What to do with your cat when you are on holidays

Never leave them at home alone

One thing that I would recommend you never do is leave your cat alone while you go off on holidays. Leaving a cat alone for more than one day is in my opinion a complete recipe for disaster. It is also a terrible idea to leave them at home with enough food or enough water, falsely believing that this level of care will suffice. Cats need attention, they need their litter tray cleaned, their water topped up and to be fed. They also need to be played with and checked on. This is essential for your kittens well-being and must be done if you are away.

 

Make sure you provide the cat sitter with enough supplies

Before you go on holidays you must ensure your cats vaccinations are up to date. You also must provide all of the food, litter and other essentials needed so they can care for your cat. Then a cat sitter can be hired in to care for your cat whilst you are on holidays. This will call in once or twice a day and feed them and make sure everything is ok. They must be given a clear list guiding them as to what they are supposed to do. They should clean the litter box as often as required and replace the litter. They should also ensure to give the cat fresh water and top up their feed. Time should also be spent playing with the cat and checking on its well-being, and checking that it is eating and drinking ok. This visitor can be a mere cat sitter, a friend or someone who stays in your house while you are gone.

 

Sending your cat on their own little holiday

The other option is to have your cats cared for in a home. This may be a good option if you have a kitten who is good with both people and other cats and is social.

 

Besides all of this, pet friendly accommodation is possible to find. You need to choose the best option for you and your cat so that you are both happy and so that you can enjoy your well-deserved holiday.

Training your cat

Despite what many people may think, cats can be easily trained. Although they may not be quite as obedient as dogs, they can still be thought how to use a litter tray, shake hands and stop unwanted behaviour. The main things needed for training your kitten are a clicker, lots of treats and some patience.

 

Clickers for cats

Clickers should only be used to reward good behaviour. Using a clicker when not deserved with reduce its effect and almost make it useless. A treat should be given to your kitten following the click, this will lead them to soon understand that the click is in fact rewarding good behaviour.

 

To train a cat to come towards you, again, the best way to do this involves food. Before feeding each day call their name. This will make them associate their name being called with food. Again use a clicker when they come and reward them with a treat.

 

Training your cat to use a toilet

Training a cat to use a toilet is much easier than it sounds. Each day bring the litter tray closer and closer to the toilet. Eventually a tray on a stool should be used. After a little patience, your cat will be using the toilet in no time.

 

How to train your cat to shake hands

Training a cat to shake hands is also possible. Align yourself with your cat and have a treat in hand. Tap its paw, saying shake, and reward them until they do it without tapping.

 

How to stop a cat from scratching the furniture

If your cat is scratching the furniture, you may need to train them to do otherwise. A simple fix would be to invest in a small scratching post on which they could sharpen their nails instead.

Playing with your cat

All cats need valuable exercise to be factored into their days. This strengthens the bond between yourself and your cat. It also helps them to maintain a healthy weight alongside releasing any negative energy that they may harbour. This also allows you to spend more time with your cat and allows a shy cat to gain more confidence.

 

What type of toys should I use for a kitten?

Playing with kittens is one of the most fun and rewarding things to do. However, it is important to remember that they are still only little and thus care needs to be taken when choosing what toys to let them play with. Small or sharp objects are definitely not suitable as they can be easily choked on. A soft toy which they can safely play with is best.

 

Get a toy that mimics a cat’s natural behaviours

Cats are highly intelligent, naturally curious and active creatures. They crave both mental and physical stimulation. They need to be able to hunt, stalk and thus act out their natural behaviours. This is why I would recommend to source a toy that mimics the natural movements of their prey. They should be allowed to capture this toy at the end to satisfy their natural hunting instincts.

 

Rotate your cat’s toys

Another piece of advice I have is to rotate your kitten’s toys. This keeps them interested and always willing to play. It also prevents them from getting fed up with one particular toy. However, some cats do prefer to constantly play with the same toy so decide what is best for your cat.

 

Dry food puzzle cat toys

Dry food puzzles are an excellent toy. These are particularly good if you have a cat who is overweight. These mean that treats are harder to get to and makes them move more, thus promoting weight loss. They are also really entertaining and fun to play with.

 

Playing relieves boredom and promotes bonding between yourself and your cat. In my opinion, it is one of the most essential parts of your little kitty’s life.

Insulated cat houses

If you are planning on keeping your cat outside, an insulated cat house is the perfect option. Here at Woofs.ie we have the Buddy Cat House which comes with the option of adding insulation. The benefit of this insulation is that you can add it in the winter to keep your cat super cosy, but you can remove it during the summer to keep them cooler.

 

They keep your cat super warm!

Cats love warmth. I am sure that everyone has seen their kitty sunbathing on their car bonnet on a warm day, or picking out the warmest spot to lie down. This insulated cat house is the perfect way to fulfil your kitty’s love for heat.

 

A cat’s normal body temperature should be around thirty-eight degrees Celsius. Sometimes, in winter, their fur is not enough to deal with the cold. Short-haired or old cats are particularly vulnerable to the cold, while long-haired and younger cats are much more able to stand it. Spending too much time out in the cold in the winter can lead to cats suffering from frost-bite or hypothermia, a condition here their body temperature falls below normal as a result of excessive cold weather.

 

The insulation can be removed to alter the temperature of the cat house

This is why insulated cat houses are such a good idea. They allow you to keep your cat at the correct temperature year round. On warm days the insulation can easily be removed. On colder days the insultation can be simply strapped on with the Velcro provided. This means that your cat will have a cosy environment that they will love to be in.

Grooming your cat

Although most cats spend the majority of their waking hours grooming themselves, they sometimes need a little extra help. Cats can have short or long hair and this is a major factor which determines the amount of grooming for them is needed. Brushing is so important. It keeps their gorgeous fur lush by removing any dirt, grease and dead hair from their coat.

 

Brushing your cat

For brushing I would recommend a cat specific metal comb or rubber brush. This should be done no less than once or twice a week, obviously more if they are a long haired cat or tend to shed a lot. As any cat owner will be aware, cats hate being restrained. My advice is to approach them slowly, possibly using treats, and hold it gently while brushing. Always brush slowly and ensure to keep praising your kitten and rewarding its good behaviour with treats.

 

Bathing your cat

I would recommend to avoid bathing your cat as cats despise water. However, if your cat is out playing outside and gets particularly dirty or if you own a show cat then bathing may be required.

 

Brushing your cat’s teeth

As strange as it sounds, it is recommended that you take the time to brush your felines teeth. This must be done with a cat friendly toothpaste and toothbrush. Brushing their teeth is essential to prevent bad teeth, remove plaque and tarter, prevent gum disease and stimulate blood flow to their gums.

 

Cleaning you cat’s ears

Ear cleaning is another essential process. Always remember, cats ears are delicate and sensitive and care must be taken while carrying out this process. Their ears must be cleaned to prevent a build-up of wax, bacteria, fungi and yeast all of which could lead to either and infection or itching. I would recommend to never use a cotton bud for this, cleansers, drops and wipes are much more suited.

 

Clipping your cat’s nails

Claw clipping must be done but more so for indoor cats. Those who spend lots of time outdoors have little to no need for this. Senior cats may also need their claws clipped. This will need to be carried out every couple of weeks. However, it is important to be careful while doing this as felines have a blood-filled vein in their nail, and if you accidentally cut it will, you could injure your cat and lead to them bleeding. The way around this is to consult a groomer as to the best method to use for cutting you kitten’s nails.

Getting a cat

Now that you have decided to extend your family, you have to decide by which means you want to get your new feline friend. If you are unsure about whether to buy or adopt, get a long-haired cat or a short-haired cat, or a pedigree or crossbred, I am here to help.

 

What breed of cat to get

Buying a cat is recommended if your heart is set on getting a crossbred. Here you are more likely to be able to get the necessary paperwork that guarantees that your cat is in fact a healthy pedigree. There are two main disadvantages to buying this type of cat. One of these is that they are more prone to health issues. The other is that they cost several hundred euro. But, as I said, if you want a gorgeous purebred kitty, this is most definitely the route to take.

 

Crossbred cats are most popularly obtained from shelters. These are generally much more healthy and less prone to health issues. Cats in shelters are those who need the most help. These have been abandoned or have faced lack of care in their past, and would therefore be so grateful of a home to call their own. They will make just as great pets and are relieving animal shelters so they can continue their good work of rescuing animals.

 

Are long-haired or short-haired cats better?

The next question most people ask is whether to buy a long-haired cat or a shorter-haired . Buying a long-haired cat is in my opinion much more of a commitment. You will have to understand that such a cat would need daily grooming to keep its fur in tact and keep them looking beautiful. Shorter-haired cats need less grooming and are just as pretty.

 

Getting more than one cat

When deciding on how many cats to get, there are a few factors that need consideration. The first would be the age of the cat. Introducing a younger kitten to an older cat can at times be hard. We would always recommended to try get two cats as close of age as possible, or even from the same litter. Also, as regards the gender of the cats, this doesn’t matter once both are neutered. No matter what type of cats you choose, a little attention and patience will have them getting on in no time.

Feeding your cat

Our feline’s need both a balanced and nutritious diet. Feed your cat too little and they will never be in perfect health, feed your cat too much and they will end up fat. Dry food is one option for food. This is less expensive and may stay fresher for longer. However, this should always be accompanied by lots and lots of fresh water. Canned food is another option. This usually contains 70 to 80% water, so water needs decrease. It can be fed instead of dry food or can greatly complement it.

 

How to control obesity in cats

Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in cats. This is important to control. One of the main things to remember when feeding your cat is that some cats have a tendency to overeat. So you therefore need to decide on how much cat needs to eat and adjust the amount of food that you feed them to that. They are carnivores so therefore need some sort of source of animal protein in their diet. Also note they will not survive nor thrive on a fully vegan diet. An animals feed requirements depend on a number of factors.

 

Cat’s Breed

First is its breed. Every feline breed has its own unique size and shape and hence its own unique food requirements. To feed every breed correctly, you are best to research breed specific cat foods which will provide it with the correct nutrients.

 

Cat’s Age

The cat’s age is next. Kittens need food to get off to a healthy stat. Adults need food to maintain condition. While senior cats aren’t as energetic meaning their feed requirements are far less. Medical conditions, pregnancy and whether it is an indoor or outdoor cat are a few other factors, but if ever unsure about what to feed a cat, your vet should be consulted.

 

What not to feed a cat

There are a few things that a cat should never eat. If ever doubting whether or not a cat can eat something you are far better just to not feed them the food. You should avoid feeding them raisins/sultans, grapes, chocolate, onions, coffee/caffeinated products, bread dough, avocado, nuts, fruit seeds, fruit scones, corn cobs, tomatoes, mushrooms, milk and other dairy products, as these will all most definitely make your cat sick.

Choosing your cat

There are many types of breeds and personalities of cats. Choosing the right one can be hard. I have put together this short article to hopefully help you find this process easier and help you get the right cat for both you and your family.

 

Make sure the cat is neutered

Firstly, in all cases I recommend that you get your cat neutered. Male cats can be vicious unless this isn’t done. It is a simple procedure and will make your cats much calmer.

 

What gender cat is best?

As to whether to buy a male or female cat, I guess it is down to personal preference. Once neutered, either has the potential to make an amazing pet.

 

What breed to cat to buy?

Next thing you have to decide is what breed of cat you want. We all know that there are hundreds of pure breed cats that we can pay hundreds of euro to buy. But, there are thousands of stray cats in shelters which are equally beautiful and will make equally great, if not better, pets.

 

How to choose a cat with the right personality?

When trying to decide what kind of personality you want in a cat ensure to think of the whole family. Calmer cats are much better than ones who have vicious tendencies. We all know that cats aren’t the most social creatures, and that that is normal, but a cat who acts viciously will most definitely not fit in with the family.

 

What age should you get a cat at?

In relation to what age to get a cat at, I would recommend try getting it as a kitten. This way you get to alter its behaviour to fit into the norms of your family. However, many older cats can be very placid and I would for sure not rule out the possibility of adopting one of those instead.

Cats and Children

Of course, your children are going to want to be all over your new pet. They will want to track its every move, be with it every second, and make sure that they are always the one who gets to play with it. However, this won’t be possible straight away. Time will need to be taken for both your children and your new kitten to adapt to their new family members, and this may take a little patience.

 

How to introduce your cat to your children

The major key to this is to supervise your children while with their new cat for the first little while. They will need to allow the cat to come to them, and take its own time to adapt to its new surroundings. To help with this they could try sit still and place a little food in their hands, this could help the kitten be a little more enticed to come towards your child. Also just spending time sitting in the same room as the cat will help them adapt also. Your child should be advised to be careful when playing with the kitten and to play gently.

 

Give your cat some alone time

Having a kid-free area will be crucial for your cat. Your cat should have some sort of safe place that it can go in order to escape the chaos. A cat house is perfect for this. A cat house will provide an outdoor area which the cat can completely call their very own. This leaves the kitten happy as they will have somewhere to stay, and somewhere to sleep when they are tired after playing with your child.

 

The main thing to remember is that both just need time to adapt. Don’t jump to any conclusions such as the cat needs to go. This is a process that will need time, however, at the end the results will be worth it all.

Cat Vaccinations and Neutering

I would recommend that adult cats should have a complete veterinary examination at least once a year. Kittens should visit the vet every three to four weeks until they are about four months old. Older cats should try go about twice a year as these are more likely to get an illness.

 

When to bring your cat to the vet

Some symptoms which would lead you to bring your cats for veterinary treatment would be reduced appetite, reduced activity or no longer acting as your cat normally would act. Vomiting, diarrhoea, urinating more or less, frequently coughing or sneezing, or discharge from their eyes, ears or nose, should also lead to a visit to the vet.

 

Getting your cat vaccinated

Vaccinations are a crucial part of your kittens life. They stimulate the immune system against infection before the animal is exposed to the disease. These should be routinely brought to the vet so that they can administer these. Cats should also be given a booster injection every year for ongoing protection.

 

Neutering your cat

Neutering a cat, in my opinion, is one of the most important procedures that needs to be done. Females come into heat every three weeks. This is a time during which they will miaow loudly, be restless and tend to look as if they are in pain. There are drugs available to supress such symptoms, however, like many drugs, there is a risk of side effects. The best way to stop these would be spaying. This has many other benefits such as reducing the chances of womb infections and of breast cancer in later life.

 

Male cats can also be neutered. This reduces their likelihood of contracting AIDS (FIV) from fighting. It also reduces the likelihood of them spraying in the house and being aggressive.

 

In both males and females, neutering should be done when your kitten is around five to six months old. It is a very easy procedure and most cats return home on the same day.

Cat Socialisation with Other Pets, Cats and People

Getting your cat used to people

Start socialising your cat from the start with all kinds of people. With early socialisation a cat will learn who is a friend of the family and will welcome them eagerly into the house. As long a person is not behaving in a threatening manor then the cat will react favourably and want to be around them.

 

Introducing your cat to your other cats

Again, start early and introduce them slowly and in a happy, positive way to other pets. Initially keep the cats separated and introduce them gradually. Continue this process until they are both comfortable in the others presence. Most breeds of cats will eventually tolerate others within the family if socialised properly.

 

Socialising your cat with other animals

Other pets like rabbits – gradually introduce the cat to the rabbit and ensure the cat understands this is also part of the family. Let him see you handle the rabbit and talk in similar tones to the rabbits as you would with him. Be careful though to never leave the rabbit and cat together unsupervised.

 

Cats are notoriously not social creatures so if they don’t want to be near your overly eager dog all the time don’t worry about it. However, if your cat tries to claw at the dog a lot, I would recommend not to leave them alone for periods of time together as the dog could get injured.

 

If you are really worried about socialising your dog with your cat I would recommend keeping them separated at first. If you put the dog in a crate and allow the cat to get used to his presence and him to get used to the cats, they have a much better chance of getting on than if they are just let loose together initially.

Cat Routines in Winter

Cats are very easy to keep year round. However, as with all pets, there are an additional few things that you should be wary of both in cold weather and in winter.

 

What to feed your cat

When feeding your cat you need to be aware that some cats can freeze. This is especially a problem with wet food that isn’t consumer immediately. Dry food, however, is not affected by temperature and can easily be used all year round.

 

How to deal with your cat’s water

Water is obviously another issue. This also can freeze. And if you choose to switch to dry food, cats can be subject to dehydration. A simple fix for this would be to feed and give your cat water in the main house. If the water spilled in their house it would make them cold.

Heated cat dishes are another option. These use the solar energy from the sun to keep the food and water from freezing.

 

Keeping your cat warm

If your worried about your cat getting cold, perhaps an insulated cat house such as the Buddy Cat House that we have here at Woofs.ie might be worth looking at. This cat house comes with the option of adding insulation. This insulation can be strapped into the kennel using Velcro in winter and easily detached in summer. This will allow you to keep your cat at the right temperature year round. A cat’s body temperature should be about thirty eight degrees Celsius. Older or long haired cats are much more vulnerable to the cold than the younger or short-haired ones. If cats get too cold they risk getting frost-bite or hypothermia. Cats love a warm and cosy environment and the Buddy Cat House will provide them with just that.

 

Cat Houses Ireland

We deliver cat kennels with free delivery to every corner of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We make high-quality cat houses that look great in your garden and are very cosy for your kitty to sleep in.

See our full range of cat houses for sale here.

Cat houses with insulation

We offer cat houses that come with the option of adding insulation. A cat’s body temperature needs to be kept at about thirty-eight degrees Celsius in order for them to remain healthy. Old or short-haired cats are much more at risk to the cold than younger long-haired ones. The Buddy Cat House comes with the option of adding insulation which can be easily removed in the warmer weather. The insulation simply attaches with Velcro straps.

Cat houses with door flaps

Most of our cat kennels come with door flaps, some of these are even lockable. This ensures that your cat has a snug, warm and draft-free place to sleep.

Cat houses with free delivery to Ireland and Northern Ireland

Our range of cat houses for sale are very competitively priced and offer excellent value for money. We even offer free delivery Nationwide (including Northern Ireland) on all our kennels. Customers can expect to receive their order within 48 hours.

Cat Houses for more than one cat

Our Tabby house is suitable for up to one cat. The Kitty Cottage suits up to two, whilst our Buddy Cat House suits up to six!

The feedback we have received from customers since launching this range has been really positive. As we had imagined customers love the colours available.

Cat Houses Dublin

If you are looking for a cat house for sale in Dublin then don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Our cat houses have free delivery to everywhere in Dublin, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Delivery usually takes about two working days. View our range of cat houses in Dublin here.

 

Our cat houses come in various styles, sizes and colours. Our cat houses are designed to suit every kind of cat. We even offer ones with removable insulation so you can keep your cat at the perfect temperature year round. This can be taken out in summer and put in during the winter to keep your cat at the perfect temperature.

 

You can place your order at any time on our online shop or with us over the phone on 0404 45930.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Cat Houses Cork

If you are looking for a cat house for sale in Cork then don’t worry we’ve got you covered! We offer free delivery on all our cat houses, to Cork and nationwide.  You will receive your new cat house in just 2 working days.  View our range of cat houses in Cork here.

 

Our wooden cat houses are available in different styles, sizes and colours, to suit cats of all shapes and sizes. Our cat houses are designed to suit every kind of cat. We even offer ones with removable insulation so you can keep your cat at the perfect temperature year round.

 

You can place your order at any time on our online shop or with us over the phone on 0404 45930.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Cat Essentials

There are a few things that I would recommend that any cat owner should have before enrolling on their new adventure. These make your and your new feline friend’s lives much easier and much happier.

 

Cat tree

First is a cat tree. Every cat should have one of these. One benefit is that it allows them to fulfil their love of surveying their territory. Cats love to look down on their home from high places and suss out the world they rule that lies beneath them. Also, it acts as a lovely place for your kitten to spend time sunning themselves and sleeping. The tree will also give them a post on which they can shorten their nails, thus saving your from scrapes and scratches.

 

Feed and water bowls

The next essentials would be a feed bowl and a water bowl. All cats need to eat! And for most, it will be by far their favourite thing to do. Please see our article on what to feed your cat for more information on finding the right food for your cat. Clean fresh water should also be available for your feline at all times.

 

Litter tray

A litter tray should always be on hand for when your cat is indoors. However, we do recommend that you eventually train them to do all of this outside. This should be filled with 1-2 inches of litter and left in a private place.

 

Cat House

A cat house is in my opinion a staple that every cat owner should have. This allows the cat to spend time away from the chaos of the house in their own little safe space. This can be placed outside, allowing your cat to spend time venturing through the outdoors, getting fresh air, and have fun doing what kittens should be allowed to do.

 

Cat Toys

Finally, toys! Your cat should have loads and loads of toys. Any cat owner will soon discover that your cat is one of the most playful things that you will ever come across. They will just love to spend time running around chasing rattling balls or fake mice and playing with you.

Cat Breeds

PERSIAN

This is one of the oldest yet most popular cats. They are loved for their gentle, easy going nature. They like human attention and are very social creature. They are known to be very loyal to those who love them most. They are also very clean kittens, thus making them an easy cat to take care of. Their faces are often lovingly referred to as ‘smushed’ due to the fact that they are quite flat.

 

SIAMESE

These have a distinctive brown face alongside bright blue eyes. They love their owner attention and affection. They are also known to become very attached to their owners.

 

MAINE COON

These are the largest domesticated cat breed. They have been found to weigh a shocking eighteen pounds. Their average length is about forty inches. They are known for their intelligence. They are extremely quick learners and very easily trained.

 

SPHYNX

These don’t have much fur, however, it would be wrong to say that they are completely hairless. Their skin gets its softness from the extremely thin layer of down that covers it. Their skin is patterned much like the fur of any other cat would be. They lose much more body heat than other cats and are therefore warm to the touch. These are extremely friendly felines and most definitely not shy. They have a lot of energy and are full of intelligence and curiosity alongside a lot of love for their owners.

 

RAGDOLL

These are large cats with bright blue eyes. They have semi-long hair and a very silky coat of fur. Their nature is gentle, easy going and affectionate. They enjoy being around their owners and often follow them around the house. Their name comes from the fact that they are known to go limp when they are picked up.

Bringing your new cat home

Your cat will have been through a lot the day of its adoption. Although all you may want to do is hug it and play with it, at the moment, both will be near impossible. Your kitten has been moved to foreign turf, and knows nothing of its surrounding areas, or you, the good-intentioned person trying to shower it in love. For the first day or two, you need to be aware of this, and give your cat time to adapt. This entails just sitting still and smiling and seeing if the cat wishes to come towards you. No matter its reaction here, eventually you two will be as thick as thieves, it just takes time.

 

Cats are territorial and like an area to call their own. When they come to their new home, I would advise you to set up a small area, possibly a bathroom, packed with cat amenities (food, water, their litter box, toys etc.), to create a comfortable space. The litter tray should have 1-2 inches of litter and be in a place that it can be used privately. Your kittens feeding station should be away from this.

 

One of your new cat’s favourite things to do will be to survey its territory. I think that a cat tree is the perfect way to do this. They will be able to suss it out and make themselves comfortable with it far quicker than they could at ground level. The cat tree will also serve as a scratching post, and allow your kitten to make their nails less sharp.

 

Your cat won’t need to stay inside forever, after a few weeks, once big enough, they can move into their own little cat house and have their own little safe haven to call their own.