Gizzls was started in a Cape Town kitchen in 2019 with a mixer, an oven and a rescue kitty named Gizzy, with the belief that our furry friends deserve better.
Gizzy, a rescue part Maine Coon, part pavement special, is a big bundle of adorable fluff, but all of a sudden he lost a lot of weight and stopped grooming himself. As vanity is his middle name, this was very alarming.
The worst case scenario
He was diagnosed with a serious UTI (urinary tract infection) and further tests revealed he had chronic kidney problems. There was talk of keeping him comfortable for his life expectancy of 3 months. I was devastated, he was only 5 years old.
(Not thrilled to be
sharing the limelight)
Like all good stories, mine began with a furry creature!
After two weeks on medication, there was barely any change – he was still listless, skin and bone, hiding in the cupboard and not interested in eating.
After spending many days speaking to holistic vets and nutritionists (thank you!) around the world – and late nights researching animal nutrition, CBD and healing herbs, the more I heard and read, the more I was convinced that this was the way forward. Desperation tends to make you very determined.
Gizzy and Chloe were hand-reared after their mum abandoned them at birth. How cute are they? 🤍
Sourcing high quality organic, full-spectrum CBD oil, I noticed the difference in him within a week or so – he was eating, his eyes were brighter and he was grooming himself again. Fast forward three months and he’d put on 2kgs of weight, which is very unusual for a "kidney cat". When he was diagnosed, he weighed 3.1kg and he was now a healthy 5.3kg, which is not far off what the big fluff weighed before he became ill.
The idea for Gizzls treats was born.
Chasing an extremely irritated cat around, while trying not to spill oil everywhere, isn't a fun game for anyone – and before he got sick, he would come running whenever I called him, so that made it even more distressing.
I was determined to create a way to give him the right dosage of holistic wellness, but without the stress (for either of us). Also, he was very fast 😂
On the store shelves, all I could find were treats with ingredient lists longer than my vet’s bill and shady things – with unpronounceable names and packed with grains – that you certainly don’t want give your sick kitty.
Inca, the naughty tortie.
Very cuddly, but not afraid to sharpen her claws on you. 🖤
So, I got baking!
I baked treats with short ingredients lists that heal. To ensure that the correct amount of goodness goes into each recipe, all of the treat ranges are developed with a pet nutritionist, herbalist and holistic vet.
When it rains, it pours
Around the same time, Gizzy's doggie sister – a hugely energetic 3-year old German Shepherd called Indie – was diagnosed with early-onset arthritis that would only get worse with age. She had started limping and not wanting to jump up on the bed or play with Gizzy, two of her favourite things in the world.
Back to the drawing board and I started baking healing treats for dogs too!
Max. The newest member of the
taste tasting team 🖤
Indie kisses 🥰
Where we are now
The bakery is now bigger, but our batches are still small and
our ingredients are still the best.
Gizzls now offers four ranges – CBD (recommended by vets), Botanicals (health care), Everyday and Soft Bites – of delicious hypoallergenic cat and dog treats that are 100% natural with zero nasties and a firm wiggle of approval from our chief taste tasters.
The Gizzls brand value is very simple: we don’t produce any product that I wouldn’t be happy giving to my own pets.
Gizzls goes global
If you're ordering from the UK or Europe, head to www.gizzls.co.uk and we'll deliver to your doorstep! 🙌
The Botanicals range
My beloved Gizzy
Very sadly, Gizzy succumbed to kidney failure just over 2 years after he was diagnosed. I wrote this the day after I said goodbye to him and I want to share it here in his honour.
With my heart breaking into shattered pieces, I said goodbye to my beloved Gizzy yesterday. My darling boy, I’m so grateful for the extra borrowed time that I had with you, but it was never going to be enough.
It’s been an honour to love a cat like you. I always knew you were special – how you followed me around like a puppy, came running whenever I called (and vice versa!), could never ever have enough belly rubs and we had a bond like no other.
When the time came, it happened so quickly and letting you go has been excruciating, but when you were diagnosed with kidney disease and given
3 months to live, we started on this incredible journey called Gizzls together and in this, your legacy will live on. You will always be my inspiration, my furry best friend and even though there is now a gaping hole by my side and in my heart, I’m more determined than ever to do you proud.
I love and miss you more than words can describe. Until we meet again,
my beautiful boy 🤍