The Omlet Blog Archives: December 2020

Omlet Holiday Animal Quiz: Are you an Expert?

Photo by Jasmin Schuler on Unsplash

Holiday Animal Quiz: Can you Identify the roles of these animals in these holiday movie favorites?

1.What does the Grinch tie to Max’s head in the movie?

A. A twig

B. Holly

C. A bell

D. Mistletoe

2.What does the Grinch steal from a mouse when he is stealing from the Who’s in Whoville?

A. A piece of cheese

B. A cookie

C. A candy cane

D. A crumb

3. Who provides the voice of Rebecca the Hen in the 2017 holiday movie “The Star”?

A. Mariah Carey

B. Keegan Michael Key

C. Aidy Bryant

D. Gina Rodriguez

4. In “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, why is Snoopy decorating his dog house?

A. For Charlie Brown

B. For a holiday contest

C. For Santa

D. For Woodstock

5. In the movie “Annie”, what is the name of her beloved Dog?

A. Goldie

B. Molasses

C. Sandy

D. Butterscotch

 

6. In the movie “The Holiday” what is the name of Kate Winslet’s Dog?

A. Charlie

B. Chip

C. Jackson

D. Pip

7. What animal says the line “Bye Buddy, I hope you find your dad!” in the movie “Elf”?  

A. A whale             

B. A seal

C. A narwhal

D. A polar bear

Photo by Woodson’s Mom on Unsplash

8. What is the name of Snoopy’s bird sidekick in “A Charlie Brown Christmas?”

A. Tweetie

B. Sunny

C. Pebbles

D. Woodstock

9. What is the name of the famous red-nosed reindeer?

A. Rudolph

B. Prancer

C. Dancer

D. Comet

10. How does Rudolph help Santa on Christmas Eve?

A. His nose helps detect rain or snow

B. His nose detects which houses are on the naughty or nice list

C. He flashes his nose to the airplanes to make way for Santa

D. He guides his sleigh

Answers: 1.A, 2. D, 3. A, 4. B, 5. C, 6. A, 7. C, 8. D, 9. A, 10. D

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This entry was posted in Christmas on December 22nd, 2020 by alisa.deluca


Dogs and Swimming Pools

While it’s true that most dogs can swim, not all of them actually enjoy it. Some dogs’ idea of swimming involves paddling for dry land as quickly as possible, while some take to the water as if they were otters in a previous life.

With some breeds, the clue is in the name. The Irish Water Spaniel and the Portuguese Water Dog, for example, love taking the plunge, as do Poodles, Newfoundlands, Setters, Retrievers and many more. Some dogs, however, are simply not built for swimming. Dachshunds, with their short legs, and Pugs and English Bulldogs, with their short necks and poor breathing, struggle in water.

When confronted with lakes and rivers on a walk, the dog will decide for itself whether or not it fancies a quick dip. In a private pool, however, you need to be aware of the various safety and hygiene issues, because at some point your pet is bound to take to the water.

Mastering the Doggy Paddle

If the pool is a public one, dogs will simply not be allowed, so safety issues don’t arise. Pools in people’s backyards, however, become just as much a part of the dog’s playground as the humans’. Rule number one for pool owners – or for owners who visit friends with dog-friendly pools – is to make sure your dog is safe in the water.

A weak swimmer will tire very quickly and can soon get into trouble if unsupervised. Training your dog to swim to safety is therefore very important. Using your usual “Come!” command will usually work well. For smaller dogs, or if the pool is high-sided, a ramp should be attached to the side to allow the dog to clamber out. If the pool has steps, make sure the dog knows where they are. If the pool is large, make your dog jump in from different points, and guide them to the exit each time, to make sure they have a clear mental map of how to get out.

Another popular option is a dog life-jacket, which will allow your pet to swim while preventing it from sinking fast if things go wrong. If you never leave the dog unsupervised, these shouldn’t really be necessary; but if you are having a busy afternoon, your eye might not always be on your pet, so a dog flotation vest is great for ensuring peace of mind.

Some dogs really take to floats and inflatables (claw-proof ones made specifically for dogs, ideally). They can use them to take a break from paddling, or can simply lie on them like a human on a sun lounger.

If a dog gets itself into serious difficulties and needs rescuing, knowing how to administer CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can save the pet’s life. There are tutorials available for this online, or you could ask your vet for advice.

Don’t Drink the Water

Dogs can quickly overheat if the sun is beating down, and they may naturally take to water to cool down. Swimming is hot business, though, and it’s far better for your pet to cool down in the shade with some fresh water to drink.

And that’s another hazard – a hot, thirsty dog in a pool will do what come naturally and drink some of the pool water. If they lap up too much of the chlorinated water, they may become sick. Again, providing some fresh water somewhere cool and shaded will prevent them drinking from the pool.

Just like a human, a dog who has spent time in the pool will need rinsing off, to remove the potentially irritating chlorine and other chemicals from its fur, eyes and skin.

Your Dog Loves the Pool, But Does the Pool Love Your Dog?

There are three major issues for a swimming pool used by dogs: bacteria, hair, and wear & tear.

The bacteria is associated with poo and wee. The dog doesn’t need to actually relieve itself in the pool for these contaminants to be released into the water. However, as long as your pool is properly maintained and chemically treated, the bacteria will be killed, so this should not be an issue.

The hair factor is more of a problem. Dog hair will accumulate in the pool filter surprisingly quickly if your pet sheds a lot. A good brushing before swimming will help, but you will still need to clean the filter and other pool machinery more often than you would with human-only swimmers.

Wear and tear is an issue with doggy paddlers because of their claws. They will scrabble at the sides of a pool, and at the bottom of a shallow area. A pool lined with plaster, pebbles or tile will withstand the clawing, while plastic or vinyl-lined pool may spring a leak. You should also bear in mind that dog claws and children swimming in the same pool may be asking for trouble, too.

Follow these simple guidelines and precautions, and pools can be enjoyed by dogs and owners alike. But don’t force the issue – some dogs love the wet stuff, while others prefer to keep their feet on dry land.

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This entry was posted in Dogs on December 21st, 2020 by linnearask


10 Tips to Help Your Pet Have an Amazing Christmas Break

Photo by Jasmin Schuler on Unsplash

Holidays offer a great opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends – and that includes pets! It’s important to remember, however, that the kind of fun humans enjoy at Christmas and New Year might not be so much fun for the pet you live with.

With a bit of care and consideration, though, you can make sure the holidays are great fun for your pets too. These ten top tips for keeping pets happy at Christmas will set you on the right track.

  1. Keep the noise down

Christmas and New Year are noisy, with people, music and games all adding to the decibels. For cats and dogs, it may simply be a case of looking for a quiet spot, and many dogs will be perfectly happy at the centre of the party. Caged animals such as budgies, finches, parrots and small mammals don’t find it so easy to escape the noise, though.

If possible, cages should be placed in a quieter part of the house if there is a party taking place in the main room. If the cage can’t be moved – if it’s built in, for example, or simply too large to relocate – you’ll have to take that into consideration, making sure the noise isn’t too excessive for your pet.

  1. Ban the fireworks!

The biggest bang comes from fireworks. No pet enjoys explosions, and some simply head for a safe corner and sit it out. Many cats and dogs, however, become genuinely terrified by the noise, and in extreme cases they may need to be sedated. Unless your pet is a new one, you will know how they react to fireworks, and will be able to take appropriate precautions. If you are the owner of a very nervous cat or dog, or if you have chickens or other pet animals in the garden, don’t turn your garden into a firework and bonfire display site!

  1. Go easy on the treats

There’s lots of food around at Christmas. Your dog will probably be happy to eat leftovers and treats all day, given the chance, but this does not make it a good idea. As far as your dog is concerned, it’s best to treat Christmas Day and other festive times like any other day, perhaps with a simple treat such as some turkey skin with the evening meal.

The same applies to other pets; and you need to make sure that everyone knows the rules. A well-meaning guest might try to feed pretzels and salted peanuts to the hamsters and gerbils, or pieces of Christmas cake to the pet birds. These human snacks will bring no benefit to your pet, and some items are highly toxic. Dogs, for example, cannot eat chocolate or raisins. 

The rule of thumb is simple here, and is one familiar to anyone who has ever visited a zoo – Do Not Feed The Animals!

  1. Hang on to some routine

During the holiday season it’s easy to lose your routine. You’ll probably be in bed late, up late, and preoccupied with children, guests, or people in the community who need a bit of extra Christmas cheer. With all that other stuff going on, there’s a danger that you might forget to refill the pets’ food bowls, close the hen house door, skip the dog walk, or lose all track of where the cat’s got to. 

It’s simple to add a reminder to your Christmas and New Year to-do list – Feed the Pets, Walk the Dog, etc. Perhaps you could get someone else to do the dog walk, if you’re too busy?

You also need to remember that cage birds like to have lights-out in the evening, so make sure your late party doesn’t turn into an all-nighter for the budgies, finches and parrots, too. If the room isn’t too noisy, a cage cover might suffice; otherwise, relocating the pet cage will be the best option. 

  1. Minimising stress caused by visitors 

Unless you have the type of dog that loves big crowds and new people, chances are that your pet will not want lots of fuss from your visitors over the holiday season. Cage-rattling and pet chasing are things your young visitors may need to be warned against.

  1. Don’t take the pets with you

If you’re travelling away for Christmas, arrange for someone to look after your house and garden pets. For cats and dogs, the cattery or local kennels is a good alternative, although you’ll need to book well in advance as they are usually busy at this time of year. 

The only pet you should consider taking away with you for Christmas is your dog – and you should only do so if your dog is happy away from home with other people (and possibly their pets). Some dogs just enjoy being with you and meeting people, others treat familiar places as a second home, while some dogs will be traumatised by the whole process. You’re the one who know your dog best, so you need to act appropriately.

  1. Watch the temperature

If pets are being placed in rooms away from the Christmas party, or are being left outside, make sure it’s not too cold for them. Even a hardy cat or dog will need a snug bolt hole in a shed or other sheltered space if they are going to spend the day comfortably in the great outdoors. For birds, you need to make sure the room you put them in is neither too hot nor too cold.

  1. Tidy the mess

The Christmas season tends to involve lots of pet hazards, such as wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, tinsel, and various bits of plastic. To avoid these items ending up in your pet’s mouth or wrapped around their heads and legs, get everything tidied away once the presents have been opened.

  1. Protect the Christmas tree!

A Christmas tree can sometimes be bashed by wagging dog tails, and an adventurous cat may try to climb to the top. It’s a good idea not to have heavy decorations high up in the Christmas tree, as these could easily fall and break, and nothing fragile (or valuable) should be kept within reach of that excited tail!

  1. Be careful with new pets

If a new pet is part of your Christmas plans, make sure they have been introduced to any other free-roaming pets you may have. This will avoid confrontations and potential chaos. The house should be made pet-proof, too, and you should make sure you have all the food and equipment you need for the newcomer. 

A new pet can enjoy Christmas and New Year, as long as you don’t neglect them or put them in situations that could make them uncomfortable. Stick to these basic rules, and pets and pet owners will all be having happy holidays together.

Photo by Nathan McDine on Unsplash

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This entry was posted in Christmas on December 12th, 2020 by alisa.deluca


Why Are Black Cats Said to be Unlucky?

In Britain, the fact that black cats are considered unlucky is a complete reversal of the original belief that black cats were actually lucky. It is white cats that were considered unlucky. 

The cause of this drastic reversal of fortune, and the fact that black is the new white, is transatlantic exchange. In America, which in its early days was obsessed with witches and witchcraft, black cats – the classic pet of the witch – were demonized, and that superstition has been imported along with all the other baggage of the American Halloween. What Halloween goody bag is complete without its pumpkin, bat and black cat?

Are black cats a sign of bad luck?

The American blacklisting of black cats is linked to the days when British settlers were founding colonies in New England. These founding fathers were Christian fundamentalists, hounding out anything they perceived as witchcraft. Witches and their pet cats were viewed with fear and hatred, and a black cat was thought to be particularly demonic. They featured regularly in witch trials of the period.

This classic US symbol of bad luck began to overturn the black-cat-good-white-cat-bad superstitions of pre-20th century Britain after the appearance of the 1934 movie The Black Cat, starring Bela Legosi and Boris Karloff (more famous for their Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster roles in that same decade). The film was based on a short story by American horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, which was first published in 1843. The commercialisation of the American-style Halloween in the last few decades has set in stone these superstitions of the black cat as a scary beast.

Why are black cats sometimes said to be lucky?

The reason why black cats hadn’t been demonized in Britain was that witches and their cats had always been there, originally as part of everyday life. And there was nothing sinister about keeping a cat – they were the only means of controlling the mouse and rat population. The so-called witches were the herbalists and healers of the villages, the Middle Ages version of the GP. 

Black cats used to be thought lucky on board ships, not only keeping the rodent population under control, but helping to keep storms away too. Fishermen’s wives sometimes kept black cats at home to ensure their husbands were safe at sea. However, if the cat ran away, or if a random black cat hopped on board and then off again, it meant the ship was in danger of sinking.

In Scotland, the arrival of a black cat in a house was said to be a sign of good fortune. In general, a black cat taking up temporary residence in a porch was said to be a good omen. This is an echo of superstitious ages gone by, when felines (and not just black cats) symbolized domestic happiness. In Ancient Egypt, for example, the cat-shaped goddess Bastet was a symbol of domestic bliss and good fortune.

Gladstone – the black cat of Whitehall

The tradition of black cats as bringers of good luck still survives at the heart of the British government. Whitehall has adopted several cats from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home over the years, for the traditional role of mouse hunter. Many of them have been black cats, including the current holder of the post, Gladstone, who began his official government work in 2016. 

Gladstone the black cat is a social media star, not surprisingly. His popular Instagram page makes him one of the most famous black cats around today.

What is the superstition about a black cat crossing your path?

In some parts of the world, including Britain a few centuries ago, the direction of travel of a black cat crossing the road was important. If the cat crosses your path left to right, it means good luck; if it goes the other way, it means bad luck. Similarly, if the cat walks towards you, it brings good luck, but if it runs away from you, it takes the good luck with it. For this reason, chasing a black cat from your property is said to bring misfortune.

The ultimate symbol of a black cat running away is when it dies. In the 1640s, King Charles I was reported to have said that he owed his good fortune to his pet black cat, and that he dreaded the day its nine lives were used up. Shortly after the cat’s death, Charles – having been on the losing side in the English Civil War – was arrested and eventually beheaded.

Where do black cats originate from?

In folklore, the witches’ black cat has very deep roots indeed. In Greek mythology, Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft had a black cat that had originally been Galinthias, a servant of Hera (wife of the god Zeus). She had turned him into a black cat as punishment for trying to prevent the birth of Hercules. Shakespeare’s witchcraft-coloured play Macbeth features Hecate (although her black cat is not mentioned).

Putting all superstition about cats aside, a black cat is simply a cat with the maximum amount of melanin, which turns the fur black. Pure black cats are rare in cross-breed cats, and it is thought that only 22 of the recognized cat breeds can have completely black varieties.

The superstitions about black cats may all sound like simple good fun, but there are definitely downsides. Stray cats and kittens with black fur are harder to relocate, and there are stories of black cats being abused by revelers during Halloween. So, even though we may dismiss the superstition about unlucky black cats as harmless fun, it can still cause very real problems.

The truth of the matter is that black cats, along with all other cats, are wonderful and bring nothing but good luck. The estimated 200 million cat owners worldwide will certainly vouch for that!

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This entry was posted in Cats on December 7th, 2020 by alisa.deluca


Can different chicken breeds get along?

All different breeds of chicken have been developed from the same ancestor, the Asian Jungle Fowl, and so most chickens get along, regardless of the variety. However, there are some exceptions to this chicken chumminess.

Any new hen introduced to a flock will need to be separated from the other birds for a week or so until all the birds get used to each other. She will then find her natural place in the chicken pecking order, and that may involve a little bullying and squabbling in the early days. That’s all very natural, and has nothing to do with feuds between specific breeds. 

Occasionally, one hen will fall out with another for no obvious reason, and the weaker chicken will sometimes be pecked and harassed by the more aggressive bird. If this situation continues for more than three days after introducing the new chicken, the two combatants may need to be separated. 

What breeds of chickens are aggressive?

Some chicken varieties are more confident and assertive than others, but this does not make them aggressive. Aggression is usually the result of environment – poor living conditions – or visual stimulus. The chicken bullying only usually persists beyond the first few days if the new hen has unusual plumage on its head. The fancy crown of feathers on the Araucana, Houdan, Poland, Silkie and Sultan breeds, for example, is like a red rag to a bull for some hens. 

The reasons for this aggression are purely instinctive. Chickens respond to the size of their fellow birds’ combs, and there is evidence that larger-combed chickens tend to dominate the pecking order, and will challenge any large-combed newcomer to assert and retain her dominance. No one is entirely sure how the visual stimulus works with feather-crowned breeds. A chicken with feathers on its head is judged by the other hens to be one of two things – either a bird with a very large comb, and therefore a threat, or one with no comb at all, which makes it fair game for some bullying. Whichever way a hen looks at it, the feather-headed newcomer is a direct challenge to the dominant birds. 

Birds with fancy head feathers are additionally vulnerable because the plumage flops in front of their eyes, impairing their vision, and so they may not spot an oncoming attack. This can result in pecks and injuries. 

Other causes of chicken bullying

Other unusual feathering will occasionally inspire bullying amongst chickens, such as the feathered ‘trousers’ of the Faverolles. This is not generally a problem, though, and this breed should get along well with your other hens.

Sometimes, new chickens with no unusual feathers or peculiar combs may be picked on if they are a different breed to all the other hens in the flock. The bullying appears to take place simply because the new chicken looks different to the others. This is an unusual issue, though, and clearly the problem disappears if your existing hens are a mixed breed flock.

Do chickens bond with each other?

In general, mixing breeds actually assists with the pecking order and the general bonding, as different varieties have different temperaments. There is more likely to be squabbling in a run that has chickens of a single breed – they may all be assertive and dominant, or they may all be shrinking violets, depending on the breed, but they still need to establish a pecking order.

The body size of the hen does not affect how it is treated. A dainty bantam can rub along fine with a hulking Sussex, and a cockerel will be respectful of all his hens, regardless of their breed, and in the vast majority of cases the birds will all get on well together.

There are other practical considerations when keeping a mixed flock. Some chickens thrive in cold weather, while others are not as robust. Age may be an issue too, if you want to minimise the number of changes in your chicken flock. If your hens all have a similar lifespan, and if you buy them at the same time, you will probably be buying all your next generation of point-of-lay hens in the same year. This prevents constant new introductions and the accompanying fluctuations in the pecking order.

What chicken breeds get along best?

Some breeds are naturally friendly, and these varieties are far less likely to start pecking and bullying each other. Super-chilled backyard chickens include Australorps, Cochins, Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, Silkies, Sussex and Wyandottes.

Another key to keeping all the different breeds happy and non-aggressive is making sure they have plenty of space, thus avoiding the chicken version of cabin fever. The more chicken enclosure space you give them, the less likely they are to bully each other, and the more likely it is that your chickens will get along.

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This entry was posted in Chickens on December 4th, 2020 by alisa.deluca


What You Need to Know About Avian Flu 2020

Avian Flu is an issue that affects all chicken keepers. Efforts to contain the virus never result in its eradication, and the fact that it is not currently in the headlines doesn’t mean it’s disappeared. Many countries are enduring the avian flu version of lockdown in certain regions this year, and people are being told to take appropriate measures. 

There have been outbreaks in the UK, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands in the second half of 2020. The current avian flu strain in Europe is a low pathogenic avian influenza, meaning that it is highly unlikely to spread from its bird hosts to humans. The ghost of a bird flu pandemic cannot be ignored, though.

The outbreak is thought to have originated in western Russia and Kazakhstan, following the same pattern as the avian flu outbreaks in the summers of 2005 and 2016. In both previous cases, epidemics soon spread to northern and eastern Europe.

This article describes the impact of pathogenic avian influenza, how it spreads, and what chicken keepers can do to prevent it, based on government guidelines and other practical measures.

What is avian flu?

As its name suggest, the avian flu virus is a form of influenza (flu) biologically adapted to bird hosts. Bird flu is not a virus specific to chickens and poultry, and in theory any bird, wild or domestic, can be infected. The reservoir of avian influenza is, indeed, flocking wild birds such as geese and gulls.

Symptoms of avian flu in chickens

Chickens with avian influenza will display various symptoms. They may be less active than usual, and will lose their appetite and show signs of nervousness. Their egg production will drop, and eventually their combs and wattles will look swollen, with a blue discoloration. Other avian influenza symptoms in poultry include coughs, sneezes and diarrhea. Unfortunately, many of these bird flu symptoms are associated with other ailments, too, so a vet will need to make the diagnosis.

It can take 14 days for an avian influenza outbreak to spread throughout a flock. Some infected birds may exhibit no signs, even though they are still potential virus carriers. Others may ail and die very quickly.

How to treat avian flu in chickens

You can reduce the risk of avian influenza in your poultry by following the latest guidelines issued by Defra and the government. Vaccination of a flock at risk from the avian influenza virus is the only method of prevention. If avian influenza affects a flock, the flock has to be put down.

How to protect your chickens

    • Place your birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas that are protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly.
    • Keep your equipment clean and tidy and regularly disinfect hard surfaces.
    • Clean footwear before and after visiting your birds.
    • Ensure clothing that you use when handling your chickens is washed after contact.
    • Use run covers to protect your chickens’ enclosure from wild bird droppings.
    • Keep moveable coops in the same place – if coops are moving to fresh ground there is more chance of coming into contact with wild bird feces.
    • Keep a close eye on your chickens. If you have any signs of illness, seek advice from a qualified vet.

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This entry was posted in Chickens on December 4th, 2020 by alisa.deluca


Last Order Dates for Delivery Before Christmas!

For delivery in time for Christmas, please ensure you have placed your order by the below date. Please be advised problems with couriers cannot be avoided, and if you want to be sure your order will make it to you in time for Christmas, we highly recommend ordering well before these dates. Alternatively, please call or email our customer services team for advice on the best courier to use at this busy time of year. 

10th December

 

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This entry was posted in Christmas on December 2nd, 2020 by linnearask


10 Things Humans Do that Cats Hate

While all cats are different, there are certain traits common to most felines. Most cats, for example, are united in the things they dislike. Unfortunately, a lot of the things cats dislike are things that that humans do to them, often unaware how much their cats hate it.

To guide cat owners towards more feline-friendly behaviour, here are the top ten things humans do that cats wish we wouldn’t.

1. Cats hate loud noises

A cat’s ear is designed to channel sound, and their hearing is much more acute than a human’s. This means that washing machines, shouting, music and phones – not to mention fireworks and family parties – are all things cats hate. Being respectful of a cat’s sensitive ears may help minimize the problem, but cats are also very good at escaping the loud noise and finding somewhere quiet. It is only when the noise is unescapable – fireworks, for example – that the cat’s stress can really mount.

2. Cats don’t like aggressive petting

While some dogs may enjoy a rough back-scratch or enthusiastic belly rub, most cats prefer a gentler approach. Heavy-handed pats, stroking and paw- or tail-handling will make cats feel in danger, and they will either run, lash out with their claws or simply become stressed. Many cats dislike being cuddled, a condition that has a name – feline hyperesthesia. This is particularly common in rescue cats, so always take care when petting your cat – watch its reactions and don’t force the issue. Dressing cats up in supposedly cute outfits falls into this category, too. Make sure everyone in the household, including the children, is aware of these kitty rules.

3. Some cats don’t like to be ignored

While not all cats crave attention, many domestic cats love it – on their terms, and when it suits them. A cat who doesn’t want to be left alone and wants you to stop doing what you’re doing and give them some attention will jump onto your lap or desk and generally get in the way of your hands. In an age of laptops and home-working, many cat owners are very aware of this feline attention seeking, and the demanding pet cat sometimes seems to be a permanent feature of the desk, computer keyboard or sofa!

4. Cats don’t like water

The fact that cats hate getting wet is such a well-known fact that it has become a cliché, but that doesn’t stop it being true! Cats avoid water, hide from the rain and simply hate being showered. As far as a cat is concerned, that all-purpose tongue is quite capable of delivering the perfect cat shower. You should only resort to cat baths or showers when absolutely necessary –to clean something toxic or oily from the fur, or to prepare a cat for a show.

5. Cats hate car journeys

Felines often hide under cars when they’re afraid, but most of them do not like car rides at all, and some cats are terrified by vehicles. The combination of motion, loud noises and strange smells is stressful for a cat, and they are also prone to motion sickness. Car journeys should therefore be restricted to necessities – for example, trips to the cat vet or to the cat hotel when you’re going on holiday.

6. Cats dislike other pets

Although a kitten that has been brought up with other cats, or even dogs, will tolerate their company, cats need their own territory, and they are also natural loners. Unlike humans – and unlike many breeds of dog – cats do not need a significant other in their lives. You only have to watch how cats react to other cats in their territory – in the garden, for example – to see how true this is.

7. Cats hate taking medication

You can fool a dog by wrapping a slice of ham around its tablet or mixing its medicine into the food bowl. Cats are more resistant to our efforts to make them feel better, though. Giving a cat tablets involves a coating of butter and some gentle throat massage.

8. Cats won’t use dirty litter boxes

Cats are very clean animals, and will not use a dirty litter box. Regular cleaning of the tray is therefore essential, and fresh kitty litter needs adding regularly to keep everything smelling nice and fresh. People often ask “what smells do cats hate?”, and the answer “cat wee and cat poo” is high on the list (along with air fresheners, incense and peeled citrus fruits!)

9. Cats should never be given physical punishment

This is one that a cat is unlikely to forgive a human for. A cat should be dissuaded from unwanted behaviour by making a not-too-loud noise, such as hitting your hand with a rolled up magazine or clapping (but, again, remember that they dislike loud noises too). Any physical chastisement will break the bond of trust between cat and owner.

10. Cats need their own space

A cat’s bed, favourite hidey-hole or quiet corner of the garden should be areas where humans never intrude. Children need reminding of this, as their instinct may be to pluck the cat from its bed and give it a cuddle. Once again, cats have a territorial nature and need their own quiet spots and safe zones, where they can unwind.

Knowing what a cat likes and what a cat dislikes is one of the keys to avoiding pet peeves and keeping your cat happy and healthy. One of the key takeaway messages is that cats are not like humans or dogs. They are cats – unique and purr-fect.

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This entry was posted in Cats on December 1st, 2020 by alisa.deluca