Why Cats Are Really Man’s Best Friend: A Cat Op-Ed

Written by: Simon The Black Cat

Hello Fweinds! My name is Simon and as your resident cat, I must tell you humans that cats are the best!

Now as if you already didn’t know that, dogs seemed to have earned the title as “man’s best friend”, however, I must attest that cats can be just as loving and affectionate. Think about it, we are the best lifelong companions.

We fluffy felines are loyal to our mommies and daddies and can be emotional caregivers. As they form attachments to their fur babies, we kitties tend to do the same with our humans. In our “pawsome” way of reading our caretaker’s emotions, we know when they need a little extra loving.

Not to mention we are experts at cuddling during nap time. We love to lounge around and be lazy when we want to!

I have heard around the litter box that we kitties tend to be aloof, but that could not be further from the truth. Although we might not be the easiest pet around to read, we are used to being independent which makes us low maintenance. There is no need to take us out on a walk or have us groomed.

We cats also depend on the security of our owner in addition to an environment where we are constantly doted on. Though that should be easy because of our undeniable cuteness and adorable meows. Cats are also quick learners and can influence good behavior (aka we won’t eat your homework).

Oh! We won’t roll around in the mud either.

The best part of all is that we contribute to good health! Here at Catfluence, we are aware of the mental toll stress, anxiety, and depression can have on a human. Mental health is an important aspect of general health.

It is said by AKC Reunite that our purr alone can be medically therapeutic to people (Ranard, n.d.). It is scientifically proven that we can even have a positive effect on your physical health. We cats are very personable and know just how to make you feel better!

Now many would argue that other pets have the same qualities we kitties do, but that is simply impossible - we are one of a kind!


Cat Relationships: How They Forgive & Forget

Written by: Michele Burke, Partner, Alliance Benefit Solutions

Let’s talk about this relationship. My two cats are 8ish years old – they are brothers.

Lately, one of them (we will call him Roman because that’s his name) beats up on the other one. The other one is deaf. I have had them since they were kittens and Roman was mostly protective through the years.

Now, not so much. Every day I am in the middle of daily cat fights. Roman will walk over and bite the other one in his neck and the other one will hiss. It happens every morning (while I am trying to enjoy my diet coke).

I still work in my office, so I leave the house in the morning and come home at night to find them sleeping in a position that would not allow them to get any closer to each other.

Either A) my house is freezing and they are in survival mode or B) they know how to fight and they know how to move on.

So, when we use the phrase ‘cat fight’ between people, let’s not forget Phase II of a cat fight which is ….  “What were we fighting about again”? Forgive!! – or in the life of a cat - Forget!!


2021 Catfluence March Meowdness Tournament

Championship Summary

And that’s all she wrote… the winner of our 2021 March Meowdness Tournament is… #10 Moss The Rat (@mosstherat). Based out of the UK, Moss becomes our first ever international champion, taking the crown away from our 2020 champion, #2 Smush (@smushofficial).

Moss led each of the last three rounds in votes, with 604 total in the championship to Smush’s 283. It was a battle, but Moss and her hoomans rallied round after round. Congratulations to Moss, Smush and our other Final Four Accounts, Gibson and Louis, who will each be receiving a prize pack with goodies from Catfluence and all of our amazing sponsors, which can be found below.

Thank you to everyone who made the second year of this tournament a success. We are certainly looking forward to getting some sleep and taking the next week off this page, but can’t wait to make 2022 even bigger and better than ever! Be safe and take care!

Final 4 Summary & Championship Preview

It’s time… the cats are set for the 2021 Catfluence March Meowdness Championship matchup. #2 seed and 2020 tournament champion, @smushofficial (672k followers), will be facing off this years’ Cinderella, #10 @mosstherat (4.2k followers).

Smush will have his work cut out for him against Moss, who is the total votes leader throughout this tournament. In her Final Four matchup against #4 @thegibsonchronicles alone, she received 588 votes.

Moss and her supporters will need to keep that up to stand a chance against favorite Smush. Tune into our IG stories on 4/5 at 9 PM ET to vote for the winner in the poll.

Elite 8 Summary & Final 4 Preview

Get your popcorn ready, because we’re down to the Final Four! In the East Region, #6 @thegibsonchronicles took down #9 @chef_aussie_angel and #10 @mosstherat over #13 @blublu.ragdoll. In the West Region, in our clash of the titans, #2 @smushofficial conquered #1 @venustwofacecat, and #7 @louis_the_kitten_prince over #13 @abdulscats!

Gibson won by a narrow margin of three votes of Angel, and the highest in the round was Moss with 612 – a 2021 tournament record!

There are three countries represented in the Final Four: Canada, the UK, and the US! The next round of matchups (Gibson vs. Moss and Smush vs. Louis) will begin around 5 PM Eastern Time. Follow along in our stories to vote for your favorite!

Sweet 16 Summary & Elite 8 Preview

And then there were eight! A few more notable upsets went down, including #9 Chef Aussie Angel over #4 Tuna The Adventure Cat, #7 Louis The Kitten Prince over #3 Juno The Blind Cat, and #10 Moss The Rat over #6 The Cat House.

A few power players remain, including #1 Venus Two Face Cat, who narrowly escaped the grasp of #12 Count Salem by 16 votes – 330 to 314 – and reigning champion, #2 Smush.  These two powerhouses will face off on Wednesday 3/31.

The highest vote-getter was Moss, with 470 total, which is the highest of this years’ tournament thus-far. Our remaining contestants come from around the world, including the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

To see the Elite 8 matchups, download our bracket below. The top left and top right regions will battle it out in our IG stories starting Tuesday morning, and the bottom right and bottom left will begin Wednesday morning.

Second Round Summary & Sweet 16 Preview

And just like that, we’re down to the Sweet 16! The pack is being led by #1 seeded Venus Two Face Cat with over 2M followers, with our reigning champion, #2 Smush (270K), and Final Four participant, #3 Juno The Blind Cat (101K) not far behind.

In our inaugural 2020 tournament, Juno actually upset Venus in a Round of 32 matchup, only to be defeated in the Final Four by Smush. If Venus and Smush both win, they face each other in the next matchup. If Smush and Juno were to each win again after that, they would face each other for a chance to go to the finals!

Also in Round 2, a major upset occurred to our #1 overall seed, Smoothie The Cat (2.2M followers) against the legendary #9 Chef Angel from Australia, but will face another worthy opponent next in #4 Tuna The Adventure Cat (69.5K).

In the same region, #6 The Gibson Chronicles (10.3k) took down #3 Nathan The Beach Cat (540K). #9 Sir Simon of Says (4.3K), also defeated another top contender, #1 Smudge Lord (1.4M).

Other notable upsets this round included:

  • Blu Blu Rag Doll (1.6K) over Chloe The Serval (38.2K)
  • Moss The Rat (3.8K) over Owl Kitty (741K)
  • Louis The Kitten Prince (5.3K) over Stryker The Cat (808K)

Overall, Venus and Smush had the most votes this round, with 268 and 262 respectively.

There are some more amazing matchups coming up on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28th. Download and fill out your brackets below, and be sure to vote on our IG stories!

First Round Summary & Second Round Preview

The first round of the 2021 tournament began with several big upsets, similar to the hooman tournament this year! Each poll received over 300 votes!

Here were some notable upsets:

  • #12 Count Salem over #5 Fat Cat Hercules
  • #13 Lord Milton over #4 Dancin’ Zeus (six vote difference)
  • #14 Bobby over #3 Smushball (four vote difference)
  • #13 Blu Blu over #4 Tony (100 vote difference)
  • #14 Cheeto over #3 Nacho
  • #12 JoJo over #5 Conan & Gladys
  • #15 Shelby over #2 Pudge
  • #16 Jalie The Tigershark over #1 Waffles
  • #12 Meister The Travelcat over #5 Munster The Wolfcat
  • #11 Wyatt over #6 Zolder

There were several matchups that came down to the wire. #16 Lilly almost pulled off the ultimate upset of #1 Smoothie. Unfortunately, Lilly came one single vote short.

Another close matchup was between #3 Nathan The Beach Cat (Nathan is a female, FYI) and #117 LuLu The Champ. LuLu came so close, but also lost by one single vote.

Overall, the highest vote-getter was Louis The Kitten Prince with 214. On to the Round of 32!

2020 Summary & 2021 Preview

2020 was a difficult year for many of us because of the COVID-19 pandemic and overall civil unrest due to racial injustice and the presidential election.

For sports fans such as myself, one of the most difficult parts was not having a 2020 March Madness Tournament as a distraction from all the actual madness.

I was stuck at home with no sports like most of the world, and once the NCAA tournament was cancelled, I came up with the idea to create a bracket with cat accounts.

It was all done very last minute, and I mainly just picked popular accounts I knew of on IG, as well as others who I have featured or collaborated with in the past. Every few days I would post matchups to the Catfluence IG story and followers would vote on who they wanted to win. (This year, Catfluencers were able to nominate themselves or others for entry by filling out this form)

Competitors would battle it out, sharing the stories and getting their own fan bases to vote on their behalf. In the end, @smushofficial ended up taking home the championship and winning a bunch of our Catfluence merch.

This year, we’ve got several sponsors on board donating prizes (see below), which will go out to the Final Four. We’ll also be giving away more Catfluence merch to those who get involved throughout – one lucky winner who fills out the bracket and shares to their story will get a prize, and one lucky winner who guesses the correct champion will also get a prize!

This years’ contest will follow the same timeline as actual March Madness (beginning March 19th). The only main differences will be there isn’t going to be a “First Four”, and we will add an additional matchup to determine third and fourth place. Seeding was based on follower count.

Some high-profile accounts from last year, including Smush, Juno, Pizza and more will be returning, along with some new up and comers. Fill out the bracket below in a Google Doc or PDF format!

This was a fun distraction for me last year, and I hope you are all able to enjoy it with me this year as well!

2021 Catfluence March Meowdness Sponsors

Tournament sponsors listed below in alphabetical order:

Bad Cat Coffee Company

Bad Cat was founded by Traci and inspired by her beloved cat, Peaches.

Bad Cat Coffee Co. serves locally roasted, coffee, espresso, cat-themed lattes and so much more at the Morgan Street Food Hall, 411 W. Morgan Street, Raleigh, NC 27603.

They also ship anywhere in the USA and deliver in their local area in North Carolina. They will be giving a bag of coffee and a mug to the first-place winner!

Catfluence

If you’re here, you know who we are by now, but feel free to learn more about Catfluence here.

We will be putting up hats, stickers, mugs, and more as prizes this year! Each finalist will also receive a featured post on our social profiles!

Cat Lady Academy

Founded by Nikki Hess, Philly native, marketer, and meowmy to @mannyhalloweencat, Cat Lady Academy provides personal coaching and online courses for cat IG accounts, along with tips for new & established accounts.

You can check out the courses she currently has available by visiting the CLA website. Nikki and Cat Lady Academy will be giving away one of her Pitch Purrfect Bundles to each of the top three winners.

These guides will help you work with brands and promote their products on your cat’s Instagram!

Living Art USA

Living Art USA was founded in 2010 by Jane Morocco. Jane is an industry leader as well as an accomplished author, environmentalist, philanthropist and community activist.

Living Art features luscious, low maintenance plant varieties perfect for any urban growing environment that are pet and child-Safe.

The winner will receive a Pet-Friendly Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea), which is a plant native to eastern Mexico, and perfect for those who are business travelers as their round trunk is used to store water for long periods of time.

Meowy Janes

Founded in 2018 by wedding/engagement photographer, Bill and his wife, Carly, Meowy Janes provides the ultimate catnip and catnip alternatives! Based out of New Jersey, their products are all-natural, farm-grown, and sustainably sourced.

Their products are available in their online store, as well as on Etsy/Amazon and at local markets, pop-up boutiques, and cat conventions. Wholesale orders are also available.

First place will receive one of their Catnip Alternative Variety Boxes, and there will be a few other smaller prizes distributed to the other finalists.

Nutri-Vet Pet Supplements

Nutrivet makes veterinarian-formulated products to keep pets healthy and happy. They are made with the highest quality standards, because caring is their top priority, and the animal always comes first.

They will be awarding several of their products to the top finishers, including their Eye Rinse, Hairball Paw-Gel (Chicken), and Multi-Vitamin Paw-Gel (Salmon).

If you’re looking for their products, try their store locator!

Oskar & Klaus

Oskar was a blind cat who sadly passed away in 2018. His sidekick and best friend is known as “The Klaus.” Also part of the family are blind cats George and Juno, who made a run in our tournament last year!

Oskar & Klaus has their own online store with merch, stickers, books, and more! Their “Mission to Cataria” book was an official selection for “Story Time From Space”, and was read by astronaut Ricky Arnold from the International Space Station.

For this years’ prizes, they will be giving away a pawtographed book pack with audiobook and five coupons for a free box of ökocat litter!

Sun Paw Co.

Sun Paw Co. was founded by Bella and is based in Indiana. They sell BioThane®  pet gear, which is a durable, waterproof, easy to clean and weldable polyester webbing.

Their awesome products, including leashes, blankets, and more, can be found on Esty. First place will receive blanket and a cat leash from Sun Paw, while second and third will receive a leash.

Trenton Corrugated Products

Trenton Corrugated Products is a corrugated sheet plant that specializes in the design and manufacturing of custom-sized containers and die cuts. While they specialize in boxes, they can create any type of corrugated product you could ever need.

Found in 1971, TCP was purchased by Cheryl, Ian, and Alex Bernstein in 2019. Their 160,000 sq. ft. facility continues to operate out of Trenton, New Jersey, a city with a very rich history in the United States.

Trenton Corrugated is sponsoring all of the boxes that our prizes will be shipped in. (Pro tip: the boxes can be repurposed as indoor cat shelters and toys)

The Pizza Cat & Uncle Grumpy Inc.

You’ve probably seen The Pizza Cat floating around the internet, well they are the original creators of this viral kitty!

They make hilarious original memes and videos with their two cats, Pizza and Cheeto, who both participated in the Meowdness last year. They also run the IG account @chonksdointhings.

Check out the Pizza Cat Party Website to learn more as well as the Uncle Grumpy Inc Esty store for merch. Stickers will be sent out to our finalists!

Final 4 Summary & Championship Preview

It’s time… the cats are set for the 2021 Catfluence March Meowdness Championship matchup. #2 seed and 2020 tournament champion, @smushofficial (672k followers), will be facing off this years’ Cinderella, #10 @mosstherat (4.2k followers).

Smush will have his work cut out for him against Moss, who is the total votes leader throughout this tournament. In her Final Four matchup against #4 @thegibsonchronicles alone, she received 588 votes.

Moss and her supporters will need to keep that up to stand a chance against favorite Smush. Tune into our IG stories on 4/5 at 9 PM ET to vote for the winner in the poll.

Elite 8 Summary & Final 4 Preview

Get your popcorn ready, because we’re down to the Final Four! In the East Region, #6 @thegibsonchronicles took down #9 @chef_aussie_angel and #10 @mosstherat over #13 @blublu.ragdoll. In the West Region, in our clash of the titans, #2 @smushofficial conquered #1 @venustwofacecat, and #7 @louis_the_kitten_prince over #13 @abdulscats!

Gibson won by a narrow margin of three votes of Angel, and the highest in the round was Moss with 612 – a 2021 tournament record!

There are three countries represented in the Final Four: Canada, the UK, and the US! The next round of matchups (Gibson vs. Moss and Smush vs. Louis) will begin around 5 PM Eastern Time. Follow along in our stories to vote for your favorite!

Sweet 16 Summary & Elite 8 Preview

And then there were eight! A few more notable upsets went down, including #9 Chef Aussie Angel over #4 Tuna The Adventure Cat, #7 Louis The Kitten Prince over #3 Juno The Blind Cat, and #10 Moss The Rat over #6 The Cat House.

A few power players remain, including #1 Venus Two Face Cat, who narrowly escaped the grasp of #12 Count Salem by 16 votes – 330 to 314 – and reigning champion, #2 Smush.  These two powerhouses will face off on Wednesday 3/31.

The highest vote-getter was Moss, with 470 total, which is the highest of this years’ tournament thus-far. Our remaining contestants come from around the world, including the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

To see the Elite 8 matchups, download our bracket below. The top left and top right regions will battle it out in our IG stories starting Tuesday morning, and the bottom right and bottom left will begin Wednesday morning.

Second Round Summary & Sweet 16 Preview

And just like that, we’re down to the Sweet 16! The pack is being led by #1 seeded Venus Two Face Cat with over 2M followers, with our reigning champion, #2 Smush (270K), and Final Four participant, #3 Juno The Blind Cat (101K) not far behind.

In our inaugural 2020 tournament, Juno actually upset Venus in a Round of 32 matchup, only to be defeated in the Final Four by Smush. If Venus and Smush both win, they face each other in the next matchup. If Smush and Juno were to each win again after that, they would face each other for a chance to go to the finals!

Also in Round 2, a major upset occurred to our #1 overall seed, Smoothie The Cat (2.2M followers) against the legendary #9 Chef Angel from Australia, but will face another worthy opponent next in #4 Tuna The Adventure Cat (69.5K).

In the same region, #6 The Gibson Chronicles (10.3k) took down #3 Nathan The Beach Cat (540K). #9 Sir Simon of Says (4.3K), also defeated another top contender, #1 Smudge Lord (1.4M).

Other notable upsets this round included:

  • Blu Blu Rag Doll (1.6K) over Chloe The Serval (38.2K)
  • Moss The Rat (3.8K) over Owl Kitty (741K)
  • Louis The Kitten Prince (5.3K) over Stryker The Cat (808K)

Overall, Venus and Smush had the most votes this round, with 268 and 262 respectively.

There are some more amazing matchups coming up on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28th. Download and fill out your brackets below, and be sure to vote on our IG stories!

First Round Summary & Second Round Preview

The first round of the 2021 tournament began with several big upsets, similar to the hooman tournament this year! Each poll received over 300 votes!

Here were some notable upsets:

  • #12 Count Salem over #5 Fat Cat Hercules
  • #13 Lord Milton over #4 Dancin’ Zeus (six vote difference)
  • #14 Bobby over #3 Smushball (four vote difference)
  • #13 Blu Blu over #4 Tony (100 vote difference)
  • #14 Cheeto over #3 Nacho
  • #12 JoJo over #5 Conan & Gladys
  • #15 Shelby over #2 Pudge
  • #16 Jalie The Tigershark over #1 Waffles
  • #12 Meister The Travelcat over #5 Munster The Wolfcat
  • #11 Wyatt over #6 Zolder

There were several matchups that came down to the wire. #16 Lilly almost pulled off the ultimate upset of #1 Smoothie. Unfortunately, Lilly came one single vote short.

Another close matchup was between #3 Nathan The Beach Cat (Nathan is a female, FYI) and #117 LuLu The Champ. LuLu came so close, but also lost by one single vote.

Overall, the highest vote-getter was Louis The Kitten Prince with 214. On to the Round of 32!

2020 Summary & 2021 Preview

2020 was a difficult year for many of us because of the COVID-19 pandemic and overall civil unrest due to racial injustice and the presidential election.

For sports fans such as myself, one of the most difficult parts was not having a 2020 March Madness Tournament as a distraction from all the actual madness.

I was stuck at home with no sports like most of the world, and once the NCAA tournament was cancelled, I came up with the idea to create a bracket with cat accounts.

It was all done very last minute, and I mainly just picked popular accounts I knew of on IG, as well as others who I have featured or collaborated with in the past. Every few days I would post matchups to the Catfluence IG story and followers would vote on who they wanted to win. (This year, Catfluencers were able to nominate themselves or others for entry by filling out this form)

Competitors would battle it out, sharing the stories and getting their own fan bases to vote on their behalf. In the end, @smushofficial ended up taking home the championship and winning a bunch of our Catfluence merch.

This year, we’ve got several sponsors on board donating prizes (see below), which will go out to the Final Four. We’ll also be giving away more Catfluence merch to those who get involved throughout – one lucky winner who fills out the bracket and shares to their story will get a prize, and one lucky winner who guesses the correct champion will also get a prize!

This years’ contest will follow the same timeline as actual March Madness (beginning March 19th). The only main differences will be there isn’t going to be a “First Four”, and we will add an additional matchup to determine third and fourth place. Seeding was based on follower count.

Some high-profile accounts from last year, including Smush, Juno, Pizza and more will be returning, along with some new up and comers. Fill out the bracket below in a Google Doc or PDF format!

This was a fun distraction for me last year, and I hope you are all able to enjoy it with me this year as well!

2021 Catfluence March Meowdness Sponsors

Tournament sponsors listed below in alphabetical order:

Bad Cat Coffee Company

Bad Cat was founded by Traci and inspired by her beloved cat, Peaches.

Bad Cat Coffee Co. serves locally roasted, coffee, espresso, cat-themed lattes and so much more at the Morgan Street Food Hall, 411 W. Morgan Street, Raleigh, NC 27603.

They also ship anywhere in the USA and deliver in their local area in North Carolina. They will be giving a bag of coffee and a mug to the first-place winner!

Catfluence

If you’re here, you know who we are by now, but feel free to learn more about Catfluence here.

We will be putting up hats, stickers, mugs, and more as prizes this year! Each finalist will also receive a featured post on our social profiles!

Cat Lady Academy

Founded by Nikki Hess, Philly native, marketer, and meowmy to @mannyhalloweencat, Cat Lady Academy provides personal coaching and online courses for cat IG accounts, along with tips for new & established accounts.

You can check out the courses she currently has available by visiting the CLA website. Nikki and Cat Lady Academy will be giving away one of her Pitch Purrfect Bundles to each of the top three winners.

These guides will help you work with brands and promote their products on your cat’s Instagram!

Living Art USA

Living Art USA was founded in 2010 by Jane Morocco. Jane is an industry leader as well as an accomplished author, environmentalist, philanthropist and community activist.

Living Art features luscious, low maintenance plant varieties perfect for any urban growing environment that are pet and child-Safe.

The winner will receive a Pet-Friendly Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea), which is a plant native to eastern Mexico, and perfect for those who are business travelers as their round trunk is used to store water for long periods of time.

Meowy Janes

Founded in 2018 by wedding/engagement photographer, Bill and his wife, Carly, Meowy Janes provides the ultimate catnip and catnip alternatives! Based out of New Jersey, their products are all-natural, farm-grown, and sustainably sourced.

Their products are available in their online store, as well as on Etsy/Amazon and at local markets, pop-up boutiques, and cat conventions. Wholesale orders are also available.

First place will receive one of their Catnip Alternative Variety Boxes, and there will be a few other smaller prizes distributed to the other finalists.

Nutri-Vet Pet Supplements

Nutrivet makes veterinarian-formulated products to keep pets healthy and happy. They are made with the highest quality standards, because caring is their top priority, and the animal always comes first.

They will be awarding several of their products to the top finishers, including their Eye Rinse, Hairball Paw-Gel (Chicken), and Multi-Vitamin Paw-Gel (Salmon).

If you’re looking for their products, try their store locator!

Oskar & Klaus

Oskar was a blind cat who sadly passed away in 2018. His sidekick and best friend is known as “The Klaus.” Also part of the family are blind cats George and Juno, who made a run in our tournament last year!

Oskar & Klaus has their own online store with merch, stickers, books, and more! Their “Mission to Cataria” book was an official selection for “Story Time From Space”, and was read by astronaut Ricky Arnold from the International Space Station.

For this years’ prizes, they will be giving away a pawtographed book pack with audiobook and five coupons for a free box of ökocat litter!

Sun Paw Co.

Sun Paw Co. was founded by Bella and is based in Indiana. They sell BioThane®  pet gear, which is a durable, waterproof, easy to clean and weldable polyester webbing.

Their awesome products, including leashes, blankets, and more, can be found on Esty. First place will receive blanket and a cat leash from Sun Paw, while second and third will receive a leash.

Trenton Corrugated Products

Trenton Corrugated Products is a corrugated sheet plant that specializes in the design and manufacturing of custom-sized containers and die cuts. While they specialize in boxes, they can create any type of corrugated product you could ever need.

Found in 1971, TCP was purchased by Cheryl, Ian, and Alex Bernstein in 2019. Their 160,000 sq. ft. facility continues to operate out of Trenton, New Jersey, a city with a very rich history in the United States.

Trenton Corrugated is sponsoring all of the boxes that our prizes will be shipped in. (Pro tip: the boxes can be repurposed as indoor cat shelters and toys)

The Pizza Cat & Uncle Grumpy Inc.

You’ve probably seen The Pizza Cat floating around the internet, well they are the original creators of this viral kitty!

They make hilarious original memes and videos with their two cats, Pizza and Cheeto, who both participated in the Meowdness last year. They also run the IG account @chonksdointhings.

Check out the Pizza Cat Party Website to learn more as well as the Uncle Grumpy Inc Esty store for merch. Stickers will be sent out to our finalists!


miley cyrus female celebrity with a cat holding her white cat

Top 5 Celebrities With Cats: Singers, Actors, & Models

Written by: Miah Seetahal, Catfluence Intern

In this blog post, Catflunece Intern, Miah Seetahal, writes about five of her favorite celebrities with cats!

1. Taylor Swift

What kind of list would this be if Taylor Swift was not on it! Her three beautiful kitties have all made special appearances on her social media.

Ms. Meredith Grey and Ms. Olivia Benson, and Mr. Benjamin Button not only have an iconic mommy but their names are pretty famous too.

Not only does she own cats, but played on as well in her first major movie CATS. We stan a musical queen and her fur babies!

2. Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey, Jr., or Iron Man as many know him to be, is a huge cat lover.

His furry sons were adopted in 2010. From posting them on social media and showing people pictures of his cats, he is obsessed with them!

With personalities of their own, Monty and D’Artagnan (aka Dart) keep the Downey Jr. household lively.

3. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is known for having countless pets and is obvious that she is an animal lover!

From dogs, cats, and a pig her home is full of love from her four-legged babies.

Her kitties are not just full personality but also Instagram followers. KeKe and LiLo are the oldest.

The fluffy Shanti Om Bb is not just the baby but also Insta famous with over 80k followers.

4. Gigi Hadid

Another lucky cat is Cleo Hadid who was rescued and adopted by supermodel Gigi Hadid.

She is also rising to her own modeling career with 6k followers on her own Instagram page.

Inseparable from her mommy, she is also loved by the whole Hadid family.

5. Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder owns a total of nine pets two of which are cats. His pet loving home also welcomes foster kittens and dogs until they are able to find their fur-ever home.

In caring about animals and the environment, Ian and his wife (Nikki Reed) have made their own foundation called the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

That’s it for now! If you have other favorite celebrities with cats, feel free to share them in the comments below!


white blonde american girl hugging her cat outdoors in oregon

5 Tips & Tricks For Successful Cat Photography

Written by: Alexay Tamas, Cat Photographer & Dentist (@atmas2)

Since the beginning of quarantine, I have spent A LOT more time photographing my cats. I’m here to share with you the tips and tricks I’ve learned on how to successfully photograph your cat. Grab a treat and let’s get started 🙂

1 – Be Patient

The reality is, you’ve got a 50/50 shot your cat will do what you’re hoping. I’ve made the mistake of pre-planning shots and expecting my pet to follow along. SURPRISE! They run the show when it comes to cat photography.

Never force your cat to wear anything or do anything it doesn’t want to. It’s never worth ruining their trust to get a good shot. In the beginning, I would hold my camera and walk around playing with them. I let them sniff it and play with the strap.

I never took any pictures, just wanted them to get familiar with this new, strange thing. In the end, just be patient, let them get comfortable, and see what happens!

2 – Do not use flash

Now that we’ve got our subject comfortable, let’s keep it that way. Sudden, large bursts of light will scare your cat.

Never use flash. I also turn on silent mode to avoid any distracting sounds. If lighting conditions are not ideal, there are some tricks that may help.

Instead of using flash, in manual mode, open the aperture of your camera. You can also try lowering the shutter speed and increasing the ISO value.

All these things will increase your camera’s sensitivity to light. If worse comes to worst, use an LED light (I often use my lantern) to supplement.

3 – Have good lighting

So we shouldn’t use the flash, but we need good light… How do we do that?

If you are photographing your cat inside, find a window! I love using natural, indirect sunlight in my photos. Aim to have your subject illuminated from the side for the softest, most even image.

It is difficult to balance the highlights/shadows if your subject is facing directing into the light. It is equally challenging if they’re back lit and blocking the light source. So when it doubt, aim for them to be side lit.

If you are adventurous and shooting outside, shoot either at sunrise or sunset. Both times will have soft, warm, indirect light. Avoid midday because the sun will be too harsh.

4- Focus on the eyes

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. When photographing cats, always make sure their eyes are in focus. This can be hard! I shoot on a Sony a7riii, and it has an option to switch to autofocus for animal eyes rather than human.

If your camera has that, turn that baby on! No more focusing on fur or their nose. The eyes can help tell a story through your photograph.

What is your cat looking at? What are they maybe thinking/feeling? The eyes can give us insight to what was happening for your cat in that moment.

Not only do we want the eyes in focus, but we need to be able to fully see them. Often, that means getting down on their level – yep, that means the floor! I often shoot photos on my belly or knees.

While I’m down there, I want to make sure I capture all the action! Generally, I shoot using a fast shutter speed (1/500 or greater if the cat is playing or running; you can shoot slower if they’re sleeping or still).

I may also go in to continuous mode if I need a ton of shots taken all at once. Just be careful not to fill up your memory card. I’ve definitely done that a few times 🤣

5 – Use a telephoto lens

You may be picking up on a theme…keep your kitty comfortable. The more relaxed and natural your photoshoot feels, the better the results will be. I almost exclusively shoot with a telephoto lens.

I use Sony’s 70-200mm GM lens. Using a zoom lens allows you to step back and capture the action without interrupting your cat. Lenses with longer focal length will also give your pet a nice separation from the background.

Even on newer smartphones, many give two options for focal length. My cats do not want me all up in their business, so it works best to shoot from a distance. You can always zoom and crop later in editing.

I hope you learned a thing or two! Cat photography is quite challenging. Honestly, there are some days I shoot and get absolutely nothing worth using. That is totally normal!

Whether it’s for the ‘gram or for a brand, I try to think of photoshoots as an opportunity to play and spend creative time with my cats. If I also get some great photos, that’s a bonus! The pictures never are the priority.

Some days they’re feeling it and some days not. Again, it’s all up to them. We’re just here to be patient, keep them comfy, and most of all…happy 🙂 <3 Good luck!

Order Alexay’s prints at: https://atamas2.darkroom.tech/


white german male building a wooden cat stratching post

Elfonso's Cat Interiors: Exclusive & Distinctive Scratching Posts

Written by: Lars of Elfonso’s Cat Interiors

It's not called Al-Fonso, but Elfonso!

Before we get caught up in a ball of yarn of storytelling, we would like to lead you to three essential questions on a red wool thread; "How did Elfonso’s Cat Interior come about?", "How did we come up with the name?", and "What is our mission?"

1) How did Elfonso’s Cat Interiors come about? How did it all start?

At the beginning of 2020, two cat lovers named Johanna and Lars decided to make their long-term wish come true: finally becoming cat parents.

The impending first lockdown acted like a catalyst for this decision. Suddenly, there was more time to be spent at home, and therefore more time for potential furry housemates.

A perfect moment for two kittens to move in! So the two cute-as-a-button female kittens Elfi and Schepsi found their way into Johanna's and Lars' lives and hearts. Both cats are black, Schepsi has long fur and Elfi rather short, shiny hair.

two cute black kittens cuddling

But of course, such magnificent cats need an equally magnificent scratch tree, which was still missing. Careful research revealed that there was nothing suitable on the market.

Hence, the idea arose to design a cat scratching post that would meet both human and cat aesthetic and functional requirements. The next question that came up was: “How and where to build such a tree?”.

In order to develop a high-quality product, expert help was needed.

Purely by chance, Pawpi Lars remembered his glorious furniture designer friend Marco, who doesn’t only have outstanding ideas and technical skills, but also owns a workshop with all the required tools and machinery.

Luckily, Marco agreed to help our proud cat parents to deal with this ambitious task ("Yes ... we can do it!").

2) How did we come up with the name?

The work on the tree began as our happy kittens were growing and developing splendidly.

However, after a few weeks, the vet discovered that Elfi, the short-haired kitten, was actually a boy! Due to the unexpected discovery of Elfi’s crown jewels, a different name was needed.

Lars came up with ‘Elfonso’ in order to stick with his old Name Elfi. Reluctantly, Johanna accepted this change and adapted to the new situation. This is how the brand name was created.

3) What is our mission?

Our mission is to develop aesthetic and functional scratching posts for cat owners with an affinity for design.

Oftentimes, cat owners invest a lot of money and effort into their personal habitat, but miss an adequate and tasteful scratching post for their darlings.

We want to combine good taste with individual customer requirements and our vision of aesthetics.

Important criteria for the selection of materials are local sources of supply and environmentally friendly and food-safe surface treatments, so that the CO2 footprint is as low as possible and we use the best available materials.

large fancy designer black cat scratching post being photographed

(Photograph by Mario Irrmischer: https://www.irrmischer.com/)

We would like to thank Harris from Catfluence for the opportunity to present our story and our vision to the World. We would be delighted to have sparked interest in our work, and we are open to discuss future projects with prospective customers.

How to contact us:


blonde girl with beanie holding her white cat outside during christmas in california

Breaking The Stereotypes Of A "Crazy Cat Lady"

Written by: Holly Garcia – @meistertravelcat

How many stories have you heard about crazy cat ladies? Or really just about one universal crazy cat lady.

The spinster from down the street, who nobody actually really knows because she stays inside most of the time talking to her 12 cats, except for the occasional outing to the mailbox and back, disheveled in her bathrobe and slippers, with several cats trailing behind.

Despite the many stories I've heard about this one specific type of person classified as the cat lady, I don't actually know anyone who fits that description.

I'll be honest, I'm pretty introverted.

I generally like animals more than people, I'm far from having my shit together, and cats definitely follow me everywhere. The perfect evening for me would literally be a quiet night in with my cat, drinking wine and watching Friends.

But the problem is... I fail to see a problem with that. Does spending time and caring for my animals really make me crazy?

We all know the most popular stereotype of cat ladies: that they're crazy. But some other reasons I've heard for why we own cats is:

1. We're depressed

Although I personally struggle with depression, studies have found no correlation between mental illness and having cats.

The fact that this stereotype is so widely spread that there had to be studies done on it just to confirm that loving cats doesn't mean there's something wrong with you speaks for itself.

To me, all that means is there are more people than not who don't have compassion for all living things.

2. Cat ladies are "spinsters"

I might get married one day, I might not. But if I don't, it won't be because I can't find someone due to my love for cats.

Marriage isn't a priority for me. Besides, I generally find men difficult to deal with and not worth the sacrifice... or my sanity. I'm much more likely to be driven crazy because of men than cats.

3. Cat people are lonely

Some cat owners might be alone, but far from lonely...

Cats are great companions. Why do some people hate cats so much? I'm not sure where the common stereotypes of cats were derived from, but they're mostly negative, and definitely not true.

The problem is, like many stereotypes, people accept them way too easily instead of challenging them by doing their own research and finding out for themselves.

Another interesting (or irritating) thing I've noticed is these stereotypes are usually in comparison to dogs.

Common stereotypes of cats

1. Cats are assholes

If a cat is being an asshole to you, you probably did something it doesn't like. Could be the way you were petting it, or maybe you were invading its personal space.

Cats aren't mean for no reason.

They use their defense mechanisms in the ways they know how in order to protect themselves when they're scared or don't feel safe. Or maybe they just don't like you.

Do they really need another reason?

2. Cats don't need attention

Although cats are more independent and can take care of themselves better than dogs, cats still need lots of attention and affection.

They also need to be mentally stimulated along with regular exercise. Making time to play with your cat is a great and effective way to bond with them.

3. Cats are destructive

Many behavioral issues in cats reflect the time and energy you put into caring for them.

If you leave your cat by itself all the time and never play with it or let it go outside, then don't be surprised when your cat decides your Feng Shui is outdated and rearranges some things out of boredom.

4. They smell

Compared to what?

The great thing about cats is that they clean themselves and are practically odorless (at least to me, and people have told me I have the nose of a bloodhound). Their litter box is a different story, but at least they bury it (you're welcome).

It's much easier to clean when they go where they're supposed to, as opposed to some dogs that just shit wherever they're standing. And they definitely DON'T bury it.

5. They're too much work

Hopefully, this isn't in comparison to dogs again. Cats are much easier than dogs, although they require as much attention and love. At least they're easy to housebreak and clean up after, and are a bit more independent.

6. Cats don't get along with dogs

Let me stop you right there. Here are my cat and dog going on a walk together. And here they are snuggling. The cuddle puddle speaks for itself.

cat and dog bonding together

7. "Cats are stupid"

Have you met people?

8. Cat's don't care about you, and you work for them

While the old saying "Dogs have owners, cats have staff" may be true, as long as you give your cat the love and attention they deserve, they will give it back.

They're just not as needy, and cat people don't care as much about feeling needed.

The Facts about Cats

Cats are generally very social and curious

My cat, Meister is very outgoing, and he's friends with all the neighborhood cats. They all hang out every day. He's also very friendly with other people, dogs, and kittens.

Cats are very affectionate

Most cats love attention and being petted, or curling up and going to sleep in the comfort of your lap. Meister spends a lot of time outside, but comes in throughout the day to check in with me and always runs up and loves on me.

They're comforting

Cats are proven to reduce anxiety and boost serotonin levels. Seriously. Google it.

Cats are adventurous

Many people believe that cats have to always stay home. But cats love exploring, whether it's indoors, outdoors, or even away from home for some.

There's a growing community of adventure cat owners who take their kitties with them on all kinds of trips: mountain hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, surfing, you name it.

It may be hard to believe, but cat exploring is a thing. Here are a few adventure cat accounts on Instagram that are definitely worth checking out.

@bodhi_theadventurecat, @surfercatmav, @adventurrio, and curated pages such as @catexplorer.community, @adventurecatsorg, both of which have actually featured my cat, @meistertravelcat!

Surprising Cat Facts

1. They can be taught to do tricks

Meister knows how to sit, shake, high-five, fist-bump, double high-five..etc

2. They can be leash-trained

If you start from a young age and take it slow, you can absolutely train your cat to walk on a leash. Cats go at their own pace. There are many resources for cat training.

I highly recommend checking out catexplorer.co's blog and podcasts. They have a lot of useful information and tips from other cat explorers.

white cat outdoors on leash

3. Many can be taken places (not all)

Most cats enjoy the sun and being outdoors (don't we all?), as well as exploring safely with their human!

However, cat exploring is not for everyone, and is something that should never be forced.

4. They can swim

(but always be careful and never force your cat to do anything, especially swim. I have no plans to give Meister swimming lessons because I'm terrified of water myself.)

Can you blame us for loving cats so much? Cats are amazing animals, and we would do anything for our pets. Wouldn't you do the same for your dog?

The difference there is dog people tend to choose dogs and only dogs, but all the cat people I've ever met and known have shown a deep compassion and respect for all animals.

Instead of calling us crazy (among other things), try replacing your pejoratives with things like non-discriminatory, kind-hearted, compassionate. Because "crazy cat lady" isn't a thing.


catfluence and the blog frog logos

The Blog Frog: Catfluence Featured in Top Pet Care Blogs

The Blog Frog has a simple mission: provide insights on the best blogs across 16 categories. They identify the top blogs so YOU get the best content.

They recently featured us in the "Top Pet Care Blogs" section. Follow this link to read our writeup, and check out some other amazing pet blogs!


More About Catfluence: Story, Inspiration & Future

Hi, my name is Harris Baker and I created @Catfluence in September 10, 2017. Long story short, I was both exposed to and inspired by the work I had been doing at the time with professional athletes, famous influencers, and brands. But my connection to the cat side of things goes wayyyyy back, so let’s begin there….

When I was a baby, my parents had a black cat named Ativan. Does that name sound familiar? If so, it’s a well-known anti-anxiety drug launched by the pharmaceutical company Wyeth (Pfizer), where my dad worked for 30 years. After a successful launch, he named his cat Ativan.

I don’t remember much about Ativan. My parents and I actually debated recently whether or not I was alive for him (I said yes, they said no), so I reached out to my old nanny, who confirmed with photographic evidence that I was in fact around for Ativan. I have one vivid memory of him, and that is him hissing at me, and me throwing a roll of Scotch tape at him. That’s it.

Following Ativan, over the years I had fish, crabs, a hamster, lizards, and maybe some other smaller pets, but no cats or dogs. Now, I’ll fast forward about 20ish years to October of 2013, shortly after I had graduated from college from Indiana University and moved back home to Jersey.

A friend of my ex-girlfriends friend said they found a kitty, but were unable to keep him. We had been talking about getting a cat, so even thought I wouldn’t consider myself a “cat person” (yet), when they asked if we wanted him, we went for it. At the time I was a pretty big pothead, so we named him Doober.

Doober was a great fuckin cat. I didn’t think it would be possible, but he became my best friend. He had a lot of spunk, and just loved life. In November of that year, I was taking graduate classes at Seton Hall University and had an internship with the athletic department. They were playing in a four-team tournament at the new Barclay’s Center, so I attended with a few of my friends.

It was an incredible evening. I even got to meet NBA Hall of Famer, Chris Mullin, and legendary reporter, Craig Sager (RIP). Shortly after that high, I received a call from my ex saying that Doober was dead. I had to stay at this meaningless basketball game in Brooklyn with my friends and wait to be picked by someone’s parents. I was devastated.

When I asked what happened, I was told that he got out of her room and must have gotten into it with the bulldog and pit bull also living in her grandmother’s house. To give some context – we stayed both at her grandmother’s house and my parents, Doober happened to be there that night.

There was another cat living in the home – her grandmother’s – who would always push open the bedroom door and Doober, who was confined to the bedroom, would get out, so we put a small hook lock on the door to prevent it from happening. For whatever reason, that night the lock was not set, and the rest was history.

I was heartbroken, and I blamed myself. To be honest I still am, and I still do to this day. I shouldn’t have let him stay there at all in an environment with big dogs where he needed to be locked up.

I got back late that night and saw his lifeless body. I broke down. I cried myself to sleep that night. That was the only time in my life that I had experienced such a tragic loss involving death other than two of my grandparents to that point.

The next morning, shortly after waking up, there was a knock on the door. In comes my exes grandmother, father and sister with a crate which turned out to have two cats inside. I was mortified. I hadn’t even begun to grieve what happened the one cat that I loved so much, and a few hours later I have two new ones.

They came right up to me and tried to be friendly, but I wasn’t having it. Their original names were Stanley and Blanche, but the family decided on Elliot and Olivia, after Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson from Law and Order SVU. They were brother and sister, and it took my some time to open up to them.

It wasn’t too long before tragedy struck again. In March of 2014, while driving to the exes from work at 10 pm at night, I hit into and 18-wheel truck from behind, smashed into a median, and totaled my car.

I broke my nose and thumb, and had a few hundred stitches in my head, face and left hand. I have no memory of the ordeal, I just remember leaving work and waking up in the hospital the next day pulling wires and tubes out of me.

They said I was lucky to be alive. Over the next three weeks while recovering and stuck at home alone (while heavily medicated), I finally began to bond with Elliot and Olivia. They really kept me going through the entire ordeal.

In May of 2014, I decided to create an Instagram for them after working in digital marketing for a few months, being exposed to influencers, and seeing all the notoriety cats like Grumpy Cat were getting. It was kind of just for shits and giggles at first, but over time I started to get the attention of brands and was sent free products to create content.

Fast forward to 2017, I continued to learn more about business and marketing and wanted to create something of my own. I don’t know if I had an “Ah-Ha!” moment, but Catfluence was born on IG. My first logo was just the cat emoji with red hearts as eyes, and I would just repost cat stuff that I thought was cool.

After about a year of that, I wanted to take it to the next level with a logo, so I reached out to one of my agency colleagues for help. I wanted a cat with a hat, headphones, sunglasses and bling. He designed a few options, and my current logo with the grey cat stood out.

Why? Well, to me, it immediately reminded me of Doober, and I didn’t even tell him that story beforehand. If Doober were still alive, I know he’d be that dope cat with the bling and the whole nine. It was perfect, and from there, I just ran with it.

Today, Catfluence has evolved into so much more, from all the social channels, to this site, podcasts, and merch, to the supportive cat community, and everyone who contributed to help me do it. It may just be another silly cat account to someone on the outside looking in, but as you can see by this writeup, to me, it means so much more. But I’m not done… this is only the beginning.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. For me, it was actually therapeutic to write it all out. Before writing this, only a handful of people knew the full story behind me, cats and Catfluence. If you’d like to connect, hit me up.

P.S. – Although I’m not smiling in any of these photos, I’m generally a very positive person 😸


girl doing game of thrones pose with cats

5 Easy Ways You Can Help Shelter Cats Right Now

Written by: Sarah Coleman - @fixyourfuckincats

My name is Sarah Coleman, better known by my Instagram name @fixyourfuckincats. I am a 23-year-old feline rescuer and advocate in Northwest Indiana.

I have been working with cats and kittens in shelters for a little over five years now, and I am currently the Kitten Foster Coordinator at a large, municipal, county shelter.

Many people see my rescue work on social media - whether it be my foster kittens, TNR efforts, or my job at the shelter and they often say something like “I wish I could do that!”

Well, guess what? YOU CAN!

Cats and kittens are always in need of help. Wherever you are or however you’re able to- you can and you should get involved!

Here are 5 easy ways you can help shelter cats right now:

1. Volunteer

Volunteers are the backbone of most shelters and it’s such a great, simple way to give back to your community, learn something new, and even get your foot in the door if you’re interested in a career with animals. Volunteers can offer a variety of services that go far beyond what you may think. Here are just a few ways volunteers can help shelter cats:

  • Hanging out and just spending time with some of the more shy, fearful cats to help them come out of their shell and learn to trust humans. Just taking that time to sit with these cats is something that is often overlooked but SO important and can even be detrimental to many cats’ success at a shelter.
  • Providing cats with enrichment, playtime, and clicker training to stimulate their minds and help them cope with the stress of being in a shelter!
  • Helping staff with daily cleaning/tasks to allow them more time to work with cats. We often get so backed up with our day-to-day responsibilities that we aren’t able to do as much for our cats as we should, so we could always use a hand if you’re down to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
  • Put your photography skills to good work by taking photos of adoptable cats to post on our social media! Most shelters are still closed to the public and doing adoptions by appointment only due to COVID. So now more than ever, we need high-quality photos that truly capture our cats’ personalities since those pictures are pretty much all our cats have to be seen by potential adopters!

If you have any other talents, skills, or hobbies that you think could benefit shelter cats, call your shelter and see how you can put them to use! You’d be surprised how many different ways there are to get involved.

2. Foster

Fostering a cat or kitten from a shelter is the probably one of the most hands-on ways to get involved and truly save a life. Despite what most people think, anyone can foster!

It doesn’t matter if you work full-time, have kids, or pets of your own. Fosters are needed for anything from bottle-feeding kittens to just providing a quiet space for a scared cat to decompress.

Most shelters will provide their foster parents with all the necessary supplies and training, and even cover all the medical costs. So all you really need to foster is an open home and an open heart!

3. Donate

Most shelters rely solely on donations to provide for the cats in their care.

Whether it be monetary or food/supplies, your generous donations help us better serve the cats in our community. Even just some old blankets, towels, or rags can go a long way with caring for cats!

Pro tip: Before donating, always make sure to check with your shelters to see what they are actually in need of!

This is important because a lot of shelters use specific brands of food/litter for their cats, or won’t use certain items that other shelters do. So to make sure your donations are serving the greatest good, it is always best to ask first!

4. Adopt

If you are in the market for a furry new addition to your family, please check your shelters!

Of course, there are always cats and kittens being given away for free online and while that may seem like an easier, more convenient option- it is usually quite the opposite.

Most “free” cats have never been seen by a vet, let alone vaccinated or fixed so you can pretty much guarantee spending at least $300+ right off the bat just for those things alone. Not to mention, the costs of any unknown medical or behavior issues that may arise later on.

On the other hand, when you adopt a cat from a shelter, you will pay a small adoption fee for a cat that is already spayed/neutered, fully vaccinated, micro-chipped, and has a clean bill of health.

Not to mention, whatever you do pay, will be well spent since it’s used to save more shelter cats! It’s a win-win!

5. Be Responsible

Last but not least, if you truly cannot do anything else to help shelter cats, there is one thing EVERYONE can and should always be doing, which is making an effort to be responsible, educated pet owners and community members.

Cat overpopulation is a crisis in our country and if we are ever going to solve this, we have to work together.

This means spaying and neutering your own cats, as well as any community cats you may be feeding, and doing your research and making efforts to educate and empower those around you to do the same.

If you love cats and want to be part of the solution, please reach out to your local shelters and rescues, ask questions, and find out what you can do to help because every single one of us is capable of doing something.

Even if your “something” is small, it can still make a huge difference in the lives of shelter cats, street cats, and all the cats that desperately need it.

FIXYOURFUCKINCATS MERCH

Buy a shirt, fix a cat. All profits will be used for TNR (trap neuter return) efforts in my community.


girl with orange cat in woods

Top 5 Tips for Training Your Cat: Food, Clickers & More

Written by: Jordan Whitaker - @Kits_and_Tricks

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine - DVM Candidate, 2021

Training your cat can be a super fun way to bond with them as well as provide enrichment to their daily lives.

Cat training can be done as a fun activity that you can show off to your friends, or it can be useful in medically managing your cat (i.e. teeth brushing, taking an inhaler, etc).

Here are some tips that we usually recommend when starting out with your cat.

Food

Nobody does anything for free and your cat is no different. It’s important to have a treat that your cat will work for, but also be aware of how many extra calories you add in each training session.

My cats get a measured amount of dry food every day, and we use that food for training as it ensures we don’t give too many extra calories and allows for a longer training session.

If your cats are meal fed, this is much easier as they won’t be grazing all day and full by the time you’re ready to start training.

Clicker

A clicker can be used as a bridge to let your cat know they’ve completed the behavior you want them to do.

It’s immediate and prevents confusion created by a delay between the trick and the reward. I always use it as it’s easiest for us to stay on the same page about what the correct behavior was.

Be sure to begin by “loading” your clicker (have a day or two of just “click and treat” so that the association of the clicker and the reward is built).

Timing

Figuring out a good time to train your cat is essential. If you do it right before a meal they may be too hungry to think straight, and right after a meal they won’t be motivated.

Also, consider when your cat is most awake and interactive. Its important to test a few times out to see what works best for your cats.

Kitsune tends to work best at dinner time and then again around 930pm. Any earlier and she just wants to sleep through the training session.

Cues & the Language Barrier

I always ask for tricks with hand signals. It’s a language that we create together during our training sessions. When beginning with a hand signal, think about what you want them to do.

For example, when teaching to sit, I started by pointing down and with a treat in my hand, lure her butt down by holding the treat above her head.

Eventually, I can move my hand further away but the cue remains the same. If your cat doesn’t understand what you want them to do, you may have to leave it and try again later after you have had time to come up with a different way to teach them that specific trick.

It took Kitsune almost a year to roll over since I couldn’t figure out a way to teach her that she understood and approved of (her brother was much easier) but she learned the footstall (cat treadmill) in about 3 months.

Positive Reinforcement

Always keep the training session fun for your cat and ALWAYS reward them for every click.

Remember that we are training to enrich their lives and so it should be a fun and stimulating activity for both of you. The use of positive reinforcement is a great way to keep your cat happy and have fun in every session.

Remember to have fun training your cat and always end every training session on a positive note!


bald cat with cat friendly plant

The Best Cat-Friendly Plants: Living Art USA

Written by: Jane Morocco, CEO, Living Art USA

In 2019, 67% of all US households owned pets.

Currently, with the COVID-19 pandemic and more people working from home, this percentage keeps climbing. We are a nation of animal lovers.

As a cat and plant owner, the health and safety of my cats is very important to me. There are many plants that are toxic to cats.

Some, you probably have in your home right now. I have created a list of not only cat-safe plants, but plants which are beautiful greenery for your home.

Besides being safe around all pets and children, these plants also have benefits to us humans, such as air-purifying benefits which help us reduce our daily stress.

It is important to note, I always recommend to cat owners to do their own research and select plants based on your own cat's behavior. Too much nibbling of any plant, pet-safe or not will cause an upset stomach.

Here's my list of the best cat-friendly plants...

1. The Money Tree Plant

Not only is the Money Tree beautiful and easy to grow, it is said to bring you luck, positive energy and financial success.

2. Parlor Palm

Cultivated since the Victorian era, this easy to grow species of Palm Tree is known for its resilience to any indoor condition.

3. Peperomia

This popular houseplant is sometimes known as a baby rubber plant. Peperomia houseplants with their beautiful color can brighten your indoor decor. It also can be propagated from leaf cuttings.

4. Calathea

Often called the "Prayer Plant" because of their unique leaf movements, At night, the leaves fold up as if they are folding into a prayer. It prefers indirect lighting, which means makes it perfect for indoor usage and office buildings.

5. Echeveria

The Echeveria is known for its fleshy, water-storing leaves, which means it doesn't have to be watered as often as your other plants. They have a wide diversity of colors and shapes too.

About Jane Morocco & Living Art USA

My name is Jane Morocco and I'm the owner of Living Art USA. Living Art USA is an eco-friendly company and we feature Pet & Child Safe Plants.


cat podcast female host with cat

The Cattitude Podcast with Michelle Fern on Pet Life Radio

Host: Michelle Fern @michellefernpet

Cattitude Podcast on Pet Life Radio, which is a huge network of over 70 shows about anything and everything pet.

Find Cattitude on iHeartRadio, Spotify, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Radio.com, Google Play and on PetLifeRadio.com

About Cattitude

Cattitude is a podcast on the Pet Life Radio Digital Radio Network. And you should listen. Ok, I know that comes across a bit biased since I am the show host of Cattitude. But here is why……there is a lot of GREAT information for you, the cat pet parent.

Here is my journey to Cattitude. I was asked to be the host of Cattitude in 2017. The original show host was Tom Dock.

Tom was a Veterinary Technician with a deep interest in research. He hosted the first 23 episodes of Cattitude. His shows mostly focused on detailed information on a variety of feline breeds. They are great shows with an abundance of facts and information.

When I was asked to take over Cattitude, having hosted Best Bets for Pets since 2010, I initially refused.

Although at that time my cat crew had grown to a team of 5 cats (listen to episode 24), I felt I simply did not know enough about cats. But my producer kept asking. So I thought about what I could bring to the show.

Would I be able to have interesting content? Can I provide advice to the cat parent though I am not a Vet or Vet tech?

I told my producer I would host Cattitude, but my viewpoint would be very different from the former host. I really wanted to focus from the viewpoint of the cat pet parent.

When I select my show topics, I always consider the pet parent, my listener.

What is of interest to a pet parent or prospective pet parent? How can we talk about it so people all over the world will understand the concept?

Though most of my listeners are in North America, I am thrilled and honored to have listeners worldwide. (Power of the internet!)

And always……make it fun! Though it is tough when we talk about serious issues such as TNR and eliminating cat euthanasia.

Some of my Fav Shows

Episode 55: Kitty Bungalow

This was the second part of my series on Feral and Community Cat Rescue. I had just gone through my personal experience in TNR (Episode 54) and was still eager to talk about the subject.

Kitty Bungalow is one of the most unique cat rescues. They work with 100% feral and community cats and put them through charm school!! Kitty Bungalow does amazing work in rescuing and socializing street kitties.

Episode 64 and 96: IAMMOSHOW

If you love cats…..you gotta take a listen to iammoshow.

Mo is a soft-spoken Cat Rapper on a mission to share love and positivity to all things cat.

On both shows he was raising funds for cat rescues. If you have not viewed his videos……you are missing out. My personal fav is “The Slide”.

Episode 90: Dr. Bernadine Cruz

Did you ever drop a vitamin or aspirin and think, no problem, I will just find it later? Well, not if you have cats! This was my idea when asking Dr. Bernandine Cruz to be a guest and talk about the dangers of household medicines and your cat.

Dr. Bernadine is a Veterinarian and Author that hosts The Pet Doctor on Pet Life Radio.

She is an expert in her field and assisted in developing a first aid program for cats and dogs that is endorsed by the Humane Society and the American Red Cross. This resulted in a highly informative show.

I am so honored that Cattitude has a huge listening audience. It continues to be one of the most popular cat podcasts on the internet. I truly believe that one of the main reasons we have so many listeners (besides having great guests) is that I am fortunate to have an amazing producer.

In my mind, I think I am pretty good, but I know for sure that it is my producer that really makes Cattitude sound so much better for the listener.

If you have a chance, please take a listen to Cattitude. I am always open to suggestions, so please send your ideas to michelle@petliferadio.com As always, thanks for listening!

P.S. - Check us out on the podcast with Michelle:

Cattitude Podcast Episode 105 - Feeder Breeders


Adventure Cats Are On The Rise: Join The Movement

Written by: Sarah Olewski Klassen
Instagram: @thegibsonchronicles
Website: www.thegibsonchronicles.com

Adventure Cats are on the Rise

Have you ever come across photos of adventure cats outside on harnesses and wondered, “HOW in the world is that even possible?!” Well I’m here to write to you and tell you it is!

There is a movement of cat explorers on the rise. When Gibson, my feline sidekick, and I are out beyond the house heads will often turn, photos get snapped, questions and comments start, and you know what?

I welcome it all! Part of what we do is about educating others in what cats are actually capable of.

I want to hear less people saying, “you’re such a crazy cat lady” just because I give my cat love, attention and enrichments and more people saying “you and your cat have such a tight bond!”

The relationship between guardians and their feline companions is really such a beautiful thing and we’re here to help represent that. If you’re reading this, consider joining this movement!

For those of you who are super introverted and want to take your cat outside, though, just prepare yourself for lots of attention and please welcome it by raising awareness of what our adventure cats can do (extroverts, it’s your time to live the dream that was made for you and your kitty)!

Social Media Awareness

Another way we raise awareness about the rise of cat explorers is through social media. Once, we had a well-known company reach out to us and ask for our photo to be featured on their Instagram account.

I happily said, “of course!” because it was a photo of Gibson performing one of his favourite tricks. I felt that getting featured on a popular fashion account would help to show a whole other community what cats are able to do!

Annoyingly, this company ended up using the photo as a poll for which pet was better: cats or dogs. I was infuriated because I really do feel that since dogs are often the pet that is seen, people will commonly answer that dogs are their favourite even if they’ve never even had or interacted with a cat.

Even though I am a guardian of an adventure cat I love ALL animals and didn’t feel that this poll was necessary, inclusive, nor did it reflect what our Instagram account/blog is about.

Our Instagram is a positive-only storybook of all the things Gibson and I do together which was made to build community and raise awareness of the life of a cat who go beyond the house.

Enrich Your Cats Life

Cats also need lots of enrichment! Food puzzles, toys, cat shelves, cat exploring, etc. are all great ideas in enriching your cat’s life. You can I also aim to change mindsets in proving that cats are capable of being clicker trained as well.

The community at Cat School was one of the businesses to help pioneer that movement of training your cat (including us)! Cats have behaviours that reflect their need for this enrichment, such as knocking down items from shelves, biting, etc. and we need to listen to them when they’re expressing the need for more.

For us, exploring beyond the house and clicker training has become a huge part of our life and it has surely helped others to see that adventure cats are capable of much more and has strengthened the bond that we have greatly.

We aren’t here to say that cat exploring is the answer or that it will be possible for every cat.

What we’d like for people to realize is that we can enlarge a cat’s environment by showing them the world and/or doing more with them, whether that be inside and/or outside the house!


Got the social distancing blues? Try these cat-themed activities!

By Nikki Hess, Cat Lady Academy

Are you and your cat bored at home as you’re engaging in social distancing? There are plenty of fun and useful activities you can do while you’re stuck at home. These are just a few of our favorite ideas:

Play with your cat. It helps kitty get exercise, satisfy their hunting instincts, and may even tire them out enough so that they engage in undesirable activities (like attacking your feet) less frequently.

Experiment with taking better photos of your cat. Every cat photo is cute because there’s a cat in it. But many cute pictures can be improved with just a few simple tweaks, like brightening up the lighting. Check out the Lightroom app—you can quickly and easily make your cat photos look better just by using the Auto feature.

Groom your cat. ‘Tis the season of shedding! Now’s the time to brush your cat regularly. Many cats enjoy being brushed, and it will help their coat look sleeker.

Get crafty. Think of something you’d like to create for your cat. You could metal-stamp a charm for their collar, pick a fun fabric and sew them a bandana, or make them a toy. (Just be sure to keep any little bits and bobs away from kitty while you’re crafting!)

Donate to a cat organization. Many shelters cannot currently hold adoption events, so adoptions may be going slower, and therefore shelters may be housing cats for longer than usual. Donate to these organizations so that they have the funds to get food, litter, vet care, and more for the cats in their care.

Install a bird feeder. Cats love Cat TV! Consider installing a bird feeder in your backyard or on your balcony so kitty can watch the little tweeters. Can’t install a bird feeder? Consider setting up a goldfish bowl, get a betta fish, or install a fish tank instead. (Just be sure that the fish are kept safe from kitty.)

Check the important things. If you find yourself with a little more free time than usual (for example, if you’re not commuting to work because you’re working from home), use that time to take care of important but easily overlooked things like making sure the address linked to your pet’s microchip is current, or that your cat’s next vaccination is scheduled.

Go shopping—online. These days, shipping times are longer than what you’re probably used to. Check your cat’s food and medication supply. Place an order in advance for food or medications, and consider ordering a little more than usual so that you know you’ll have enough.

Deep-clean the box. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it! Periodically, it’s a good idea to deep-clean plastic litter boxes. Empty out all the litter, clean and disinfect it, dry it out, and then add new litter back in. Kitty will love their fresh new bathroom!

Spend quality time together. Enjoy cuddles and snuggles, if your cat’s into that. If they’re not, then just spending time in the same room is fine too! Spending time with a pet can lower your stress level.

Make your cat Insta-famous. Consider making an Instagram account for your cat. It’s a great way to share your cat’s cuteness, quirks, and life with others, and you can make other cat friends from around the world!

Whatever activities you choose to do, we hope you stay safe and healthy!

Nikki Hess is the cat mom of @mannyhalloweencat on Instagram. She’s also the founder of @catladyacademy, where she shares tips and advice to help you create a purrfect Instagram account for your cat.


Cattitude Podcast Episode 113 – Fun Feline Factoids

How much do you know about Kittens, Cats in the Wild, & Cats at Home?

Michelle Fern invites back Harris Baker from Catfluence.com to talk kitty trivia!

Tune in to see how much you really know about our furry feline friends!

LISTEN HERE on iTunes, Spotify or other podcast networks


Catfluence March Madness 2020

Many of our hooman friends are missing out on March Madness this year as all sports have been cancelled due to Coronavirus/COVID-19.

To keep you sane while stuck with your #QuarantineCats, we put together a bracket of 64 "Cat Influencers".

Please note, the rankings are based solely on follower count.

Many of these accounts were submitted through our Instagram story poll, and others were chosen based on our own preference, or that they are supporters of @Catfluence.

Do not take it personally if you are not on this bracket - it is meant to just be fun!

We will also be giving out away a FREE t-shirt AND sticker to one user who fills out this bracket and posts it to their story.

You can download a .pdf version here, or get a .png.

Download the ELITE 8 here.

We'll be posting each round on our IG stories as well to get the "fan favorite" winner.

The winner will receive a prize as well!!!

Have fun everyone and be safe!


Cattitude Podcast Episode 105 - Feeder Breeders

Are you a cat feeder breeder?

Feeding stray cats is commendable but if you don't take that extra step to have them spayed and neutered you are setting them up for disaster.

This week Michelle Fern welcomes Harris Baker, owner of catfluence.com to discuss this controversial topic of feeder breeders.

Follow this link to listen to the podcast on Pet Life Radio, Feeds Burner, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or download it!