Tag Archives: review

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat Review

I recently got an email from Art of Paws asking if I would give an honest review of their Heated Pet Mat in exchange for the product. I was reluctant at first because our weather was warm but I figured it was the first half of February so there were probably a few cold days ahead. I was wrong. I received the product a few days ago and opened it yesterday after checking the 10-day forecast. It showed mostly highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.

Since I had no option to wait for a cold day I opened it yesterday afternoon and plugged it into the outlet inside the sofa armrest and waited. I might have encouraged the boys a bit by calling them and holding it up. Floki was the first to check it out.

Art of Paws Heated Pet MatArt of Paws Heated Pet MatThen he was distracted by Chris and Frankie who discovered the box it came in.

cats and box

I put it on the floor and soon after they all realized they couldn’t fit in the box, Chris discovered the mat.

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat
He liked it immediately and soon plopped himself down on top of it.Art of Paws Heated Pet MatArt of Paws Heated Pet Mat

I became involved in other things and stopped paying attention but when I looked again, Chris was gone and Floki was lying on it.

cat on Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

Later, my wife sat down because we were about to watch a tv show together. She noticed the plug had become a bit hot so she unplugged it. Since the outlet is located inside of the sofa armrest where no air is allowed to circulate, I made a mental note not to plug it in there again.

When I was ready to sit down, Chris was back on the mat again. This time it wasn’t plugged in but he didn’t care. He remained on that mat until we got up to go to bed.

I plugged the mat in again this morning and felt the plug after some time. It was warm, but not hot so I don’t think that is an issue.

I also tried to interest Frankie in the mat this morning but he was a bit wound up at the time and couldn’t be bothered with it.

cat on Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

I was impressed with the quality. It seems to be put together quite nicely and the zipper opens very smoothly so the cover can be removed for washing.

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

It also has a long, six and a half foot cord, of which more than four and a half feet are covered in a bite-proof wrapping.

Art of Paws Heated Pet Mat

It has a fairly thick pad and it measures 23 inches by 17 inches, which I think is large enough for a medium size dog or two cats if they like to snuggle. It also uses only 10 watts of electricity and has a three-year guarantee.

It is not as warm as I expected. I don’t have a thermometer but I would guess it is somewhere between room temperature and a heating pad on low. Perhaps 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At first, I thought that was bad but then realized that a heating pad is for temporary use and shouldn’t be used for more than 20 minutes. At this lower temperature, I would guess that it could be used much longer or indefinitely. I picture a bunch of scientists in lab coats over at Art of Paws trying to figure out the perfect temperature. For more information about this product, you can visit https://artofpaws.com/products/heated-pet-mat

One last note. As I was writing this post I plugged the mat in and left it on the floor. After I uploaded the photos I got up to get a drink of water and saw this:

I think when the hot weather is here to stay I will remove the heating element and let them use it as a regular mat until next winter. I think it is nice that I have that option. What do you think?



Our Prize Arrived

A few weeks ago The Island Cats’ blog had a review and giveaway of some Petmate products designed by Jackson Galaxy, the star of the Animal Planet show, “My Cat From Hell.”

To my surprise, we were lucky enough to win. I got to choose between the “Comfy Clamshell Bed” and “The Vault Marinator,” which is used to freshen up catnip toys. I thought the clamshell bed would be a great addition to our house so I chose that.

It was waiting at the door when I got home from work the other day The box was way bigger than expected, which was fine because . . . well, we have cats.

cats and box


cats and box

cats and box

Once I opened the box and took out the clamshell bed, the cats were torn between investigating the bed and the empty box.

The bed seems to be of a high quality and the fabric is very soft. Chris especially likes it, as you can see from the video.

open clamshell bedA pull of the strings easily turns it into a clamshell.closed clamshell bed

The bad thing about that is there is only room for one.
cat and clamshell bed

That means someone has to wait, whether they want to not.cats and clamshell bed

Floki and Chris were the most interested but Chris was the first to use it for what it was meant for, to lie in. Of course, he had to make some biscuits before doing that.

Floki was more interested in the strings.

I didn’t know this at the time but there is a pocket to put the strings to keep them from becoming toys, possibly dangerous toys.

I ended up putting the bed in its open position on our coffee table. Frankie, Floki and Puck mostly ignore it but Chris loves it. I see him on it often. He is on it as I write this.

cat on clamshell bed

Meanwhile, in the cats’ room . . .

cat and box

Frankie: The First Three Years – Part One

Our cat Frankie has now been with us three years already. Time sure does fly. (To see my first post about him, read here). I thought we adopted him late in February but it was actually February 8, and I missed it. So even though I’m a little late, I thought I would show a few highlights from Frankie’s first three years.


After visiting at least two other shelters, we fond Frankie at a PetSmart in Clearwater, Florida. He only had a number, no name.

Our new cat Frankie

Chris was unexpectedly hostile toward Frankie, so after hiding under the bed for his first day, Frankie decided to come out of his self-imposed exile on day two. It helped that we had shut out Chris and Puck from the bedroom.

Our cat Frankie playing with Turbo Scratcher

Frankie was a playful cat but…

Chris interupts Our cat Frankie playing with Turbo Scratcher

When Chris was around, there was no playing.

Our cats Chris and Frankie Outside.

Frankie’s first foray outside was successful… until he discovered he could walk through the fence.

Our cat Frankie under a car

Then he discovered Chris’s old trick of hiding under cars.

Our cat Frankie on trike

Frankie quickly got comfortable in our home.

Our cat Frankie is relaxing on the chair.

… and more comfortable.

20140510_Frankie in bowl_0981

Soon he was expecting the royal treatment.



We soon discovered Frankie had a shoe fetish.


Our cat Frankie under the dressor

We also discovered early that he was very photogenic.

Our cats Puck, Chris and Frankie.

By August, everyone was getting along – part-time.

Cat Frankie on caair

Frankie wanted out so bad but it was too risky so in November I bought a harness for him. I had trouble with it so I used a breakaway collar that broke away. (This is not our junk)

Frankie and Christmas tree.

Frankie first Christmas fascinated him.

Our cats Frankie and Chris

He was even getting along with Chris by then (mostly).

cats Frankie and Puck

He also made a friend in Puck.

Since there is so much more to review, I decided to split this up into two or three parts. I hope you liked it and will come back to see Frankie’s further adventures.

Review of Cat’s Pride Cat Litter

Cats's Pride cat literIn a recent post I mentioned that I had finally settled on using a litter called Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat litter. It took awhile to get Chris to stop pooping on the floor so I decided that I would stick to what works. Well… I didn’t. Last week Rose and I came across a very good deal on Cat’s Pride cat litter and we decided since Chris seemed like he was cured of his floor pooping habit it was worth a try.


The litter is lighter than standard clumping litter which doesn’t matter much to me except when I change it and Cat's Pride cat litterhave to put it in a trash bag and hope the bag doesn’t break when I am caring it to the outside trash container (it’s happened). It is also a somewhat finer grain and is much easier to scoop. The litter scoop travels through the litter like a knife through warm butter.

The bad news is that the litter is somewhat dusty. It’s not as bad as some of the cheap brands but it is worse than what I am used to. It also tends to track more through the house. Those two problems alone would not be enough to regret my decision to buy it but there is a third problem that is much worse. It does not clump anywhere good enough to be useful, and the container says “Improved Clumping.” I try to be very careful when scooping but still the clumps break apart and some of the pieces fall back into the box, too small to be picked up with the scoop. That means that there is a build up of urine that just stays in the box. We even found a poop on the floor next to the box after just two days.

It has been six days since I put the litter in and I already bought more Precious cat litter so I can change back as soon as I have time to do so. Lesson learned. if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Scratch-n-maze A couple of weeks ago we picked up a cat scratcher called Scratch-N-Maze. It is basically a scratcher and toy in one. It has a ball inside with one hole on top and several along the sides.

When we brought it home we should have just put it down and left it alone but instead we put a little catnip on it. This, of course, got the cats artificially interested in it. They were mostly interested in the catnip and not the scratcher or the toy. Since we had to go out again, we decided to wait and see how they liked it after the catnip effect wore off.

When we got home we found the Scratch-N-Maze pulled apart, catnip everywhere, and the ball on the floor. Not what we expected after two hours.

Scratch-n-maze pulled apart by cats

Since then I saw Chris playing with the ball through the holes once and I have yet to see either cat use it as a scratcher. This may be a great item for some cats but for ours, I would give it two paws down.

The Wild Side of Cats

Over a year ago I received an email stating that one of Chris’s YouTube videos (http://youtu.be/iFnHCcrlrnI) was being considered for inclusion in a National Geographic documentary titled Wild Side of Cats. I filled out the necessary paperwork but never heard back from them so I assumed (correctly) he didn’t make the cut and made a mental note to watch for the show but then forgot about it.

I don’t watch much television but by chance I noticed that it was showing the other night so I watched it. I found it to be quite interesting. The show parallels our domestic cat’s behavior to that of wild cats.  One interesting example is that purring is a method of quiet communication between mother and kittens so as not to be heard by potential predators.

Another example is that wild cats will bury their unfinished kill so that other animals can’t smell it. I often see Chris do this after I feed the cats wet food. He will eat a small amount and then scratch at the floor like he is trying to bury it. I often wondered if he was saving it for later or burying it because it tasted like poop. Now I know.

Towards the end of the show they indicated that some of the affectionate things that cats do are done for non-affectionate reasons. While some of what they say may be true some of the time, I think it is wrong to try to explain away loving gestures in a cold, scientific way.

For example, they say a cat that lies on someone’s lap does it for warmth. I say that whoever produced this show probably does not have cats. Chris can be very needy at times for affection and lies on my lap quite often. I can guarantee he is not doing it for warmth. As a matter of fact, it is hot here in Florida in the summer and the cats lie on the tile floor because it is cooler. The extra warmth Chris gets from my lap is a sacrifice that he makes for attention. In addition, when Rose and I do sit down and watch television, Rose likes to sit with a pillow on her lap and Chris will often come and lie on her pillow. No warmth there but plenty of affection.

I think all warm-blooded creatures have emotions and cats have very strong emotions. They can love you just like you love them. So the next time your cat wants to lie on your lap, be assured that he or she loves you for you and not for your body temperature.

Despite my rantings, I believe the other 99 percent of the show is very interesting and worth watching. You can find more information about it at http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/episodes/wild-side-of-cats/

If you have seen the show, or even if you haven’t, let me know what you think.