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Choosing a Cattery

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 4:52 pm

It's nice and private with the door closed

When you are a cat lover, one of the most important considerations when you plan a holiday is to ensure that your cat will be well cared for while you are away. Some people never go away simply because they cannot find a place that they trust enough to give their cat the care and attention they need and deserve.

A cat never likes to be removed from its own environment and will always suffer a degree of stress with the upheaval and change of routine. There is, however, a lot that can be done to minimise the stress and anxiety for both cat and owner!

If you find a good cattery and book well in advance, you will be able to enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge that your cat is being well cared for and means you don’t have to feel guilty at leaving him / her behind!

Standards of catteries vary enormously – there are some extremely good catteries but unfortunately there are also some that provide poor quality of service and accommodation. The best thing is to do your own research and investigate what is on offer locally and decide which cattery can offer the standard of care that your cat deserves.

Make an appointment to go and view the cattery. If any cattery owner refuses to show you around the premises, look elsewhere.

Many cats are not used to dogs, and the sound of barking can cause enormous stress to them. Try to choose a cattery that is not located next to a boarding kennels.

Check to see that the cattery is clean and tidy. If high standards of cleanliness are evident, these high standards are likely to be reflected in the general care and running of the cattery.

Did you receive a warm welcome from the proprietor? Did they seem well informed about cat care and running a cattery? Did you feel confident that they understood your cat’s needs?

All catteries should be licensed by the local authority, so do ask to see the cattery licence if it is not clearly displayed.

Creating extra space into the next chalet next door

The Feline Advisory Bureau is a regulatory body, which inspects catteries and recommends standards on construction, management and day to day care. The FAB recommended list of high quality catteries is not exhaustive however, and there are many catteries which offer exceptional care and hygienic accommodation who are not listed by FAB.

Ask the proprietor about their policy on the care of an animal that becomes sick and about their quarantine arrangements (some catteries have separate isolation pens to keep sick animals away from the other cats who are boarding).

Ask to see the food preparation area and the place where cleaning and litter trays, bedding etc takes place. Ask about the disinfection procedures and about their infection control policy.

The accommodation for each cat should have a separate enclosed and heated sleeping area with access to an outside run.

The pen should be warm and dry, secure, and big enough to accommodate food, water, bedding, scratch posts, toys, litter trays and enough room to run around (take a look around our cattery). There should be an option to provide extra space so that cats from a multi cat household can comfortably board together.

The pen should be heated in winter and well ventilated in summer, with plenty of shade from direct sunlight.

Cats should have a choice of sleeping areas, with a high shelf and somewhere to hide.

Each pen should lead onto a secure outer enclosed safety corridor. This corridor should be securely locked at all times to provide additional security.

The chalets provide a lovely little suntrap

Each unit should have either a minimum 60cm gap OR a full height sneeze barrier between each pen to prevent the spread of airborne diseases.

Any cattery with a good view is a bonus as cats are great spectators and love to watch the wildlife world go by!

There should be no strong odours of urine or faeces, nor should there be a strong smell of cleaning products.

Take note of other cats in residence – if they look content, alert and interested then that is a sure sign that all is well. Food bowls that look empty or a significant amount of food eaten also implies that the residents are settled and happy. Fresh water should be available to cats at all times.

A good proprietor will ask a multitude of questions about your cats – name, age, eating likes and dislikes, personality traits, special likes and dislikes. If they ask about breed and whether long or short hair that is a good indication that they understand the need for daily grooming. A good cattery will encourage you to bring in bedding, scratch posts, toys and other things from home that will be familiar to your cat and help him/ her to settle quickly.

A good cattery will insist on seeing an up-to-date vaccination certificate, and information about recent flea and worming treatment. They will ask about medical history and it is important to disclose any problems so that the proprietor is aware of any special requirements your cat may have, for example, older cats may find it difficult to jump onto high shelves.

Not all catteries are prepared to accept animals on regular medication for a stable medical condition. You may need to look around a few catteries before you find somewhere that is prepared to administer tablets, injections or other medication.

Once you have checked out a cattery and found all the above points fulfilled – then you have found a great cattery! It is likely that they will be booked up well in advance particularly in peak holiday seasons, so book a long time in advance as you book your holidays so that you will have peace of mind and have confidence that your cat will be happy and well cared for while you are away. It is often a good idea to try out a cattery for a long weekend initially so that you can see that both you and your cat are pleased with the care and service you have received.

Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: — andy

Vet Liz Mullineaux Shares her Hints & Tips on Cat Feeding

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

How to feed your cat

Like many things in life, feeding your cat can be as difficult or as simple as you want to make it. At the simple end, a measured amount of dry complete food is scooped into a bowl and at the more complex end a carefully formulated home-made diet is produced supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Both these ‘extremes’ of diet have their critics and advocates, and both if selected incorrectly can lead to dietary and medical problems. So just how do you feed your cat safely?

Cats are not small dogs

All cat owners know that cats most certainly are not small dogs, however one of the most common feeding errors is to feed cats dog food. Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores, they need a diet high in protein, with moderate amounts of fat and low in carbohydrate. Cats also require some specific nutritional components, including the amino acids Taurine and Arginine, in their diets. Dogs are able to use carbohydrates better than cats and do not need the same dietary vitamins and amino acids. Cats fed, or more often stealing, dog food may be deficient in protein, taurine, niacin, vitamin A, and fatty acids.

Commercial cat foods

A commercial cat food is undoubtedly the easiest way of feeding a cat for those of us with busy lives. Cat foods come in various forms including dry, soft-moist, and canned. Most foods contain the essential nutrients the cat needs, although it is worth checking on the packaging that the food is complete and balance. In terms of quality, with cat food you generally get what you pay for. The cheaper foods (both wet ad dry) tend to be carbohydrate rich and contain poorer quality meat, good quality dry foods are typically more economical to feed. With all good quality foods the main difference between the food types is the amount of water in the product. Wet cat foods are sometimes more palatable and useful for those with picky appetites including older cats. There can be issues with water intake with dry foods and certainly a constant supply of water in a form the cat likes (dripping taps or water fountains in some cases) is essential with ALL foods.  Dry food has the advantage of being more ‘chewable’ and may help maintain good dentition, although many cats just swallow their dry foods with little chewing at all.

It is important to feed your cat a food appropriate to its life-stage (kitten, adult, senior) as diets are formulated to support the needs of growth, maintenance and old age. Much of what the pet food companies have learnt about nutrition of specific medical problems has been transferred to these diets so they do make a real difference, not just in kittens but also to older cats. Various special and prescription diets are also produced for those cats with dietary and other medical problems that can be helped by reducing or increasing certain dietary components. Prescription diets can be a great benefit to cats with specific diseases and often reduce or take away the need for medication.  Remember prescription diets will be balanced differently to normal cat food so only feed them with veterinary direction and do not feed them to other clinically well cats as this can be dangerous.

Home made diets

It is possible to formulate a safe home made diet for your cat and there are a couple of reliable websites to help you do this. It is not a simple process however. Home-made diets are meat rich, usually with an offal component and always with nutritional supplements including taurine. There can be some serious safety issues associated with feeding raw meat especially if this is not classified as ‘fit for human consumption’. Remember all meat diets without supplementation result in medical problems and are especially dangerous in growing kittens.

What not to feed

There are some foods that are poisonous to cats (and dogs) and these included onion, garlic, kelp, grapes or raisins, and chocolate. These foods should always be avoided and veterinary advice sought if your cat has access to these. Most other foods can be eaten safely by cats in moderation, but are best avoided in any quantity. These included salty foods (ham, tuna in brine), raw fish (which causes thiamine deficiency) and large amounts of unsupplemented meat. Most cat owners do not plan to feed their cat a diet of just tuna in brine but it is amazing how quickly a cat can drift into eating just one thing and care must be taken to ensure that this does not happen. As with all of us however, the odd treat is unlikely to do any harm.

Finally

Unfortunately one of the biggest and increasing medical issues in cats, as in people, is obesity. Ensuring that your cat does not eat too much, providing regular exercise and having regular weight checks, is every bit as important as what you choose to feed.

About the author:

Liz Mullineaux has worked as a small animal vet for over 25 years, many of those as a director of a large veterinary hospital. She now works for Vets Now emergency service in Edinburgh and in a variety of other clinical and academic roles. She is also a huge fan and client of Catseye Cattery.


Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: , — Michael

Advise on Toxoplasmosis from Mike Hall of Braid Vets Edinburgh.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Thanks  to Mike Hall of Braid Vets Edinburgh http://www.braidvet.co.uk/

A question we are often asked is “do cats pose a health risk to pregnant women?”

The question usually comes from an expectant Mum who has been scared by ill-informed friends or family, urging her that she must “get rid of the cat!”

This is a question we are happy to answer, and a worry we are quick to allay. The concern arises from an infection called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma is a tiny parasite which is found in most animals –including cats-, and birds. It is also often present in garden soil and on fresh vegetables.

Sooner or later one person in two will come in contact with Toxoplasma, and may go on to develop an infection, but probably won’t realise it as the symptoms are similar to mild ‘Flu. Toxoplasmosis is not usually dangerous to a healthy adult or child.

However, should a woman contract the infection for the first time whilst pregnant, there is a slight risk to the unborn child. Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy and congenital toxoplasmosis are rare, with about three babies in every 100,000 born with the condition in the UK.

The infection can be caught in many ways. These include eating raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruit or vegetables, unpasteurised cheese, or unpasteurised goats’ milk. It can also be contracted from handling dirty cat litter, or from soil contaminated with cat faeces.

So what advice can we give to expectant, cat-owning Mums? It comes down to common sense and following the rules of good basic hygiene. Mums-to-be who like gardening should always wear protective gloves. This will prevent picking up the bug from the soil.

Avoid emptying the cat’s litter tray – here’s a good job to delegate to your partner! – or, if needs must, wear rubber gloves. Cats’ litter trays should be cleaned at least once every day – this is our standard advice to cat owners, whether they be pregnant or not. Cats are fastidiously clean creatures and do not like having to go into a tray that has already been used by themselves or, worse still, by another cat! Dispose of soiled litter hygienically and disinfect the tray – wearing gloves.

Keeping the tray clean keeps all of the poop in one place and reduces risk to an absolute minimum.

Children’s outdoor sandpits should be covered over – to prevent cats from using them as a litter tray, but also to stop foxes from doing the same.

If your cat or kitten becomes unwell, take special care with hygiene, and consult your vet.

On average half of the population will pick up Toxoplasmosis in their lifetime. It is most likely to be contracted from a food or food-related source rather than from a cat.

By following basic hygiene precautions all risks are kept to a minimum, giving the expectant Mum some reassurance and one less thing to worry about. Don’t banish your cat when you learn of your pregnancy – you can still handle him or her as usual – with all the feel-good benefits that that can bring

No one lives in a germ-free environment – that in itself is not healthy – so good cleanliness and basic hygiene will eliminate the risk of this and many other chance infections.

Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: , — Michael

How to choose a Healthy Kitten

This entry was posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

How do I choose a healthy kitten?

kitten looking cute

It’s always worth spending time carefully checking your prospective pet, to ensure that they get off to the best possible start in life.

Here’s what to look for:

Eyes should be clear and bright. No discharge and no sign of the third eyelid.

Nose should be slightly damp but no discharge.

Teeth should be straight and meet top and bottom.

Ears should be clean and free from discharge.

Coat glossy with no signs of dandruff or flea dirts.

Bottom should be clean with no signs of diarrhoea.

Tummy should be slightly rounded, not bloated or hard.

The kitten should be alert and friendly, happy to be handled.

If he is a pedigree, ask about any breed-related problems.

A caring, knowledgeable breeder will not allow a kitten to go to his new home until he has had his vaccinations. This will be at around 12 to 13 weeks.

Article taken from http://www.yourcat.co.uk with their kind permission.

Filed under: Cat Care, Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — andy

How to Groom your Cat!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

How do I groom my cat properly?

Grooming a cat

About Alison Rogers

Alison Rogers is an ward winning professional pet groomer who runs her own salon in West Yorkshire. She holds demonstrations and teaches grooming as a profession and is Head Stylist at the The Pet Spa in Harrods.

Grooming your cat is not just about making him look nice, it can also help to stimulate circulation and remove knots, dead hair, dirt and loose hairs, so helping to minimize unpleasant hair balls.
It also gives you the chance to check for parasites as well as develop a strong bond with your cat. For cats with a semi-longhair or long and thick coat regular grooming is essential to prevent knots from forming

Start by assessing your cat’s coat.He may appear to be in good condition, but running your fingers through the fur may tell another tale. Matts are usually found on the shoulders, hips, underbelly, back of the legs and underarms.

Place your cat on your lap or on a table covered with a blanket or towel so he has something to grip. Cats need to be handled firmly and confidently. Give him lots of reassurance and enlist the help of a second person if necessary. If you need to restrain your cat, grip the scruff of his neck and lift him up, supporting his rear end with your other hand. ‘Scruffing’ invokes a natural relax reflex in the cat.

Work through the entire coat, starting with a section on the back, using a slicker brush. Follow the lie of the coat down to the tail, breaking apart small matts with your fingers. It is important to tease any knots out gently so the cat hardly feels it. For bigger matts a dematter tool can be used, holding the skin quite taught so as not to pull the skin. Using a sewing motion work through the knot, teasing it out.

It is best to use a comb for removing dead hair and debris, as brushes tend to skim over the top of the coat rather than penetrate down to the skin. This will make your cat’s coat much shinier and help to prevent dandruff. Use a wide toothed comb for the undercoat and a fine toothed comb to check all the matts are out. Continue combing until the entire coat is separated.

Work around the cat, turning him over or standing him up, combing through the shorter fur, working quickly and firmly over the sensitive tummy and inner hind leg areas.

Leave the tail until last, then holding the base, comb a little bit at a time. Next brush from the root outwards on either side, using a bristle brush or softer brush, depending on the fineness of the hair.

If the matts are large he may need to be clipped by a professional. Quiet, modern clippers mean that for all but the worst of matted coats, this can be done without anaesthetic as a two or even three person job! The clippers will shave the hair close to the skin, taking out the matt with it. Carried out by a professional groomer or veterinary staff, it should be pain-free.

Shopping list

  • A moultmaster tool which will gently remove loose/dead hair.
  • A matt breaker with curved blades. (Be careful how you use this.)
  • A curved slicker brush which has a wide plate with wire bristles and will remove loose hair.
  • A moulting comb. Long prongs penetrate deep into the undercoat lifting loose hair, while the shorter teeth collect the released hair.
  • A combination comb, which has wide teeth one side and narrow teeth the other.
  • Pet wipes (or cotton wool dipped in warm water) to clean weepy eyes.

Article taken from Your Cat Magazine with their kind permission. http://www.yourcat.co.uk

Filed under: Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

Simons Cat Feliway Ad.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 11:59 am

Here’s a quick video on how Feliway plug-in diffusers can help your cat. Available from the Catseye Cattery Shop only £26.95

Filed under: Cat Care, Videos — Tags: — Michael

“My cat won’t use the litter tray!”

This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 10:35 am

Why will my cat not use the litter tray?

covered cat litter trayThere could be any number of reasons why your cat does not use the litter tray you have provided him with and we would need more detail on the problem to offer specific advice. However, there are a number of areas that you could look at to ensure that you cat feels happy about using the facilities you are providing.

It may be that your cat has experienced pain or discomfort on using the litter tray and associates this with using the tray. The best advice would be for you to take him along to your vet for a check up. A general rule of thumb, especially for indoor cats, is that you need to provide one litter tray, plus one spare per cat. Cats don’t tend to like to share their litter tray facilities and, being fastidious creatures, prefer their tray to be clean each time they visit.

Try altering the type of litter you use. Some cats have a preference. Make changeovers gradually, mixing the new litter in with the old. If you’ve been using a large granular litter, change to a finer product, and fill the tray so that the cat has a good depth to dig in. A litter which clumps when wet will enable you to keep the tray cleaner.

Scooping immediately after they have been used and replacing the litter at least once a week suits most cats. The tray should be cleaned without using any substance that is highly perfumed or simulates urine smell, such as scented ammonia-based disinfectants.

Avoid additions like deodorizers and tray liners too, as they can also put cats off using their trays. Litter tray design is also important. Make sure your choice of tray is large enough for the cat to move around in and, if he’s older, that he can easily climb in and out of. A covered litter tray helps to provide privacy, along with helping to ensure litter remains within the tray! Look out also for a new generation of automated cat litter trays which can be programmed to remove soiled litter and solid matter.

On the subject of privacy, think about where you have positioned the litter tray. If your cat was disturbed or frightened while using the tray, he may be deterred from going back to use it again. Instead, place it in a quiet room where he won’t be disturbed by people or other animals passing by — a utility room or downstairs toilet for example.

Article taken from the March issue of Your Cat Magazine with their kind permission

http://www.yourcat.co.uk

Filed under: Catseye News — Tags: — andy

“Help, my cat is a fussy eater!”

This entry was posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 10:10 am

Cat foodSome cats are arch manipulators and use every trick in the book to persuade you to give them only the type of food they enjoy. If your cat is hungry enough, chances are he will eat his least favourite food! However, in normal circumstances, there are some issues you can look at.

Fussy Cat checklist

  • Is the food the right temperature? Cold food just doesn’t smell right. Room temperature or slightly warmer is better.
  • You can’t reprimand a cat for refusing canned food that’s been down for a few hours. If the surface of the food looks dried throw it away, scour the bowl, rinse thoroughly and try again.
  • If your cat licks just the jelly, but leaves the chunks, try mashing the whole lot together.
  • Offer just a small portion. Some cats are put off by a big bowl full.
  • It might be a good idea to try and raise the bowl off the floor, as some cats, such as older ones, with creaky joints, can’t crouch in comfort.

Top fussy eater tips

  • Mix the favourite food in with other food.
  • Be sparing with treats such as fish and liver – otherwise you will have a spoilt cat who demands them all the time!
  • Introduce a kitten to a wide range of flavours and tastes.
  • Buy a mixure of flavours and swap them around so that your cat doesn’t have a chance to get fixated on just one!

( article taken from the Feb issue of “Your Cat Magazine” with their kind permission http://www.yourcat.co.uk/ )

Filed under: Cat Care, Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

Time for a Holiday?

This entry was posted on Friday, January 20th, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hopefully, the following Youtube clip will inspire you to book your next holiday!

But don’t forget to book your cat/s into Catseye Cattery!! April – September is peak time.

Filed under: Catseye News — Tags: — Michael

Cattery Cat Litter

This entry was posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2011 at 11:25 am
Cat Litter

Cat Litter

Don’t forget to top-up with cat litter over the festive period!

Our popular 30L Wood Based Litter is still ONLY 2 for £16 ( which is cheaper than a big pet store chain! )

Delivery charge is FREE to most EH postcodes if your order 4 bags or more!

Filed under: Catseye Cattery Shop — Tags: — Michael

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