Tag Archives: cat guide

How to choose your cats name

Have you ever been stuck when it comes to giving something a name? Imagine that feeling then when it comes to giving your cat a name that it will be called for the rest of its life; it’s OK though, you’re not alone and we understand the trials and tribulations of giving your beloved new family member a name that everyone, including your cat, can enjoy.

Generally, pet owners wouldn’t give their animals the names that they would give themselves or their children. Recent surveys have shown that with pets around the house, they are given either nicknames or non traditional names that you could probably assume has come from a state of the art video game, but no so with cats. In the same surveys it has been shown that cats are lumbered with traditional names such as Felix, Misty and Sooty.

We at Cleo Pet have decided to help by sticking a few tips to give you some direction in giving your cat the name it deserves;

A popularity contest for cats

It is not only babies that have popular names, top ten lists and books dedicated to them. Cats have entire websites dedicated to the subject as well as popular e-books that can help you choose what name to give your cat.

Be inspired by them

If you carefully observe your cat, you will see that they have some character traits that lend themselves to a perfectly suited name. Think of how the seven dwarfs from the Disney cartoon were named; Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey and before you ask, yes, you can name your cat after any of these great characters.

Our top tip is that you want to be able to pick something out from their constant behaviour rather than a one off.

Pop culture
What we mean by pop culture is, what is popular today or has a place in our hearts that we can turn to and identify. For example, in 2013 thanks to the pastry, Cronut, the same name was the 18th most popular cat name in the states for that year. We don’t think any of the owners thought their cat resembled a flaky pastry mix between a donut and croissant but we’re pretty sure they like the name.

From film stars to the characters that they play, musical acts, artists, dancers or even comedians, these can all be inspirational when it comes to pop culture references in your cat’s name.

Don’t make it be a command

One of the things that vets and cat professionals ask you to avoid the most is giving your cat a name that is actually a command. Pets rely on ‘sounds like’ rather than ‘means’ when they try to understand what we are communicating.

Names like ‘Rum,’ ‘Puff,’ ‘Joe’ can end up sounding like ‘come,’ ‘off,’ or ‘no!’

Give your cat a name to be proud of

This is all about embarrassment factor, not so much for the cat but for you as well. You don’t want to be walking into the street shouting your cat’s name when it is an embarrassing name in the first place. You’ve probably heard some horror stories at the park with people giving their dogs a bad name, well it is the same thing here; ultimately, you want to give your cat a name that it can be proud of.

In case you were curious, here is a list of common cat names in 2016 that may be able to inspire you;

Female Male
Angel Toby
Mittens Mikesh
Charlie Oliver
Milkshake Leo
Oreo Milo
Lily Blade
Pepsi Harley
Amber Tigger

 

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.

Colorado
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.

What exactly is catnip?

If you are a cat owner, you know well enough the unique effect this particular product has on your animals. Catnip has proven to be an alluring, near irresistible attractor for cats, and yet pet owners often have no idea what this mysterious, potent concoction actually is! On an equally important note, the question must also be asked: why do cats enjoy catnip as much as they do? Here are a few interesting research notes which may be prove to be helpful in this investigation.

The first inquiries into the quasi-magical powers of catnip began with the Etruscans, who noticed that a particular weed, Nepeta Cataria, was capable of a number of surprising results, including the treatment of various skin ailments, colds and fevers. Soon enough, individuals began to notice that Nepeta Cataria also stimulated their domestic cats in a very unique fashion.

Nepeta Cataria, also known as catnip, can be found across southern and eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East, central Asia, and certain locations in China. Its relative abundance have allowed this product to be market across the world at large. On a fundamental level, the chief explanation as to why catnip serves as such a powerful stimulant for cats is due to the fact that the weed emits a strong scent that closely mirrors that of cat’s sex pheromones Because of this, cats who come across catnip are often completely overtaken by its presence. Pet owners who provide their cats with catnip should not be surprised if their pets suddenly seem overtly ‘physical’ with the item in question. Common behaviours including rubbing against the catnip-laden item or licking/chewing it. The effects of catnip often last for approximately 20 minutes. Therefore, catnip is often considered to have a ‘short-term’ effect on animals that have been exposed to it.

Although Nepeta Cataria is now commonly referred to as “Catnip”, at one time this weed was also labelled “Cat mint” due in large part to the fact that many individuals consider the smell of this plant a close match to mint.

Pet owners should take note, however, that catnip can be used in excess. Cats who have been exposed to excessive levels of catnip may appear confused, groggy or begin uncontrollably drooling. Although these effects are largely temporary, those who do notice these behaviours in their animals are advised to reduce the presence of catnip in their residence in order to ensure that their animals behaves normally in the future.

Catnip has not always been solely a luxury for animals. In fact, it was not uncommon for catnip to be incorporated into various condiments throughout European kitchens many years ago. Humans, too, enjoyed the unique aroma of this weed. Catnip has also been found to be a natural repellant against various common pests, including mosquitos, termites, fleas and cockroaches, among others.

Ultimately, catnip should be considered a fun diversion for your pets. There is little to no harm that this weed can cause your animals, and should therefore be used at the discretion of the pet owner. Those who may be tempted to worry that their cat has been overexposed to catnip can take comfort in the fact that no lasting health effects have been observed in animals that have been repeatedly exposed to catnip.

As an interesting side note, it is also worth mentioning that catnip is considering an excellent bee-foraging plant and is, therefore, often incorporated into public gardens and other large open spaces. With all of these ideas in mind, it seems reasonable to declare that the benefits of catnip far outweigh any critiques some may have of this naturally occurring “guilty pleasure” for cats. We hope your pets enjoy it!

Sleep, sleep and more sleep!

Cats sleep on average 16 hours a day!
Cats sleep on average 16 hours a day!

Cat owners will not be surprised to hear that cats enjoy a good sleep but did you realise that on average cats sleep a staggering 16 hours a day? That equates to spending two thirds of their lifetime asleep! The question is why do they sleep for so long?

One of the main reasons is to conserve energy. It is sometimes easy to forget that cats are essentially predators and therefore their natural instinct is to go out hunting. This usually takes place around dusk and dawn when their prey is likely to be most active. The hunting process requires a lot of energy, which explains why cats spend a lot of their day sleeping before coming alive at night.

It will also come as no surprise to hear that like us humans, cats do not appreciate cold or wet weather. For this reason, they may often retreat inside for a nap when adverse weather arrives.

On the whole cats are very sociable animals and appreciate company, so when this is not available, such as during the day when you’re at work, they often get bored and pass the time by having a snooze. Cats are also more likely to have a nap after a meal, after exercise or if they find a nice warm spot to curl up in, such as our laps!

As designers of cat beds we take great interest in where cats sleep. The truth is, cats very rarely stick to one sleeping spot, and wherever they choose it may not always be the lovely new bed that you have recently purchased for them!! They are often just as happy sleeping on the sofa, the radiator, your bed, your lap or even in a cardboard box!

 

Cat facts!

The world of cats is full of fascinating facts and here are just a few to amaze you!

Did you know……

  1. When cats grimace, they are usually “taste-scenting.” They have an extra organ that, with some breathing control, allows the cats to taste-sense the air.
  2. The world’s largest cat measured 48.5 inches long.
  3. A cat’s purr may be a form of self-healing, as it can be a sign of nervousness as well as contentment.
  4. The world’s richest cat is worth $13 million after his human passed away and left her fortune to him.
  5. Cats are often lactose intolerant.
  6. A cat’s brain is 90% similar to a human’s , which is more similar than to a dog’s.
  7. Cats have a longer-term memory than dogs, especially when they learn by actually doing rather than simply seeing.
  8. Cats have 1,000 times more data storage than an iPad.
  9. Cats only sweat through their foot pads.
  10. Cats have over 20 muscles that control their ears.

Can cats live without humans?

With the bond between cats and humans lasting through thousands of years, it is no wonder that our furry feline friends have become the most popular pet throughout Europe and the US. However, recent studies have shown that unlike dogs, cats do not actually need humans to feel safe or even to survive. Even domesticated cats which live with us from birth and have no experience in the wild feel very independent in life and can look after themselves without looking to their human companions for help.

Self-Reliance in Cats

Unlike dogs that are pack animals, studies have shown that cats do not pine for their owners or suffer from anxiety when left alone. Naturally living alone, cats are not used to depending on anyone else. A study by animal behaviour experts at the University of Lincoln shows that cats prefer to look after themselves and will feel safe and secure even when separated from their owner. This however does not mean that cats do not love their owners, as many have the freedom to leave whenever they want. The simple fact that they stay in your home at all is a choice because they want to, even though they are independent animals.

Cats have become the most popular pet mostly due to their independence. For people that work long hours or travel often, they are the ideal pet as they do not need constant care and attention. Cats do recognise their owners with feelings for them and a strong bond, but the studies have shown that cats do not need their owners to feel secure, unlike dogs that need their owners to feel safe. A cat will attach itself to a home and owners, but will not rely on them completely.

Behaviour with Humans

In other studies, animal behaviour specialists have concluded that cats react very differently with humans compared to the way dogs do. When playing or interacting with humans, dogs change their attitudes and behaviours compared to when they are playing with other dogs. Cats however, act very much the same. Although they know we are different, and certainly much larger, they do not act any different as they would when socialising with another cat. Examples of this are rubbing their bodies against us, keeping their tail in the air, kneading their feet and grooming next to us. This proves that cats do not see us particularly dissimilar to other cats. Even in a wild environment cats do not look to others for help or protection, they are generally lone animals, so humans are therefore no different.

When feeling anxious, a cat will find a safer place such as under the bed or on top of a tree to hide, rather than looking for their owner for protection. There is no dependence on the owner so cats just feel like they need to look out for themselves. Stray cats all over the world live in a range of environments and manage to live just fine. The domesticated cats of today could still have this freedom if they wanted it, but they prefer to stay in a comfortable, happy home as they have a bond with their owner and life is much easier in a warm, safe place with constant food and cuddles.

If it came down to the question of whether cats actually need their owners to survive, the answer would most probably be no. Cats have before and do now, live without humans. Even the most spoiled felines could still live without us. They have much stronger souls than dogs and can carry on living life alone or alongside humans. Obviously life with humans is much easier and more enjoyable for them, but if they had to survive without us they could. Cats do not need stroking all day, bowls of milk, constant food and brushing; it is just a luxury that they have become accustomed to. In reality, who would say no to that.

What are the struggles that cat owners face?

Cats are wonderful pets however they are known for making their owners life difficult at times!

One of the many things that cat owners often struggle with is not being able to find the cat in the house because it has found another hidden spot to sleep at. This is actually from personal experience, as I can recall having to search for the cat for over half an hour after realising it has found its way inside a cupboard shelf and was sleeping between a two layers of clothes!

Another feature of cats is their attraction to small objects. They tend to find pieces of paper, screws, decorations, rubbers and other suitable-sized items which they like carrying around the house and sometimes stopping to play with it a bit, leaving a range of unwanted things lying around the house.

Then there is the well-being of your sofa….. You can buy various accessories for the cat to scratch, but it will completely ignore those and go for the precious furniture and clothes to ruin. This leads to the idea that cats basically love replacing the things that are theirs with those they are banned from. Slightly human-like to say the least.

And that’s not all. A cat is one of the hardest animals to give water to. You can buy loads of expensive bowls for the cat to drink from, but it will completely ignore those and drink from places like taps, aquariums, dog bowls, vases and the toilet of course.

If you own a cat you soon begin to realise that it is not the owner who tells the cat what to do, but it is the cat that gets in charge. You can sit at your desk doing some work, but if your cat gets bored of it, it might even decide to take a nap on the book or laptop in front of you. Plastic bags are basically adored by cats in any shape and form. They play inside them, poke them around, get stuck in the handle and of course make beloved holes on them with their claws.

Beyond all these lovely features of cats, they are very sweet animals that make our lives better and eventually we realise that all these irritating habits are actually cute and acceptable. At the end of the day life wouldn’t be the same without a cat!

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.