Some cats would rather have an early night on a warm sofa than a long night out on the tiles. The Persian, the Ragdoll and the Russian Blue, for example, all view the world beyond the window as a hazard rather than something irresistible on the other side of the cat flap.
Breeds such as the hairless Sphynx and the thin-coated Cornish Rex and Devon Rex struggle at both ends of the weather scale, burning in strong sunlight and shivering in the cold.
Other breeds, such as Burmese, Korat and Siamese love being outside and will soon become stressed and destructive if forced to live behind closed doors.
Many others mix and match as the mood takes them. For example, you’ll never see an Abyssinian cat more content than when she’s curled up in a favourite armchair – until you’ve seen her rolling blissfully on the lawn.
But no matter where your feline friend sits on the Coach Potato/Great Outdoors scale, one thing they all love is warmth. For an outdoor cat in the UK this is no problem from – let’s be optimistic – the back end of March to the middle of October. But when the temperature drops and the frosty mornings bite, every cat needs somewhere to warm its paws.
An Indoor Haven
You don’t need to have the central heating blasting out to keep your cat from shivering. A cosy spot to curl up in, away from drafts, hustle and bustle, will do the trick. It could be something as simple as a box with a blanket, or a safe space under the cupboard – or even on top of it. Best of all, a tailor-made cat bed will maximise cosiness and heat retention.
Another custom-made option is the Maya Nook. This transforms your cat’s cosy corner into a piece of attractive furniture, providing snuggling space for your pets, and with curtains that keep it all nice and private. The Maya Nook also has an optional wardrobe attachment, for keeping cat food, toys and other feline bits and pieces tidied away.
Even without the heating cranked up, the enclosed nature of the Maya Nook makes it the perfect hot spot at any time of the year.
An Outdoor Haven
If you have the kind of cat who craves the outdoors no matter what the weather, and who sometimes likes to sleep rough in the garden, there are things you can do to make their life a little comfier.
A box-with-a-blanket in a shed or other outbuilding, or a covered area in a quiet corner, can all give the bare minimum of cosiness that no outdoor cat can resist. Even a little dry area under a trampoline or climbing frame can do the trick.
If you have an Omlet Cat Run, you can put a covered snoozing area in one of the corners. That keeps things snug and safe for a cat who likes being outside, but who has a tendency to disappear or wonder into danger.
If your cat still suffers the shivers in winter, you could buy a cat jacket. These can be particularly useful for hairless breeds such as the Sphynx.
Best of all, though, there is that perennial favourite warm spot that can help a cat through the longest of winters – your lap!
This entry was posted in Cats
Cats have a reputation for being aloof, and for not getting over-excited when they see you. All this really means is that they’re not like dogs! Cats actually form very strong bonds with their beloved owners, and the subtlety of their affection is all part of the feline charm. So, you know it’s true love if your cat…
1. Greets you when you open the door.
The welcoming meow, the erect tale, the eager trot towards you… if that’s not a happy cat, we don’t know what is! Some cats even acquire an uncanny knack for predicting your arrival, sitting by door or window and waiting for you before there’s any sight or sound of you in the street. But you’ll need to verify that psychic trick with one of the other humans in the house…
2. Enjoys being stroked.
While it’s true that some cats just love being stroked no matter who’s doing the stroking, many don’t like being manhandled at all. If your cat shies away from an over-friendly stranger or discourages them with a claw or two, but lets you stroke her, that’s definitely love.
3. Grooms you.
You might not particularly like being licked by your cat’s sandpaper-like tongue, but it’s a sign of affection nonetheless. It means your cat sees you as her family, a parent figure.
4. Gazes at you.
If your cat looks into your eyes without turning away, she is completely relaxed in your company. A long, slow blink is a good sign too. A cat will normally interpret staring as a sign of aggression, and will look away (or run away). If she’s relaxed enough to meet your gaze lovingly, take it as a great compliment!
5. Head-butts you.
Cats rub against humans and furniture with little discrimination. However, a full-on head-butt rub is a sign of affection, and doesn’t just mean she wants some food!
6. Brings you presents.
Okay, this isn’t your cat’s most endearing habit, but the ‘gift’ of rodents – dead, half-dead or very much alive – is a sign that they feel secure and at home, according to some experts. There’s also a school of thought that interprets it as affection. Sort of. It’s something a mother cat would do for her kittens, teaching them how to handle prey.
7. Meows a lot.
Cats are thought to have a special ‘meow’ for humans. If your cat mews, gurgles and vocalises a lot in your presence, she’s telling you how much she loves you.
8. Gives you the twitchy tail treatment.
When your cat walks up to you, tail erect and twitching, she’s letting you know how pleased she is to see you. Sometimes it’s because she knows its food time, but it’s often simple affection.
9. Falls asleep on you.
Cats are always wary, and need to feel super-secure when choosing a sleeping spot. If they choose you as their bed, take it as a sign of complete trust and contentment.
10. Sticks her bottom in your face.
Cats have scent glands on their rear ends, a kind of scented ID. If your pet presents you with her behind, it means you’re a friend. Don’t feel you have to reciprocate, though…
11. Shows her belly.
A cat that rolls on its back and invites you to rub its tummy is very chilled, and views you as a friend and playmate. But that doesn’t mean she won’t use her claws in the belly-rubbing game that follows, so watch out!
Cats purr for their kittens, and for their human friends. No on else.
13. Gently nibbles you.
The soft nibble of a friendly cat is very different from an aggressive bite. Some cats use this oral greeting as a means of bonding with their human friends. Some owners, however, discourage it, as even a gentle nibble can be a little uncomfortable if the cat gets over enthusiastic.
14. Follows at your heels.
If it’s not food time, this behaviour is a sign of pure affection. The cat simply wants to be with you. Some cats tag along with their owners outdoors, and many are very happy to follow their best friends to bed. Once you’ve let them adopt this habit, it’s a hard one to break!
15. Kneads you.
If your cat needs you, she may also knead you… This behaviour is thought to originate in kittens, pawing their mums to stimulate milk flow. If your cat does it to you, take it as a sign of affection, bonding and trust. Love, in other words!
This entry was posted in Cats
Have you ever found your dog or cat curled up in some tiny, enclosed places around the house when the weather gets cold? Perhaps under the bed, behind the sofa, or even in an empty box? This is because when the temperature drops, most of their usual snoozing spots become very cold and are exposed to chilly drafts. You can help your pet find a more comfortable and warm space for naps in winter by creating a snuggly den that they can call their own. Read on to find out how…
Find a cosy corner of your home
Keep an eye on your pet’s favourite places to curl up for naps, they will probably be showing you their preferred spot for feeling secure so they can completely relax without keeping one eye open. This should be in a warm room in your house where they will have some company, but not so much that they will be kept awake or interrupted frequently. If you have young children in the house, you might want to consider a room that the little ones have little access to.
Find the perfect bed
Sleeping on your bed or sofa might be your dog or cat’s usual spot for comfort and cosiness, but unless they sneak under the covers, they will likely still be exposed to those pesky drafts, nevermind the fact your bed will be victim to muddy paw prints! Placing their bed within something else to create a ‘den’ is an ideal solution.
The Fido Nook Dog House and Maya Nook Cat House offer just that. Designed like a piece of furniture, the Nook offers a much more secure space where your pet’s bed can be slightly raised off the ground and concealed further by the roof to limit drafts and maximise comfort. The Nook is also available with curtains which can be attached to the front and back for further warmth and cosiness. For more anxious pet’s who may get worried by loud noises and fireworks, the curtains provide extra security and the feeling of being hidden, without your pet needing to get stuck behind the sofa!
To complete your pet’s new den, you need to carefully pick the perfect cosy bed for them. You probably already have some idea of what your pet does and doesn’t like to sleep on. The Classic Fido bed offers a simple, mattress-like bed for your pet to relax into without feeling enclosed or overheating. For pet’s who like a little more structure to their bed for leaning and burrowing into, we recommend the Buster & Beau Dawlish Square Bed or Dream Paws Cosy Bed. For those who demand a life of luxury, the sumptuously soft mattresses found in the Cloud7 range of beds are a cut above the rest.
Add the finishing touches
A cosy den isn’t complete without blankets and cushions. Finally, pop your pet’s favourite cuddly toy inside to make the new den really feel like home!
This entry was posted in Cats
When your cat has access to the outdoors it will usually manage to get plenty of exercise by him or herself. If this is not the case and you decide to keep your cat indoors, you will probably need to encourage your pet to exercise. Ensuring your cat is getting enough exercise, in combination with a complete and balanced diet, is vital for their health and happiness. A cat won’t exercise as readily as a dog, but there are a few strategies that will help you keep your cat active and mobile.
Cat trees and scratching posts
Cat trees and scratching posts are ideal places for play (and sleeping…). You can encourage playing and climbing by placing your cat’s favorite treats on various levels of the tree. If you don’t want to use food as an encouragement, you can hang your cat’s favorite toy just high enough so he needs to climb the tree to reach the toy.
Exercise wheels are a relatively new cat product which provide both mental and physical stimulation. The wheels are entirely cat-driven, so by using it your cat will train his muscles and burn calories. It often requires training for your cat to build up confidence and to learn how to use the indoor cat wheel. High energy breeds like Bengals and Sphynx tend to learn the easiest.
In their natural environment, cats have to hunt for their food and eat about twelve times a day. Most cat owners just put food into a bowl and walk away. You can add some excitement and activity into feeding time by using a food ball. This is a ball the size of a tennis ball, in which you can put dried cat food. As the cat pushes and bats the ball the food will gradually fall out.
An indoor cat will need plenty of stimulation and play to prevent them becoming bored. Even the simplest toys can provide hours of entertainment. Cats play to mimic their natural hunting behavior, although not all cats have the same motivation to play. Just find out what toys your cat likes and dislikes by trying toys with different textures, shapes, sizes, noises and scents. Most cats enjoy interacting with their owner and playtime is a great way to develop the bond between you and your pet.
Nepeta Cataria is a plant that is commonly known as catnip or catmint because of the intense attraction about two-thirds of cats, especially males, have towards it. The response seems to be a kind of euphoria, similar to how humans respond to hallucinogenic drugs, although catnip is neither harmful nor addictive for felines. You can make classic cat toys more interesting by filling them with catnip or using a catnip spray. Usually the effects of catnip last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the cat.
Some cats go wild for laser toys. The intensity and length of the sessions should depend on the cat’s age and physical condition. Don’t shine laser pointers directly into your cat’s eyes and at the end of the playtime, gradually slow down the beam until it comes to rest on a soft toy the cat can catch to avoid frustration.
This entry was posted in Cats
Cats are busy sending messages to each other even when they’re silent. They live in a world of visual clues and scents, and sound is only one piece of the puzzle.
Fascinatingly, it seems that the familiar meowing and purring is something they have developed mainly to communicate with humans, not fellow cats. Studies of feral cats show that they meow and purr far less frequently when there are no people around.
These specifically feline-to-human modes of communication show just how long our two species have been together. Thousands of years, in fact.
Cats have a trilling meow, used as a general greeting for other cats, and also used by mums to call their kittens. They also produce a trilling-chirruping sound when watching potential prey or stalking. The pleading, drawn-out “mee-owww!” is something they reserve for us – to get our attention and encourage us to interact with them.
Cats are loners at heart. They growl and yowl at each other, usually to say “back off!”, or “Here I am!” At its most extreme this vocalisation becomes a wailing scream, when two tomcats face off in the street. A female cat in heat also produces a piercing ‘caterwaul’.
A commoner sound of anger or anxiety is the hiss, sometimes escalating into a growling, spitting sound – usually culminating in an attack. Cats will also yowl when they are in physical distress.
A Tale of Cat Tails
For everyday communication, the body is used more than the vocal cords. A cat’s tail acts like a flag waved on a stick. If it’s upright, the cat is feeling chilled out and friendly. Cats often bend the tip of their upright tail forward when approaching a cat they like. A full tail twitch means the cat is feeling indecisive, but if the upright tail swings back and forth, the animal is relaxed.
If the tail lashes back and forth the cat is stalking something, or is curious. A swishing tail can also indicate the early stages of anger.
It’s when the tail fluffs out, and the cat’s hair stands on end as if it has received an electric shock, that the cat is at its most stressed. The cat is feeling threatened, and the hair-standing-on-end response is an attempt to make the animal look bigger, to scare away other cats, dogs, or whatever else is freaking out the furious feline.
If the cat is not yet sure of the various signals from its fellow felines, and therefore feeling a bit uncertain or uncomfortable, it will crouch down with its tail tucked tightly in by its side. It will stay in this position while it weighs up the situation. Alternatively, the cat might decide that discretion is the better part of valour and simply leg it!
A truly chilled and submissive cat will roll over and show her belly to the other cat. This is a signal familiar in dogs too.
The Eyes Have It
Cats also signal their mood with their eyes. A hard stare means they are focused on a danger or prey, and may also mean that they haven’t decided whether it’s a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ situation.
A slow blink is a sign of affection, and also of submission. What it generally means is “I’m no threat to you, you’re no threat to me, and I like it that way!”
If the cat blinks, looks away and crouches with flattened ears and a nervous licking of the lips, it means she’s feeling threatened or scared.
The flattened ears are a general sign of uncertainty or anger. A happy cat has relaxed ears; and when focused on a toy, a sound or prey, the ears are erect and face forward.
Mutual grooming, nose-touching and gentle, friendly bites are happier forms of physical cat communication.
Scent is important to cats. They leave pheromone signals across their territory, both in the home and outside, by rubbing things with their scent glands. These are found on the cat’s cheeks, which is why it likes rubbing its head on your leg. This is a form of affection, you could argue, but its main aim is to spread the pheromone messages. Cats also have scent glands where the tail joins the body, which is a less appealing region to be rubbed by!
Tom cats will often spray urine in their territory. Indoors this is uncommon, thankfully, but may become an issue if a strange cat has ventured into the building. Neutering usually brings an end to this macho, territorial habit.
Much of this communication behaviour stems from the fact that cats are not pack animals. They need their personal space, and only invite others into it – feline or human – when they’re in the mood. How Do Cats Communicate With Each Other?
Learn to recognise the animal’s vocal and body language, and you’ll soon be able to ‘speak cat’ yourself, to a certain extent!
This entry was posted in Cats
Fill your Instagram feed with these purrfect kitties and get double tapping!
Dewy’s big, beautiful eyes will have you smitten kitten!
Ever felt infurior to a beautiful cat? Look away now…
Nathan is cat mom goals!
Be prepared to get incredibly jealous of this classy cat’s moustache…
Get lost in these Russian Blues’ green eyes…
So soft! So fluffy!
Zappa is cooler than all of us. No arguments.
We are envious of these guys’ cattitude.
Can we be best friends with Mr Pickles, please?
Last but not least, the incredible Maine Coon Queens!
This entry was posted in Cats
Moving home can be very stressful. Not just for you and your family, but for your pets too.
It’s less of an issue for smaller animals kept in cages or enclosures. But even pet rodents and birds will need to be transported to the new residence, and none of them will enjoy the journey.
Of all the pets, though, it’s cats and dogs that take the brunt of the stress when moving. Everything they’ve come to know and rely on in terms of safe places, personal spaces, territories, and familiar scents and sounds disappears.
Here are a few tips to help your furry friends chill-out at this most disruptive of times.
Helping Pets Move Out
There’s a shortcut to a stress-free move: put your dog or cat in a kennel or cattery, or hand them over to a dog- or cat-sitter. That way they can ride out the chaos in relative peace and quiet, and you can collect them once the dust has settled at the other end of the moving process.
If you decide instead to let your pet ride out the storm with you, there are several things you can do to make it easier on them.
- Put your pet in a safe space – a quiet room in the house away from the main activity of boxes, moving furniture and sweaty removal men. Put familiar things in the room such as bowls and favourite toys, and make sure your pet spends time there in the weeks before the move, to get used to it. This applies not just to cats and dogs, but to small mammals and cage birds too.
- If your dog has a crate, that might be an even better option. Similarly, if your cat is happy chilling out in a cat crate or box, let them.
- Nominate one member of the family to be responsible for pet wellbeing throughout the move.
- Some owners recommend spraying a cat box or basket with calming pheromones (available from vets or pet shops). The calming effect can be increased by covering the crate with a sheet to keep it dark.
Pets On The Road
Some pets enjoy travelling. Others hate it. Highway blues can be minimised in the following ways.
- If your pet is already used to travelling in a car, great. If not, introduce them to the inside of the vehicle in the weeks before the move.
- Dogs should be secured with a doggy seat belt, or installed in a crate if that’s possible. Cats should always be transported in cat crates, and ideally they should be used to these before making the journey. Never let an animal remain loose in a car during the move; and don’t make a dog travel in the strange and scary surroundings of the removal van.
- For smaller cage pets, the journey is bound to be stressful. If possible let them remain in a covered cage and put plenty of soft items around it to prevent it moving around during the journey. If you need to transfer the animals to carrying boxes, make sure these are placed somewhere dark, with no chance of moving around. Never put the box in the glove compartment – there’s a chance of noxious fumes building up in there.
- If the journey is long, take breaks to allow your cat or dog to drink and, in the case of a dog, to exercise and relieve itself.
Helping Pets Move In
It takes time for pets to settle into new surroundings. But the first few hours are likely to be the most stressful, so, again, make it as painless for your pet as possible.
- Choose a quiet settling-in room, put the pet’s basket or blanket in there, along with some other familiar items, and then close the door for as long as it takes for your stuff to be relocated from the removal lorry to the new house or flat.
- Once everything is inside and the doors and windows are all closed, let your pet out for an exploration of the new place. Keep close, to reassure them. Most pets will relax within five minutes after a good sniff around, and will happily accept a tasty treat.
- If you have a cat, rub its head and cheeks with a cloth, and then rub the cloth on surfaces and skirting boards around the new place. This will transfer the cat’s natural pheromones.
- Put the pet’s bed in the place you intend it to sleep in, rather than letting it spend a few nights here, there and everywhere. Routine and familiarity are what it’s all about.
- When outside, keep your dog on a lead in the first few days, to prevent him chasing new scents and getting lost, or attempting to head for his former residence, which for a short time will still be ‘home’ in his brain.
- Keep cats indoors for at least one week, otherwise they will wander away. This is very likely to happen if you have not moved very far. Only let them out after dark once you’re confident that they have properly settled in.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped and have IDs on their collars, in case they stray.
Pets soon settle into a new home. All they really need is a little time, the reassurance of your continuing presence, and the sight and smell of familiar toys, food and bedding.
It’s these things, rather than a mere accident of geography, that means ‘home’ to a happy pet.
This entry was posted in Cats
The arrival of a baby in a household turns things upside down. That’s certainly how it can seem to your pets. A dog may find there’s less time for walks and playing, and a cat may suddenly be ousted from her favourite sleeping places in the bedroom or on your lap, due to the presence of the baby.
It’s important to get your pets used to the idea of having the newcomer around, along with the changes in routine that go with it. And ideally the preparation needs to start before the baby is born.
Prenatal Pet Training
In the months leading up to the birth, spend slightly less time with your cat or dog – particularly if they are used to lazing in your lap or sitting by your feet demanding attention.
If your dog is not fully trained at this point, fill in the gaps with some training sessions. Get an expert in to help out, if necessary. Your dog needs to know the basic ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Leave it’ commands, at the very least. It’s essential that the humans in the house reinforce their roles as Alphas in the pack.
A new baby will bring new sounds and smells to the house. You can get your pets ready for this by inviting mums and dads with babies or toddlers to call in for coffee. Play a recording of a crying baby to acclimatise pets’ ears, and switch on any noisy new toys, mobiles, swings or other baby-related apparatus. Let your pets sniff a nappy and a cloth with a few drops of baby oil on it. Familiarity is half the battle.
Get Your Pet Vet-Ready
A neutered pet is a calmer pet, and less likely to bite. This is especially true with males. When neutered, they are less likely to view the baby as a rival. Arrange for a vet to perform the operation, if the pet is not yet neutered. And while you’re there, make sure Puss and Fido are up to date with their vaccinations, worm-free, and generally in tip top health.
Babies bring lots of unpredictability to a household, and old routines soon break down. There’s nothing wrong with this, but a pet who’s set in his ways may not take kindly to sudden change. Break him in by varying feeding times, blocking off no-go areas with a baby gate, or perhaps hiring a dog walker.
If the human mum-to-be has always been the pet’s chief companion, it’s handy if you can introduce another ‘favourite’ into its life. This could be a partner, older child or friend – anyone able to spend quality time with the animal.
Introducing the Baby
Before letting a dog or cat see the baby, let them sniff a blanket and a soiled nappy. Try not to show any nervousness when bringing the baby into the house for the first time, as pets will pick up on the bad vibes.
To make the first introduction, sit with the baby in your arms – ideally in a ‘neutral’ room, one where the pet doesn’t usually go – and let the dog or cat approach in its own good time (and one at a time, if you have multiple pets). Don’t force the issue. Have some treats ready to reward good behaviour.
You can reinforce the positive associations by treating a dog whenever it’s around you and the baby. That way your pet will come to associate the baby with good things (i.e. food!) A cat will need less fuss in this respect, and will simply equate the baby with you, logging it as something not to worry about.
Whenever there’s any interaction between baby/toddler and pet, make sure there’s an adult around to keep an eye on the situation.
Special Notes For Cats
A docile cat needs to get used to the new baby, and to keep away when it’s asleep. A more flighty cat should simply be kept away. Toddlers seem to have an instinct for grabbing handfuls of pet fur, and a nervous cat may react by scratching. A cat flap with a lock can be handy in the early days, to keep puss outdoors at key times.
Many cats dislike a baby’s crying, and will disappear when the screaming begins. This is very handy! Make sure there’s a quiet, safe spot for them, away from the mayhem. The Maya Nook is a perfect solution to give your cat some privacy.
Cats feel exposed and nervous when they eat, so you should keep a toddler away from the place where your pet is feeding. It should also go without saying that you should prevent young ‘uns from rummaging in the litter tray too!
Special Notes For Dogs
All dogs will need to be well-trained, in a situation where trust is so fundamental. Some dog breeds are very rarely going to be friendly with children, though. A dog bred over hundreds of years for aggression is NOT a dog you should have in the family home. ‘Snappy’ breeds such as Jack Russel, Dachshund or Chihuahua can be problematic too, but you probably know your dog best.
A treat-based puzzle toy such as a Kong ball is a useful distraction. You can give it to your dog while you spend time tending to the baby, to divert the pet’s attention.
It’s important not to abandon dog walks, as that will lead to doggy stress and frustration. It’s a case of ‘business as usual’, where ‘usual’ has simply undergone a few changes.
The dog/child relationship is a two-way process, and youngsters need training too. Teach them to be gentle with the dog, and they will have the basis for a good relationship.
And the importance of that relationship shouldn’t be underestimated. Children learn lots about friendship, respect and responsibility from interacting with animals. There is also evidence that allergies are less of an issue in kids who have been brought up with pets.
So – you’ve replaced your ‘pet baby’ with the real thing. That means big change. But when handled properly it’s a positive change, the beginning of a new chapter in the happy family home.
This entry was posted in Cats
Cats are famous for several things. Independence, hunting and purring, for example. But intelligence? That’s a word more commonly handed out to dogs and parrots.
But that doesn’t mean cats aren’t smart. It’s simply that they don’t show off or shout about it. Under that cool exterior, there may be a lot of brain power.
So, do you have a feline Einstein, or more of a Tired Tom?
To find out how your pet’s grey matter measures up, we’ve put together this fun Cat IQ test. Put puss through her paces and see how she compares to the other brain-fit felines out there! Add up your results in the points column and share them with your friends!
The Omlet Cat IQ Test
1 . How old is your cat?
Less than 1 year
Older than 15
The years of peak feline fitness are matched by peak brain power.
2 . Does your cat respond to its name?
Yes – along with any other word I say!
No zero points here, as a cat that knows its own name may sometimes simply choose to ignore it!
3 . Does your cat sit in the middle of the street?
Basic knowledge of what constitutes a dangerous place is key to cat intelligence.
4 . Does your cat run out in front of cars?
We live away from busy roads, so it’s hard to tell
Awareness of danger sorts the smart cat from the not-so-smart.
5 . Does your cat stalk and kill small animals?
Hunts, but doesn’t usually catch anything
For a cat, a hunting brain equals a clever brain.
6 . What is your cat like around people?
Likes family and friends, dislikes strangers
Seems scared of everyone
Has certain people she seems to hate
Doesn’t seem interested in anybody
A cat that can differentiate between people is a smart puss.
7 . How does your cat react when you come home?
Pleased to see you, rubbing and meowing
Comes to check who it is, but leaves it at that
No reaction (but make sure the cat’s actually in the house before reaching this conclusion!)
Bright cats will be pleased to see you.
8 . How does your pet respond to other cats in the neighbourhood?
In a friendly way
Clever cats need to work out their place in the feline hierarchy.
9 . How does your cat respond to strange dogs?
Stands its ground and hisses
A smart puss knows an enemy when it sees one, and also knows when a fight isn’t worth it!
10 . Present your cat with food she’s not tried before. How does she react?
Refuses to eat it
Sniffs cautiously, possibly with an experimental bite
Not everything is edible, and a sensible cat will show a certain amount of caution.
11 . At feeding time, put an unopened tin of food next to the food bowl. What does the cat do?
Sits and looks at the tin, and then at you
Sniffs and/or rubs against the tin and meows
Examines the tin cautiously and then walks away
Shows no interest in the tin
Interaction with the tin suggests that the cat knows it contains food.
12 . Hold one of the cat’s favourite toys in front of her for a few seconds, and then hide it. Make sure your pet is watching as you do this. What does she then do?
Look for the toy, and find it
Look for the toy, but fail to find it
Remain sitting impassively
Cats don’t always want to ‘play ball’, so it might be worth trying this one a few times before deciding on the result.
13 . Place a windup toy on the floor and let it ‘run’ under a chair, sofa, or other piece of furniture. What does your cat do?
Anticipates were it will emerge, either by moving there or simply watching the space
Looks at you expectantly
Gazes at the place where the toy first set off on its journey
Looks away and takes no interest
A bright puss can deduce where the toy will emerge. But she might just not be in the mood!
14 . Put your shoes and coat on, as if you were about to leave. What is the cat’s reaction?
Meows or rubs against you
Goes to a window ledge to watch you leave
Seems uninterested, or walks away
Observant cats will recognise the clues that mean you’re about to leave the building.
15 . Has your cat learned to – or tried to – open doors, cupboards, windows, etc?
Clever cats watch and work it out, soon learning that things can be opened.
The smartest cats are thought to have an IQ equivalent to a 2- or 3-year-old human. How did yours do?
5-10 – Not-So-Cool Cat – Your pet barely has a claw on the IQ scale – less catnip and more training required!
11-19 – Tired Tom – Maybe your cat was feeling a bit lazy today… and every other day, come to that!
20-28 – Purrfect Puss – nothing wrong with this score, although if your cat keeps on looking and listening it might learn even more.
29-37 – Moggy Mastermind – your pet is well above the average when it comes to knowing how the world ticks.
38-42 – Feline Einstein – only a tiny percentage of cats are this clever!
This entry was posted in Cats
Are you thinking about adopting a kitten or rescue cat? That’s great – but it’s important to ensure you are completely prepared to provide the care they need first.
Many cats still find themselves placed into rescue centres (whether for the first time or the sixth) when new owners change their mind about their new pet. This is incredibly distressing for the cat, and can put already-busy rescue centres in a difficult situation. Ask yourself the questions below and check you and your home is completely ready for a new furry family member.
Should I buy or rescue a cat?
Before going ahead with buying a kitten from a breeder, it is important to remember there are lots of cats in rescue centres across the country, waiting for their furever homes, including cats of all ages and breeds.
We strongly encourage enquiring with your local cat rescue homes before making a decision. These cats may have been through a tough time and initially be very shy and reserved, but most rescue cats make a full recovery and see a drastic change in their personalities when they are in a safe home and have bonded with their new owner.
Is my home, garden and neighbourhood safe for a cat?
Think about where your home is located. Some rescue cat centres do not allow adoption if you live near a busy road – and for good reason. Some skittish cats can put themselves in danger and there is a risk of injury in a busy street. Consider whether your current home is really suitable and safe for a cat to be going outdoors. If not, are you able to provide an alternative, secure outdoor space for them to play and exercise, such as an Outdoor Cat Run?
If you live in an apartment, it may still be possible to rescue a cat who is happy to be an indoor cat. You can also provide the cat with a safe outdoor space with the Cat Balcony Enclosure, so they can get some fresh air and playtime outside of your flat, without fear of escape or injury.
Within your home, do you have other animals who could respond negatively to a new furry resident? Only rescue a cat that you know will be okay with other pets and children in your household, and likewise only if you know the existing residents will welcome a new four-legged family member.
Can I offer a secure space for the cat to feel comfortable?
For rescue cats, having their own space to hide when they get scared or anxious is incredibly important. Does your home have plenty of hiding spaces for your new cat to disappear to when it all gets too much?
Are you able to provide a cosy cat cave for your new pet to sleep and rest in complete peace and security? The Maya Nook Indoor Cat House is the ideal den for nervous cats to be tucked away in, as the curtains provide a completely secluded space. Learn more about how the Maya Nook could help settle your rescue cat into your new home here.
Am I willing to provide a rescue cat with the support they need?
Seeing the transformation in your rescue cat’s personality is incredibly rewarding, but first you need to be sure that you can provide the patience and support needed for them to settle in to your home and feel at ease.
If you have a full time job, you may need to consider taking some time off to settle them into your home, get them used to their surroundings, litter tray and neighbourhood. If the household has children, you will need to prepare them to be gentle and quiet with the new cat.
Most rescue cats are discharged from rescue homes with a full bill of health, but on the odd occasion some cats may need a few more vet visits, or even repeat medication. If you rescue such a cat, you must be prepared to accept the cost and commitment required to provide the healthcare they need.
What will I need to settle a rescue cat into my home as smoothly as possible?
This entry was posted in Cats
Many cats in rescue centres looking for a new home have had a very tough time of it. Whether mistreated, abandoned, stray, or injured, the kitties who find themselves in the care of a rescue organisation can, quite understandably be wary of humans. But this isn’t a reason to give up on them.
When I adopted my cat he was depressed and overweight due to the large amount of time he had spent hidden away in his kennel, showing no interest in playtime or human interaction. He had been with the rescue organisation for 4 months and not one person had shown him any interest. Stress had caused his fur to come out in great tufts, but as I stroked him he let out a little purr. I adopted him then and there.
On bringing Smudge home, I opened the door to his cat carrier but he refused to step out for a good few hours, and when he did he scarpered under the kitchen table, hidden as best he could.
In his first few weeks with us he spent a lot of time hidden under beds, behind the sofa, in between boxes or attempting to blend in to a pile of clothes or under a blanket. It took a long time for Smudge to be brave enough to spend time on the sofa and beds, and even then he wouldn’t be up there for long until a slight movement or noise would frighten him and he would vanish.
It became very obvious he was going to take a bit more time to settle in and to feel less afraid, so I was going to need to think outside of the box – or more so inside. As I noticed he felt most secure in an enclosed space where nothing could reach him and he was protected from harm, I started to think about the best kind of bed to suit his timid personality.
The Maya Nook is a cosy indoor Cat House with curtains. Yes, you heard that right, it’s got curtains. But before you start rolling your eyes at another example of anthropomorphism, let me explain. The curtains not only make the Nook look really nice, they are also fully functional and transform the Nook into an enclosed little ‘room’ where cats can rest and sleep in a peaceful, secure space they can call their own. Placing their bed in a den-like Nook gives them a sense of distance and security from a busy home life, while the addition of the curtains completely closes off their space so they cannot see outside, and likewise they cannot be seen.
When I introduced Smudge to the Maya Nook, it took a short while for him to get used to it. I allowed him to spend some time alone with it, giving him the opportunity to approach it at his own will, instead of picking him up and forcing him inside, which I thought could create a negative association. He spent some time sniffing around, going in and out for short periods of time with the curtains open. When he had settled inside for the first time, I closed the curtains for 30 seconds or so and opened them again. I repeated this a couple of times so he could get used to both scenarios.
When he would spend time hidden behind the sofa or under a bed, he seemed to mostly be awake and on guard, unable to relax, whereas now that he is sleeping in his Maya Nook, I feel as though he is getting much better quality rest and actually being able to switch off from what is happening on the other side of the curtains.
The combination of a quiet space and better sleep time has had a multitude of benefits to Smudge’s progress in our home. He is visibly more relaxed and spends more time out of his bed and in the open space with the family, compared to when he spent all of his time hidden and stressed. He is beginning to open up to the possibilities of play time, visitors are still feared but he is becoming braver with showing his face, and always has the comfort of being able to run to his Nook whenever it gets a bit too much for him.
I am sure this will also be hugely beneficial for events such as Fireworks Night and New Years Eve, when the bangs and pops of fireworks can be relentlessly frightening and heard for weeks on end. The Nook will help to reduce the sound, while the curtains will block out any flashing lights coming through the window.
The Maya Nook is designed to fit in the home like a piece of furniture, so we are able to use the space on top for whatever we please. It is a great spot to feed my cat and keep his water bowl so it is always close by and in his “safe zone.” The Maya Nook is also available with a handy fitted wardrobe which provides extra storage for cat food, treats and toys.
Adopting a rescue cat is really rewarding and I’m so glad that I didn’t let Smudge’s initial shyness put me off. If you have adopted or are thinking of adopting a rescue cat who continues to be very nervous and stressed in your home, I would highly recommend providing them with an indoor cat house like the Maya Nook so they can claim a secure space for themselves – it could transform your cat’s personality.
This entry was posted in Cats
More than 80% of cat owners are having their sleep disturbed by their feline friends, reveals latest Omlet survey.
Following a discussion amongst the Omlet cat owners about the close sleeping arrangements with our pets, and the resulting impact on our daytime energy levels, we began wondering whether it is actually normal, or wise, to be allowing our cats to sleep in our beds?
Are we just soft when it comes to letting our cats get cosy at night, or are we a nation of pet slaves who value our cats happiness more than our own sleep?
To find out we decided to conduct a survey to shed light on the sleeping patterns of cats and how their nocturnal habits affect their owners. Over 900 cat owners responded and more than half (56%) said they let their cat sleep on the bed with them at night, with 40% allowing them to do so on the first day! In fact by the end of the first month of cat ownership the number has increased to 71% of owners allowing their cats into their bed at night.
A massive 84% of cat owners who allow their cat to sleep in their bedroom admitted to having their sleep disturbed by their cat – and as a result 1 in 5 cat owners sometimes resent their cat following a bad night’s sleep. Could this cosy sleeping arrangement actually be negatively impacting the nations’ relationship with their cats?
We invited these cat owners to share how exactly their cat disturbs their sleep. Many agreed that the main disturbance is due to their cats lying too close to them, purring, snoring or cleaning themselves. However, here are our top 10 favourite, more unusual, ways that cats are disturbing their owners sleep…
- Chasing mice around the bedroom
- Patting my face
- Trying to eat my toes
- Zoomies at 3am
- Dribbling on me
- Trying to wake me up for breakfast, or asking for a snack
- Knocking things off shelves
- Licking my eyelid
- Restless dreams
A third of cat owners say they have to change their bed sheets more regularly since allowing their furry friend to sleep on their bed. Only a small number of people (12.2%) are aware that allowing cats to sleep in their bed is unhygienic.
Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine found that when you look a bit closer cats can have parasites like fleas and ringworm, which unless treated can cause health issues in humans. Fleas for example can jump into your mouth leading to owners becoming inadvertently infected by tapeworms. Yuck.
37% of cat owners have made the wise choice to shut their bedroom door at night, saying they can’t allow their cat to sleep on the bed because their sleep gets disturbed.
1 in 4 owners wish their cat would sleep in their own bed at night – which begs the question, why don’t they?
Perhaps they’re so connected to their owner that they can’t bear to be more than 2 inches away from them, or maybe their owner has never found a cat bed which provides the same level of luxurious comfort as a king size bed and a thick, cosy duvet does?
The Maya Nook gives your cat their own little space, complete with a cosy bed, curtains and wardrobe, to create a warm, secluded and calming zone for them to sleep in complete peace, undisturbed by you and most importantly out of mischief.
Designed to look like a piece of modern furniture, the Nook looks great in any room so can be placed in your bedroom if your cat likes to be close to you, or downstairs to give you a truly undisturbed sleep while your cat enjoys a luxurious slumber in their very own cat house.
Overall 52% of cat owners said they may prefer it if their cat slept in their own bed, yet 70% of people say they don’t regret allowing their cat to sleep on their bed. So the Maya Nook might be the purrfect compromise to keep both cats and their owners happy.
This entry was posted in Cats
We are giving away an ameowzing starter pack worth over £50 when you order the NEW Maya Nook Luxury Indoor Cat House – the purrfect moving in present to celebrate your feline friend’s new home.
The FREE bundle will include:
To claim your free starter pack when you purchase a New Maya Nook Cat House, simply enter code MAYA at checkout.
We’re not kitten around – this offer is fur real and available for a limited time only!
The NEW Maya Nook Cat House is the ultimate cosy bed for your cat to relax and sleep in peace and quiet. This stylish piece of furniture looks great in your home while providing your cat with a space they can call their own. The integrated wardrobe provides a neat way to keep your cat’s toys and treats tidy and out of sight, while the NEW Maya Nook curtains allow your cat to get the undisturbed sleep they desire. Read more about the NEW Maya Nook Cat House here.
Terms and Conditions
Free Starter Pack bundle is only valid with orders of the Maya Nook Indoor Cat House from 01/05/19 – midnight 09/05/19. Use promo code MAYA at checkout to receive your FREE starter pack. The starter pack includes one pair of curtains only. Items in the free bundle are subject to change. Subject to availability. While stocks last. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point.
This entry was posted in Cats
Any cat owner…sorry, we mean servant… will know these struggles all too well. If you think of a crazy cat lady while reading these, make sure you name and shame them on social media using #OmletPets.
After swearing you would never let your cat on the bed, your cat now spends more time in your bed than you do, including under the covers.
You also frequently wake up with your cat lying on you, your pillow, right by your face, across your feet etc.
Your cat demands to have breakfast and dinner brought to them. And you give in. Every. Single. Time.
Sternly telling your cat “no” results in your pointed finger being swiped by sharp claws, even if they were in the wrong. Cats are never in the wrong.
You have bought multiple toys which your cat has never touched…
“But the toilet roll is so much fun! Ooo – look a hair band! Packaging? MY FAVOURITE!”
Who needs an alarm clock? You have a hangry cat!
“What do you mean 5am isn’t breakfast time? Get up!”
“If I want to play in the sink – I will play in the sink – don’t even THINK about moving me.”
You still can’t help but love your cat no matter what they do! They do own you after all!
This entry was posted in Cats
Introducing a new cat or kitten to your resident cat can be quite a daunting situation. One thing you don’t want to do is just put them together without any thought or preparation.
If you introduce the cats too soon or without easing them in they can become very hostile due to the fact that they might be feeling threatened or scared.
One thing to note particularly with cats is that once they feel this way about another cat it can be very hard to change their minds, hence why a cautious and slow introduction is the best way to ensure both animals feel safe and happy together.
Unlike many animals and humans, cats don’t actually crave companionship from one of their own. They are perfectly happy being the only cat in the house. This isn’t to say they won’t enjoy the company of another cat, it’s just they don’t have that need or desire for company that you are used to seeing in other animals.
Introducing a new kitten to an existing adult cat might be easier as the older cat might not feel as threatened, due to the fact that the kitten isn’t sexually mature. However, it is worth noting that a kitten will be very lively and playful which for a resident older cat might be quite stressful so it’s important you give your existing cat some down time in a separate room to chill out.
Initially it is best to keep the cats in separate rooms of your house. One in the living room and one in the spare room for example. Place all the items your new cat will need in this room, litter tray, food, water etc. Make sure there is no competition for food, litter trays and sleeping areas. Create safe separate spaces for both of them to co-exist.
Cat diffusers- These can be used a couple of days before you bring your new cat into the home, these are designed to emit pheromones which relax and soothe your cat which makes them feel safe and secure.
If you are introducing a kitten, you can use a dog crate for the initial stages. Top tip: get your kitten used to the crate before you place the kitten in the same room as the resident cat, you can do this by using it in a separate room with the door open for the kitten to become familiar with the crate.
Height is another great asset for cats particularly when they’re feeling scared or threatened. Make sure there is enough high areas or places in your house for the cats to access to give themselves a bit of time to calm down.
Cats have a good sense of smell, therefore unfamiliar scents can be stressful for them, especially when they know it’s from another cat. The idea of scent swapping is an easy but super effective way to safely get the cats familiar with one another. Try swapping their bedding nightly also stroke both cats separately but don’t wash your hands in between, this will cause their scents to become mixed up and they’ll start feeling more familiar with one another even before they’ve met!
Common ground- for initial introductions you want to make sure that the cats are meeting in a neutral area that’s not assigned to either of them but ensure that they have access back to their own safe spaces if they want to leave. In this time, initially just leave them to it, they will assess each other from afar and when they feel comfortable enough to approach each other they will. Try to refrain from picking them up and forcing them to be closer together.
One great way to start the cats bonding is to feed them both at this time, in separate bowls but with a good enough distance between them.
Hissing and moaning isn’t unusual but it just lets you know where they are at, perhaps slow the process down and keep them separate for a few more days and then try again.
Most importantly to create a harmonious environment for your new and existing cat is to make sure there are enough separate areas for them to eat, drink, sleep and go to the toilet, this is a sure fire way to ensure there’s no unnecessary fights!
This entry was posted in Cats
Do or Don’t??
Are you considering buying a run for your cat?
5 degrees outside, oh how we’d love to open a window or the French Doors, but we have two indoor cats that might attempt to get out.
This is how we first got the idea for a cat run.
My husband is very determined that the house and garden should look good, so fencing in the whole garden was not an option for us. Anyway, fencing might keep our cats in, but it wouldn’t keep other cats out.
Next idea, should we build a run ourselves? No, it won’t look good next to the house and it’s not flexible.
I was looking around for something movable and flexible, but it just didn’t exist! Or did it? Suddenly I came across Omlets solution – exactly what I was looking for.
An outdoor run for which I would be able to decide the length and width myself. Easy to move, pack up, make smaller or make larger – and it’s green like the garden. One of the things I fell for is that you can place the run directly on the grass, so the cats have a natural floor to play on. The roof is made up of the same netting as the rest of the run, so the cats can keep an eye on what is happening in the sky, whether there’s a bird, a plane or something else.
When it rains the run can be covered so you can use it with your cats like a kind of covered terrace. The same covers can also be used to create shelter from the wind, shade from the sun or a guard to give the cats some peace and quiet.
Some people might feel it’s not right to put cats in a cage, but I don’t see it as a cage at all. I call it the cats’ outdoor space. We keep them there to protect them but at the same time it gives them the opportunity to experience nature and get some fresh air without the risk of getting run over or get into other bad situations. Both our cats love their outdoor space and they use the entire run like one big climbing frame.
Now we can enjoy life outside with our cats
No more being woken up in the middle of the night or early in the morning – now we have two happy cats that get all the mental and physical stimulation they need in their outdoor space.
The Omlet Outdoor Cat Run has given us our outdoor life back and given our cats a better, healthier life.
– Maria, Roskilde
This entry was posted in Cats
Last month, we celebrated International Cat Day by inviting all our lovely Omlet followers and customers from around the world to share their wonderful cat rescue stories on social media. Here is a selection of our favourite tales…
””I took my little kitty ’Bettemis’ and her sister into my care from Tøstrup shelter and animal welfare center, she was so small that we didn’t think she would survive, but she did. And when she was 2 years old she fell from a window and broke her pelvis in two places, this she survived as well. She is the most cuddly and affectionate cat I know, although she stamps when she walks. I have 4 cats and a dog.” – Lilian Fischer Krarup, from Denmark.
“This is my darling boy Yumyum. He was rescued from a very hectic household. Kids chasing and pulling his tail. So he was shut in a room with a filthy litter tray. He was two pounds in weight and eight weeks old. He was a feisty wee soul to begin with, but has settled in fine. He is now 14 yrs and has been diabetic for many years now. He has Insulin twice a day and special low carb biscuits. He has me wrapped around his little paw” – Helen, from the UK.
““This is Misfit, he came from our vet, she found him on the street, he was ill and no owner ever showed up, so we got him. We have 33 cats in total, many from Trøstrup shelter” –
Tilla Löewenhausen, from Denmark.
““This is Fröken Fräs. She waited for 10 years for a new home at the rescue centre in Lidköping. She was somewhat aggressive, not very outgoing, and no one’s first choice. It didn’t get easier when she got older and started getting dental issues. Now she lives in Dalarna and is a beloved family member of ours since a few years back. She loves prawns, to sleep in the sun, play with balls or just lay close to us and cuddle. There are a lot of cats like her out there – those older cats with a few flaws that, almost, no one wants.” – Pia, from Sweden.
“This is Jessie! She was rescued by Little Valley Animal Shelter and painstakingly nursed back to health after being found with her back leg completely skinned 😞 They thought they were going to have to amputate but their amazing care meant they didn’t have to in the end. It was a very long road to recovery but she is now fit, healthy and a beloved member of our family” – Charley, from the UK.
““This handsome cat is iPoes! I adopted her in 2010 from ‘t Julialaantje in Rijswijk (the Netherlands). Although she’s my cat, I can honestly say she is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met. She will never scratch or bite. Except the neighbor’s tomcat, she will make sure he leaves our house immediately!
According to the animal shelter, iPoes used to live in a house with many other cats and dogs. In the beginning she wasn’t very social, and it took almost 2 years before she felt comfortable enough to sit on my lap. But this is not a problem anymore: now she likes to sleep next to me under the duvet with her head on my pillow! Although she’s very sweet, she’s not very clever… She is a very small cat and according to the vet her head is just too small for a big brain. But even after 8 years she still learns new things every day!” –Pauline, from Holland.
“Heddi is 17 years old and I rescued her back in 2001. She’s got a large personality and knows what she wants, and she always lets us know when she wants something, food or being let out into the garden – even at 5 in the morning! Nowadays she prefers to sleep outside and never leaves the garden. She hisses and chases male cats that come into the garden. Her kidneys are starting to act up, and she’s got arthritis, but she’s very happy and has perfect teeth. She’s got a friend who is two years younger, Nancy, with a completely different personality, but I love them both.” –
Jag älskar båda lika mycket.” – Annika, from Sweden.
““Bibi, has been rescued 9 years ago! We found him straying in our neighborhood a very cold and snowy day of winter, we presume his owners decided they didn’t want him anymore. He came to my door, I let him entered and he never left. He is so thankful that he accept all the new rescues animal in our house, even this bird that doesn’t want to leave haha” – Joëlle, from France.
““Hi, let me introduce you to Obi & Ficelle! We have recently adopted Obi, he is a 3 months old kitten that we found in the street where he was starved and sick! Today, he lives the perfect life with his soul sister Ficelle which we have got from a rescue center located in north of France.” – Cassandre, from France.
““We picked up our cat Mia from the rescue centre in Murtal / German in September 2017. Our other rescue pets were excited about her arrival as well.” – Marlena, from Germany.
““Luna is from Lund shelter. We don’t know her story. We just know that she was there for a very long time. She wasn’t very talkative when we got her. Today she sleeps in my arm under the duvet and can act on command.” – Charlotte L Hansen, from Denmark.
““In the summer of 2006 a kitten suddenly showed up outside our house. He was extremely thin, had a large cut on his stomach and ridden with ear mites. It took me two days to catch him, but then only a few minutes before he calmed down and started purring. I already have 4 neutered male cats, and the plan was never to keep him, but we quickly had to give up that idea. He stole my heart! We named him Alvin and he is now as big a part of the family as the other cats.” – Jennifer, from Sweden.
““Sir George is my foster failure from 2 years ago with Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue in Lockport NY. George came to me at 4 days old and right from the start was a medical learning process. He developed a hernia from straining with chronic diarrhea by 5 weeks old. He continued to struggle and failed to thrive until he was 9 months old. We did a lot of tests, and a lot of food trials. My vet is awesome and she wouldn’t give up – and neither would Diamonds. We finally found a diet that George could tolerate. He is allergic to dairy, fish and carbs. He has swung from diarrhea to constipation to just right. July 4th this year, he urinary blocked. My vet again is awesome and saved me a trip to the ER. He is on chronic medications as well as a special diet (which at one time included home cooked meals). Due to the malnurishment at an early age, he is my “mini” kitty but is happy, and doing great!” –Cathryne, from USA.
You can read more amazing stories on our Facebook page!
This entry was posted in Cats
Did you know that it is becoming more and more common for our pets to become overweight.
Overweight cats are at a greater risk of developing serious problems, like cardiac diseases, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. Obesity is normally caused by the cat’s sedentary lifestyle in combination with over-feeding and too many treats.
Helping your overweight cat lose weight is the best thing you can do to improve their general well being and make sure they live a long and happy life!
It is not always straightforward to tell if your cat is overweight, especially if they have long hair and are of a generally stockier breed, but a healthy cat should have a well-proportioned body with a defined waist and neck. You should be able to easily feel your cat’s ribs and hip bone, and it should have minimal abdominal fat. You can also do a search for ideal weight for the breed of cat you’ve got and compare it to the weight of your cat. If your cat is 15% over the normal weight it is seen as overweight.
If you’re unsure about whether or not you need to put your cat on a diet you can always consult with your vet.
It is generally always good to have a chat with your vet before you make any changes to your cat’s diet, as weight gain could actually be caused by an underlying health problem, rather than over-eating.
If you have decided that your cat needs to lose weight, have a look at our best tips:
Control calorie intake
Look for canned, high quality, meat-based, and highly digestible food to give your cat. Canned or raw food contain a large percentage of water, which can help a cat feel full on fewer calories, and also allows you to control how much food you give your cat every day. Canned wet food is also better than dry food, as it does not allow the cat to nibble on food throughout the day and eating just for sake of eating rather than because they are hungry.
Measure out how much food you’re going to give the cat in a day, and make sure you stick to it. Dividing the food into smaller and more frequent meals can help if you feel your cat is struggling with hunger, but keep track of what and how much you are giving them. If you’ve got more than one cat it might be worth trying to feed the overweight cat separately to stop him or her stealing food from the others.
Limit the treats
Get rid of all high-calorie treats and titbits, and make sure everyone in the family knows the rules! It might seem unfair to completely stop giving your cat treats, but the nicest thing you can do for them at this stage is to help them lose weight.
Try substituting treats with a nice cuddle or a toy, as most cat will respond just as well to the attention. If you still feel like you want to treat your cat with something edible, look for low-calorie treats in your local pet shop, or give the cat healthy nibbles, like a piece of broccoli or green beans.
Weight loss should be done slowly and steadily to reduce the risk of several health issues, like fatty liver disease. The cat should not lose more than 3-4% of their total body weight per month.
If you are changing the cat’s diet, make sure you do this gradually to not upset the stomach. Substitute more and more of the old food with your new, healthier choice every day, or reduce the amount of food little bit little, until you have reached the desirable level.
Introducing new toys and games into your cat’s life can not only decrease boredom, help cats bond with each other and their owners, and improve agility and coordination, but will also help your cat lose weight. The increased movement will burn calories, and take the cat’s mind off eating.
Try to find out what types of toys your cat likes, and switch them around every now and then to make sure the cat doesn’t get bored. Different cats like different toys, but feathers and catnip-infused toys will be a hit with most! Make up games that forces the cat to move around and use their whole body, like searching for hidden things or chasing toys.
Try walking your cat on a leash
Although some cats absolutely hate going for a walk on a leash, others will really enjoy it, as they get fresh air and are able to spend time with their favourite human. Let the cat get used to the harness at home, and start with a short walk in the garden or around the block. If that works you can increase the distance gradually.
Don’t worry if it proves a real challenge – some cats will never accept the leash, and you should not force them, but if you’re able to take the cat for a walk once a day it can be a great way of exercising (for both you and your cat).
Add dietary supplements to your cat’s diet
Depending on what food you are giving your cat as part of his or her new diet, they might not be getting enough of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active. Check the new feeding routine with your vet, and they can recommend supplements that might be good for your cat, such as Omega 3 or multivitamins.
Create an exciting and enriching environment for your cats
You want to make sure that your cats are encouraged to move around in the home even when you’re not there to play with them. Give them scratching trees, climbing posts and stimulating toys, both to prevent boredom and make sure they stay active.
If you’ve got an indoor cat, you might want to consider giving your cats the possibility to play outside in a run.
Help with grooming
This is not so much a tip as a general thing to think about. Overweight cats can sometimes struggle to keep their fur nice and tidy, as they might not have the mobility to reach everywhere. While you’re helping your cat lose weight, make sure to stay on top of grooming!
This entry was posted in Cats
A little Q and A with the owner of this month’s Pets of the Month:
When and where did you get Mav and Goose from?
We got Mav and Goose in May 2015 from a lovely breeder in Northampton, we found them on Gumtree.
What are their personalities like?
Goose is overly affectionate, loves cuddles, bit of a daddy’s boy but clearly is the boss of the street.
Mav is shy and timid and gets picked on by the other cats in the neighbourhood, but he has a very cheeky side (e.g the time he ate the bolognese off the stove) and loves to be around people. Goose always has his back.
Caught orange handed!
Do they have any favourite toys or things they like to do:
My partner plays golf, so the cats love to steal his golf balls and hide them around the house, much to his dismay.
Funniest thing they do:
They play fight with each other all day but when they go to sleep they always have to be next to each other (they’re softies at heart.)
This entry was posted in Cats