by gillian claire: Finn



Teaching Children Responsibility through Pet Care

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

I can't express enough how positive the experience of adopting a pet has been for our family! I was really nervous about adding another living thing to our lives but it has so much easier than I anticipated and adds immeasurable joy to my kids' everyday!


My boys have truly enjoyed the experience of having their first pet and I have loved walking through this special time with them! They are at perfect ages (6&10) to help out with pet care; in fact they love getting involved and taking on the extra responsibility. I'm partnering with  Purina® and PetSmart today to share a few ways to get your kids involved and teach responsibility by caring for a pet! I love that not only am I strengthening their bond with Finn but am also helping them mature by learning to serve and care for someone besides themselves!

Involve your Kids from the Beginning!

Our decision to get a cat was kind of spur of the moment but also something that had been pressing on my heart for about a year prior. The kids were over the moon when I announced that we would be spending the weekend looking for a cat and they were with me every step of the way!

If bringing home a pet is something you plan for in advance, you can get your kids involved by having them help research pet care online or by looking for books at the library. Even though we didn't plan far in advance for Finn, the boys were with me at the pet store to help choose what we needed (vs. what we wanted) to care for our new kitty! We also started talking about what they would be doing to help out and I made it clear that they would need to show responsibility from the start!

Play Time

This is one of the easiest ways to get your kids involved in pet care because hello, kids love to play and so do animals! I've taught the boys that sometimes when Finny starts biting or getting a little too rambunctious, he is telling us that he needs to play. They love tossing toys for him in the living room or even creating cat toys out of cardboard. Asher was making forts for Finn the other day in the bedroom and I love seeing our cat bring out their creative side!

Responsibility with Pets2

Feeding is another easy way to involve your children and teach them some responsibility! Asher, my 6 year old, especially loves feeding Finn. When he gets home from school, he always makes sure Finn's food and water bowls are filled! Finn gets especially excited about his morning meal because that's when we give him wet food and Roman loves helping with that!

We like mixing it up and offering Finn different foods and have recently tried the Purina® Beyond Natural and Purina® Beyond Simple Origins lines that we picked up at PetSmart! PetSmart has the widest variety of premium quality Purina products available at amazing prices. We love and trust the Purina brand (check out my last post with Purina here!) because they provide complete and balanced diets for pets!

Rome and Ash love our visits to PetSmart and we always seem to come home with a few extra things that we didn't come in for... During this trip, Roman tried to convince me that we should get a Chinchilla, ha! PetSmart allows pets in store and I really want to bring Finn on one of our trips to see how he does!

Click on the image above to shop the Purina Beyond Natural cat food for your kitties! We tried the Indoor Grain Free cat food in the flavor Salmon, Egg & Sweet Potato and as you can see,
it is Finn-approved!

The Dirty Work

Honestly, most of pet care is pretty fun and enjoyable in my opinion but of course there are a few aspects that take a little more encouragement when getting the kids involved! I am definitely dropping the ball a little in this area. I usually clean out the litter box myself because it's just so easy but this is an area that is perfect for teaching my boys responsibility! I also need to involve the boys a little more in making sure they brush Finn regularly because the cat hair situation is starting to get real around here!

Best of All, Cuddling!

I really feel like giving our kids more responsibility in pet care helps to strengthen the bonding process! Feeding, grooming and attention are all ways my cat feels love and giving my boys a nudge in those areas has helped them to connect!

The cuddles between my boys and Finn are the sweetest part of owning a pet. It's literally priceless to see how Finn will lay on his back and let Asher bury his face on his tummy because as Ash says, "it just feels so good!" Roman is not a great sleeper but now Finn likes to hop onto his bunk bed with him some nights and those are the nights that Roman always falls asleep the fastest! 

Well, I'm literally getting a little emotional because honestly having a friendly furry animal in the house is one of the best decisions I've made as a parent so far! I hope this post has helped spark a couple ideas for you if you are planning to get a pet or have just brought one home! 


I'd love to hear your stories of adding a pet to the family in the comments below! For more cute cat pictures, follow me on Instagram: @bygillianclaire

Check out your local PetSmart to try the Purina Beyond Natural and Beyond Simple Origins cat food for yourself! 

Other Kitty Posts:

XOXO, Gillian


Fall-ing in Love with our Kitten.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MuseCleanPlate #CollectiveBias
Well, I'm already back with another kitten post! We have honestly been having a blast with our little Finn, who we affectionately have taken to calling Finney. He has added such positivity to our family life! Fall has been the perfect time of year to bring home a sweet kitten and I'm loving nothing more than sharing warm cuddles with him on chilly nights. Can you think of anything more perfect? We've already had our first big snowfall here in Colorado this week!

I was so excited to have the chance to partner with Purina® Muse® at Petco on this post! I mean Finn needs to know what it's like to live in a blogging family, right? I had so much fun visiting Petco to pick up the new Purina Muse cat food for Finn as well some other fun things to spoil him with and we have a great time bonding over this photoshoot. 

There has been a little bit of an adjustment to bonding with a new kitten with having kids. I didn't really anticipate that but my kids have had to learn a lot about how to care for a kitten and Finn has had to learn what living with two wild boys is like as well!

Asher has had to learn things like not to smother the cat and that he can't just drop him onto the ground. (Yep...) We all have had to learn about Finn's behavior and figure him out a little bit. Finn meows more than any cat I have ever met. At first, he just used one loud all encompassing meow and we always thought he was mad or upset about something. It took us a little time to understand that he is really just very expressive and likes to have little conversations with us!

I'm trying to be deliberate about spending time with Finn and helping the boys bond with him as well. Here are some ways that I've been making this happen: 

Through Play

I was very drawn to Finn's sweet, calm and sleepy demeanor at the shelter. His first couple days with us he spent in our arms like a little rag doll and I thought he was just the most "calm" cat I'd ever seen...

Well, I think he was just honestly dealing with the stress of a new home because his second night with us, he began to get more comfortable and has been exploring, jumping, meowing and running all over the house non-stop!

He loves to play and this has been a great way to encourage my children to bond with him. We picked up a bunch of new toys at Petco and Roman especially loves spending time on the living room rug playing with Finney. Roman said to me last night, "Mom I haven't been bored since we got a cat!" Score.

Through Food

We have quickly discovered that food is one of the ways to Finney's heart! He loudly meows at our feet whenever we are in the kitchen because he wants up on the counter to scrounge for people food. 

I've tried to make an effort to pick up a few fun surprises for him food wise since he shows such an interest in it! The boys and I love giving Finney a cat treat sometimes. We also picked up some of the new Purina Muse dry and wet food for Finn at Petco. I love that Purina Muse is made with all natural ingredients and that they offer so many fun flavors! I've never had experience with feeding a cat wet food but when we adopted Finn from the shelter, they explained to me how's it especially important to feed male cats a balance of wet and dry food. I've since also learned that this is important for all cats' dental and digestive health!

I chose the flavor: Natural Chicken Recipe in Gravy, for Finn's first wet food taste test and he was over the moon! I chose several other wet food flavors as well as the Sailing with Salmon dry food and I've noticed that Finn is much more excited about eating his food vs. ours! Purina Muse offers a Muse Clean Plate Guarantee and will give your money back if your cat turns up his nose! 

There will be a special Facebook live sampling event hosted by Budget Savvy Diva on Wednesday 10/19 at 9pm ET! Be sure to check it out for a chance to win free samples of Purina Muse!_MG_0641
Through Affection

Finn makes this one pretty easy because who doesn't love cuddling with a sweet little kitten?! Finn has a very affectionate personality and we have all loved spending time cuddling and petting him this fall. 

I also picked up a brush at Petco and have encouraged the boys to spend time brushing him. Finney loves brushing time and usually closes his eyes with happiness. He hasn't quite mastered cleaning himself yet and usually gets into something that gets all over in his fur!

All in all, having a kitten has been just what our family needed. I feel like the boys are at the perfect ages (6 & 9) to learn the responsibility of having a pet and Finn has brought them both so much joy. We are looking forward to many more cozy fall days spent at home with our Finney!
Look out for a new range of Masterpieces Dry Formulas coming in February of 2018!


We got a pet!

Oh my goodness, we got a pet!

The decision to add a pet after kids has always felt like too much for me! I've told people that I already have two pets: MY KIDS. The thought of adding an animal in the mix sounded like willingly asking for more stress in my life! Living in a small condo only added to my fears.

Having said that, here we are! My cat-fever all started last year when the boys and I were at PetSmart and came across the cutest long haired kitten. We all fell in love and I almost broke down and brought him home that day.

A year later and we finally went for it! I saw an ad for a free kitten event in my town and asked you guys for advice on Instagram. Everyone gave me wonderful words of encouragement and nudged me to go for it! (Thanks, friends!)

Honestly, I feel like this has been the best idea ever. Sometimes I'm still not sure about the whole thing (I'm a serious over-analyzer) and I can't figure out for the life of me how to make a litter box not smell bad in a small space.. but at the end of the day we have this sweet soft little soul to cuddle and love. Finn is maybe the funniest little cat I've ever met. He meows so much and is wild and sweet and seems to be fitting in just fine. The boy are so happy that we finally have a pet and I'm pretty in love with this little guy myself. 

Welcome home, Finn. <3 <3




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