When Quintella decided she would bring a cat into her home once again, she knew she was in it for the long-haul. Her last cat, who has since crossed the rainbow bridge, was with her for 22 wonderful years. And when she met Rei, a two-year-old, perky Bengal cat, Quintella was excited to start a new chapter with her.
“Bringing home a cat is like bringing home a family member,” Quintella says. To her, providing Rei with the best a cat-parent could offer came naturally. Through their story, Quintella tells us how important investing in your cat’s future is. But how does she do it—and how can we give our cats our best?
The heroine of our story is Rei: cuddly, adventurous and buzzing with energy. Bengals are well-known for being active, and Rei is no exception. Quintella keeps her busy with toys, treats, and plenty of walks. Yes, walks! Contrary to the common image of a cat curled up on the sofa for a snooze, Rei loves exploring the great outdoors in Singapore.
When she’s not going on adventures or batting her favourite toys, Rei can probably be found wolfing down her favourite meals, watching birds and bats swoop by from the balcony, or seeking out her pawrents’ attention.
We had to ask Quintella how she trained Rei to be her outdoor companion. Her answer? Listening to your cat.
“We just want her to explore, to get used to the outdoors, get used to interaction outside our immediate family,” she says about initially bringing Rei outdoors.
While Rei’s curious personality makes it easy for her to sniff unsuspecting dogs or people, the moment Quintella notices Rei is too uncomfortable in the environment she’s in—they pack it up, and head back home.
Since cats are easily startled, Rei is also never off a lead outdoors. Instead she is strapped into a comfortable harness. Quintella also always makes sure to bring Rei’s carrier along with her, no matter how familiar an area is to Rei.
“If there’s any signs that she’s disturbed or frightened, or we see dogs that are coming from afar, and they’re big… she goes in the bag immediately.”
We ask Quintella what she would tell people interested in taking a cat outdoors.
“Sometimes cats may be understood as unfriendly, timid or a little offensive,” she says. “What I try to explain is, when you bring a cat outdoors, and you lower yourself to the cat’s eye level…you’ll see that the cat—as compared to the a lot of stuff outside, whether its a shrub, or bush, or other people—is actually quite small.”
Quintella hopes others would realise how big the world is compared to a curious cat. Empathising with that fact, would allow us to better look out for a cat and decide what’s best for them while outdoors.
“I think when people understand this perspective we will naturally know how to react,” she says.
“If you lower yourself to the eye level of a kid, that’s pretty much how it feels (for a cat).”
Still, Rei will always be up for adventure again, no matter how vast or daunting the human world may be. Rei loves a good time exploring and scratching amid nature.
“She’ll want to come out again, after we drive home,” Quintella smiles. “She’ll look very regretful…and she wants to do it all over (again).”
And she definitely will!
As with all pets, there are bound to be some bumps along the road, and Rei was no exception. Despite being an otherwise healthy, ever-growing, young cat, Rei contracted a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections are fairly uncommon in cats but not unheard of. They are generally caused by bacteria infecting a cat’s urethra or bladder. In other cases, UTIs can point to an underlying disorder, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease or Feline Urinary Obstruction. A veterinarian’s opinion may be key in knowing what may have caused the infection and deciding the best course of action.
Treatment can vary from surgery and antibiotics, to dietary changes and improving your cat’s liquid intake. In most cases, unless your cat has developed bladder stones or obstructions, which need to be surgically cleared, you will be able to care for your kitty at home.
There are many reasons an otherwise healthy cat may fall sick, such as genetic predisposition, an underlying condition, old age, or stress. Personally, Quintella guesses stress from the renovation works in her apartment building may have contributed to Rei contracting her UTI.
Symptoms of UTIs can show themselves through your kitty’s bathroom habits. Visiting the litter box more often, struggling to urinate, drinking more water than usual, lethargy, inappropriate urination, and the most-telling–bloody or cloudy urine–are all signs pointing to a urinary infection.
Rei’s illness prompted Quintella to review the products she was using, and the environment she was providing for Rei. What she found was that an unlikely star–her litter–had probably kept the worst at bay.
“Actually how I discovered Rei’s first case of UTI was through World’s Best,” Quintella says.
The light green corn pellets made it easy to spot Rei’s symptoms.
Quintella was describing how a brand of cat litter, World’s Best Cat Litter, helped support Rei in her day-to-day life, and even in her rough times.
World’s Best Cat Litter uses a corn-based, dust-free, hypoallergenic formula, that is flushable and eco-friendly.
Worlds Best even has specially formulated litters tailored to multi-pet households, or with added natural attractant to encourage cats to use their litter box.
Each type is designed for you to hit the nail the perfect litter for your cat.
“When we tried World’s Best… I noticed she was enjoying it, like going to the litter was an event,” Quintella jokes. “She looked very satisfied.”
The short answer is: yes, for a number of reasons.
A clean litter box is key to maintaining your cat’s health, due to the bacteria found in your cat’s waste. Besides the urinary tract, bacteria may lead to kidney or bladder infections. Infections can also develop into FLUTD, urinary obstructions, or stones.
Not only that, but if your litter is of the dusty variety, it may be harmful to your cat’s lungs and airways. This is especially hazardous if you have a cat with feline asthma, in which case the dust allergens could trigger attacks. In serious cases, long-term exposure to the dust may even lead to respiratory complications like bronchitis.
The bentonite in clay may also cause intestinal complications if it accumulates in your cat’s system over the long-term.
Exploring different litter options until you hit the jackpot may also prove useful as your cat may be allergic to certain ingredients in the litter. For example, perhaps the gorgeous lavender scent just doesn’t sit right with your cat’s sinuses, or the tofu litter you were itching to try causes a little rash on your cat’s rear.
Finally, the most cliche reason to spend time finding the right litter: your cat simply may not like it! Still, the search is worth it. Cat-owners around the world know the feeling of relief when your cat comes to love a product. It’s enough to do a little happy dance. Besides if your cat likes her litter, the chances of inappropriate urination is kept to a minimum.
In Quintella’s case, she says with a laugh, she had been through many different cat litter brands before she stumbled across World’s Best Cat Litter. She’s now been using it for almost two years and doesn’t intend to make another switch–it seems to be a perfect match for Rei.
“Initially I was picking what I would like, thinking that it would equal to what she likes,” Quintella says. But her mindset has since shifted, because now—
—“For most of Rei’s stuff, she’s the one that chooses everything,” she smiles.
Quintella also notes that World’s Best is made of a high-quality, dense material, so Rei doesn’t sink into her litter box where she may otherwise be in continual contact with dirty matter. This was an important consideration for her, as other litters would have Rei helplessly sink into the litter, and this could cause more problems in the future.
“World’s Best Litter does live up to its reputation, especially when your pet is of a bigger build,” she said.
“I know its origin and I think that’s very, very important to me,” she says further.
“At least [until] today, I’ve never opened a bag of a World’s Best that contains foreign material versus what’s on the packaging. Their quality had been consistent. Knowing all this…it makes me comfortable.”
She talks about how it fit the bill for cats with different requirements, such as cats in multi-pet households, those of a bigger stature, and even cats who are big eaters (“Rei does eat a lot…The volume of her pee is quite incredible!”).
Finally, it seemed like she and Rei had finally came across a litter that checked all the boxes.
“I’ve been searching for the right litter for a very long time, and I think we’re good with what we have. Rei likes using it.”
We had to ask our cat-parent role model, how she feels about the beautiful life she has given Rei so far. Does she feel like she’s investing in Rei’s future? Is it difficult to strive to give your pet the best?
Quintella’s answer was simple and inspiring.
“I see Rei more as a family member, not just a companion…She’s part of the family. What we do [for her] is something that we do for any family member.”
Quintella also notes that opting for cheaper, commercial brands may not have the intended effect to save money after all, if potential health complications warrant medical treatment.
“You may end up paying a lot more than just for litter,” she says.
What we do for our pets each day has long-term effects on the life they will share with us. All we do, whether it’s playing with them, feeding them well, or using good-quality litter–goes a long way in shaping their health and happiness.
We’re excited to see what Quintella and Rei get up to in the years to come!
If you would like to keep up to date with Quintella and Rei, you can find them on Instagram at @rei_the_rebel_cat.
For more details on World’s Best Cat Litter, you can also check them out here, or browse through a wide variety of formulas available and secure your first bag of Word’s Best Cat Litter from our Clubpets E-store!