Gus&Bella’s Mother’s Day Box of Love

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

Gus&Bella have got a special edition box again, this time for Mother’s Day.

We will be forced to celebrate Mother’s Day socially distanced once again and 2021 seems like the perfect year to surprise every self-confessed Cat Mum, be this your partner, Mum, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, anyone! Just imagine how they would feel to receive such a special and thoughtful gift on Mother’s Day 🙂

I’m pretty sure that if cats could read, write, spend money and send things they would certainly order this box for their Cat Mums (and not solely because there is something in it – quite literally – for them too). But let’s face it, they need a helping hand from a human reading this, so just order it in the cat’s name and everybody will be happy!

As always, this box is full of amazing things for both human and cat (you will definitely skyrocket in the ranking of the cat’s favourite people once they realise it came from you).

Let’s start with the cat goodies first. Inside this box are two toys, food and extremely delicious treats! My cat Dirk kept giving me paw, without me giving the “give paw” signal, that is how much he loves the treats! A always, the 4Cats toy was a big hit as well and the was an interesting Jolly Moggy Ladybird toy. This one will especially appeal to kittens and younger cats, but even oldie Dirk was excited. This is the first toy he aver reacted to as soon as he heard it chirp. Yes, it chirps when you (or your cat) touch it! These sounds are often a bit fake, but this one was really good. It is a high-pitched chirp, just the sound you can imagine ladybirds making, and piqued his interest straight away.

Now on to the gifts for Cat Mums, although anything that makes our cats happy is already a gift in itself. I love the cute card that comes in the box. You don’t even have to write anything inside it, the recipient will automatically know their cat gave them this lovely present. There is a special blend of earl grey tea that smells and tastes amazing.
And there are two gifts that will put a smile on your face for a long time to come. One is a pink, scented, hanging candle especially designed for Gus&Bella. The scent is gorgeous, it really is. It’s called Rose Velvet & Oud and smells very luxurious, yet subtle.
The other is a super cute umbrella. I know spring is coming, we this is the UK after all! You can put this umbrella in your bag, just in case, and take it out as soon as you feel a drop of rain. After all, you’ll want to show it off!  It will make you happy it is raining and is sure to put a smile on other people’s faces too.

It really is a feel-good, spring is in the air gift box. Perfect for Mother’s Day!

To order yours or order it for a special Cat Mum in your life, click here.

Christmas came early for Dirk: Gus & Bella’s Santa Paws box

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

Regular readers of our Katzenworld blog will know about Gus & Bella’s Boxes, but for those who haven’t heard of them yet let me tell you a little bit about them.

Gus & Bella’s gift boxes contain gifts for cats and people, so they are perfect for cat owners! They contain a mix of toys, food and treats for your cat and trendy gifts for yourself. You can subscribe to get a box every month or choose to buy a single box, ideal as a gift. This year’s Christmas box makes an ideal gift for any cat owner, whether they have a kitten or adult cat. And rest assured if you have a fussy cat or if your cat has any food intolerances: these are catered for as well!

Dirk and I received our very own Christmas box, the Santa Paws box. I don’t know who was more excited about it!

Obviously, unpacking it together is part of the fun. If you order the box for yourself then you’ll see on the website what is inside so it’s less of a surprise. I had no idea though, so it was very much like the anticipation of unwrapping a Christmas present.

Dirk could hardly wait. In fact, he decided to get inside the box first at the opportunity he got to check out his gifts.

So let’s check out the cat presents first. The box contains a lot of food and treats. Now that makes Dirk a very happy boy!

However, the first thing he went for was, of course, a catnip toy. He loves both catnip toys in this box and we had a great time playing with the teaser wand together (although Dirk would not have minded having the toy all to himself…)

As for my presents, well, Dirk was not overly impressed (can’t eat them, no catnip, he’s not allowed to play with them) but I am very happy with them indeed. I’ll be spreading some Christmas cheer and helping to keep others safe with the Christmas cats face mask! I also absolutely love the felt Christmas bauble. No problem if Dirk tries to knock this one from the Christmas tree and it looks so cute! I’ll need to get more, even if just for the lower branches of the tree 😉

Last, but not least if you ask Dirk, the box itself is a gift for the cat as well – even if he does not quite fit inside….

The Santa Paws box is available for pre-order here and ships 8 December

Dirk’s unusual game with Peek-a-Bird

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

We all know that cats don’t always do what we want or expect them to do. For me, that’s part of what I like about them: they are not as docile or obedient as some other pets. They very much have a mind of their own and can be very particular about things.

Dirk is – frankly – pretty docile but even he doesn’t always do what I want him to do or play with a toy quite the way it was intended… PetSafe’s Peek-a-Bird is one such example.

The Peek-a-Bird has openings on either side and when switched on a feather appears randomly from either side so your cat can chase it. Sometimes it appears on the same side twice in a row so it is not possible for your cat to predict on which side the feather will appear next. The feather moves around for a bit before retreating to entice your cat to hunt for it.

A play session lasts for 10 minutes after which the toy switches off automatically. You can also activate and ‘all day’ mode. The toy then switches on for 10 minutes at a time every two hours. Even better: it also switches on when the sensor picks up movement from your cat. Basically, your cat will have a toy that switches on whenever they want to play! I absolutely love that idea.

As I said, though, Dirk had other ideas of how to play with the toy!

When switched on, Dirk keeps watching it and also tries to bite the feather, but he does not chase the feather much. However, as soon as the bird switches off he wants to play with the bird itself. He does sometimes try and get the feather out of the toy when it’s switched off, but his main focus is giving the bird a good kicking.

He’ll kick it around the floor or the rug and also seems to like kicking it back and forth with me. Should perhaps not have been too much of a surprise as he is named after a football player 😉

But in any case, that is not what I expected him to do at all. When the Peek-a-Bird is on the floor somewhere he’ll walk over to it when he wants to play with me and starts pushing or kicking it towards me.

Peek-a-Bird also comes with a spare feather in case the first one becomes too damaged to play with. Knowing most cats are mad about feathers (Dirk is too with some of his other toys) it’s good that PetSafe included a spare one. However, it would be even better if they start selling extra spare feathers as I can imagine some cats will quickly go through both.

My guess is that cats will either love Peek-a-Bird or ignore it and whether or not your cat will like it may be difficult to predict. I’d recommend it to owners of kittens or cats that enjoy hide-and-seek style games.

Tried and tested by Dirk: delicious KatKin meals

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

I’ve previously written about a new brand of cat food called KatKin. Run by brother and sister Brett and Nikki they create vet-formulated cat food with high quality ingredients and 95% meat content.

I absolutely love the story behind KatKin and was very impressed by what I read. However, there is really only one way to find out how good the food is so Dirk tested a trial box.

KatKin provided very helpful instructions about how to gradually introduce the food to your cat. Some cats tuck in straightaway and have no problems switching to a new type of food, but others can be a bit more fussy. In general, cats do not like change but on an individual level they cope differently. Confident cats seem to have little issues at all. Still, switching to a new type of food can be tricky if your cat has only ever had one type of food. Rest assured that KatKin have thought of that and also added ‘sprinkles’ – small chicken flavoured treats – to its trial box to help encourage the most fussy cats transition to its food.

What do you mean I’m not allowed on the worktop?

Dirk was very curious about his new food and loved the smell of it, but when it came to eating it he was a bit more fussy than I had expected. KatKin’s instructions came in handy! I started by giving him just a small amount of the new food so Dirk could get used to the texture of his new food. KatKin’s food required a bit more chewing from him than other wet food he’s used to (I always joke that Dirk’s style of eating is ‘chewing is for wimps’).

Within a week Dirk was happily eating his KatKin food and couldn’t wait for mealtimes, sometimes quite literally…

A great thing about the trial box is that your cat can try all the flavours and when you order your next box you can leave out the ones they did not like. Dirk’s favourites were gobble, cluck, quack and oink. This is not too surprising, as KatKin recently shared that their top three favourites are cluck, gobble and oink. He was not too big a fan of beef and lamb. I am really happy that you can order boxes of food which only contain flavours your cat likes. This means you can still feed your cat a variety of flavours but without the waste of throwing away food that hasn’t been eaten. And your cat will only need one pouch a day as KatKin already makes sure of the portion sizes.

Clearly, Dirk & I are both huge fans of KatKin food and unsurprisingly the delivery box proved a great hit as well 😉

Creating the world’s best food for cats

That is the ambition behind KatKin, which is not just a new food brand but an entirely different way of looking at feeding our cats.

In my work as a cat behaviourist and cat sitter I come across a large variety of cat food. And then there’s my own cat’s food of course. If you look at the list of ingredients you’ll find that they contain sugar, rice, corn and grain, even though cats are meat eaters by nature. Many popular wet foods contain only a small percentage of chicken or beef when they are labelled as chicken or beef respectively. There are brands that are improving the standard by making sure there wet food doesn’t contain grain and consists of at least 50% meat. That still leaves some room for improvement though, which is exactly what Brett and Nikki, founders of KatKin, have done. KatKin consists of a whopping 95% real meat.

Katkin Brett&Nikki and Molly
KatKin founders Brett and Nikki with Molly, one of their ‘Chief Tasting Officers’

KatKin’s Brett explains a bit more about the journey to creating KatKin that was inspired by Brett’s and Nikki’s aim to feed their own cats the best possible food.

“We started searching for a vet nutritionist that could help us reinvent cat food, to feed cats fresh, human-grade food that is specifically formulated for cats as obligate carnivores and to do so in a way that prevents overfeeding”

“We’re laser focused on providing the best possible nutrition for cats as obligate carnivores and personalising each of our recipes for your cat’s own energy needs and tastes. Our recipes are not simply vet approved, but expertly vet-formulated by Dr. Justin Shmalberg who is a world-leading and board-certified vet nutritionist. He has carefully formulated all of our recipes to make sure your cat’s food contains all the nutrients, in the right amounts, for optimal health.”

Personalised food for your cat, I can see cats everywhere giving it a paw of approval. But how does it work?

Based on your cat’s age, weight, activity level and current body shape KatKin creates a personalised, fresh and perfectly portioned meal plan.

KatKin sources fresh, human-grade quality ingredients from trusted suppliers and individually portion every meal into daily serve pouches. Your cat’s meals are then gently steam cooked to lock in all the nutrients, moisture and flavours your cat needs, and loves, to thrive.

Your cat’s meals are frozen and delivered straight to your door on a delivery cycle that works best for you. It is delivered in eco-friendly, insulated boxes to ensure meals stay fresh until you get home. Daily-serve pouches enable easy and accurate feeding for healthier and happier cats.

The first time you order you start with a trial box. This box contains all the different recipes KatKin offers. Once your cat knows its favourites, simply log in and update their recipe selection before the next delivery. You can also pause or skip deliveries when you need to. So less waste and your cat will never turn their nose up at their food bowl again!

You can soon read about Dirk’s experience with KatKin as he is testing his trial box (spoiler alert: his current favourite is ‘Gobble!’)