Monday 4 December 2023

Blood Brothers

SMUDGE (pictured above), a 15-year-old cat, came within a whisker of losing her life when she was taken ill after an adverse reaction to medication for an over-active thyroid.

Robin and Maureen Sable, who live in Winnersh in the UK, had taken Smudge to a cattery as they were due to set off for a holiday in Belgium. They were just about to leave when they got a call from the cattery to say Smudge was very poorly after a bad reaction to her thyroid medication.

She urgently needed a blood transfusion but has a rare blood group. Cats have either Type A or Type B blood types but most are Type A so it’s difficult to find the right donor. The vets contacted the local cats protection league to try to find another cat with the same blood group - and Dinah (above), aged 10, who is owned by Jamie Wildish, came to the rescue.

Smudge recovered well but Robin and Maureen had to postpone their holiday - not that they minded as they say Smudge, who they have had since she was seven weeks old, is just one of the family.

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Wednesday 22 November 2023

Decoding Your Cat

Cats are enigmatic creatures who have a language all their own. From the subtle flick of a tail to the deliberate slow blink, these feline behaviours are fascinating and understanding and interpreting these signals can deepen the bond between you and your furry friend.

The slow blink (picture above) is an intriguing aspect of cat communication. When your cat looks at you and deliberately closes its eyes, it's a sign of trust and affection. Returning the gesture can strengthen the bond between you two, creating a silent language of love.

One of the most expressive features of a cat is its whiskers. Far from being just decorative, a cat's whiskers are a sophisticated communication tool. These sensitive hairs, deeply embedded in a cat's body, serve as a radar system, helping them navigate their surroundings with precision. If your cat's whiskers are pulled back, it might indicate fear or aggression, while forward-facing whiskers signal curiosity or excitement.

Scratching, often viewed as a destructive behaviour, is, in fact, a natural instinct for cats. It serves several purposes, including marking territory and maintaining healthy claws. Providing appropriate scratching posts can redirect this behaviour and save your furniture from becoming a casualty of your cat's instincts.

If your cat is happy and relaxed with you, they might roll onto their back and show you their tummy. This is a sign of greeting and trust – not an invitation for belly rubs! To save your hand from the swipe of sharp claws, it’s best to give them a gentle head rub instead

In the world of cat ownership, decoding these behaviours is like unlocking a secret code to your feline companion's emotions and needs. The more we understand and appreciate the subtle cues our cats give us, the richer our relationships with them become. So, next time your cat exhibits a "peculiar "behaviour, remember, it might just be their way of saying, "I love you" or "I need some space."

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Thursday 16 November 2023

Cats Take Over The World

Cats are taking over the world. This will come as no surprise to cat owners who already have their little corner of the world completely annexed by a feline despot.

Others may think I'm exaggerating. How can a such a small bundle of fur rule big people with an iron fist? Let me present the proof.

They are all Ninjas, that is they display stealth and prowess in combat to get their own way.

They possess all manner of superpowers

including superhuman, sorry I mean, superfeline strength

and the ability to time travel.

They are masters of disguise (look carefully!). 

They are all-seeing 

and all-knowing. They WILL judge you if they think you are lacking.

They are ruthless.

But most of all, they have humans wrapped around their little fingers (or paws).

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Tuesday 17 October 2023

Elmo The Horticulturalist

Meet Elmo, a cool cat who's definitely into flower power.

Lots of cats bring presents to their owners - mice, birds, maybe even a baby rabbit. But Elmo, who was adopted from a shelter in San Jose, has given up little creatures for more inanimate objects. He progressed from mice to gloves... yes, gloves! His first trophy was a gardening glove and then he started bringing home latex gloves from a nearby medical centre.

His owner, Laurel Beecher, said one day they woke to magnolia blossom petals strewn throughout the living room. "We praised him enormously," she said. "He brought more. We praised him more. Gradually, there were fewer gloves and mice, and more and more plant pieces. This year, he has decided the offerings should be fresh tips of young branches of any available trees.

"We praise him profusely and place the most beautiful ones on the place mat next to his food dish."
He's such a proud cat that he sometimes wakes his owners up in the middle of the night to show them his latest trophy.

Elmo was adopted from a shelter, is a real character. He doesn't even mind when the children of the family pose him in sunglasses!

He's certainly proud of his prize catches.

"He likes best to leave them in our path somewhere," Laurel said, usually "the living room right on the main thoroughfare. But occasionally some make it to the floor of the bedroom. The majority of them never make it into the house.

"A lot seem to end up right by the cat door from the garage to the family room. I think it's hard to get them through the door. I threw out a pile of about 10-inch branch tips in various states of drying last weekend from there. He also loses some at the outside cat door.

"I wish we could get a camera mounted on his head to figure out how he does all of this."

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Monday 9 October 2023

Purring Is Not Always Purrfect

For cat lovers purring is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. Who doesn't love a cuddle with a beloved pet who is purring contentedly? 

But a purring cat is not necessarily a happy cat. Most owners know that cats also purr when they are in pain. Now "inappropriate purring" has also been identified. The cat is not contented but is trying to relax itself in times of distress. 

According to Pets4Homes, inappropriate purring can confuse pet owners who are wondering why their cats are ‘singing’ during an examination by a vet or when they have a protective cone over their head. 

A female cat may purr while giving birth to a litter of kittens but this isn’t to identify that she is relaxed or content, it’s to keep herself and her kittens calm and is a unique self protective mechanism. The purring helps the cat to block out outside sounds so all they hear is their own sound as a vibration through their bodies as well as aurally. 

This is why cats may purr when there are outside stimulus such as loud fireworks. Cats will also soothe themselves when they are ill or very old by purring. 

However, it is important to remember that inappropriate purring is pretty uncommon and there will more than likely be other signs and symptoms that something is amiss too as well as just the sound that the cat is making. 

Cats will purr to show you affection far more often than they will purr to say something is wrong so while the extra knowledge and vigilance is necessary, don’t let it take away any of the comfort your pet’s purr brings to you both. 

If you suspect there is more to your cat's purring than contentment, a trip to the vet may be in order.

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Monday 25 September 2023

The Ultimate Guide for First-Time Cat Owner

Bringing a new feline friend into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience. Cats are known for their independence, playfulness, and affection, making them wonderful companions. However, being a first-time cat owner can be both thrilling and challenging. To ensure you and your new furry friend have a purr-fect start, here's a comprehensive guide for first-time cat owners.

Choosing the Right Cat

Before you bring home your new feline friend, consider your lifestyle and living situation. Cats come in various breeds, each with its own unique characteristics. Decide whether you want a kitten or an adult cat, as each age group has its own needs and energy levels. Shelters and rescue organisations are excellent places to find your new companion.

Prepare Your Home

Make your home cat-friendly by cat-proofing it. Remove potential hazards, such as toxic plants, chemicals, and small objects that your cat could swallow. Invest in essential supplies like a litter box, cat food, water bowls, scratching posts, and toys.

Feeding Your Cat

Research the best diet for your cat's age, size, and health. High-quality commercial cat food is generally recommended, but it's essential to follow feeding guidelines to prevent obesity. Fresh water should always be available.


Regular vet visits are crucial to keeping your cat healthy. Vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and preventive care are essential for their well-being. Be sure to discuss flea and tick control with your vet as well.

Litter Box Training

Most cats instinctively use a litter box, but they may need some guidance initially. Place the litter box in a quiet, accessible location, and keep it clean. If you have multiple cats, provide one litter box per cat plus an extra.


Cats are generally good at grooming themselves, but regular brushing helps reduce shedding and prevent matting. Long-haired breeds may require more frequent grooming.

Play and Exercise

Cats are playful creatures, and they need mental and physical stimulation. Invest in toys like feather wands, laser pointers, and interactive puzzles to keep them engaged and active.

Scratching Behaviour

Cats scratch to mark their territory and keep their claws healthy. Provide scratching posts or pads to satisfy this natural behaviour and save your furniture from damage.

Socialisation and Bonding

Spend quality time with your cat to build a strong bond. Petting, playing, and talking to your cat can create a deep connection and help you understand their unique personality.

Understanding Cat Behaviour

Cats have their own ways of communicating, and it's essential to understand their body language and vocalizations. This knowledge will help you respond appropriately to their needs and emotions.

Patience and Adaptability

Every cat is unique, and it may take time for your new companion to adjust to their new home. Be patient, and allow them the space they need to feel comfortable.

Emergency Preparedness

Familiarize yourself with common cat emergencies, such as choking or poisoning, and know the location of the nearest emergency vet clinic.


Being a first-time cat owner is a rewarding experience, but it comes with responsibilities. By preparing your home, understanding your cat's needs, and providing love and care, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your new feline friend. Welcome to the world of cat ownership, where cuddles, purrs, and unforgettable moments await!

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Tuesday 19 September 2023

How To Trap A Cat!

Forget all these complicated traps, there's a much easier way!

Just a bit of fun today! How to trap a cat...

We all know cats love cardboard boxes, but it seems circles hold just as much appeal. This was on the website recently. Have you tried it?

It seems to work and one explanation is that cats seek safety - that's why they love small, secure spaces - and they see a circle as a place of security.

First, bait the trap.

Second, wait for the target to approach.

Three, bingo! The beast is captured in his lair.

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Monday 11 September 2023

Cat Whiskers: What Every Cat Owner Should Know

Cats are truly magical creatures, and one of the most fascinating aspects of their physiology is their whiskers. These long, sensitive hairs, known as vibrissae, play a crucial role in a cat's life and well-being.

First and foremost, whiskers are sensory tools that help cats navigate their environment. They are incredibly sensitive to touch, allowing cats to detect even the slightest changes in their surroundings. This sensory superpower aids in hunting, as whiskers can sense the movement of prey, even in complete darkness.

Whiskers also provide valuable information about a cat's mood and health. When a cat is content and relaxed, its whiskers are typically in a neutral position. However, when they're feeling threatened or excited, whiskers may become fully extended, alerting you to their emotional state.

As a responsible cat owner, it's crucial to respect your feline friend's whiskers. Avoid trimming or plucking them, as this can cause discomfort and disorientation. Additionally, be mindful of narrow spaces, as a cat's whiskers can help them gauge whether they can fit through an opening.

In conclusion, cat whiskers are a testament to the beauty and complexity of our feline companions. Understanding and respecting the role of whiskers in your cat's life can lead to a deeper bond and a happier, healthier kitty. So, next time you gaze into your cat's eyes, take a moment to appreciate the enchanting world of their whiskers.

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