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The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Cats

What’s the Difference Between Clay Cat Litter and Pine Cat Litter?

Choosing the right litter for your cat is an important decision but with so many different types of cat litter out there, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know which to go for! Cats can be very fussy animals, even when it comes to their litter boxes, so when choosing which litter to invest in, you’ll need to take both you and your furry friend into consideration. Clay and pine cat litters are popular choices – but which is best for you and your pet cat?

What is Clay Cat Litter?

Clay cat litter was one of the earliest cat litters to be used. Traditional clay litter is formed when clay is crushed, dried in a kiln, and then crushed again to form the litter as we know it to look. To make a clumping clay cat litter, bentonite clay is added to the mix, which absorbs liquid, or your cat’s urine, once it has been detected.

What is Pine Cat Litter?

Pine cat litter on the other hand is made from either wood pulp, or recycled pine shavings, that are then shaped into pellets. This type of litter has a natural wood aroma and can either come as a clumping litter or in non clumping form.

Now that we have established what the main difference is between these two types of litter, we can start to consider what other factors need to come into play when you decide on either clay or pine.

Scent and Odour Control

A lot of clay litters are artificially scented, so if you want more of a natural smell, a pine litter is probably best for you. Furthermore, some cats can be easily irritated by the artificial scents that a lot of clay cat litters have, which can sometimes simply be masking odours, making it near impossible to get rid of litter box odours entirely. If you and your cat prefer a more freshly chopped wood scent, then you’ll love the Omlet Cat Litter No. 3 – Pine, that naturally helps to reduce litter box odours such as ammonia thanks to its absorbent properties. However, if a clay litter is more to your taste but your cat is prone to irritation, unscented clay cat litter is also available. This might be a better option for your cat if you notice a scented clay litter resulting in allergies or your cat refusing to use their box.

Texture

Of course every cat is different, but particularly fussy cats will likely prefer a fine-grained litter texture. Clay has this advantage over pine, which some cats do not get along with, as the granules are slightly larger than the sand-like texture that clay offers. In the outdoors, cats like to bury their waste in sand so the closer their litter can replicate this, the better.

Clumping

Many clay litters are clumping, which means that they form clumps when coming into contact with liquid. This is because of the type of clay that is added to the formula (bentonite). Clumping clay litter, as opposed to a clay non-clumping litter, is what you’re most likely to find on the market as it makes for a much easier cleaning process of the litter box. Although pine is highly absorbent, it simply does not clump quite as well as clay does.

Dust

Dust can become a real issue with some cat litters. When litters are handled or in transit, it almost becomes inevitable that the pellets will rub together which then forms a dust. Many cat owners notice this dust when pouring the litter into their cat’s litter box. Although it may seem harmless, litter dust can in fact become harmful for both humans and cats, causing respiratory problems in the long run. Pine litters are generally better than clay when it comes to producing the least dust. They are a low dust cat litter option, which also means a better choice for cats with allergies or sensitivities.

Environmental Impact

If a more environmentally friendly option is what you’re on the lookout for, then a pine litter will be a much better choice for you. Being a natural litter made up of wood pulp, pine is a renewable and biodegradable material. Alternatively, Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 4 – Clay offers a low waste clay litter solution that is less taxing on the planet than traditional non clumping clay cat litter, which can often create more waste, as cat owners can unknowingly end up frequently disposing of fresh litter. Omlet’s clumping clay cat litter means less waste for you, as clumps appear once the litter box has been used by your cat, making it super easy to scoop.

Other Litters to Consider

Pine and clay cat litters are just two of the many litter options out there. Omlet stock a range of different types of cat litter that might be a better fit for you and your cats.

If dust is becoming a problem with your current litter, how about switching to Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 5 – Paper. As previously mentioned, many types of cat litter produce at least some amount of dust. However, the Omlet paper cat litter is virtually dust free, with the biodegradable pellets being made from recycled newspaper.

Natural litters such as grass are growing in popularity. Grass cat litters are a newer product on the market and are made using grass seeds. This litter is extremely lightweight, offers good odour control, and is also scent free.

Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 2 – Tofu may be one that you’ve not heard of just yet, but with highly absorbent properties and being more of an eco-friendly candidate, it might just be the right litter for you and your furry friend. Made from 100% crushed tofu, tofu cat litter stays fresher for longer with its active carbon composition.

Silica gel litter, also known as crystal litter, is a silica based cat litter. Made from silica crystals, it has the amazing ability to absorb a large amount of liquid. Another newer cat litter that has become available, dust from silica gel litter is also practically non-existent. Take a look at Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 1 – Silica

After reading how clay and pine cat litters differ and learning a bit more about what else is available, hopefully you’ll now be one step closer to making your final decision on which one is the perfect match for your pet!

 

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How to Reduce Odour From an Indoor Cat’s Litter

Photo by Erica Leong on Unsplash

As indoor cats frequently use their litter boxes, it is important for cat owners to take the right measures to keep litter box odours under control. Stinky cat litters however, can be more than just an unpleasant aroma in the air around our homes. More worryingly, the smells coming from your cat’s litter box can actually be having an impact on yours and your cat’s health. However, with a few helpful tips on good litter box hygiene, you can be on your way to keeping pungent cat litter smells at bay, all whilst creating a healthier environment for both you and your cats.

What Causes a Stinky Litter Box?

A rancid smell from a litter box can often derive from a lack of, or poor, cleaning. Although you may be cleaning your cat litter box, if not done effectively, you may simply be masking the smell, as opposed to eliminating it.

Before anything else though, make sure that your cat is not spraying outside of their litter box, which can be one reason as to why there is an odour circulating your home. Your cat spraying outside of the litter box can be happening for a number of reasons such as boredom, territorial marking, and sickness. If you do, however, notice that your cat is simply refusing to use their litter box, the chances are, this is due to an issue surrounding the litter box itself. Some suggestions include

the litter box being dirty, (we wouldn’t like to use a dirty bathroom so why would our cats?); your cat disliking the litter you are using, based on either smell or texture (remember, cats have preferences too!); or the location of the litter box not being well suited to your cat/s.

A litter box should be placed in a quiet environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the home or any outside traffic, to ensure peace and quiet. The litter box should also be separate from where your cat eats, have sufficient lighting, and within a room your cat likes or is comfortable in. The Maya Cat Litter Boxes are a great solution for cats who need complete privacy and comfort. With five different styles and entry points, your furry friend is bound to find a way to suit them.

However, if you do decide that it would benefit your cat to move their litter box to a more suitable location, which will in turn hopefully

help with the odour of the house, be mindful that cats are creatures of habit, so disturbing their space must be done with caution. Take it step by step with the litter box transition by purchasing a second box to place in the new location, whilst keeping the old box in its remaining place. After around a week, if your cat is using their second litter box, then feel free to remove the original, as this is a sure sign they have comfortably made the transition. Another top tip is to continue to use the same litter as you had before, which will make sure you’re not putting your cat under any more additional stress than need be when you replace their litter box.

Once you have ruled out that the smell is not from your cat spraying outside of their box, but in fact the odour is coming from what is going on inside of the litter box, you can begin to follow the appropriate steps to eliminate the stench and have your house smelling fresh again.

How to Control The Odour

Regularly Wash the Box

Although it may sound obvious, regularly cleaning the litter box is the starting point to waving goodbye to nasty odours. How often you give your litter box a deep clean really does depend on how often your cat is using the litter box along with other lifestyle factors such as age, diet and exercise coming into play. If you are starting to notice litter box odours becoming stronger with your current cleaning regime, up the frequency of cleaning and start giving the litter box a good scrub once a week. To wash your cat’s litter box, first remove and dispose of any litter, before beginning to scrub the box using warm water mixed with a mild dish detergent. Once cleaned, thoroughly pat dry with a towel. If you’re after an even easier cleaning solution for your litter box, have a look at litter liners, which prevent dirt from sticking to your box. The Maya Litter Box comes with a waterproof and long lasting liner, making it simple for you to effortlessly wipe your box clean.

Keep On Top Of Scooping Out the Litter Box

Scoop out your cat’s litter at least twice a day. It may initially seem a bit of an ordeal but your cat really does prefer plenty of clean and dry space in their litter box to continue using it comfortably. Furthermore, frequently scooping the litter box means a lot less time for litter box smells to accumulate. It’s also important to replace the scoop itself, along with the litter box annually. This is because over time, the plastic scoop reacts with the acid in your cat’s urine, eventually causing the plastic to degrade and then smell.

Use a Clumping Litter

Clumping litter works by forming clumps when the litter gets wet, or your cat’s urine is detected. A great thing about this type of litter is that it makes it easier to scoop out all of your cat’s waste, before it has time to build up and cause an odour. If you’re on the search for a good clumping litter, clay clumping litter is a popular option, due to its absorbent properties. Omlet stock a great range of clumping litters, including clay, which will help to keep your litter fresher for longer. As clumping litter dries out cat faeces, its absorbability makes it fantastic for preventing your cat’s waste from reaching the bottom of the litter box, which makes things a lot more difficult when it comes to cleaning.

Add Another Litter Box

If you’re lucky enough to have more than just the one cat, we’re sure you’re more than aware of how bad litter box odours can get! We all know how bad the smell can become from one cat’s waste, let another one, two, or three…! Purchasing another litter box, however, will definitely help you to fight nasty odours. Adding another litter box will help to control the litter box smell, as the rate at which cat waste piles up will significantly reduce. The general rule of thumb is to use one litter box per cat in the household.

Try a Cat Litter Deodorizer

A cat litter deodorizer should not be used to replace correct hygiene, however they’re a fantastic way to get your cat litter smelling wonderfully clean and fresh, once all other cleaning is complete. Deodorizers can come either as granules, beads, sprays, or in powder form, with a range of different scents on the market. Alternatively, you can use a scented litter, which also comes in a number of fragrances. However, just be mindful that some cats are more sensitive to new smells than others so may not take to scented deodorizers or litters. As another option, you can go for an unscented deodorizer, which works by neutralising odours. These will be best for cats that are more prone to irritation from strong scents.

Charcoal Cat Litter

Just like clay, charcoal, or activated carbon, is highly absorbent, making it perfect for getting rid of nasty odours. To incorporate charcoal/carbon into your routine, you can either opt for a bag of cat litter with activated charcoal or carbon, or purchase a cat litter deodorizer that contains it. The Maya Cat Litter Box comes ready with an activated carbon filter, that will prevent odours from escaping the box. Many of the Omlet cat litters also have an activated carbon composition, to give you maximum odour control.

Use Baking Soda

If you decide that a cat litter deodorizer isn’t right for either you or your cats, using a little baking soda is another sure way to help with the odours coming from your cat litter box, although it may sound like an unlikely fix. Not only is baking soda a completely natural, safe, and pet friendly option for your cats, it can also be used on any type of cat litter, working by absorbing your cat’s urine. A little baking soda goes a long way, so you will only need a couple of teaspoons, even for a large cat’s litter.

Dangers of a Dirty Litter Box

Dangers of a Smelly Litter Box to Humans

Ammonia is the most likely culprit for litter box odours, found in approximately 0.5 percent of your cat’s urine. As the litter box continues to accumulate waste within a room in your house that may not necessarily be well ventilated, the harmful gas of ammonia is formed. Overexposure to ammonia can result in queasiness and headaches, but should it become more serious, it can further lead to pneumonia. For those with a compromised immune system or are pregnant, overexposure to ammonia can be the onset of toxoplasmosis, an infection by the parasite toxoplasma gondii, which can become life threatening.

Cat scratch fever, or cat scratch disease, is a bacterial infection from Bartonella henselae bacteria, associated with cat faeces. Although very rare, the disease can again cause dangerous symptoms such as fatigue, swollen glands and fever.

Dangers of a Smelly Litter Box to Cats

Cats really are clean animals, which means that many will only use a clean litter box, often resulting in cats doing all they can to avoid using a dirty one, even if it means uncomfortably holding in their urine. However, delaying using the bathroom is not a great idea for cats as it can cause urinary tract diseases such as bladder inflammation and kidney blockage, or failure. Although all of which can be treated by your vet, prevention is always better than the cure.

Cats can also unfortunately fall victim to cat scratch fever. Their symptoms are similar to those that we can suffer, with swollen glands, fatigue, and a lack of appetite being the most common.

Having a cat should not mean having to compromise on the smell of your home. Although the unpleasant odour from a litter box can be overwhelming at times, it doesn’t have to remain that way. Hopefully with a bit of advice, you can now be one step closer to saying goodbye to cat litter odours for good.

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Can I Compost My Cat Litter? 

With the increasing awareness of how the environment is being affected by humans, it is understandable that many pet owners are attempting to make more environmentally friendly decisions within their home.

Some litter can be composted, and some can’t. If you are determined to compost it, the starting point is to ensure that your litter is made from natural, biodegradable materials.

The origins of cat litter

Cat litter, which was first invented in the mid-century, has always been viewed as unusable waste that needs to be thrown away after use. The inventor was American businessman Edward Lowe, who began using Fuller’s Earth – an absorbent clay-based mixture – rather than the ashes, soil or sand. He patented his product under the name Kitty Litter in 1947.

Many types of modern cat litter contain silica, which, although not harmful to cats, takes a long time to degrade after it’s been thrown away and can’t be composted at home. Some litters are marketed as ‘flushable’, but evidence suggests this can cause environmental damage. It’s made from ingredients such as corn, wood, pine or wheat, which means it’s biodegradable. However, the flushed litter can potentially spread toxoplasmosis, which can affect humans as well as other animals. Most water treatment plants are not equipped to remove the tiny organism. A healthy immune system can fight off the bacteria and the disease it causes – toxoplasmosis – but the ailment is life-threatening to people who are already unwell.

To add to the problem, flushable litters can block toilet pipes. If you use a septic tank system, the hardened poo and litter waste will not easily break down. If you opt for this type of product, it is actually best to bin it in compostable bags. Any litter that is not soiled can, in theory, be composted on the compost heap. 

Choosing the best litter for your cat

So, what do cats think about all this?

No two cats are the same, and some seem to be very fussy about their litter. Every cat has its own individual needs, quirks and preferences – for example, sometimes a cat won’t share its litter tray with another cat, or will turn its nose up if the tray doesn’t contain their favourite type of litter.

Choosing a litter that your cat is comfortable with while remaining environmentally friendly can be tricky. Omlet eases this dilemma by offering four different types of biodegradable cat litter.

Omlet Cat Litter No. 2 is made from tofu and is one of the most environmentally friendly cat litters available. As well as being great for the environment, it’s also great for your home, as this litter is long-lasting and absorbs smells faster and more efficiently.

Omlet Cat Litter No. 4 is clay-based and is incredibly easy to clean up as it clumps together when wet, giving you an easier clean each time. The clay mix is not compostable, but it will not damage the environment when you dispose of it.

If your cat is only happy using a silica-based litter, it might be a good idea to head to your nearest waste disposal centre to dispose of it. They may have a more environmentally friendly option available than adding it to the general waste. 

How to compost cat litter

Composting cat litter is like any other composting. The key thing is to get an appropriate bin. Follow these five points, and you won’t go far wrong:

  • Remove clumps of cat poo (in the general waste bin) before composting, as they contain bacteria that can cause illness if it contaminates food.
  • Keep the compost bin away from any vegetable beds or other food-growing areas.
  • Ensure the bin is large enough to enable the compost to be turned regularly – a container of at least one cubic metre will be sufficient.
  • Only litter that is 100% plant-based can be disposed of in this way. Clay litter or litter with added chemical deodorants cannot be composted.
  • Add composter liquids, vegetable and plant matter and grass clippings to the compost. Chicken or horse manure will help the composting process, too. 
  • Leave the compost for two years before using it in the garden, and only use it for plants, never food items. Also be careful when handling the compost and make sure to always wash your hands afterwards.

Happy composting!

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How to Keep Your House Clean if You Live With a Cat

Keeping your home free from loose fur is particularly hard at this time of year as many cats shed their winter coats in the warmer weather. On top of that you have the increased risk of fleas, plus dry dust and dirt from outdoor cats, and loose litter mess from indoor cats.

Discover our top tips and best easy clean products below for fuss-free hygiene in your home. 

Facilitate healthy grooming habits

In moulting season, it’s important you help your cats with the extra grooming required to remove their loose fur, not only to minimise the clumps of hair discarded around your home, but also to assist them in maintaining a healthy and comfortable coat for summer. 

If your cat isn’t a lover of the grooming brush, try placing beauty grooming mats on table or chair legs in your home for them to rub up against and lift away the loose fur. These mats will cling to the loose fur so it doesn’t float through your home, and you can easily pull it out, dispose of it and clean the mat if necessary. 

Discover more grooming and fur-collecting techniques here.

Anti-tracking and low odour litter box

Another source of mess in homes with feline residents is, of course, their litter box. Not only because of the odours and unsightly mess that comes with it, but also the tiny litter particles that cats will carry out the litter box on their paws and walk through your home, also known as ‘tracking’.

Thankfully, there is a solution to all of the above! The Maya Jump On Top Entry Litter Box features an anti-tracking platform which, once they have done their 1s and 2s, cats will step out onto before jumping down from the box. This platform has tiny holes which allow the loose litter to fall through and back into the litter box as your cat jumps out, significantly reducing the amount of litter they carry out with them. 

As well as the clever anti-tracking platform, the Jump On Litter Box also features an active carbon filter which effectively absorbs and controls bad odours before they emit from the litter box, plus a wipe clean, waterproof liner which makes it super easy to maintain a clean, odour free and hygienic environment, all in a discreet, private furniture-style box.

Air-purifying, cat-friendly plants

Air-purifying plants in the home can help to improve air quality and contribute to a fresher, hygienic feeling for everyone. Just because you have cats doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy the benefits of plants! There are lots of cat-friendly species, such as the Boston Fern, which will refresh your home. 

If your cat likes to play with plants, claw at the soil or chew on the leaves, you might want to consider smaller plants out of reach, or more robust plants. Discover 10 cat-friendly plants here.

Machine washable cat beds

It’s easier to maintain a fur-free, clean and hygienic home when living with a cat if their most favourite sleep spots are easy to wash, so a cat bed with a removable, machine washable cover is a must. 

The Maya Donut Bed offers this easy clean solution, just unzip the cover and pop it in the washing machine at 30 degrees on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Leave to air dry and pop the cover back on – super easy! You can also raise the bed with stylish feet, which not only look great but also improve airflow beneath the bed to prevent a build up of fur, dust and moisture and protect your carpet. The donut bed is a great hygiene solution, AND is super cosy and soft for cats who desire the best!

Easy clean cat blankets on furniture

If your cat isn’t a cat bed lover, and much prefers your bed or sofa, you might find these tips on encouraging your cat to sleep in their own bed helpful or you might prefer to opt for something to protect your furniture from fur, dirt and sharp claws! 

A dedicated cat blanket, or two, is a simple solution to creating a barrier between your nice clean sofa and your cat’s fur and mucky paws! The Luxury Super Soft Blankets are just as they say – super duper soft – so your cats won’t turn their nose up at snuggling down on these dual-sided, quilted blankets, available in three sizes to suit the area you’re trying to cover. 

Have a pet-safe cleaning kit on hand

A strong vacuum cleaner is the obvious choice to keep pet fur at bay, but there are other essentials you should have in your pet-safe cleaning kit! Lint rollers are super handy for running over clothes, cushions and blankets to quickly lift any clumps of loose fur. Fabric freshener sprays are also a must to eliminate any bad odours which cling to curtains and sofas. A pet-safe carpet cleaner is bound to come in useful when you’re faced with muddy paw prints or other accidents!

Wipe clean feed bowls

Regularly cleaning your cat’s feed bowls is also an important step to reducing odours and maintaining hygiene in the home so make sure you buy sturdy, wipe clean bowls. Consider placing the feed bowls in a quiet spot with little footfall so your cat can have privacy while they eat, and the food smell also doesn’t upset visitors or attract other pets and children! Putting the feed bowls on a wipe clean mat will also protect your floor, especially carpets, from food mess or spilt water. 

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10 Cat-friendly Plants (and which ones to avoid)

Whether in our gardens or in our homes, plants not only enhance the overall appearance of a space, but they can also help boost moods, increase creativity and reduce stress. Although we don’t always consider the dangerous side of plants, it’s important to know that some plants can be toxic to your cat if ingested. If you decide to add a touch of greenery to your home, make sure you pay particular attention to the choice of plants and ensure they’re safe for your feline friend.

In order to help you decide which plant will sit proudly on your coffee table, we’ve compiled a list of 10 plants that you can add to your home without hesitation. 

Why is the choice of plant important for your pet? 

Cats tend to eat plants. This behaviour is quite common in cats for a number of different reasons such as boredom, enjoying the texture, the need for certain fibres, and more. 

By ingesting certain plants into his body, your cat may also try to eliminate and get rid of the hairballs swallowed during his daily grooming by vomiting. 

It is therefore essential to choose suitable plants, and if you do not want your cat to touch some of your decorative plants, why not dedicate a corner just for them? 

10 non-toxic plants for cats

  • Grasses

Whether it’s wheat, oats, barley or rye, grasses are not toxic to your cat. It is safe to approach them. Your cat can therefore play with Deschampsia cespitosa, Briza media, Pennisetum villosum or Stipa tenuifolia. 

If you observe cats in the wild, you can see that they easily go for natural grasses. 

  • Aromatic herbs

You can leave your thyme, sage, lemon balm or valerian lying around without worrying about your cat’s health. Valerian is often prescribed by vets for stressed cats. However, if you want to keep them for cooking in the evening for your lunch, don’t leave them lying around for too long, you might find them in your pet’s tummy. You can, however, have fun hiding them in your cat’s toys to stimulate your furry friend’s senses.

Don’t forget mint, which you can place in your cat’s litter box to reduce odours.

  • Catnip / Cartaire

This plant has different names but it is the same plant: Catnip (Nepeta cataria). This plant has a euphoric effect on cats due to the smell it gives off. In the presence of this plant, cats tend to rub it, roll around in it… If they meow, purr, lick it, it’s perfectly normal! No need to worry yet, as this is still a plant that is harmless to your pet despite the effects it has on him. 2 out of 3 cats are attracted to this irresistible plant. 

  • Papyrus

As well as decorating your home, papyrus is a plant that will entertain and amuse your cat with its drooping leaves. It is also extremely effective in cleansing your cat’s body.

  • Heather

Contrary to what some people think, heather is not a harmful plant for cats.

  • Lavender 

Lavender is a plant that tends to calm your cat. In addition to smelling good and being able to camouflage odours (especially litter), lavender is said to have soothing properties. 

  • Germander

Germander is a very popular plant with our cats. They tend to chew and rub themselves on it. 

  • Callisia turtle

This plant is harmless to cats. If cats do eat it, don’t worry, it is full of nutrients. Callisia turtle is rich in minerals and calcium. 

  • Chamomile

Similar to humans, chamomile is recommended for managing your pet’s stress. It can therefore be interesting to give your cat chamomile when travelling by car or train, which can be very stressful for your cat. The various properties of chamomile will soothe, relax and calm your cat.  

  • Goldenseal

Used as a disinfectant for wounds and other sores, goldenseal is an interesting plant to have on hand to treat everyday ailments. It is known for its soothing, disinfecting and healing properties. Moreover, it is not toxic for your pet. 

Plants to avoid for your cat

There are many plants that are toxic to animals and therefore to cats. If you have a cat in your home, you should be aware of which plants are toxic to furry friend. 

Indoor and outdoor plants to avoid are dieffenbachia, lily of the valley, lily, ficus, azalea, anthurium, daffodil, oleander, holly and mistletoe, poinsettia, yuccas, amaryllis… This list is not exhaustive and if you have any doubts before buying a plant do not hesitate to search on the internet, ask your vet for advice or ask the seller. 

If your cat ingests or comes into contact with any of these plants, do not hesitate to call or take your cat directly to the vet. The consequences can be severe.

 

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Do Cats Like Privacy When They Use the Litter Box?

While some cats follow their owners to the bathroom and don’t understand the concept of privacy, many are still wary of who’s watching when they go to the toilet themselves.

Some cats will do their business solely outside, others might do a bit of both, perhaps preferring a warmer toilet in the winter months. Many cat owners choose open litter trays, and don’t always have the option to have the tray hidden away.

But how do cats feel about doing their business?

Why do cats prefer to poop in private?

It’s easy to empathise with our feline friends’ desire for privacy when we remember the troubles their ancestors faced and the natural instincts that’re placed in our moggies’ minds.

Cats have a deep-rooted urge to be alert at all times. Their desire to protect themselves and be wary of their surroundings extends to the toilet.

Using an uncovered litter box while other people are around can make a cat feel extremely vulnerable and exposed, this may especially be the case for anxious cats and rescues.

So it of course makes sense that some cats may prefer to do their business in private, without disturbances, somewhere they can feel safe and comfortable to relieve themselves without the potential of being attacked!

What’s the best litter box for privacy?

Open litter trays give the most exposed and vulnerable toilet experience for cats, and for you they offer the least in the way of odour and mess control. An enclosed litter box, such as the Maya Jump On Top Entry Litter Box, allows your cat to drop down into a dark and secluded litter box, giving them a feeling of peace and privacy to do their business.

The Maya Jump In Litter Box takes that privacy one step further with a high entry point where cats can jump in and step down into a completely covered litter box. In the Jump In, cats can feel completely at ease that no dogs, children or adults can watch or touch them while they’re using their toilet.

For you, the Maya Cat Litter Box also offers an effective odour control solution, reducing tracking mess around the home thanks to a grid platform which collects loose litter from your pets’ paws, and an easy wipe clean litter liner, with a cute underwater scene printed on the inside for your cat’s to enjoy.

The Jump In’s optional storage space is a great place to keep spare litter and poo bags, and the discreet pocket on the side of the litter liner holds a complimentary, fold-flat scoop, meaning everything you need for used litter removal is always on hand.

Best of all, this litter box fits in your home seamlessly, designed like a discreet cubicle, with no hint to what’s going on inside. This gives your cat that all important privacy, and keeps all the mess which comes with loving a cat hidden out of sight from you and your guests.

What else can I do to help my cat feel comfortable?

As well as an enclosed, private litter box, there are other things you can do to minimise any feelings of vulnerability your cat may have when they use the toilet.

If you notice your cat is visiting the litter box frequently but never leaving any mess behind, it might be a sign that they have been disturbed and not felt safe enough to do their business.

Leave the room for a while to give your cat the opportunity to use their litter box without noise and disturbances. If you have children or other pets in the house, encourage them out of the room with you so your cat has complete privacy.

If you can, place the litter box in a room which is not frequented often and rarely gets noisy, for example a bathroom or utility room.

Do cat’s dislike using dirty litter boxes?

Another reason for cats being reluctant to use their litter box or visiting without using it, could be that the litter tray has already been used and is dirty. Cats can be incredibly fussy about mess and filth in the litter box, and may decline their used litter as to not dirty their paws!

Make sure you are regularly removing used litter from the litter box, and that you choose a litter with strong odour control qualities such as Omlet No. 4 Clay. A clumping litter like this makes it super quick and easy to remove the used litter without wasting perfectly clean litter around it.

Use the fold-flat scoop in the Maya Cat Litter Box to remove the used clump of litter, and the loose, clean litter will fall back into the litter box through the fine holes in the scoop.

What are the best litter boxes for a multi cat household?

Covered litter boxes are also a wise choice for multi cat households where cats may prefer to do their business in secret from their house mates! Cleaning the litter box regularly is also key if the same box is used by multiple cats, and opting for fresh, hygienic type of litter such as Omlet’s No. 1 Silica provides longevity and ease of cleaning.

Some cats can also be fussy about sharing a cat litter box with a friend. While keeping it clean will help, the scent of another may put off your cat, and bringing a new cat into the home to share the litter box can make an existing cat feel especially annoyed. In this instance you may need to be prepared to get a separate litter box for different cats in the house.

How and when to give your cat space

Giving your cat privacy extends beyond the litter box. Cats can also feel vulnerable and exposed when trying to sleep in a busy house and particularly anxious cats will search for a quieter spot in the home.

Consider where your cat chooses to rest during the day when the house is busy and make that space comfortable for them, for example, if your cat prefers to nap under a bed or chair, place a blanket or small bed, like a Donut Bed, beneath to make the spot cosy and warm.

If you have children and dogs in the home, it’s a good idea to keep them from your cat’s ‘safe space’ when your cat is resting or grooming.

Also consider where you have placed your cat’s food and water bowls. It may also be advisable to leave the room, or move them to somewhere quieter, where your cat can eat in peace without feeling threatened.

What’s the best litter box for a senior, disabled or pregnant cat?

While tall Jump In boxes will give cats peace and privacy, less agile cats will feel most comfortable with an easy access litter box that won’t cause them pain or discomfort. The Maya Walk In Litter Box offers just that, while still being a relatively covered and discreet litter box for cats who want to feel secluded and safe.

7 Reasons You and Your Cat Will Love the Maya Litter Boxes

1. Easy to clean cat litter box solutions, reducing smell and mess
2. A range of entry point options and litter box styles to suit all cats
3. Designed to fit seamlessly into your home like a piece of furniture
4. Enclosed litter box to give your cat the privacy they desire
5. Durable, reusable and long lasting litter liners are easy to wipe clean
6. Includes a complimentary Omlet folding scoop in discrete pocket
7. Push-to-open door prevents accidental opening

Which litter box should I choose for my cat?

All the Maya Cat Litter Boxes offer an easy clean solution and effective odour and mess control, in a discreet, seamless unit. Find the right box for you and your cat from the range of 5 entry points…

Jump On – Anti-Tracking & Low Mess

Walk In – Senior & Disabled Cat Friendly

Walk In + – Senior Cat Friendly with Storage

Jump In – Anti-Tracking & Discreet

Jump In + – Anti-Tracking with Storage

Discover Omlet Cat Litter

Our modern range of high performance cat litter offers excellent odour control and highly absorbent particles to eliminate bad smells from your litter tray. With 5 different types of cat litter on an easy to compare page you’ll find the perfect litter for you and your cat.

Use our clever Cat Litter Selector to get an expert recommendation for your cat. We only sell direct, with competitive pricing and free delivery.

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Pride of Omlet: Ten Amazing Stories

Pride of Omlet series is a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

We have been lucky enough to collect some wonderful stories of your extraordinary pets and share them with you for 10 weeks! Here is a summary of the stories that you can read again and find directly on our Blog.

Pride of Omlet: Stand Up for Disabled Animals

Jerry’s a cheeky, playful and boisterous rescue dog from Romania who can do a handstand! He landed on his feet when Shena gave him a home and inspired her to start a rescue centre specialising in disabled animals. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: The Constant Companion

Martha’s humans Nicola and Ben bought chickens to bring joy to Julia, their mother who they cared for at home. The family could never have imagined that a chicken would become a caring companion to Julia in the advanced stages of dementia. Read the story here!

 

Pride of Omlet: Free Support

Once caged battery hens, Hennifer Marge and Sybil now work free-range with their human Jonathan, transforming lives for offenders at the Rosemead Project. Jonathan (support worker and chicken champion) believes the hens have the power to unscramble tricky social situations. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: A Perfect Match

On paper, Kipper wasn’t exactly what Angela wanted. After years of behavioural challenges, he’s become the best-behaved blood donor and saved over forty dog’s lives. Kipper’s turned out to be Angela’s perfect match. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Teachers Pet

Henni Hen is a teaching assistant by trade. A cute and cuddly chicken who loves children. She follows in the footsteps of her bubbly humans, Hamish and Verity. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Mipit Makes Sense

Mipit is a Mental Health Assistance Dog for his human, Henley. Mipit keeps Henly alive and independent. Who wouldn’t love a dog that can put out your recycling, answer your phone, and be your best friend, come rain or shine? Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Perfect Peaky

At the tender age of one, Peaky is already a retired filmstar. He had lived in a cage his whole life, released only to perform. When Joana and Fergus took him home, he was a fluffy, yellow bundle of nerves. But they are determined to help Peaky, their cute little canary companion, to come out of his shell. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Saving Sophia’s Life

When you’ve grown up with animals, home isn’t home without a pet. Bringing Harry home was lifesaving for both him and his humans, Sarah and daughter Sophia. Harry has a special gift. He’s a unique epilepsy monitor, and he’s saved Sophia’s life countless times. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Buster’s Beard

Buster was destined to chase balls on the beaches of Barry Island. He’s a lovable labradoodle with big brown eyes and a long beard. A thinker with a playful nature, he’s co-authored a children’s book with his human Natalie to bring Autism Awareness to all. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Brave Bunnies

It’s hard to describe how frightened Pixie the rabbit was when the RSPCA rehomed her with an experienced rabbit owner. Eighteen months on, cheeky little Pixie lives in the lap of luxury and is learning to be loved by her adoring human, Wendy. Read the story here!

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This entry was posted in Budgies


Can you feed pets a vegan diet? 

Some pets, including rabbits and guinea pigs, are naturally vegan. Hamsters and gerbils, although omnivorous, can thrive on a vegan diet in which the protein content is supplied by plants and vegetables. Others, including omnivorous dogs and out-and-out carnivore cats, cannot be easily pleased on meat-free diets.

All animals need to have their nutritional needs satisfied. But this does not mean you can’t have a vegan dog. Vegan cats, though, are a lot trickier.

Can my dog have a vegan diet?

If you were to meet a species of animal for the first time and had to make an accurate guess about its diet, you would get lots of clues by looking at its teeth. The teeth of a dog, like the teeth of a bear, proclaim loud and clear that this animal is an omnivore – that is, one that eats both meat and vegetables. If you think of your dog as a domesticated wolf, you get a good idea of its natural diet.

However, as the panda proves, a supposed meat-eater can sometimes get by perfectly well on a vegan diet. A panda’s teeth are similar to any other bear’s – long canines for meat-eating and molars for grinding vegetation. And yet pandas don’t eat anything other than bamboo. So, if a bear can be vegan, does that mean you can have a vegan dog?

The answer is yes – but it’s a yes with lots of small print! A dog requires a diet that contains the fats and proteins it would get from meat. It is dangerous to ignore this basic need and simply feed your pet with whatever you please. Some dogs have delicate stomachs at the best of times, and a low-fat, high-fibre diet can cause potentially life-threatening problems. A diet that excludes meat should never be fed to a dog without the advice of a professional pet dietician.

The collagen, elastin and keratin found in meat diets are not easily replaced by vegi equivalents. Your dog will also need the ‘long chain’ omega-3 fats found in animal products such as egg, fish and some meats. Vegan omega-3 fats are not the same as animal-derived ones.

All of which presents a headache for the vegan dog owner. There are, however, products available that claim to let your dog live a healthy, meat-free life. Before you take the plunge, it is essential to seek professional, scientific advice and guidance. Compromise is usually the best choice here – a vegan diet supplemented by some of the animal-derived essentials. Crickets, for example, can provide lots of the amino acids and keratin a vegan diet lacks, and they’re 65% protein.

Can my cat have a vegan diet?

The compromise approach is even more important for cats. These are amongst the planet’s true carnivores, obtaining all their dietary requirements from other animals. 

The main challenge with minimising the meat in a cat’s diet is that, unlike many mammals (including dogs), cats cannot produce certain proteins. They have to absorb these from the meat and fish in their diet. Amino acids are another issue – cats deficient in the animal-derived amino acid taurine, for example, usually succumb to a specific type of heart problem.

Even a fortified vegan cat food cannot be confidently recommended. Turn the situation on its head, and try to imagine weaning a rabbit onto a meat-only diet, and you get some idea of the challenge – and the ethics – involved.

There are some lab-grown ‘meat’ products in development, with vegan and vegetarian cat owners in mind. However, whether these will arrive – and remain – on the market any time soon is hard to guess.

For many vegan pet owners, there is a huge ethical issue involved in feeding the animals they share a space with. Ethics, however, include the animal’s needs too, and it’s an almost impossible issue to resolve when it comes to cats. If you are able to reduce but not eliminate the meat in your cat’s diet, that’s the safer option.

Top 10 pets for vegan households

There are, of course, plenty of other pets that don’t eat meat, or that eat some meat but can still thrive on a meat-free diet. Here are our ten favourites.

1. Rabbits. No problems here – rabbits are happy vegans, with diets based on hay and vegetables. You could argue that the soft pellets they eject and then eat are animal products of a sort, but they are simply semi-digested vegetation.

2. Guinea pigs. Like rabbits, these wonderful little characters thrive on a 100% vegan diet.

3. Hamsters. As most hamster owners feed their pets with shop-bought hamster food, they may not be able to say exactly what the ingredients of that food are. However, vegetarian and vegan hamster foods are readily available.

4. Gerbils. Like hamsters, gerbils are omnivores that can live happily on a vegan diet. They tend to have rather delicate stomachs, so feeding them with a high-quality pellet mix is essential. Too much fresh stuff can cause problems.

5. Mice. Although they will eat pretty much anything in the wild, mice can thrive on vegan diets; but it is still best to use a food mix prepared specifically for them. This ensures that they will not be deficient in any of the vitamins and minerals they need. 

6. Rats. These are the most omnivorous of rodents, but as long as you feed them a vegan mix that has been fortified with all the nutrients they need, they will thrive. Indeed, rats who eat too much animal fat tend to become fat and die prematurely.

7. Chickens. If you watch a free-range hen, it soon becomes clear that she will eat anything – grass, beetles, worms, and everything in your veg patch if you’re not careful! Most chicken feed emulates this mix of plant and animal products. However, it is possible to buy vegan chicken feed, and circumstantial evidence suggests that hens can thrive on it. However, they are likely to produce fewer eggs, and you will not be able to stop them scratching for worms and bugs, no matter how vegan the layers pellets are!

8. Budgies and parrots. Vegans will have no obstacles to face with budgies and parrots, unless the birds are being bred. Egg-brooding female birds need a protein boost, normally delivered via an egg-based food or cooked meat. Vegan alternatives are available, though.

9. Finches. Many finch species enjoy bugs and mealworms as treats, but these are not an essential part of an adult finch’s diet. These birds thrive on a mixture of seeds and fresh vegetables.

10. One for reptile fans. When you think of pet snakes and lizards, you probably have an image of dead mice or doomed crickets. However, there are a few commonly kept pet reptiles that eat a 100% vegan diet, the most popular being the Green iguana. Getting the balance of vegetables just right is very important for the animal’s health, but meat is certainly something you won’t have to worry about.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to vegan pets. Keeping a vegan cat or dog is a much trickier proposition, though. And with all these animals, a balanced diet that matches the pet’s nutritional requirements should be your primary goal.

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This entry was posted in Budgies


How To Train Your Cat To Walk on a Lead

Bhim Solomon is Omlet’s junior guest writer, currently exploring fun activities to try with her two kittens Moonpie and Shadow Weaver, and introducing easy tricks you can try with your feline friends! In this article, Bhim talks through the simple steps to training a kitten to walk on a lead and the benefits of safe outdoor adventures for cats.


My kittens are 11 weeks old. They are Scottish Folds and their names are Moonpie and Shadow-Weaver. Moonpie is a girl and Shadow is a boy, they are brother and sister. They live indoors because they are quite small still but we want them to know what the outside world is like so we decided to buy a harness and lead for them so we could take them for walks.

Not many people know that you can take your cat for a walk, just like a dog, but one day I was in London in the Conran Shop and I spotted a beautiful, big soft grey cat on a lead! I asked the lady on the other end of the lead if I could stroke it. She was very friendly and said of course, she told me his name was Moonpie. Then she said would you like to see a trick? She got some treats out and said “paw” Moonpie lifted his paw into her hand, it was so cool. Then, the owner said “Hi Five” and Moonpie did a Hi Five! I’d wanted a kitten since I was 4 and now I knew I wanted a Scottish Fold and I decided to call my kitten Moonpie too.

I couldn’t get the kittens straight away but little did I know that as a surprise for my 10th birthday my parents gave me two little Scottish folds. When I first got them they were eight weeks old, my brother wanted to call the boy Shadow-Weaver because half his face is grey and the other is a kind of apricot colour. At the beginning they both slept a lot and we kept them in one room so that they could get used to us little by little. Then one day we let them adventure around the house, then the next day they wanted to go outside. I asked my Papi if we could get a lead and harness for them. He agreed and we got two for the kittens. I thought it would be good to get them used to being on a lead when they are young. I thought I would write a description about how to put it on, and use the harness to take your cat\kitten for walks to help other people who would like to take their indoor cats outside safely.

 


How to Fit a Harness

  1. First, you adjust your strap so it fits your kitten.
  2. After you have adjusted your strap, you do up one of the side clips. Slip the front over their head, put one foot in the gap that’s shown in the photo and do up the other clip.

  3. Check that the harness isn’t too tight and all the clips are done up, you might have to adjust the size a bit now, you should be able to get a finger under comfortably but if it’s too loose your cat might slip out by accident. If your kitten is still too small for the harness to adjust small enough then you can get them used to wearing it in the house as if they slip out it won’t matter too much.
  4. Once you are satisfied that the harness fits securely and your cat is happy then all that is left is to clip the lead on the hook and take them for a walk.
  5. Your kitten is now ready!

First, to make sure Moonpie was happy with walking and running in her new lead I took her for a walk around the house which she was used to, with the back door shut. I did this for three days in a row before we went outside.

 I chose a nice sunny day for taking her outside on the lead. As I took her outside she was a little bit unsure and stayed still for a moment. Suddenly she went to some catmint that we have close to the door and put her whiskers in it. 

Then she ran across the lawn at maximum speed, I had to sprint to keep up!  She wanted to explore an old small tree. Moonpie can run really fast! Moonpie climbed up onto the tree and stayed still so she could balance.  She was having lots and lots of fun exploring!

Next she started to explore the concrete part of the garden and looked behind the metal bucket, she inspected the wheelbarrow wheel and legs (she hadn’t seen one before).

Then I think she knew where the house was as she ran back towards it. 

We had stayed outside for about ten minutes and as she ran towards the house I guessed she was tired, she went straight to the back door and as I let her into the house she went to the ‘Kitten Room’ as I looked she got into her bed and after she had licked herself clean she went straight to sleep, a little fluffy ball.

I really like taking the kittens for walks because you get your exercise and have lots of fun seeing what the kittens like best in the garden. I think the kittens really like it because they get to smell fresh air and see the wildlife including our chickens. I try to take them into the garden when it is nice weather, so about twice a week after school and on the weekends. After school every day I try to put them on the harness so they can get really used to it.

As they get bigger and bigger we will take the kittens on longer walks. It’s a really safe and fun way for them to explore the world around them. If you live in the city and you want your cat to have fresh air, exercise and to stimulate their senses but are worried about your cat then you can take them out on a lead and they can safely explore outside with your supervision, they can even learn to take the bus or the tube!

 

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This entry was posted in Cats


93% of Cat Owners Struggle To Choose When It Comes to Their Cat’s 1s and 2s

Whether you’re a new cat owner or a long time litter user, the world of cat litter can be confusing and selecting the right litter to suit your needs and your cat’s preferences isn’t always an easy task. 

Kittens are adorable, playful balls of fluff but they’ll also start producing 1s and 2s from the get go, so you need to get your potty training sorted from the start. But with a range of litter materials from wood to paper, clay to silica and even tofu on offer, which is going to be best now and when they are a bit older?

With so many types of litter on offer, it’s no surprise that in a study of cat owners, we discovered that a massive 93% of them have tried different types of cat litter before their current choice. Does this sound like you? 

In the survey, we discovered 54% of the respondents reported that they think their cats might be fussy about the litter they put down for them. As well as feline fussiness, cat owners are also disappointed with litters they are trialing and as a result have to spend more time and money on finding the perfect match for them and their cat. 

Now, to tackle this difficult decision, we are launching a collection of 5 easy to understand, high performance cat litters. Simply named 1, 2, 3, 4,5, the colourful collection offers 5 proven materials for you to choose from: Silica, Tofu, Pine, Clay and Paper. But don’t worry about figuring out the differences to make your choice, this handy Cat Litter Generator will deliver two expert recommendations for you to narrow down the decision making process. 

Omlet’s Head of Marketing, Johannes Paul, says: At Omlet, we’re striving to make choosing cat litter as easy as 1, 2, 3! This new collection really takes the guesswork out of a major choice for so many cat owners, and we hope it will save our customers from lots of disappointment and wasted time. 

Learn more about the cat litters in the Omlet collection…

 

Ultra Hygienic & Absorbent

No. 1 Silica Cat Litter is made from small sand particles that are extremely absorbent to reduce moisture and odour, keeping it fresh and hygienic for longer. Not only do these small grains absorb and dry faster than other litters, their fine nature also means the litter doesn’t stick to paws and get tracked around your home. The clumping cat litter is also easy to spot clean to improve longevity. 

 

Clumping & Compostable

No. 2 Tofu Cat Litter is made from crushed tofu, and is very effective at neutralising odours thanks to an active carbon composition that traps bad smells. The clumping cat litter is also highly absorbent, reducing waste and keeping the litter tray fresher for longer! Crushed tofu is biodegradable and can be composted, for easy and planet friendly disposal.

 

Fresh Scent & 100% Biodegradable

No. 3 Pine Cat Litter will transform the litter tray with the sweet scent of fresh wood, plus it’s 100% biodegradable and compostable, making it a friendly option for both your cat and the environment! The large wood pellets are highly absorbent, offering long lasting freshness with outstanding odour control, and also minimising waste and cleaning time. 

 

Long Lasting & Low Waste

No. 4 Clay Cat Litter is made of highly absorbent bentonite clay balls with active carbon particles for extreme odour control. The supreme power of this clumping cat litter makes spot cleaning after use extremely quick and easy. This not only improves the general hygiene and freshness of cat litter trays, but also minimises wastage and improves longevity. 

 

Non-Clumping & Perfect for Kittens

No. 5 Paper Cat Litter is made from recycled newspaper pellets with natural odour and moisture absorbing properties. Not only is paper environmentally friendly and biodegradable, it also stays fresher for longer and minimises wastage. The lightweight bag is super easy to handle, and it’s non-clumping nature makes it a perfect option for younger cats, as it’s softer on paws and safer on tummies. 

 

Omlet Cat Litter is now available exclusively from Omlet.co.uk, priced between £13.49 and £14.99 with FREE delivery. 

 

Video here:

 

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This entry was posted in Cats


Pride of Omlet: Saving Sophia’s Life

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

Harry on the sofa

When you’ve grown up with animals, home isn’t home without a pet. Bringing Harry home was lifesaving for both him and his humans, Sarah and daughter Sophia. Harry has a special gift. He’s a unique epilepsy monitor, and he’s saved Sophia’s life countless times.

In March 2017, Harry, a beautiful black kitten, was only a few months old and was trapped in a cupboard, clinging to life. He wasn’t allowed out. He was overfed, caked in dirt, attacked by a dog and discarded as ‘the runt of the litter’. 

Sarah heard about the cat in the cupboard through a colleague at work and couldn’t let a kitten suffer. She approached his owner via Facebook and asked, “Can I have him, please.” Harry’s neglectful owner gladly gave him up, and Harry began his recovery.

At first, he would cower in corners. The sound of footsteps petrified him. But within a week, he was a different cat, running to greet his humans at the door. “The first time he purred with us, he looked around in a panic, thinking, What’s this? but he blossomed from there.” 

It’s four years later, 3 pm on a Monday and Harry’s sitting on the window sill of his loving home waiting for his human, Sophia. 

Sophia has autism and epilepsy, and Harry’s unique talent has saved her life more times than Sarah, her mum, can tell me. 

Before getting Harry, every aspect of Sophia’s life was about cats. She loved going to the shops and looking at things for cats, researching about them online and looking at pictures of cats. So when Harry came into her life, Sophia was overjoyed. Harry became Sophia’s shadow instantly. He follows her wherever she goes in the house. When she eats, he sits next to her. If she’s in bed, he’s sleeping with her. And when Sophia gets home from school, Harrys always there, watching, waiting on the windowsill for her.  He doesn’t ever want to be separated from her. 

As the bond between Harry and Sophia grew, so did Harry’s voice. Generally a calm cat, he became quite vocal, meowing to be let in or out. Bizarrely he also started to meow at the loft hatch. It can go on for 20minutes or more. Sarah’s taken him up to have a look, but it’s still something that spooks him. But Harry’s sensitive nature and vocal talents became the gift that saved Sophia’s life.

Six months after Harry came to live with them, Sophia started having epileptic seizures. They became more and more severe and frequent. At the same time, Harry began screaming in the night.  Sarah went running and found that Sophia was having a seizure in her sleep.

There’s no monitor for the kind of epilepsy Sophia has, nothing you can put on your wrist or bed to sound an alert when a seizure happens. For Sophia, SUDEP (sudden unexpected death of someone with epilepsy) is a real threat. For her parent, Sarah, it’s the worst nightmare she has to live with twenty fours hours a day.

Harry began calling the alert, not just at night but in the daytime too. It’s different from a normal caterwaul, Sarah says. It’s a panicked alert call – a scream mixed with a howl.  Whenever Sophia’s up in her room and starts having a seizure, Harry howls and screams until Sarah gets there, he sits, often on her chest, nudging her, rubbing his face on her, trying to get her to wake up. 

Before Harry came into their lives, Sophia couldn’t have any independence. She needed to be with Sarah all the time, in case a seizure happened. But now Sophia and Sarah can have more time for themselves, knowing that if somethings wrong, Harry will call.

Harry was the missing member of Sarah and Sophia’s family. With Harry at home, Sophia and Sarah feel safe.  “He’s a sweetheart. A lifesaver. A sense of security that very few people can appreciate,” says Sarah. “He means the world to me. I love him,” says Sophia. 

           

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The Seven Fascinating Senses of Cats

We all know that cats have excellent hearing and fantastic night vision. But there are many other senses at work in your pet cat too, including taste, touch, smell, internal clock, and an incredible sense of balance.

1. The Cat’s Sense of Sight

To see why cats have such fantastic eyesight, look no further than their larger and more dangerous cousins. Many big cats choose to hunt at night, and the average pet cat is prepared to pursue prey at any time of day, whether noon or the dead of night. It has even been suggested that cats can see in wavelengths of light that we cannot, giving them an enhanced ability to detect even the smallest motions. This allows cats to stay one jump ahead of their prey. 

Cats also have a slightly wider field of visions than humans, meaning they can keep an eye on more of their territory from one spot. Cats’ vision, however, is not actually better than ours overall, and their peripheral vision is less focused than a human’s. This feline form of ‘tunnel vision’ allows them to better track fast-moving targets. 

2. The Cat’s Sense of Taste

Taste is one of the cat’s weaker senses, due to its relatively small number of taste buds compared to other mammals. Cats also miss out on whole types of taste, lacking the tongue proteins required to taste sweet foods. It’s not just our pet cats that lack a sweet tooth – all cats lack the ability to produce these proteins. It’s thought that this could be a by-product of their largely carnivorous, ‘savoury’ diet, as evolution has led cats to hunt for nutrient-rich meat instead of foraging for sweet fruits or berries. 

It’s not all bad news for the cat’s dinner plate, though, as it’s also been revealed that cats have taste receptors that can detect chemicals and bacteria in meat. This could be a form of protection against potential food poisoning from meat that’s just starting to turn a bit green at the edges. 

3. The Cat’s Sense of Hearing

Did you know cats not only have better hearing than humans, but also dogs? They can hear a very wide bandwidth of sound frequencies, and their hearing sensitivity is high too, allowing them to listen from a much greater distance. Cats’ ears are chock-full of clever and fascinating mechanisms, such as the ability to clean themselves. Cats also avoid ear infections in the first weeks of their life by being born with sealed ear canals. 

Although cats’ hearing appears to be such an important part of their lives, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if a cat is deaf. This is due to their other senses being so sensitive. A deaf cat can live a life very similar to a cat with full hearing, simply by relying heavily on the other senses. 

If you have a pet cat, you will have seen their wonderfully clever ability to rotate their outer ears independently from each other – almost like a radar dish turning for a better signal!  

4. The Cat’s Sense of Balance

They say a cat always lands on its feet, and while this is technically not true, they do have a couple of tricks up their furry sleeves when it comes to landing gracefully. Cats have an inbuilt instinct called the righting reflex – they rotate their body in mid-air by detecting their orientation with their inner ear, performing a swift, complex series of motions in order to land on their feet. 

The cat’s balance, fast reflexes and unique physiology allow it to pull off this famous and intriguing feat. Cats have even been known to use the righting reflex to survive falls of more than nine storeys! They develop this amazing sense of balance at just four weeks old – and as soon as they do, they like to seek out high places to put it to the test. 

5. The Cat’s Sense of Touch

Cats have more organs for touch than humans don’t have. Whiskers are most famous for giving cats a regal and sophisticated look, but they are in fact a secret weapon that gives them a highly enhanced sense of touch. 

Cats actually have whiskers on many parts of their body, including their front legs, jaw and ears. Cats’ whiskers allow them to touch objects and understand texture without the danger of directly touching it with their skin. This is a sophisticated way of avoiding obstacles at any time of day while simultaneously safeguarding themselves from sharp objects or other animals. 

Cats also use touch to find their place in the social hierarchy. Cats will often gently rub noses with each other when first meeting, and it’s thought that their noses have an enhanced sense of touch for this very reason. 

6. The Cat’s Sense of Smell

In a cat’s social life, smell is perhaps the most crucial sense. Smell allows a cat to identify the territories of other local cats, and to recognise whether they are in heat. Cats can even use their sense of smell to identify the emotional state of other animals, and they can ‘smell’ the chemicals produced by human sweat. 

Cats each produce a unique scent using at least seven different scent glands across their body. They will obsessively mark their home and owners with these glands by rubbing against them. It is not known whether this is a way of making themselves feel more comfortable, or whether they are asserting some kind of ownership on people and place. Most of us just look at it as a sweet sign of affection!

7. The Cat’s Internal Clock

Just like people, cats have a highly intuitive internal clock that guarantees they always know if it’s time to rest, play or hunt. Cats are infamous for waking up their owners at the same time every day, sometimes much earlier than you might like! This could be due to their natural behaviour of having an active morning, followed by an afternoon nap (the famous ‘cat nap’) and a hunting session at dusk. 

You may also see your cats’ internal clocks in action through their uncanny ability to tell when it’s food time. Most cats are fed twice a day, and studies have shown that cats start producing digestive chemicals shortly before their regular meal-time. 

Other studies have shown that a cat’s sense of time is largely governed by light and the sun, as cats who are subjected to constant darkness or constant light begin to lose their routines and become more erratic.

All in all, cats are creatures endowed with a super selection of keen senses. They may look impassive and chilled on the outside, but on the inside they’re receiving all kinds of signals from the busy world around them.

 

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Can I keep chickens with other pets?


Photo by
Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

When considering whether or not to keep chickens, it’s important to take into account the pets you already have around your home. The most obvious examples are cats and dogs, who sometimes let their chase instincts get the better of them. However, all your pets can get along just fine, as long as you lay down a few ground rules.

Keeping chickens with dogs

If you’re a dog owner, the first thing to consider is the temperament of your pet. Does it often chase rabbits or deer when out on a walk? How does your dog react to birds in the garden? If your hound tends to lose control in these situations, this behaviour is likely to carry over into their relationship with chickens. Equally, if your dog is of a more relaxed temperament, they may show little if any interest in your coop. 

The likeliest scenario falls somewhere between the two extremes, in which case you’ll see your dog taking an interest in the chickens, and spending plenty of time watching and attempting to play with them, but not moving in ‘for the kill’. What’s important here is that your dog needs to understand that the chickens are part of the pack, and not something to be hunted. It’s also important that your dog understands that chickens are fragile, and that dog-style rough play is out of the question.

Teaching dogs to get along with chickens

You can teach your dogs that the chickens are part of the family by letting them watch you spending time in the coop – initially keeping them separated with chicken wire or fencing. Many breeds of dog are naturally cautious around small animals and will be protective of your chickens once they consider them a part of the pack. The behaviour you want to see is your dog cautiously sniffing at the chicken, as opposed to adopting the head-down-bottom-up ‘let’s play’ stance. 

One of the most important considerations when it comes to dogs and chickens is the temperament of the dog breed. Hunting dogs such as greyhounds and beagles will cave in to their chasing instincts if the hens begin to flap around, and they should never be allowed to mingle with the chickens. In contrast, farm dogs such as sheepdogs have protective and herding instincts, and they will be less likely to harm your chickens. 

There is no sure-fire way to guarantee your dogs and chickens will get on, but spending plenty of time introducing them goes a long way. As with all dog training, this can be an extended process, so be prepared to spend a few weeks introducing your chickens to your dogs with a barrier before you let them meet face to face. When you do introduce them, it’s a good idea to keep the dog on a short leash at first, just in case. 

Keeping chickens with cats

Cats are a completely different story to dogs – they are harder to predict and less susceptible to training. However, they are unlikely to view a big fat hen as potential prey. Many farmers concur that their farm cats have no interest in hunting poultry, and are much more interested in the rats and mice that are inevitably attracted by birds. When keeping chickens, the occasional rat is standard, and having a cat around can greatly reduce their numbers. 

Although most chickens are too large for a cat to hunt, this largely depends on the breed of chicken and the size of your cat. If you find that your cat is beginning to stalk your chickens, a sturdy and secure coop and run that your cat can’t access will deter trouble. This is good practice either way, as even if your cat is friendly with your chickens, your neighbour’s cat might not be! The ideal answer here is the Eglu, which is super-secure and comes with its own attached chicken run.

 

Keeping chickens with guinea pigs

You may already have a guinea pig hutch or run in your garden, and while this won’t be a problem for your chickens, it is not recommended for chickens and guinea pigs to share living quarters. This is for several reasons, one being that rats will be further attracted to your pets’ food, and they may attack your guinea pigs. Another reason is that when establishing a pecking order, your chickens will peck at each other and any other animal they live with. This can cause serious harm to guinea pigs, who do not have thick feathers to protect them. 

Keeping chickens with rabbits

Rabbits can be great companions for your chickens if you introduce them to each other when they are all very young. You will also need to ensure that you care for their different needs within the same run, in terms of food and equipment.

Rabbits, for example, like to have a clean space to sleep in, so you may need to muck out your coop and run more regularly than you would if the chickens were alone. You will also need to ensure that the chickens and rabbits all have a safe space within the coop where they can have privacy and space. You can achieve this by separating your run into three areas, one to house the roosting chickens, another for your rabbits, and a communal space.

Photo by JackieLou DL from Pixabay                           

 Having a large and secure garden run will make your chickens feel safer in general, and plenty of space will maximise the chance of the hens getting along with each other and their rabbit and guinea pig neighbours. 

Chickens and other pets

Chickens can also rub along happily with goats, and with female ducks (males will tends to bully them). Ironically, they do not mix with birds in an aviary. They will eat anything that falls to the aviary floor, but they will also happily peck the other birds whenever they can and may attract rats and mice, which will cause problems for the smaller birds.

Small mammal pets such as hamsters and gerbils should never be kept in the same enclosure as chickens. The rodents will be pecked and killed.

By following these few ground rules, you will be able to keep the various members of your mixed menagerie happy!

Photo by Ricky Kharawala on Unsplash

 

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This entry was posted in Budgies


Why won’t my cat sleep in it’s own bed?

Every cat owner knows the feeling of treating their feline friend to a new bed, only for him to reject it in favour of the cardboard box it came in, or even worse, jump straight back on to your bed and curl up right in the middle! But why is it that cats often like to sleep on our beds instead of their own? And can their minds be changed?



How long do cats sleep for?

Cats sleep an average of 12 to 16 hours a day! That’s double a human’s recommended sleep time. It’s no wonder cats can be so particular about where they choose to rest, and can be found sleeping in different places all around the home, often depending on the time of day or night. Their important sleep routine should be supported by the perfect bed, so why do they choose yours?

Why does my cat prefer to sleep in my bed?

Many surveys have concluded that owners who allow their cat to sleep in the bed with them have a worse night’s sleep due to having less space or being disturbed by their cat meowing, snoring, purring or grooming, yet cats don’t seem to mind bunking in with their owners!

You may also notice your cat is getting more use out of your bed than you, and chooses to curl up there for a quick cat nap, or even a leisurely 5 hour snooze. This also leads to many cat owners reporting they have to wash their bed sheets more often if they share the bed with their cat. 

Cats may like to sleep with their owner for warmth, company or reassurance, but it may also simply be because your bed is far better than theirs.

Why won’t my cat sleep in it’s own bed?

A commonly cited reason for cat owners not buying their cat a bed is that they think they won’t use it, but never giving your pet the chance to find somewhere else cosy to sleep will surely mean a life of nighttime disturbances for you.

It’s no secret that cats are the fussier pet in the home. This fussiness might extend to wanting a particular brand of cat food or litter, and of course refusing to sleep in that lovely new cat bed you treated them too.

But why is this? 

If your cat is eager to curl up on your luxurious, thick fluffy blankets, or stretch out on your own memory foam mattress, the problem could lie with the quality and style of the bed you have chosen for your cat. Do you need to get your cat a new bed?

Image by Paul Hanaoka from Unsplah

Which cat bed is right for my cat?

The first step to finding a bed your cat will actually use is identifying what they like; there is no use in buying a small cave bed if your cat prefers to stretch out across the sofa, or a thin, flat bed if your cat likes to sleep in a deep, squishy cushion. Ignore novelty cushions, get your cat a bed they will actually love.

If your cat likes to curl up and sleep on a plush or faux fur blanket on the sofa, consider a fluffy bed they can really sink into, like the new Maya Donut Cat Bed from Omlet. The removable, machine washable cover is super soft to touch, and the deep donut cushioning supports all around the body for a warm and cuddly feeling which will lull your cat to sleep. 

If your cat likes to sleep near you, place the Maya Donut Bed on the sofa for a cosy cat cushion. You can also raise the bed off the floor with sophisticated, designer feet to minimise drafts, disturbances, and maximise style. 

For cats who like sleeping on their owners thick, memory foam mattress, consider a memory foam bed they can call their own, like the Omlet Bolster Bed. The generous size of the bed will allow your cat to stretch out and roll around just as much as on your nice double bed, and they can still curl up against the cushion of the bolster edge. 

How can I encourage my cat to sleep in it’s own bed?

The position you have placed the bed in the home may also be unfavourable for your cat. Notice where your cat chooses to sleep in the day, and place the bed near this area. If your cat sleeps on your bed or the sofa, start by placing the cat bed on top of these. 

Use treats as a reward for getting on the bed voluntarily. Make sure not to move the bed repeatedly around the home, this could unnerve your cat and make him resistant to getting too close for fear of it being moved away again! 

Some cats don’t like sleeping on the ground, so consider raising the bed up with feet, like for the Maya Donut Bed. You can also place the bed in a sleek frame, like the Maya Sofa, perfect for the Bolster Bed. 

Why has my cat discarded his old bed?

If your cat has decided his once favourite cat bed is no longer for him, it could simply be a small personality change. If he’s not showing any other signs of abnormality which could hint to a health problem, he could simply have got bored of the bed, or found a better sleeping spot somewhere else in your home. 

It could also be that the bed has lost its cushioning and is simply no longer comfortable enough for your cat to sleep on, or perhaps the bed has become dirty or smelly and your cat would prefer a fresh start. This also might be the case if you’ve got another cat in the home who has stolen the other cat’s best nap spot. 

Make sure to buy a bed with an easy to remove and machine washable cover so you can keep the bed fresh, and a high quality mattress or cushion which won’t lose its plumpness!

It’s important to give your cat freedom to sleep where he or she feels most comfortable, and if that’s a cardboard box then so be it! But by ensuring your cat has at least one warm and cosy option and using positive encouragement, your cat might see the benefit to his own space and finally let you sleep in peace!

Introducing the new Maya Donut Cat Bed

  • Super soft and luxurious feel for a restful cat nap
  • Removable, machine washable cover is easy to keep clean
  • Raise the bed with designer feet for style, comfort and hygiene
  • Supportive shape with deep filling for a warm, cuddly feeling 
  • Choose from two stylish colours to suit your home
  • One size suitable for cats up to 5kg
  • Available from £20.99 now!

 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gemma, Verified Omlet Product Tester – “I am so glad I have finally found a cat bed that is not only nice to look at but my cats love! I find that cheaper cat beds lose their shape and colour quickly, and this hasn’t happened at all! It still looks great, and a super easy to wash cover means it will stay looking great for a while yet! Can’t recommend enough!”

 

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Reasons why a cat doesn’t meow

Cats meow for various reasons. The cries that greet you when you arrive home – a barrage of short meows – are perhaps the most satisfying for a cat owner.

Cats also meow to get your attention – usually because they want some human contact, but also when they are feeling unwell. The meowing of a cat who wants feeding is another familiar variation on the theme! Cats may also meow if something in their environment is stressing them. It is also common for older cats with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome to start meowing in confusion, often at night.

Which cat breeds meow the most?

Photo by klimkin on Pixabay.

Some cats are more vocal than others, and although this is partly to do with the individual cat’s personality, the type of breed plays a role too. The cat breeds famous for their vocalisations include the Birman, Maine Coon, Oriental Shorthair and Siamese.

Siamese cats are perhaps the loudest when it comes to meows. The Maine Coon has a variation on the standard cat meow, making a lovely chirping sound when they feel playful – which is most of the time! 

Are there cats that don’t meow?

At the other end of the scale, some of the quietest cat breeds are said to be the Chartreux, Cornish Rex, Persian, Ragdoll and Russian Blue. There will always be cats that defy the meowing stereotypes, though, which is why you may well see the Bengal cat in online lists of the quietest cat breeds and the loudest cat breeds!

Why do cats stop meowing?

There are various reasons why a previously loud cat has gone quiet. These are some of the commonest reasons for a cat to lose its meow.

1. Change in surroundings. If you move home, introduce new furniture or bring strangers home, your cat may go quiet. In these situations they are weighing up the situation, deciding whether or not it’s safe to have ‘business as usual’. This is not actually a bad thing, as a cat who is genuinely anxious or afraid is more likely to meow and cry loudly rather than fall silent.

2. Temporary loss of voice. Cats that have been making a lot of noise – after spending all night fighting off intruders in the garden, for example – may have a hoarse voice or lose their voices altogether. This is the equivalent of you losing your voice the morning after a party where you had to shout all evening to make yourself heard. The cat’s meow will soon return.

3. Upper respiratory infection. This is are uncommon, but if it strikes it is likely to stop your cat meowing. Feline herpes, colds, and calicivirus are common causes, leading to laryngitis. These ailments will come with other symptoms, including runny or gummy eyes; wheezing, panting and breathlessness; coughing and sneezing; lethargy; loss of appetite; discharge from nose, mouth or eyes. Any cat displaying these symptoms needs to be taken to the vet.

4. Allergies. These can produce symptoms in a cat similar to respiratory infections, including wheezing and sneezing. These will often stop the c

at meowing. It is important to find the cause of the allergy, and if it isn’t obvious, a vet can advise you on what to do.

5. Laryngeal Paralysis. This is a dysfunction of the cat’s larynx (voice box). It is linked to old age, which is why very old cats tend to be quiet. Degeneration of the vocal cords means that the cat is no longer able to produce a sound. There is no discomfort involved, however, and a silent cat will still be a happy cat.

6. Tumours. Cats can be prone to various tumours, growths, polyps and cancers. If these affect the cat’s vocal chords, throat or mouth, it will lose its meow or change the sound drastically. 

7. Nerve damage. If a cat has managed to get items such as grass blades or twigs stuck in its throat, it may damage the nerves that control the voice box. A blow to the throat region can produce the same effect, and this sometimes occurs if a cat has fallen or been attacked by another animal. 

8. Recent surgery. A cat that has undergone surgery involving anaesthesia will have undergone intubation – i.e., had a tube inserted into its air passages. This can lead to internal inflammation that makes the cat unable to produce sound for anything from a few days to two weeks.

Less common reasons for a cat losing its meow include hyperthyroidism and rabies.

In all situations, your cat will need a little time to recover its poise. Medical or age-related conditions can silence the meow, but in most cases the cat will be back to its normal meow in a few days. Give your cat lots of attention and reassurance, and it will soon be back to its old meowing habits!

 

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Ten Things Humans Do That Cats Hate

Photo by Aiden Craver on Unsplash

While all cats are different, there are certain traits common to most felines. Most cats, for example, are united in the things they dislike. Unfortunately, a lot of the things cats dislike are things that humans do to them, often unaware how much their cats hate it.

To guide cat owners towards more feline-friendly behaviour, here are the top ten things humans do that cats wish we wouldn’t.

1. Cats hate loud noises

A cat’s ear is designed to channel sound, and their hearing is much more acute than a human’s. This means that washing machines, shouting, music and phones – not to mention fireworks and family parties – are all things cats hate. Being respectful of a cat’s sensitive ears may help minimise the problem, but cats are also very good at escaping the loud noise and finding somewhere quiet. It is only when the noise is unescapable – fireworks, for example – that the cat’s stress can really mount.

2. Cats don’t like aggressive petting

While some dogs may enjoy a rough back-scratch or enthusiastic belly rub, most cats prefer a gentler approach. Heavy-handed pats, stroking and paw- or tail-handling will make cats feel in danger, and they will either run, lash out with their claws or simply become stressed. Many cats dislike being cuddled, a condition that has a name – feline hyperesthesia. This is particularly common in rescue cats, so always take care when petting your cat – watch its reactions and don’t force the issue. Dressing cats up in supposedly cute outfits falls into this category, too. Make sure everyone in the household, including the children, is aware of these kitty rules.

3. Some cats don’t like to be ignored

While not all cats crave attention, many domestic cats love it – on their terms, and when it suits them. A cat who doesn’t want to be left alone and wants you to stop doing what you’re doing and give them some attention will jump onto your lap or desk and generally get in the way of your hands. In an age of laptops and home-working, many cat owners are very aware of this feline attention seeking, and the demanding pet cat sometimes seems to be a permanent feature of the desk, computer keyboard or sofa!

4. Cats don’t like water

The fact that cats hate getting wet is such a well-known fact that it has become a cliché, but that doesn’t stop it being true! Cats avoid water, hide from the rain and simply hate being showered. As far as a cat is concerned, that all-purpose tongue is quite capable of delivering the perfect cat shower. You should only resort to cat baths or showers when absolutely necessary –to clean something toxic or oily from the fur, or to prepare a cat for a show.

5. Cats hate car journeys

Felines often hide under cars when they’re afraid, but most of them do not like car rides at all, and some cats are terrified by vehicles. The combination of motion, loud noises and strange smells is stressful for a cat, and they are also prone to motion sickness. Car journeys should therefore be restricted to necessities – for example, trips to the cat vet or to the cat hotel when you’re going on holiday.

6. Cats dislike other pets

Although a kitten that has been brought up with other cats, or even dogs, will tolerate their company, cats need their own territory, and they are also natural loners. Unlike humans – and unlike many breeds of dog – cats do not need a significant other in their lives. You only have to watch how cats react to other cats in their territory – in the garden, for example – to see how true this is.

7. Cats hate taking medication

You can fool a dog by wrapping a slice of ham around its tablet or mixing its medicine into the food bowl. Cats are more resistant to our efforts to make them feel better, though. Giving a cat tablets involves a coating of butter and some gentle throat massage.

8. Cats won’t use dirty litter boxes

Cats are very clean animals, and will not use a dirty litter box. Regular cleaning of the tray is therefore essential, and fresh kitty litter needs adding regularly to keep everything smelling nice and fresh. People often ask “what smells do cats hate?”, and the answer “cat wee and cat poo” is high on the list (along with air fresheners, incense and peeled citrus fruits!)

9. Cats should never be given physical punishment

This is one that a cat is unlikely to forgive a human for. A cat should be dissuaded from unwanted behaviour by making a not-too-loud noise, such as hitting your hand with a rolled up magazine or clapping (but, again, remember that they dislike loud noises too). Any physical chastisement will break the bond of trust between cat and owner.

10. Cats need their own space

A cat’s bed, favourite hidey-hole or quiet corner of the garden should be areas where humans never intrude. Children need reminding of this, as their instinct may be to pluck the cat from its bed and give it a cuddle. Once again, cats have a territorial nature and need their own quiet spots and safe zones, where they can unwind.

Knowing what a cat likes and what a cat dislikes is one of the keys to avoiding pet peeves and keeping your cat happy and healthy. One of the key takeaway messages is that cats are not like humans or dogs. They are cats – unique and purr-fect.

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Cats and Stress – Why It Happens and How to Spot It

Photos by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash

Humans stress about work, running late for a brunch, money issues or that something is going to happen to our loved ones. In times of stress and worry, our cats are always there for us to calm us down and make us focus on something else for a moment – they know exactly how to reduce our stress. But do we as owners ever think about what might potentially make them stressed?

Stress is not an uncommon problem with cats. They are naturally anxious animals that don’t deal well with change, so there are lots of factors that might make your pet stressed. It’s not always easy to spot signs of stress, or to combat them, but it’s important to try, as chronic stress can lead to health and behavioural problems in felines.

What causes stress in cats?

Stress for cats is, easily explained, the perception of threat, rather than something actually harmful or risky. Often this is triggered by something changing in the cat’s daily life, as even positive change will be seen as a threat to the cat. 

It’s important that you manage to identify what might be the cause of your cat’s stress. We’ve divided the most common causes into four categories:

  • Physical factors

An illness or physical trauma that requires treatment or medication will very likely make your cat feel worried. Apart from the potential pain or discomfort, the cat might also have to take pills or wear a cone, which limits their agility and freedom. Being on heat, or being pregnant, will unsurprisingly make most female cats feel on edge, and it’s very difficult to tell them what’s happening to their bodies. Apart from more medical conditions, grooming related changes like having a bath or getting a haircut can sometimes cause stress in your cat.

  • Environmental factors

The big ones here are moving to a new house, or spending time away from the home, like in a kennel or on holiday. Cats prefer the safety of what they know, and will most likely not enjoy travelling anywhere. 

Extreme weather and seasons changing can make cats worried and stressed, as can a lack of stimulation in their current living space. Outdoor cats who for some reason have been limited to the house will for example often develop stress related symptoms. Another common environmental stress factor for cats is the presence of other pets, including another cat.

  • Human factors

Anyone unfamiliar to the cat coming into the household will be seen as a threat, and can make your pet anxious, whether they are guests who are just over for dinner, or new housemates moving into the spare bedroom. A new baby in the house is also a nightmare for some cats. 

Often the problem is a change in the amount of attention the cat gets. Excessive stroking and playing will be just as stressful as the sudden lack of attention a newborn baby can cause.

  • Litter tray and diet factors

Changing brand or type of litter or food will likely make your cat stressed, unless done gradually over a longer period of time. A new litter box can also be anxiety-inducing, as can an unusually dirty tray or lack of food and water. 

What can stress do to a cat?

All living things are affected by stress, cats included. Bursts of stress, fear or anxiety are normal and harmless, but prolonged, chronic stress can be dangerous. Like in humans, longer periods of stress are associated with depression and a weakened immune system. In cats, stress is also believed to cause or trigger things like asthma, allergies, liver disease and stomach problems.

Stress can also cause many behavioural problems like aggression and litter tray avoidance. 

How can I tell if my cat is stressed?

First of all, it’s worth pointing out that a cat that seems worried by a barking dog outside the window or the sudden noise of something dropped on the floor is completely normal. You only need to help your cat if you think they may be stressed than normal, or if they are constantly on high alert. 

Physical symptoms of stress include, but are not limited to:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Excessive shedding and/or grooming
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Lethargy

And in terms of behavioural symptoms you should look out for:

  • Any big changes in routines or behaviour
  • Urinating outside the litter tray and spraying on furniture
  • Unexpected aggression towards humans or other pets
  • A disinterest in things going on around them
  • Excessive meowing
  • Hiding for long periods of time

If you notice a change in your cat’s behaviour or physical appearance, the first thing you should do is take them to the vet to rule out any possible medical condition that could be causing the symptoms. Stress can in itself be a symptom of some diseases and illnesses, but the vet will be able to give you some advice.

What can I do to help my cat?

The most important thing to do is to try and find the source of the stress. Have a look at the things we’ve listed above and try to observe your cat’s behaviour in different situations to try and see if there are any triggers. 

Once you think you have located the reason or the reasons your cat feels stressed, try to solve the problem. Some are easier to deal with than others, and in some cases, as with moving or introducing a baby to the family, you will just have to give it time. 

Make sure your cat has a safe space they can retreat to when they feel stressed or anxious. It can be a room where you rarely go, or a cat den like the Maya Nook. It’s important that everyone in the family knows not to disturb the cat when they are in their safe space, so that the cat can fully relax.

Spending time with your cat is a good way for you to keep an eye on him or her to make sure they are not struggling, and it gives the cat stimulation and social interaction, which are both great ways of dealing with stress. It can be chasing after a catnip toy or just relaxing on the sofa, let your cat decide. 

Another thing to think about is that our pets are highly affected by our wellbeing. If you feel stressed your cat is more likely to feel stressed, and if you’re relaxed they are more likely to not see everything around them as a threat. It’s obviously easier said than done to stop feeling stressed and anxious, but maybe the knowledge that you’re affecting your pets’ mental health can make you find ways of making your life less stressful. 

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This entry was posted in Cats


Are My Cats Safer in an Outdoor Cat Run?

Cats that are let outside have a shorter life expectancy than indoor cats. Sure, some outdoor cats live until they’re 20 years old, but on average, letting your cat roam free outside significantly increases the risk of injuries, accidents, and infections. 

There are clear pros and cons for both indoor and outdoor cat, but certain factors can encourage the decision to keep your beloved pets indoors most of the time. 

Traffic

Cats and cars don’t mix, and if you live by a busy road you might not want to run the risk of letting your cat out to roam freely. Even the cleverest of cats can’t assess speed from a moving vehicle, and you’ll struggle to train them not to chase a mouse over the road without first checking the coast is clear.

Indoor breeds

Some cats are just not made to go outside. Their fur might not be thick enough to handle neither sun nor rain, they are not agile enough to move around different structures and textures, might not have the street smartness to stay out of trouble, or will just never see the point of outdoor activities, like exploring and hunting. 

Cats with FIV

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a very contagious disease that significantly lowers your cat’s immune system. If your cat has been diagnosed with FIV, it’s highly recommended that you keep him or her indoors to stop them from passing the virus on, but also to protect them from infections or injuries that their immune system can’t handle. 

Wildlife protection

Letting your cats roam free allows them to express natural behaviours, and one of these is the strong urge to hunt. While no one really cares about the odd mouse cats kill, people can get very upset when they see your cat bringing home song birds, baby hares or rare lizards. Wildlife fans are often great opponents of cat predation, and even if you trust your neighbours not to hurt your pet, letting your cat out might create an uncomfortable glitch between you and the rest of the neighbourhood. 

Cat thefts

Cat thefts are more common than you might think, maybe not surprisingly seeing how much some popular cat breeds cost. Thieves might keep an eye on your cats comings and goings over a few days, and lure them away when no one will notice. 

It’s important to be aware that this does happen, and if you have an expensive cat you might not want to let it run free outside without supervision. 

Illness and injuries

If your cat is sick or has hurt themselves in some sort of accident, the vet might have told you to at least temporarily keep them indoors. While this can be extremely frustrating for both cat and owner, it’s important not to hurry the healing process by letting your cat out too early.


If any of these apply to you and your cat, or if you for some other reason have decided not to let your pets roam free, you’ll be glad to know that there is a great solution that will both give your pet access to fresh air (which is highly beneficial to both their physical and mental health) and keep them safe: a cat run.

The Omlet Outdoor Cat Run, or Balcony Cat Run, can be customised to fit the space you’ve got in your garden or on your balcony. It’s just over 2m high, so you can easily go inside to spend time with your cat in the run if you want, or you can leave them to play or rest in the sunshine while you tend to the garden. 

The run can be placed on most surfaces, and you can decorate it with climbing toys and scratching posts to keep your cat active and entertained. It’s stable and secure, so you won’t have to worry about leaving your cat unsupervised for shorter periods of time. 

Not having to walk your cat on a lead will mean he or she can be outside for longer, and by adding covers to your run you can make sure they won’t get rained on, or burn their skin in the sun. 

In a cat run, your pet won’t get into contact with traffic or any other, potentially unfriendly cats. You will be able to limit and control how much he or she moves around to not over activate bones and muscles, and the risk of theft is greatly reduced. Not only will your cat be safer, small rodents and song birds can also live a slightly more relaxed life! 

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50% Off Luxury Blankets When You Sign Up to the Omlet Newsletter

The Luxury Super Soft Dog Blanket from Omlet is the perfect addition to your dog’s sleep setup. As colder weather approaches your pet will truly appreciate this extra layer of warmth and comfort to nestle into for a lovely long snooze. The blanket is machine washable, so you can also use it to protect sofas, carpets and car seats from muddy paws after long autumnal walks.

Get your dog’s bed ready for autumn with this super soft luxury blanket – now half price when you sign up to the Omlet newsletter, saving you up to £9.99!

Terms and conditions
This promotion is valid from 22/09/20 – midnight on 27/09/20. Once you have entered your email address on the website you will receive a promo code that can be used at checkout. By entering your email you agree to receive the Omlet Newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any point. This offer is available on Omlet Luxury Super Soft Blankets for cats and dogs only. The offer does not apply to any dog beds or cooling mats. Offer is limited to 2 blankets per household, while stocks last. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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End Of Summer Saver – £5 Off Omlet Cooling Mats

Provide your pet with the possibility to rest on a super cool and comfortable spot on those warm September days, or after a long and strenuous autumn walk! The Omlet Cooling Mat is self-cooling and has a memory foam layer that will enclose your pet’s body as they lie down on it, and you can choose to display either the classic cream coloured or the stylish grey side of the mat depending on your home and your pet!

Right now you get £5 off Omlet Cooling Mats for dogs or cats, but only for a limited time! Use promo code COOLOFF at checkout to claim this exclusive discount!

Terms and Conditions
Promotion of £5 off cooling mats runs from 03/09/20 – midnight 08/09/20. Use promo code COOLOFF at checkout. Includes Omlet Cooling Mat cats and dogs. All sizes are included. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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This entry was posted in Cats