Tag Archives: treats

NomNomNow’s Microbiome Test Kit


Recently I saw on the blog “Cat Chat with Caren and Cody” a post about a microbiome testing kit called “Insights” from the company NomNomNow. You may remember I reviewed their cat food which I thought was a healthier option than commercial canned food. I commented on the blog that I thought the Microbiome test was a useful idea and was then contacted by NomNomNow about doing an honest review in exchange for test kits.

I really did think it was a very useful test and I would like to find one for humans too. I have been learning about natural health for over a decade and I have learned that your microbiome is the core of good health. If your microbiome is healthy, you are healthy and vise versa.

In case you haven’t heard the term before, your microbiome is the collection of organisms that inhabit humans and animals alike. These organisms, which include bacteria, fungi and viruses, perform vital functions in our bodies. In humans, these organisms actually outnumber the total number of human cells in the body. Probably their most important contribution is that they help us to digest our food and assimilate the nutrients from that food. If you don’t have a good balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut, you won’t be able to process food properly. This can not only lead to loss of essential vitamins and minerals but the undigested food can get into the blood and be treated like a foreign invader, causing inflammation and a host of health issues. This can also lead to overweight as excess toxins that can’t be processed by the liver are stored in fat cells.

So you can see why knowing the state of your pets gut health can allow you to make informed decisions about what you can do next to improve your pets overall health. You could also provide this information to your vet but I don’t know how well veterinarians are trained in understanding gut health. Human doctors that prescribe antibiotics with reckless abandon don’t seem to have a clue. Antibiotics kill both the bad and good bacteria and they are often the main culprit in throwing the microbiome out of whack. Often, a general probiotic can help but knowing the exact state of your pet’s microbiome can help you, and hopefully your informed vet, formulate a specific treatment plan. You can then retest to see how it is working. If you want more information, there are several articals on the NomNomNow website that you can read here.

Our kits arrived on Wednesday and the cats were interested in it before I even opened the box.

Floki and Frankie inspect the box from NomNomNow

Frankie didn’t even give me a chance to remove the contents.

The box included three tests kits and a couple of samples of food. This was probably why they were so interested in the unopened box.

NomNomNow Microbiome testing kits and treats

Once I removed the contents Chris became very interested in the box.

He tried very hard to dig his way through. Perhaps he thought the treat factory was on the other side.

The treat samples that were in the box were labeled “Chicken, Nothing Else” and “Beef, Nothing Else.” I opened the chicken and dumped it out for our cats to try. It was basically chicken jerkey and Chris was very interested, which was surprising considering Chris is missing eight teeth. The pieces, I thought, were too big and I decided to break them up after I already put them out. Floki was also interested but Frankie seem only mildly interested, almost indifferent. I guess you can’t please everyone. Perhaps he would have been more interested if Floki wasn’t there stealing his food.

The next morning I saw a large piece of partially chewed jerky on the floor, which was surprising because I thought I broke up all the pieces and I thought they finished eating them all. I walked into the Florida room and found another large piece of jerky next to a ripped up bag. I guess I forgot to put the beef jerky treats away.

Now I have to get poop samples to send in. This has proved to be difficult with three cats. I can’t just pull a sample out of the litter box because I need to know which cat left it. So far, after almost three days, I have not witnessed a cat pooping. Once I get a sample I will write about what needs to be done to prepare the sample and send it in.

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Our Prize Arrived


A few weeks ago we won a cat tunnel from the Swiss Cats Blog. Our cats have enough toys so I asked Claire if she could have it sent to the Shelter where we adopted Chris. It is called Sav-R-Cats in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, near Myrtle Beach.

Yesterday I was informed that they received the tunnel as well as a few other things I wasn’t expecting. They posted this photo on their Facebook page and said I could use it. The caption is the text from the post.

This is our is a gift we just received from Switzerland. Chuck Huss adopted a kitty from us named Chris several years ago he entered a contest and won!!! So he was so nice and had it sent to us. A cat tunnel mice and cat treats. Thank you so much Chuck for thinking of us I know the cats will enjoy them.

Judging from the photos, the tunnel and mice look like high quality items. Plus the kitties got some cool treats to share. It looks like three of them are waiting for the picture taking to be over so they can dive in.

Catit Senses Treat Maze for Cats


Recently I had to purchase something on Amazon and wanted to add something to my order so the total would be greater than $49, which would qualify for free shipping. I decided to try the Catit Design Senses Treat Maze. It was relatively cheap, not much more the I would have paid for shipping. It is also part of a system of cat toys that all link together, but I just bought the one piece.

It is designed to stimulate your cats while slowing down their ability to eat treats too quickly. I had another toy that did the same thing but through a different method. It was called Friskies Wobbert Cat Toy Pull and Play. Our cats liked it and I wrote a post about it here, but it worked best with the Friskies Party Mix. After putting a healthier treat, like Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw, they mostly ignored it, even though they love the freeze-dried treat by itself. I don’t know. Perhaps that treat has a more subtle smell.

When it arrived everybody was interested in it before I even opened the box, especially Frankie.

Cat Frankie with Catit Senses Treat Maze

It needed some assembly but it was designed with men in mind. It was easy enough to figure out without reading the directions.

Catit Senses Treat Maze pieces

Catit Senses Treat Maze assembled.

I had a bag of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers that I put in the top. Not surprisingly, our smartest cat, Chris, was the first one to figure out how it worked, but Floki, our resident kitten pig,  was the one most determined to get the treats out. Below is the first video I took after putting it together and adding treats. think it was pretty successful, even though it did not gain the full attention of all of our cats. In later videos, which I haven’t processed yet, Puck becomes interested in it. Frankie showed interest at first but gave up after a minute or two.  He has not shown much interest after that but I ran out of treats before giving him a chance to figure it out, so maybe he will like it in the future.

What do you think? Does anybody have this or something like it? How do your cats like it?

Pull ‘n Play Cat Toy


Two weeks ago we bought two cat toys from Friskies called Pull ‘n Play. The toy is like a Weeble. which they call Wobbert. It is weighted on the bottom and it wobbles. It is shaped like an animal but I’m not sure what it is supposed to be, perhaps a bear. The head twists off so you can put treats inside. It comes with a bag of Friskies Party Mix and it also has a string-like treat that you thread through the ears. There is a small hole at the bottom so treats will fall out when it wobbles just right.

When we introduced it to our cats, Chris dominated the toy. As expected, he was the first, and still only, cat to figure out how the toy works. I recorded the first few minutes of them playing with it but later, after the camera was put away, I watched Chris wobble it and then immediately look for treats. Sometimes treats would come out and sometimes they wouldn’t but he was smart enough to expect it.

Later we brought the second toy to Rose’s sister, Felice. Her cats were different. The were more interested in the string and our cats were after the treats.

I used to buy the Party Mix as a treat for our cats and they loved it. Here is a video from a few years ago related to those treats.

I will say that I stopped buying those treats because I wanted our cats to have a more healthy treat. I now give them a raw, freeze-dried cat food that I use as treats. The brands vary because they love everything I have tried so I buy whatever is a good deal. Currently, I am feeding them Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw. After the Party Mix was gone I put some of the raw treats in the toy. Even though they love it when I give it to them as a treat, they mostly ignored it in the toy. Cats can really be frustrating at times.

Has anybody else tried this toy or another treat toy?

A Healthy Alternative to Cat Treats


If your cats are like mine, they love their cat treats. For years I was buying very small packages of treats for three to four dollars each to help bring a little happiness to my furry friends. I’ve also known that they were not exactly a healthy food for my cats but I figured the small amount once or twice a day wouldn’t hurt them.

I have since changed my thinking. For several years I have been learning about natural health for humans and have tried to apply some of that knowledge to our cats. It has been a slow process. I spent a few years buying frozen, raw food and then struggling to get them to eat it. My plan is to buy a meat grinder and make it myself but I’m not sure that will be any more successful. In the meantime, I feed them a quality, grain-free canned food (Earthborn Holistic) and a quality, grain-free dry food (Blue Buffalo Wilderness) but I could never find a healthy treat that they all enjoyed until I stopped looking for treats.

Stella and Chewey's cat foodMy alternative was to buy freeze-dried raw cat food and give it to them without adding water. I started using Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw and then switched to Stella and Chewey’s because I could get it in a larger package which brought my cost down to about what I was paying for the unhealthy treats, perhaps even lower. The best thing is, the cats love it.

A word of caution if you plan on trying this with your cats. It is meant to be mixed with water so don’t give them more than a few dry pieces so they won’t get dehydrated. Our cats seem to drink plenty of water so I don’t worry too much about that, but some cats don’t drink enough water. If that is the case, they shouldn’t be eating dry kibble either.

Our cats like both the Instinct Raw and the Stella and Chewy’s but they prefer the latter a little more. The down side to the Stella and Chewey’s is that it breaks into pieces easier than the Instinct Raw and you end up with a bunch of crumbs when you get near the bottom of the bag.

Stella and Chewey's cat food inside bag

When I have nothing left but crumbs, I add water to it and give it to them as cat food. The reason I don’t feed it to them as their regular cat food is because it is a bit expensive to feed them that much (although it may be worth it) and, for some reason, the cats seem to prefer it dry.

Let me know what you think. Do you have a healthy alternative to treats in your home?