The ManCat Chair Fort

Guys love forts. Why should it be any different for mancats? We present Rufus' chair fort.

Being stealth.

Side view.

Defending the chair fort.

Pet Food Cover

Rufus usually gets a mixture of wet and dry food for dinner but I don't feed him whole cans at a time. What to do with the remaining wet food? Easy! After I scoop a few spoonfuls, I pop this on the can and stick it in the fridge door.

This baby keeps the food nice and fresh. None of Rufus' food smells mix with mine and none of mine with his. Plus they are re-usable and very easy to wash. Where would I be without a pet food cover??

Rufus' grandma bean was visiting last week and accidentally threw it away after making him a scrumptious dinner! Poor Rufus won't get any wet food till I pick up a new one. I bought this from Petco but I'm sure other brands work just as well.

Rufie Rating: Four paws!

Watching Television!?

Enjoying the arts on television. He's one classy cat!

FreshAire with Bio-Filters

Here's the latest litter we've tried in our quest for the best - FreshAire with Bio-Filters. It's new, having launched only this March. The litter touts itself as the 'World's First Hybrid Litter' because it's a mixture of two types of clay and organic wood.

This is one of the 'greener' litter options as it contains biodegradable materials. Out of the tub, the litter looks almost like sawdust. The smell was pine-like and inoffensive.

The litter is great on paper, but it didn't meet up to its hype. Odor control was lacking. I had to supplement it with Arm & Hammer baking soda. Even with this boost, the odors still permeated the room.

The litter is made of soft, tiny pieces of wood. While dust was not a problem, the litter tracked everywhere! When Rufus goes, he must walk down the BoodaDome stairs and wipe his paws on a little towel before he can go about his day. Yet somehow the litter wound up in the farthest corners of the room. I've never seen litter tracked like this before! The litter did a decent job of clumping but not a great one.

We give FreshAire credit where it is due. It can't be said enough how much we appreciate that a company has designed a litter made of chemical-free, all-natural materials that are easy on paws. BUT...there are a few necessary tweaks before we can give it a higher rating.

Needless to say, we are still searching for that ever elusive 'four paw'-rated litter!!

Rufie Rating: One Paw

The Top 10 Cat-Friendly Cities

The CATalyst Council, a coalition of the veterinary community, academia, nonprofits, industry and animal welfare organizations, has crowned the 2009 Top Ten Cat-Friendly Cities in America!

They are as follows - Tampa, Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland (OR), Denver, Boston, Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta & Minneapolis.


So what makes a city cat-friendly? It depends on several factors, including cat ownership, the amount of cat care available, the prevalence of micro-chipping, etc.

The list was created to draw attention to the popularity of cats as pets and how we need to make sure America's felines are being cared for fully and properly. This is a great way to bring awareness to America's #1 pet, the CAT! Hopefully cities across the country will work hard to land their names on this wonderful list!

You can read more about it here!

N.H.A.D Contest Winner!

Happy National Hairball Awareness Day!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Announcing the winner of and FURminator "Who’s Your Favorite Furball?” Contest:

Congratulations, Madison! Maddie will receive a free FURminator deShedding Tool.

*Want your own? Look for FURminator products at PetSmart, PETCO and other pet retailers.

N.H.A.D Pointers & Contest Reminder

Don’t forget! Tomorrow, Friday April 24, is National Hairball Awareness Day!

To celebrate, and FURminator are sponsoring the “Who’s Your Favorite Furball?” contest.

The winner will receive a free FURminator deShedding Tool and will also see their favorite, funniest, furriest furball featured on and popular pet blogs across the web!

See entry rules here!

FURminator Tips on Preventing Hairballs in Cats

Fuzzballs, cat scratches and dirty litter boxes may be top complaints from cat parents, but paws down, hairballs are among the worst of the worst. With peak shedding season underway, our cats are in full swing when it comes to grooming themselves, which means an increase in hairballs (since hairballs are caused when the cat grooms itself).

Friday, April 24 is National Hairball Awareness Day, and to help both cat and parents alike, below are some tips on how to prevent hairballs in cats:

  1. Regular Grooming: Hairballs occur when cats over groom. To help cats look and feel their best, it’s essential to regularly brush them. The FURminator deShedding Tool for Cats is recommended by vets and nominated by Tufts University School of Veterinarian Medicine as the number one product to reduce hairballs in cats. Using the tool on a regular basis, as well as the FURminator deShedding Shampoo for Cats, will help reduce shedding, thus reducing the amount of hair your cat ingests.
  2. Home Remedies: Try adding a little butter and canned pumpkin to your cat’s meals once or twice a week. The butter may loosen the hair clod and the fiber in the pumpkin can help move it through the system.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Encourage your cat to drink plenty of water by placing various bowls throughout the house. The water will help flush out the hair before it has time to clump in the stomach.
  4. Consult Your Vet: If you believe you cat has chronic hairball problems, ask your veterinarian to recommend a laxative supplement to help prevent ingested hairs from forming hairballs.

Petkin Kitty Wipes

I have never given Rufus a bath and this product will probably be the closest thing to a bath he will ever get from me.

These wipes work great after I give Rufus a good brushing. The wipes help remove stray furs and don't have any strange smells. He doesn't even mind that I am wiping him with a damp cloth-like material.

This product keeps well. I've had an opened (but resealed) bag sitting around for weeks and they remain perfectly moist when I need them. We like it!

Rufie Rating: Three Paws!

*This rating pertains strictly to the unscented wipes. We aren't sure how the scented ones feel or smell.

National Hairball Awareness Day Contest!

Friday, April 24 is National Hairball Awareness Day!

Romeo the Cat and FURminator are sponsoring the “Who’s Your Favorite Furball?” contest in honor of this special day. The grand prize is a FURminator deShedding Tool and the spotlight on your favorite, funniest, furriest furball on & pet blogs across the Internet! Sweet!

How To Enter:

1. Go to Romeo the Cat and click on the FirstGiving link to donate $1 or more to Romeo’s FURPOWER beneficiary of the month, Kitten Rescue of Los Angeles.

2. E-mail your favorite, funniest, furriest furball photo to Romeo (at) RomeoTheCat (dot) come and tell us how winning a FURminator deShedding Tool will change you and your furball's life. Make sure to include:

  • Favorite Furball's Name
  • How winning a FURminator deShedding Tool will change you and your furball's life
  • Name
  • E-mail Address
  • Name you used with your FirstGiving donation

3. A Favorite Furball gallery will be posted on leading up to the big announcement.

4. The winner will be selected via a random drawing.

5. The winner will be announced on right here at Rufus Raves!,, and other participating blogs at 12 p.m. EST Friday, April 24, 2009.

Contest Rules:

  • Contest is open to cats.
  • Entrants must be located in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Entries must be submitted by 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 23, 2009.
  • Entrants agree to allow their photo to be posted on participating blogs.

Kitty Hoots Big Mama's Scratch n' Play Ramp

The 'Kitty Hoots Big Mama's Scratch n' Play Ramp' is a wonderful scratching diversion for any cat home. It requires just a tiny bit of assembly and includes a bag of 'Zoom Around the Room' organic catnip & springy catnip toy.

This scratcher is very similar to one we rated previously. The premise is the same. It has a replaceable cardboard surface that is positioned on an incline for optimal scratching.

The only difference is the springy toy. There are three pre-cut holes you can stick the toy into. (Strangely, the product photo above doesn't show them.) The toy doesn't stay attached to the scratcher very well. It's a minor annoyance but it's an additional thing that I can step on in the middle of the night or have to fish out from under the furniture.

Rufus likes to address the springy toy and the scratcher separately.

Demonstrating how to use the scratcher. He's such a ham for the camera!

The included catnip is top notch. I accidentally spilled a giant mound onto the scratcher and Rufus was GLUED to the thing.

Note the darkened area near his face. That's ALL catnip!

Big stretch!!

The Scratch n' Play Ramp is biodegradable, takes the heat off the rugs and provides an extra way to get a little stretch for Rufus. We like it!

Rufie Rating: Three Paws!

Twittering Cat Door...You Don't Say!

Ok, I've seen a lot in my time. They invented the internet, laptops that fit into manila envelopes, car doors that open at the push of a button but this really takes the cake. And by this, I mean the Tweeting Cat Door!

It follows the ins and outs of two cats, Gus and Penny. Every time they get close to their cat door, a Radio Frequency Identication (RFID) chip on their collars triggers the RFID reader and opens the cat door. When that happens, it delivers a funny tweet and picture directly to their page on Twitter! Here's the latest one ...

"Penny is out to sit on the porch."

We are intrigued and following them!

Bonito Tuna Flakes

Rufus lives for fish flavored...anything. So it's no surprise he loves his tuna flakes. I love them because they are carb-free and make a good treat for cats watching their figures.

Another took forever to go through a whole tub. That's pretty amazing considering I let Rufus bury his face in the open container every now and then.

The only issue with this is they are paper thin and can crumble into messy, itty-bitty pieces. It's great to sprinkle on food but if you want to take a piece and give it to your cat, chances are there will be as many pieces on the floor as your cat's mouth.

Haven't been able to find these in stores lately but that doesn't stop this from being a great cat treat.

Rufie Rating: Two Paws!

Jimmy Buffet Fan

Boats, beaches, bars and ballads!

Not sure if he likes the music, but it suits as a great arm rest!

"Raw Food for Pets?"

I've read in a few places that feeding cats raw food is very beneficial. The San Francisco Chronicle's "Raw Food for Pets?" article debates whether this is actually good for our furry friends. Some pet owners say raw meat is the diet that the ancestors of cats and dogs lived on but some people (vets included) think this is unsafe due to bacteria lurking in the uncooked meat.

I feed Rufus a mixture of dry and wet cat food with the occasional scrap of meat or fish I'm preparing for myself. He eats it up with more enthusiasm than his usual food, taking extra care to smack his little cat lips.

I know there's a risk but I only feed him boneless fresh meat. This way, he won't choke on any bone bits or eat spoiled food. If I'm really concerned, I sear the meat a little bit. The middle stays nice and rare and since it's a solid piece of meat rather than ground meat, bacteria can't get in the center. (This is why eating steaks rare is okay but not so much with a hamburger.) Cats have hardier stomachs than us!

I think we should give them what they get in nature! I highly doubt Rufus' great granddaddy caught things and roasted them over a slow fire!

Rufus' New Hiding Place Has Been Discovered

The morning after I returned from my week long trip, I woke up and could not find Rufus anywhere. I got so worried. I thought maybe he chewed through a window screen or he slipped out an open door. I kept looking and no furry beast appeared when I called.

After about a minute, I heard something rustling...

FROM THE DRYER! This cat never ever ceases to amaze me.

How on Earth did he find his way up there?

He knew food was on the way, so out he came.