Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homemade Kitty Litter?

For your do-it-yourselfers Homemade Kitty Litter
by Allie Larkin, AlliesAnswers.com (reprinted from AnimalRadio.com's November newsletter)

Few are immune to the current hard economic times. Everyone is looking to save a little money. And those with cats now have an alternative, which can save them at least $120 a year.

I know it sounds a little wild, but, you can make your own kitty litter. And it only takes about a half-hour to do. I’m not suggesting that all Americans who own a cat should make their own kitty litter. But it shows that anything you want to make you can find the instructions online.

To make the kitty litter, you shred newspaper and then wash it in soapy water. You stir it up until it’s the consistency of oatmeal; then you take all of that and rinse it out and strain it in a colander.

Add baking soda and knead it in. Break it up so it looks like pebbles. Then put it on a screen to dry. Let it dry overnight and it will be ready the next day. It doesn’t have the fancy clumping capabilities of expensive kitty litter. But it does the trick, and the baking soda does a great job killing the odor, and it can save you $120 a year.

1. Shred newspaper in a paper shredder. I collect the shredded paper in an unused litter box.
2. Soak the paper in warm water mixed with a few squirts gentle, biodegradable dish soap. The shredded paper takes on a cooked oatmeal consistency. The paper won’t come completely clean, but the water will turn grey.
3. Drain the water (an old colander works wonders) and repeat the soaking process minus the soap.
4. Sprinkle baking soda liberally on the wet paper. Knead it in to the mixture (you might want to wear gloves to avoid getting ink on your hands).
5. Squeeze the remaining moisture out until it’s as dry as you can get it.
6. Crumble over a screen and leave to dry (it takes a few days).

Once it’s dry, I put about an inch and a half to two inches of the paper crumbles in the litter box, scoop solids daily and change it once a week. It takes about a half an hour to 45 minutes to make a 2-3 week supply of litter, and it’s kind of fun, in an elementary school art project way!

Give your pets a happy and healthy holiday season: Cold Weather and Holiday Pet Tips from the American Humane Association (www.americanhumane.org)

Keeping pets away from poinsettias and chocolate is just the beginning. Avoid an unplanned trip to the animal hospital this holiday season by following these simple tips from the American Humane Association.

Its Chilly Out There—The Cold Factor! Knock, knock… anybody home? Wild animals and cats left outside may seek your car engine for warmth during the winter months. Bang on the hood a few times before starting the engine.

Just because they have fur doesn’t mean they can withstand cold temperatures: Dogs and cats should be kept inside if possible. If dogs are left outside, they should have a draft-free shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. Use a layer of straw or other bedding material to help insulate pets against the cold.

Staying warm requires extra calories: Outdoor animals typically need more calories in the winter, so feed them accordingly when the temperature drops. Talk to your veterinarian for advice on the proper diet.

Ice, snow and salt: Many pets like to go outside to romp and stomp in the snow, but many people use powerful salt and chemicals on their sidewalks to combat the ice. Clean pets’ paws after your outing to prevent their pads from becoming dry and irritated. Signs of ingestion include excessive drooling, vomiting and depression.

Cold bugs: Mosquitoes and other bugs can be a year-round problem. Remember to keep your pets on their regular heartworm, flea and tick preventive medicines.

Drop It!—Watch What Your Pets Ingest

No bones under the tree: Although it’s cute to give pets novelty gifts such as bones and pigs’ ears, a trip to the vet for vomiting and diarrhea is not a fun way to spend the holidays for you or your pet.

Avoid tinsel: Tinsel can become tangled in pets’ intestinal tracts and can be fatal. Tinsel, ornaments, gift ribbons and bows, as well as holiday candles, are also choking hazards.

They don’t need the same holiday meal as you: Many people like to spoil their pets with a special dinner of turkey or ham, but any sudden change of diet, even for just one meal, can give dogs or cats stomach pain and diarrhea. Don’t feed your pets bones, especially poultry bones, which splinter easily and cause blockages.

If they like toilet water, they’ll probably like tree water: Both cats and dogs may find the tree water irresistible, so make sure to use pet-friendly tree preservatives in the water. Better yet, use a tree stand designed to prevent pets from accessing the water, which can harbor bacteria.

In addition to poinsettias: Even holly, amaryllis, mistletoe and pine needles can be harmful to pets’ stomachs. Go for the fake version and keep your traditions -- and your pets -- alive.

Cold and flu season: Medications used to treat the sniffles can be harmful and dangerous to pets. Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of your pets’ reach. Do not medicate animals yourself unless under the direction of your veterinarian.

Keep batteries out of pets’ reach: Many gifts require batteries, but batteries, if bitten or swallowed, can cause ulceration in your pets’ mouths, tongues or gastrointestinal tracts.

Use non-toxic antifreeze: Antifreeze is great-tasting to animals but can be deadly. Look for “safe” non-toxic antifreeze and make sure all spills are cleaned immediately and thoroughly. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pets ingested any antifreeze!

The American Humane Association wishes everybody and their pets a safe holiday season. For more information about American Humane, go to www.americanhumane.org.

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Green Enzyme Cleaner “Bites Back”

Elusive and nocturnal, bed bugs have become more commonplace in homes across America. The small, wingless insects are finding their way into homes because people unknowingly transport them when returning from travel. Bed bugs can be brought into the home in a suitcase, on clothing and in personal belongings. Problems can also occur when people bring furniture and mattresses even brand new ones into the home with undetectable bed bug infestations or move into a clean-looking vacant apartment.

"Bed bugs are tiny insects that may be just one-eighth of an inch in size, but can multiply very quickly to cause massive infestations in homes, hotel rooms and subways,” says Nick Martello, president and CEO of US Biologics, exclusive developer of SporiCLEAN. “Once you’ve been in contact with even one bed bug, there’s potential for you to bring it home. We’re currently seeing large population areas in Florida, Ohio, Texas and the heavy international population of New York City experiencing near-epidemic proportions of bed bug infestations. Bed bugs can routinely be found in and around mattresses --- and in pet bedding."

“Nature has provided us with a safe and simple remedy to inoculate bed bugs and other irritating pests. The multi-enzyme in SporiCLEAN quickly and safely ‘gobble up’ the protein and eliminate the pest problems.”

Bed bugs, which generally are active at night, feed upon the blood of warm-blooded animals, such as humans. Each female adult can lay 500 eggs in a lifetime that are generally the size of a spec of dust. Once mature, the bugs feed for about five minutes and then return to their hiding place … generally in and around mattresses. Bites from bed bugs may not surface until hours later and can cause small red dots on the skin, similar to poison ivy and spider bites.

Available nationwide to consumers, SporiCLEAN was specifically designed and formulated as a cost-effective way to destroy infectious bacteria, germs, viruses and unwanted pests. One concentrated quart bottle of SporiCLEAN makes up to eight gallons of household strength solution that can be sprayed on mattresses and throughout the home to eliminate pest problems.

The major ingredients in SporiCLEAN are food grade multi-enzymes that consist of protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase and carbohydrase, along with several sub-level enzymes and a blend of organic coconut oil. “Enzymes are nature’s biodegrading solution,” says Martello. “It’s as simple as ‘science and nature.’ The protease enzymes in SporiCLEAN are the most environmentally-safe way to dislodge, degrade and digest bed bugs, mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses in the home.”

US Biologics, Inc., the developer and exclusive distributors of SporiCLEAN, was awarded the upcoming green business award by the Ohio State Senate in 2007. The company is based in Avon Lake, Ohio. Concentrated quart bottles of SporiCLEAN may be ordered on-line at KillMoldFast.com or by calling 1-877-703-3330.



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From The Wonderful Folks Who Support Talk With Your Animals
Saturdays, November 29 and December 6 11 AM - 4 PM - Traditional Photos with Santa. Bring your critters to Dooleys Dog House to have their pictures taken with Santa. $20 for pictures including $10 donation to Pasado Safe Haven (www.pasadosafehaven.org) To set up your time for pictures, please call 425-889-2200. Dooley's Dog House is located at 1421 Market St. Kirkland, WA (www.dooleysdoghouse.com)

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