Breath mints no match for a cantankerous kitty

Juno the cat examines his CatToid, but decided it wasn’t really worth begging for.

Joshua Gillin/tbt*

Juno the cat examines his CatToid, but decided it wasn’t really worth begging for.

Like all people cursed with owning a cat, there are things I've been forced to get used to. Hairballs. Scratched furniture. Early morning wake-up calls. And demands for treats.

It's this last one that is especially important, because my wife's 17-pound tomcat, Juno, is notoriously vocal about this. And because he's about twice the size of a normal cat (not overweight, just huge — check the pic), we're proud at our ability to keep him to two feedings a day.

Unfortunately, that can leave him with the dreaded kitty breath, a somewhat fishy, somewhat gamey melange of foul that usually only becomes an issue when Juno is intent on sitting on our morning paper and asking what the Rays score was.

Enter CatToids, a new product from a company called Bamboo. Presented in a nifty tin resembling the inspirational Altoids (not for human consumption, it warns), these fish-shaped treats promise to freshen our kitty's breath with "human grade ingredients such as parsley." That's what they use? Why not just let him out to graze in the yard?

Of course, the other ingredients include dessicated liver, natural salmon flavor and taurine, a.k.a. 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, an amino acid you usually find in Red Bull. The bite-sized pieces smelled like moldy dirt and were the color of old cardboard. What would finicky Juno, used to a couple chunks of Pounce for breakfast and dinner, think of this concoction?

After an initial bout of curiosity from the unwitting victim, the CatToid was left to sit on the kitchen floor. No sir, Juno said to us. Where's the Iam's? CatToids, it seems, were as off-putting to our feline as they were to us.

But then, during breakfast the following morning, it seems Mr. Juno had surreptitiously scarfed the snack, and had come to me to announce the fact. His breath? It smelled vaguely odor-free, which is to say it smelled as though it came from a cat's lungs.

Does that qualify as success? At $4.99 a tin for about two dozen CatToids (or its cousin, the bone-shaped DogToids), we'd have to say no.

Now about those scratches on the leather recliner, young man ...

Breath mints no match for a cantankerous kitty 05/07/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 7, 2009 6:22pm]

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