Tag Archives: Choosing a cat

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.

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!

Choosing the ‘purrrrfect’ cat for you

In my last blog post I gave an insight into what cat ownership entails. Here are some tips and advice, which will hopefully help in deciding on the right cat for you.

The main points that need consideration when making your choice are :-

  • How much time will I be able to dedicate to looking after my cat?
  • How will young children in the home interact with the cat?
  • What type of house and location do I live in?
  • What will the monthly cost of cat ownership be?

All these will need to be answered in order for you to ascertain the type of cat best suited to you.

Lifestyle

If you work during the day and also have a busy social life then you might think about an adult cat. They generally require less attention and human interaction and are able to play and explore by themselves. In these circumstances you may wish to consider having two cats as they will provide companionship for each other.

If you have a little more free time then having a kitten can be very rewarding. They provide hours of entertainment and following their progress into adulthood is fun. Kittens do require a little more attention than adult cats, and they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. Kittens require more feeding during their first year as this is when they are growing. They will eat at least four meals a day.

Long or Short Hair Cats?

Long-haired cats require grooming every day otherwise their fur can become matted which can cause distress. If left, this may result in a trip to the vet to get them trimmed. Short- haired cats still need grooming with a brush or comb but not as much as long-haired breeds. Some cats groom themselves excessively, and as cat fur is not digestible it can become a fur ball in their stomach which can lead to vomiting. All cats should be groomed regularly as this helps them to shed their coat and can help to prevent problems with fur balls.

Children

If you have children selecting the age of cat you choose is very important. If there are toddlers and pre-schoolers in the house I would recommend an older cat as they tend to be more settled and more tolerant of rough handling than a kitten. Older children are generally more gentle and nurturing. A less manic home will be less stressful so a kitten could also be considered.

Living conditions

When choosing a cat please consider the surroundings your cat will have to live in. If you live in a flat or alongside a busy road then you an indoor cat may be more suitable.  If you choose an indoor cat then be aware that your cat will need to be entertained more than a cat that has outdoor access. Therefore make sure your cat has plenty of space to run and jump about and plenty of toys, scratching posts and climbers to stimulate them. Many rehoming centres will have some cats that need indoor homes, due to age, illness or disability.

Costs

As stated in my previous blog it is important to realise that owning a cat does incur some expense. Besides the costs I mentioned in my first blog post you know that indoor cats will always need a litter tray and cat litter as well as a supply of toys and scratch posts to entertain them. By comparison, outdoor cats are more likely to require visits to the vet as they are more susceptible to the dangers that the outdoors provide from infection or fast moving vehicles.