Blog News

February 9, 2014

Jazz up your indoor cat’s life!

It’s NOT normal for a cat to eat, sleep, and hide most of the day – and get FAT. Enriching cats’ environments helps them burn calories, alleviate boredom, prevent behaviour problems and bladder troubles, and slow down the aging process. Here are five tips to make your home cat friendly: 1. Cats need elevated spots to hang out in. Buy cat shelves to hang at different heights or simply clear a window ledge. They also love scratching posts and plenty of cosy hiding places like boxes and tunnels. 2. Don't ignore your cat! One of the reasons cats have become so popular is because people think you don’t need to do anything with them. Of course, this is far from true and is one of the reasons there are so many overweight cats. Play with your cats once or twice a day for at least five minutes—during TV commercials is ideal! 3. Activate the cat’s hunting drive. See if your cat likes feeding from enrichment toys hidden around the house. The kibble will only fall out of the toys a few pieces at a time stimulating the hunting instinct and preventing the cat from eating too quickly. You can buy these food-dispensing toys or make your own from a toilet paper roll, with both ends sealed off. Fill the tube with kibble and poke holes in it. 4. Redefine and rotate toys. Move cat toys around the house. The feather toy in the living room is a whole new toy in the bedroom. Cut holes in an empty box and move it around the house. Exercise your cat’s hunting instinct with mouse-sized toys jerked around the floor. 5. Take your cat new places. Fenced-in outdoor pet patios or cat runs break up the indoor cat’s day and provide live entertainment. See Cat Stuff Cat Enclosures and Custom Cat Enclosures for some fantastic ideas for keeping your cat and the wildlife in your area safe. The more time you spend enriching your cats’ environment, the smarter and healthier they will be. A cat’s mind is a terrible thing to waste!
February 9, 2014

All in the family

Are the cats in your household stressed by each other? In their natural state cats live with their relatives - their mothers, siblings and offspring. But we expect them to live in close quarters with total strangers and then wonder why they mark indoors, have bladder problems and overgroom - all signs of stress. You know your cats consider each other family if they sleep together and groom each other, paying particular attention to each other’s heads. When all the cats in your household think of each other as family stress levels are low. More often in multi-cat households each cat considers the other as just another tenant of the house and would rather not share dining, toilet and rest areas. When forced to share tension levels between the cats will rise and fall. Occasionally we see outright aggression between housemates. Sometimes the only sign is the occasional spray of urine up the curtain or recurrent cystitis (inflammation of the bladder). Check out your cats’ sleeping arrangements. If they are sleeping separately and not grooming each other with complete ease then make sure you have multiple resources available so that each ‘family’ can eat, drink and toilet in private. If you have three cats who do not groom each other then you will need feeding and water bowls, and a litter tray in three separate areas.
February 9, 2014

Cats get arthritis too!

Sixteen year old Burmese Cleo was slow to jump down off the kitchen bench when caught out last week. She poured herself down the side, landed with a thud and looked stunned for a moment before moving off. When we X-rayed her elbows we were horrified to find that she had severe osteoarthritis. She had been covering it up - as cats do - for a long time before we noticed she was having trouble. We then noticed that she is also reluctant to jump very high. She uses chairs to get onto tables and has stopped leaping up to sit in the sun on the windowsill. Her painful knees make her hesitate before jumping and she then scrambles up rather than jumping. Unwilling to miss the electric blanket at night she pulls herself up on to the bed. We've set up boxes as steps onto her feed bench and the bed. We also play gently with her by trailing ribbons and batting balls to strengthen her muscles. To reduce the strain on her joints we've restricted her food and watched her weight. She makes sure that she sleeps in a warm, well-cushioned sleeping area - our bed! Now she is also on pain medication and doing remarkably well.