Dr. Schelling's Favorite Things: A Veterinarian's Guide to Great Cat Products
I spend a lot of time evaluating different cat products to determine how they will work for humans and be accepted by cats. I want to provide the best possible information for my readers, so I use the products myself on my cats before I recommend them to you.
Here, I've listed some of my absolute favorite cat products all in one spot. Some are great because they make cat care tasks easier for feline and human family members. Some are wonderful because they provide necessary stress relief and fun. Others are just downright cool. I hope you enjoy them!
Trimming your cat's claws can be a bit intimidating if you haven't done much of it before. You can find step-by-step instructions for making it easier for both of you here: "How to Trim Your Cat's Claws."
Having the right kind of nail trimmers can make this job even easier. My favorites are these: " Nail Clippers for Cats." They're easy to hold, and they maneuver and cut well.
Bonus Tip: Keep a scratching post nearby when you trim your cat's claws. Cats love to scratch after a trim, and it helps wear down any jagged edges that may be left on the claws from the clipping.
I brush my cats at least once a day because it's a nice bonding time for us. It also tremendously decreases the hairballs that my cats bring up because I get the loose fur out of their coats before they groom it out themselves and ingest it.
The type of brush you need really depends on your cat's fur type, but I love this brush for getting around my cats' faces: Paw Brothers Triangle Soft Pin Slicker Brush.
I also really like this brush: Paw Brothers Double Sided Flex Slicker Brush because it's flexibility keeps my wrist from getting sore, and the double-sided head means I don't have to stop and empty the fur out as often.
I have several cats, so I'm scooping out litter boxes a few times a day. It seems as though I tried every litter scooper out there and they either left quite a bit of "stuff" behind, or they broke after a few weeks. But I found the DuraScoop, and I've never looked back.
This is truly the best litter scooper I've ever used. It has nice straight edges that scrape the sides of the litter box thoroughly and get into the corners well. The handle is ergonomically designed, so I don't get wrist strain, and it's strong and rust-proof.
Speaking of litter box duty, I have a Purrfect Paws Litter Mat at the opening of each of my litter boxes. These things are so amazing! They're covered in little ridges and divots so that when the cat steps out of the box onto one of them, any litter that's on her paws gets caught in the mat.
I just pick the mat up and dump the litter back into the box when I'm scooping. Since I started using these mats, the amount of stray litter I feel underfoot on my carpets and tile floors has drastically decreased, and I don't find it in my bed anymore, either.
It is so important to play with our cats. Regular interactive playtime can help cats remain physically and mentally fit. It can reduce unwanted behaviors that are the result of stress, and it's good for humans' stress levels, too!
The best way to play with a cat is to trigger her hunter instincts and let her act out her predatory urges. That means using toys that mimic the behavior of cats' natural prey: birds and rodents.
I love this wand toy: Purrfect Feather Toy by Vee Enterprises. It's so well-made, and my cats go crazy for the feathers. I try to think like a bird when I move it around. I also like to make it perch on top of my cats' scratching posts, so they chase it up to the top. It's great exercise for them and lots of fun.
Da Bird is another one of my favorite, well-made wand toys.
Catnip toys are lots of fun for many cats. You just need to keep in mind that most kittens under six months old won't respond to it. They may or may not respond to honeysuckle toys, and some older cats that don't react to catnip do get crazy on honeysuckle.
Bonus Tip: Keep your catnip toys put away where your cat can't get to them in between play sessions. This will keep your cat from becoming desensitized to their effects. You can also use catnip spray to freshen up an old catnip toy and spritz old honeysuckle toys with water or honeysuckle spray to revive them.
I recently got a Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain, and I really love it. So many cats love to drink flowing water, and this encourages them to drink more, which can decrease the incidence of medical problems like urinary tract infections and kidney disease. Plus, the Pagoda is really beautiful, and the lovely waterfall sound it makes is soothing to me, too. I put one on my desk because I love the way it looks and sounds. It also keeps one of my cats, Lily, from drinking out of my water glass, the little stinker!
It is important to have a second water dish available for your cat as well as the fountain, so she has a still-water option if she doesn't feel like having running water every time she drinks.
I'm really excited about this new product that I created myself, designed around cats' love of staying cozy. I call it a Muffin Blanket™ because it's perfect for cats to knead with their front paws, making sweet kitty muffins. My Muffin Blankets are each individually handmade locally out of the softest, most cuddly material I could find.
The small blanket is 15" in diameter and can fit right in the bottom of the Purrfect Bed, and the large blanket is 22" and fits in the bottom of the Purrfect Bed with some overlap up the sides. I've also just thrown some of these around my home in spots that I know my cats like to nap. It helps keep cat hair off of my bed, the sofa, and the carpet in front of the fireplace.
The picture of the cat cuddled up in the Muffin Blanket™ on the product page is my cat, Lily.
Of course, any list of my favorite cat products would be incomplete without Purrfect Post scratching posts. Both my own cats and those of countless others have let me know that these posts are the best cat scratching posts available.
Cats need to scratch to stay healthy and to relieve stress, and they like to scratch Purrfect Posts because of how they're built (stable and tall) and what they're covered with (sisal fabric is the preferred scratching substrate of cats).
You can find a Purrfect Post for any space in your home, any number of cats, and any situation. Just take a look at the product pages to learn more.
Those are my favorite cat products for everyday life with felines. Here they are again, in a convenient list: