Monday, January 26, 2015

Manual Meat Grinder -- Making Raw Cat Food

After discovering raw cat food diets, my biggest concern was meat grinding. I was sure there was a way around it and that in fact I don't need to buy a grinder and grind meat. But I was wrong. I quickly learned the importance and necessity of bone in a cat's diet. So I then started researching grinders. Ehhh, the thought of buying a large expensive grinder was not attractive to me. As I am 90% vegetarian the whole process was not appealing.

Many people use the Tasin TS8 Electric Meat Grinder and swear by it for making raw cat food. It is about 8 kilo or 15lbs and sells for $150 on  And if I lived in the US I probably would have bought it due to the great reviews I read. But I don't, I live in Europe and do not have a huge kitchen, the correct voltage and of course there is the shipping expense. I started looking at local shops and online for grinders but I could not find anything even close to the Tasin grinder. I knew I wasn't going to buy any expensive grinder not designed for bones and then have it break. Then one day I was in a Swiss Army surplus store and saw a manual meat grinder for $25.  Obviously it is not designed to grind bones but I didn't care, for that price it was worth the try.

And it worked! It of course takes a bit of muscle to use. But my husband and I made our first batch of  3 kilo consisting of chicken thighs and chicken organs in 2 hours including clean up. Doing it alone would have been very difficult due to the clamp.  It was necessary for one person to grind while the other held the machine and inserted the meat. And it did move quite a bit which was difficult at times. After 3 months of use (3x),  I decided we needed to upgrade and get something without a clamp.

manual meat grinder raw cat food

Friday, January 23, 2015

Raw Cat Food Diet - An Intro

New website:

I was only introduced to raw meat diet for cats just over a year ago. I have become such a believer and so grateful for the change. My cat is celebrating one year of a raw diet this month and I wanted to share our journey.

Raw Meat Cat Food

I am not a Veterinarian. I am simply a cat owner and I have spent an extensive amount of time researching the most healthy, cost-effective and easiest way to give my cat the best diet I could afford. When I first started reading about raw diets it made complete sense to me and the benefits seemed to good to be true. However the whole process seemed so complicated. There are different models, whole prey, frankenprey, grinding bones, and supplementing bones, premixes. I was over-whelmed. So I am here to simplify things for you as well as go into detail about my raw food process.

Why raw meat?

Cats are obligate carnivores which mean they need to eat 100% meat. They have zero need for grains, fruits or vegetables. All types of cats in the wild eat raw meat. Domestic cats typically eat mice, small rabbits, rodents and birds. These prey animals contain about 70% water. Cats do not have a strong thirst drive and are not good about drinking water. Most if not all of their water should come from their food.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tree Room Divider -- Climbing tree

Here is a DIY idea for your home. We did this about 2 years before we got our cat. So it was not designed for a cat, but it is however very cat friendly and our cat loves climbing and scratching it. 
DIY tree room dividerBefore we moved into our apartment we decided we wanted to bring as much nature into our home as possible. We had this large open dining room/living room space. So we decided to make a divider but without cutting off the flow of the space. As my husband is an arborist and climbs trees for a living he always has a collection of tree branches, lots etc. For this project we used 6 birch branches cut at the maximum height our ceiling allows. We cleaned them as best we could with an air pressure machine, but other than that just left them as is besides cutting to size.You could use various types of branches and you also could strip off the bark, but we choose to leave them natural.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

DIY wood pellet litter box

DIY Litter Box, Wood burning pellets

Now that I found my perfect litter (wood burning pellets).  I knew I needed an appropriate litter box to match.

Feline Pine makes a litter box designed for wood pellets which I would love to try. But I was eager to start right away with my new litter system so I made a DIY version.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Stylish Scratching Posts

 Multifunctional Scratching Posts

Stylist cat scratching post

Scratching is an instinctive need for cats. All cats must be provided with areas to scratch. Except for maybe those who are declawed *poor kitties*. When I first got my cat I was nervous he was going to scratch my 30 year old vintage emerald green velvet sofa that I just adore. So I researched different scratching posts. I live in a smallish typical European apartment so its not like I could put a big ugly tree scratching area in my basement. And I know cats want to scratch in socially significant areas. I knew I did not want an ugly obtrusive scratching post in my home. I found some beautiful inspiration for scratching posts on places like HausPanther but the ones I liked were very expensive.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The search for the BEST Eco-friendly Cat Litter!

Over the years I've used them all. Clumping, non-clumping, scented, unscented, multi-cat, crystals, the list goes on and on.

Crystal Litter does sound attractive - It looks nice, it absorbs liquids quickly. You need less of it than Clay. The downside is that it is more expensive, can pose health risks if ingested, some cats do not like walking on it and like clay litters is not good for the environment.

But overall Clay clumping litters seem to be the most popular form of cat litter. Due to the following reasons:

1. Most conveniently available
2. It's cheap
3. It has decent performance and cats will use it
4. Most owners are unaware of the dangers both to the cat and the environment.

I personally do not like using clay litter because the dust, smell, tracking, potential health risks but most importantly for environmental reasons.

Clay based litter must be mined and in the US 2.54 million tons of clay are mined each year. The process of mining creates has many environmental impacts. Then there is the disposal of this litter each year. Clay litter will sit in the landfill for an entirety as it is non-deogradable. It is estimated that about 4 million tons of clay litter enter US landfills each year.