Category Archives: Advice

Advice on care of your pet

The benefits of igloo beds

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We at Cleo Pet have a saying, a well rested animal is a happy animal. OK, it’s not our official saying but we believe wholeheartedly that if your pet is well looked after, sleeps in a comfortable and healthy environment then your pet is going to be overall happy, healthier and have more time for fun throughout the day or evening.

Today we want to speak to you about a little comparison between different beds. Our Igloo/Duffle Bed and a standard flat pad/cushion bed that you can find in other stores.

We are going to base our analysis on a few key areas that have been identified in what helps a cat get a good rest from International Cat Care.

Warm environments

We understand that cats like warm environments. From the receptors which can be located on their face to their fur having an impact on assessing warm or cold conditions, cats respond differently to temperatures compared to humans.

While we feel pain at a temp of 112 degrees (44C) a cat won’t feel pain until it reaches 126 degrees (52C) which means that cats crave warmer environments through nature. It isn’t uncommon to find cats resting in locations that may have perplexed you until learning about this fact, but if you think of the times you may have seen your cat resting in the sun rays in your home, outside in the garden or even on your car’s bonnet, it starts to make sense.

Compared to a standard floor pillow, our igloo beds provide a fully covered sleeping arrangement that maintains warmth and comfort for your cat.

Our igloo bed provides the right kind of warm and cosy environment that your cat is craving. Our ergonomic shape and design combines a comfortable yet stylish solution for your cats sleeping requirements. Furthermore, our inner fleece lined materials keep the environment a suitable temperature where your cats can sleep in comfort.

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Use of living space

Cats are creatures of habit and changes to those habits can cause a form of distress to the household pet. One of the ways of combating this is to provide an area of your living space that addresses that one primary area of your cat’s life, sleep.

Whilst humans will sleep throughout the evening (usually), cats will use the day to catch up on their sleep, which is why, it is often reported that cats like to disturb their owners in the early hours because they are in a playful mood.

One of the ways to be able to allow them to understand boundaries and where they can and can’t sleep is about tailoring and demonstrating an environment that is suitable for them.

A standard floor pillow can look like other “safe areas” in a home environment and so the cat will see this as an opportunity to try new areas and test living spaces. Whilst our igloo doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a cat won’t wonder, your cat will start to respect the living space that has been created for it and utilise the igloo over alternative sleeping arrangements.

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Creating a routine

This falls under both categories really, but there is a caveat and extension to the other two areas. From creating and maintaining a sleeping schedule for your cat, yes, your cat will respond to it if you create one, to adjusting your environment so that they get plenty of activity throughout the day, your cat needs routine to be able to respond to inputs in the evening when you’re ready to go to bed.

If your cat knows and feels like they have their own environment to sleep in, they’re less likely to disturb you in the middle of the early morning. Surrounded by toys, a litter box and comfortable bedding, this can make all the difference in their environment.

Our igloo bed fulfills the majority of those requirements. We’ve had many examples of customers showing us how their cats have taken their favourite toys into their own personal igloo and played happily and peacefully in their own space.

Our igloo beds can be purchased from our store online. Use this link to take you straight to our igloo bed page.

5 things that can give your cat the best environment

Did you know that one of the best ways to keep your cat happy, healthy and feeling good in your home is to do something called, environmental enrichment. Don’t worry, we, like you, were slightly scared of the phrase until we did a little bit of research and spoke to some experts on the subject.

All that environmental enrichment means is that you create an environment that will stimulate your cat and stop it developing behavioural issues that are sometimes associated when your cat is not mentally or physically stimulated.

From intercat aggression to depression and anxiety a boring environment is something that cat owners must avoid to get keep their cat happy and healthy. An under-stimulated cat can be at risk of over-grooming to self-mutilation, compulsive behavior and loss of appetite. Things, which we are sure no cat owner ever wants to happen.

We have put together a few suggestions to help your create environmental enrichment for your cat. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment or email us, we’d love to hear from you.

Playtime

Like most humans, cats enjoy their playtime. It develops them both physically and mentally and there are various ways that you can create the right environment through different types of play, these include; interactive and object play.

Interactive play involves you interacting with your cat. This could be toys on the end of fishing style rods or strings, like our moggy mobile, the object here is that you cat reverts their nature a little to hunting. You don’t want to put the objects directly in front of them, instead you want drag the objects away from eye line, hide them in different places and use them as a trigger for playtime. Once playtime is over however, hide these kinds of toys away from the cat or they could end up chewing the strings off all together.

Object play on the other hand involves small toys, like fake mice or our crazy creatures that can be utilised by the cat as and when they choose to play. A great tip would be to place these kinds of toys in different locations so your cat will be intrigued to search for them adding to their daily playtime fun.

Vertical Space

Humans live in a horizontal world, that’s fine for us, but cat’s much prefer the vertical space that we leave them. From napping to feeling more secure, cat’s search for the vertical environment as it can also help them establish order in the house, especially in a multi-cat living environment. Elevated environments also provide sanctuary for more timid cats as this will allow them to feel safe as they know it would be very hard for anyone to sneak up on them.

So how do you create vertical space in your home. Sometimes windowsills and bookshelves are great solutions but not always the best ones. They just happen to be there.

Things like cat climbers are a perfect way to give your cats the elevation they need to feel safe and live within that vertical space.

Hideaways and Tunnels

Remember the time you built a fort? If you haven’t and if you’re an adult, you really should. It’s great fun! For those that have, you know the feeling of hiding and scrambling around is a load of fun; well it’s just the same for cats.

Cats need hideaways, especially if they are timid, you can do this in a variety of ways. Our igloo cat beds are a great way to give them that feeling of being hidden away, and not being bothered.

Tunnels are also a great way to create the illusion of play and privacy. You can do this with soft paper bags. Fold a one-inch cuff at the top to make the bag sturdy. Cut the bottoms of the paper bags, fold a cuff around that end and then tape bags together.

Scratching Posts
Cats scratching is a natural thing that they do. If however they are scratching your furniture, then that can also mean that they are not happy with any scratching equipment you may have or potentially they are bored.

Ensure that you have the right kind of scratching gear for them. From scratching posts to even a good scratching pad, this will ensure that they have the choice when it comes to deciding what to go for first, a well designed, well built and attractive scratching post or your table leg.

Companionship

One of the key things that is forgotten when creating environmental enrichment for your cat is this, companionship. Whether that is human or other cats in the house, your cat strives to be in the company of other creatures to continue to stimulate their minds and allow them to feel safer in the right environment.

We understand that not every home can afford to have more than one cat, but make sure you take the time to spend time with your pet when you can. This will allow the cat to feel protected and comfortable enriching their life greatly.

Cat or Dog?

cat and dog

It’s an argument that has raged for centuries, what makes a better pet, Cat or Dog? Search the web and you will find thousands of results that speak of this fractious debate; but never fear, we at Cleo Pet have decided to step into the debate and give you some original paws for thought on which makes a better pet for your home.

Supervision

The working world has changed dramatically over the last 40 years. With more and more people spending more time at their desks, commuting and away over night, having a pet, any pet, means that responsibility on supervising the animal is required.

However, it is also impractical to expect someone to be able to look after your pet whilst you’re working the hours, or having to take overnight stays in a different location altogether.

Winner: Cat

Why? Cats can be left unsupervised for quite a long period of the day, and whilst we don’t advise you should do this long term, as long as cats have all the necessities provided for them, mainly access to water and food as well as into your home, cats are predominantly self sufficient and can manage their time on their own.

Change can be a good thing

The modern day environments are constantly changing as our social lives as well. From visiting friends and family a few hours away in the car to having to move for work into new and different cities, being a pet owner can also mean having to consider how well your pet can adapt to these changes.

From the environment that surrounds them to their new daily routines, if your pet is settled, and the quicker it settles, the better it will be for both you, the pet and the family.

Winner: Dog

Why? Dogs are more adaptable than cats in new environments and changes to their routines more so than cats. In essence, your dog’s behaviour is more philosophical than a cat to these changes and can provide great company in those times of change for you as well in your new environment.

Keep fit and healthy

It is recommended that everyone does at least 30 minute exercise, five times a week that gets your heart pumping and your lungs working to stave away diseases related to being overweight and generally unfit. Things such as heart disease or diabetes can be countered with such exercise routines and measures.

Winner: Dog

Why? Have you ever tried to walk a cat? Probably not, and nor should you. Cats are independent and develop their exercise skills in a host of different ways; including toys, cat climbers and general tom foolery in their own private time and space. But dogs help get you off the couch and out into fresh air every day, guaranteed. Yes, the downside is when it’s cold and wet you need to go with them, and that’s not a pleasant thought but overall, you will reap the rewards with daily exercise that your dog helps provide.

Size of home

Homes are getting smaller. As reported in February 2016, the average size of a home in the UK is four square meters smaller than the recommended sizes given as a guideline by the government. When you also consider that the cost of buying homes is going up and people moving into apartments to save on cost and space factors, you need to think of what pet would be best suited to these smaller, cosier spaces.

Winner: Cat

Why? Cats, no matter what size, can find a way to be able to live in a small environment without causing any or much distress whilst dogs, even the smallest ones, need space to move around and explore their territory. Cats can live in small homes or even studio apartments and will be comfortable in their smaller spaced environment.

There are many different reasons to have a cat or dog as your new pet, either however can make great company when it comes to being a treasured member of the family. Keep in mind your environment and lifestyle before making a decision on owning a pet as all pets require time, patience and lots of love.

Why do cats need scratching posts?

07-220ASLGShredded carpet, scratch marks on the leather sofa, claw marks down the wallpaper. As a cat owner, the chances are you have encountered at least one of these situations in the past. Whilst this probably drives you crazy, the last thing you want to do is to deter your cat from scratching. The important thing is to understand  why your cat scratches and what you can do to encourage them to use an appropriate scratching outlet such as a scratching post.

Scratching is second nature to cats and is an essential part of everyday life. It serves a number of purposes that we as humans may not be aware of. Primarily, cats scratch to condition their claws. Scratching helps remove the outer sheath of the claw to expose the new sharper claw. In addition to this cats also scratch as a form of exercise, stress relief and as a way of marking out their territory.

Now you have a brief insight into why cats scratch, what can you do to make sure they don’t scratch your furniture? The simple solution is to get a scratching post or a similar scratching product. When choosing a scratching post make sure it is tall enough and strong enough for your cat to be able to stretch out and have a good scratch without it toppling over. This is where cat towers and climbers become very useful! If your cat has a particular liking for carpet or wallpaper then a scratch pad maybe the solution for you as they can be placed on the floor or securely attached to a wall.

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If you purchase a scratching post make sure you think carefully about where you put it. Keep the post in an area where your cat spends a lot of time as when they feel like a scratch they usually head for the nearest object. If they prefer to scratch a particular item of furniture or a certain area of wallpaper, then place the post in this area. It is advisable to buy multiple posts if your cat has several preferred scratching locations.
If your cat seems disinterested then try and encourage them to check it out by using catnip or by placing treats nearby.

Antifreeze

The arrival of winter brings a deadly threat for cats that many owners are unaware of; Antifreeze.

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol which if ingested can prove fatal if not treated immediately. The initial signs that your cat has ingested antifreeze include depression and lethargy. These can start to show 30 minutes after ingestion and can last for up to 6 hours. Following on from this they may experience vomiting, seizures, increased thirst and urination, oral and gastric ulcers before eventually suffering kidney failure. The latter can occur 2/3 days after initial ingestion so it is crucial that you seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible if you suspect that your cat has ingested antifreeze.

The sweetness of antifreeze appeals to cats so it is vital that all antifreeze is stored in secure containers well away from the cat. It is also prudent to regularly check your car for any leakages as even the smallest amount could be fatal.

 

The danger of household plants for cats

We recently received some upsetting news about a kitten that sadly died after chewing on a lily that was on display in the home. Whilst they are attractive flowers to have on show, it is imperative to remember that all parts of the lily are toxic to cats. A small nibble on a leaf or a lick of pollen can be enough to cause fatal kidney failure.

Although events like this cause a great deal of concern, it is important to note that such occurrences are rare as cats are generally pernickety about what they will eat. However, it is still strongly recommended that you take the necessary precautionary action and remove all hazardous plants from your household, particularly if you have a kitten or an indoor cat as they are most likely to come into contact with any indoor plants. It isn’t just lilies that are hazardous for cats; the International Cat Care website contains a comprehensive list of hazardous household plants. It is strongly advised that you read this list to check that your home is safe.

If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned you should contact your vet immediately. Signs to watch out for include; repeated vomiting, severe diarrhoea, signs of excessive irritation of the throat, skin or mouth, or if you cat suddenly collapses. If you see your cat eating something which you suspect is poisonous then take them to your vet immediately, ideally with as much information regarding the plant as possible (a label from the plant would be ideal).  DO NOT encourage the cat to vomit.

Keeping your cat safe during fireworks season

This time of year the night skies are usually lit up with fireworks and whilst they provide excellent entertainment for adults they can be distressing for your cats.

It is important that you take extra measures at this time of year to ensure your cat is safe and calm. It is strongly advised that you keep your cat safely indoors with all doors, cat flaps and windows locked and curtains closed. Make sure your cat has access to their bed, usual sleeping spot or hideaway, where they can retreat to and feel safe and comfortable. My cat usually sleeps on our bed but can often be found hidden underneath the bed at this time of year as she finds it more calming under there. So we make sure the area is free from clutter and easily accessible for her.

With your cat safely inside make sure they have access to a litter tray. Help to try and mask any loud bangs and noises from outside by turning the TV up or playing soothing music. Finally, make sure you stay calm and act normally. Cats who are distressed prefer to be left alone and not fussed over.

Five great ways to keep an elderly cat active

Just like people, cats begin to lose mobility and slow down the older they get. Generally speaking, senior cats will spend more time sleeping and less time outside hunting, and may begin to suffer from health problems and gain weight.

Encouraging gentle play at regular intervals throughout the day will help keep your cat happy, healthy and reduce the risk of age-related health conditions. Whilst taking into consideration your cat’s physical abilities, encouraging a more active lifestyle and promoting a healthy weight will keep your feline’s muscles, joints and reflexes in good shape.

1. Treat puzzles – hiding treats around the house is a great way for cats to enjoy the physical challenge of hunting and the mental stimulation of investigation. However, food games that are overly strenuous will cause frustration and increase the likelihood of injury. Avoid placing treats in difficult  areas, such as on top of high cupboards, as elderly cat’s may lack the flexibility to jump or climb.

2. Toys – Feathers, catnip mice and string can help to stimulate a cat’s natural hunting instincts. When playing with an senior cat, try to use gentle sweeping motions rather than irregular, vigorous movements that may cause strain or confusion. Larger toys are a good option for older cats, as they encourage the cat to sit or lie down and use its limbs to claw, effectively exercising stiff legs. Small cardboard boxes or paper bags can provide opportunities for exploration – as long as you make sure to remove any parts which may cause an accident, such as loose handles.

3. Cat furniture – furniture can help your cat stay active and satisfy the need to scratch and claw. Older cats are less likely to climb tall scratching posts, as jumping and climbing vertical surfaces can prove to be difficult and place strain on their legs. Horizontal scratching furniture is a great option for older cats as it allows for easy play and can provide important exercise for the limbs. Shallow steps and ramps with gradual inclines can also allow for easy access to your cat’s favourite look-out points.

4. Leashed outdoor walks – Many elderly cats will refrain from outdoor excursions and prefer to sleep inside for longer periods of time, making their joints stiff and their bodies less supple. As cats get older, they generally become more dependent on their owners and feel more threatened by the presence of other cats. Although it may seem unnecessary, taking your cat on a leashed walk around the garden will encourage safe, outdoor exploration.

5. Healthy eating patterns – Senior cats are prone to weight gain, which can put excessive strain on their limbs, increase laziness and put them at risk of developing serious health problems. If your cat is overweight, gradually reducing food portions and enforcing a diet can help tackle these problems and assist with weight management. We would always recommend that you consult your vet if your cat is experiencing any of these issues.  Specialist pet food supplements, such as those offered by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, can help provide your cat with the nutrition it needs and lead to a longer, more active life.

Fat Cat

5 Things Your Cat Should Do This Spring


1) Cut out the bad stuff

We’ve had a really wet winter, Christmas was filling and Easter is later than usual. Be aware that when your cat starts eating things it shouldn’t, it can be quite hard to wean them off it.  With Easter holidays just around the corner remember, cats shouldn’t eat any chocolate. Some studies suggest switching between dry and wet diets for the warmer months may also be helpful for your cats health.

Fat Cat
2) Have a Spring Clean

Like humans, a regular clean out of things your cat doesn’t need or are ruined should happen this time of the year. Your cats may have for example destroyed the litter box or worse, big pieces of furniture! Cluttered areas, lack of space or just anything inhibiting your cat from having a good run around, or general laze can cause a bit of feline stress. We love this cat shelving mixed with err hmm, facilities.

Bookcase
You wanted privacy…

3) It’s all about the relaxation

Cats cannot unfortunately laze in a hammock like a good human. We’ve checked videos on YouTube and definitely know that is the case. Cats will still sleep for 16 hours daily on average, even in the summer months. The right sleeping environment is crucial, so make sure they have the best bed possible. We’re not even going to sneak in a link, our duffle and radiator beds are 100% cat approved, and look stylish in any home.

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A little too relaxed

4) Play more!

Most cats do not exercise enough, simple. A study in 2012 showed that cats with owners were twice less likely to get enough than stray cats. But there is something that you the owner can do, and hopefully your willing cat can do about it… Play more often. Think of it this way, if something is active and fun, you’d do it more often, cats are no different. Fun little games, chasing mice or playing with springy toys is a great starting point.

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GOTCHA!

5) Pamper session required

Spring, its all about new beginnings, change, a chance to take a step forwards and be rejuvenated. A trip to a day spa is what most of us may decide to day, a cat cafe’ is what our feline friends can aspire to. Unless Starbucks changes its no pet policy however, the later may be harder for both cat and owner to achieve. The most important thing? Keep those claws clean and not too long, a scratch post can help achieve both and don’t require a trip to Japan for a cat friendly coffee.

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Do I look like a film star yet?

A Better Sleep Guide For Your Cat

Cat Sleeping
Image courtesy of Sleeping Polly by Marina_in_Wonderland on Flickr.

Cats, would you believe it, sleep a lot. You probably already knew that if you are a veteran cat owner, but to some, the amount of hours a cat sleeps during a day can startle even the most avid cat lover.

On average, a cat sleeps up to sixteen hours a day. Yes, sixteen. Put another way, in the average life span of a cat (fifteen years), a cat will sleep for ten of those years.

There are lots of reasons as to why cats sleep so much. These are mainly;

  • Genetics. Cats would spend a lot of time hunting a gathering prey using up all of their energy, so it is only natural that they sleep so much. Of course, in a home environment, there is no need to use up that energy, but the genetics remain the same.
  • Nature. Cats are very light sleepers, spending most of their lives in light sleep, once again caused by an evolutionary tale of being alert against larger predators.
  • Boredom. Cats, like humans can get very bored. Boredom in the animal kingdom can lead to prolonged hours of sleep. If you can keep your cat regularly exercised and entertained with toys and games, this will cut down the amount of hours a cat sleeps.
  • Diet. Have you noticed how much food they eat and what kind of food it is? Full of nutrients and protein from meats and fish, cats are the carnivore kings of the animal world. If they don’t have a balanced diet, this will lead to longer hours of cat sleep time.
  • Time of day. Cats are crepuscular which means that they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. They tend to lay low in the darker night-time and day-time hours, when other predators may be hanging about.

So what can you do to help your cat get the best possible sleep and ensure that they are getting enough exercise to fill their day?

  • Give them plenty of exercise. Unlike dogs, cats are a lot harder to walk, but activities which involve climbing, scratching, chasing items and general play will help keep their activity high levels high during the day.
  • Feed your cat before bed time. A warm meal isn’t only good for humans, but for your cat as well, it helps relax them and automatically helps their body clock adjust to sleep time.
  • Give them attention. A few minutes of gently stroking before bed time will help set them off for the evening.
  • Set a time. If humans have a regular bed time, so do cats. Keep a regular time for bed set, this will help your cat sleep through the night.
  • Set a good environment. Make sure that the room is quiet; that their cat bed is in a warm well ventilated area. Turn down the lights and cut out noises. Remember, your cat sleeps on average for sixteen hours a day, so if the environment isn’t distracting they will rest comfortably.
  • Give them a comfortable sleeping area. Cat’s seek the warmth, even in summer, so a comfortable and warm environment is ideal. Our Cleo Pet radiator and Duffle Beds are ideal solutions.

These are of course just some general sleep facts about a typical cat sleeping behaviour and should help with abnormal sleeping patterns or behaviours. If you notice any changes in their sleeping behaviour, whether it is more or less than they should be getting, then contact your local vet and get them in for a regular check up.