping plant-based litters) to avoid serious health issues.
- Use the biggest box you can & keep it clean. Cleaning the litter box daily will help you and your cat stay healthy. Avoid covered boxes unless necessary, and place the box in a quiet area. No one likes to be surprised, ambushed, or watched!
- Use multiple boxes for more than one cat. Experts recommend having one box per cat or more.
Royalty like it high!
Enrichments are important, really important! Give your cat a place to go that is high… at least as high as your head and their mental health will be much better. Also, make sure there are things to “hunt and kill,” cat’s that are kept indoors will more keenly need to have this instinct fulfilled, so don’t be afraid to get involved with a toy. Note: catnip can provide stimulation between play sessions. We have a large assortment of toys and stimulating interactive solutions, as well as amazing cat posts and towers!
Cats are hunters, obligate carnivores best suited to a fresh, all meat diet. However, what we usually offer our felines is hard, cooked kibble, and sometimes a canned treat. The popularity of convenient feeding options has led to an epidemic of health issues for cats, including diabetes (1 in 200 cats), kidney disease & chronic urinary tract infections, hyperthyroid disease, and periodontal disease (which affects all the organs and blood).
Here’s how to help:
1) Consider adding canned or raw foods to your offerings. Since cats evolved to stay hydrated through food (a mouse or bird body is 70% or more water), they struggle with staying hydrated on dry kibble diets (about 10% water). It is not enough for your cat to just drink a lot of water, they really need food that is fresh and contains the water interstitially. If all you are able to offer is dry food, make sure to encourage water drinking by offering multiple bowls & keeping it fresh; try adding an ice cube or considering throwing a fountain into the mix (one designed for pets). PS. Shallow dishes help reduce whisker fatigue.
2) Choose low carb foods. Cats have not evolved a physiological mechanism for dealing with the sugar that results when carbohydrates are digested. Eating a dry kibble diet with even moderate carbohydrate levels (found in both grains and legumes) can really put a stain on your cat’s health. Choose foods that are as low as you can find in carbs, and ones in which the guaranteed protein% is from meat and not legumes, grains, or other sources. A simplified way to estimate the carb content is to subtract the total on the analysis panel of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture from 100… that gives the % of carbs. Remember to take it slow and be willing to try a variety of foods.
3) Fresh Raw Food can help keep your cat healthy from nose to tail. Raw food is not only the most ideal diet for an obligate carnivore, it prevents the most common diseases in cats today. The moisture rich foods keep the cat’s body hydrated and at the correct pH, keeping the urinary tract and kidneys in perfect condition. The short and highly acidic digestive tract will easily digest the fresh food that is high in enzymes and essential fatty acids, keeping the pancreas and skin in top shape. Diabetes and kidney disease in raw fed cats is non-existent, with tons of moisture and without any carbohydrates in the diet there is no chance of development of these diseases. In addition, the pH and enzymes present in raw foods keeps the teeth white and gums healthy… Feeding raw is easy, and natural! Your cat will look and feel great for it, too. Sometimes transitioning can be challenging, especially with a picky eater, so be patient, transition slowly and try mixing with a favorite canned food if needed… ask us for more tips & tricks!
HUMAN GRADE vs PET GRADE: While human food is well regulated, pet food is not, and it is currently common practice for large conglomerate pet food companies to include food leftovers/rejects, condemned animal parts, rejected grains, and euthanized/diseased/ill animals, in the making of pet food. We partner with companies who are family owned, committed to transparency, using whole foods, human-grade ingredients, & are preservative free… with a test-and-hold policy so we know our pets are eating clean, safe food.
Grains/Legumes in pet food:
Look for whole grains and legumes, from a company you know you can trust. Often name brands use grain/legume waste products after removing the starches and oils for human use, and are on the label as ground corn, corn gluten meal, brewer’s rice, ground wheat, or other flours and fractionates. Commonly the grains used in pet food are rejected for human use due to molds, high pesticide levels, or other contaminants (like heavy metals).
Clean, identified fat sources:
High quality fats are expensive, but important for our pet’s health. Avoid unnamed fats (doesn’t specify meat or vegetable), mixes & blends: they are strongly linked to cancer.
Ingredients to avoid:
“by-products” of any kind, animal digest, hydrolyzed meats, ground corn & wheat (usually found as incomplete protein), gluten meals, flours & fractionates, soy, corn syrup, beet pulp sugar, artificial colors, chemical preservatives (BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin – banned in most countries), Propylene Glycol (anti-freezes “cousin”).
We offer a 100% guarantee, if your pet doesn’t like it just bring it back within 30 days in the original package.
*The staff at The Natural Pet Market are well educated & our products are well researched, but we are not licensed veterinarians and cannot provide medical diagnosis or prescription, nor can we be a substitute for visiting a veterinarian. We believe in holistic care and treatment and we strive to support you with the best advice in holistic care of your pets. Stop by for advice from our staff.