Hampurr Box Review

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Someone once told me that getting a cat’s attention is like catching some hot chick’s eye in a bar: highly unlikely but extremely exciting. And I couldn’t agree more. It’s all a game: go away, come here, I like you, I don’t, I’m sleeping, come feed me, scratch my tummy, give me a treat, I love you, now I don’t…

But lovely people, I have found THE WAY. The guaranteed way to getting your cat’s attention. It’s called Purrfect Box. Let me explain…

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A couple of weeks ago I’ve been contacted by the lovely people at Purrfect Box asking me if I wanted to review their monthly subscription box. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you would know how much I love the idea of these surprise boxes. Christmas every month? Yes please!!

Purrfect Box is a monthly cat goodies surprise box full of healthy treats, accessories and toys customised depending on your cat’s size, breed, age and your own preferences. They’ve got different subscription plans, starting at £15.90 per month.

Here’s what I got in my Christmas themed Purrfect Box:

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* Good Girl Christmas cat pack

* Merry mice toy from Happypet

* Chick’n Snack Sandwiches from Karlie Flamingo

* Play & Fill Stocking from Pet Brands

* Camon massage glove

* Pet Brands gingerbread teaser

No need to explain which one was Alfie’s favourite:

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The photo session was hijacked by greedy Mr Alfie…DSC04133

How cute is that gingerman teaser stick? I think I love it more than Alfie (oups!)DSC04137

My favourite item from the box was the Camon massage glove which makes it so sooo easy to brush Alfie. Finally no more brush fights!

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Verdict: If you’re looking for a bit of excitement in your (cat’s) life, then this box definitely delivers. It has a good mix of treats, cat care & toys, it’s a great way to try out new products you might have not even heard about and great value for money as well. I (and Alfie) approve!

Disclaimer: I would never accept a PR sample if I didn’t genuinely like it or wouldn’t buy it with my own money. If I like something, I will happily blog about it, If I don’t like it I will say so, in a very tactful way. This blog post is written in my own words,  contains only my own thoughts and my own opinions. Promise! 

Empties #1: Stuff my cat used up

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I’ve recently moved house. Most people take this opportunity to sort through old things and throw away stuff they don’t need. You know, get rid of all those useless things they hoarded throughout the years. Make a fresh start.

Unlike most people, I not only didn’t throw away anything before I moved, but I even moved my garbage. Yes, you read that right. I neatly packed my trash in a moving box and carried it all the way across London into my new professionally cleaned place. And what’s even worse? I even took pictures of it which I’m now posting online. Welcome to the weird world of Oana. And welcome to a new section of my blog called Empties. Where I write about my (cat) trash.

Yup, these posts are weird – no doubt about it. But hopefully you’ll also find them useful. What better way to review an item if not by using ALL OF IT? So, here are my Sept-Dec 2014 empties:

apurrfectcat Empties Science Plan, Schesir, Applaws , PlaqueOff, Nature's Way, Cosma,  Milkbits,  Burns,

* Science Plan Oral Care Dry Cat Food 5kg – The first thought I had when Alfie finished this was – OMG! My cat literally ate his whole weight in cat food! OK, he didn’t have all of it in one go (although he did try to – proof being the savage attack marks you see on the bag). Science Plan is my dry food of choice at the moment – no meat by-products, high protein content and the added benefit of “specially designed kibble to help clean your cat’s teeth and remove plaque and tartar with every bite”. They are bigger than the usual cat food pieces, so I kind of believe their claim.

Verdict: Will repurchase

* Schesir Wet Cat Food – Mix of flavours: Tuna with Whitebaits, Chicken & Apple, Chicken & Shrimps, Chicken & Beef, Chicken & Pineapple. This is Alfie’s favourite wet food brand. I’ve been feeding him Schesir since he was a kitten and he’s always loved it (especially the tuna ones). I never have problems (i.e. his tummy getting upset) when I switch from chicken to tuna (and the other way round) so it’s all good. They’re very pure (just 2-3 products: meat + fruit/rice and no nasties like meat by-products) and they have loads of varieties so Alfie can explore different tastes and textures. His favourites are the tuna ones, but I only let him have tuna once every 3 cans to avoid him getting tuna-addicted again (see my previous blog post on the dangers of tuna addiction in cats).

Verdict: Will definitely repurchase

Applaws

* Applaws Natural Cat Food – I saw this brand and being a sucker for sleek packaging, natural-claims and all-good ingredients I decided to give it a try. You get a mix of different flavours in each pack which is great because unlike with Schesir (which is sold in packs of min 6 per flavour on Zooplus), you get a good mix without needing to spend £30+ in one go. And although I still think it’s a great (read healthy) cat food option, it didn’t really work well for Alfie as it upset his tummy every time I switched flavours. We would probably get used to it in the end but it hurts me to see him puke every time I switch flavours, so I went back to Schesir once these 2 packs were gone.

Verdict: Won’t repurchase

Alfie Burns

* Burns Original Cat Chicken & Brown Rice sample I got in a Cat Hampurr box – OK as a one-off, but not a fan because of its super-high 46% brown-rice content (only 36% meat). Cats are obligate carnivores which is a fancy way of saying they are strict meat-eaters and need a high-protein diet. So, sorry Burns but your 46% brown rice content is a bit too much for my Alfie. He did enjoy wrestling with the package though so for that part alone, this was a win!

Verdict: Won’t purchase

*Gimpet MilkBits Cat Treats – Alfie loved this stuff. So I loved it too.

Verdict: Will repurchase

* Almo Nature Azul Label Sticks – These didn’t go well with Alfie, as I gave him only a nail size bit of a stick a day and he would puke it out without fail. Not a major disaster – wasn’t planning to repurchase it anyway as I’ve just noticed beef by-products and salt & sugar in the ingredients list. I’m a bit more relaxed about the nasties in treats (as I only give him a small amount of treats a day), but with so many all-good ingredients options, I try to stay away from the more doubtful ones if I can.

Verdict: Won’t repurchase

Healthy Cat products Plaque Off

 *PlaqueOff – This is a natural meal supplement which claims to help remove plaque and tartar build-up and bad breath (full review here). This is good stuff, definitely recommend it!

Verdict: Have already repurchased

* Cosma Thai Snackies – They not only have super good ingredients (45% chicken, 45% chicken liver, 10% rice) but they’re also tasty (judging by Alfie’s gimme-more look after he’s had about 5 in one gulp).

Verdict: Will repurchase

So that’s it. My first Empties blog post. Let me know if you like these kind of blog posts and I’ll keep being weird and collect my garbage for the next 3 months, all in the name of a blog post.

Meowy Christmas!

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December is always a funny month, isn’t it? It starts with 3 weeks of complete chaos as we try to finalise PowerPoints and pay bills and sort out presents and cram an entire year’s worth of socialising into a mere few weeks (catch-ups on Dec 28 just don’t have the same effect as the caring “you’re one of my special people” catch-ups before Christmas). No wonder everyone is so much looking forward to Christmas Eve when we finally get a chance to do what we’ve been waiting for for a whole year: sit back, relax and enjoy some good quality time (and food!) with our loved ones. I love Christmas. I really do. But sometimes I do wonder if all this craziness is really worth it. And every year, I come to the same conclusion, as I chill out next to the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas carols and smelling the heavily scented cinnamon & orange candles in the house: TOTALLY!

Decorating the house is one of my favourite things about the holidays and judging by Alfie’s reaction, he finds it pretty fun as well:

Alfie of the jungleDSC03946

No one can see me. Definitely! DSC03949

Loving my new toyDSC03973

To attack or not to attack. That is the questionDSC03987

Come on, take that bloody picture already, I’ve been waiting for my treat for over 17 seconds now! DSC03998

Just chillin’ in da treeDSC04005

So what if it’s only the 23rd? I want my presents NOW! DSC04023

Meowy Christmas everyone!! Hope you have a wonderful one!

Meowy Christmas

xoxo

The 5 products your cat needs to stay healthy

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So there’s this guy in my life. We’ve been together for 3.5 years now and he makes me so, so happy. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He’s very sweet, always happy to see me and knows how to cheer me up when I’m down. But before this gets cheesier than a Swiss fondue, let me reveal who I’m talking about. Yup, THIS guy:

Alfie apurrfectcat

I love this guy. I really do. Yet, when it comes to pets, love isn’t enough. You obviously need to feed them and keep their litter clean / take them out and play with them to keep them happy. But how do you keep them HEALTHY?

Healthy Cat products

Here are the top 5 products I use to keep my cat healthy:

Healthy Cat products Plaque Off

* Plaque Off Powder – this is an all-natural seaweed food supplement which prevents/reduces plaque and tartar build-up and bad breath. It comes in a pretty small pot, but a little goes a long way. I’ve been giving this to Alfie every evening with his dinner meal for a couple of years now and (together with the next product) it’s been working wonders on his teeth because vets always complement his healthy teeth.

Healthy Cat products Toothpaste

* Virbac Cat Toothpaste – this and the Plaque Off are the perfect combo to avoid any painful (and costly) vet visits as your pet gets older. It’s super easy to use: just put a little bit on your finger (or if you’re really brave, on a cat toothbrush) and rub it on his teeth. Alfie loves this which makes it really easy for me to use it on him (apparently it tastes like chicken  – can’t confirm that though :) )

Healthy Cat products Kelp care

*Kelp Care Sea Kelp Powder – I got this in one of the Cat Hampurr boxes and really was really excited to give it a try. This is advertised as an all-round health maintenance powder: promotes hair growth/re-growth, aids digestion, boosts the immune system, supports healthy joints and limbs, is packed full of amino-acids (taurine for healthy eyes, arginine for healthy heart), promotes healthy skin, and reduces dryness and itchiness. Basically, a magical concoction that will give your pet super-health-powers.

Healthy Cat products LaxaPet

*Laxapet Hairball Treatment – if cleaning hairballs isn’t exactly your idea of fun, you might do yourself and your cat a favour and regularly give them a hairball treatment to help them eliminate hairballs in their litter.

Healthy Cat products Frontline flea prevention

* Flea, Tick & Lice Prevention Treatment – pretty self explanatory. And yes, you do need to use it even for indoor cats.

Bonus: there’s actually a sixth must have product I should have included and that is Drontal warming tablets. I don’t have any at home at the moment but I do give them to Alfie twice a year since he’s a 100% indoor cat. You will probably need to use them once a season if your cat is an outdoor one.

So that’s it, the 5 (ok, 6) magical healthy potions & powders to keep your cat in top shape.

Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a pawesome week!

One for me. One for you.

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Yay!!! It’s less than a month till Christmas. Despite the fact that brands tried to get us all in the Cristmas spirit since September (I’m looking at you, Liberty London), I usually don’t really feel Christmasy until December 1st. Or in this year’s case, November 29. Because that’s exactly when I went to Tesco for my usual weekly shop and saw these: A CAT ADVENT CALENDAR. AND A CAT STOCKING SET!! (£3 each, both from Armitage Pet Care). And there was no going back. Christmas feeling – welcome back, I’ve been waiting for you for 11 months.

Of course I couldn’t resist the urge and had to buy them both. I mean, it’s only fair Alfie gets his own advent calendar, so we can both enjoy December. Every. Single. Day of it till Xmas.

apurrfectcat Alfie Christmas advent calendar cat stocking set Armitage Pet Care

apurrfectcat Alfie Christmas advent calendar cat stocking set Armitage Pet Care

Taking these pictures was more difficult than you think. I don’t think Alfie quite gets the idea of a Christmas stocking…

apurrfectcat Alfie Christmas advent calendar cat stocking set Armitage Pet Care

apurrfectcat Alfie Christmas advent calendar cat stocking set Armitage Pet Care

apurrfectcat Alfie Christmas advent calendar cat stocking set Armitage Pet Care

On a scale of 1 (total Grinch) to 10 (Christmas tree is already up and you’re wearing your Christmas jumper since October), how Christmasy are you feeling?

Back from Bambi-jail

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It’s been a while since my last post, so let me explain…

I always thought Alfie was the sweetest cat in the world. A giant fluffball who always purrs, taps my nose with his little paw in the morning, airboxes when I scratch his tummy and never bites (ok, this last one isn’t true but I just added it for dramatic effect :) )

Until one day, I came home to this:

Alfie apurrfectcat Bambi

And I knew immediately. His feral instinct had kicked in! He couldn’t stand not being the only animal in the house so he attacked. And killed. Twice.

The plan was to cover it all up and pretend nothing happened. Me and Alfie are a team, after all. But just as I was about to clean up all the evidence, the Bambi police arrived and there was no going back. They asked me to hand in my Alfie-camera which uncovered undeniable evidence that he was behind the attack:

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Alfie apurrfectcat Bambi

Alfie apurrfectcat Bambi

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Alfie apurrfectcat Bambi

Alfie has spent the last 3 months in cat-jail, accused of double Bambi-slaughter. After many court visits and a considerable fine, he was released on bail and is now under house arrest.

So thanks for hanging in there, hopefully now that Alfie’s back home, the post schedule should be back on track.

Oh, by the way, if you want more Alfie-news and mischiefs, go follow us on Twitter @a_purrfect_cat. See you soon!

Cat Hampurr Review

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“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump

I always find it scary fascinating how one discussion, one email, one encounter can sometimes change your life forever. A call you’ve been waiting for for months, a random chat with a stranger, an unexpected discussion with a loved one, have the almost supernatural power to redefine your future and become milestones that split your life into Before and After. And while not everyone enjoys not knowing what lies ahead, I guess that’s what makes life exciting. The mystery, the unknown, the surprise…

And talking about surprises – let me introduce you to the latest addition to the the monthly boxes craze: the Cat Hampurr box – a monthly cat goodies hamper box.

cat hampurr logo

I’ve been a huge fan of Glossy Box and other beauty boxes for a while (those subscriptions that send you 3-5 beauty samples every month). So I was really excited when I heard about the cat version, and subscribed right away. So what do you get for the monthly fee of £11.95 + £3.95 p&p? Here’s an overview of the first 4 boxes:

May Cat HampurrCat Hampurr apurrfectcat reviewCat Hampurr apurrfectcat reviewCat Hampurr apurrfectcat review

Alfie’s fave thing from the May box:Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review

June Cat Hampurr

Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat reviewCat Hampurr apurrfectcat review

Alfie’s choice from this month’s box was… Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review

July Cat Hampurr 

Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review

Alfie’s fave thing from the July box:Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review

The post photo-shoot damage:Cat Hampurr apurrfectcat review

August Cat Hampurr:

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Can’t find the paper overview, so here’s one from the Cat Hampurr website:

  • Lily’s Kitchen | Organic complete wet food | Lamb/Chicken Dinner | x2 100g
  • Thrive | Complete food| 100% chicken | x2 75g
  • Cheshire & Wain | Handmade catnip Prawn toy
  • Natures Menu | Treats | Salmon & Trout | 60g
  • Thrive | premium plus dry food | Salmon & Herring / Chicken | x2 50g

And here’s Alfie’s favourite from the August box

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What’s great about it?

I love trying out new things (so does Alfie). And every time a new Cat Hampurr arrives it feels like Xmas all over again. It’s also great way to find out about the latest launches in the world of cat goodies, and try things out before you commit buying something in bulk.

But… there’s one big issue I have with it

The wet cat food samples. Honestly, I think all the wet cat food samples I got were useless. Let me explain. Anyone who knows a thing or two about cats (and hopefully Cat Hampurr and the companies sending their samples do) will know that you can’t just change your cat’s food just like that. It’s a 3-5 days commitment in which you need to start slowly (3/4 old food, 1/4 new food) and work your way up to 100% new food. Unless you want to upset their tummy or enjoy cleaning up cat puke. If I only get 2-3 cans of a new cat food brand, how am I supposed to get Alfie used to it AND have him try it for 2-3 days to figure out if he likes it or not? You’re right – I can’t. It may be organic and super healthy and all that but if I can’t find out if Alfie will actually like it, I’m not going to buy it (and let’s be honest, that’s the whole point of the box for the brands taking part in it). Even if I were to use it as a small supplement to his normal food, it’s still a hassle. To be fair, only 2 out of the 4 boxes included wet cat food, but still, I’d really rather have something else instead of those wet food samples.

The conclusion…

Despite the wet cat food sample issue, I think Cat Hampurr is great and would definitely recommend you try it. At least for a couple of months to see if you like it. It’s not cheap, but if you & your lovely cat enjoy trying out new things, this is definitely something worth exploring.

Have you tried Cat Hampurr or anything similar? Let me know in the comments below.

How to stop your cat from running out the door

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Freedom can kill!

Before Human Rights activists come knocking on my door, let me explain what I meant…

We have just moved houses. And while we absolutely love the new house, there’s one thing that’s worrying me quite a lot. Our front door leads directly onto a busy road. So from now on, Alfie is back to being an indoor cat. That’s totally fine, as he was an indoor cat the whole time we lived in Amsterdam (until he was 2.5).

So I started looking into different ways to can stop him from running away out the font door.

After a thorough research, here are a few ways to cat-proof your exits:

1. Start with the basics: don’t leave doors and windows open

That doesn’t mean you can’t open the window – of course you can, just make sure your cat isn’t in the room / can’t access that room while the window/balcony door is open. Cats can squeeze through tighter spaces than you might think so don’t risk it by leaving the windows open for “just 2 inches”.

2. Ask everyone to watch out 

Tell all your visitors (guests, cleaners, kids) to be careful when opening/closing the door. They probably don’t even realise how dangerous it is.

3. Make doorways scary

A few options:

Motion activated sprays – a battery powered gadget that delivers a short burst of unscented spray/compressed air every time there’s motion in front of the sensor, like the ssscat or SpraySentry ones:

ssscat

* Water spray bottle – keep it outside the door and use it every time you see your cat behind the door to teach them that’s not a fun place to hang out in.

* Motion activated alarm – they go on every time your cat (or a person) go near the door. I think that might confuse your cat as they won’t always be able to link the alarm to something they do. Plus, it might annoy your neighbours.

radio shack

* Noise maker – such as a can half full of coins. Cats hate that noise so using it every time to open the door should help scare the cat away from the door.

* Electric shock mats – they give a mild electric shock when your cat steps on it. The idea is to place it indoors in front of the door and your cat will learn quite fast that area is a no go. Personally I would never use electric shocks on my cat unless nothing else worked. Plus, your cat might just jump over it, so I doubt how reliable it actually is.

ScatMat

These are the options I found so far. And I have actually just applied one of these. Check out my next blog post to see which one and whether it worked or not.

How do you cat-proof your exits?

10 things I love about my cat

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Hi everyone,

This is my 100th blog post. So celebrate this I thought I would do something a bit more special and write an open (love) letter to my inspiration for this blog, my adorable cat Alfie.

You’d better get yourself some wine – this blog post is about to get cheesy! (hope you’ll enjoy it nevertheless)

Oana and Alfie the cat

1. I love the way you come on our bed after we turn the light off and cuddle and purr and airbox while I tickle your tummy

2. I love how you follow me around everywhere

3. I love how you ALWAYS come over when I call you, even if you’re outside in our neighbour’s tree (ok, I know it’s for the treats really, but still!)

4. I love how you “talk” back to me

5. I love to watch you drink water from the water fountain (even after all this time, I’m fascinated by it)

6. I love how you ALWAYS come to greet me when I come home

7. I love how you wiggle your bum before you pounce

8. I love it when you come really close to my face and our noses touch

9. I love it when you do a little meow while I tickle your tummy

10. I love how easygoing you are. Like that one time when we drove from Amsterdam to London and you had to stay in a carrier for 8h, you didn’t complain even once. Or when we moved houses and instead of hiding under the bed for days like some cats do, you just went on and inspected all the cupboards and window sills and every nook and cranny of the new house and then fell asleep on top of the tallest moving boxes.

 

What do YOU love about your cat? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to find out.

What is the best cat treat in the world?

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Looking through my cupboard this morning I realised something slightly worrying interesting. I have not 1, not 2, but 11 varieties of cat treats waiting to be tried out. So I thought – why not try them out at the same time? And see which one Alfie prefers. To make the competition even more serious, I threw in some of his favourite human food treats as well.

All treats lined up nervously waiting for the moment of truth:

cat treats 2

From left to right, we have: popcorn, Yarrah Organic Chew Sticks, Good Girl Catnip Biscuits, Cosma Snackies – Freeze-dried Duck Cat Snacks, ham, Lily’s Kitchen Crunchy Nibbles for Cats, Good Girl Catnip drops, Dokas Chicken & Cheese Sandwich, cheese, Cosma Snackies – Freeze-dried Duck & Liver Cat Snacks, Good Girl Milk Drops, Vet’s Kitchen Little Hearts – Crunchy Chicken & Duck, Science Plan Optimal Care Cat food (his regular food), tuna, Gimpet MilkBits, and Tigeria Lucky Grass:

Cat treats

And the winner is…

1. Yarrah Organic Chew Sticks

2. Dokas Chicken & Cheese Sandwich

3. Ham

After these first three, he turned into a cat treats vacuum cleaner, and ate them in the order they were lined up.

The conclusion? Alfie will eat any treats! As long as it’s food, he won’t be fussy. And if your cat is like him, it’s really up to you to choose the best for them.

But what is best? According to Dr. Karen Becker the best cat treat is 100% dehydrated meat as it doesn’t have any nasty carbohydrates, fats or sugars. You may think that treats’ quality doesn’t really matter as it’s such a small amount, but cats’ livers are way smaller than humans’ and toxins do add up so you really need to pay attention to everything they eat.

Hope you found this useful (or at least funny). Please let me know in the comments what your cat’s favourite treat is. I’m always on the lookout for new treats for Alfie ;)

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