Tag: Cat treats

Are Laser Pointers Bad For Cats?

Bud is obsessed with his new laser pointer.

I bought one for the first time more than a week ago. For years I’d occasionally break out a level that shoots a narrow band of laser light that appears like a small stripe, and while Buddy enjoyed chasing after it, I’m thinking the laser probably wasn’t as powerful or didn’t register as well in the spectrum of light most visible to felines.

Whatever the reason, while he liked chasing the level’s laser light, he loves this $5 pet laser.

lasercat

In fact, he loves it a little too much. Every day, if I haven’t taken it out for play time, he climbs up onto the coffee table and begins pawing at the tray that contains the laser pointer and TV remotes. He finds the pointer, bats at it with his little paws, and makes mewing sounds that undoubtedly translate to: “Play time! I want! I want! Play with me now!”

I can see now why some people warn against using these things. I thought the upside was worth the potential downside, because the laser pointer gets the little dude moving like few other toys do. (And even then only when they’re new and novel.)

Bud’s single-mindedness with the laser pointer reminds me of his one-track mind when it came to Temptations, before I stopped buying those infernal things. (Blue Buffalo makes very similar-looking treats that he happily gobbles up, but instead of the corn and filler of Temptations, they’re made of chicken, turkey, salmon and so on.)

Crucially he doesn’t act like a crack addict the way he did with the Temps, when he’d park himself by the treat cabinet and meow mournfully for his next fix.

The Red Dot!
I’ve caught the red dot! I’m eating it!

So I’m wondering: What kind of experiences have you guys had with laser pointers? Have you used them? Have your cats become obsessed?

One final thought: Bud is fully aware the laser comes from the pointer, and he knows I have to press the button for the beam to work. That’s a clear example of abstract thinking. So far he hasn’t figured out a way to activate it himself, but you never know…

14 Overdoses Traced To Los Gatos Catnip

LOS ANGELES — At least 14 feline overdoses have been linked to a powerful new strain of catnip sold by Los Gatos cartel, the Feline Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Thursday.

The new strain is a hybrid of the popular Purrple Haze and Meowie Wowie variants sprinkled with catnip-flavored Temptations that have been crushed into powder, the agency said.

Dubbed “Da Zooms,” the ultra-potent new nip is often cut with oregano to reduce its effects, but inexperienced cats may not realize what they’re dealing with. Overdoses render felines catatonic for several hours, during which they roll around with a blank stare before sliding into a deep sleep from which they cannot be roused until the effects wear off.

“This is powerful stuff,” said Squiggy the Siamese, president of Cats Against Narcotic Additives Baked Into Snacks, or CANABIS, a powerful anti-Temptations lobbying group. “If it can knock a 20-pound Maine Coon unconscious, imagine what it can do to an innocent three-pound kitten.”

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The potent new blend of catnip is proving irresistable to cats.

Cat parents and caretakers are advised to look for the following signs that could indicate their furry loved ones are addicted to Da Zooms:

  • Suddenly getting the zooms and bolting around the house at 30 mph
  • Loss of interest in favorite foods and snacks that aren’t Temptations
  • Refusing regular catnip, or complaining that it’s “weak stuff”
  • Raiding pantries for cans of wet food, which are used as currency to buy highly potent illegal nip
  • Frequent trips to “The Corner”
  • Shaking paws and night sweats after being cut off from the product

In the meantime, the National Ad Council has unveiled a new PSA meant to inform cats of the dangers they face by consuming illegal catnip.

“This is your brain,” the ad’s narrator intones as the camera settles on a brand new, unblemished couch. “This is your brain on ‘nip,” the narrator continues with the camera scrolling over to an old, beat-up couch with claw marks all over it. “Any questions?”

couch

Diego Gatinez, a spokesman for Los Gatos, called the new ads “racist” and blamed “uninformed gringos” for alleging that his organization is a cartel.

“We are a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, and we don’t appreciate the insinuation that we’re involved in illegal or violent activities,” Gatinez said. “Anyone who continues to intimate that we are a violent criminal organization should sleep with one eye open, because Los Gatos could appear right when you least expect us.”

Top image and the two following images by Andrew Marttila from his book, aptly titled “Cats On Catnip.”

Still Don’t Think Temptations Are Kitty Crack? Watch This

In my last post about Temptations, aka the kitty crack, I noted that Buddy had once gotten into one of those big tubs of the stuff and gorged himself before getting sick.

He’s not the only cat to do that, as I wrote at the time, but this cat takes cake: She’s able to pop the lid off and get at the cracktastic treats inside in less than 60 seconds:

And here’s a cat who has learned how to open his treat cabinet to get the Temptations inside:

These videos confirm I made the right call getting the little guy off the stuff.

The Good Boy Has Been Weaned Off Temptations. Again.

Little Buddy, I’m happy to announce, has been weaned off the kitty crack.

And no, I’m not talking about catnip, which he enjoys once a week or two without yowling mournfully for more. I’m talking about Temptations, those crunchy cat treats that turn our furry little friends into fiends with one-track minds.

This is the second time I’ve stopped giving him those treats. One is never enough. Two, three, six? Not enough. More. More! More Temptations!!!

It got to the point where Buddy would meow insistently in front of the treat cabinet first thing in the morning, then get up to follow me every time I went in the general direction of the kitchen, trilling in anticipation.

If I made the mistake of leaving the bag out, he’d paw at it and meow insistently.

temptationskitten

And one time I got an economy size tub of the stuff from Costco, fed him one or two pieces, then got distracted by a phone call. I was only away for a minute at most, but during that time Buddy swiped the tub off the coffee table, causing the lid to pop as it hit the hardwood floor and spilling hundreds of the kittycrack biscuits everywhere.

When I  returned I found Bud gorging himself, vacuuming up his precious Temps like a high end Hoover. I shooed him away and carefully swept up every remaining piece, but it was too late — the little guy started throwing up everything he’d just eaten.

Astonishingly, when he’d gotten the last of it up and I was on hands and knees cleaning the mess, he began to meow for more Temptations.

That is hard core, epic crack fiend behavior.

It’s “Houston, we have a serious problem” level.

temptations
Not the only one: Lots of people have reported instances where cats helped themselves to the kitty crack. Credit: theknowmad/reddit

Temptations are cat junk food. They’re packed with filler, animal by-products, things cats can’t properly digest (corn, rice, corn gluten meal), and the added nutrients cited by Whiskas are of dubious nutritional value at best.

Cats aren’t drawn to them for any natural reason: Whatever chemicals they’re coated with are designed to manipulate the feline brain, and in the human world we’d call them drugs. The behavioral changes alone are enough to warrant a change.

I was doing a disservice to my little guy by feeding him that crap, so now we’re going to find something better. If you’d care to offer any suggestions, we’re all ears. Please leave them in the comments.

Niplords Unite At Meow-a-Largo As Heisenpurrg Threat Looms

MIAMI — Forming a tenuous alliance to combat an existential threat to their hold on the feline illegal narcotics market, the western hemisphere’s most prolific niplords gathered for a summit at Meow-a-Largo on Friday.

The fact that Los Gatos, the Cattazio crime family and the Buddy Organization gathered under one roof without the threat of spray salvos, hissing or violent clawing served to underscore how seriously the niplords are taking the emergence of a new narcotic on the street, and the shadowy players pushing it on young kittens and adult cats alike.

The new product, Blue Sky Temptations, has taken the country by storm, laying waste to entire communities of cats with its unprecedented purity and addictive potential.

“Rumor has it a fella named Heisenpurrg is behind the Blue Sky,” said Anthony “Fat Tony” Purrtelini, the recently jail-broken capo of the Cattazio family. “We got our guys shakin’ down the neighborhoods for more information on this Heisenpurrg.”

bluesky
Blue Sky Temptations are laced with a mysterious chemical cats can’t resist.

Pawblo Escobar, the mercurial leader of the Gatos’ Medellín Hierba Gatera, shook his head.

“Is just a name, this Heisenpurrg,” he said quietly. “We don’t know the first thing about this pendejo, yeah?”

“Das right, patrón,” said Escobar’s most trusted lieutenant, Furrnando Prado. “He’s a ghost.”

Purrposition Joe, the Baltimore-based nip OG who brokered the tenuous peace between the attending parties, raised both paws, signaling the others to let him meow. Springer Bell and Brother Pawzone, two other cats from the Baltimore contingent, slapped their paws on the table to get everycat’s attention.

Heisenpurrg’s minions, Purrposition Joe reminded the other niplords, were all over the streets pushing “free samples” of the Blue Sky to get cats addicted. Tracking down Heisenpurrg, he said, should be as easy as interrogating cats up the ladder until they lead to the big bosses.

“The question isn’t ‘Are we going to find this guy?'” Purrposition Joe said, pausing to flick kibble crumbs off his belly. “The question, gentlemen, is what are we going to do about him when we do find him?”

All eyes turned toward the back of the room where a lone cat sat in darkness, a silent silhouette for the duration of the meeting.

“That’s a question for the most brutal of us, hermano,” Escobar said, looking at the shadowy figure at the end of the table.

The mysterious cat leaned forward, his face moving into the light, revealing long whiskers, grey-white fur and subtle grey tabby stripes.

“Leave that to me, gentlemen,” the grey tabby said quietly. “When I’m done with him, Heisenpurrg will be nothing more than yesterday’s kibble upchucked on the carpet. Muahahaha!”

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