There are lots of ways to help cats, and here are just a few. Cats are independent creatures that like to laze around (they still need shady places, to avoid heatstroke) and they also like to sleep a lot.
Make your garden safe for pets to avoid toxic plants (just brushing a tail against houseplants like lilies or sago palm an harm). Avoid cocoa/pine/rubber mulch (and fresh compost) near pets.
Never use essential oils (beauty, cleaning, candles) near cats. Air rooms before allowing cats back in (don’t use aromatherapy, if cats sleep on your bed).
- Kitty Collars (6 months plus, depending on size and breed) make quality collars that snap open, if cats get snagged. Info can be embroidered on, to avoid hanging tags. Read FAQ for choosing/fitting collars of the right type, age etc (kittens grow quickly).
- Ecokitty makes organic catnip, which is safer than playing with wool. Cats love it, but don’t give too much, to avoid upset tummies. This company also makes fun cardboard playhouses.
- Avoid cat litters with essential oils or pine, and change over gradually. Natusan is made with recycled wood, endorsed by vets.
- Cats don’t always ‘right themselves’ when they fall. Flat Cats & Cataire (custom) both make window guards.
- What Cats Want is an illustrated guide by Japan’s leading cat doctor. Learn how to name your cat, why it’s important where you put their water bowl, how to groom them properly, and why cats need a quiet place to sleep. Plus which plants and essential oils can harm.
- Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy is a book recommended by a certified cat behaviour consultant. Making cats happy is not about buying them lots of things, it’s about finding out what matters to them. Animal behaviour expert Zazie Todd addresses every stage of your cat’s life, offering surprising and effective advice, with science to back it up. Train your cat without harm (don’t use a spray bottle) and provide for special needs like asthma and for senior moggies.
- Catology is a book at the science of what makes up your feline friend. Why do cats have a secret second nose, do they feel love, happiness or jealousy? Why are their tongues covered in microscopic hooks and do they always land on their feet (no). Why are cats scared of cucumbers, and why do cats purr when both happy and distressed.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
The simple truth is that when you buy, a shelter animal dies. Shelters are full to bursting with over-bred cats, yet many are purebreds (just google your breed choice, to find specialty shelters who can help). The main reason why the issue of homeless cats never disappears is because cats have lots of kittens, so spaying/neutering by shelters is key.
A few years ago, the Icelandic bank scandal was in the news, and one major cat charity lost £11 million. One has to ask – with all the cats and kittens that need spaying/neutering (that would likely result in no homeless cats and fewer feral cats – what was £11 million doing in an offshore bank account, and not being used to solve this issue?)
Feral cats don’t sing on dustbins, like Top Cat. Most have the feline version of HIV (not transferrable to humans) and many have injuries from fights and car accidents. There are many charities that help, but most will remain wild. If you have land and no predators, some charities rehome them as ‘farm cats’. 60s model Celia Hammond runs a London charity that helps feral cats (she singlehandedly saved a whole colony of them, to stop them being killed during the 2012 London Olympics). Her site lists those needing homes.
A surprising fact is that half of all shelter cats are black. Not due to superstitious nonsense, so much as the modern craze for ‘selfies’, as the colour doesn’t show up so well on Instagram posts. How tragic is that?
CatLoaf Luxury Cat Scratcher Bed is a stylish addition to any home. Made from premium recycled cardboard, it has a unique bowl shape for your cat to scratch, stretch, sleep or loaf. In white or dark grey, cats and sleep, rest or scratch their claws, and includes some quality organic catnip. Most cats may prefer this to your fine furniture! Few cat scratcher beds have this special bowl shape and cats are drawn to the comfort and warm cardboard. Solid and firm, it does not smell and will last a long time, even with daily use. It’s a good shape for cats of all sizes from big cuddly gingers to chunky British shorthairs. Decorated with style.
What’s My Cat Thinking? unlocks the secret code of cats, for a deeper connection with the feline in your life. Ever wondered why cats behave the way they do? Cats can be quite sensitive to their surroundings, and sometimes their behaviour can leave you scratching your head. Learn body language and why cats scratch sofas, and find tips for moving house or introducing a new cat into the family. Drawing on the latest animal behaviour psychology, learn why cats sleep on your keyboard, or take charge of the dog! With stunning illustrations on a wide range of breeds and informative text. Now when your cat is sitting on your head at 4am, you’ll know why!