Ever a dog person, no one was more surprised than I was when our magical garden “fairies” (according to our then four-year-old) brought two lost kittens into our garden last June. They were very young and very homeless, and suddenly ours. Scarlet wasn’t surprised because she believes in magical garden kittens, and all that is magical and wonderful. Enter Dinah and Bella.
Now for me, the transition was more difficult. Not only did I realize that these were cats were not given to us by magical fairies, but rather, were homeless and in need of shelter and care, I knew we had to research on proper cat nutrition and how to keep them clean and healthy. And of course you know what happened to the most reluctant cat owner, right? They took right to me, and are often found snuggled on my lap while I’m working, or even on or wrapped around my legs while I sleep.
1. GOOD FOOD. Sorry I put that in all caps, but I believe in researching cat foods that contain real and quality ingredients, and it pays off with less illnesses and vet visits. We started Dinah and Bella on Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain pet food over the last month, and they LOVE it. The #1 ingredient is real whitefish – which is a tasty and highly digestible protein that helps to maintain strong muscles. A bonus is that it also helps to minimize litter box odors. The food has zero grains, zero glutens, zero fillers, zero meat or poultry by-products, zero artificial preservatives, and zero colors or flavors. It is the first zero grain dry cat formula from Rachael Ray Nutrish. Scarlet was so excited to help me integrate Nutrish into Bella and Dinah’s diet:
We have very shy cats in our house. While they are bonded to me, they will often hide if all of the family members are home. I didn’t want to start them on Nutrish downstairs, because it’s dark down there, and blog photos are a priority! Dinah was so excited by the smell of the new food that she couldn’t resist sneaking around a corner for it. You can see her meowing for it!
2. Toys! Cats love to play. We have toy mice, string, feathers, and cardboard boxes. Cat toys don’t need to be expensive, but they are important in keeping your cat happy and active. Nutrish gave us a fun fishing pole toy for our cats. Both of them loved it, but I’m not sure anyone loved it as much as Des did!
3. Give them security. Cats need food, water and a litter box with quality litter. Covered litter boxes can allow your cats more privacy, and clumping litter is easier to clean up. Keep the litter box clean!
4. The vet! Make sure you take your cats to the vet regularly. Before your bring your new kitten home, or right after adoption, take it for a checkup and immunizations. Schedule your cat to be spayed/neutered as soon as they are old enough.
5. Grooming! I trim my cats’ nails as often as needed because I have two little kids who can easily get scratched. I also find that having a scratching post, or two, is very important for the cats, and for our furniture!
6. LOVE! As my friend Michelle reminded me, cats need love and cuddles and scratches. And lots of them, in this house!
From Rachael Ray Nutrish – “In 2007, with help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish ultra-premium food and treats for dogs. In 2014, we were very excited to grow the brand into the world of cat food. Whether intended for dogs or cats, Nutrish recipes are made with simple natural ingredients and do not contain meat or poultry by-product meal or fillers. Real meat is the #1 ingredient in our cat food and all recipes were inspired by Rachael’s kitchen.
Even more impressive than our formula or position, Rachael’s personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue, created to help shelter pets. As of today, over $9 million has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need.
We pride ourselves on bringing pet specialty quality food to the masses. We are the first premium brand that is only available in your local grocery store, as well as mass retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon.”