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The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Cats

Where to Put a Cat’s Bed

Does your furry feline peacefully snuggle up next to you in bed or insist on sleeping on your pillow? Or do you have a designated spot for your pussycat to claim as their own, yet they still prefer the back of your sofa?
There are pros and cons to sharing your bed with your cat, and even though a bit of bed-hopping might be fun, having your own place to rest your sleepy head can’t be a bad thing.

Choosing to have your cat’s bed in a specific spot not only provides them with security, but also gives you peace of mind knowing that they are comfortable, and hopefully where they should be. That’s not to say that the odd sleepover in your bed won’t happen though! So, where do you put a cat’s bed that ticks the boxes of these very selective customers? 

We explore the best kitty approved places for a cat bed or snuggle den.

cat sleeping sounding wrapped up in a duvet _ccexpress

 

Where to put a cats bed

Resting is a fundamental part of a feline’s life and they give plenty of time to it. Cats ordinarily pick their most loved snoozing spot(s) themselves and it can be challenging to encourage them to choose somewhere else. To expand the possibilities of your feline utilising the bed you have picked, you can at least ensure that it is set in a peaceful spot, away from any drafts. A warm spot, close to a radiator or in the sun, is typically great and should get the seal of approval! 

A few felines really like to rest high up, so for the more intrepid explorers, you may find your cat has more of a head for heights and likes to be well out of the way and off the ground. In this case, you can accommodate this personality with an incredibly versatile freestyle floor to the ceiling cat tree. As a customisable piece, you can add whatever you want to make this a fun entertainment and napping zone all in the comfort of your own home! You may even be jealous of your cat’s den/hideaway!

Top Cat-tips 

Here are a couple of suggestions, recommended by cats for humans:

  • On your bed (with or without you in it) 
  • On the window sill, preferably south-facing 
  • In the utility room when the tumble dryer is on 
  • In the laundry cupboard on nice warm towels 
  • Curled up on my snuggly donut cat bed (my favourite is peacock green) 
  • Occasionally on your laptop 

How much sleep does a cat need?

How long a cat sleeps and how often will depend on the age and personality of the cat. They are renowned for having mid-morning or afternoon siestas or it may seem as though they just sleep all day. Got a nice warm spot by the window? Then you’ll most likely find your cat there. Warmth and quiet are key to blissful nap time. Cats on average spend 12-16 hours per day snoozing, so that spot has to be right. Most of us envy cats who always seem to find the most comfortable place in the house and can sleep most of the day, and while we’re working or doing chores our cats always find time to enjoy a peaceful slumber. Cats can grow irritable and restless if they don’t get enough sleep (a bit like their pet parents). This could be because their bed isn’t in the right place and they are not comfortable.

cat sleeping on luxurious super soft white donut cat bedYour cat’s own space

Cats are quite private and whilst they do enjoy human interaction and affection, which is good for bonding, they do also love their own space. Cats organise their territory around clearly-defined areas so, combine a useful piece of furniture that doubles up as the perfect little home for your kitty cat. The Maya Nook is practically a bedroom, which would suit any kitten or mature cat. The bed itself is slightly raised which reduces drafts and there is even a curtain, which is great for blocking out external noises during those important daytime naps.

Cats love to seek out enclosed spaces, which is why they often find themselves curled up inside a cardboard box! Why not take it one step further and make that a permanent feature of their living space – plus it really does look nicer than cardboard and it will last longer! 

Cats who are nervous, perhaps a rescue cat, an older cat or one that generally has a more cautious demeanour can really benefit from having their own space. They feel safe and secure and being somewhere familiar to them, somewhere they can crawl into whenever they feel like it is most ideal.

If you have a lively puppy a fairly boisterous dog or a host of energetic children, then ensuring that cats have this space for themselves is super important. We know cats do love peace and quiet and only to be bothered on their terms! 

black cat in its luxury maya nook cat house with curtain and wardrobeSharing your space

Occasionally sharing your bed with your favourite snuggle puss is no crime! In fact, most cat owners will have done this once or twice. Cats definitely benefit from being close to their pet parent and the feeling is mutual. It secures a bond and provides companionship.
Most cat owners know that cats are more active at night, even though they love to snuggle up to you to start with. Once they’ve had enough sleep there is always a possibility that they will pounce when your foot twitches or will come and plonk themselves on your pillow right next to your head. Even though it’s adorable, it can lead to a sleepless night (for you!).
Creating an area in your bedroom for your cat could be an option, so that if they do become a little more active or start fidgeting they can always relocate themselves to their luxury cat bed that’s so soft you’ll want to curl up on it yourself – ideal for the pampered puss! 

Where not to put a cat bed 

A cat will not be very forgiving if you place its bed in a cold or damp spot. You should also make sure that it’s away from potentially drafty windows or a particularly noisy spot. For example, if your living room or kitchen faces a high traffic zone, then this will not be favourable to your kitty and they will most likely seek out somewhere more quiet to rest. 

Don’t shut them away 

You may have a house full of pets, children or antique furniture in which case you might be tempted to shut away your cat at night. This isn’t recommended, given that they are most active at night, this is valuable playtime for them. It doesn’t mean they should roam the house completely rogue, but allowing them some space to explore is important to their development and ultimately their happiness.

Accessorise the Freestyle cat tree with comfy den scratchers hammock omlet

Conclusion 

There is no definitive answer as to exactly where your cat’s bed should be placed. Though it is super important to make sure that your cat is comfortable. Having their own space is key to providing stability, space and a routine that your cat is happy with. Having favourite napping spots is perfectly okay and your cat will undoubtedly choose their own whether you like it or not, but knowing they can call a place a home of their own will make them purrfectly happy and adjusted. A stable home environment is paramount to your pussycat’s happiness, you can read one of our recent blogs Why Do Cats Run Away which outlines the importance of a peaceful and secure home environment. 

Omlet has worked tirelessly to design and create tried and tested products with your furry feline in mind, so we are certain that there is something for even the most demanding of kitties! 

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Why Do Cats Love Catnip?

ragdoll cat playing with catnip cat toywhite cat playing with catnip cat toy

What Is Catnip?

Whether or not you’re familiar with cats, you’ll likely have heard of catnip. Renowned for sending cats “crazy”, catnip is actually a member of the mint family that also goes by the name of Nepeta cataria. The plant grows in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, containing nepetalactone, an oil, or chemical compound, found within the catnip’s leaves.

But why do cats love catnip so much? When cats sniff catnip, the nepetalactone enters their nasal tissue, sending signals to the brain. This stimulates sensory neurons, targeting receptors that usually result in behavioural changes. As your cat reacts to the herb, you may witness them shaking their head, licking, rubbing, leaping, or rolling around. Their behaviour can also mimic a cat being in heat, even for male cats, with others displaying feelings of euphoria through being overly affectionate, relaxed, or playful.

How Can I Use Catnip?

Catnip is widely available in a number of forms. Although you can use the plant directly in its fresh, natural state, most commonly, catnip is found dried, or flaked. This can be used on anything including toys, bowls, or simply be scattered around your home. Alternatively, you can purchase catnip spray to spritz onto your cat’s favourite things. Catnip toys are also very popular, with the herb being used in a number of different types of toys including the Omlet’s collection of ocean-themed Maya Cat Toys. However, don’t worry if your cat isn’t too keen on catnip, the toys are also available without.

Why Do Some Cats Not Like Catnip?

Seventy percent of cats will show some reaction to the plant, and whilst most go wild for the stuff, others simply aren’t interested or won’t respond to catnip. This isn’t anything to be concerned about and may be for two reasons. The first being that your feline friend lacks the gene that makes them responsive to catnip. The catnip response is hereditary, relating to the autosomal dominant gene which, interestingly, is not exclusive to domestic cats. Also found in big cats such as lions, fascinatingly, they too can be affected by catnip with effects lasting for up to an hour, compared to a reaction usually only lasting for up to fifteen minutes with our domestic cats!

Equally, your cat’s age may be another reason as to why they seemingly do not like or are not interested in catnip. Catnip is not harmful to kittens, however researchers have found that kittens under eight weeks old show no reaction to catnip. Cats usually show signs of whether they’ll be a catnip lover or not by the time they reach around six months old.

Benefits of Catnip

why do cats love catnip cat sniffing on catnip

Anxiety Reducing

As we earlier discovered, catnip can have a sedative effect on cats. Consequently, this can help with their stress levels and in turn, work as a natural form of anxiety relief.

Pain Relief

Research suggests that cats may actually benefit from catnip as pain relief. The plant has the potential to work as a short term solution for cats with muscle pain or arthritis, similarly to how aspirin or paracetamol works for humans. 

Encourages Play

With cats often becoming highly energetic after interacting with catnip, this encourages play and exercise, even more so with catnip toys that are bound to give your cat hours of enjoyment. If your cat is particularly playful, they’ll have great fun chasing around the Maya Cat Wand Toy with catnip, and the detachable wand makes it easier for you to raise the toy up high.

Can Help With Bath Time

If you’ve got a cat that doesn’t love bath time quite as much as they love catnip, then adding catnip to their bathwater might make things a lot easier for the both of you. Catnip can make a bath a lot more appealing for your pet, which you can do by adding up to a teaspoon of flakes to boiling water, allowing it to soak, and then putting it into the bath.

If you do decide to give your cat a taste of some catnip for the first time, you’ll want to initially start off with a small amount to gauge their reaction. Should your cat respond well, you can continue to incorporate it into their routine up to a few times a week. Fortunately, catnip is a completely safe product and your cats will not be able to overdose from it. At worst, your cat may experience some digestive issues, however, most cats will let their owners know when they have had enough by refusing.

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Common Allergies in Cats and Dogs

dog with its tongue hanging out surrounded by pollen in the garden in the sunshine

Common allergies in cats and dogs have been identified as 3 main allergy groups, which we explore in this article. Some common allergies are seasonal, and others can creep up throughout the year. Understanding the common allergies in cats and dogs will make being a pet owner easier as you know what to look out for and how to handle it. Allergies can be treated quite easily, but there are a few symptoms or warning signs that we can look out for to make sure that our cats and dogs are healthy and happy. 

Persistent seasonal allergies such as the dreaded hay fever kicks in for many of us humans, but we know that we are not alone in this seasonal battle of the bugs as our beloved pets can suffer too. We exhaust alternative medications, home remedies and whatever we can lay our hands on to try and keep these pesky allergies at bay! 

Despite doing our absolute best to ensure our cats and dogs are spoiled and looked after, sometimes we cannot always spot the potential threats of allergies or illness.

Allergies in cats and dogs fit into 3 main groups. These groups make it easier to be able to narrow down and identify the cause and then the form of treatment that is required. Whilst you may be able to “self diagnose”, (we all like to play doctor or vet with a quick google search), it is always recommended to check with your vet before attempting any medicated treatments yourself. However, a little research and a general understanding of what you could expect as a pet owner are perfectly normal. 

Common Allergy Groups in Cats and Dogs

1. Flea Allergy 

This is probably the most common allergy and one that most pet parents are aware of. Cats and dogs will react to the toxins in the saliva following a flea bite, which will result in a reaction on the skin.
Cats will over groom to the point where it’s very noticeable and the skin develops crusts all over the body, known as miliary dermatitis. Dogs tend to nibble and scratch at the affected areas and the skin will develop little red spots. 

2. Food Allergy

Food allergies don’t necessarily show up immediately, they could manifest from eating the same food over a long period of time. It is a reaction to a specific protein or chemical in the food, which then appears on the skin. Common proteins which can cause allergies for both cats and dogs are chicken, fish, gluten and egg.
A common symptom of food allergies in cats will be persistent scratching around the head and neck. Symptoms in dogs are not as easy to identify but generally if scratching is more regular and your dog’s skin seems more irritated then it could be a sign of a food allergy. 

3. Atopic Dermatitis 

These are allergies caused by the environment, similar to hay fever or asthma in humans. They can be seasonal like an allergy to pollen or all year round, for example dust mites. With dermatitis, the skin will be visibly irritated and affected with symptoms including the following:

  • Constant scratching in a particular area 
  • Flaky skin 
  • Red or irritated skin 
  • Overlicking 
  • Chewing 
  • Fur loss 
  • Patchy skin 
  • Skin rashes or spots 

Maya-donut-cat-bed-super-soft-comfy-nest-omlet

Should my pet see a dermatologist?

If you think your pet is suffering from an allergy with any of the symptoms mentioned, you will notice that the skin is affected. A dermatologist will try to recognise the cause of the skin irritation by discussing your pet’s history, for example diet, home life and behaviour. Once they are able to identify the correct allergy group they will be able to perform certain tests to pinpoint the exact cause and recommend any treatment or ways you can help. 

Seasonal Common Allergies in Dogs

Seasonal allergies can affect your canine friends in very similar ways to humans. They could be affected by environmental allergens like dust mites, fleas, mould and pollens from grasses, trees, weeds, and flowers. They will not hide their discomfort and will most likely obsessively lick or scratch one particular area. Pay close attention to their bellies, paws, armpit, ears and face. During the seasons of irritation, keep your home as clean as possible and free of mites and pollen. The Topology Dog Bed provides a simple and stylish way to keep your doggy comfortable all year round with easy to clean removable and washable covers. 

Seasonal Common Allergies in Cats 

Cat allergies are not as common as they are for dogs, though some will display irritation from pollen or bites from fleas. If your cat sneezes a lot then it could have an allergy to pollens. As with dogs, it’s important to make sure their bed is kept clean. A good alternative is the luxury Maya Donut Cat Bed, which has a removable cover that can be washed in the machine.

Respiratory Allergies

Respiratory allergies are far less common in cats and dogs, but they can suffer from them. Symptoms are similar to those of a cold, including watery eyes, runny nose, coughs and yes, even sneezes! Some respiratory allergens could develop into asthma. This could occur from being in a smoky environment, building debris, chemicals or certain cleaning products or pollution. 

Pets, like humans, benefit from fresh air, so taking dogs for regular long walks will always be good for them (and you). Whilst you may want to take your cat for a walk, maybe it’s time to consider an Outdoor Catio, which will not only provide a safe space for your feline, but it will also provide them with plenty of space to play and explore and generally keep fit!  

Girl removing yellow washable cover from topology dog bed to keep clean from common allergies in dogs

Conclusion 

Being a pet parent comes with worries, but also plenty of love, laughter and snuggles along the way. Medically treating your cat or dog can be incredibly difficult to do because you don’t want to be the one that causes them any discomfort or pain, but sadly sometimes it is part of the job description and absolutely necessary to ensure they live a long and healthy life. 

If you do suspect that your pet is suffering from any allergies, it is important to talk to your vet and run any concerns you have by them. Most allergies can be treated easily with medication, a change of diet or simple TLC. When dealing with allergies it is important to keep your cats and dogs home clean and you may need to adapt or change your routine to suit their needs. 

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Why Do Cats Run Away?

curious ginger cat tempted to explore the great outdoors

If your feline friend has turned your life into a frenzy and ran away before then you’re not alone. Cats are notoriously territorial, highly organised and routine-based, and are creatures of comfort and security. This does however not mean that they won’t abandon their home comforts if they feel the need for adventure or become distressed due to changes in their home environment. What are the main causes for our cats to run and turn curiosity into concern?

Possible Reasons why Cats go Missing and Don’t Come Back

Cats don’t just run away from home without a good reason. Indoor cats might be less likely to run because being outdoors isn’t something they are used to. Unfortunately, if something causes them to go outside and they get scared they could run out of fear and confusion. Outdoor cats might already be familiar with the perimeters of their homes, though there are many reasons why they too could run away. Here we look into various reasons why this could happen and what we can do about it if it does, so that our domesticated cats stay safe!

Your Cat was Scared

A cat’s disappearance can also be linked to fear. Indoor cats will have less access to the outdoors mostly for safety reasons or lack of outdoor space. They can be scared by loud noises, an unwelcomed visitor, for example a neighbour’s dog or something unfamiliar to them, and it doesn’t take long for your purrfectly happy pussycat to turn into a scaredy-cat. They certainly enjoy a peaceful environment and can often become quite disgruntled when that peace is disturbed. If their home life has become unsettled due to divorce, children leaving home or moving house their impulse could be to escape what may seem like a dangerous environment.

They’re in Season (or looking for a cat that is!)

This is something to watch out for, especially when female cats are on heat. When unneutered male cats get a whiff of a reproductive female there’s little you can do to distract him! It is not uncommon for cats to follow their mating instinct and they could disappear for days during this mating season.

As an owner of a female cat, it may be a good idea to keep them in during this time to avoid this dilemma and a few worried cat owners. Otherwise, ensure that your cats are neutered, which will diminish this instinct.

They were Stressed

As we have looked at some of the common, perhaps less threatening, causes for cats to run away, it is important to address the more serious reasons, which can be down to changes to the home environment and the stress that this can cause to our pets in general. 

Cats are independent and can often be quite aloof and lead us to believe that they are pretty resilient, but this is not at all the case. They crave the security of home life, and whilst they’re not as dependent on us as dogs are, they love their human families and are very protective of them. As we spend so much time with our pets, they develop possibly more human characteristics than we realise. When our lives become unsettled, so do theirs. Take the time to explore cats and stress, why it happens and how to spot it.

Cats do suffer from separation anxiety, which may be more apparent as we emerged out of various lockdowns and headed back to work. If the home routine changes, cats will notice and can often become very distressed. This could lead to some more challenging behaviours, however, running away is unfortunately also very common as a result of stressed home life.

They’re Cheating on You

If you’ve noticed that your cat has put on a little weight, it’s not unlikely that an overly friendly neighbour is feeding them. Cats absolutely love being spoiled and they can be very sneaky and often get what they want. It’s unlikely that anyone would just allow a cat to be a permanent resident of their home without checking if they belong to anyone, but it’s best to be on the lookout. If you become aware that this in fact is happening, just have a polite word the person(s) in question and stay one step ahead of your greedy pussycat.

You Didn’t have an Outdoor Catio

Allowing space for your cat to challenge itself and play is really important. At Omlet we have developed our Omlet Catio range, which provides a safe and secure place to do just that. Conquer the curiosity in your cat’s personality, let them climb, hang, balance and relax as if they were out in the wild. This way you can entertain your cat’s natural instincts and keep them safe at the same time.

Ginger-cat-exploring-Omlet-Outdoor-Cat-Enclosure

Natural Predators

Cats are determined hunters and once that animal instinct kicks in they can go for miles, extending their hunting perimeter. It is possible that they become so distracted pursuing their prey that they get lost! More often than not, they will return, perhaps rather hungry and slightly embarrassed that they managed to get lost in the first place!

Disease, Injury or Death

Outdoor cats are more prone to sickness and injury than indoor felines. That could be due to infection from ticks, fighting with other cats, poisonous plants or food. For this reason, your cats are safer in an outdoor cat run so you know where your feline is at all times.

If you’re concerned about your cat once they’ve returned from a stint in the great outdoors, it is recommended you take them to the vet immediately to get them checked over. 

In a desperately sad situation, and one we don’t like to think about, some cats will wander off to die. A senior cat who knows they are nearing the end of their life may wander off to be alone. Cats who are very unwell, often hide away and some will not return. If you do have an elderly cat or one that’s unwell then, it’s important to make sure they stay warm and comfortable. So, what are the best ways to keep your cats warm? Pay attention to your cuddly companions, because after all that is what they are, companions, and you want to make sure that they are looked after in the best way possible. 

Picked up By a Moving Vehicle

Wandering cats may find themselves in a tricky situation if they end up creeping into an open car or delivery van and falling asleep! Given their size, they could easily go unnoticed until much later. A more worrying or unimaginable reason would be that they have been catnapped. Sadly they could easily be picked up by someone and they wouldn’t be able to give that much of a fight. Your cat’s safety is important, and given all these external factors and fears it is recommended that your cat is microchipped, even if you have an id tag on your cats collar. That is is better than nothing, but it’s worth noting collars can also impose a risk to your cat’s safety when climbing trees or getting stuck in bushes.

What Should I Do if My Cat is Missing?

If you have a missing cat try not to panic. Despite feeling helpless, scared, and worried it is important to get on the case and take action as soon as possible. There are multiple reasons why cats run away or wander off, and more often than not they will return, but it’s always best to be prepared. Whether you have an indoor cat or a predominantly outdoor cat who often roams freely, finding out they have gone missing is a frightening experience. Get as many people as possible involved in the search and contact a local shelter or vets so that they too can keep an eye out.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

As a cat lover, you would naturally be devastated if your cat runs away. You have probably done everything you can to provide the most comforting home for your furry friend, but cats do sometimes run away, and it’s won’t necessarily have been your fault. So try not to be too hard on yourself! If you can identify why your cat may have bolted it might help work out how to get them back.

Post on Local Facebook Groups

The internet is full of animal lovers and can be a very useful resource in a situation like a missing cat. Post an up to date photo and description of your whiskered friend in some local Facebook groups, this way you’re increasing your chances of finding him/her. Someone may have spotted your lost cat, which may give you a clue as to which direction they have gone in!

How Missing Cats Find Their Way Home

Most cats are capable of finding their own way home to their cat parents. Our animal’s ability to retrace their steps even after a few days following the scent of an unneutered male or female cat or chasing after prey is part of their natural homing instinct. So if you’re a cat parent to a runaway cat, don’t jump to the worst conclusion. There is always a possibility that they will return.

 If you have recently moved house a cat can potentially try to find their way back to its previous home. It has been reported that cats can travel hundreds of miles over the course of a few months if necessary, just to get back to what they think is home. It’s not recommended to let your cat out when you first move, because they need to get used to their surroundings first. You can attempt to use a cat lead, which isn’t always straightforward. Cats, unlike dogs, aren’t particularly keen on being “walked”. Another suggestion is to carry your cat around the garden or down the driveway or road so that they can become a little more familiar with the perimeters of their new home. 

Their Favourite Treats Were Left Out

Domestic cats love being spoiled and they enjoy a treat or two! Leaving some of their favourite Cat Treats out may well entice them back after their recent wanderings.

They Missed You

Not all cats run away from home on purpose. It is likely that something caused them to run. Your relationship with your pussy pal will have a big impact on how they feel about you. Cats are often treated as a family member and they recognise that, so they will miss their cat parents after a while and crave the comfort of home life soon enough.

They Decided to Come Back

After the mini-adventure, they might realise that being away from home isn’t that great and will just return by themselves! The prospect of a nice warm lap to sit on or the pleasures of their own Maya Donut Cat Bed will beat staying out in the cold and having to fend for themselves. Cats are independent beings, but they are guilty of wanting human interaction and creature comforts.

comfortable little kitten snuggled up on a white maya donut bed

Why Do Cats Run Away from Humans?

Despite your best efforts cats may feel a bit neglected due to changes in your life such as a more demanding job, a new partner or a baby, which would naturally require more of your attention. You may have less time to devote to your kitty, which can make them look for attention elsewhere. A cat’s personality craves attention and play, and even though they may act like they don’t need their cat person, they really do.

Humans are Much Bigger and Can Seem Intimidating

Cat owners naturally adore their pussycat pals and would do almost anything to protect them, however, it’s worth taking into account not all humans feel the same, with some even being afraid of cats. Many cat parents will be recognisable to their kitty babies but they may feel a little intimidated by humans they have not come across before. Cats can certainly pick up on any negativity from humans that might not be so welcoming to a small four-legged furry friend.

You Might’ve Been too Rough with Them

Cats are not as tough as they might seem, and remember, they are only small creatures! Your strength could be overpowering to them and frighten them. So when you are playing with them, be careful that you’re not too rough! When there are small children around, it is important to keep an eye on how they behave around cats, especially if they don’t have any of their own. Children might not understand how to play and often tug at the tail, which certainly will not impress our furry feline.

How Can I Stop My Cat from Running Away from Me?

Take into account your current home life and any changes, whether there are other animals to contend with or new humans to get used to. Cat’s don’t like to feel second best, so there are feline aids that will make them feel extra special, like the Luxurious Maya Donut Cat Bed that will leave your kitty feeling like a king or queen. It is important to build a good relationship with your cat and understand their unique personality.

Build Trust

Whether you bring up your feline from a tiny kitten or take in a shy rescue cat, your relationship with them as the primary caregiver needs to be consistent. The trust between this small creature and their cat parent is fundamental to their happiness, and ultimately yours too!

Positive Reinforcement

Reward your kitty cat whenever required to do so, because knowing that they are loved will reinforce their desire to stay with you and not try to escape if the moment presents itself.

  • Entertain your cat with fun and stimulating cat toys by exploring the fun side and predatory behaviours rather than trying to diminish it
  • 2 legged human companions respond well to the occasional promise of chocolate or sweets and that includes cats! Reward them with some tasty cat treats
  • Love, lots of love! Shower your cat in love, which will ultimately be the best reward ever!

Create a Safe Space

In a potentially unsettled environment, if you have moved house, welcomed a new member to the family or have suffered a loss within the family your cat will feel this unsettled feeling in the same way. Make sure you provide a safe and secluded space for your cat, which gives your pussycat a super snuggly cosy house away from any disturbances. 

Conclusion

It is very important to provide a safe home for your cats and gradually get them used to a new routine if anything changes at home. Cats love order and change can cause them to feel stressed, scared or even unwanted. When cats feel threatened, they usually respond in three ways to the object, individual or circumstance: fight, flee or freeze. Sadly for us, cats running away from home is more common than we would like, and whilst the prodigal pussycat will often return when they please, it is important to be prepared for every possible situation. For peace of mind, ensuring that your cat is microchipped with up to date information is very important, and for the owners of indoor cats who don’t roam freely, give them the sense of the great outdoors and feed their curiosity with an outdoor catio, or a cat balcony enclosure.

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This entry was posted in Cats


How to Keep Your House Clean if You Live With a Cat

Keeping your home free from loose fur is particularly hard at this time of year as many cats shed their winter coats in the warmer weather. On top of that you have the increased risk of fleas, plus dry dust and dirt from outdoor cats, and loose litter mess from indoor cats.

Discover our top tips and best easy clean products below for fuss-free hygiene in your home. 

Facilitate healthy grooming habits

In moulting season, it’s important you help your cats with the extra grooming required to remove their loose fur, not only to minimise the clumps of hair discarded around your home, but also to assist them in maintaining a healthy and comfortable coat for summer. 

If your cat isn’t a lover of the grooming brush, try placing beauty grooming mats on table or chair legs in your home for them to rub up against and lift away the loose fur. These mats will cling to the loose fur so it doesn’t float through your home, and you can easily pull it out, dispose of it and clean the mat if necessary. 

Discover more grooming and fur-collecting techniques here.

Air-purifying, cat-friendly plants

Air-purifying plants in the home can help to improve air quality and contribute to a fresher, hygienic feeling for everyone. Just because you have cats doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy the benefits of plants! There are lots of cat-friendly species, such as the Boston Fern, which will refresh your home. 

If your cat likes to play with plants, claw at the soil or chew on the leaves, you might want to consider smaller plants out of reach, or more robust plants. Discover 10 cat-friendly plants here.

Machine washable cat beds

It’s easier to maintain a fur-free, clean and hygienic home when living with a cat if their most favourite sleep spots are easy to wash, so a cat bed with a removable, machine washable cover is a must. 

The Maya Donut Bed offers this easy clean solution, just unzip the cover and pop it in the washing machine at 30 degrees on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Leave to air dry and pop the cover back on – super easy! You can also raise the bed with stylish feet, which not only look great but also improve airflow beneath the bed to prevent a build up of fur, dust and moisture and protect your carpet. The donut bed is a great hygiene solution, AND is super cosy and soft for cats who desire the best!

Easy clean cat blankets on furniture

If your cat isn’t a cat bed lover, and much prefers your bed or sofa, you might find these tips on encouraging your cat to sleep in their own bed helpful or you might prefer to opt for something to protect your furniture from fur, dirt and sharp claws! 

A dedicated cat blanket, or two, is a simple solution to creating a barrier between your nice clean sofa and your cat’s fur and mucky paws! The Luxury Super Soft Blankets are just as they say – super duper soft – so your cats won’t turn their nose up at snuggling down on these dual-sided, quilted blankets, available in three sizes to suit the area you’re trying to cover. 

Have a pet-safe cleaning kit on hand

A strong vacuum cleaner is the obvious choice to keep pet fur at bay, but there are other essentials you should have in your pet-safe cleaning kit! Lint rollers are super handy for running over clothes, cushions and blankets to quickly lift any clumps of loose fur. Fabric freshener sprays are also a must to eliminate any bad odours which cling to curtains and sofas. A pet-safe carpet cleaner is bound to come in useful when you’re faced with muddy paw prints or other accidents!

Wipe clean feed bowls

Regularly cleaning your cat’s feed bowls is also an important step to reducing odours and maintaining hygiene in the home so make sure you buy sturdy, wipe clean bowls. Consider placing the feed bowls in a quiet spot with little footfall so your cat can have privacy while they eat, and the food smell also doesn’t upset visitors or attract other pets and children! Putting the feed bowls on a wipe clean mat will also protect your floor, especially carpets, from food mess or spilt water. 

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Cat Whiskers

Kitten sleeping in the soft raised Maya Donut Cat Bed earl grey

Have you ever taken a look at your cat’s whiskers and wondered why they’re there? Or why one cat’s whiskers are shorter than another’s? Read on to find out 10 things you might not know about cat whiskers.

1. Your cat’s whiskers can tell you how they’re feeling

Did you know that your cat’s whiskers can give you an insight into their emotions? A happy cat’s whiskers will be relaxed and slightly to the side, whereas a cat on high alert or hunting prey will have fanned out whiskers that are pulled forward. A fearful or shy cat, on the other hand, will try to make their face look smaller by pulling their whiskers back.

2. Cats are born with 24 whiskers

Cats are born with around a total of 24 mystacial whiskers – that’s 12 on each side of their face. This number will stay the same for the rest of a cat’s life!

3. Whiskers are connected to a cat’s nervous system

Whiskers are also called vibrissae, which means to vibrate. And because a cat’s whiskers are connected to their nervous and muscular system, this makes them highly sensitive. Therefore, when brushed against something, causing a vibration, whiskers will send signals to your cat’s brain to help them to navigate the world. 

4. The world record for the longest cat whiskers is 7.5 inches! 

In 2005, Missi the Maine Coon from Finland achieved the world record for the longest cat whiskers at 7.5 inches long! To put this into context, the average cat whisker only measures at around 3 inches. However, generally speaking, longer haired cat breeds do tend to have longer whiskers.

5. Whiskers can make cats better hunters

Whiskers can help a cat when it comes to hunting their prey. Initially, a cat’s whiskers will determine whether they will be able to squeeze into an enclosed space to make their catch. Their whiskers will then help them to identify the shape of their prey, allowing them to bite in the perfect spot.

Cat resting in Maya Nook cat bed furniture

6. Whiskers help protect cats’ eyes

Just like our eyelashes, a cat’s whiskers also have the purpose of helping protect their eyes from dust and debris.

7. Cats have whiskers on the back of their legs 

Whiskers aren’t just found on a cat’s face! Cats also have whiskers on the back of their front legs. These are known as carpal whiskers. Although they may appear to look like fur, carpal whiskers help with spatial awareness and hunting. 

8. Sometimes mother cats chew off their kitten’s whiskers

If you’ve ever had kittens, you might have noticed a kitten’s whiskers being chewed off by their mother or even their littermates. Most commonly, cats do this either out of habit, as a sign of stress, boredom, or excessive grooming. To prevent unwanted behaviours, cats should be provided with a range of boredom busting cat toys to keep them both mentally and physically stimulated. 

9. Cats shed their whiskers

You’ll no doubt have found your cat’s fur lying around the home, but what about their whiskers? Cats usually shed between 1 and 3 whiskers a year, which is nothing to be concerned about. However, if you notice excessive whisker shedding, this could indicate what’s likely a skin or stress issue, so should be looked at by your vet. 

10. Your cat’s whiskers can change colour!

As your kitty ages, you’ll probably notice their whiskers changing, or losing, colour along with the rest of their coat. Depending on their breed, their whiskers will usually turn grey or black.

If you enjoyed finding out 10 things you might not know about cat whiskers, find out some more fascinating facts on cat’s whiskers and their senses in our previous blog The Seven Fascinating Senses of Cats.

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Clean Up Your Cat or Dog’s Life

A brown dog shaking itself dry on the Topology BedAutumn is here so why not kick off the new season by starting a new project or getting organised! it presents the perfect opportunity to have a bit of a change! So why not get your cat or dog involved with your overhaul so that they can start the season in tip-top condition! So, how do you begin to clean up your cat or dog’s life?

Remove Pet Hair From Around the Home

Before making a start to your cat or dog’s clean, grab the supplies and get to work on removing any pet hair or dirt from around the home. Many pet parents will agree that getting rid of animal hair from around the house seems to be an impossible task, especially if you’ve got a cat or dog that sheds a lot.

However, there’s no need for harsh chemicals when cleaning the house with pets. For your carpets, a top tip is to sprinkle down some baking soda before hoovering. Not only will this help to remove hair, but the baking soda will minimise odours. Just be sure to use a hoover that has been specifically designed for dog and cat hair to make things a bit easier! 

When it comes to cleaning fabric sofas, you can simply use a dry sponge and this will pick up any cat or dog hair lying around. For more household cleaning tips with pets, you can read our previous blog Cleaning Tips For Dogs Who Love Mud!

Using a pet blanket on top of beds and sofas, however, is the best way to keep your furniture protected in the first place, as well as providing your pet with a cosy spot to relax.

Clean Your Pets’ Beds

Now that the household clean is complete, it’s time to focus on your pet, and a great place to begin is by cleaning their bed. We wouldn’t like to sleep on a dirty mattress, so neither would our pets. And with dogs sleeping between 13 and 14 hours a day, and cats between 12 and 16, it’s fundamental to provide them with a clean, secure, and safe place to rest. Fortunately all Omlet beds are conveniently easy to clean, with removable covers and toppers that are machine washable.

Alternatively, treat your cat or dog to a new bed this season. For cats, the Maya Donut Bed comes in a wide range of colours that can add a touch of freshness to your home for the season. The Topology bed is perfect for dogs, with the option of raised feet, which improve home hygiene and airflow.

cat on white donut cat bed

Give Your Cat or Dog a Groom

Your clean wouldn’t be complete without a bit of a pet makeover! Well, not necessarily a full head to paw transformation, but a good bath and brush go a long way! Depending on the breed of your dog or cat, they might need to make a visit to the groomers, but it’s a good idea to keep on top of a basic regime at home. Furthermore, grooming is not only for your dog or cat’s appearance but is also important for your pet’s health by aiding with keeping their skin healthy and preventing fleas or ticks for example. 

Treat Your Pet to Some New Toys and Entertainment

A few new toys will be greatly appreciated by your cat or dog, as they adjust to the new season. Or how about treating your cat to their very own catio, which is perfect for indoor and outdoor cats alike, who love adventuring but need to remain safe in the garden. 

There’s nothing stopping you from beginning your tidy up from today! Before you start cleaning your home, however, it goes without saying that any cleaning products you use in your house should be pet-safe, so always make sure to check the labels. How will you be cleaning up your cat or dog’s life?

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Cats and Wildlife in the Garden

Nature vs Nurture

When it comes to wildlife in the garden, is your cat as ruthless as a raging lion or timid as a mouse? We might want to believe that our cats wouldn’t hurt a fly, but cats are natural predators whether we like it or not, as descendants of their larger feline members of the family. But do all cats need or want to kill, and can you stop them from hunting? Sadly the answer is no, despite spoiling them rotten or pampering their every need, given the opportunity to go out and hunt, most cats will take it, purely because they have the animalistic instinct.

Cat sitting on white maya donut cat bed looking out of the window

Prey or Predator?

We’ve established that even the most cuddly and affectionate cat can become a vicious killer, but they are not always the predator.
As nice as it is to allow your cat to roam freely in the great outdoors, it is not always the safest. Cats are solitary creatures and will hunt alone, and are therefore more prone to attacks from larger predators such as dogs, foxes, mink, raccoons (depending on the country you are in), as well as getting into fights with other cats and more human threats like cars, poisoning or thieves.

As a predator our cats can impose a threat to our wildlife and nature’s neighbours, they kill wild animals, such as birds, reptiles, and small mammals. While they don’t always bring the kill home, there is every chance they are consumed or just left.

Tabby cat and Freestyle Indoor Cat tree scratching post

Can you stop cats from hunting?

The way you feed your cat will certainly have a difference in the way they might hunt, but hunting is not just motivated by hunger. Cats are opportunistic hunters and know that if they were to hunt only when they are hungry they could risk starvation, purely because capturing prey isn’t always successful and isn’t always available. Cats have evolved to change their daily patterns depending on the food that is available to them.

The average well-fed pet cat partakes in approximately 3 hours of hunting each day, whereas a cat that is fed less will hunt more. Cats will feel the need to hunt whether they are hungry or not. If you’re worried about wildlife and don’t want your cat to hunt, there are a few changes to your cats’ life that could help! We have put together a few ideas below.

Feeding

Our pussycats should be fed at regular intervals throughout the day to mimic their natural feeding patterns, and they also benefit from a meal rich in meat content.

Cats need variety

Cats are neophiliac, which means they absolutely love variety – especially when it comes to food! Regularly providing different foods may curb their hunting behaviour as they don’t need to look elsewhere for new tasty treats.

More time to play

Similar to their food patterns, the way cats play can affect how they behave in the wild. Regularly play with your cat, and offer them cat toys that resemble prey. We have all seen the way cats crouch down ready to pounce on a scrunched-up ball of newspaper. Entertain their curious minds and hunter instinct rather than try and diminish it, and it’s possible that your cat will have had enough of chasing after things when they go outside.

When not to hunt

Try to avoid dawn and dusk, prime hunting times. However, remember that changing a cat’s routine needs to be done slowly to ensure it’s not having a negative impact on the cat.

Sound the Alarm!

Adding a bell to the collar is certainly one way to alert prey that danger is coming, however, cats are incredibly intelligent. So, while it may seem to work to start with (and give you peace of mind), a cat will usually find a way to master this new skill of getting close without making a noise.

Cat Safety

To really avoid the hunting impact that your cat has on the local wildlife, or protect them from predators and human dangers introduce an Omlet Catio so that cats can play safely in the fresh air! The Catio can be extended and adapted in many ways to suit your cat! Now, cats get all the stimulation they need while both them and the wildlife in your garden are safe.

Black and white cat in balcony catio enclosure

How to exercise the inner hunter in a house cat

If your cat doesn’t go out and is purely an indoor cat, don’t worry, you are not depriving them of their ancestral hunting heritage. Hunting doesn’t necessarily mean killing prey, which is why it can be adapted to play. 

If you regularly play with your cat and provide them with enough toys and accessories, this can certainly provide them with enough stimulation to emulate a hunt. You may have seen the way your cat crouches as though ready to pounce on a fly or a plant leaf (think Christmas tree decorations!). It is important to allow this form of play. 

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Which Colour Bed Should Your Cat Have?

two cats in front of a stack of donut cat bedsWith the new Cosy Collection, there are six new amazing Maya Donut Cat Bed colours to choose from! If you like them all, or are just a bit indecisive, why not let your cat’s personality decide? Take the test to see which colour bed your cat should have! 

What time does your cat wake up in the morning?

  1. They do all their sleeping in the daytime
  2. 5am
  3. 7am
  4. Whenever I wake up
  5. When they hear the noise of food bowls being filled
  6. Never before noon

What does your cat do when allowed outside?

  1. Just sit by the door waiting to be let in again
  2. Chase squirrels and birds
  3. Sleep on a garden chair
  4. Go meet up with their mates
  5. Sit in a tree and groom themselves
  6. God knows, they just run off

You have to take your cat to the vet, how do they react?

  1. They love it
  2. Run and hide somewhere I can’t get to them
  3. Hiss and scratch
  4. They make an awful fuss for a while, then happily jumps in the carrier
  5. They always behave really well
  6. We have to get the vet to come to us, it’s the only way

What word would you use to describe your cat?

  1. Quirky
  2. Playful
  3. Needy
  4. Lazy
  5. Hungry
  6. A little bit mean

How does your cat react when you come back after a day at work?

  1. Just roll over and continue sleeping
  2. Run towards me
  3. They always sit by the door waiting
  4. They are nowhere to be found
  5. Make sure I notice them, then go and sit by the empty food bowl
  6. Come in to say hi, but go away again pretty quickly

What animal would you cat be friends with?

  1. They are a bit of a loner to be fair
  2. Other cats
  3. Smaller animals
  4. Larger animals
  5. Dogs
  6. They could get on with anyone

What is your cat’s favourite treat?

  1. Anything with catnip
  2. They just love normal cat food
  3. Anything really smelly
  4. Expensive, organic cat treats
  5. It’s a bit weird, but my cat loves fruit
  6. My cat doesn’t care about food

If your cat went to school, what would their favourite subject be?

  1. History
  2. English
  3. PE
  4. Modern languages
  5. Science
  6. Break time

What is your cat’s least favourite thing? 

  1. Dogs
  2. Getting wet
  3. Being alone
  4. Loud noises
  5. Being woken up
  6. Having their nails clipped

Mostly 1’s

white cat on yellow cat bed

Butterscotch Yellow
Your cat knows what it wants, and is not afraid to say it. The Butterscotch Yellow donut bed will be a great match, and we think it will look great against their coat as well. 


Mostly 2’s

kitten on purple cat bed

Fig Purple
Your cat is clearly full of energy, so giving them a nice, calming Fig Purple cat bed to relax on will be an improvement to their lives. 


Mostly 3’s 

kitten resting on mint green cat bed

Mint Green

If your cat was a human, we’re pretty sure it would be pretty cool. Mint Green will match their amiable personality, and will look great in any room of the house. 


Mostly 4’s 

brown cat on donut cat bed in kitchen

Mouse Brown

Your cat is pretty relaxed, and likes to just chill out with the family. A bed that is stylish and classic will be ideal, choose the Mouse Brown Maya Donut!


Mostly 5’s

two cats lying on cat beds in front of fire

Peacock Green

We get the feeling your cat is a bit of a sensitive soul, and the colour that goes best with that is of course a lovely Peacock Green. 


Mostly 6’s 

white cat lying on ruby red cat bed

Ruby Red

Your cat is a rebel, so they need a bed to match their fiery personality! Ruby red will be perfect.


 

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What’s the Difference Between Clay Cat Litter and Pine Cat Litter?

lineup of omlet's five cat litters

Choosing the right litter for your cat is an important decision but with so many different types of cat litter out there, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know which to go for! Cats can be very fussy animals, even when it comes to their litter boxes, so when choosing which litter to invest in, you’ll need to take both you and your furry friend into consideration. Clay and pine cat litters are popular choices – but which is best for you and your pet cat?

What is Clay Cat Litter?

Clay cat litter was one of the earliest cat litters to be used. Traditional clay litter is formed when clay is crushed, dried in a kiln, and then crushed again to form the litter as we know it to look. To make a clumping clay cat litter, bentonite clay is added to the mix, which absorbs liquid, or your cat’s urine, once it has been detected.

What is Pine Cat Litter?

Pine cat litter on the other hand is made from either wood pulp, or recycled pine shavings, that are then shaped into pellets. This type of litter has a natural wood aroma and can either come as a clumping litter or in non clumping form.

Now that we have established what the main difference is between these two types of litter, we can start to consider what other factors need to come into play when you decide on either clay or pine.

Scent and Odour Control

A lot of clay litters are artificially scented, so if you want more of a natural smell, a pine litter is probably best for you. Furthermore, some cats can be easily irritated by the artificial scents that a lot of clay cat litters have, which can sometimes simply be masking odours, making it near impossible to get rid of litter box odours entirely. If you and your cat prefer a more freshly chopped wood scent, then you’ll love the Omlet Cat Litter No. 3 – Pine, that naturally helps to reduce litter box odours such as ammonia thanks to its absorbent properties. However, if a clay litter is more to your taste but your cat is prone to irritation, unscented clay cat litter is also available. This might be a better option for your cat if you notice a scented clay litter resulting in allergies or your cat refusing to use their box.

scoop of omlet pine cat litterTexture

Of course every cat is different, but particularly fussy cats will likely prefer a fine-grained litter texture. Clay has this advantage over pine, which some cats do not get along with, as the granules are slightly larger than the sand-like texture that clay offers. In the outdoors, cats like to bury their waste in sand so the closer their litter can replicate this, the better.

Clumping

Many clay litters are clumping, which means that they form clumps when coming into contact with liquid. This is because of the type of clay that is added to the formula (bentonite). Clumping clay litter, as opposed to a clay non-clumping litter, is what you’re most likely to find on the market as it makes for a much easier cleaning process of the litter box. Although pine is highly absorbent, it simply does not clump quite as well as clay does.

Dust

Dust can become a real issue with some cat litters. When litters are handled or in transit, it almost becomes inevitable that the pellets will rub together which then forms a dust. Many cat owners notice this dust when pouring the litter into their cat’s litter box. Although it may seem harmless, litter dust can in fact become harmful for both humans and cats, causing respiratory problems in the long run. Pine litters are generally better than clay when it comes to producing the least dust. They are a low dust cat litter option, which also means a better choice for cats with allergies or sensitivities.

Environmental Impact

If a more environmentally friendly option is what you’re on the lookout for, then a pine litter will be a much better choice for you. Being a natural litter made up of wood pulp, pine is a renewable and biodegradable material. Alternatively, Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 4 – Clay offers a low waste clay litter solution that is less taxing on the planet than traditional non clumping clay cat litter, which can often create more waste, as cat owners can unknowingly end up frequently disposing of fresh litter. Omlet’s clumping clay cat litter means less waste for you, as clumps appear once the litter box has been used by your cat, making it super easy to scoop.

Other Litters to Consider

Pine and clay cat litters are just two of the many litter options out there. Omlet stock a range of different types of cat litter that might be a better fit for you and your cats.

If dust is becoming a problem with your current litter, how about switching to Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 5 – Paper. As previously mentioned, many types of cat litter produce at least some amount of dust. However, the Omlet paper cat litter is virtually dust free, with the biodegradable pellets being made from recycled newspaper.

Natural litters such as grass are growing in popularity. Grass cat litters are a newer product on the market and are made using grass seeds. This litter is extremely lightweight, offers good odour control, and is also scent free.

Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 2 – Tofu may be one that you’ve not heard of just yet, but with highly absorbent properties and being more of an eco-friendly candidate, it might just be the right litter for you and your furry friend. Made from 100% crushed tofu, tofu cat litter stays fresher for longer with its active carbon composition.

Silica gel litter, also known as crystal litter, is a silica based cat litter. Made from silica crystals, it has the amazing ability to absorb a large amount of liquid. Another newer cat litter that has become available, dust from silica gel litter is also practically non-existent. Take a look at Omlet’s Cat Litter No. 1 – Silica

After reading how clay and pine cat litters differ and learning a bit more about what else is available, hopefully you’ll now be one step closer to making your final decision on which one is the perfect match for your pet!

 

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Can I Compost My Cat Litter? 

white cat resting with head upside down

With the increasing awareness of how the environment is being affected by humans, it is understandable that many pet owners are attempting to make more environmentally friendly decisions within their home.

Some litter can be composted, and some can’t. If you are determined to compost it, the starting point is to ensure that your litter is made from natural, biodegradable materials.

The origins of cat litter

Cat litter, which was first invented in the mid-century, has always been viewed as unusable waste that needs to be thrown away after use. The inventor was American businessman Edward Lowe, who began using Fuller’s Earth – an absorbent clay-based mixture – rather than the ashes, soil or sand. He patented his product under the name Kitty Litter in 1947.

Many types of modern cat litter contain silica, which, although not harmful to cats, takes a long time to degrade after it’s been thrown away and can’t be composted at home. Some litters are marketed as ‘flushable’, but evidence suggests this can cause environmental damage. It’s made from ingredients such as corn, wood, pine or wheat, which means it’s biodegradable. However, the flushed litter can potentially spread toxoplasmosis, which can affect humans as well as other animals. Most water treatment plants are not equipped to remove the tiny organism. A healthy immune system can fight off the bacteria and the disease it causes – toxoplasmosis – but the ailment is life-threatening to people who are already unwell.

To add to the problem, flushable litters can block toilet pipes. If you use a septic tank system, the hardened poo and litter waste will not easily break down. If you opt for this type of product, it is actually best to bin it in compostable bags. Any litter that is not soiled can, in theory, be composted on the compost heap. 

Choosing the best litter for your cat

So, what do cats think about all this?

No two cats are the same, and some seem to be very fussy about their litter. Every cat has its own individual needs, quirks and preferences – for example, sometimes a cat won’t share its litter tray with another cat, or will turn its nose up if the tray doesn’t contain their favourite type of litter.

Choosing a litter that your cat is comfortable with while remaining environmentally friendly can be tricky. Omlet eases this dilemma by offering four different types of biodegradable cat litter.

Omlet Cat Litter No. 2 is made from tofu and is one of the most environmentally friendly cat litters available. As well as being great for the environment, it’s also great for your home, as this litter is long-lasting and absorbs smells faster and more efficiently.

Omlet Cat Litter No. 4 is clay-based and is incredibly easy to clean up as it clumps together when wet, giving you an easier clean each time. The clay mix is not compostable, but it will not damage the environment when you dispose of it.

If your cat is only happy using a silica-based litter, it might be a good idea to head to your nearest waste disposal centre to dispose of it. They may have a more environmentally friendly option available than adding it to the general waste. 

How to compost cat litter

Composting cat litter is like any other composting. The key thing is to get an appropriate bin. Follow these five points, and you won’t go far wrong:

  • Remove clumps of cat poo (in the general waste bin) before composting, as they contain bacteria that can cause illness if it contaminates food.
  • Keep the compost bin away from any vegetable beds or other food-growing areas.
  • Ensure the bin is large enough to enable the compost to be turned regularly – a container of at least one cubic metre will be sufficient.
  • Only litter that is 100% plant-based can be disposed of in this way. Clay litter or litter with added chemical deodorants cannot be composted.
  • Add composter liquids, vegetable and plant matter and grass clippings to the compost. Chicken or horse manure will help the composting process, too. 
  • Leave the compost for two years before using it in the garden, and only use it for plants, never food items. Also be careful when handling the compost and make sure to always wash your hands afterwards.

Happy composting!

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Why Won’t My Cat Sleep in Its Own Bed?

Every cat owner knows the feeling of treating their feline friend to a new bed, only for him to reject it in favour of the cardboard box it came in, or even worse, jump straight back on to your bed and curl up right in the middle! But why is it that cats often like to sleep on our beds instead of their own? And can their minds be changed?

How long do cats sleep for?

Cats sleep an average of 12 to 16 hours a day! That’s double a human’s recommended sleep time. It’s no wonder cats can be so particular about where they choose to rest, and can be found sleeping in different places all around the home, often depending on the time of day or night. Their important sleep routine should be supported by the perfect bed, so why do they choose yours?

Why does my cat prefer to sleep in my bed?

Many surveys have concluded that owners who allow their cat to sleep in the bed with them have a worse night’s sleep due to having less space or being disturbed by their cat meowing, snoring, purring or grooming, yet cats don’t seem to mind bunking in with their owners!

You may also notice your cat is getting more use out of your bed than you, and chooses to curl up there for a quick cat nap, or even a leisurely 5 hour snooze. This also leads to many cat owners reporting they have to wash their bed sheets more often if they share the bed with their cat. 

Cats may like to sleep with their owner for warmth, company or reassurance, but it may also simply be because your bed is far better than theirs.

Why won’t my cat sleep in its own bed?

A commonly cited reason for cat owners not buying their cat a bed is that they think they won’t use it, but never giving your pet the chance to find somewhere else cosy to sleep will surely mean a life of nighttime disturbances for you.

It’s no secret that cats are the fussier pet in the home. This fussiness might extend to wanting a particular brand of cat food or litter, and of course refusing to sleep in that lovely new cat bed you treated them too.

But why is this? 

If your cat is eager to curl up on your luxurious, thick fluffy blankets, or stretch out on your own memory foam mattress, the problem could lie with the quality and style of the bed you have chosen for your cat. Do you need to get your cat a new bed?

Which cat bed is right for my cat?

The first step to finding a bed your cat will actually use is identifying what they like; there is no use in buying a small cave bed if your cat prefers to stretch out across the sofa, or a thin, flat bed if your cat likes to sleep in a deep, squishy cushion. Ignore novelty cushions, get your cat a bed they will actually love.

If your cat likes to curl up and sleep on a plush or faux fur blanket on the sofa, consider a fluffy bed they can really sink into, like the new Maya Donut Cat Bed from Omlet. The removable, machine washable cover is super soft to touch, and the deep donut cushioning supports all around the body for a warm and cuddly feeling which will lull your cat to sleep. 

If your cat likes to sleep near you, place the Maya Donut Bed on the sofa for a cosy cat cushion. You can also raise the bed off the floor with sophisticated, designer feet to minimise drafts, disturbances, and maximise style. 

For cats who like sleeping on their owners thick, memory foam mattress, consider a memory foam bed they can call their own, like the Omlet Bolster Bed. The generous size of the bed will allow your cat to stretch out and roll around just as much as on your nice double bed, and they can still curl up against the cushion of the bolster edge. 

How can I encourage my cat to sleep in its own bed?

The position you have placed the bed in the home may also be unfavourable for your cat. Notice where your cat chooses to sleep in the day, and place the bed near this area. If your cat sleeps on your bed or the sofa, start by placing the cat bed on top of these. 

Use treats as a reward for getting on the bed voluntarily. Make sure not to move the bed repeatedly around the home, this could unnerve your cat and make him resistant to getting too close for fear of it being moved away again! 

Some cats don’t like sleeping on the ground, so consider raising the bed up with feet, like for the Maya Donut Bed. You can also place the bed in a sleek frame, like the Maya Sofa, perfect for the Bolster Bed. 

Why has my cat discarded his old bed?

If your cat has decided his once favourite cat bed is no longer for him, it could simply be a small personality change. If he’s not showing any other signs of abnormality which could hint to a health problem, he could simply have got bored of the bed, or found a better sleeping spot somewhere else in your home. 

It could also be that the bed has lost its cushioning and is simply no longer comfortable enough for your cat to sleep on, or perhaps the bed has become dirty or smelly and your cat would prefer a fresh start. This also might be the case if you’ve got another cat in the home who has stolen the other cat’s best nap spot. 

Make sure to buy a bed with an easy to remove and machine washable cover so you can keep the bed fresh, and a high quality mattress or cushion which won’t lose its plumpness!

It’s important to give your cat freedom to sleep where he or she feels most comfortable, and if that’s a cardboard box then so be it! But by ensuring your cat has at least one warm and cosy option and using positive encouragement, your cat might see the benefit to his own space and finally let you sleep in peace!

Introducing the new Maya Donut Cat Bedgrey cat sleeping on grey raised cat bed

  • Super soft and luxurious feel for a restful cat nap
  • Removable, machine washable cover is easy to keep clean
  • Raise the bed with designer feet for style, comfort and hygiene
  • Supportive shape with deep filling for a warm, cuddly feeling 
  • Choose from two stylish colours to suit your home
  • One size suitable for cats up to 5kg
  • Available from $39now!

 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gemma, Verified Omlet Product Tester – “I am so glad I have finally found a cat bed that is not only nice to look at but my cats love! I find that cheaper cat beds lose their shape and colour quickly, and this hasn’t happened at all! It still looks great, and a super easy to wash cover means it will stay looking great for a while yet! Can’t recommend enough!”

 

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Sharing a Bed With Your Pet – Yes or No?

We all love our pets, and sometimes it simply seems far too difficult being apart for just a few hours, even at night. Surveys have shown that up to two thirds of people with cats or dogs now sharing a bed with their furry friend, so it’s clear that the prospect of snuggling up with the cat or dog at bedtime can sometimes be impossible to resist. Many pet owners would agree that co-sleeping with a beloved pet seems harmless. However, with sharing the bed also comes drawbacks. First of all, though, let’s talk about the main benefits of letting your pet sleep on the bed.

Benefits of Sharing a Bed with Your Pet

Bonding

Sleeping with your pet can be a great bonding experience for both parties. Dogs and cats provide their owners with physical comfort and support, strengthening your bond and relationship, which can help your pet to feel more at home.

Security

For dog owners in particular, sharing your bed with your pet every night can be a great security measure if you have any concerns about break ins. Regardless of how your dog would react to any intruders, they’re a great deterrent to any burglars and provide you with a sense of safety at night. Although your cat might not be able to put up much of a fight against any intruders, they’re highly sensitive creatures and can alert you of anything that appears suspicious, such as unusual smells or sounds.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Studies show that co-sleeping with your pet can help elevate your mood and reduce stress and anxiety levels. When you cuddle with your dog or cat, having that contact releases the happy hormone of oxytocin. Reduced levels of stress and anxiety levels may also help you to get a better night’s sleep.

Personal Alarm Clock

Like humans, cats and dogs sleep at night and are awake for the day (well, for the most part!). They’re both creatures of habit and love routine so don’t be surprised if you get a very personal wake up call from your pet at 6am every morning. Look on the bright side though, you might never have to set an alarm for work ever again!

Drawbacks of Sharing a Bed with Your Pet

Fleas and Parasites

Unfortunately, cats and dogs are notorious for fleas. If you regularly welcome your pet into bed for a snuggle at night, then you may also be welcoming their fleas too. Although easily treated, having fleas is an unpleasant experience for both you and your pets. More worryingly, co-sleeping with your pet could actually be putting your health at risk. Both dogs and cats can spread parasites such as tapeworm, that can make us sick.

Hair!

If your cat or dog is prone to shedding then don’t expect your bed to escape from the mess! It’s no secret to most pet owners how much of a nightmare it can be to forever be hoovering up your dog or cat’s fur from around the house, so if you don’t fancy adding another chore to the list then maybe it’s best to avoid sleeping with a dog or cat.

Allergies

It’s not a good idea to share the bed with your pet if you suffer from allergies, even if they’re not pet related. Those who suffer from asthma or are sensitive to pollen and dust for example, may find their allergies being triggered from sharing the bed with a dog or cat.

Behavioural Problems

When you allow your animals to share the bed, you run the risk of facing behavioural problems. For dogs that are prone to separation anxiety or territorial aggression, allowing them to sleep on the bed at night could only be worsening these issues. Cats can also suffer from issues such as territorial behaviour, so if you’re met with a hiss or lash out from your cat when you attempt to move them off the bed then it’s probably not a great idea to continue sharing.

If you (or your pet) do decide to sleep alone, it’s important to make sure that you provide them with a safe and cosy bed at night. Omlet stock a wide range of pet beds for dogs and cats that optimise comfort and hygiene, so that your cat or dog will be just as snug in their own space.

If you (or your pet) do decide to sleep alone, it’s important to make sure that you provide them with a safe and cosy bed at night. Omlet stock a wide range of pet beds for dogs and cats that optimise comfort and hygiene, so that your cat or dog will be just as snug in their own space. The new Maya Donut Cat Bed offers first class comfort, made with a luxurious faux fur fabric your cat will love. Or how about trying the Topology Luxury Dog Bed for your pet pooch. With a memory foam mattress base, your dog will be in their element with a number of customisable toppers to fit their personality.

  
  

So, as amazing as it can be to share the bed with our favourite furry friends, with risks such as behavioural issues and allergies to consider, the decision really is a matter of personal choice. Either way, it’s always worth investing in your pet’s own bed to give them the option to have their own safe space (however little or often it may be used!). 

 

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Find the Purrfect Present for Your Feline Friend

Are you struggling to find the purrfect Christmas present for a cat lover you know? Rest assured, you’ll be bound to find something in the Omlet shop! 

Bolster Bed

The Bolster Bed is another super soft cat bed that will also be an excellent Christmas gift for any cat parents.The zip-on, machine washable covers make them ideal for getting rid of any odours or fur balls. 

With a range of 15 different beautiful colours and a range of designer feet to choose from, the Bolster is ideal for any cat parents who want a stylish bed to match the interior of their home!cat sleeping on red bolster cat bed

Luxury Super Soft Cat Blanket

No cat will be able to say no to the Omlet Luxury Super Soft Cat Blanket! The beautiful throw can be placed on your cat’s favourite spot in the home, or even in their bed to help them get an even better sleep. The blanket is dual-sided and also comes in two designs – grey and cream and poinsettia red and cream, giving cat parents the option to find the right style for their home.

Outdoor Cat Run

If you have an indoor cat that loves feeling the wind in its fur, a pedigree cat who can’t be left to roam free in the neighborhood, or live close to a busy road but want to give your feline friend a feel of the great outdoors, we have got the perfect gift for you. The Omlet Outdoor Cat Run is a customisable catio that is both stable and secure, where you will be able to spend time with your cat and give them some fresh air, while still knowing they are safe.

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DIY Cat Toys

Bhim Solomon is Omlet’s junior guest writer, currently exploring fun activities to try with her two kittens Moonpie and Shadow Weaver, and introducing easy tricks you can try with your feline friends! In this article, Bhim talks you through the simple steps of making an origami butterfly for your cats.

DIY Cat Toys are fun for you to make and exciting for your cat to play with at home. Origami (the ancient Japanese art of paper folding) is an excellent way of making beautiful and quick cat toys. My cats love to chase butterflies in the garden, so I decided to make a butterfly out of origami (and I think the butterflies in the garden will be very relieved too). I noticed that my cats are much more interested in things that make a sound so I wanted my cat toy to have a jingle. Luckily from Easter I had saved a bell from a big Lindt chocolate bunny, it’s perfect for this project, maybe you have one too. Other things you’ll need are:

  1. A stick
  2. Some elastic or string
  3. And of course some paper.

You can go on youtube to find origami how to videos, here is the link to the one I used for a butterfly if you would like to use it. If you don’t want curved wings you just don’t cut the edge. Also if you have an A4 paper you should follow the first step.

Origami tips

  • Use thin paper as it’s easy to crease
  • Watch the video through once and then follow on the second time
  • Use the back of your nail or ruler to fold smoothly
  • Fold neatly
  • Use coloured paper and then draw your own pattern / eyes / words on it
  • Patterned paper also looks great.
  • You don’t need to have a square piece of paper, you can use a regular piece of A4 or Letter size, keep reading to find out how to make it into the perfect square…

First of all:

Collect your A4 piece of paper or if you have an origami square paper skip this step, fold diagonally across so that the corner that you folded touches the edge. Crease down the fold with the back of your nail. Then cut the extra bit off. Now you have a square piece of paper and you can start making your butterfly.

Secondly:

Unfold that crease and fold diagonally the opposite way. Open out, then fold vertically, unfold and fold horizontally. I’m not going to write all the instructions because it’s easier to watch the video.

girl making a origami homemade cat toy

Making the wings

If we skip a bit to the cutting for the wings I wanted to have a rounded end so I cut my wings but you can leave them to get a pointed edge. After that, unfold the wings and fold the top edges to touch the middle line. Next, flip the paper over and bring the bottom corner up and fold over the top line, with about one cm above.

Turn back over and fold over. This is the head, and when the magic of origami begins! Pinch together with fingers. Hay presto paper butterfly!

Decorating your butterfly

I used felt tip pens to create a pattern on my butterfly. I did curving lines and an abstract pattern. Then I added the bell by tying it around the middle of the butterfly.

Tying your butterfly cat toy to a stick and ribbon

You can use a bamboo stick or a chopstick, a wooden spoon, maybe even a pencil as a stick. I collected a stick from the garden, try to get a fairly straight one. Gather your string or elastic and double knot it onto the stick. Now chop your string/elastic to the length you wish.

What I did was to make it easier. I asked my brother to help me. It made cutting and tying simpler.

My kittens playing with their new toy

You are now ready to play with your kitten, kittens, cat or cats! Shadow was the first of our kittens to try the new cat toy, it was a great success. I put the butterfly in front of him and he immediately got into the crouch position, the same one he uses when he’s in the garden trying to catch a real butterfly. Then I twitched the butterfly and the bell rang a bit and he tried to pounce on it but i pulled it away. Then he kept leaping and jumping around trying to catch the butterfly, it was really fun and great entertainment for him.

It wasn’t long before Moonpie crept down the stairs to see what was happening. I played with Moonpie next, I made the butterfly flutter around her and she stood on her back legs trying to paw at it. I put i on a step and she jumped to get it. I think both cats really loved the butterfly cat toy and I would definitely make another one. In fact I think I will make one for a friend who has a cat because it would make a really lovely gift.

girl and her cat playing with a DIY cat toy

 

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How to Create Peace in a Multi Cat Household

Four different types of cats on a kitchen countertop

Photo by Dietmar Ludmann on Unsplash

Despite many cats enjoying being independent creatures, according to the PDSA PAW Report, 43% of cats in the UK now live in multi cat households. Whilst it’s understandable why so many of us give in to the temptation of introducing another feline friend into the home, it’s also important to be cautious of the potential onset of cat behavioural issues such as aggressive behaviour i.e. hissing, growling, or chasing as a result of doing so, and to consider if the dynamic of a multi cat household would work for you and your family. However, if you do decide to take the plunge, here are some tips on how you can try and keep the peace.

Plenty of Exercise

Providing your cats with plenty of exercise will help to keep them at a healthy weight and keep them stimulated. Both are important for all cat owners, even those who only have one cat. However, for cats who live amongst other cats, keeping active can aid with avoiding a potential build up of excess energy, which can sometimes manifest itself as aggression towards other cats in the household.

One way to help keep your cats exercised is through play, which will also help to strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. A great way of exercising your pets is to invest in a cat tree. Cats love climbing and scratching, so a cat tree is one sure way to encourage this and keep them entertained.

Use Pheromone Diffusers

Pheromone diffusers are an odourless plug-in product that works by producing pheromones, or chemical substances, that your cat naturally releases when they either rub against surfaces, scratch at items, bump heads with humans or other cats, or spray. Pheromone products mimic how pheromones would naturally send messages between cats, meaning that they can help in multi cat households to have your cats to feel more relaxed, and reduce their stress levels.

Multiple Litter Boxes

It’s important that your cats have their own litter box when they live with other cats. This is because of their territorial nature, which often means that cats like to ‘claim’ where they go to the bathroom and do not like this area to be shared. If cats feel as though their territory is under threat, this can lead to aggressive behaviour such as fighting.

Furthermore, most cats will refuse to use a dirty litter box, which will likely happen should you only provide a single litter box for several cats, as of course, their waste will accumulate more quickly than if your cats were to have their own. The general rule of thumb is that you should have one litter box per cat, plus one spare to have placed out in your home.

Separate Feeding Stations

Cats like to be alone when they’re eating, meaning that if you have multiple cats, they will require separate feeding stations at mealtimes. When cats are forced to share the same area for feeding time with another cat, it can take away from their predatory instinct to hunt and eat by themselves, which inevitably can induce anxiety and aggressive behaviour. In a multiple cat home, cats may see a shared feeding area as an opportunity to compete for food, which could result in you having a ‘food bully’ on your hands. As well as providing your cats with their own food bowls, give them each a designated space in the home to eat any from any other cats.

Furthermore, creating this divide will help your cats to stay healthy by having them fed equally, or in accordance to their own specific dietary needs, as it ensures one cat cannot access the other’s food. For example, factors such as the age, weight, or medical condition of your cat/s may mean that they have to be fed different diets. Therefore, it’s fundamental that you leave each cat’s bowl out of reach from any potential cat food thieves!

Personal Space

By nature, many cats need their own personal space, even when they’re not eating. It’s a good idea to have an area in the home that they can go to escape to by themselves, away from both humans and other animals. If you have the room, it’s advisable that each of your pets have at least one of their own private areas in the home that they can go to without being disturbed and becoming overwhelmed. This may even be a cardboard box if you’re limited for space, but be sure this is away from the hustle and bustle of the home or outside.

Two cats sat down, both looking up in the same direction

Photo by Kelly on Unsplash


Introducing a new cat can be a difficult time for you and your already existing pet, but fortunately, it’s not impossible to make multi cat households work. So after a bit of advice, hopefully the transition period will be a lot easier. However, should you notice any signs of aggression between your cats, it’s important to seek help from a veterinarian before these issues get out of control.

 

 

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10 Cat-friendly Plants (and which ones to avoid)

Whether in our gardens or in our homes, plants not only enhance the overall appearance of a space, but they can also help boost moods, increase creativity and reduce stress. Although we don’t always consider the dangerous side of plants, it’s important to know that some plants can be toxic to your cat if ingested. If you decide to add a touch of greenery to your home, make sure you pay particular attention to the choice of plants and ensure they’re safe for your feline friend.

In order to help you decide which plant will sit proudly on your coffee table, we’ve compiled a list of 10 plants that you can add to your home without hesitation.

Why is the choice of plant important for your pet?

Cats tend to eat plants. This behaviour is quite common in cats for a number of different reasons such as boredom, enjoying the texture, the need for certain fibres, and more.

By ingesting certain plants into his body, your cat may also try to eliminate and get rid of the hairballs swallowed during his daily grooming by vomiting.

It is therefore essential to choose suitable plants, and if you do not want your cat to touch some of your decorative plants, why not dedicate a corner just for them?

10 non-toxic plants for cats

  • Grasses

Whether it’s wheat, oats, barley or rye, grasses are not toxic to your cat. It is safe to approach them. Your cat can therefore play with Deschampsia cespitosa, Briza media, Pennisetum villosum or Stipa tenuifolia.

If you observe cats in the wild, you can see that they easily go for natural grasses.

  • Aromatic herbs

You can leave your thyme, sage, lemon balm or valerian lying around without worrying about your cat’s health. Valerian is often prescribed by vets for stressed cats. However, if you want to keep them for cooking in the evening for your lunch, don’t leave them lying around for too long, you might find them in your pet’s tummy. You can, however, have fun hiding them in your cat’s toys to stimulate your furry friend’s senses.

Don’t forget mint, which you can place in your cat’s litter box to reduce odours.

  • Catnip / Cartaire

This plant has different names but it is the same plant: Catnip (Nepeta cataria). This plant has a euphoric effect on cats due to the smell it gives off. In the presence of this plant, cats tend to rub it, roll around in it… If they meow, purr, lick it, it’s perfectly normal! No need to worry yet, as this is still a plant that is harmless to your pet despite the effects it has on him. 2 out of 3 cats are attracted to this irresistible plant.

  • Papyrus

As well as decorating your home, papyrus is a plant that will entertain and amuse your cat with its drooping leaves. It is also extremely effective in cleansing your cat’s body.

  • Heather

Contrary to what some people think, heather is not a harmful plant for cats.

  • Lavender

Lavender is a plant that tends to calm your cat. In addition to smelling good and being able to camouflage odours (especially litter), lavender is said to have soothing properties.

  • Germander

Germander is a very popular plant with our cats. They tend to chew and rub themselves on it.

  • Callisia turtle

This plant is harmless to cats. If cats do eat it, don’t worry, it is full of nutrients. Callisia turtle is rich in minerals and calcium.

  • Chamomile

Similar to humans, chamomile is recommended for managing your pet’s stress. It can therefore be interesting to give your cat chamomile when travelling by car or train, which can be very stressful for your cat. The various properties of chamomile will soothe, relax and calm your cat.

  • Goldenseal

Used as a disinfectant for wounds and other sores, goldenseal is an interesting plant to have on hand to treat everyday ailments. It is known for its soothing, disinfecting and healing properties. Moreover, it is not toxic for your pet.

Plants to avoid for your cat

There are many plants that are toxic to animals and therefore to cats. If you have a cat in your home, you should be aware of which plants are toxic to furry friend.

Indoor and outdoor plants to avoid are dieffenbachia, lily of the valley, lily, ficus, azalea, anthurium, daffodil, oleander, holly and mistletoe, poinsettia, yuccas, amaryllis… This list is not exhaustive and if you have any doubts before buying a plant do not hesitate to search on the internet, ask your vet for advice or ask the seller.

If your cat ingests or comes into contact with any of these plants, do not hesitate to call or take your cat directly to the vet. The consequences can be severe.

 

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Can you feed pets a vegan diet?

 

Some animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, are herbivores. Others, like hamsters, are omnivorous. Finally, there are also carnivores like cats that cannot survive without meat.

All animals need to have their nutritional needs satisfied. However, this does not mean you can’t have a vegan dog. Vegan cats, though, are a lot trickier.

Can my dog have a vegan diet?

If you were to meet a species of animal for the first time and had to make an accurate guess about its diet, you would get lots of clues by looking at its teeth. The teeth of a dog, like the teeth of a bear, proclaim loud and clear that this animal is an omnivore – that is, one that eats both meat and vegetables. If you think of your dog as a domesticated wolf, you get a good idea of its natural diet.

However, as the panda proves, a supposed meat-eater can sometimes get by perfectly well on a vegan diet. A panda’s teeth are similar to any other bear’s – long canines for meat-eating and molars for grinding vegetation. And yet pandas don’t eat anything other than bamboo. So, if a bear can be vegan, does that mean you can have a vegan dog?

The answer is yes – but it’s a yes with lots of small print! A dog requires a diet that contains the fats and proteins it would get from meat. It is dangerous to ignore this basic need and simply feed your pet with whatever you please. Some dogs have delicate stomachs at the best of times, and a low-fat, high-fibre diet can cause potentially life-threatening problems. A diet that excludes meat should never be fed to a dog without the advice of a professional pet dietician.

The collagen, elastin and keratin found in meat diets are not easily replaced by vegi equivalents. Your dog will also need the ‘long chain’ omega-3 fats found in animal products such as egg, fish and some meats. Vegan omega-3 fats are not the same as animal-derived ones.

All of which presents a headache for the vegan dog owner. There are, however, products available that claim to let your dog live a healthy, meat-free life. Before you take the plunge, it is essential to seek professional, scientific advice and guidance. Compromise is usually the best choice here – a vegan diet supplemented by some of the animal-derived essentials. Crickets, for example, can provide lots of the amino acids and keratin a vegan diet lacks, and they’re 65% protein.

Can my cat have a vegan diet?

The compromise approach is even more important for cats. These are amongst the planet’s true carnivores, obtaining all their dietary requirements from other animals.

The main challenge with minimising the meat in a cat’s diet is that, unlike many mammals (including dogs), cats cannot produce certain proteins. They have to absorb these from the meat and fish in their diet. Amino acids are another issue – cats deficient in the animal-derived amino acid taurine, for example, usually succumb to a specific type of heart problem.

Even a fortified vegan cat food cannot be confidently recommended. Turn the situation on its head, and try to imagine weaning a rabbit onto a meat-only diet, and you get some idea of the challenge – and the ethics – involved.

There are some lab-grown ‘meat’ products in development, with vegan and vegetarian cat owners in mind. However, whether these will arrive – and remain – on the market any time soon is hard to guess.

For many vegan pet owners, there is a huge ethical issue involved in feeding the animals they share a space with. Ethics, however, include the animal’s needs too, and it’s an almost impossible issue to resolve when it comes to cats. If you are able to reduce but not eliminate the meat in your cat’s diet, that’s the safer option.

Top 10 pets for vegan households

There are, of course, plenty of other pets that don’t eat meat, or that eat some meat but can still thrive on a meat-free diet. Here are our ten favourites.

1. Rabbits. No problems here – rabbits are happy vegans, with diets based on hay and vegetables. You could argue that the soft pellets they eject and then eat are animal products of a sort, but they are simply semi-digested vegetation.

2. Guinea pigs. Like rabbits, these wonderful little characters thrive on a 100% vegan diet.

3. Hamsters. Most hamster owners give them store food, you don’t always know what’s in it. However, hamsters, like rats and mice, can do without meat.

4. Gerbils. Like hamsters, gerbils are omnivorous. They have sensitive stomachs and need a quality pellet mixture. Food that is too fresh can harm them.

5. Mice. Although they will eat pretty much anything in the wild, mice can thrive on vegan diets; but it is still best to use a food mix prepared specifically for them. This ensures that they will not be deficient in any of the vitamins and minerals they need.

6. Rats. These are the most omnivorous of rodents, but as long as you feed them a vegan mix that has been fortified with all the nutrients they need, they will thrive. Indeed, rats who eat too much animal fat tend to become fat and die prematurely.

7. Chickens. If you watch a free-range hen, it soon becomes clear that she will eat anything – grass, beetles, worms, and everything in your veg patch if you’re not careful! Most chicken feed emulates this mix of plant and animal products. However, it is possible to buy vegan chicken feed, and circumstantial evidence suggests that hens can thrive on it. However, they are likely to produce fewer eggs, and you will not be able to stop them scratching for worms and bugs, no matter how vegan the layers pellets are!

8. Budgies and parrots. Vegans will have no obstacles to face with budgies and parrots, unless the birds are being bred. Egg-brooding female birds need a protein boost, normally delivered via an egg-based food or cooked meat. Vegan alternatives are available, though.

9. Finches. Many finch species enjoy bugs and mealworms as treats, but these are not an essential part of an adult finch’s diet. These birds thrive on a mixture of seeds and fresh vegetables.

10. One for reptile fans. When you think of pet snakes and lizards, you probably have an image of dead mice or doomed crickets. However, there are a few commonly kept pet reptiles that eat a 100% vegan diet, the most popular being the Green iguana. Getting the balance of vegetables just right is very important for the animal’s health, but meat is certainly something you won’t have to worry about.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to vegan pets. Keeping a vegan cat or dog is a much trickier proposition, though. And with all these animals, a balanced diet that matches the pet’s nutritional requirements should be your primary goal.

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This entry was posted in Budgies


How To Train Your Cat To Walk on a Lead

Bhim Solomon is Omlet’s junior guest writer, currently exploring fun activities to try with her two kittens Moonpie and Shadow Weaver, and introducing easy tricks you can try with your feline friends! In this article, Bhim talks through the simple steps to training a kitten to walk on a lead and the benefits of safe outdoor adventures for cats.


My kittens are 11 weeks old. They are Scottish Folds and their names are Moonpie and Shadow-Weaver. Moonpie is a girl and Shadow is a boy, they are brother and sister. They live indoors because they are quite small still but we want them to know what the outside world is like so we decided to buy a harness and lead for them so we could take them for walks.

Not many people know that you can take your cat for a walk, just like a dog, but one day I was in London in the Conran Shop and I spotted a beautiful, big soft grey cat on a lead! I asked the lady on the other end of the lead if I could stroke it. She was very friendly and said of course, she told me his name was Moonpie. Then she said would you like to see a trick? She got some treats out and said “paw” Moonpie lifted his paw into her hand, it was so cool. Then, the owner said “Hi Five” and Moonpie did a Hi Five! I’d wanted a kitten since I was 4 and now I knew I wanted a Scottish Fold and I decided to call my kitten Moonpie too.

I couldn’t get the kittens straight away but little did I know that as a surprise for my 10th birthday my parents gave me two little Scottish folds. When I first got them they were eight weeks old, my brother wanted to call the boy Shadow-Weaver because half his face is grey and the other is a kind of apricot colour. At the beginning they both slept a lot and we kept them in one room so that they could get used to us little by little. Then one day we let them adventure around the house, then the next day they wanted to go outside. I asked my Papi if we could get a lead and harness for them. He agreed and we got two for the kittens. I thought it would be good to get them used to being on a lead when they are young. I thought I would write a description about how to put it on, and use the harness to take your cat\kitten for walks to help other people who would like to take their indoor cats outside safely.

 


How to Fit a Harness

  1. First, you adjust your strap so it fits your kitten.
  2. After you have adjusted your strap, you do up one of the side clips. Slip the front over their head, put one foot in the gap that’s shown in the photo and do up the other clip.

  3. Check that the harness isn’t too tight and all the clips are done up, you might have to adjust the size a bit now, you should be able to get a finger under comfortably but if it’s too loose your cat might slip out by accident. If your kitten is still too small for the harness to adjust small enough then you can get them used to wearing it in the house as if they slip out it won’t matter too much.
  4. Once you are satisfied that the harness fits securely and your cat is happy then all that is left is to clip the lead on the hook and take them for a walk.
  5. Your kitten is now ready!

First, to make sure Moonpie was happy with walking and running in her new lead I took her for a walk around the house which she was used to, with the back door shut. I did this for three days in a row before we went outside.

I chose a nice sunny day for taking her outside on the lead. As I took her outside she was a little bit unsure and stayed still for a moment. Suddenly she went to some catmint that we have close to the door and put her whiskers in it.

Then she ran across the lawn at maximum speed, I had to sprint to keep up! She wanted to explore an old small tree. Moonpie can run really fast! Moonpie climbed up onto the tree and stayed still so she could balance. She was having lots and lots of fun exploring!

Next she started to explore the concrete part of the garden and looked behind the metal bucket, she inspected the wheelbarrow wheel and legs (she hadn’t seen one before).

Then I think she knew where the house was as she ran back towards it.

We had stayed outside for about ten minutes and as she ran towards the house I guessed she was tired, she went straight to the back door and as I let her into the house she went to the ‘Kitten Room’ as I looked she got into her bed and after she had licked herself clean she went straight to sleep, a little fluffy ball.

I really like taking the kittens for walks because you get your exercise and have lots of fun seeing what the kittens like best in the garden. I think the kittens really like it because they get to smell fresh air and see the wildlife including our chickens. I try to take them into the garden when it is nice weather, so about twice a week after school and on the weekends. After school every day I try to put them on the harness so they can get really used to it.

As they get bigger and bigger we will take the kittens on longer walks. It’s a really safe and fun way for them to explore the world around them. If you live in the city and you want your cat to have fresh air, exercise and to stimulate their senses but are worried about your cat then you can take them out on a lead and they can safely explore outside with your supervision, they can even learn to take the bus or the tube!

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Pride of Omlet: Saving Sophia’s Life

 

This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

-Written by Anneliese Paul

Harry on the sofa

When you’ve grown up with animals, a home isn’t a home without a pet. Bringing Harry home was life-changing for both him and his humans, Sarah and daughter Sophia. Harry has a special gift. Harry has a unique epilepsy monitor, and he’s saved Sophia’s life countless times.

In March 2017, Harry, a beautiful black kitten, was only a few months old and was trapped in a cupboard, clinging to life. He wasn’t allowed out. He was overfed, caked in dirt, attacked by a dog and discarded as ‘the runt of the litter’.

Sarah heard about the cat in the cupboard through a colleague at work and couldn’t let a kitten suffer. She approached his owner via Facebook and asked, “Can I have him, please.” Harry’s neglectful owner gladly gave him up, and Harry began his recovery.

At first, he would cower in corners. The sound of footsteps petrified him. However, within a week, he was a different cat, running to greet his humans at the door. “The first time he purred with us, he looked around in a panic, thinking, What’s this? but he blossomed from there.”

It’s four years later, 3 pm on a Monday and Harry’s sitting on the window sill of his loving home waiting for his human, Sophia.

Sophia has autism and epilepsy, and Harry’s unique talent has saved her life more times than Sarah, her mom, can tell me.

Before getting Harry, every aspect of Sophia’s life was about cats. She loved going to the shops and looking at things for cats, researching about them online and looking at pictures of cats. So when Harry came into her life, Sophia was overjoyed. Harry became Sophia’s shadow instantly. He follows her wherever she goes in the house. When she eats, he sits next to her. If she’s in bed, he’s sleeping with her. When Sophia gets home from school, Harrys always there, watching, waiting on the windowsill for her. He never wants to be separated from her for too long.

As the bond between Harry and Sophia grew, so did Harry’s voice. Generally a calm cat, he became quite vocal, meowing to be let in or out. Bizarrely he also started to meow at the loft hatch. It can go on for 20 minutes or more. Sarah’s taken him up to have a look, but it’s still something that spooks him. Harry’s sensitive nature and vocal talents became the gift that saved Sophia’s life.

Six months after Harry came to live with them, Sophia started having epileptic seizures. They became more and more severe and frequent. At the same time, Harry began screaming in the night. Sarah went running and found that Sophia was having a seizure in her sleep.

There’s no monitor for the kind of epilepsy Sophia has, nothing you can put on your wrist or bed to sound an alert when a seizure happens. For Sophia, SUDEP (sudden unexpected death of someone with epilepsy) is a real threat. For her parent, Sarah, it’s the worst nightmare she has to live with twenty fours hours a day.

Harry began calling the alert, not just at night but in the daytime too. It’s different from a normal caterwaul, Sarah says. It’s a panicked alert call – a scream mixed with a howl. Whenever Sophia’s up in her room and starts having a seizure, Harry howls and screams until Sarah gets there, he sits, often on her chest, nudging her, rubbing his face on her, trying to get her to wake up.

Before Harry came into their lives, Sophia couldn’t have any independence. She needed to be with Sarah all the time, in case a seizure happened. But now Sophia and Sarah can have more time for themselves, knowing that if somethings wrong, Harry will call.

Harry was the missing member of Sarah and Sophia’s family. With Harry at home, Sophia and Sarah feel safe. “He’s a sweetheart. A lifesaver. A sense of security that very few people can appreciate,” says Sarah. “He means the world to me. I love him,” says Sophia.

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