our d.i.y. cat plate gets licked clean: purina muse® natural cat food is a hit! #mycatmymuse #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyCatMyMuse #CollectiveBias

As you may know, my junior pet sitters are obsessed with crafts, DIY, and anything that makes a giant mess. Me...not so much. I pick up poop all day, so I'm okay with not making a mess at home. When they want to get their inner-Picasso on, I try to find the least invasive-to-my-life project that will also satisfy their artistic yearnings. I'm a great mother in other ways. Swear. So when the junior pet sitters learned that we had the chance to check out a new natural cat food with our favorite black cat, they jumped at the chance to "add a little something special" to the whole she-bang, and it just SCREAMED Halloween! 

 Our DIY Cat Plate Gets Licked Clean: Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food is a Hit. #MyCatMyMuse wellmindedpets.com

Our DIY Cat Plate Gets Licked Clean: Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food is a Hit. #MyCatMyMuse wellmindedpets.com

As a professional pet sitter, I'm often asked for pet food recommendations. That means we're always on the prowl for nutritious, natural pet food. I went on a mission to find one of our favorite clients, Jacopo, a new quality food. We love browsing our local PetSmart for the best in pet nutrition because there is such a variety to choose from. When we went with Jacopo in mind, we discovered Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food, sold exclusively at PetSmart. I love exclusivity, but I'm going to fill you in on it, anyway. 'Cause I'm nice like that.

discovering the variety purina muse® natural cat food has to offer

I'm a firm believer in rotational feeding for cats and dogs, so I was on the hunt for a cat food that offered a lot of "recipes" and options. I found Purina Muse, and was totally impressed with the giant array of cans and clear tubs in the cat food section at PetSmart. In fact, I kind-of felt a bit overwhelmed and impressed. Who knew?

 Purina Muse Natural Cat Food was easy to find in the cat food aisle of our local PetSmart.

Purina Muse Natural Cat Food was easy to find in the cat food aisle of our local PetSmart.

Purina Muse offers over 30 recipes. What choices! With Purina Muse, you don't have to choose between nutrition and food that tastes great. Your cat can have both when you choose Muse. There were so many wonderful options that I had to reel-it-in and focus. You might benefit from my discipline...the food falls into five main categories, all of which include the essential nutrients cats need to thrive, and most of which are grain-free:

• in chowder (clear tub)

• in broth (clear tub)

• with toppers (clear tub)

• paté (can)

• in gravy (can)

 I love that many Purina Muse Natural Cat Food Varieties come in clear tubs so you can see what you're getting.

I love that many Purina Muse Natural Cat Food Varieties come in clear tubs so you can see what you're getting.

My mind was blown when I started to consider the options. I don't know that I've ever seen such a great variety in natural cat food. There was chicken with tomato and carrot, turkey and spinach, sea bass and herring, tuna and tilapia with a baby clam topper, and ocean whitefish with an anchovy topper, just to name a few. Don't tell anyone, but I was getting a bit hungry, myself, just checking out the different options. Perhaps I should have had lunch, first. Never shop hungry. I selected a few different kinds to try so we could find out which would become Jacopo's favorites. I especially love the clear tubs that the broth and chowder varieties come in. You can see right through the package so that you know exactly what you're getting. That works. Oh, and–added bonus points for Purina Muse–the packaging is recyclable.

What's best about Purina Muse?

• all recipes are made with real fish or poultry

• there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives 

• the recipes are 100% complete and balanced for adult cats

• there are thirty different recipes, twenty-four of which are grain-free

 Purina Muse offers a huge variety of grain-free natural nutrition options for your cat. We chose these to try first.

Purina Muse offers a huge variety of grain-free natural nutrition options for your cat. We chose these to try first.

Naturally, we had to design a custom Halloween plate for Jacopo, our classic black cat Halloween muse. Because kids. Because crafts. Once we chose a few varieties for Jacopo to try, we set out to find the supplies we'd need to create our Halloween gift for him. 

diy ceramic cat dish with sharpie embellishment

When my junior pet sitters, Porter and Campbell, were looking to get their creative on, I freaked a little, and then figured it out. They especially love to make things for our clients around the holidays, so something of that genre made sense to satisfy their monstrous craft-craving. I can sometimes be a bit of a disaster when it comes to creating anything too elaborate. When the kids asked me if they could make something Halloween-themed for Jacopo, a simple project a friend told me about came to mind as the perfect option: a ceramic-cat-dish-decorated-with-Sharpie-pens-and-baked-in-the-oven-to-set-the-design. Easy peasy, right? RIGHT? Looking for some support, here!

Let's make this!

1. SUPPLIES

 Our DIY cat dish required minimal supplies.

Our DIY cat dish required minimal supplies.

THE DISH: In order to avoid whisker fatigue, it is important to provide cats with a shallow food dish. We poked around at a couple of local stores and found the perfect saucer-like, plain white dish at IKEA. It had a smooth surface for the kids to decorate on, was shallow, and was the perfect size. Since they were only a couple of dollars a piece, we purchased a few extras for future creations (or do-overs).

THE SHARPIES: We wanted to create something fun for Jacopo for Halloween, so we chose a simple orange and black color palette. Sharpies come in just about any color you can imagine, so this project would work great for any holiday or occasion. 

2. DECORATING

Wash and thoroughly dry your dish before decorating. 

Decorate your plate. The only limitation in design is your creativity! In keeping with the Halloween spirit, my son, Porter, created a spooky graveyard scene with a black cat, and my daughter, Campbell, created a jack-o-lantern face. They had a lot of fun embellishing their dishes and added Jacopo's name for that personal touch. BOO!

 The junior pet sitters had a blast decorating their cat dishes.

The junior pet sitters had a blast decorating their cat dishes.

After you're done with your masterpiece, let the design dry completely.

3. BAKING

 After the artists finished their masterpieces, into the oven they went (the plates, not the artists).

After the artists finished their masterpieces, into the oven they went (the plates, not the artists).

By baking the decorated dishes, the Sharpie designs become permanent. There are quite a few suggestions and theories out there regarding Sharpie design and ceramics. What works best is hotly debated by those in the crafting scene. We tried a few different methods (good thing we had extras) and found the way that we achieved the best results:

• put the dish on a baking sheet in a cold oven

• set the oven to 450° and set a timer for 30 minutes

• once the timer goes off, turn the oven off, but leave the dish in the oven until it is completely cool

• once cooled, the plate can be washed (though ours have held up nicely in the dishwasher, you may wish to hand wash, just to be safe)

Trust me, if I can pull this off, you can, too. The kids had a blast decorating their plates with Jacopo in mind.

 DIY cat dishes complete...complete with sibling antics.

DIY cat dishes complete...complete with sibling antics.

the taste test

With our Halloween-inspired custom plates in hand, we ventured off to find our muse. We knew just where to go.

As you know, I'm a professional pet sitter, and Jacopo is a pretty awesome cat client of mine. His uplifting personality never fails to put a smile on my face. He's always up for some fun, and he was eager to try Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food.

 Purina Muse provided Jacopo with great-tasting natural nutrition he couldn't resist even for a second.

Purina Muse provided Jacopo with great-tasting natural nutrition he couldn't resist even for a second.

 Whisker-licking good!

Whisker-licking good!

 Jacopo didn't want to miss even a tiny morsel.

Jacopo didn't want to miss even a tiny morsel.

He dug right in to the whitefish with anchovy topper. In fact, he devoured the whole portion, although he'd already eaten breakfast. He licked his plate clean, then looked under and around the plate end even tried to move it to see if there might just be a morsel he left behind. It was quite clear that he gave the taste a paws-up review. I loved introducing him to a healthy, natural food option, and his mom, Lisa, was thrilled, too. We had a great laugh together about how crazy Jacopo was about it. She is eager to let Jacopo try the other varieties, but we decided it best not to stuff him until he popped on the first go-around. I wouldn't be surprised if Lisa switches Jacopo and his siblings over to Purina Muse permanently. Jacopo and Lisa loved the custom plates the kids made, too, though I think Jacopo liked them better with a full plate of food covering the design.

 Jacopo cleaned his plate!

Jacopo cleaned his plate!

feed your feline muse a great-tasting, natural food

Natural has never been so delicious. Put Purina Muse to the test with our clean plate guarantee! Be sure to check out all of the thirty varieties at PetSmart and let us know which one is your favorite...er...your cat's favorite! 

How is your cat your muse?

let's get specific about pet health nutrition with #RoyalCanin #ad @RoyalCanin @PetSmart @WellMinded

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

Gone are the days when pet parents thoughtlessly toss a bag of generic puppy grub or kitty chow into their grocery carts with the milk and the pot roast. Pet parents like us demand more out of our pet food. We read labels. We research what should be in our pet's food and what shouldn't. We want to know that there is solid scientific research behind what's in the bag, and we want to feed the very best to our fur babies. The majority of us seek out specialty stores that carry the best brands and educate us on pet nutrition. We're learning that our pets have individual needs. Wouldn't it be great if we could walk up to a bag of dog or cat food and see our pet's name written all over it? Something custom-made to meet the needs of a particular pet?

We can! (Okay, it might not have your pet's actual name on the bag, but it may as well.) We can now go our local PetSmart® and browse the Royal Canin® lineup for a food that meets our pets' specific needs. 

Royal Canin Gets Specific

Royal Canin has developed a line of pet food for both the canine and feline variety that is breed-specific, size-specific, and condition-specific. You can find a pet food for your Bulldog or Persian Cat, and it actually says "Bulldog" and "Persian" on the bag. They also offer food for unique circumstances such as kittens who have been spayed or neutered or dogs with sensitive tummies. Royal Canin offers age-specific and size-specific formulas, as well. And all of this is offered conveniently on the shelves of PetSmart. You don't even need a prescription from your veterinarian. 

It's as easy as popping into your local store.

Royal Canin has a specific diet for so many breeds and needs, and PetSmart has organized them on the shelves so it's easy to browse the selection and figure out the best food for your pet. 

Royal Canine Food for Felines

Poor Daisy was having some serious trouble with hairballs, but Royal Canin was able to help. Check out her story:

 Finding the specific Royal Canin formula you need is easy at PetSmart.

Finding the specific Royal Canin formula you need is easy at PetSmart.

I easily found the hairball formula at my local PetSmart, along with several other formulas for specific breeds and situations such as "Kitten Spayed/Neutered," "Special," for adult cats with sensitive tummies, and breed-specific formulas for Persians, Siamese, Ragdolls, and Maine Coons. Along with meeting the dietary needs of each type of animal, the shape of the food is also taken into consideration. So the Persian food, for example, is shaped to be easily picked up by cats with flat faces. Unless you're a Persian cat (or Royal Canin), you probably never even thought that picking up food might be a challenge. 

Royal Canin Food for Canines

Royal Canin offers just as much–if not more–variety for canines. Check out how Urinary SO Moderate Calorie has helped Scout and her family manage her diabetes and urinary health: 

 These are just some of the breed-specific and age-specific formulas Royal Canin has to offer (puppy food on top shelf, adult food on bottom shelf).

These are just some of the breed-specific and age-specific formulas Royal Canin has to offer (puppy food on top shelf, adult food on bottom shelf).

I love hearing stories like Scout's. To be able to rebound from such health issues based on a simple diet change is remarkable. It goes to show how important diet is to overall health. Royal Canin has several breed-specific formulas, including food for Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, and Chihuahuas, some of which even have one diet for the puppy stage of a specific breed and another for the adult stage. Incredible! If your pooch is a crazy mixed-up mutt like my N.A.S.H.A., there are also diets for different sized dogs. Because a Chihuahua and a Great Dane have very different needs, wouldn't you say?

Trusting Royal Canin

All of this sounds great, but how do we know we can feel confident that Royal Canin is producing a quality food?

Royal Canin has been around for over 40 years. Their food is based on scientific research and progress, and all of the food they produce comes from plants located in the U.S. and Canada. They say:

At Royal Canin, we live by the conviction that pets are not people; they are unique animals with unique nutritional needs that are distinctly different from our own. Through extensive research, we have identified these needs and created a complete line of premium Health Nutrition specifically formulated for cats and dogs–large or small, young or old, purebred or mixed breed. Because we know that only by feeding the best quality nutrition can we truly help pets stay as healthy and beautiful as possible.

So many of our pets' health issues can be improved or solved through diet. Since Royal Canin's nutritional solutions are created to target the specific needs and challenges of a particular type of pet, we can be sure we are getting the very best in pet health nutrition. And aside from all that, it just amazes me to be able to walk down the aisle at PetSmart and see "Chihuahua" or "Persian" on a bag of food. Pet food has come such a long way.

What breed of dog or cat is part of your family? Which of the Royal Canin foods would be best for your fur baby?

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Connect with PetSmart:

Connect with Royal Canin: 

Videos courtesy of Royal Canin.

Royal Canin Mini Mature +8 image courtesy of PetSmart.