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!’)

Dirk’s very first Water Fountain

Many cats prefer drinking running water over drinking still water. They drink from the tap or the shower basin or splash water from their bowl before drinking it. There are several theories about the reasons behind this. In all likelihood this behaviour is largely instinctual: in the wild, cats drink moving water as this is less likely to make them sick. Cats also have an excellent sense of hearing so it is easy for them to hear and locate the sound of running water from farther away.

Some cats happily drink from their bowls, but others insist on getting into the shower after you’ve finished or will not rest until you turn on the tap to let the water run… For those tap water loving cats, a water fountain may well be the perfect solution. Drinkwell’s big dog water fountain is also excellent for multi-cat households or for those cats that like to play with their water or tip over their bowl: they won’t manage to do so with this fountain!

Dirk has never had a water fountain, but as you’ll see he proves even an older cat can learn new tricks 😉

What is this new thing???
Ah, I see, I can play with this

As you can see, Dirk quite enjoyed playing with this fountain, something he didn’t do with his water bowl. I initially left his bowl next to the fountain just in case it took Dirk a while to start drinking from it. He only drank from the bowl once after I put the fountain down so even though he hasn’t previously had a fountain he clearly prefers it over the still water. He mostly prefers to drink from the top, right where the water comes out but drinks from the bowl section of the fountain as well. I imagine cats that love tap water will drink more from the free flowing stream (and not just play with it as Dirk does!).

This particular Drinkwell fountain is plastic and is of course free of BPA. The is filtered and the constant water circulation in the bowl helps prevent bacteria growth. The water stream entices cats to drink more and thus helps prevent urinary and kidney diseases in cats. It does make some noise, but this did not deter Dirk and I didn’t find it annoying at all.

Keeping an eye on Dirk with the Ezviz C1C camera

I’m sure most cat owners wonder what their cats get up to when they are home alone. I certainly do! Sometimes I find evidence he’s been playing as there are toys all over the room, other days I find no evidence of any activity whatsoever, apart from eating 😉

For everyone who is tempted to get a camera to keep an eye on their cats, I can recommend the Ezviz C1C camera. I tested version with the 1080 pixel camera (they also have version with a 720 pixel camera) which gives you a 130 degree view and super sharp images!

I won’t get into too much technical detail, you can find those here. Instead, let me tell you about my experience with the camera and why I think it could be useful – as well as fun – for cat owners. And for UK stockists please click here

Set up of the camera and the app is really very easy and after that you can place the camera wherever you want. It has a long cable and also comes with a magnetic mounting kit, which make it easy to fix to a wall, bookcase, cupboard or the ceiling. Once you’ve done that, the fun can begin!

Being a novice with this type of cameras, I was really amazed by how sharp the video is and how much of the room you can see. In fact, I cropped some of the images for privacy reason 😉
The app is very user friendly and I found it very intuitive to use.

With this camera you can also talk to your cat. This is more fun for us than for the cat I image… The first few times I did this Dirk was intrigued and went over to check out the camera. However, after a few times he only moved his head or ignored it altogether. So it’s a fun feature, but after testing it a few times I no longer really use it. This feature is more useful if you’d use the camera to talk to people as it is a two-way feature.

For me, I found it fun to use this camera and that is a good enough reason in itself! If you want to know how your cat is doing while you’re at work you open the app to look at the live feed. If he’s not active at the moment, but has been active while you weren’t looking then you can have a look at the video clips that have been saved. And the camera automatically goes to infrared night vision when there’s little light. Even in night vision mode the images are very sharp.

Those are just a few examples of cases is which having a camera may be useful. Let’s be honest, for the most part it is fun. We all love seeing pictures or videos of our pets when we are away, we wonder what they get up to and most of us really miss them when we’re not home. I loved watching Dirk have his crazy 5 minutes on camera. For the most part though, it just confirmed that Dirk is basically asleep between 9am and 4 pm 😉

A Good Night’s Sleep With Silentnight Pet Beds

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

Can a cat ever have to many places to sleep? Dirk is looking at me sternly, which I guess means no. The more places to sleep, the better!

Some cats never use their designated beds, but most cats do like having a sleeping space that is all their own. And because cats spend a significant amount of time snoozing, napping, chilling and sleeping they need a good quality bed.

Silentnight have decades of experience making high quality beds and mattresses for people. And guess what? They now have a range of beds for animals as well!

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For cats, I’d recommend either the airmax bed or the orthopaedic bed.
The airmax bed has a thick cushion which has a warm fluffy side for the colder seasons and a cooler polyester side for the warmer times of year. Dirk hasn’t tested this bed, but it looks amazing and very cosy.

Dirk tested the orthopaedic bed. He is getting a bit older and the orthopaedic bed has been designed to prevent and alleviate sore joints. The bed has a lowered entrance which is really good for cats with arthritis or other joint problems. The cushion is not as thick as the airmax bed, but it is very soft and has been designed specifically to reduce pressure points and distribute weight more evenly.

Those are the stats, but how did Dirk feel about his new bed? He can’t actually tell us, but these pictures prove he loves it! He quite likes taking his toys to bed with him too and there’s plenty of space in this bed to do so.

At the moment, Dirk will still happily jump onto table and climb up the sofa, but he is no longer a spring chicken. In the years to come I can see this bed becoming his favourite place to snooze, because it is so easy to get into, has a super soft cushion and easy on the joints.

Dirk tested the medium size of the orthopaedic bed. For most cats, I’d recommend the small size of either the airmax or orthopaedic bed because it’s a bit more snug. To read more about Silentnight’s pet beds or to buy them, check out their website.

If your cat is not using their bed, try moving it to a different location. Your cat might just prefer to have his bed elsewhere.