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New Kirkland business offers The Whole Cat and Kaboodle
Kittens, just let out of their cages, eagerly scamper across the boarding-room-turned-living-room. Birds flit across the TV screen as an orange kitten sits on a fur rug, entranced by the mock fireplace.
Assumedly, it is a cat’s paradise.
The Whole Cat and Kaboodle is just that - a place that will cater to nearly every cat’s need, aside from serious medical care.
“We try to teach people to see the world from the perspective of the cat,” said owner Nancy Howard, who owns a nonprofit called Feral Care. “Sometimes I’ll even have people get down on the ground so they can see. Your cats eyes don’t do a lot of the work, it’s their ears and nose.”
The Whole Cat and Kaboodle offers boarding, grooming, nutrition, and behavioral services for cats in addition to selling interactive toys, such as her homegrown catnip heating pad, and raw and canned food.
Aromatherapy is also available for stressed cats during boarding.
The small business, nestled to the left of Terriyaki Madness in Houghton, opened last May and Howard said business has been good.
“I’ve always loved Kirkland, it’s such a beautiful community,” Howard said, who hopes to become a Kirkland resident next month. “I saw this little space and it had a little striped awning and the yard, and I’ve always been particularly fond of Houghton because there’s something just really homey about it.”
She says Kirkland’s central location has allowed her to have customers from the north and south Eastside as well as Seattle. And some of her Kirkland customers - children who want to play with the kittens and people from neighboring businesses - have all been the “nicest customers in the world.”
Howard, who has worked with cats for 15 years, got the idea to open her business last September.
“I was thinking, what am I going to do with the rest of my life and how would I be happy?” Howard said. “I figured, there’s really a need for something like this, for somebody to help bridge the gap.”
Howard said many pet owners will be surprised by how much a good grooming and a raw or canned food diet will improve their pet’s mood.
Cats eating only dry food are 10 percent more dehydrated than cats that eat canned food or canned and raw, she said.
“And that level of dehydration makes them feel like they have a hangover,” Howard said. “So when you find cats don’t want to be picked up or pet or they have a short fuse, it’s often because they don’t feel well.”
Howard jokes most every one of her customers can relate to being hungover and empathize when they realize the horrible feeling is what some cats feel all the time.
However, she says the proteins in canned or raw food can certainly help rehydrate cats because those proteins haven’t been processed and adulterated like they have been with dry food.
“If you have a cat and your litter box smells like ammonia, then I can tell you’re feeding it a diet with grain in it,” Howard said. “Any canned food, even the worst canned food out there, is better than the best dry food.”
For more information or tips for your cat, visit The Whole Cat and Kaboodle for a $25 per hour consultation, located at 10600 NE 68th St. Suite A in Kirkland. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (425) 576-5548 and visit www.thewhole-cat.com.