Stuff for my cats! (Also, how to not kill your pets with essential oils! And find lost animals!)

I've done some pet supply purchases lately. My New Year's resolution every freakin' year is to get collars on my cats. They are all microchipped but if they got out of the apartment ever I don't expect that someone finding my cats would know to scan them for a microchip. Also chips can stop working. Oneida's microchip just randomly stopped working after 12 years. I usually ask my vet to scan my guys every other year to confirm the chips are still viable. But even so, we only found out when we got microchip-reading cat feeders and I couldn't get it to read her chip. Sure enough - a quick visit to the vet and no chip was found on scanning after 12 years of being successfully chipped.

Frankly, most indoor cats who get lost freak out and hunker down so it's unlikely someone would get close enough to rescue my cats, unfortunately. You can read all the great research that Missing Pet Partnership has on Lost Cat Behavior - if you have cats and don't know this already, it's good to have in your back pocket. Most people who see a cat outside assume it's an outdoor cat unless there's a collar and tag to check -- besides the effective local search techniques Missing Pet Partnership lists here, visible ID is the best way to get a cat back home. 

Because of all that, as soon as they get collars on them and get used to them, they're all getting tags that say "I'M LOST. CALL: {insert digits}" except, you know, with my real number. 

The only collars I've been able to keep on our cats with any success are Beastie Bands. They're soft and have a velcro "clasp" and while they don't have a safety latch on them, they are stretchy at least. I've had cats get the safety collars stuck and in some cases the safety clasp released and in others it didn't, so I'm torn about them. I've tried nylon safety collars, buckle collars, soft handmade flannel collars with a safety clasp off Etsy, etc. Three of our cats are currently wearing Beastie Bands and I ordered a few more for the remaining cats. 

If this helps me get collars and tags on my cats and increases the possibility that I'll get them back if they're lost, it's worth it. I've been trying to hold off buying this kind of thing below, though -- this fruit slice cat bed which I'm impossibly drawn to -- 

My cats could be laying on a lime slice!

When I read Pets and the Planet, the author really impresses upon us to limit the number of store-bought toys and whatnot for pets in terms of ecological impact. I will still buy specific toys and supplies when it relates to behavior stuff (wand toys, scratchers, Feliway, climbing structures, Thundershirt, heat pads). I do this especially for my office foster cats, who often need a lot of behavioral work and we need to try new things to see what they're into. But for my own cats, I've gotten better at not buying them toys regularly. I try to think of how much that toy is and where I could give my money instead. (A good example -- this morning I gave $20 to a woman who was living on the street with her cat, litter box and all, who seemed to be displaced from her apartment by a disgusting landlord. Similar in price to this cat bed. Or I can buy food for colony cats.)  If I have a "if not this bed, then what?" thought process and there's something "good" on the other side, I'm more likely to hold off on the purchase.

I always need to be reminded of this when I -- yet again -- look at costumes for cats and want to buy them. My cats hate costumes. I can barely get a collar on them. But yet my "oooh wannnt" thoughts persist. My inner voice really wants my cats dressed up like Princess Leia.

P.S. - Please don't kill your cats and dogs with essential oils, diffusers, etc. Thanks to an Apartment Therapy post on this topic years ago I've been trying to spread the gospel when I see people post about using essential oils (topically, diffusers, in DIY cleaners). I work in animal welfare and even a year ago my colleagues often didn't know this about essential oils -- glad to see it getting some buzz in the media these days! 

P.S. - Weirdly, the author of Pets and the Planet has also written a book on hermit crabs as one of the six books she's authored! I didn't have hermit crabs when I originally bought this book back in 2016 so I never would have noticed but I was surprised to see it on her author page this time! 


  1. OMG that lime slice!!! I know that little Zap would destroy that thing in a heartbeat. But it's worth the brief moment of fun. I only once tried to dress him up. I crocheted a hat for him, complete with holes for his ears. I have never seen him so incensed.


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