Puzzle toys are really great for keeping kitties mentally stimulated/entertained and work very well for kitties who are very treat-driven.
Even though this Nina Ottosson puzzle toy is called “Dog Brick”, it’s a puzzle toy that cats can totally play with as well.
You place treats in the treat pockets and cover the pockets with either the sliding caps or a bone cover. Kitty (or doggy) then has to remove the bone cover to find the treat underneath or remove the bone cover to be able to move the sliding caps to get to the treat underneath. The Dog Brick is very well made and made of sturdy plastic so it is easy to clean by rinsing under the tap.
This type of pushing sliding caps to get to the treat underneath puzzle is not new to me (see my wooden puzzle toy here). So Mummy knew that this toy would not be a problem for me. The dog bones are pretty big for a kitty’s mouth. I think a dog would use their mouth to bite and lift up the dog bone but a kitty would not be able to that. So I have to use my paws and head to push the dog bone. This is possible because the dog bone pocket is quite shallow and the dog bone cover tall enough to make it possible to push it out of the pocket. This is different and more kitty friendly compared to the Kyjen Paw Hide toy where it’s not possible to push the covers out and I have to slide my tooth into the little hole to be able to bite and lift the cover up.
Difficulty level for the Dog Brick is 2 and 3. I think Level 2 is if you don’t use the dog bone covers and Level 3 is with the Dog Bone covers.
With all puzzle toys, don’t assume that your kitty will be able to figure out how to toy works on its own. You will have to help to teach your kitty how to play. I already know how to uncover the sliding cap part of the puzzle but the dog bones were new to me. So Mummy and Daddy had to slowly teach me how it worked. Initially they only put treats in the dog bone pockets without the cover so that I knew that was where I could get treats from. Then they put treats into the dog bone pocket and placed the dog bone cover to only cover half of the pocket and such that the dog bone was ajar so that it was easy for me to push it away. Then they slowly built from there until I had the hang of the puzzle. They also used the clicker to help with the learning process.
Do remember that kitties can get frustrated easily and if it’s too difficult immediately, they can give up and they’ll never touch the toy again. You can help your kitty enjoy the toy and slowly build their “patience” by teaching them how to play with the toy.
Since Mummy and Daddy are out at work during the day, they set up puzzle toys for me before they go to work so that I won’t be too bored while I’m alone at home. By the time they get home, the dog bone covers are scattered all over the table and all the treats are gone from the toy.
Mummy bought the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick from Hong Kong (Whiskers N Paws shop at Horizon Plaza) for HKD295 (about SGD51). It is cheaper on Amazon at USD25.62 (about SGD34) but this is only if you can get free shipping to Singapore. The toy is not very heavy but the box is sizeable so if you factor in international shipping Mummy figured it would be about the same price as buying it in Hong Kong or could even more slightly more expensive.
No opposable thumbs…no problem.
There is no way to keep me in at night to snuggle….or to keep me out at 6am in the morning when I’m whining for food.
Mummy went to Hong Kong again and look at the stuff she brought back for me!! All of these stuff were from Petistore online shop and Whiskers N Paws store at Horizon Plaza. If you haven’t already seen our guest post on shopping for your kitty in Hong Kong, check it out here!
We wanna say a big Thank You to Petistore for amazing service! The key difficulty with online shopping when you’re on a vacation is including your room number as part of the delivery address because you only get your room number when you arrive and you may not stay long enough for the online store to deliver (unless you pay for express delivery which can be more expensive). You could deliver your items to a friend if you have a friend living there but you’d have to make a trip to your friend’s place to collect and carry everything back to your hotel. But Petistore helped us out by being super helpful and we managed to get my stuff delivered to the hotel.
Petistore has a mobile number that you can use to contact them on Whatsapp so about a week or so before the trip, Mummy gave it a shot and texted Petistore to ask them if they would be able to deliver to the hotel if she could only tell them her room number when she arrived. Petistore was super responsive on Whatsapp and asked Mummy to send them the items she wanted to get so that they could check stock availability. Once they confirmed what was available, they asked Mummy to place the order and make payment first so that they would hold the items for her and deliver once she could tell them her room number. They even followed up the day before her trip to check when Mummy would be able to tell them her room number! Mummy texted them her room number once she arrived in HK and the items were delivered the very next day to her hotel room. Fantastic!!!
Being able to save some of the little precious time in HK by shopping online and not having to lug all the purchases around HK was so awesome! Whiskers N Paws is another really great store although their online shop doesn’t seem to be as good. They have a ton more stuff in their Horizon Plaza shop. The only thing is that Horizon Plaza is pretty out of the way and you have to take either a bus or a cab to get there. A cab ride from Central area to Horizon Plaza takes around 20min. But if you plan to do outlet shopping at Horizon Plaza (like Mummy did), then getting to Whiskers N Paws is not an issue at all!
There’s so much more pet stuff available in Hong Kong, not just for kitties but dogs too. Amazing variety and some really really good quality and high end options available. We wish Singapore pet stores could catch up!!
the things I do to humour my Mummy….
she’s so needy! but I love her anyways… <3
Hi everyone! Here are some tips/facts to keep in mind when buying meat and packing meat for your kitty’s frankenprey meals. Even though cats have very strong stomach acids and a shorter digestive tract which is the reason why they can eat raw meat, you shouldn’t take that for granted and should still take care when buying, handling and preparing their raw meals.
1)Buy fresh meat meant for human consumption
Buy meats that are meant from human consumption as opposed to meat that might be labelled for pets. The reason for this is because not everyone thinks that animals also deserve the very best and safest. Some might think that meat that is very old or not good enough to be sold for humans to eat is fine for animals to eat since they’re just animals. If it’s not safe enough for human to eat, it doesn’t mean it’s fine for animals to eat.
Your furry deserves good fresh meat and you shouldn’t take any risk of feeding them bad meat because it’s a lot worse for you if they end up sick. Also, why waste good money on inferior meat?
Mummy used to be very open about telling butchers that the meat she buys is for me but she doesn’t do that anymore because a friend told her that sometimes the butchers might give you lousier/less fresh meat if they know it’s for a cat/dog. And you still pay the same premium price! So to be on the safe side, Mummy doesn’t say the meat is for me anymore.
2) Buy from a reliable source
The Singapore AVA is pretty strict about the meat that can be imported into Singapore (since these are meats meant for human consumption). So generally meat that is sold in Singapore should be from a safe source/farm and there shouldn’t be concerns over the meat being dangerous or having parasites etc or having been slaughtered in a facility with poor standards.
But for people in Singapore, it is still important to buy from a reliable source. This is to ensure that the meat is handled properly, has been kept properly chilled, that the meat is fresh etc. Because poor handling of the meat can result in the meat going bad. And since the meat is being fed raw to your furry (and not cooked to help kill bacteria), if there is bacteria overload in the meat, it can make your furry sick.
3) Treat the meat like you would if you were eating it
If you wouldn’t cut raw meat that is meant for yourself on a dirty mouldy chopping board, there is no reason why you should do that if the meat is for your furry.
So make sure you have clean hands and clean equipment (chopping board, knives, scissors etc) when handling raw meat at all times.
4) Keep raw meat chilled as much as possible
Lower temperatures slow down bacteria growth. So don’t leave raw meat sitting out on your kitchen counter in humid and hot Singapore for a prolonged period or leave it in your hot car for an extended period. Keep the raw meat chilled or in a cool environment as much as possible.
Mummy and Daddy always bring along a cooler bag with an ice pack (or they ask for ice from the butcher) when they buy meat for me. And they go home as soon as possible after getting the meat and pop the meat into the fridge straightaway. They only take out from the fridge whatever they’re cutting or packing and leave anything they’re not working with in the fridge to keep chilled. They also work as fast as they can when the meat is out of the fridge.
We only defrost meat for my meals the following day and generally don’t keep defrosted or unfrozen meat for more than 2 days. Anything that I don’t finish eating after 2 days is thrown away just to be safe.
5) Freezing meat to keep meat fresher and for a longer time
Mummy and Daddy go to the butcher once a month to buy meat for me and prepare/pack about a month’s (or slightly more) meals at one go. Everything is frozen on the same day to be kept for the month.
Freezing meat will stop bacteria growth but remember that freezing doesn’t kill bacteria. Once the meat is being defrosted, bacteria growth activity will start again. It’s just a matter of how quick or how slow depending on how cold the meat is kept. However, freezing will not keep meat fresh and good indefinitely (although it will keep it good for a fairly long time). This is why Mummy and Daddy only prepare one month’s worth of meals because they have noticed that the meat that is kept frozen for 2 months doesn’t really seem as fresh when it’s been defrosted. If they have any meat that for some reason has been kept frozen for longer than 2 months, they generally just throw it away to be on the safe side.
6) Freezing doesn’t kill ALL parasites
Freezing might kill some types of parasites which might be found in raw meat (depending on how cold your freezer is and how long the meat is frozen). But it doesn’t kill ALL types of parasites. This is why it’s important that the meat is safe enough for human consumption and from a reliable source (see points 1 and 2).
One of the common concerns with feeding raw pork is trichinosis as the relevant parasite can be found in raw pork or wild game. But not all pork will contain the parasite and the risk is minimised with hygienic pig farming and checks on the meat before allowing for sale. Mummy thinks that this means the risk is Singapore should be low because Singapore’s AVA has very strict rules about country’s/farms which our meats can be imported from, certifications for safety from the country of origin and tests and checks on the meat. Also, this may be why it is SO difficult to find game meat in Singapore because the Singapore AVA is so particular about the meat that is imported. But if anyone is still worried, you can freeze the pork for at least 20 days before letting your furry eat the raw pork to kill any worms.
7) Defrost safely in fridge
Best way to defrost raw meat (for humans or animals) is in the fridge. It will take longer but it is the safest way because the meat is kept chilled. See point 4.
8) Try to avoid refreezing
Mummy and Daddy have to semi thaw certain frozen meats so that they are slightly easier to cut for packing into daily meals. Completely frozen meat is impossible to cut by hand. But they semi thaw in the fridge and just enough so that they can cut the meat using a lot of brute Daddy force.
The pawrents don’t like to refreeze thawed meat. They feel like this might not be super safe for me to eat the meat raw. This is because during the process of thawing, the bacteria load grows. And then the meat is re-frozen but when it is being thawed again, the bacteria grows again and so the meat would have even more bacteria than if you hadn’t thawed it twice. Although thawing in the fridge should lessen the impact but the pawrents still don’t feel comfortable. So if they defrosted some meat for me and I didn’t eat it or didn’t finish it, they would throw it away instead of popping it back in the freezer. They try to be very careful about not packing too much meat into eat daily meal portion and how much they defrost so that they don’t end up wasting meat.
And…that’s all I got! These are the tips/rules that Mummy and Daddy follow/keep in mind when feeding me raw :)