Tuesday 15 August 2023

How To Care For Your Elderly Cat

Elderly cats may need more frequent veterinary check-ups, as they are more prone to developing health problems such as kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis, dental issues, and cognitive dysfunction.

You could consider a special diet that is tailored to their nutritional needs and preferences with more protein, water, and calories, and fewer carbohydrates and fat. They may also need supplements or medications to support their organ function and joint health.

Many elderly cats benefit from having an indoor litter tray, even if they normally go outside, as they may feel more vulnerable or have difficulty accessing their usual spots. The litter tray should be easy to enter and exit, and cleaned regularly.

An older cat may appreciate a warm and comfortable bed that is away from draughts and noise. They may also need extra bedding or heating pads to keep them cosy.

They may appreciate more mental stimulation and social interaction to keep them happy and alert and will enjoy playing with new toys. You could hide treats around the house for them to find. They often love having gentle grooming sessions.

They could exhibit changes in their behaviour and personality as they age and become more or less affectionate, vocal, or active. They may also develop signs of confusion, anxiety, or depression. 

These changes may be normal or indicate an underlying problem, so it is important to consult your vet if you notice any unusual or concerning symptoms.

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Wednesday 9 August 2023

Tommy Dials 911

Tommy calls for help.

Cats are known for being independent and aloof, but sometimes they can also be loyal and heroic. That’s the case of Tommy, a four-year-old orange tabby who saved his owner’s life by dialing 911 (the US emergency number).

Tommy’s owner, Gary Rosheisen, suffers from osteoporosis and mini-strokes that can make him fall out of his wheelchair. He lives alone in his apartment in Columbus, Ohio, and he has trained Tommy to press a speed-dial button on his phone that calls 911 in case of an emergency1.

Rosheisen had a seizure and fell off his wheelchair. He couldn’t reach the phone or the medical alert necklace that he wears around his neck. He was lying on the floor, helpless and in pain, when he heard Tommy meowing and scratching the phone2.

Tommy managed to hit the right button and call 911. The operator heard nothing but a cat meowing, so he sent a police officer to check on the address. The officer arrived at Rosheisen’s apartment and found the door locked. He heard a man calling for help inside, so he kicked down the door and found Rosheisen on the floor with Tommy by his side.

Rosheisen was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. He said he was grateful to Tommy for saving his life and called him his “best friend”. He also said he was amazed by Tommy’s intelligence.

Tommy is not the first cat to dial 911. Another cat named Leona did the same thing for her owner, who had fallen out of her bed and couldn’t get up. These stories show that cats are not only cute and cuddly, but also smart and caring. They can be true heroes when their owners need them most.

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Monday 7 August 2023

The Cat Who Fell From 19 Floors

Lucky Sugar

You may have heard of the saying that cats have nine lives, but have you ever heard of the cat who survived a 200ft fall from 19 floors? 

Sugar miraculously lived after plunging from the window of her owner’s apartment in Boston, USA. Brittany Kirk left her apartment to run some errands. She had left the window open, thinking that Sugar would enjoy the fresh air but didn't realise she would jump onto the windowsill

Sugar lost her balance and fell from the window. She plummeted about 200 feet, to the ground. She landed on a small patch of mulch, surrounded by concrete and bricks. She was spotted by a woman who was walking her dog nearby. The woman called the animal rescue service.

Amazingly, Sugar only suffered minor injuries from the fall. She had a small cut on her chest, and some bruising on her lungs. She had no broken bones, no internal bleeding, and no brain damage. She was treated with painkillers and antibiotics, and was able to go home the next day.

How did Sugar survive such a high fall? According to veterinarians, cats have a natural ability to survive falls from great heights. They have a flexible spine that allows them to twist their body in mid-air and land on their feet. They also have a low body weight and a large surface area relative to their mass, which reduces the impact force. And they have a strong survival instinct that helps them relax and brace for impact.

Brittany says that she is very grateful that Sugar is alive, and that she will never leave the window open again. 

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Monday 31 July 2023

How To Keep Your Cat Happy And Healthy

Cats are wonderful companions, but they also need some special care and attention to stay happy and healthy. Here are some tips on how to keep your cat purring and playful.

Provide a stimulating environment

Cats are curious and intelligent animals, so they need some stimulation to prevent boredom and stress. You can provide your cat with toys, scratching posts, hiding places, windows, and interactive games. You can also rotate the toys and change the environment occasionally to keep things interesting.

Feed a balanced diet

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to survive and thrive. You should feed your cat a high-quality, complete and balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. You can choose from wet, dry, or raw food, or a combination of them. You should also provide fresh water at all times and avoid giving your cat human food or treats that can be harmful or toxic.

Groom your cat regularly

Cats are very clean animals, but they still need some help with grooming. You should brush your cat’s fur at least once a week to remove loose hair, dirt, and mats. This will also help prevent hairballs and improve your cat’s skin and coat health. You should also trim your cat’s nails every few weeks to prevent them from growing too long and causing problems. You can also check your cat’s ears, eyes, teeth, and paws for any signs of infection or injury.

Visit the vet regularly

Cats are good at hiding their pain and illness, so you may not notice if something is wrong with them. That’s why you should take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations. This will help detect any health issues early and prevent them from getting worse. You should also spay or neuter your cat to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Give your cat love and attention

Cats are social animals, so they need some love and attention from their humans. You should spend some time with your cat every day, playing, cuddling, or talking to them. You should also respect your cat’s personality and preferences, and let them decide when they want to interact with you. You should never force your cat to do something they don’t like or punish them for their natural behaviours.

By following these tips, you can keep your cat happy and healthy for many years to come. Remember that every cat is unique, so you should always consult your vet if you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s well-being.

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Tuesday 2 May 2023

How To Stop Your Cat Scratching Walls and Furniture

IT can be one of your cat’s most annoying habits – scratching the furniture and walls.

You may feel like tearing your hair out and getting cross with kitty, but there are things you can do to solve the problem.

First, you need to know why your cat scratches. They need to remove old layers of claws; they may be leaving a message that this is their territory; or it could be an attention-seeking action.

When they scratch they leave a scent behind from the scent glands on their paws so they will revisit the scratched area regularly to renew the smell.

So how do we deal with the problem?

Don’t punish your cat. They won’t understand and won’t link the punishment with the crime.

1 One effective way is to get your cat a scratching post. Make sure it’s not so light that it will tumble over when kitty scratches. It must be tall enough too; cats like to s-t-r-e-t-c-h! If they don’t immediately take to the post, try spreading some catnip on it or hang a few toys on it. Cats like stripes so drawing some on the post with a felt tip could help.

2 Keep your cat’s claws trimmed which could reduce the need to scratch.

3 If you think the problem is attention-seeking, ignore your cat when they start to scratch. Don’t try to stop them, shout at them or get angry because that is giving them the attention they seek. Leave the room.

4 If your cat is accessing walls or wallpaper via the floor, put some double-sided sticky tape on the place where they put their back legs when they scratch. They hate the feel of it.

5 Stress could be the problem. In this case, always remain calm and soothing around your cat. Don’t let other pets in your household upset it. Don’t keep it in a room with noisy or boisterous children. T

6 There are sprays you can buy which claim to stop cats scratching. If you use one, make sure you have an alternative place for your cat to use, like a scratching post. 

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Thursday 23 March 2023

Ukrainian Cat Rocket Loves The Pub!

Cheers from Rocket who often visits his local pub
with his new owner Wendy Lloyd (pictured).

Rocket the cat was having a miserable life, caught up in the horrors of war-torn Ukraine. His owners were forced to abandon him as they fled the Russian invasion.

He was living on the streets when he was hit by a car, badly injuring a back leg which later had to be amputated. 

Today his life is very different - he lives peacefully in Birmingham in the UK and his favourite place to be is in the local pub with his new owner.

The remarkable story of how the three-legged cat ended up in a new home 1,600 miles away began when British volunteer Wendy Lloyd was helping to deliver aid at the Ukrainian border.

She spotted the injured cat who had been taken to a makeshift animal shelter. Wendy felt compelled to help him and arranged emergency treatment at a vet before securing the paperwork to take him home to Birmingham in England.

Wendy, 41, said: "The place he was staying was very cramped - through no fault of her own, this poor lady was inundated with 40 to 50 lost, abandoned and injured animals. I decided there and then to rescue him.

"We were in Lviv headed back when suddenly the air raid sirens started going off to warn us that shelling was imminent. The noise just goes through your bones - it's terrifying.

"Eight missiles came over our heads and we had to sit tight - the cat was the only one of us who wasn't panicking. So the name Rocket seemed fitting."

Wendy says Rocket is very settled in his new  home, adding: "He doesn't do cat things as such, he comes to the pub with me and has become a regular at the Twelfth Man in Edgbaston [a suburb of Birmingham].

"He travels there in my back-pack and never tries to run away.

"The irony is before Rocket I was not not even a particular fan of cats. I'm a dog person. But it was clear he wanted to live and he won me over."

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Thursday 2 February 2023

Cats Are 'Left-Handed' or 'Right-Handed'

Right-pawed or...


Just like humans, cats can be right or left-handed. Female cats tend to be right-pawed while their male counterparts are more often left-pawed.

Take a look next time your little "angel" is knocking things off the table. Which paw are they using?

Researchers at the Animal Behaviour Centre at Queen’s University in Belfast analysed data collected by the owners of 44 cats of mixed breeds—20 females and 24 males. The owners were asked to track whether their feline friends used their right or left paw when taking the first step down the stairs and when stepping into a litter box. They were asked to note which side their cats tended to lie on and they placed treats inside a three-tiered container to see which paw the cats used to try and retrieve the snacks.

The data showed around 73 percent of the cats had a favourite paw when reaching for food, 70 percent displayed paw preference when taking the first step down the stairs, and 66 percent favoured one paw over the other when stepping into a litter box. When it came to lying about, only 25 percent exhibited a favourite side.

These results were not entirely surprising; previous research has shown that cats display lateral bias. But as the authors of the new study note, theirs is the first experiment to focus on “spontaneous expressions of animal behavior” as the furry pets went about their day at home.

Does it matter whether your cat is left or right handed? The left-pawed cats rely more heavily on the right hemisphere of their brains and they tend to display stronger fear responses and aggression than right-limbed animals, which are usually left-hemisphere dominant. Ambilateral animals, which do not have a preference for one side or the other, have also been shown to be susceptible to stress.

I'm off now to high-five my moggie and see which paw she uses!

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Monday 5 December 2022

Strange and Cute Cat Actions

I couldn't resist sharing this Buzzfeed list of cute and strange things cats do that we humans find  irresistible. I could relate to most of Buzzfeed's long list, but here are the ones that my cat invariably does:

Sit on a piece of paper as if it were a throne.

Find the most inopportune times to be a lap cat.

Place one gentle, delicate paw on you.

Mew for food and then change their minds.

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