Finding The Right Food For Your Cat

cat eating

I confess,  I feed my cats dry food.  Are you surprised?  Cats don’t have much of a thirst drive, so they need wet food to get enough water to survive.  Lisa Pierson, DVM believes that cats should be fed wet food only.  That certainly would be the safest thing to do.

I also free feed my cats.  That is, Joy and I leave a bowl of dry food out all day so the cats can eat as they please.  Yes, water is out all day also but even before I read Dr. Pierson’s article I noticed they didn’t drink much of the water. Cats that aren’t getting enough water will develop urinary tract infections, which can be fatal if left untreated.   The problem is how do you know when your cat isn’t feeling well, and if you do know will you catch it in time? We feed our cats wet food about three times a week, and that has been working well for us.

            How to choose a brand?  There really aren’t many rating good sites out there.  Go here first:  This is Dr. Pierson’s site.  While there are no brand specific recommendations, the site is jam packed with great nutritional information and advice on how to choose a commercial cat food so I encourage you to spend some time there.

            Then go here:

            PetSmart Pet food selector.

            This is an easy to use tool to find a brand that is a fit for your cat.  The PetSmart engine will suggest brands, then use the information from to pick just the right one to meet the nutritional needs of your cat.

            I said at the beginning that I feed my cats dry food.  How do you find the right dry cat food?  To tell the truth, I use the dog food reviews mentioned last week in my column Dog Food Advisor and trust that they put the same care into mixing their cat food.

            How do you find a good brand for your cat?  Let me know at:

Dave Jones is an insurance sales desk supervisor by day and a professional magician by night.  He lives with his wife Joy in Anderson, Ohio, but grew up on a farm with pigs, chickens and cows as well as dogs and cats.  You can e-mail Dave as well as follow him on Facebook.

News And Polls


We are excited to announce today that Barnes & Noble Booksellers has joined our team of Recommended Providers, Products And Services!  You will now see at the top of that page the first two books we are recommending–reviews for these will be coming up shortly.  But feel free to shop for ANY books after hitting either of those links–you will still be helping to keep Your Pet Space up and running.  And don’t forget we want YOUR reviews on pet related books as well.  So get reading, and send them in to us.  🙂


Now, speaking of this being YOUR Pet Space, we’d like to get your opinion on some changes we’re thinking of making to the website.  Please help us out by taking the three polls at the top of the main page called “Newsletter Signup”, “Pet Causes and Petitions” and “Splash Page”.  We’ll let you know the results soon!


Auggie the cat

There’s an old saying my grandma used to live by: Each day is a blessing.  This idea is true for humans as well as animals.  Currently I have four beautiful felines in my life plus a couple of “grand-kitties”, one “grand-dog” and other assorted family and neighbor pet buddies. Animals make me complete, and I can’t imagine a life without my furfriends. I am blessed to be connected to such loving beings.

Last summer, we lost a dear companion.

Auggie, named for the month of August when we found her as a stray kitten 15 ½ years ago, is no longer with us. She was a wonderful, willowy Maine Coon with stripes, swirls and tufts between her toes.

Auggie was a fairly low-maintenance and unassuming kitty. Even at the end of life, she made it easy because we never had to make a difficult decision about what to do for her. She passed to the Rainbow Bridge quickly and easily.

The evening before, we knew something was odd. She gave us signs that it was going to happen.  Auggie was mild-mannered and a distant kind of cat. She liked being in the room with people, but she wasn’t a cuddler. She was aloof anyway, but we sensed something else.

She dozed in unusual spots around the house, had no interest in eating or drinking, was lethargic and generally was oblivious, even when the drooling, dramatic and zealous grand-puppy came for a visit. There wasn’t much we could do on a Sunday night but be mindful of her behavior.

Just as she moved around in real-life, she passed swiftly and gracefully the next morning with my daughter and me close by. We even had my out-of-town daughter on iChat, so she could see and say her farewell too.

Later that week, when Auggie’s kitty ashes had been processed and returned to us, we planned a pet memorial service. Our other four surviving cats joined my husband and our kids in the living room.  (Anyone who owns cats knows you cannot MAKE one sit for a eulogy, but ours did.  They seemed to know and sat beside the discreet paper sack, which held a small wooden box containing Auggie’s cremains.) My husband read a brief bio of Auggie, and I read a poem I’d written about her. Then we went to our back yard into a private, tree-filled area, read Psalm 23 and gently spread her ashes into a hole I’d dug earlier that morning.  We also passed the small shovel and deposited dirt into the hole to give our Auggie a true “Mewish” funeral.

When the loss of a beloved pet happens, it has a profound effect on the humans and the other animals.  For us, planning a simple but meaningful service was necessary. It gave respect to Auggie’s not-too-dramatic yet influential life. It gave us a feeling of closure and accomplishment. Our remaining animals even had a chance to be present with all of us and process the loss in their own way.  After the memorial was over, we held our four remaining earthly kitties and assured them of our love and continued devotion.

Believe me, they understood.

 Paige Strickland

Paige Adams Strickland is the recently published author of, Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity. She is a Spanish teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio and is married with two daughters and a son-in-law.  She has owned both cats and dogs but currently has four cats.  Her book blog is, and she welcomes visits and comments there. Her book is available on iPad, Kindle and as a print version at:     or:

The Do It Yourself Pet Parent

pet toys

When we first launched, one of our polls revealed that pet owners would like to know how to make their own healthy treats for their fur babies, and also fun, teaching toys.  Your Pet Space scoured the web and found the following links:


33 Dog Toys You Can Make From Things Around the House

Make Your Own Homemade Rabbit Toys

Cat Toys

Five Cheap Bird Toys You Can Make at Home

And, our fav:



Recipe Ideas for Quick and Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Diabetic Dog Treats

Cat Treats: Homemade Cat Food Recipes

Bird Food and Treat Recipes

Homemade Rat Treats

And our fav:

We would LOVE to have you send in to us your toy ideas and natural recipes for treats or food!  Just post on our Facebook page, comment here or e-mail to

Joy Jones is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Anderson, Ohio.  When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphyscial column called The Midwestern Buddhist as well as urban fantasy and humor.  You can e-mail her at as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Dog Food Advisor

dog food

I once adopted two Basset Hounds – Ziggy and Gushie.  Gushie was very laid back, and Ziggy was nervous.  Ziggy would devour his dinner as fast as he could, then throw it all up.  I tried to slow him down by putting my hand on his back while he was eating.  While this did slow him down, it did not stop the regurgitation. My vet said another patient had this problem and switched to Science Diet.

I thought I had been using a top brand, but I gave Science Diet a try and it worked!  No more vomiting after dinner.

            Time moves on as it does. Ziggy and Gushie passed, and we eventually adopted more dogs.

I started them out on Science Diet, having learned my lesson and was quite happy with it.  My Brittany, Castle, is a very high energy dog.  I called her my ADD dog.  Someone mentioned that ADD children should avoid grain. So I thought I would try that with my dog.  I researched dog foods looking for something grain free and high in nutrition.  Wow!  There is a lot of information available.

            Now, I am not going to tell you which food to purchase.  You have to make that decision. All dogs have different needs.  I look for a food that has a good recall history.  I once went to restock only to find my brand had been recalled.  I don’t use that brand anymore. Switching brands cold can be hard on a dog’s stomach.

            If you do switch food, do it gradually. My opinion is, start with 25% new food mixed with 75% old food.  Gradually increase this each day until you are at 100% new food at the end of the week.  Some say make the change faster and some will say make the change over a longer period of time.  You will know by your dog’s reaction to the new mix if you are moving too fast.

            To choose a food, we recommend Dog Food Advisor. Once there, you will find links for wet food also, and other important information.  Let me know how it works out for you.  I’d love to hear how things are going with your dog!

dave-with-castle 300

Dave Jones, our Video Editor, is president of Your Pet Space by day and a professional magician by night. He lives with his wife Joy in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but grew up on a farm with pigs, chickens and cows as well as dogs and cats in Ohio. You can e-mail Dave at as well as send him a friend request on Facebook.

News News News

New Affiliate Announcement!

We are excited to welcome our latest affiliate, Cesar’s Way.  Yes, you can now buy products through our site from Cesar Milan, the famous Dog Whisperer!

In addition, we added text only links, so you can leave your ad-blocker on if you prefer and still get access to great bargains.  We are in negotiations with more companies and expect to be adding more each week.  In the meantime, you can help us in three ways:  1) Continue to shop through our Recommended Providers, Products and Services Page, 2) let us know where you most like to shop for your pets.  3) Send us your product reviews!

Speaking of Product Reviews…

You will notice we have added a new page showing off our current writing and testing staff.  We are always looking for guest bloggers and product testers…so drop us a line at to volunteer!

And Now, To Howloween!!!

We are very pleased to announce that as of today we are accepting pics for a new costume contest for your pets!  Some wonderful prizes are being put together from local sponsors–but even if you are one of our readers from Canada, Germany, India or the UK, you can still win!  Here are the contest rules:

1.)  You must subscribe to the Your Pet Space newsletter to qualify to enter.  To subscribe, look for the yellow tabs on the side of each page, or e-mail us at saying you want to be added.

2) Submit a picture of your pet(s) in costume to no later than Nov 2nd at midnight.  You may submit separate photos of different pets to be entered more than once!

3.)  Send a link to our site once the voting poll goes up to all your friends so they can vote for you.

4.) Winners will be announced on Sunday, November 10th and prizes awarded in the following week!

5.) You are giving us permission by entering the contest to display photos of your pet in costume (and your photo also, if you like) on Your Pet Space for promotional purposes.

Ok, ready, set–costume!  Hint: check out the sale link to Halloween costumes for your pet here: Halloween Shop – Scary fun for all costumes, treats, toys, and events at!







Saturday Guest Blog: THAT’S OKAY, WE THINK YOU’RE GROSS TOO! Meet the Rat

vet questions: rat nutrition

Mention your pet rat to someone and you are almost guaranteed to get a look of disgust in return.  All rat owners know the face, it is something we have to experience on a regular basis.  What those listeners don’t know is that our pet rats would be feeling exactly the same way if they ever met these strange, filthy human-creatures who are wrinkling their noses and making sounds of “Eeew!”

Rats are some of the most misunderstood of all the small, exotic pets.  Their bad reputation comes mostly from the past when parasites like fleas used rats as a mode of transportation, spreading illness wherever the rodents made their homes.  Pets of the day were workers; useful animals who pulled their weight for the family who cared for them, but the rat’s intelligence hurt them more than helped them, turning them from wild creatures who were just trying to survive into disease-laden pests. Meanwhile the useful cats, dogs and farm animals found safe, happy homes with their caretakers.  Today, most are surprised to see rats working with companies to rewire buildings or taking a new place alongside police, sniffing out drugs or explosives.  Rat owners, however, are hardly surprised.  In fact, when we see news of this kind, we pump our fists in the air and shout for joy at finding one more speck of proof that we were right all along.

Even with all the new hype, if you talk openly about your love for your pet rat, most will still frown upon you.  Tell people you have a hamster, guinea pig, gerbil, or even a mouse, and everyone is generally willing enough to allow the cute factor, even if they don’t understand your choice of pet.  To many, rats are filthy, diseased creatures with hairless, snake-like tails that are happy to live in the grime of the subway or the stench of the dump.  The truth is that rats are very intelligent and CLEAN animals, whose natural family units make them some of the best bonding-pets in the small animal world.

In my series on rat care, I hope to share my own experiences with current rat owners while introducing the rat as a pet to those who would have previously turned up their nose at the thought of sharing a snuggle with a large rodent.  Everyone who is disgusted as they read this right now has no need to worry though, most rats would give themselves a THOROUGH cleaning after being held by any oily, grimy, filthy human.  At least you and the rats are starting out on equal footing.

Mirrani Houpe, YPS Staff Member

Mirrani Houpe has had rats since she took home her first little boy once they both completed the second grade.  Since that time she has purchased, rescued and bred many kinds of rats, from many backgrounds. She may not be a vet, psychology major, or scientist, but her babies have her very well trained when it comes to how to care for them.  She is constantly working with her family’s veterinarian to come up with new and innovative ways to love and care for the most often misunderstood rodent in the pet world.

A Little Something For Our Faithful Sci Fi Fan Readers

To celebrate the finalization of our new logo, we just wanted to share a few fun links we like:

What if an astronaut took his/her pet bird into space? Would it still be able to fly?

Fancy naming your pet after famous animals who have travelled in space?  Here are a few  names to choose from.

20 Best (And 20 Worst) Pets In Science Fiction

Do you have some links like these to share?  Feel free to comment here or place them on our Facebook page!