rescue cats get their play on with Vitakraft Purrk! Playfuls with #felinesilvervine #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Vitakraft and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Purrk! Playfuls, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Vitakraft is not responsible for the content of this article.


Most of us enjoy a few extra libations during the holiday season, so why should things be any different for your cat? I know...vino is no bueno for felines and catnip is old news. But have you heard of feline Silvervine?

Vitakraft, a leader in pet products since 1837 (YES, you heard me right...1837) sure has, and they've brought us a line of stimulating cat toys that can be used with it to take kitty play to a whole new level. What is Silvervine, you ask? I hadn't heard of it, either, until Vitakraft invited us to try their new Purrk Playfuls line of toys. 

Silvervine is a plant that grows in the mountainous regions of East Asia. It's 100% natural, and is reported to be preferred to catnip in three out of four cats. Each Vitakraft Purrk Playfuls toy comes with a pack of Silvervine powder, or you can purchase five Silvervine powder packs separately to keep your cat in plentiful supply. Who knew there was something better than catnip? 

All kidding aside, using feline Silvervine to entice play has health benefits for your cat. By stimulating your feline with this safe, all-natural plant, your cat becomes more active and is likely to exercise more frequently. A cat who exercises regularly is typically healthier, just like us humans. When used with Silvervine, the Purrk! Playfuls line of toys will enrich your cat both physically and mentally. Vitakraft reports that cats play 2.5 times longer with Silvervine than they do catnip and return to toys with Silvervine more often.

Why is Silvervine the best?

• all-natural

• safe

• provides physical and mental stimulation

• cats play longer and return to toys more often

• three out of four cats prefer it to catnip

Vitakraft sent us a complete package of Purrk! Playfuls to try. We received two "Bouncy Butterflies," two "Deep Sea Bugs," and a Silvervine Pixie Powder Pack to keep us in supply. The line also includes "Desert Bug" as well as plastic "Marvy Mouse," "Purrky Bird," and "Frisky Fish" that have Silvervine infused right in them. Since the season is all about giving, my children and I decided to take our haul to the Lost Our Home Pet Foundation PetSmart Cat Room where we volunteer each week. We sprung our new cat toys on the following victims:

We'd seen Leah and Keegan before, but Lightening and Houdina were brand-new additions to the cat room, so we didn't know what to expect from them. Keegan is typically quite playful, so I figured she'd really dig the Silvervine-enhanced toys. Leah on the other hand...well, she typically likes to relax and kick back, so I wasn't sure how she'd react or if she'd even be interested.

I was wrong.

My daughter, Campbell, spent a good deal of time holding the Bouncy Butterfly for Leah.

My daughter, Campbell, spent a good deal of time holding the Bouncy Butterfly for Leah.

Leah wore us all out with her enthusiasm for the Bouncy Butterfly, so we made good use of the included doorknob clip.

Leah wore us all out with her enthusiasm for the Bouncy Butterfly, so we made good use of the included doorknob clip.

Needless to say, Leah took right to the Bouncy Butterfly. In fact, she wore us out with her enthusiasm. All three of us spent a good deal of time holding the Bouncy Butterfly for her, but since litter boxes needed scooping and food bowls needed to be filled, we used the handy-dandy doorknob clip that the Bouncy Butterfly came with so Leah could keep playing and playing. She played for about forty-five minutes before taking a break. Amazing. Here's some footage of Leah in action:

Since Keegan couldn't get a moment with the Bouncy Butterfly while Leah monopolized it, we offered her a Deep Sea Bug.

The curled shape made the Deep Sea Bug boing and bounce to Keegan's delight She stalked the bug, pounced on it, jumped all over the place, and lost it under the door several times. Perhaps she liked us to fetch it for her. 

The pursuit and the catch (and the swipe under the door).

The pursuit and the catch (and the swipe under the door).

Though Keegan is always quite playful, she played longer and harder than she normally does. Perhaps she was quite fond of the Silvervine. Check out Keegan in action with the Deep Sea Bug:

Speaking of being fond of Silvervine, our friend Lightening went bonkers over it. At first, she was quite amorous toward the Deep Sea Bug.

"Deep Sea Bug, I love you so."

"Deep Sea Bug, I love you so."

Lightening had a great time snuggling with the Deep Sea Bug, and then she went bonkers. Literally. She pounced and played with the toy for a good deal of time, then abandoned it for the dark side. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture her in a video because I was so busy replacing papers on the desk and making sure her bouncing off the walls didn't get too out of hand. Suffice it to say that we all had a great laugh, and Lightening got some very good exercise. She had a blast, and I think if she had thumbs, she'd give Silvervine two thumbs up.

And what about Houdina, our little shy girl? She hid. Perhaps if the three older cats had not been hogging the toys and bouncing off the walls, we could have coaxed her out for a romp, but she's new to the shelter and quite nervous, so we decided to let her watch from the comfort of her kitty condo. So Vitakraft's claim that three out of four cats prefer Silvervine held true for our sample. 

We had a great time watching the cats enjoy their new Vitakraft Purrk! Playfuls toys, and it felt great to know they were getting some good exercise, especially since they spend most of their days cooped up in a small space. I can see how these enhanced toys would be a great addition to the routine of any cat and would bring some great health benefits to felines of varying lifestyles from the over-active to the sedentary. Purrk! Playfuls is the first full line of cat toys to bring Silvervine to the U.S. The line of toys is guaranteed to make your cat purr, and Vitakraft places their money where their mouth is. Each product comes with a satisfaction guarantee: "If your kitty isn't 100% thrilled with this product, simply return the unused portion for replacement, substitution, or refund." 

Sweet. No risk.

So if you're racking your brain for that definitive gift for your kitty for the holidays, Purrk! Playfuls is the answer.

Feeling lucky? Well, you're in luck. The kind folks at Vitakraft are offering Well Minded readers the chance to win a Purrk! Playfuls toy and Silvervine pack. Please enter, below, for your chance to win.

Connect with Vitakraft on Facebook and YouTube.

don't count out the old guys: adopting an adult cat

The littles and I have been volunteering for several months at our local PetSmart Cat Room as representatives of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. Though we love getting to know the cats and look forward to seeing our feline friends every week, we hope we don't see them, because that means they've been adopted. That's the goal, after all.

When we first started, we were sad when we'd come in and see that the adorable kittens we'd enjoyed the previous week had been adopted. We missed them! Time and time again, it would happen. 

But then there were our old friends. We could always count on the fact that the older cats would still be there. And they were. It seems that no one wants to adopt an adult cat. Perhaps they aren't as cute, or perhaps they are a bit pudgy. Maybe they don't play enough. Or maybe potential adopters feel that an adult cat might have too many health issues.

This past weekend, we were thrilled to hear the news that one of our older feline friends, Hercules, was finally adopted! We've been visiting Hercules since June, and we started to lose hope for him. Even he seemed to lose hope, becoming less social, accepting his favorite thorough brushing, but remaining in the confines of his enclosure. He didn't want to play with the other cats. Though we loved seeing him every week, it was breaking our hearts, just the same. 

But all of that is over. Hercules found his forever family!

Hercules has finally found a home. 

Hercules has finally found a home. 

I can't argue that kittens aren't teensy and cute, but we all have to remember that they don't stay that way, and we have to commend this family for seeing the good in Hercules and giving him the home he so very much deserves.

So what is great about adopting an adult cat?

• What you see is what you get. You know how big the cat is. He's full grown.

• You know the cat's personality. When you adopt an adult cat, you get to choose a cat that fits your family well because his personality is pretty much established (though most adult cats will shine even brighter when they are settled with their adoptive family).

• You know if it will be a good fit with other pets and/or children. Most adult adoptable cats will come with a "resume" of sorts, letting you know if the animal gets along with other types of animals or plays well with children.

• Potty training–check. Unless there is an underlying medical issue, adult cats know where to "go." Just show the adult cat the litter box, and he gets it.

• Clawing and chewing are mostly a thing of the past. Adult cats don't chew on hazardous things or claw the furniture as much as kittens do. Save the sofas!

What's the most important reason to adopt an adult cat?

You might be their last chance. Kittens go like hot cakes, but adult cats are a tougher sell. If you're considering welcoming a new feline into your home, please open your mind and your heart to an adult cat. It will be life changing for you and your new family member. You'll save a life. 

Read Hercules' full adoption story here.

Click here to see Lost Our Home Pet Foundation's Adoptable Animals.

we're volunteering as a family to help homeless pets

The littles and I worked our first volunteer shift this week for Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. We've taken on a weekly shift caring for the cats available for adoption in our local PetSmart. We scoop litter boxes, provide fresh food and water, do whatever cleaning is needed, and, of course, play with the cats and give them lots of love. Mostly I do all the "dirty work" while the littles cuddle and play with the cats. 

Here are some of the friends we hung out with this week:

The littles playing with Seven while I scoop litter boxes.

The littles playing with Seven while I scoop litter boxes.

Daisy came right out for cuddles.

Daisy came right out for cuddles.

Porter gives Mango the safe greeting he learned in volunteer orientation. 

Porter gives Mango the safe greeting he learned in volunteer orientation. 

Ringo was ready for his close-up.

Ringo was ready for his close-up.

Hanging with Daisy in her enclosure. Wonder what the adoption fee would be for these two characters.

Hanging with Daisy in her enclosure. Wonder what the adoption fee would be for these two characters.

We had a great time, and we all felt like we'd done a good deed, indeed. We'll miss these guys if they get adopted this week, but we sure hope they do! 

If you're interested in adopting one of these cats or browsing Lost Our Home Pet Foundation's complete list of adoptable animals, you can visit all adoptable dogs and cats HERE.

More information about Lost Our Home Pet Foundation:

grand opening! lost our home pet foundation's new facility

blog the change for animals: lost our home pet foundation