Everything You Need To Know About Travelling With Your Cat
At some point in your cat ownership you are going to be made to travel in your vehicle with your feline friend. I know it is a dreadful thought and many pet owners fear this occasion. There are steps to take and tips for a safer more friendly riding experience with your cat. This way everyone is happy who is involved.
Car travel and your cat
Cats become very disoriented when they are I cars and many can get nauseated and start vomiting. Most will make a beeline for a safe place and that is usually under the seat or under your feet by the pedals. If you let you kitty free roam while driving you must be sure to place pillows or other barriers in the way of unsafe areas.
Your cat will try to most likely hide under a seat or cry out a lot. It is important to know that if you do leave your cat to have free roam of the vehicle make sure they do not interfere with the driver seat, pedals, or driver in anyway. Place pillows blocking underneath the seats and around the driver area otherwise they may want to hide under the seat giving them access to the driver area.
A cat carrier or kennel is the best bet for keeping everyone safe and secure. Since you cant place a seat belt on your cat put them in a safe carrier instead.
For longer trips allover country you will need to plan ahead a few weeks before your trip take your cat on frequent car drives to get them used to the feeling of constant movement. Also look into pet-friendly hotels along the way.
Most importantly, be mindful of where your kitty is at all times. This is especially the case if you let her roam the car. Exiting and entering the car are the two most dangerous times.
Cats can get very stressed and an open door is a clear invitation. Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than a cat that bolts and gets lost. Secure kitty in her crate or kennel before opening any doors.
Hotels and your cat
Cat-friendly hotel rooms are not easy to find. If you’ve ever traveled with your pet, you know that planning hotel stays in advance is a must. Pet-friendly hotels don’t always have their pet-friendly rooms available. Most importantly, did you know that not all “pet-friendly” hotels accept cats? Be prepared for some hefty fees for the convenience of bringing your kitties along. Start planning well in advance and call all the hotels you will be staying at to double check.
Your cats will hide in your hotel room. When you do find that cat-friendly hotel, do a sweep and block all entrances to places you can’t reach, like behind or under the bed —before you let your cat loose in the room. And don’t underestimate your cat and where he can shimmy. I am always surprised by the small spaces my cats can squeeze themselves in to. It will be much more stressful to pull them crying and mewling out from under the bed in the morning, than to make sure those nooks and cranny’s are blocked up beforehand.
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Meow for now… Kristian
What You Need To Know To Teach Your Cat To Use The Toilet
Did you know that your cat can actually use the toilet? If you thought it was a daunting task to train a cat on how to use the toilet, begin thinking otherwise. All it takes is patience and a baby step approach towards perfection. Before you begin the toilet training, however, always remember that the whole lesson is a gradual process, so don’t rush!
Naturally, your cat should have the conventional litter box. Begin by changing the position of the litter box. This involves moving the litter box slowly towards the toilet. Once placed next to the toilet, ensure the position of the litter box is comfortable and strategic for the cat.
The next stage involves elevating the height of the litter box. Again, this will have to be gradual. Place something under the litter box, being careful not to raise the litter box suddenly high. A pace of about 5 cm in the rise each day would be reasonable. Pay keen attention to any possible indication that the cat may not be comfortable with the new height. The ultimate aim is to attain the level of the toilet seat.
During the litter box movement process, always leave the toilet lid open and the toilet seat down. You will soon notice that the cat will quite often, develop the habit of climbing the toilet seat to reach the litter box.
Finally, let the cat’s litter box stay on top of the open toilet seat and keep the litter box stationary until the cat is comfortable with the new position. This is a very critical point, and therefore, needs to be handled carefully. This is the time to find a tray or metal bowl having small holes for litter drainage, and fixing it carefully inside the toilet bowl. Amazingly, the cat being a wise pet, may not use the metal bowl until you fill it with some litter. You can now remove the old litter box.
In order to use the metal bowl perfectly, your pet should squat on all four paws. Take keen observation while the cat uses the metal bowl. Your presence may be very important here. Quite often, you will physically move the cat to help in position adjustment. Your cat is your long time friend and will not fear using the bowl in your presence. Compliments and rewards may also be quite motivating if your friend does the act correctly.
For hygienic purposes, clean the bowl as frequent as possible. This will help eliminate foul smell inside the toilet. The cat will also be more comfortable using a clean, non-stinking bowl. A flushable cat litter makes the work easier as you only dump its contents in the toilet, flush the toilet, rinse the bowl and replace the cat litter.
Gradually, begin filling the metal bowl with water instead of the cat litter. Take note of any slight change in the cat’s behavior and adjust in favor of the cat. As soon as a point is reached when the cat comfortably uses the metal bowl even when it contains a considerable amount of water, this is the perfect time to remove the metal bowl completely. Your cat has successfully passed the toilet training test with flying colors.
Pros of the cat toilet training
It eliminates the much involving task of cleaning the litter box. All you do is simply flush the toilet after the cat’s use.
It saves on the cost of having to buy the cat’s litter box.
Hygiene improves and bad smells from the litter box are eliminated.
Mess in other parts of the house are eliminated because your cat doesn’t carry kitty litter into other parts of the house.
Cons of the cat toilet training
Monitoring of the cat’s urine and waste for possible signs of infection may be difficult.
Some cats may be less adaptable to the frequent changing of the position of the litter box during training.
The toilet seat being slippery exposes the cat to the deadly risk of sliding into the toilet as a result of anxiety.
The unnatural act of subjecting the cat to the toilet use may go against the cat’s natural instincts of self-relief.
Hard to do if you have multiple cats as they may take different amounts of time to get used to the different stages.
The key to a successful cat toilet training is patience. Some cats are fast learners while others are slow learners. The key to a successful cat toilet use is to make the toilet as easy as possible for the cat to use. Always leave the door open and the toilet lid up. Flush the toilet regularly to keep it clean and inform any visitor about the cat’s use of the toilet.
Have you had any experience with teaching your cat how to use the toilet? Let us know in the comments.
Meow for now… Kristian Taylor
How To Make A Cute Hat For Your Cat For St Patrick’s Day
Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.
Cat’s like to party as much as the next person and would love to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with you. If you want your cat to get into the spirit of the holiday it is easy to make him (or her) a simple and green hat. They will fit right in and love the festivity.
This how-to guide takes you through the easy steps to make this beautiful paper hat which your cat will love.
Now, let me de-bunk one of the most prolific myths associated with St Patrick’s Day. The colour green.
Has green always been historically been associated with St. Patrick’s Day?
The Irish countryside may be many shades of green, but knights in the Order of St. Patrick wore a color known as St. Patrick’s blue. Why did green become so emblematic of St. Patrick that people began drinking green beer, wearing green and, of course, dyeing the Chicago River green to mark the holiday he inspired? The association probably dates back to the 18th century, when supporters of Irish independence used the color to represent their cause.
Sign up to our newsletter to get more fun and crafty ideas straight to your inbox. To let you in on a secret we have a super special Easter hat coming up next week.
If you like this, check out some of our other DIYs like the cat tent.
Take a photo of your cat DIY hat and leave us a photo in the comments. We want to see and hear how your fancy cat hat’s turned out.
Meow for now… Kristian
10 Most Googled Cat Questions Answered
It is a feature of modern life: whenever we do not know the answer to a question, we just Google it! And this is certainly true of cat lovers too. The internet is a place for pet owners to connect with each other and also to get advice and ideas about how to best look after our cats and keep them amused.
Do you know what the 10 most Googled cat questions are? Well, you are about to find out! We have also gone one further and provided answers to these questions. So, if you want to see the 10 most Googled cat questions answered, read on:
1. Do cats dream?
Of course, we cannot simply ask our kitties whether they dreamed about anything this afternoon, but recent scientific studies into brain imaging during sleep have suggested that, yes, all mammals do dream. Even before these studies, cat owners had always guessed that their beloved pets were dreaming when they saw their paws twitching and moving during sleep. Precisely what cats dream about still remains something of a mystery, though scientists (and pet owners) have had a good guess at this too, suggesting toys and food as two common feline dream topics!
2. Should cats eat grass?
Some cat owners get worried when they see their cats chewing grass out back and then vomiting. But fear not: eating grass is actually helpful for cats as it helps them to cleanse their gut of hairballs (which could cause serious irritation). The quickest way to do this is to eat some grass (which cats can’t digest) and then to throw up. It sounds gross, but this actually is a very useful way for cats to keep their guts free of irritation.
3. Ought cats to drink milk?
Kitsch Christmas cards are so often plastered with cutesy images of cats lapping at saucers of milk. But, is it actually good for them? There is no hard and fast rule here: like humans, some kitties will be lactose intolerant whilst others can drink milk till the cows come home (pun intended!). What we do know, though, is that after kittens are weaned, the amount of the enzyme that digests lactose that is in their gut starts to decrease. As a result, many adult cats find milk more and more difficult to digest and can end up with a sore stomach.
Basically, the best advice here is to play things by ear and see if your cat can enjoy mill without feeling a little queasy afterwards. Or, you could just cut to the chase and feed your kitty only pure water or specialty cat milk (without the lactose) from the pet store.
4. Do cats see in colour?
Cats are probably trichromats: i.e. they can see red, green and blue. Humans are also trichromats, but they probably see these colors a little differently to cats. Rest assured, though, that if you want to get your kitty a colorful cat toy, the effort won’t be wasted!
5. How did cats become pets?
Cats were probably first domesticated (kept as pets within the home) in Egypt around 4, 000 years ago. Did you know that, though there are various breeds of domestic cat, all domestic cats belong to the same species: felis catus.
6. How did cats take over the internet?
This has to be the best commonly-Googled cat question. What could the answer be? Super-intelligence or super-cuteness? We’ll opt for a mixture of both.
7. Can cats eat dog food?
In the very short term (i.e. for one meal when you realize the store is shut and you have nothing else but dog food to give your kitty), it is okay for cats to eat dog food. In the long term, though, it is definitely not ok for cats to eat dog food because cats and dogs have significantly different nutritional need. Cats need added taurine (an amino acid) in their diet, for instance, otherwise they will suffer from heart failure whilst dogs do not as canine bodies can make their own taurine.
8. How long do feline pregnancies last?
On average 64-67 days. Also, cats can be pregnant multiple times during kitten season. If you are interested in more information about kitten season check out our post on the topic here.
9. Why do cats purr?
Purring can signal a variety of things: friendly intentions towards another cat, or simply ‘I love this!’ when you are petting them. Purring is a positive sign in cats.
10. Why do cats hiss?
Usually, cats will hiss at humans or other animals in warning. Usually, a hiss means ‘don’t push me, or I’ll attack!’
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Meow for now… Kristian
What Makes Your Cat Scratch And How You Can Stop It
No-one likes a cat scratch. Even the most gentle and devoted cat owners have been treated to a swipe from a pair of claws during what they thought was a cozy petting session with their kitty. And if they are not sharpening their claws on your bare arm, felines are well known to practice their claw sharpening skills on the legs of your favorite furniture or the upholstery of your hitherto pretty nice looking sofa.
Learning why cats scratch is an essential step towards controlling this behavior. So here, I will explain why do cats scratch? and what can you do about it?
Why do cats scratch each other and humans?
Cats will lash out if they feel anxious or afraid. If your cat is scratching you then this is because they felt intimidated and so reacted with a common defense mechanism. Always make sure to approach your cat with a soft and gentle tone of voice and slow, gentle movements. Treat your kitty with respect and gentleness and they will treat you the same!
This is the same when new cats are introduced to the house. If your cats feel threatened, they will hiss and scratch at the intruder/new cat.
Why do cats scratch your furniture?
Scratching wooden furniture and upholstery is part of a normal feline instinct. Cats will scratch furniture and other items around the home for two key reasons. Firstly, because scratching helps to wear down their claws, sloughing off the older outer layer of the claw and preventing them from getting too long. Think of it as exfoliating or filing your nails!
Secondly, cats will scratch furniture as a way of marking their territory. Cats have tiny scent glands in their paws. When their paws are pressed against a surface, they release scent onto that surface, thus marking out the cat’s territory. Scratching is the perfect way to leave a visible, tangible mark of the cat’s presence (a lovely deep score mark right down the side of your beloved apothecary table) and an odor marker as well.
What can I do about cat scratching?
To stop your cats from scratching your furniture, whilst also enabling them to wear down their claws naturally, you simply need to provide them with a more attractive surface to scratch against. You can buy plenty of different cat scratching poles or other scratchable surfaces in pet stores. If your cat is really having trouble switching from the furniture to the designated scratching pole, try rubbing a little catnip onto the surface of the pole to entice them.
A note on kitten scratches.
Kittens tend to scratch more than adult cats. This is not usually because kittens are little bundles of malice out to get you but rather because they are over excited babies who have not yet learned to control their claws. Kittens can carry various types of bacteria that can cause stomach upsets or flu like symptoms in humans: the bartonella virus is one example of this. Though kittens claws are too little to do much serious damage to your furniture, they can still cause damage to human skin! So, wear long sleeves and if your kitten scratches you, make sure to wash the affected area carefully with antibacterial soap.
Meow for now… Kristian