The Bergan Turbo Scratcher is such a hit in our home that we have two. There are so many great features to this one product.
It has a durable corrugated cardboard scratching pad in the center. The pad is sturdy enough to let me dig right in, helping me shed the sheath from my nails to keep them strong and healthy. Since I love scratching the pad so much I don’t even think about scratching up the couch or carpet anymore either.
The pad is replaceable. The replacements come in packs of two, so we always have another on hand when I wear one out. We replace the pads every few months.
The outer layer is a track with a ball that zooms real fast. I have so much fun playing with it and it helps keep me active and stimulated. One of our Bergan Turbo Scratchers even has a ball that lights up!
The Bergan Turbo Scratcher comes with a small bag of catnip. This helped me love it from the very beginning.
Thanks to all of the cat mamas who entered the Dear Nora/Tidy Cats Mother’s Day Giveaway this week! We heard so many great stories, and your wild, dedicated love to your furkids is crystal clear. You all deserve a big Mother’s Day surprise, but in the end we could only choose ten. The winners were notified by email this morning and will be receiving their special gift (including Tidy Cats litter, of course) later this week.
Keep watching Dear Nora for more Tidy Cats news and giveaways! As Tidy Cats Insiders, we’ve got some exciting announcements up our sleeves!
Happy Mother’s Day, cat mamas! I’m excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Tidy Cats to bring Dear Nora readers an exclusive inside scoop on Tidy Cats news and new products!
This Mother’s Day, you deserve to be pampered! We’d like to show our appreciation for all of the love and devotion you give so freely to your furkids by offering you a chance to win some special gifts and, of course, Tidy Cats litter!
There are a lot of great reasons to love being a cat mom. My mama says her favorite part has been watching me grow into a big, healthy, strong-willed cat from the scared, tiny kitten I was when she found me.
What’s your favorite part of being a cat mama? Let us know in the comments for a chance to win special gifts and Tidy Cats litter.
Act fast—ten winners will be chosen and notified on May 6th!
Q: Dear Nora,
I catch my cat drinking out of the toilet a few times a week. He hasn’t gotten sick from it, but it squicks me out to think about. Why does he think toilet water is so delicious, and could he get sick from it?
A: Cats lick their own butts several times every single day. Drinking toilet water is the least of your problems if you’re scared of germs. That being said, if your cat’s love for toilet water is causing you real distress, you can simply get into the habit of putting the toilet lid down when you’re done doing your business.
Your cat is likely attracted to the water in the toilet because it’s cold, fresh, and not stagnant. Are you refreshing his water bowl enough? An easy solution is to invest in a watering fountain. That way your cat will always have access to fresh moving water and won’t be so bummed to see the toilet lid down.
Q: Dear Nora, I recently adopted a new cat and want to give him the best life I can. I’m confused about all of the options for food and water dishes. When it comes to my cat’s dishes and safety, is there really a difference between plastic and stainless steel?
A: First of all, congrats to you and your cat!
When it comes to materials for your cat’s dishes, there is in fact a difference between plastic and stainless steel, and the stainless steel is worth paying a bit more for. Plastic gathers nicks and scratches easily. They may be too small for you to even notice, but those scratches can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Plus, many cats are allergic to plastic and can break out with small bumps on their chins.
Most veterinarians recommend stainless steel bowls because they are easy to clean, unbreakable, and don’t harbor bacteria. Ceramic dishes are also a good choice as long as you make sure they have a lead-free glaze. If the cost hike is prohibitive, you can often find stainless steel bowls at thrift stores for a fraction of the cost.
Q: Dear Nora, What do you think of battery operated interactive toys? My job keeps me out of my home for many hours every day, and I’m searching for ways to keep my cat stimulated while I’m away.
A: Cats are natural hunters and need that instinct to be stimulated somehow. If you don’t have the time to have interactive play sessions with your cats on a regular basis, battery operated toys are a great alternative! My favorite is the Motion-activated Mouse Chase Cat Toy. There is a mouse inside for me to swat at AND it has a scratch pad!
While you’re searching for toys, don’t rule out the ones that aren’t battery operated. I know lots of cats who love the Stimulo Activity Food Center. The Stimulo was technically designed to slow down eating to help cats with weight and digestion problems, but it’s also a puzzle that will keep your cat entertained for hours. The Turbo Scratcher is also great. It’s such a hit at my house that we have TWO! I like to bat the ball around, then pounce on it! Plus the scratch pad in the middle keeps my claws nice and sharp. Sometimes my mom sprinkles catnip into the scratch pad for some extra fun.
Q: Dear Nora,
My girlfriend and I are moving in together and are thinking about adopting a feline at some point. We’d like you to pick the breed for us. The challenge is that she is somewhat allergic to cats, so it needs to be as hypoallergenic as possible. Any ideas?
A: People who are allergic to cats are specifically allergic to a protein in feline saliva, called Fel d 1. Basically, we lick our coats while grooming, the allergen in our saliva dries and becomes airborne, and that is what causes your girlfriend to have a reaction. There are a few factors that affect how much Fel d 1 a cat produces.
:: Female cats produce less than males
:: Neutered males produce less than intact ones
:: Light-colored cats tend to produce less than dark-colored ones
There are several breeds, as well, that produce fewer allergens: Oriental Shorthair, Javanese, Devon Rex, Balinese, Sphynx, Cornish Rex, and Siberian. Thought not completely “hypoallergenic”, these breeds have lived successfully with sensitive people.
As a rescue cat myself, I can’t in good conscience recommend a breed from this list, as you’d generally need to visit a breeder to find one. I hope, instead, that you will take the time to visit shelters and hold out until a allergy-friendly cat comes to you in a more compassionate way.
Q: Dear Nora, One of my cats drinks water by dipping her paw into the bowl and then licking the water from her paw. Why?
A: Your cat may be doing this for one (or more!) of several reasons. First, cats have very sensitive whiskers. If the bowl is too small, or if the water is low and your cat’s whiskers will touch the sides of it if she drinks, she may choose to drink from her paws instead. If you think this is the case, try a shallow bowl with a large circumference.
Next, we always prefer the freshest water, and water seems freshest when it is moving instead of stagnant. Dipping our paws into the water is a way to try to achieve this with the tools we have (dirty water + paws = fresh?). Try a water fountain so your cat won’t have to do all that work.
Q: Dear Nora, My cats have a large water bowl that I always refill when it gets low. Still, I frequently find them sneaking water from the kitchen sink, my own water glass, etc. What gives?
A: There are two things that may be happening. First, the water may not be fresh enough. Our wildcat-ancestor survival instincts are still very much in tact, even though we let you think you’ve domesticated us. If your cats are thirsty and the water smells or tastes bacteria-laden, they may avoid it. Keep in mind that our senses are a lot stronger than yours, so something that seems fine to you may be disgusting to us. Try using smaller bowls, which will force you to refresh the water more often. Also, give the bowls a good washing at least once a week.
Secondly, in a multi-cat household, weaker cats may seek out alternative water sources if a bully-cat is watching over the bowl. To solve this problem, put water (and food) bowls in several locations throughout your home, so there is always a safe and accessible alternative.
I’m not a veterinarian (obviously. Cats aren’t allowed into veterinarian school). The information you’ll find here is strictly for educational and entertainment purposes. Dear Nora is not intended to diagnose and we encourage regular visits with your local veterinarian to address any medical or behavioral problems.