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While I was at the BlogPaws conference hobnobbing with fellow pet bloggers and stuffing my brain with information about how to make Paws and Effect the most awesome site it can be, I also got the chance to meet the folks of Pawalla, a monthly gift box service for cats (and dogs), who recently sent me one of their packages to review.

Basically, Pawalla is like the Cheese of the Month Club, but for cats. When you subscribe, a box full of high-quality foods, treats and supplements, selected by pet nutritionist Dr. Susan Lauten based on the size and life stage of your cat, arrives on your doorstep once a month.

Siouxsie investigates the Pawalla box

Siouxsie was the first to check out the Pawalla care package.

When I opened my box (after removing Siouxsie several times), I saw a beautifully arranged selection of goodies, covered with a nicely laid-out information sheet detailing the products that were included in the package. Mine included the following:

  • two 3-ounce cans of Weruva Mac and Jack grain-free cat food
  • two 3-ounce cans of Petite Cuisine gourmet gluten-free cat food
  • Kitty Kaviar bonito flake cat treats
  • Petite Cuisine grilled tuna filet treats
  • a three-pack of Petite Cuisine natural appetizers
  • Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits for cats
  • Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Best for Cats treats
  • Tropiclean Fresh Breath liquid (to prevent tartar buildup)
  • Kong Refillables Pajama Buddy toy
Food and treats packed in the box

This is what you see when you open the Pawalla box.

Pawalla treats

Here are the treats that came in the Pawalla box.

I couldn’t very well open this box of bounty and not share the love with the cats — particularly because it was pretty  close to supper time — so I decided to bust open the Buddy Biscuits and see how they liked them. Let’s just say they were a hit!

Siouxsie and Thomas are just about attacking my hand to get the treats

Siouxsie and Thomas just about attacked my hand to get the Buddy Biscuits

Since then, I’ve shared one of the Petite Cuisine appetizers (they loved it), the Petite Cuisine canned foods (again, a big hit) and the Weruva Mack and Jack canned food (yup, that also got rave reviews).

So, how does Pawalla work? In order to start a subscription, you go to Pawalla’s website and choose a subscription plan ($26 per month for a monthly plan; $21 per month for an annual plan). Once you’ve done that, you answer some questions about your cat so they can put together care packages tailored for your cat’s age, lifestyle and/or special needs. For example, I specified that I wanted all the food and treats in my package to be grain-free, so they substituted the usual nutritional supplement with Kitty Kaviar. Once you’ve done that, a Pawalla shipment  shows up on your doorstep every month.

Kissy sniffs at the Buddy Biscuits

Kissy got in on the Buddy Biscuits action, too, but she didn’t want to fight with Siouxsie and Thomas for a share of the action.

I’m surprised nobody came up with the “kitty goodies of the month club” idea before, but I’m glad someone finally has. I think it’s a fantastic way to introduce your cat family to new food, treats and toys, and to do so in small enough quantities that you won’t end up with cases of food that your cat won’t eat or bags of treats that sit around forever because your kitty turned her nose up at them — and so on.

My only complaint about the package I got is that it was really heavy on the seafood: all the foods and half the treats were entirely seafood-based. Seafood is a great treat, but I prefer not to feed it to my cats on a regular basis. I hope that they’ll get more poultry- or small wild game-based foods into their product rotation as time goes on.

One other idea I’d like to share with the Pawalla team: have you thought about getting toys from smaller, independent companies rather than large businesses? I think that would be a great way to establish yourself as a premium pet goodie provider and share the love with fellow independent business owners.

The bottom line: Pawalla gets 4 paws up from the cats, who loved the taste of everything that was included in the gift box; and 3-1/2 paws up from me, only because I’d like to have seen less seafood and more poultry.

Full disclosure: I received a free Pawalla gift box for review, but I have not received and will not receive any further compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own, and your results — along with your opinion of the products — may vary.