3 Cat Handling Tips for Kids

Like humans, each cat has a unique personality. Some cats crave lots of affection and enjoy being held and cuddled, while others are more independent, and dislike being picked up or stroked. Many children love cats and will naturally want to show their affection by cuddling, stroking, and playing with them. However, as responsible owners, we must teach children how to properly handle cats with care. By doing this, we will help to strengthen the bond between them and ensure that they are both safe. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we have three cat handling tips for children to learn. Enjoy!

1. Calm Environment

Cats are very responsive to how we are feeling and what mood we are in. Cats will often sense if we are feeling stressed or sad. Therefore, it is important to teach a child how to approach a cat in a relaxed way and using a soft voice, as felines can become scared if they hear sudden loud sounds. Cats are naturally very perceptive and intuitive, and this has enabled them to become hypersensitive to the sounds and sights around them.

2. Giving the Cat Space

Cats can be very solitary creatures and many like to retire to safe places in the home to hide, sleep and feel safe in. Therefore, it is important to teach children to respect a cat’s personal boundaries. Your cat can become stressed or anxious if they feel they have no safe space to retire to if a child is becoming too loud or energetic for them. Create safe and secure areas of your home for your cat to rest and feel comfortable in that includes soft bedding and their favourite toys. Always explain to a child why the cat needs to have some time to themselves and help them to understand the reasons for limiting their interactions throughout the day.

3. Positive Reinforcements

A great way of building a strong relationship between a child and a cat is to always respond positively to a child when they handle the cat with care. If your child is sitting still and carefully stroking the cat or letting the cat sleep, then always give them praise. Positive reinforcement will encourage children to continue handling cats with care and respecting the animal’s feelings and personal space.

Closing thoughts…

We hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any cat handling tips for children, then please let us know in the comment section below. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we are a leading luxury cattery service within the region of Hertfordshire. Call us on 01462 742658 if you would like to book your cat in to our luxury cattery or if you have an enquiry relating to our cattery services.

3 Ways to Become More Environmentally Friendly as a Cat Owner

Are you interested in becoming more environmentally friendly as a cat owner? If the answer is yes, then the good news is that by making just a few small changes you can help make a big impact on the natural environment around us. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted three ways that you can become more environmentally friendly as a cat owner. We hope you find this article helpful!

1. Eco Friendly Cat Litter

As reported by the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), many cat litter brands on sale to the public contain clay, which means it is often obtained through harmful strip mining. Strip mining destroys the natural habitat of many animals by depleting forests and landscapes. As a process, strip mining removes the top layer of soil to expose the fresh clay underneath and causes serious damage to the land and its ecosystems. The process also uses harmful petroleum products to dry the clay at specially built factories, making the manufacturing of clay cat litter incredibly harmful to the natural world. In addition, the clay litter is also non-biodegradable and cannot be recycled and therefore often ends up at landfills.

As an alternative, there are many eco-friendly cat litter products now available on the market. Another environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to clay cat litter is to use shredded paper or recycled newspapers which absorbs up to 300% more moisture than typical cat litters. It is also incredibly soft and makes a comfortable alternative for your feline friends to use.

2. Avoid plastic

If you are shopping for your cat, try and avoid plastic products. A great alternative is to opt for metal or ceramic material when shopping for food and water bowls and choose cat food that is packaged in recyclable material like cardboard.

Another plastic free alternative is to use biodegradable poo bags and bin bags when cleaning out your cat’s litter trays, instead of the standard black bags which cannot be recycled and often ends up being sent to landfills or incinerated.

3. Sustainable Food

The recent high demand for premium petfood has resulted in many leading brands now using choice cuts of meat or fish in their food products. Many decades ago, pet manufacturers would have relied heavily on the offal from slaughterhouses. However, today with a higher demand for more premium, organic, pet ingredients, this means that additional animals such as cows, sheep, fish, and poultry are needed to feed our cats which has an impact on our environment. Many farms use substantial quantities of freshwater and need lots of land to rear, feed, and slaughter animals which can put a great strain on the ecosystem. 

Today, many sustainable cat food manufacturers are starting to use offcuts and offal to diminish food waste, with some even using alternative protein sources in their ingredients. Interestingly, there are many new eco-friendly cat foods available on the market that contain insect protein, to help decrease the impact that livestock production has on the environment around us.

Closing thoughts…

We hope you found our article on becoming more environmentally friendly as a cat owner, helpful. If you have your own eco-friendly tips that you can recommend, then please let us know within the comment section below. Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs is a luxury cattery service within Hertfordshire. Call our friendly team today on 01462 742658 if you would like to board your cat into our luxury cattery.

3 Ways Cats and Dogs Enhance our Physical and Mental Health

Men’s Mental Health Week UK kicked off on June the 13th, raising awareness around the health issues that can affect many males. The week is a fantastic opportunity for many people around the UK and the world to discuss mental health, and to provide help and information on this important issue.

Our mental and physical health is so important and many of us often think of our mind and body as being divided, but they are very much connected. A recent YouGov survey found that 90 % of dog owners felt mentally healthier thanks to their cuddly companion. The numbers were fractionally lower for cats at 85%, highlighting the positive influences cats and dogs have on our wellbeing. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted three benefits to living with cats and dogs. Enjoy!

Companionship

Cats and dogs make great companions, and help many people overcome feelings of loneliness and sadness. Cats and dogs will love you unconditionally and bring so much joy to your life. There is no greater feeling than to feel the wet nose or gentle flick of a tail from your loving companion as they greet you. The love and affection a cat or a dog bring to our lives can have such a positive impact on our mental health. Regular interaction with cats and dogs can massively reduce our stress levels. The positive benefits of interacting with our pets can even happen in under ten minutes. It then comes as no surprise that pets are extremely helpful to people suffering with anxiety or stress. Playing and interacting with our pets can help boost our serotonin and dopamine hormone levels, which can soothe and calm down our nervous systems.  

Fitness

Owning a cat or a dog can improve our physical fitness and positively impact our mental health. Exercise helps to improve many physical health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure as well as mental health issues by lowering stress and anxiety.

Cats and dogs just like humans benefit from regular stimulation and so by regularly interacting with them through exercise and play, they can have a positive effect on our fitness and wellbeing. Many owners suffering from depression and anxiety have found taking their dog on daily walks can help to boost their energy levels and improve their moods. Regular exercise has so many physical health benefits, which helps to keep our heart healthy!

Socialise

Owning a pet is a great way of meeting new people. There are many local pet groups available where owners can meet and chat with other owners. Dog walking fields and puppy groups are another great way of meeting other owners and making strong friendships with people in your local area. If you are unable to physically meet up, then there are many pet friendly Facebook groups popping up online where owners can interact and build meaningful connections and friendships from the comfort of their homes.

Closing thoughts…

Owning a cat or a dog can really help positively impact our physical and mental health. As we enter Mental Health Week for Men, we here at Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs acknowledge the huge benefits that pets bring to our lives. 

4 Ways to Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with your Dog and Cat

Many pet owners up and down the country, will soon be joining in with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. This year, the Queen officially becomes the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, commemorating a total of seven decades worth of service to the nation. To mark this big day, we thought what better way to celebrate than with our dogs and cats by our side, especially given how much the Queen loves her corgis! At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted four ways to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with your dog and cat. Enjoy!

1. A Royal Dog Walk

A special extended bank holiday weekend will offer a chance for many people throughout Britain to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee by taking their four-legged friends on beautiful dog walks. A perfect place to start would be the National Trust, where Prince Charles is the current President. The National Trust offers stunning locations throughout the UK for dog walks. From beautiful countryside lanes, wild woods and breath-taking gardens, the National Trust offers perfect dog walking spots for everybody to enjoy.

2. Jubilee Cat Friendly Cakes

Many people celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee will be busy baking lots of tasty cakes and party food which will be served to neighbours, friends, and families. Why not include your feline friend in the celebrations, by baking them a cat friendly Jubilee themed cake? There are lots of recipes available online that are cat friendly and easy to follow. One favourite amongst cat owners is a tuna muffin. Here are the instructions and ingredients that you need.

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F (175 °C).
  2. Lightly butter two muffin tin cups.
  3. Next delicately mix tuna, flour, egg white, and Cheddar cheese in a bowl. Using a teaspoon, gently fill the muffin tin cups with the new mixture.
  4. Pop in the preheated oven to bake for fifteen minutes. Let the muffins cool in their tin cups for five minutes.
  5. Lastly, decorate your muffin cakes with a prawn before adding a mini Union Jack Flag. For safety reasons, before serving the muffins to your cat, please remember to remove the flags.

3. Royal Puppy Parties

The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations will see many pet owners holding lots of street parties and fun family gatherings to commemorate the special occasion. But why not include your cuddly companions in the festivities by holding a royal themed puppy party! Puppy parties are a wonderful way for many puppies to develop their social skills by bonding with other dogs. It is also a great chance for owners to share training tips with each other and get advice on any problems they may have of faced as first-time dog owners. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we regularly entertain puppy parties throughout the year. We have an expansive four acre enclosed playing field ensuring that we give your dogs an exciting and fun day. Bring them solo, or with friends! Packages can also include food and drink from our café when booking our facilities. Puppy parties are great fun and a perfect way for many owners to include their dogs in this year’s Jubilee festivities. So, if you are thinking of hosting your own puppy party at home on the day of the Jubilee celebration then you are sure to have a royally magnificent fun filled day!

4. Pamper your Pets

The Queen is well-renowned for her love of the Corgi dog breed and often pampers her beloved pets. It has been reported that the Queen’s corgis have their very own royal menu and are also given their very own luxurious room in the palace. So why not follow the Queen and pamper your cat or dog during the Jubilee celebrations by preparing them their favourite meal or treating them to a cosy soft toy or snuggly bed or blanket. Currently, there are some great Union Jack designed dog and cat blankets on sale on Amazon to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Final thoughts…

We hope this article has given you some great ideas to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with your pets. Please also share your pictures of you and your pets celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as we would love to see them.

3 Ways to Keep Cats and Dogs Cool this Summer

Summer is here, which means as responsible pet owners, we must ensure our cats and dogs stay cool and hydrated as the weather gets warmer.

Like dogs, cats sweat through their noses and from their paws when they become overheated. Many cats and dogs are also at a high risk of sunstroke due to their coats absorbing the heat. In the same way that an owner wearing excessive layers of clothing would overheat, cats and dogs can also overheat. However, the difference is we are able to remove our layers during hot weather, whereas they are not. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted three ways to ensure cats and dogs stays cool this summer.

1. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is key to preventing heat exhaustion. During the summer months, ensure your pet’s water bowl is regularly filled up with clean fresh water. Dogs and cats enjoy the taste of fresh clean water and so it is important for owners to maintain this throughout the day.

Cats also love exploring, so try and leave a fresh clean water bowl in every room for them to enjoy. If your cat loves walking on the ledges or window seals of your home, then try leaving a bowl of fresh water nearby for them to enjoy on their travels. Meanwhile, if your dog has a favourite cool place in your home that they love to retreat to, then why not also place a cool water bowl nearby so they can easily hydrate throughout the day.

2. Frozen Treats

Frozen treats are a great and tasty hydrating summer snack for cats and dogs. Many dog owners give their companions small frozen cubes of meat to chew on which is great for canine hydration and cleaning their teeth. Similarly, if you want to provide your cat with a hydrating and fun snack to enjoy, consider ice cubes or frozen pieces of delicately cut sardines. However, avoid any frozen dairy snacks such as ice creams and frozen yogurt as this can give your pet flatulence, stomach cramps and diarrhoea, with some cats and dogs being lactose intolerant. What may be a tasty and refreshing frozen treat for a human may not be for a cat or dog. Only supply a small amount of frozen items at any one time to your pet.

3. Prevent sunburn

Dogs and cats can easily get sunburn, especially if they have white or pale coats. A helpful tip to keep them protected from the glare of the sun is by ensuring they have access to shaded areas throughout the day. Monitor your cat or dog as they explore the garden and make sure they come into the house if you feel the weather is too hot for them.

If you have an outdoor cat and you are worried about them roaming off this summer and getting sunburn, then a great tip to ensure they return home regularly is to feed them small little meals throughout the day.

Many cat owners train their cats to recognise certain sounds like the noise of a bell to indicate that it is feeding time. By ringing a bell your cat will recognise that it is feeding time and return home if it is outside in the garden or away from your home this summer.

Regarding your canine companion, if you feel that it is too hot for a dog walk then always be on the safe side and wait for the temperature to drop or go in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. If your dog has areas of their body where their fur is thin, then apply sun lotion and always make sure they have access to plenty of shade.


Heatstroke Signs in Dogs and Cats

If you are worried about your cat or dog suffering from heatstroke, then look out for these signs:

  • Agitation and extreme gasping
  • Clammy paws
  • Extreme self-grooming
  • Trouble moving
  • Retching/ nausea
  • Convulsions

If your cat or dog displays any of these symptoms, then call your vet immediately. Remove your pet from the heat and provide them with plenty of water in small doses. Apply a damp cloth to their fur and gently pat them down, making sure not to splash them as this can shock and distress them. As mentioned throughout this article, always contact your vet if you are ever concerned as it is always best to get the opinion of a qualified professional.

Closing thoughts…

We hope you found this article helpful. The hot summer months can pose a risk to our cuddly companions, so make sure they are always hydrated and protected. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we provide a leading luxury cattery service and dog boarding facility for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire region. We operate in and around Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock. Call our friendly team today on 01462 742658 if you would like to board your cat or dog with us.

Seven Common Afflictions and Diseases in Cats

Just like humans, cats can also get sick. Your cat can be happily playing one minute and then hiding the next, displaying signs of illness. Being able to identify the signs and symptoms of cat afflictions and diseases is crucial. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted seven common afflictions and diseases to look out for in your cat.

1. Sickness

Vomiting is a very common problem that affects many felines, and it can be caused by several different factors. These factors can vary from a cat consuming something toxic or indigestible, to picking up a virus, developing a urinary tract infection or diabetes to even common hairballs.

If you have ever witnessed your cat vomit, then you will recognise the obvious symptoms which often include salivating and dry heaving. Always call your vet if your cat continues vomiting as they will lose plenty of fluid and be left feeling very dehydrated.

2. Fleas

Fleas are a very common external parasite that affects many cats, causing them considerable irritation and discomfort. Your cat’s warm moist fur can provide a welcoming home for fleas and if left untreated can attract future infestations. The good news is that fleas are easily treatable. If you are worried that your cat has fleas, then look out for the following signs and symptoms.

  • Flea dirt (tiny black spots on your cat’s skin)
  • Continuous scratching
  • Repeated licking
  • Sore and inflamed skin
  • Fur loss
  • Skin infections

There are many different flea control treatments available on the market today ranging from liquid drops to oral medication. If you are unsure about what best treatment to use, then speak to a qualified vet who can advise you on the best option for your cat.

3. Tapeworms

Tapeworms are one of the most common health issues found inside cats. Tapeworms survive inside a cat’s small intestine and have been known to grow to a staggering two feet in length. However, tapeworms typically break into pieces when expelled. It is very rare for a tapeworm to be discovered in one piece.

If your cat is infected by tapeworms, then common symptoms can include sickness and weight loss. If you are worried that your cat has tapeworms, then always check their faeces and anus. Tapeworms can often appear from your cat’s anus whilst they are resting and relaxed. Tapeworms often look like small white worms or like white seeds or rice grains. If you see these in your cats’ faeces, then it is highly likely they have worms. 

The good news is that tapeworm is easily treatable. Many cats suffering from tapeworms can get treated with an injection or by ingesting oral medicine. Cats typically get tapeworms if they have swallowed a flea, so always treat any flea issues that they have first before you treat tapeworms.  

4. Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is another common issue that affects many cats. Diarrhoea in cats can be the result of intestinal parasites, food poisoning, allergies, viruses, and in some extreme cases the result of liver disease or cancer.

Diarrhoea symptoms in cats can include faeces being very loose, runny, or appearing as a liquid stool. There are many issues that cause diarrhoea, and it can last for a day to even months in some extreme cases.  

If your cat is suffering with diarrhoea, then there is a high risk of them becoming dehydrated. Therefore, always offer your cat plenty of fresh water to keep them hydrated.  Monitor them closely and remove food for no more than twelve hours. If your cat has diarrhoea for more than a day and you notice blood in their stalls or if they are vomiting and losing their appetite, then take them to your vet immediately.

5. Eye Problems

There are a range of eye conditions that can affect your cat, with some being more common than others. The most common type of eye infections found in cats are often viral infections. Other eye problems in cats can typically include conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, injury, soreness, and retinal infections, to name but a few.

Symptoms in cats include watery eyes, stained fur around their eyes, eye gunk, excessive blinking, and pawing at their eye.

However, without knowing the root cause of your cat’s eye problem there is not a lot you can do other than speak with a qualified vet immediately.

6. Ear Problems

Ear problems in cats are very common. Your cat’s ears are incredibly sensitive and need to be kept clean to safeguard against any possible infections. Some common symptoms can include the following:
  • Ear discharge
  • Eye scratching
  • Red and inflamed ear flaps
  • Ears emitting a strong smell
  • Continuously tipping their head
  • Scabs and fur loss around their ears
  • A loss of balance

If you notice any of these symptoms, then it is advised to always visit your vet to get a professional opinion. Additionally, below are also some of the many ways your cat’s ears can become infected:

Ear mites

Ear mites are a surface mite that lives on cats and can burrow into their ears causing them to develop soreness and swelling.

Skin allergies

Many cats can become allergic to specific parasites or by consuming certain foods. Cats can then develop skin allergies which when scratched can easily become infected if bacteria gets in to the area.

Ear injuries

Ear injuries are also very common in cats and if not cleaned can also become infected. Keep a close eye on your cat for any signs of ear abrasions, wounds, or any sign of trauma, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors.

Wax build-up

Your cat’s ears need to be regularly cleaned to stop dirt from building up often accumulated from their daily adventures. Excess dirt and wax can create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in which can cause possible infections.

7. Canker Sores

Another common affliction for cats is mouth ulcers—also known as canker sores. Canker sores are very painful for cats and can easily become inflamed and infected if not treated. Signs of canker sores can include:

  • Irritation and inflammation of their mouth area
  • Yellow and discoloration of their gums
  • Painful cat vocalisations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sickness

There are many reasons that cause canker sores to develop in cats and these can include the following:

  • Malnourishment
  • Metabolic defects
  • Poor immune system
  • Foreign viruses
  • Acidic foods

Always monitor your cat’s teeth, mouth and gums and ensure that you look out for any symptoms mentioned above. If you are ever concerned about any of these symptoms, then always seek the professional help of a qualified vet.

Final thoughts…

We hope you found this article helpful. If you suspect your cat is suffering from any of the afflictions mentioned within this article and would like a professional opinion, then it is advised you book an appointment to see your vet. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we are proud at providing a luxury cattery service for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire region. We operate in and around Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock. Call us on 01462 742658 if you would like to enquire about our luxury cat boarding services.

5 Helpful Grooming Tips for Cats

When it comes to hygiene and self-grooming, cats are the personification of cleanliness. Although cats are self-reliant when it comes to hygiene, it is essential for their owners to help them maintain a clean and healthy life. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted five grooming tips to help your cat maintain a healthy and clean lifestyle. We hope you find this article helpful.

1. Start Early.

Start grooming your cat from an early age. Many owners groom their kittens from an early age to help familiarise them to human touch. The more you gently stroke and handle your kitten with love and affection, the more receptive they will be towards grooming in general as they grow and develop.

2. Brush regularly.

Naturally, longer haired cats will need to be brushed more often than those with shorter coats. Typically, short-haired cats should be groomed weekly, whilst long-haired cats, need to be brushed twice or even three times each week to help remove any hairballs or matting. However, if your cat is not enjoying the grooming session, then stop and try again later when they are calm and ready. It is important for your cat to be calm and for you to create a peaceful and positive environment when you brush them.

3. Ears.

Ear infections can cause your cat pain and irritation. An effective way to prevent ear infections is to regularly examine your cat’s ears to ensure there is no discharge, odour, or soreness. As a rule of thumb, your cat’s ears should be odourless, clear of any wax or dirt, and pink in colour. After inspecting your cat’s ears, gently wipe them with a clean damp cloth, washing the outer edges.

4. Regularly Clip Claws

Ensure your cat’s nails stay healthy by regularly inspecting them and watching out for overgrown or ingrown claws. Some indoor cats can develop overgrown nails and if untreated, this can cause them considerable discomfort. In some cases, if left untreated, an overgrown claw can become infected and lead to an injury. However, before you begin clipping your cat’s claws it is important for them to get used to you touching their paws. As soon as your cat is used to you touching their paws, use a recommended cat nail trimmer and begin by clipping a little at a time, ensuring you avoid the pink or red area of their claw known as ‘the quick’. If you are ever unsure or feel uncomfortable cutting your cat’s claws, then take them to a qualified vet or cat groomer who will be more experienced in this grooming practice.

5. Reward.

Grooming your cat should be a positive experience. If your cat associates grooming in a negative way then they will be less receptive to you brushing or clipping them. To ensure your cat’s grooming experience is more enjoyable make sure you have their favourite cat treats or soft toys available. Many cats will soon associate positive rewards with their grooming session and then as soon as they are feeling calm and distracted by their reward, begin to gently groom them.

Final thoughts…

Grooming your cat is not only beneficial for their physical and mental health, it can also help strengthen the bond between the two of you. By following these five grooming tips, we hope you will be able to maintain a healthy, clean, and happy life for your feline friend. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we are proud at providing a luxury cattery service for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire region. We operate in and around Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock. Call us on 01462 742658 if you would like to enquire about boarding your cat with us.

How to Introduce your Kitten to your Adult Cat

Are you concerned about introducing your new kitten to your adult cat? If the answer is yes, then do not worry, as this is normal. This type of introduction can cause many cat owners a lot of worry, but at Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted six tips to help make the introduction a positive one. We hope you find this article helpful.

1. Prepare your Home

When it comes to introducing a new kitten to an adult cat, preparation is key. To begin with, it is recommended that you set up a designated area for the new kitten away from where your adult cat tends to reside. It is important to respect your adult cat’s boundaries and to also give your new kitten their own space. Everything your new kitten needs should be in their new area such as food and water, a cat tree, litter tray and bed.

2. The Initial Introduction

As soon as you bring home your new kitten, make sure you have safely secured your adult cat in another room of the house with access to their bed, water, food and their favourite blanket or soft toy. It is important you allow your kitten to take their time to explore their new environment alone and to familiarise themselves with the adult cat’s scent. When you feel your kitten has fully explored your house and is ready, allow them to return to their own designated safe area of your home without letting your other cat out. This process should be repeated over the next few days, so that each cat can explore each other’s scent and your home without physically meeting each other.

To help speed up this process, you may consider giving the kitten a blanket or item belonging to the adult cat, as this will have its scent on it. You can put the blanket or item inside the kitten’s bed as they sleep. Likewise, you can also give your adult cat a blanket or item belonging to your kitten to sleep with to help them to familiarise themselves to the new scent.

3. Secure Area

Many cat owners facilitate the initial introduction by investing in a pet friendly cat carrier and ensuring that the kitten is safely inside whilst still being able to see and smell the adult cat. (The carrier will useful in future when transporting your cat in a vehicle.) Before the introduction happens, ensure that you let your kitten familiarise themselves to their new pen by leaving the door open and letting them explore the enclosure at their own pace. 

4. Scent Swapping

As soon as your kitten has familiarised itself to its new home and has been safely introduced to the older cat for the first time, the next stage is to gradually introduce each cat to each other’s scent.

This is important as cats often use the scent of other cats to identify if they are part of the same social group. The aim of scent swapping is to create a communal scent for both cats to recognise each other as belonging to the same social group. Take an item of bedding from each cat and swap them over so try can smell the other cat’s scent. (Skip this if you covered it in Step 2.)

If both cats recognise each other as belonging to the same social group, then there is a greater chance of them getting along.

5. Swap Each Other’s Spaces

The next step is to let your new kitten and adult cat explore each other’s spaces under your safe supervision. You can do this by keeping them apart and allowing them to sniff and explore each other’s territory. Listen and watch out for any vocalisations or actions that indicate your cats are becoming distressed such as hissing, crying or lashing out. As soon as you hear any of your cats displaying these signs of stress, stop the exercise and return to the previous step.

6. Gradual Supervision

Once your cats have become used to each other’s scent, gradually increase the amount of time they spend with each other under your safe supervision. As soon as your cats are regularly spending a few hours a day together without any issues, you should be able to give them a free run of your home. Every cat is different and what may work for one owner may not for another. The average time for your cats to learn to tolerate each other can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. However, patience is key.

Closing thoughts…

We hope you found this article helpful. Introducing a new kitten to an adult cat can be stressful for any owner, but by following these six steps you can ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. If you are interested in boarding your cat with us, please contact a member of our friendly team. Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs have been providing a luxury cattery service for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire area since the 1950’s. We operate in and around Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock. Call us on 01462 742658 if you would like to enquire about boarding your cat with us.

Barking Mad Fines to Hit UK Drivers

Many UK drivers could now be breaking the law when it comes to travelling with their dogs. A recent shake up of the Highway Code could see many drivers now facing expensive fines of up to £5,000!

A recent study overseen by IAM RoadSmart – a leading and independent road safety charity – had disclosed that 42 per cent of dog owners admitted placing their pet in an unsafe area of the car whilst driving. This represents a significantly high number of risk takers; especially when we consider that there are 36 million licence holders and just under 13 million dogs in Britain.

Interestingly, from the 42 per cent of the dog owners who were surveyed, many admitted to driving without care, and over a third of the drivers said that they left their dogs unsecured in their seats, which increased the risk of their pet becoming badly injured or even killed if they were to be involved in a collision and the air bag was activated.

What does the Highway Code say about Pets Travelling in Cars?
The new rule declares that all pets should be “suitably restrained” when they are travelling in a vehicle. Under rule 57 of the Highway Code, it clearly states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.”

Safety Measures Include:

A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

Although violating rule 57 of the Highway Code does not carry a direct penalty, UK drivers can still be fined by the Police up to £1,000 for failing to control their vehicle if their dog acts as a distraction whilst driving.

This fine could be increased to £5,000 with the driver receiving 9 penalty points if the case goes to court, with the driver then facing a more severe fine of failing to drive with due care and attention. If that was not bad enough, drivers could also be left with a substantial damage repair bill, as many insurers are thought to be unlikely to pay out for an accident in the case of a person driving without proper control of their vehicle.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy

Neil Greig, Director of Policy, and Research at IAM RoadSmart, stated: “Motorists can restrain their pets by using a dog crate, dog harness or a dog guard for the car’s boot. This ensures dogs are not allowed to roam free inside the car, removing any chance of drivers getting into hot water with the law.  A loose pet also becomes a lethal projectile in the event of a sudden crash.

“Dogs are a loved and valued member of the family in millions of households up and down the country, meaning their safety when travelling should be thought about in the same way as the safety of all passengers in your vehicle.”

Closing thoughts…

If you travel with your dog and want to ensure their safety whilst avoiding a penalty, the law now advises that all UK drivers restrain their dogs whilst driving. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we are fully compliant with these new changes brought out in the Highway Code and ensure all our transported dogs always travel safely and securely. Our family run business has over 30 years of experience providing a friendly and professional dog boarding and cattery service for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire regions. Call our friendly team today on 01462 742658 or send us an email at office@cbkennels.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

5 Reasons why You should get a Cat Tree for your cat

Felines great and small, have an instinct to scratch. Cats will often scratch a surface to spread their scent, exercise their muscles, and sharpen their claws. Although many outdoor moggies favour scratching trees and wooden posts, lots of indoor cats turn their attention to sofas and furniture to fulfil their natural desire to scratch. If you are worried about your sofa and furniture becoming scratched and damaged, then place a cat tree nearby. Cat trees are a welcomed pet accessory for many owners around the world.

But what are the main benefits of purchasing a cat tree?  At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have answered this frequently asked question by highlighting five reasons why you should get a cat tree. We hope you find this list helpful. Enjoy!

1. Extended Territory

Cat trees help to expand a feline’s territory. Many cat trees have various levels, and this enables a cat to have their very own designated area to recline and feel safe in. If you live in a flat or property that has limited space, then cat trees are a great way of providing more vertical territory for your pet.

2. Vantage Points

Cats will naturally climb trees and survey their territory from a high viewpoint. Cats do this to feel safe from potential predators and to get a good position to view prey. A cat tree will provide your fury feline with a safe vantage point to view their environment below.

3. Safety

Cat trees provide your feline with a safe hiding place especially if you have a busy household and there is another pet or child living with you. Cat trees often come with inbuilt hiding spaces where your cat can nestle and also feel safe and secure. Sometimes cats will fight with one another and if this happens one of them will look for a safe area where they can retreat.

4. A Designated Scratching Post

As we said above, cat trees are a great way for your pet to satisfy their natural desire to scratch. Scratching helps a cat sharpen their claws, stretch their muscles, and mark their territory when they leave behind their scent. As previously mentioned, if you are worried about your sofa and furniture becoming shredded then a cat tree is a must-have purchase for any cat owner!

5. Reduces Anxiety

Some cats can become susceptible to anxiety. Cat owners often report on their cats becoming startled when a guest arrives or notice their pet becoming startled and jumping at the slightest noise. If you have a timid cat, then consider providing them with a safe and secure place to retreat to in the form of a cat tree. Cat trees can really help reduce your pet’s anxiety and provide them with a safe a designated area to retreat to.

Closing thoughts

Did this article help you? Hopefully this article helped to answer any questions you may have of had regarding cat trees. If you are interested in boarding your cat with us, please get in touch. We are based in Baldock within Hertfordshire and provide a friendly and professional luxury cattery service. Our friendly staff are waiting to receive your call. For more information about our luxury cattery in Hertfordshire, or if you want to come and look around first, call us on 01462 742658.