DIY: Cat Towers From Ikea’s Stolmen

One of the things I’m not crazy about with most cat stands is how big & clunky they are–they can take up a lot of space.  That’s why I’m liking these Ikea hacks you can make yourself with 2 Stolmen poles and shelves.  And if you want something sleeker, you can buy nifty shelves specifically for making a cat tower using just one Stolmen pole.  Not only do these cat towers look less massive than traditional cat stands, they have a very small footprint, and even cooler—you can change them around to keep your kitties intrigued.

This first DIY project is pretty straightforward and uses just Stolmen parts. See how the shelves are stair-stepped so the cats will have an easy time climbing up.





The second DIY project is a little more involved–but super easy– and includes a great scratching post. The original plans are in Finnish, but here’s a translation of the plans to give you some more information on how they made their tower.





The Hollywood Franklin Tower from designer Peter Sehorsch is a more streamlined version that uses only one Ikea Stolmen pole.  They make 2 different sized shelves, come in different color stains, and are covered in carpet from Flor.  Their site is Flash intensive and irksome, but their design is worth looking at.  If the Flash bugs you, check out the pdf to see the niftiness.


Pet Food Recall: Iams ProActive Health

The FDA has announced a recall of canned Iams ProActive Health food for cats and kittens due to insufficient levels of thiamine (B1).  The recall is only for North America and includes:

  • all varieties of ProActive Health canned food in 3 oz & 5.5 oz cans with dated 09/2011 to 06/2012 on the bottom of the can

Cats who only eat ProActive Health food are the ones at risk for thiamine deficiency.

Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include loss of appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss. In advanced cases, signs may include ventroflexion (downward curving) of the neck, wobbly gait, falling, circling and seizures. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these signs. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.

The FDA says to discard any cans included in the recall and contact Proctor & Gamble for information and refunds.  Call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8826 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST).

We Like: The Bark Magazine

We like The Bark a lot! When the economy took a nosedive, one of the money-saving things I did was let a bunch of our magazine subscriptions run out, but not The Bark. This is a magazine I often read cover-to-cover and not just because it’s about dogs.

Bark is a progressive magazine with outstanding columnists like Patricia McConnell, PhD who has written on topics like: how to tell the difference between playing and fighting, fearful dogs, pain as a cause of behavior problems. It also includes excellent contributing editors like Sophia Yin, DVM, MS. who has written about: nutrigenomics–the study of how nutrition affects gene expression, summer health tips, pollutants and dogs

Contributors are top-drawer.  The photography and illustrations are always engaging.  This isn’t a fluff magazine, but it is a fun magazine.  In addition to outstanding articles on training and health by people who actually know what they’re writing about, there are great pieces on art, law, history, crafts, science, fiction, you name it.  Bark also has actual, critical book reviews, which I especially appreciate.

Bark is great about promoting adoption without beating you over the head.  Their “coverdogs” are both purebred & mixed breed.  They even had a tripod dog on their cover. (see top image) Articles look at issues facing purebred dogs as well as issues facing strays, animal shelters, & animal rescue workers.  Bark rocks!

(Note: I am in no way connected with The Bark magazine.)

DIY: Temporary Pet ID Tags

Getting ready to take your pet on vacation?  Make sure she has an up-to-date ID tag with a current cellphone number with area code on it.  Staying somewhere for a while?  Put that address on a temporary tag.

No one expects to lose their cat or dog, but it happens all the time.  Be prepared and keep your pet safe!