Hermione & George Review Greenies’ Pill Pockets.

Recently I needed to give Hermione and George medications that came in capsules. I asked the nurses at the vet how I was supposed to give them a capsule (liquids are hard enough) and they looked at each other in a way that should have raised my suspicions more than it did and the answer was somewhat muttered…but they did suggest that I could buy Greenies’ Pill Pockets and that these would go around the capsules and the cats would eat the pills without issue…so I bought a small bag – I think it was around $8-$10, it had 45 treats and was chicken flavored. I only needed four, but I figured the cats could just eat the rest as treats.

A package of Greenies Pill Pockets, chicken flavored.
A package of Greenies Pill Pockets, chicken flavored.

Hermione and George did not have a high opinion of said Pill Pockets. I imagine much depends on one’s particular cats, but mine are picky – they put the treats in their mouths, then dropped them back out. I thought maybe it was the capsule that was deterring them, so I tried giving them some of the treats by themselves to “warm them up” to this being tasty food – but they weren’t interested. They didn’t care for the treats at all…

Hermione and George give these Pill Pockets a 0 out of 5 score. They are being especially harsh b/c I then had to pin them to the floor and try to force them to take the medications (they successfully resisted)…

Trying to Make Sense of Cat Food.

Goodness gracious, there are like a billion different cat foods out there – it is so overwhelming! Even just by a single company there seems to be endless variations! I had recently been fairly happy with the Goodlife Recipe with Chicken Food for Indoor Cats (14 lbs) but then it shot up to the outrageous price of $50+. Maybe this is only a temporary issue with Amazon’s supply – but for now, with a doubling in price, there is no way I’m buying it.

So, here I am, yet again looking for cat food. I have four cats – one that has an eating disorder and will continue eating till she vomits, continuing eat, vomit, and repeat forever. Two of the other cats have sensitive stomachs and a lot of cat food doesn’t seem to agree with them.

I’ve spent a little while on Amazon and here is what I’ve narrowed my options down to…I’ll probably end up trying a few before I find one that works well with my sensitive cats (the only way to deal with the eating disordered one is portion control) and this will give me a list to come back to and hopefully help others who are trying to decide on a cat food narrow down their selections from the hundreds of options available.

I’ve selected the foods based on brand name, customer reviews, price, weight, ingredients, and so on.

Budget Options

Organic Options

I’m going to try Hill’s Ideal Balance Natural Chick and Brown Rice Recipe first. The price is reasonable, and becomes more reasonable with Subscribe & Save and I like the fact that in addition to being all-natural it doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, or soy. We’ll see how it goes…

Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box Review.

I have four cats and five four[1] litter boxes. The vet says I should have more, but where am I supposed to put them? And keeping five litter boxes clean already takes too much time! I have tried several different automated litter boxes, including the CatGenie. In the end, I’ve always gone back to the old-fashioned litter boxes that require manual scooping.[2]

Omega Paw Roll'n Clean Litter Box.
Omega Paw Roll’n Clean Litter Box.

Still, I’m always keeping my eyes open for ways to reduce the amount of time, smells, and mess litter boxes create for me. On April 10th I purchased an Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Large). The price was right – $30 – and while it didn’t flush the litter down the septic like the CatGenie, it did simplify the process significantly.

When it arrived a few days later it took only a few minutes to assemble – but I didn’t listen to the “use clumping litter” instructions, since I didn’t have any around the house and instead used some regular litter – yeah, that didn’t work at all!

So, I purchased a 40 lb bag of Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter for $23 on April 24th and have been using it ever since. As of today (June 10th) I still have 10-15 lbs left. I was worried I was going to go broke buying litter – but whether it is the litter which is so long-lasting, the Omega Paw litter box which performs the magic, or some combination of the two – the litter seems to last FOREVER, so I’m not so worried about that any more.

Using the Omega Paw is easy-as-pie. I move it into a wide open space (and yes, you need a wide open space), roll it upside down, hit the bottom two or three times (to dislodge anything stuck to the bottom) and then roll it back. I pull out the scoop and dump the collected cat refuse into a plastic bag and take it outside and place it in a trash can.[3]

I’m very happy with the product – and hoping to replace at least two[4] one more of the existing litter boxes with Omega Paw’s. Currently there are two I can’t replace, b/c they are in too tight of a space and it would be too great of a hassle to move them into a space large enough to roll them.[5]

Another really nice element of this litter box is the hood. Some of my cats occasionally “miss” (especially our biggest cat, Barclay, whose butt occasionally hangs out of the litter box when she attempts to “do her business”) – and the hood has prevented this 100% 95%!

Now that I’ve raved about the Omega Paw, let me highlight a few drawbacks:

  1. The Omega Paw needs to be cleaned regularly. If you forget to clean the litter box for a day too many and too much refuse builds up, it will overflow the scoop and it becomes difficult to get the scoop out of the Omega Paw and can make a little mess in the process.
  2. It is overly difficult to add litter to the Omega Paw. You either have to remove the top (which has a number of tabs so it doesn’t fall open when rolling) or you have to throw litter into the Omega Paw via the entrance way the cats use.[6] This isn’t impossible or even that difficult, but it sure would be nice if there was a door in the hood which could be easily opened and would allow one to drop litter in from the top!
  3. The plastic tabs are of poor quality. I haven’t had any break, but they just don’t show a high quality of workmanship, with extraneous plastic on some of them, rough fits, and so on. Once you get it put together you really don’t need to take the hood off often, but still, a little extra work on this front would make this product “premium.”
  4. It requires a lot of space. You have to roll the Omega Paw upside down and back again, and this requires some significant space. I would suggest that Omega Paw make another model (more expensive) which could “roll in place” and could be used in tight spots. The Omega Paw is great if you have the room – but for those with space constraints (e.g. especially apartment dwellers), The Omega Paw may not be a viable option.
  5. The scoop slides out. Sometimes when I am rolling the Omega Paw, the scoop will begin sliding out – which results in litter falling on the floor. Yuck! If there was a latch that held the scoop in place, this would be awesome!

All that said, The Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box is the best litter box I have used thus far. It isn’t as nice as say a CatGenie is theoretically, but at least in my experience with the older CatGenie model, it didn’t work consistently and created lots of messes – The Omega Paw is a little more work, but it just works.

  1. [1]The cats seem more willing to use the Omega Paw litter boxes, so I eliminated one litter box – I now have two Omega Paw litter boxes and have purchased another which is on its way. I hope to eliminate one more little box so that I’ll only have three boxes total.
  2. [2]Though I’d like to try the latest model of CatGenie, I’m not about to shell out the money for a new one.
  3. [3]Which, btw, seems to keep other creatures – e.g. raccoons and squirrels – from diving into your household trash.
  4. [4]I have replaced two already and have a third on its way.
  5. [5]I’ve replaced the two litter boxes with one Omega Paw. It is a tiny bit of a hassle, but still worth it.
  6. [6]While I still think a door in the hood would be nice, I realized if I roll the box onto its back the door is then facing upwards and I can easily pour litter in that way.