Limited availability due to high demand. Please see our Stock Availability page for more information.

The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Cats

What Do I Need For My Bengal Kitten?

A Bengal cat looking up using the scratcher on the Omlet Freestyle cat tree

Bengal cats have striking features, bearing a resemblance to leopards with their piercing eyes and speckled, marbled coats. As their appearance suggests, this breed is a hybrid of an Asian Leopard Cat crossed with a domestic cat. So, with being part wild animal, you’ll need to think carefully before deciding to introduce the very intelligent Bengal into your home.

With the new arrival of any kitten, you’re going to have your hands full, as both you and your new furry friend adjust to a new life. It’s a good idea to get prepared by going through a checklist of everything your Bengal kitten is going to need and anything else that will make for an easier transition. If you’re struggling on where to begin, here’s a list of a few things to get you started:

A Cat Carrier

When bringing home your new Bengal, you’ll want to place them in a cat carrier, with something absorbent to line it, in case your Bengal kitten has any accidents on the journey. One piece of advice is to spray the carrier with pheromones which will help to make your kitten feel safe. 

The carrier should be large enough for your Bengal to comfortably lie down in, and adjust themselves. It’s also important to remember that your kitten should not come home any earlier than 8 weeks old, as any sooner is too premature to be separated from their Mother.

A Scratching Post

Cats have a natural desire to scratch, so if they’re not provided with the right outlet to do so i.e. a scratching post, you may find that your prized furnishings are quickly destroyed! Not only will a scratching post help to maintain your Bengal’s claw health, they’re also a great tool to help release your cat’s hormones and excess energy. 

If your house has enough space, cat trees are an even better option! The Omlet Freestyle Cat Tree will grow with your kitten, as you can customise your tree to add more accessories for your Bengal to scratch at and play with, as they become more adventurous.

A Bengal cat using the Omlet outdoor cat runA Cat Bed

Cats can spend up to sixteen hours of the day sleeping, and kittens, even longer! Cat breeds like Bengals however, will sleep slightly less due to their playful nature. Nonetheless, it’s important that you invest in a good quality cat bed, so that your kitten can get those precious hours of sleep in. 

Their bed should be somewhere secluded, where your kitten can be left alone and away from any other pets or people. Comfort is key, so make sure your Bengal’s bed is cosy and somewhere they can retreat and rest.

Food, Water and Bowls

Bengals need a diet of good quality food, to give your kitten the best start. Make sure that the food you choose for your young cat is age appropriate, along with choosing appropriate sized bowls for their food and water. Cats can have a combination of dry food and wet food, and kittens need a specific diet suited to their age. From around 12 weeks, your Bengal kitten should transition to eating more dry cat food, so it’s a good idea to check with the breeder on what they recommend. 

A Litter Box

Despite the incredibly active nature of Bengals, they can actually live comfortably as indoor cats, as long as they have enough physical and mental stimulation to stop them from becoming bored. Many Bengal kittens will have already been litter box trained by the breeder, however owners still need to continue to encourage correct use of the litter box by using positive reinforcement when they use it. 

Also consider the type of cat litter you’re using for your Bengal cat. Take a look at the full Omlet range of cat litters to find which will be best for your kitten.

Plenty of Toys

Before bringing your new Bengal home, you should be aware that these cats need a lot of entertainment! Bengals love to play and a wide range of toys will help to keep your kitten stimulated and out of trouble. Bengals are highly energetic, so toys that encourage their hunting instinct, like the Kong Kitten Mice are perfect for your new kitten. As your Bengal grows, how about trying the Omlet wand toys with catnip, that will provide your cat with endless hours of fun!


Before getting a Bengal kitten it’s important to take into consideration not only these essentials but to carefully conduct thorough research on the breed and your prospective breeder. Remember, responsible breeders should also be looking at whether your lifestyle and home is suitable for their kitten to be going to. So, if you think this is the right breed for you and you do decide to get a Bengal kitten, one thing that can be guaranteed is a whole heap of fun for the whole family!

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


The Big Bed Sale – Don’t Sleep on This Opportunity!

💤 The BIG Bed Sale! 💤

Save up to 25% on Bolster Beds, Topology Beds and Donut Beds for a limited time only! Now is the perfect time to treat your pawesome pal to a cosy new bed this autumn 🍂
dalmatian on a beanbag topper on topology dog bed

ragdoll cat sleeping on a yellow bolster cat bed

goldendoodle resting on a grey bolster bed

fluffy cat being scratched while on a white donut bed


Terms and conditions
The promotion for 25% off beds is only valid from 14/09/21 to 17/09/21. The promotion only applied to Bolster Dog Beds, Topology Dog Beds, Maya Donut Cat Beds and Bolster Cat Beds, including covers, toppers and feet. Excludes all other dog and cat accessories. No promo code needed, discount has already been applied. 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. You are not able to use a discount code on your order if your basket contains one or more discounted products.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


Find the Perfect Freestyle Cat Tree for Your Cat

The Freestyle Cat Tree allows you to create a play area that suits your cat and their likes and abilities, with over 70 different accessories to choose from! You might know exactly what will be perfect for your pet and your home, but we realise that it can sometimes be a bit daunting creating your own setup from scratch. That’s why we’ve put together some amazing kits that you can buy as a start! 

When you and your cat have discovered the fabulous design of the Freestyle, you can always extend and adapt the setup with more poles and accessories. Have a look at the 6 starter kits to find one that will be perfect for your feline friend!


The Beginner Freestyle starter kit

The Beginner

The Beginner is the ideal starter kit to get your cat used to the Freestyle. It features a simple platform that can be placed at any height on your pole, accessorised with a stylish blue woven cushion to provide your cat with extreme comfort while resting off the ground. 

This kit also comes with a super stable sisal scratcher kit for your pets’ grooming needs. The sisal is durable and feels nice against the paws, and is strong enough to sharpen those precious nails. 

The Beginner is an economical solution, perfect if your cat is hesitant to try new things, or you have limited space in your home.


The Top Cat Freestyle starter kit

The Top Cat

The Top Cat is probably the most stylish of the starter kits, featuring yellow cushions for the platform and steps that will blend in beautifully in your home. It also comes with a plant pot that can be positioned at any height on the pole and allows you to fully utilise all vertical space. 

The Top Cat will suit any cat who likes to watch the world go by from an advantage point, safe from small humans and other pets. It also comes with a replaceable sisal scratcher kit, making it an ideal starter to build on from as your cat gets more adventurous.


The Ladder Freestyle starter kit

The Ladder

This kit comes with four bamboo steps that you can position at the perfect height to create a ladder for your cat to climb up to safety. At the top of the pole you can put the platform with a super cosy woven den where your cat can enjoy secluded naps. 

Additionally, The Ladder comes with a treat dish that can be put by the den for snack time, or at any height up the pole in case your cat gets hungry mid-climb. 

The Ladder is perfect for any cat who likes to be high up and away from the noise of the household. The flexibility of the steps allows you to adjust the difficulty of the climbing based on your pet’s age and abilities.


The Scratcher Freestyle starter kit

The Scratcher

The Scratcher is the perfect solution for cats who take grooming seriously. The kit features both a sturdy sisal scratching post that wraps around the vertical pole for full body stretching and a pole to floor ramp with a wave cardboard scratching box. Persistent scratchers will love this option and flexibility!

The Scratcher also comes with a cosy woven hammock for post play naps away from the hustle and bustle. 

If you have a cat that insists on sharpening their claws against furniture and upholstery in your home, The Scratcher is the ideal kit for you. By giving them a designated stable spot for grooming, they should soon learn where to go. Additionally, all scratching parts can be recycled and replaced once worn, making Freestyle a long term solution for all.


The Sleeper Freestyle starter kit

The Sleeper

The Sleeper kit is perfect for super relaxed cats who will settle for nothing less than extreme comfort. The platform and steps come with beautiful woven cushions that will provide a soft surface while lounging and inspecting the home. The Sleeper also includes a secluded den that your pet can withdraw to for their extremely important naps.  

This kit also includes a sisal scratching post that your cat can use for stretching out their bodies after a sleep, while also sharpening their nails.


The Explorer Freestyle starter kit

The Explorer

If you have an adventurous cat that loves jumping, climbing and scratching, you should try The Explorer. This starter kit includes most of the Freestyle accessories positioned over two vertical poles, so your cat can choose an activity based on their mood on a specific day. 

The Explorer has two different types of scratchers, steps to allow your cat to get up the tree, a bridge to lounge on and a secluded hammock to rest in when everything has been explored. As if that wasn’t enough, it also comes with a decorative pot for your cat-friendly plants, as well as a stainless steel bowl for food or treats. 

The Explorer is perfect for young, active and agile cats, or for multi cat households.


Remember that you can choose the position of the accessories yourself. They are also easy to move around if you want to try something new. If you don’t think either of these will be the right fit for your pets, you can always build your own system using our handy configurator. Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly customer service team if you have any questions about the Freestyle! 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


How to Create Peace in a Multi Cat Household

Four different types of cats on a kitchen countertop

Photo by Dietmar Ludmann on Unsplash

Despite many cats enjoying being independent creatures, according to the PDSA PAW Report, 43% of cats in the UK now live in multi cat households. Whilst it’s understandable why so many of us give in to the temptation of introducing another feline friend into the home, it’s also important to be cautious of the potential onset of cat behavioural issues such as aggressive behaviour i.e. hissing, growling, or chasing as a result of doing so, and to consider if the dynamic of a multi cat household would work for you and your family. However, if you do decide to take the plunge, here are some tips on how you can try and keep the peace.

Plenty of Exercise

Providing your cats with plenty of exercise will help to keep them at a healthy weight and keep them stimulated. Both are important for all cat owners, even those who only have one cat. However, for cats who live amongst other cats, keeping active can aid with avoiding a potential build up of excess energy, which can sometimes manifest itself as aggression towards other cats in the household.

One way to help keep your cats exercised is through play, which will also help to strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. How about trying the new Omlet catnip wand toys that will encourage your cats to chase and provide them with endless hours of fun. Another great way of exercising your pets is to invest in a cat tree. Cats love climbing and scratching, so a cat tree is one sure way to encourage this and keep them entertained.

Use Pheromone Diffusers

Pheromone diffusers are an odourless plug-in product that works by producing pheromones, or chemical substances, that your cat naturally releases when they either rub against surfaces, scratch at items, bump heads with humans or other cats, or spray. Pheromone products mimic how pheromones would naturally send messages between cats, meaning that they can help in multi cat households to have your cats to feel more relaxed, and reduce their stress levels. 

Multiple Litter Boxes

It’s important that your cats have their own litter box when they live with other cats. This is because of their territorial nature, which often means that cats like to ‘claim’ where they go to the bathroom and do not like this area to be shared. If cats feel as though their territory is under threat, this can lead to aggressive behaviour such as fighting.

Furthermore, most cats will refuse to use a dirty litter box, which will likely happen should you only provide a single litter box for several cats, as of course, their waste will accumulate more quickly than if your cats were to have their own. The general rule of thumb is that you should have one litter box per cat, plus one spare to have placed out in your home.

Separate Feeding Stations

Cats like to be alone when they’re eating, meaning that if you have multiple cats, they will require separate feeding stations at mealtimes. When cats are forced to share the same area for feeding time with another cat, it can take away from their predatory instinct to hunt and eat by themselves, which inevitably can induce anxiety and aggressive behaviour. In a multiple cat home, cats may see a shared feeding area as an opportunity to compete for food, which could result in you having a ‘food bully’ on your hands. As well as providing your cats with their own food bowls, give them each a designated space in the home to eat any from any other cats.

Furthermore, creating this divide will help your cats to stay healthy by having them fed equally, or in accordance to their own specific dietary needs, as it ensures one cat cannot access the other’s food. For example, factors such as the age, weight, or medical condition of your cat/s may mean that they have to be fed different diets. Therefore, it’s fundamental that you leave each cat’s bowl out of reach from any potential cat food thieves!

Personal Space

By nature, many cats need their own personal space, even when they’re not eating. It’s a good idea to have an area in the home that they can go to escape to by themselves, away from both humans and other animals. If you have the room, it’s advisable that each of your pets have at least one of their own private areas in the home that they can go to without being disturbed and becoming overwhelmed. This may even be a cardboard box if you’re limited for space, but be sure this is away from the hustle and bustle of the home or outside.

Two cats sat down, both looking up in the same direction

Photo by Kelly on Unsplash


Introducing a new cat can be a difficult time for you and your already existing pet, but fortunately, it’s not impossible to make multi cat households work. So after a bit of advice, hopefully the transition period will be a lot easier. However, should you notice any signs of aggression between your cats, it’s important to seek help from a veterinarian before these issues get out of control.

 

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


Time to Get the Nations’ Felines Fit

Omlet launch customisable indoor cat tree system

Freestyle set up and cat in a hammock on a cat tree

There are an estimated 12.2 million cats in the UK, and numbers have increased significantly after a year of lockdown. The majority of UK cat owners view cats as more than just pets, but as an important and loyal source of happiness, affection and love. With all they do for us, the least we can provide them with is a way to let them be exactly what they are meant to be – cats!

According to the annual PDSA Paw Report, obesity is seen as one of the top 5 welfare concerns for cats by veterinary professionals, and it’s estimated that a shocking 39 to 52 percent of cats in the UK are overweight or obese. Most of these are indoor cats who are limited in terms of exercise and movement, which often leads to frustration and behavioural problems, as well as health issues.

As a nation we clearly need to get these tubby tabbies moving, and Omlet has got the perfect solution!

The new and innovative Freestyle Cat Tree is a floor to ceiling, completely customisable cat play system available with a wide range of fun accessories that will encourage cats to live out their natural behaviours – jumping, climbing, grooming, stretching and scratching, as well as a fair bit of serious relaxing. By providing an irresistible opportunity to exercise and explore, Omlet hopes that cats will be able to find the joy in playing that they might have lost after years of rickety scratching posts and dull fluffy toys.

Even the laziest of cats won’t be able to resist exploring this amazing play system, which in combination with a well balanced diet will make them lighter and leaner, healthier and happier!

The Freestyle Cat Tree centers around strong, extendable vertical poles that can be accessorised with platforms, steps and scratching posts, and connected with ramps and bridges. It’s got everything cats need, including optional dens or hammocks where cats can hide away from the world and properly relax. As an added bonus, it will look great in any home, and can be adjusted in numerous ways to allow cat owners to cater to their pets’ needs.

Omlet’s Head of Design, Simon Nicholls, said: “We wanted to acknowledge that not all cats are the same and create a cat tree that was customisable and extendable over time, and that could provide indoor cats with everything they needed. The versatility of this product is truly unique and we can’t wait for cats around the world to explore it!”

bengal cat moving across the freestyle cat tree

 

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


Back to School – Get 20% Off Selected Items

While the kids are away, the pets will play!

Start the new school year with 20% off selected Back To School Buys when you spend £30 on qualifying items. Look out for the pencil symbol on out website to find all the included items, or choose some of out favourites ✏️

and many, many more…

Terms and conditions
This promotion is only valid from 02/09/21 – midnight on 06/09/21. Use promo code BACK2SKWL at checkout to get 20% off when you spend £30 on selected products. While stocks last. Must spend £30 on items displaying on the website with pencil icon for 20% off to work. 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.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Budgies


Why Do Cats Love Catnip?

What Is Catnip?

Whether or not you’re familiar with cats, you’ll likely have heard of catnip. Renowned for sending cats “crazy”, catnip is actually a member of the mint family that also goes by the name of Nepeta cataria. The plant grows in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, containing nepetalactone, an oil, or chemical compound, found within the catnip’s leaves.

When cats sniff catnip, the nepetalactone enters their nasal tissue, sending signals to the brain. This stimulates sensory neurons, targeting receptors that usually result in behavioural changes. As your cat reacts to the herb, you may witness them shaking their head, licking, rubbing, leaping, or rolling around. Their behaviour can also mimic a cat being in heat, even for male cats, with others displaying feelings of euphoria through being overly affectionate, relaxed, or playful.

How Can I Use Catnip?

Catnip is widely available in a number of forms. Although you can use the plant directly in its fresh, natural state, most commonly, catnip is found dried, or flaked. This can be used on anything including toys, bowls, or simply be scattered around your home. Alternatively, you can purchase catnip spray to spritz onto your cat’s favourite things. Catnip toys are also very popular, with the herb being used in a number of different types of toys including the Omlet’s collection of ocean-themed Maya Cat Toys. However, don’t worry if your cat isn’t too keen on catnip, the toys are also available without.

Why Do Some Cats Not Like Catnip?

Seventy percent of cats will show some reaction to the plant, and whilst most go wild for the stuff, others simply aren’t interested or won’t respond to catnip. This isn’t anything to be concerned about and may be for two reasons. The first being that your feline friend lacks the gene that makes them responsive to catnip. The catnip response is hereditary, relating to the autosomal dominant gene which, interestingly, is not exclusive to domestic cats. Also found in big cats such as lions, fascinatingly, they too can be affected by catnip with effects lasting for up to an hour, compared to a reaction usually only lasting for up to fifteen minutes with our domestic cats!

Equally, your cat’s age may be another reason as to why they seemingly do not like or are not interested in catnip. Catnip is not harmful to kittens, however researchers have found that kittens under eight weeks old show no reaction to catnip. Cats usually show signs of whether they’ll be a catnip lover or not by the time they reach around six months old.

Benefits of Catnip

Anxiety Reducing

As we earlier discovered, catnip can have a sedative effect on cats. Consequently, this can help with their stress levels and in turn, work as a natural form of anxiety relief.

Pain Relief

Research suggests that cats may actually benefit from catnip as pain relief. The plant has the potential to work as a short term solution for cats with muscle pain or arthritis, similarly to how aspirin or paracetamol works for humans. 

Image by CatCrazy from Pixabay

Encourages Play

With cats often becoming highly energetic after interacting with catnip, this encourages play and exercise, even more so with catnip toys that are bound to give your cat hours of enjoyment. If your cat is particularly playful, they’ll have great fun chasing around the Maya Cat Wand Toy with catnip, and the detachable wand makes it easier for you to raise the toy up high.

Can Help With Bath Time

If you’ve got a cat that doesn’t love bath time quite as much as they love catnip, then adding catnip to their bathwater might make things a lot easier for the both of you. Catnip can make a bath a lot more appealing for your pet, which you can do by adding up to a teaspoon of flakes to boiling water, allowing it to soak, and then putting it into the bath.

If you do decide to give your cat a taste of some catnip for the first time, you’ll want to initially start off with a small amount to gauge their reaction. Should your cat respond well, you can continue to incorporate it into their routine up to a few times a week. Fortunately, catnip is a completely safe product and your cats will not be able to overdose from it. At worst, your cat may experience some digestive issues, however, most cats will let their owners know when they have had enough by refusing.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in 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!

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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!

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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. 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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.

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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!

No comments yet - Leave a comment

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.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

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!

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

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:

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

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. 

           

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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.

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Cats


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

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Budgies