Mews: 2017 Christmas Guide for Catlovers and Owners! *Meow*

Hi everyone,

With the colder times of the year it’s time to provide you all with another one of our christmas gift guides!

We hope you’ll enjoy our suggestions and do let us know which one is your favourite in the comments.

Gifts for Cats:

1. The Fowndry

You like important landmarks around the world? You want to give your cat a chance to experience them as well? These super cute cat houses are just the thing for this!

2. Sainsbury’s

This adorable christmas themed fish toy is available from your local Sainsbury’s supermarket in the UK! As you can see Rennie enjoyed his little present a lot. 🙂

3. Cheshire & Wain London

Those of you that have been following us for a while probably already know that we are huge fans of Cheshire & Wain London! So of course their latest range, the  Cheshire & Wain X Choupette’s Diary Collar had to be featured in our Christmas Gift guide! Two of ours have featured some of their collars before as you can see on Oliver and Nubia.

4.  Find Me A Gift

Is your cat going to be the next famous DJ?!? Find out with this fantastic DJ cat scratch deck from Find Me A Gift!

This bowl is another fun idea from Find Me A Gift. And we certainly know the feeling of this… whenever the bowl is empty Rennie will MEOW for more. 😉

5. annabeljames

annabeljames the place for luxurious but affordable gifts doesn’t just do gifts for humans! We found these lovely gifts for cats on their site. Such as this super cute storage tin.

6. Pet Angel

Looking for a fabulous brush for your feline companion? We were very impressed with the Pet Angel from Tangle Angel and will be posting a full review on it next month.

7. Canagan

Looking for a christmas dinner for your kitties? Canagan is another great range of food that is grain free and caters for our carnivore friends.

8. PetSafe

Looking for something useful for your cat that will also make your life easier?!? PetSafe has just the thing for you with their automatic litter box! The ScoopFree uses crystal litter replacement trays so all you need to do is take one out, seal it up and put the next one in!

Of course PetSafe also has a variety of cool cat toys of which we’ve reviewed some already and have more coming up over the next few months. 🙂

9. Feline Cuisine

Of course no gift guide for cats is complete without at least one food recommendation and this time we have a bunch for you! This new Feline Cuisine range is exclusively available at Tesco and we can’t wait to try it out with our own three connoisseurs.

10. Katzenworld Shop

Of course we had to include our own Blog Shop christmas range, not just because it’s our own shop but because the toys from 4cats are simply that good!

Additionally if you are looking for food we have also got amazing high quality food from our partner Almo Nature available in our shop. Don’t believe us? Check out what the cats thought!

11. Home Bargain

Of course we totally understand that some of you might be looking for something a little cheaper and that’s no problem as we’ve got some ideas from Home Bargain for you to cover that!

At time of writing the prices in store were:
Advent calendar – £1.29
Cat ornament bauble – 99p
Christmas stocking – £1.99

Gifts for Humans:

1. buyagift

buyagift is a wonderful place to find gift vouchers and more for your friends and families! And of course they’ve got things that us cat lovers will enjoy too. Such as this feed the Tigers experience.

We recently received a voucher from a friend for an afternoon tea experience and meet the Tigers through their site and will be making use of this once it’s warmer again. But we certainly can’t wait for this and will report back to you on our own experience. In the meantime this has made it into the top of our gift ideas for humans thanks to the surprise present. 🙂

For all of their cat themed experiences simply click here.

2. Espensen Spirit

Back for a second year running are the amazingly cute bottles from Espensen Spirit a local flavoured gin and vodka maker in Bristol! Available in many unique flavours that are sure to delight the person you choose to receive these.

What’s even better donations from the sale of every drink will be made to different local charities, including the homeless charity Caring in Bristol (particularly close to Sam’s heart as she left home very young and slept rough/sofa-surfed), Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, the Racehorse Rehoming Centre and a local cancer charity.

3. Mustard

Looking for a cute way to store your pens at work? Mustard has got you covered there! 🙂

They even have fairy lights and other amazingly cute cat items so do check out their full range of cat items.

4. Charles Clinkard

You are a crazy cat dad or mother? You want to get your children started early to ensure that they continue the legacy of loving cats? Charles Clinkard has an adorable lunchbox and backpack to achieve just that. 😀

5. Ginger Fox

This super cute and fun card game by Ginger Fox designed for the whole family can be purchased online and at John Lewis or Waterstones! We got one of these to try out and certainly LOVED it! 🙂 For those not in the UK Amazon is probably going to be the best location to get a copy of this.

6. Homesitters UK

Sprite & Scamp, Photographed for Homesitters, Dulwich, 12th July 2016

While kind of more of a necessity we all want to know that our kitties are safe while we are away! If you’re planning to go away at Christmas but won’t be able to take your cat with you, give them the gift of someone to love them while you’re away via our friends over at Homesitters (UK).

7. Find Me A Gift

I am sure like us you all take loads of photos of your cats as well. But how to display them so your visitors can see the cuteness of your cat(s)? This photo frame is the purrfect solution for this!

8. Parkinson’s UK

Looking for a gift that keeps you entertained at what could be a boring daytime job without your cat’s’ presence? This super cute 365 days calendar from the charity Parkinson’s UK is purrfect alternative to attempting to sneak your cat into the office.

9. iRobot

We all know how much we love our cats but at the same time don’t we hate the dust they leave behind from their litterbox? iRobot is a perfect solution here as it can keep your house clean without any effort of your own. 😉

We actually got a chance to try out one of these and were very impressed – the detailed review on this will follow soon!

10. Ulster Weave

These lovely kitchen and dining items from Ulster Weavers come in two different designs. The Cats in Waiting and the Catwalk range. There are items from as little as £2 so there should be something for every budget!

Cat Books:

1. Catfulness

Catfulness is an adorable book about the daily life of cats! It’s full with adorable illustrations will certainly make your life easier and more enjoyable as cats have so much they can teach us. 😉

The book is available through most book shops in various languages and of course via Amazon.

2. Claws, Confessions of a Cat Groomer


Claws, Confessions of a Cat Groomer by Anita Kelsey is one of our must reads this year! While a dedicated feature is coming soon we simply can’t wait until that point to recommend the book to you. 🙂

It’s a fun to read book that picks on some of her favorite grooming tales while showing readers how to do it right! 😉

3. A Million Christmas Cats

The book is available via most bookstores and Amazon and you can even get a hand signed copy as special stocking filler directly from the author!

Looking for something relaxing to do while sitting at the fireplace or relaxing on the sofa? A Million Christmas Cats is the cats meow for this! Available through book shops as well as Amazon.

4. Amazon Fire 7 HD

You prefer to read your books via an e-reader? The new Amazon Fire 7 HD could come in handy here! We got one of these recently to be able to read our books for reviews on the go and of course you can even watch series and movies on there.

Plus Amazon has plenty of cat themed books, movies and series available via their shop and Amazon Video.

8. Cattitude

If you want to learn how to draw your cat you’ve found the book! Cattitude: Drawing Cats for Creative People by Lulu Mayo is fun and easy to follow.

We shall make sure to review some more these over the coming year!

For more ideas you can also browse our in house product reviews here. These are products that we have thoroughly tested and provided you with our own photos and recommendations.

Not yet subscribed to our Newsletter? Click here!

Thanks,

Marc

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10 Ways to Help your Dog and Cat Become BFFs

10 Ways to Help your Dog and Cat Become BFFs
by John Devlin

Cats and dogs don’t get along, right! The truth is; both natural predators they would prefer to avoid each other if possible but with more people than ever having multi-pet households what can we do to help these long-time enemies live in harmony.

Source:Pixabay.com

Start Early

The best way for dogs and cats to get along is by introducing them at a young age puppies and kittens under one year of age are more open and accepting of new situations and can pick up on body language more easily plus they will both be keener to play rather than fight. It is a good idea to let your young puppy or kitten meet other species at this time even if you don’t intend them to live together so they will not regard them as enemies in the future.

Source:pixabay.com

Prepare your home

If you are bringing a new dog or cat into your home which already has a pet it is essential to prepare a safe place for the cat to feel relaxed keep them in different rooms to start with perhaps separated by a baby gate so they can see each other and get used to one another’s scent without confrontation and always provide somewhere high for your cat to escape too, like a scratching post or cat tree, if things become too overwhelming for her. Cat food and litter trays can be attractive to dogs so it’s a good idea to feed your cat separately and keep the litter tray out of Fido’s reach.

Introduce them slowly

Do not bring a new kitten or puppy into the home and forcefully introduce them by holding the cat close to the dog, not only will this be a frightening experience for the kitty but you are likely to end up with arms full of scratches. Take it slow, let them get used to each other with a safety gate or crate separating them initially and if this is successful let them approach each other at their own pace with the dog preferably on a lead to start with, just in case the cat flees and he decides to give chase.

Research

If you are adopting a new dog it is vital you know his background to be sure he can live and interact with cats without incident before introducing him in to your home and remember a cat’s natural instinct is to run if she feels threatened some breeds like Sighthounds and Terriers have an extremely high prey drive and are not the best choice for a multi-pet household unless socialized from an early age. Some breeds which are known to be good with cats include Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cavapoos and Havanese. Cats tend to tolerate smaller dogs better as they are not so intimidated by size but some large breeds can also be gentle with kitties and these include Golden Retrievers and the Newfoundland. The same is true if you are adopting a cat, if they have been attacked by a dog in the past they may never be able to live with another canine.

Source:pixabay.com

Exercise the dog before introduction

A tired dog will not react to a situation the same as one which is full of energy, before introducing the two make sure your pooch has been on a long walk, that way he will be more relaxed and accepting of the situation. A dog which is full of beans will just get over-excited and will make the cat more fearful. Remember any negative incidents at the beginning of their relationship will just make the process longer so do everything you can to make these initial introductions go smoothly.

Training

While cats are not the easiest animal to train it is possible and of course you should be training your dog from an early age, words like “leave it” “come” “sit” and “no” are useful commands and if your pooch will respond instantly so much the better. Dogs can generally do more damage to a cat so it is important to keep kitty safe at all times but on the other hand, do not let your puss beat up the dog either.

Use positive reinforcement

It is important to use positive reinforcement for both species once they are showing calm relaxed behavior give them a reward when the cat walks into the room where the dog is, say “here is kitty” reward the dog and vice versa this will give them a positive association with the other. Animals get jealous too, so it is vital to treat them equally don’t lavish affection on one while the other is present, it could lead to resentment.

Let the cat approach in its own time

Cats are naturally cautious creatures and do not do well when forced into situations they are unsure of, it may be a case that your two pets will tolerate each other but never be close buddies and if so it is important to accept this. Don’t try to speed things up by constantly pushing them together. Leaving them to establish their own boundaries is more likely to see them living in harmony together and sometime in the future you may be lucky and find them enjoying a nap together.

Source:pixabay.com

Separate them when not at home

Like us humans, even if your four-legged friends become good pals they will not necessarily get on 24/7 especially in the beginning, so it is essential to keep them apart when you are not there to prevent unwanted scuffles and potential tragedy. A cat will attack a dog when backed into a corner and most dogs will react which could result in a fight and if you are not there to intervene the consequences can be dire.

Observation

Watch out for signs of strife, if your cat is constantly hiding, a young puppy or kitten is always annoying an older animal, or your dog is exhibiting stressful behaviors like constantly licking his paws or panting excessively, there may be an underlying issue. It is essential to look out for signs that the two may not be getting on as well as you think so you can work on making them both happy.

So, there you have it dogs and cats can get along and live together in perfect harmony but it takes time and patience, depending on the animals age, personality and breed they may be able to live together peacefully but it is also important to remember that some will never get along and you may have to resign yourself to living in a one species home. That being said, if you are successful, cats and dogs can become good friends and some develop an extremely strong bond, so good luck and let’s hope your pets don’t end up fighting like …. well you know!

Author Bio

John Devlin

Owner – Dogsbarn.com

Husband, father and avid dog lover. Currently the proud owner of George a pedigree Golden Retriever that barely leaves my side. However, cute this sounds a little break from the dog hairs every now and then would be nice!

What You Need To Know About Diabetic Cats

What You Need To Know About Diabetic Cats

If you are the proud owner of a furry feline, your cat probably means the world to you. While these are pretty resilient creatures, you would still do everything in your power to ensure that your buddy stays healthy and happy at call costs. This is why it is imperative that you understand all the risks that are out there and how to properly combat them. You might even be surprised to learn that diabetes in cats is becoming just as common as it is in humans. With that being said, the two are very different and if your cat is diagnosed with this horrible disease, you need to know how to interpret the warning signs and administer proper treatments. Below, that is exactly what you are going to learn and much more.

Understanding What Diabetes Is

To properly care for your cat, you need to completely understand what diabetes is. Diabetes is basically a disorder in the body where blood sugar or glucose levels cannot be effectively utilized or regulated. While there are a couple of hormones in the body that are crucial when it comes to glucose metabolism, insulin is without a doubt the most important. Blood sugar and glucose is actually the substance that fuels the body, and it is broken down from the foods that your cat eats. However, insulin is actually the hormone that gets the glucose into the cells, so they can properly store and utilize them.

Despite having diabetes, it is entirely possible for the cat to live a completely normal and totally fulfilling life.

Understanding The Different Types Of Diabetes in Cats

Just like in humans, cats can be diagnosed with two different types of diabetes. The first is type I diabetes, which is a condition when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to sustain the body. The second type of diabetes is Type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is a condition where the cells in your cat’s body doesn’t respond to the insulin level well. While there is enough insulin in your cat’s body, the cells just don’t absorb and react to it in the manner that they should.

Whatever type your cat is diagnosed with, the end result will not be good, as this could lead to more serve complications and even death if not properly treated. While diabetes is an incurable disease, you can help your cat manage his or her levels and live a long happy life with this condition.

What Types Of Cats Are At Risk For Developing Diabetes?

As mentioned above diabetes is becoming more and more common in the feline family, especially Type II diabetes. In fact, nowadays type II diabetes is considered a fairly normal condition in most cats. While there are no known specifics as to what causes this disease, there are some factors that can put your cat at risk. For instance, males are more at risk of developing diabetes than females, neutered cats that are over 8 years old are more at risk, Burmese cats seem to be a species of cats that is more common to develop the disease, and any cat that sticks strictly to a high carbohydrate diet is more likely to develop the disease. In addition to this, overweight cats are also at a higher risk of developing diabetes as compared to skinner cats.

Learning To Interpret Early Warning Signs And Symptoms

To be 100% positive that your feline friend is suffering from diabetes, you will have to visit a vet and get a proper diagnosis, which will require urine and blood tests. However, there are some signs and symptoms that you can keep an eye on that might indicate that your cat is suffering from this horrible disease.  While these signs and symptoms might not be directly related to diabetes, they should not be ignored and could be a very good indication that your cat is suffering from diabetes.

  • Excessive Drinking – If you notice that your cat is drinking water excessively, it could be a good indication of diabetes. However, it could also mean that your cat has a kidney condition, liver disorder, or hormonal condition.
  • Frequent Urination – Pay extra special attention to the litter box and areas around the litter box. If you notice that there are more urine spots in the litter box, or your cat is unable to make it to the litter box, this could be another indication of diabetes.
  • Increased Appetite With Weight Loss – It is very common for most diabetic cats to have a ravenous appetite. In fact, if your cat is diabetic, you will probably notice him or her pestering you more and more for food. However, what you might not realize is that despite your cat’s appetite he or she will still lose weight. This can be a very serious condition that should not be overlooked.
  • Weird Walking Pattern – Although weird or impaired walking usually doesn’t develop until the later stages, it can be another indication of diabetes. In fact, vets refer to this condition as plantigrade stance, and it is the result of damaged nerves in the back legs. This condition is especially noticeable when you view you cat from the side.
  • No More Jumping – Keep a close eye on your cat’s activity level, and if you notice that he or she is not jumping around anymore, this could be yet another indication of diabetes. In fact, your cat will probably just tend to lie around more and more often.
  • Vomiting And Lack Of Appetite – Of course, any owner is going to be concerned when their cat is vomiting and not eating. However, you might be surprised to learn that this can also be an indication of diabetes. If it has gotten to this stage, then the diabetes is at a severe level and your cat’s life is in danger.

What Owners Need To Know About Treating Diabetes

It should be well known that all cats with diabetes might not have to be treated with insulin. In fact, with some simple dietary changes it is possible that you can learn to control your cat’s condition and provide him or her with a long and happy life. With that being said, the majority of cats diagnosed with the condition will require insulin. This is why it is imperative that you understand everything that you possible can about insulin for cats.

Understanding The Characteristics Of Insulin

There are a variety of different types of insulin that are available for your cat. Canadian Insulin can help you find the insulin that you need when you need it. Below, you will learn more about the most distinctive characteristics of insulin.

  • Source – Insulin for cats can be extracted from the pancreas of pigs, or cattle. In some cases, some insulin treatments might even be comprised of a combination of pig and cattle. In fact, insulin for cats is very similar to the same type of insulin that is used to treat human diabetes.
  • Duration – Insulin comes available in two different duration forms. You can administer long-acting insulin or short-acting insulin. It will really be up to your vet to determine which of these two is the best option for your cat.
  • Concentration – It should also be noted that insulin is available in a variety of different concentrations. For instance, insulin is available in 40, 100, or a 500 ml. It is important to note that when you are administering insulin, you have to make sure that you are using the correct needle. For example, if you are administering 40 ml of insulin to your cat, you have to use a U-40 syringe, otherwise the dosage would not measure out correctly. A U-100 syringe is required for 100 ml and a U-500 syringe is required for 500 ml.
  • Frequency Of Administration – Depending on the severity of the diabetes and the levels of blood glucose in your cat, you may be required to administer treatments at different intervals. However, most of the time short-acting insulin is usually given twice a day, while long-acting insulin can be given once a day. Everything really depends on your cat’s response to the insulin and the severity of the diabetes.

What Can Happen If Diabetes Is Not Treated

Diabetes is normally completely controllable and manageable if caught early enough. However, there are some cases when diabetes has gone undetected for far too long and other complications have developed. Below, you will learn about some of the complications that can arise if your cat’s diabetes is not properly treated.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis is when you cat’s body cannot convert glucose into energy it has to burn something to produce energy. The cat’s body usually ends up burning fat, which can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. The body can only burn so much fact before it starts to shut down and normal body function just can’t keep up anymore.

The Unique Types Of Insulin For Felines

The unfortunate truth is that almost every diabetic cat will need insulin therapy in order to survive. The cat’s diet will also be very important. Nevertheless, it will probably not survive without insulin. So, what insulin is available for felines? The answer is probably surprising. There are many different insulin products that work with cats. A lot of veterinary specialists recommend glargine. This type of insulin is sold as Lantus. It is manufactured by Sanofi Aventis. This recombinant human insulin works exceptionally well for felines.

When combined with the right diet, Lantus will greatly reduce the cat’s chance of experiencing remission. That means that the cat may no longer need to use insulin at some point. Unfortunately, Lantus can be a little expensive. The good news is that there are some alternatives. NPH or neutral protamine Hagedorn is another popular insulin for cats. PZI, Vetsulin and Detemir are other good choices. It is truly impossible for pet owners to know what will work best for their animals.

With that being said, you should first speak with a licensed vet. With their assistance you will easily be able to find out what will suit your furry friend the best.

May Be Rectified

Cats are pretty hardy and their bodies can repair over a period of time. Diabetes in felines is often transient. By treating the problem with the right insulin and a good diet, there is a possibility that you’ll be able to reverse the problem completely. There is a good chance that the feline’s pancreas cells will actually regain their ability to produce insulin at some point in the future. Usually, this happens within the first month or two of starting treatment. Sometimes, it can happen a few years after diagnosis.

Again, Lantus is the most recommended insulin for cats. It is believed that this insulin is most likely to restore full functionality to the cat’s pancreas cells. With this in mind, you should always go above and beyond to keep your feline on a strict routine. Make sure he or she gets their insulin as recommended by the vet. Also, be sure to keep them on the recommended diet to avoid future problems.

Every Cat Is Unique

Finally, you should realize that every cat in the world is different. Some cats will do exceptionally well on Lantus, whereas others might not. There is always a possibility that your cat will not do well on Lantus, despite it being the most popular and effective. With that being said, you really need to find out what is going to work best for your cat. In order to find out what is realistically going to work the best, you need to have the animal examined by a licensed vet. You should never attempt to choose an insulin on your own.

The vet will perform tests and experiments to find out what will help your cat. They will also provide you with instructions for administering the insulin to your cat. Be sure to utilize this information and stick to the instructions provided. This will ensure that your cat is able to live a fulfilling life, despite having diabetes.