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Monday, November 21, 2016

The Catmosphere

Just the other day I warned that pet owners should think before they buy a cat toy. But but I don’t exactly practice what I preach. 

It all started with Holly licking her bum. Not once, not twice, but constantly.

When I had a look I noticed that her backside was rather dirty, and the skin around her anus red and swollen. With Dieter’s help, her bum got rinsed with clean lukewarm water. A few days later we repeated the process.

Despite our best efforts, Holly’s bum didn’t get better. She continued to lick so I decided to take her to the vet.
At the vet’s office, Holly’s backside got examined and as it turned out her anal glands were enlarged. She got treated and the doctor said that she should be better within a few days.

However, that was not the end of it. The vet said that Holly was overweight. This was not news to us, we knew Holly is on the heavy side, but we didn’t know what to do about it. She eats a normal amount of food and gets daily exercise.

The vet suggested switching her regular dry food to weight management nibbles, increase the exercise and get her a catmosphere ball. The concept behind the catmosphere ball is simple … instead of giving cats their dry food in a bowl, the catmosphere ball is filled with nibbles, cats slap the ball around and in the process it dispenses food. In other words, cats have to work for their meal.

It sounded like the perfect plan to me and I wasted no time getting Holly (and the rest of my cat family) not one but two such balls. The balls were filled with nibbles, placed on the floor and introduced to the cats.

And what do you think? If you think Mickey, Charlotte, Gabriel and Holly enthusiastically started slapping the ball around, think again. They looked at it, sniffed it and … ran away. And I do mean ‘ran’, they didn’t just walk, they backed away and took off like bats from hell.

Not wanting to give up that easily, I decided to demonstrate to the cats how to use the ball, and what their reward would be, but no, they wanted nothing to do it. I placed the two balls in two different locations, but wherever the ball was, they walked around it in a big circle. Eventually, I had no choice but to fill their regular food bowl with nibbles.

If anyone bought this ball for their cats, whether it’s a failure or a success, please share your experience with me.

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