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Kitten Checklist: Everything You Need For Your Kitten
14.06.24 June 14, 2024 Getting A Kitten Featured

Kitten Checklist: Everything You Need For Your Kitten

Bringing a new kitten into your home is such an exciting and joyful time. These tiny, curious creatures can bring immense happiness, but there’s also a few items which you need to get to prepare for their arrival. Whether you are a first-time cat owner or adding another feline friend to your family, having a comprehensive checklist for kittens is essential. Our Pet Experts have put together this guide to walk you through everything you need for your kitten, covering all the kitten essentials to ensure a smooth transition into your home. 10 Things You Need To Know Before Bringing Home A Kitten 1. Preparing Your Home: A Safe Haven Before your kitten arrives, it's crucial to kitten-proof your home. Kittens are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings. To prevent any accidents, remove or secure items that could be hazardous. Kitten Essentials for Home Safety: Secure Loose Wires: Kittens love to chew on things, so make sure to secure electrical cords and wires. Block Small Spaces: Use barriers to block off small gaps where kittens might get stuck. Remove Toxic Plants: Many common houseplants are toxic to cats. Try to keep any house plants out of your kittens way. If you’re not sure on what plants cats are allergic to check out our blog on what plants are poisonous to cats. 2. Comfortable Living Space Your kitten needs a cosy and safe space to rest, getting them a cosy bed or a blanket to curl up in whilst they nap will help them to settle into their new home. Things You Need for a Kitten’s Living Space: Cat Bed: Choose a soft, comfortable bed where your kitten can sleep and relax. Blankets: Soft blankets can provide extra warmth and comfort. Here are Lords & Labradors we specialise in luxury pet bedding, from gorgeous high wall beds to cocoon your kitten to sleep to cosy blankets to cuddle up in. Shop now  3. Feeding Essentials A well-balanced diet is crucial for your kitten's growth and health. Investing in the right feeding supplies is a must. Feeding Essentials for a New Kitten: High-Quality Kitten Food: Opt for food specifically formulated for kittens, as they have different nutritional needs compared to adult cats. We particularly love the Carnilove cat foods, they contain 70% fresh meat and are grain and potato free so you know you’re feeding your kitten the best. Food and Water Bowls: These are an essential, it may be a little bit of trial and error to find what suits your kitten as cats can be fussy. Some cats prefer a saucer whereas others prefer a bowl, some cats even prefer a water fountain to drink from. 4. Litter Training Litter training your kitten is one of the first tasks you'll need to undertake. The right litter supplies can make this process easier. Kitten Litter Training Checklist: Litter Tray: A low-sided tray is ideal for kittens to easily access. Litter: Clumping litter is often preferred, but ensure it's safe for kittens. Litter Scoop: For easy cleaning and maintenance. Not a fan of the look of a litter tray? Our cat washrooms are designed to hide your cat’s litter tray as well as give them a little bit of privacy. They come in two colours, white and grey, and are designed to look like they are part of your home. 5. Grooming Supplies Regular grooming is essential to keep your kitten healthy and looking their best. Start grooming your kitten early to get them accustomed to the routine. Depending on your kitten’s fur type, a brush or comb will help keep their coat smooth and free of tangles. 6. Health and Wellness Keeping your kitten healthy involves regular vet care and some essential health supplies at home. Health Essentials for Your Kitten: Vet Visits: Schedule your first vet appointment soon after bringing your kitten home. Vaccinations and Medications: Follow your vet’s advice on necessary vaccinations and medications. Flea and Tick Prevention: Discuss with your vet the best options for flea and tick prevention. 7. Playtime and Exercise Kittens are full of energy and need plenty of playtime to stay happy and healthy. Make sure you have a range of toys and activities to keep them entertained. Playtime Essentials for a New Kitten: Interactive Toys: Toys like feather wands and laser pointers can keep your kitten active and engaged. We particularly love the Catit circuits, there’s lots of additions you can make to the circuit to keep it fun for your kitten. Scratching Posts: These help kittens satisfy their natural scratching instincts while saving your furniture. Cat Trees: Multi-level cat trees offer climbing and perching opportunities. Getting a larger cat tree for them to climb as well as scratch will also fulfil your cat’s desire to be up high. Check out our range of cat trees here. 8. Socialisation and Training Early socialisation and training can help your kitten grow into a well-behaved and confident cat. Spend time interacting with your kitten to build trust and companionship. Socialisation and Training Tips: Positive Reinforcement: Use treats and praise to reward good behaviour. Handling: Gently handle your kitten regularly to get them used to being touched and held. Visitors: It’s a good idea to get your kitten used to you having people over, especially if you have a busy household. 9. Travel Essentials If you plan to travel with your kitten, having the right supplies can make the journey more comfortable for both of you. Travel Essentials for Kittens: Cat Carrier: A secure, comfortable carrier is essential for trips to the vet or any travel. We love the Cabrio Cat Carrier for transporting our cats. Travel Bowls: Collapsible bowls are convenient for food and water on the go, especially if you’ve got a long journey home with your cat. 10. Identification and Safety Ensuring your kitten's safety is paramount. Proper identification can help in case your kitten gets lost. Identification Essentials: Collar and ID Tag: A breakaway collar with an ID tag can help identify your kitten if they wander off. Microchipping: It’s now a legal requirement here in the UK for all cats to be microchipped by the time they are 5 months old and there are fines if your cat is found without a microchip. So it’s a good idea to get your kitten microchipped fairly quickly after you bring them home. Conclusion Bringing home a new kitten is a delightful experience, but it requires preparation and the right supplies to ensure your pet’s well-being. By following this comprehensive kitten checklist, you can create a safe, comfortable, and loving environment for your new furry friend. Remember, the initial investment in these kitten essentials will pay off in the form of a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted cat. Welcome to the wonderful world of pet kittens! For more advice on kitten care and to shop for high-quality kitten products, shop our cat emporium here.

By Megan Willis

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How to Change Your Cat's Food
14.06.24 June 14, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

How to Change Your Cat's Food

Cats can be fussy eaters, and introducing a new type of food can be challenging. Whether you need to switch due to dietary needs, health concerns, or simply a desire to try a different brand, transitioning your cat to a new food should be done gradually and thoughtfully. Here’s a guide to help you through the process, making a seamless transition for both you & your feline. Why Change Your Cat's Food? Common reasons for changing your cat's food may include: Health Issues: Allergies, digestive problems, or other health conditions may require a special diet, when recommended by a veterinarian. Age: Kittens, adult cats, and senior cats all have different nutritional needs. Weight Management: Adjusting diet for weight loss or gain. Quality of Food: Upgrading to a higher quality or more natural diet. Flavour: Sometimes, our cats simply get bored of their current food. Changing your cats diet It’s important before you dive into swapping your cats food, you have done your research and picked the very best option for both you as the owner and the best option for your cat. You may need to consult your veterinarian, this is especially important if your cat has health issues - they may offer a specific food to meet your cats needs. You may start with initial research into wet, dry or raw food - you will be able to find the best option to meet your cat/kitten’s nutritional needs, as well as their preference. It’s good to check the ingredients of the food you’re researching - opt for high quality ingredients such a real meat. Try to avoid fillers such as corn and soy as these are likely to  be difficult for your cat to digest and the phytic acid may have a negative effect on your cats nutrition. Remember abrupt changes can cause upset for your feline. A gradual transition will help your cat’s digestive system adjust to their new food. It’s good to work on a 1-10 day plan, however this may need to be adjusted to your cats needs. Below is a guide you may want to follow. It’s worth checking the new food feeding guides on the packaging as you may find they also have a helpful guide. Day 1-3: Mix 25% of the new food with 75% of the old food. Day 4-6: Mix 50% of the new food with 50% of the old food. Day 7-9: Mix 75% of the new food with 25% of the old food. Day 10+: Transition to 100% of the new food. Throughout this process, keep a close eye on your cat and how they’re finding the adjustments. Watch for signs and reactions such as diarrhoea, constipation and sickness. Observe their overall wellbeing, their energy levels, coat condition and their behaviour. Take note of their appetite and ensure your cat is actually eating the new food. You may find some reluctance, but persistent refusal may indicate the need for a different food. A healthy diet should improve your cats coat, making it shinier and softer. Their stool’s should be firm and moist - any drastic change in the stool should be monitored. Changing my cats food If your cat shows signs of distress or the transition isn’t going smoothly, you may need to slow down the process or consult your vet. Some cats may require a slower transition period, extending each phase by a few days. Tips for a Successful Transition Patience: Some cats are more sensitive to changes in their diet. Take it slow and be patient. Mixing Techniques: Ensure the new and old food are well-mixed to prevent your cat from picking out their preferred pieces. Wet Food Transition: If switching from dry to wet food, you might need to introduce the wet food as a treat initially, gradually increasing the portion size. If your cat is refusing to eat their new food, try warming the food slightly to enhance its aroma. You may also want to mix in a small amount of a highly value treat. Remember, changing your cat’s food doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By taking a gradual approach and monitoring your cat’s response, you can ensure a smooth transition to their new diet. Remember, every cat is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. Patience and observation are key to finding the perfect food for your feline friend. With careful planning and a little patience, your cat will be enjoying their new food and reaping the benefits of their new, healthy, balanced diet in no time.

By Laura Rudd

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How to Keep Cats Cool in Summer: Essential Tips for Pet Owners
27.05.24 May 27, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

How to Keep Cats Cool in Summer: Essential Tips for Pet Owners

As the summer heat intensifies, it's crucial to ensure your feline friends stay cool and comfortable. Cats are particularly sensitive to high temperatures, and excessive heat can lead to serious health issues like heatstroke. In this guide, we'll explore practical strategies for keeping cats cool in summer, providing you with essential tips to help your pet beat the heat. Understanding the Risks of Heat for Cats Before diving into how to keep your cat cool in summer, it's important to understand why it's necessary. Cats do not sweat like humans do; they have very few sweat glands meaning they use other tricks to cool themselves down. Grooming themselves is a key way your cat will cool themselves down, as the saliva evaporate and help to cool down. They are also likely to take long naps in a cool spot on a hot day and they may also use panting to cool themselves down.   3 reasons overheating is dangerous for your cat Heatstroke: This is a life-threatening condition that can cause organ failure. Dehydration: High temperatures can quickly lead to dehydration, impacting your cat's overall health. Burns: Hot surfaces like pavements can burn a cat’s sensitive paw pads.   Recognising Signs of Overheating Even with these precautions, it’s vital to know the signs of overheating in cats so you can act quickly if necessary. Watch out for: Excessive panting: Unlike dogs, cats don't pant often, so this is a significant red flag. Lethargy: If your cat seems unusually tired or weak, they might be overheated. Drooling: Excessive drooling can be a sign of heat stress. Red or pale gums: These can indicate that your cat is overheating. Vomiting and diarrhoea: These symptoms can accompany heatstroke. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to act immediately. Move your cat to a cooler area, offer water, and use cool (not cold) water to dampen their fur. Contact your veterinarian for further advice.   How to Keep Your Cat Cool in Summer Battersea have put together 7 helpful ways you can help keep your cat safe and cool this summer 1. Use suncream If you have an outdoor cat with light coloured fur they are likely at risk of getting sunburned. If your cat will allow you to try putting some animal friendly suncream on them to help prevent sunburn. We love the BeSunsafe sun protection as it is also insect repelling and is full of natural ingredients. 2. Provide plenty of shade Make sure there are plenty of shady spots in your garden for your cat to lay in to help keep them cool whilst they are outdoors. 3. Provide Plenty of Fresh Water One of the simplest yet most effective ways to keep your cat cool in summer is ensuring they have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Consider placing multiple water bowls around your home to encourage your cat to drink more frequently. You might also invest in a cat water fountain, which can be more appealing to cats due to the continuous flow of water. We love the Catit Pixi fountain, it comes in 4 fun colours and provides your cat with a 24/7 stream of water to drink from. 4. Keep inside your house cool Maintaining a cool indoor environment is crucial for keeping cats cool in summer, especially indoor cats. Here are some tips to achieve this: Air Conditioning and Fans: If possible, keep the air conditioning on during hot days. Fans can also help circulate air, but ensure they are safe and out of your cat's reach. Curtains and Blinds: Close curtains or blinds during the hottest parts of the day to block out direct sunlight. Netting frames: Fit netted frames over your windows in summer so you can keep your home well ventilated without worrying about your cat escaping Cool Spots: Create cool spots for your cat to lounge in. This could be a tiled bathroom floor, a shaded area, or a cool mat designed for pets. 5. Don’t overexcite your cat Keeping your cat calm will help them stay cool on really hot days. For playful cats try putting down a couple of ice cubes for them to play with whilst keeping them hydrated and cool. 6. Check your shed Your cat may choose to hide from the sun in your shed or garage if they have been open so make sure to check for your cat before closing them! 7.Know the signs of heatstroke in cats Heatstroke can be really serious and acting quickly is important in keeping your cat safe. Here’s what you need to watch out for Agitation Stretching out and breathing rapidly Extreme distress Skin hot to the touch Glazed eyes Vomiting and drooling Conclusion Keeping cats cool in summer is a vital part of pet care. By providing plenty of fresh water, creating a cool environment, grooming regularly, and being vigilant for signs of overheating, you can ensure your cat stays safe and comfortable. Incorporate these cooling tips for cats into your summer routine to help your feline friend enjoy the season without the stress of overheating. At Lords & Labradors, we offer a range of products designed to keep your pets comfortable and happy. Explore our collection of cooling mats, water fountains, and grooming tools to help keep your cat cool this summer.

By Megan Willis

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Why Is My Cat Staring at Me?
27.05.24 May 27, 2024 FAQs Featured

Why Is My Cat Staring at Me?

As a pet owner, you may have experienced moments when you catch your feline friend gazing intently at you. Whether you're sitting on the couch, working at your desk, or even waking up to those piercing eyes, you might find yourself wondering, "Why is my cat staring at me?" This seemingly mysterious behaviour can actually be quite fascinating once you understand the underlying reasons. Understanding Cat Behaviour Cats are known for their enigmatic and sometimes perplexing behaviours. Unlike dogs, who are often more expressive and direct in their actions, cats tend to be subtler in their ways. When your cat is staring at you, it can mean a variety of things, depending on the context and their body language. 1. Seeking Attention One of the most common reasons for your cat staring at you is them looking for your attention. Cats are independent creatures, but they also enjoy social interaction. If your cat stares at you and then starts meowing or purring, it's likely they want some affection, playtime, or even a treat. This is their way of communicating their needs and desires to you. 2. Curiosity and Observation Cats are naturally curious animals. They spend a lot of their time observing their surroundings and the people in their environment. When your cat is staring at you, they might just be curious about what you're doing. This is especially true if you're engaged in an activity that piques their interest, like cooking or using a computer. Their stare can be a sign of their inquisitive nature. 3. Bonding and Affection Believe it or not, a cat staring at you can be a sign of affection and bonding. Cats have a unique way of showing their love, and direct eye contact is one of them. This gesture indicates that your cat feels safe and comfortable around you. Giving your cat some fuss and attention when they do this will help to reinforce the bond. 4. Hunger or Expectation If your cat tends to stare at you around mealtime, they are likely reminding you that it's time to eat. Cats quickly learn routines and can be quite persistent when they're hungry. Staring can be their way of signalling that they expect you to fill their food bowl or give them a treat. 5. Health and Well-being Sometimes, a cat’s staring can be related to their health. If your cat seems to be staring at you more than usual and displays other unusual behaviours like lethargy, changes in appetite, or vocalisations, it might be a sign of an underlying health issue. It’s always a good idea to consult with a vet if you notice any significant changes in your cat's behaviour. 6. Instinctual Behaviour Cats are natural hunters, and staring is a part of their predatory instinct. When they fix their gaze on something, they are essentially in a hunting mode. If your cat is staring at you, they might be practicing their hunting skills. This behaviour is more common in younger cats and kittens who are still honing their instincts. Decoding Your Cat’s Body Language To fully understand why your cat is staring at you, it’s important to pay attention to their overall body language. Here are some key indicators to watch for: Relaxed Body and Ears: If your cat’s body is relaxed, ears are in a neutral position, and they are softly blinking, the stare is likely affectionate. Tense Body and Pinned Ears: A stiff body and ears pinned back could indicate that your cat is feeling threatened or anxious. In this case, the stare might be a warning sign. Dilated Pupils: Wide, dilated pupils can indicate excitement or fear. Assess the situation to determine the cause of this reaction. Tail Position: A tail that is held high and twitching slightly can show curiosity or happiness, while a fluffed-up tail indicates fear or aggression. How to Respond to Your Cat’s Stare Responding to your cat’s stare appropriately can help strengthen your bond and ensure their needs are met. Here are some tips: Acknowledge Them: If your cat is staring at you for attention, take a moment to pet them, play with them, or simply talk to them. This helps reinforce positive behaviour. Observe Their Needs: If the stare is accompanied by meowing near their food bowl, it’s probably time for a meal. Ensure you maintain a consistent feeding schedule. Provide Stimulation: Cats need mental and physical stimulation. Offer toys, climbing structures, and interactive play to keep them engaged. Our range of cat trees are designed to keep your cat stimulated and appeal their natural playful instinct. Health Check: If you notice any changes in behaviour along with the staring, schedule a vet visit to rule out any health issues. Conclusion Understanding why your cat is staring at you can deepen your relationship and ensure your feline friend is happy and healthy. Whether they are seeking attention, showing affection, or simply curious, recognising these behaviours can help you respond appropriately. Remember, each cat is unique, and their staring can have multiple meanings depending on the context. Pay attention to their body language and overall behaviour to decode their message accurately. By being attentive and responsive, you can create a nurturing environment that caters to your cat’s needs, making both of your lives more harmonious. So the next time your cat stares at you, take it as an opportunity to connect and understand your furry companion better. Shop everything you could need for your cat here at Lords & Labradors, from cat trees to food to toys we really have everything you could need.

By Megan Willis

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The Importance Of Correct Nutrition For Dogs And Cats!
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Health Featured

The Importance Of Correct Nutrition For Dogs And Cats!

Ensuring optimal nutrition for our beloved pets is paramount for their overall health and well-being. As responsible pet owners, it is crucial to understand the significance of providing nutritionally complete and balanced meals to our furry friends. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of dog and cat nutrition, exploring the importance of the right food choices, nutritionally complete homemade recipes, and the best commercial options available.   Understanding Dog and Cat Nutrition Your pet's nutrition plays a pivotal role in their vitality and longevity. Just like humans, dogs and cats require a balanced diet that fulfils their specific dietary needs. A well-rounded diet supports their immune system, maintains a healthy weight, and promotes optimal organ function. Pet food ranges from being more processed to being raw and rich in natural ingredients, finding the right fit for your pet is important!   Dog Food Nutrition Choosing the right dog food is a key aspect of canine care. With an abundance of options available, it's essential to prioritise nutritionally complete choices. To make an informed decision, consider using a dog food nutrition calculator and comparing different products. Look for the best nutritional dog food that meets your pet's unique requirements, taking into account factors such as breed, size, and age. Our favourite nutritionally rich dog foods are Orijen, Carnilove and Acana, they are all designed with your dogs nutrition in mind.     Dog Nutrition Facts and Guide Understanding dog nutrition facts is imperative for providing the best care. Refer to a dog food nutrition guide to navigate through the plethora of choices available in the market. Learn about your dog's daily nutritional requirements and make informed decisions that contribute to their overall health and happiness.   Cat Food Nutrition Cats, being obligate carnivores, have unique nutritional requirements. The best cat food for nutrition considers their need for high-quality protein and essential nutrients. Explore dry cat food nutrition labels to ensure your feline friend receives a balanced diet that supports their specific dietary needs. For a cat food which is high in protein and great for fussy felines we love Carnilove, they all have at least 80% wild origin meat content and contain No grains, potatoes, GMO, soy, sugar, preservatives or colourants.   Daily Nutritional Requirements for Cats Cats require a carefully balanced diet to thrive. Knowing the daily nutritional requirements for cats is essential for choosing the right cat food. Consult with your vet to understand the specific needs of your cat, such as the importance of taurine and other essential nutrients crucial for their health. In conclusion, the importance of correct nutrition for dogs and cats cannot be overstated. Whether choosing commercial options or crafting homemade recipes, prioritising nutritionally complete meals is key to ensuring your pet's health and happiness. Stay informed about dog and cat nutrition, consult with professionals, and make choices that align with your pet's unique requirements. By providing the best nutritional dog food or cat food, you contribute to a longer, healthier life for your furry companions. Here at Lords & Labradors we have a large range of both cat and dog food so you can pick the best option for you and your pet

By Megan Willis

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Why Is Chocolate Harmful To Pets?
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Health Featured

Why Is Chocolate Harmful To Pets?

When it comes to indulging in sweet treats, most of us are well aware of the pleasures and potential pitfalls of consuming chocolate. However, what many pet owners may not realise is that chocolate can pose a serious threat to the health of their furry friends. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore why chocolate is harmful to pets, particularly focusing on the questions: Can cats eat chocolate? Can dogs eat chocolate? And what should you do if your pet ingests this tempting yet perilous treat?   Understanding Chocolate Toxicity: Chocolate contains substances known as theobromine and caffeine, both of which belong to a class of compounds called methylxanthines. While humans can metabolise these substances relatively easily, pets, especially dogs and cats, process them much more slowly. As a result, theobromine and caffeine can accumulate to toxic levels in their systems, leading to various health issues.   Can Cats Eat Chocolate? No, cats cannot safely consume chocolate. While felines are generally less inclined to eat chocolate compared to dogs, it's crucial for cat owners to be vigilant. Theobromine and caffeine in chocolate can cause adverse reactions in cats, leading to symptoms such as increased heart rate, restlessness, and even seizures. In severe cases, chocolate ingestion can be fatal for cats.   Is Chocolate Poisonous to Cats? Is Chocolate Toxic to Cats? Yes, chocolate is poisonous and toxic to cats. Due to their smaller size and differences in metabolism compared to dogs, cats are more sensitive to theobromine and caffeine. Even small amounts of chocolate can cause serious health issues in felines.   Is Chocolate Bad for Dogs? Yes, chocolate is indeed bad for dogs. The theobromine content in chocolate can cause a range of symptoms in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, and even tremors or seizures. The severity of these symptoms depends on factors such as the type and amount of chocolate consumed, as well as the size and breed of the dog.   Chocolate Poisoning in Dogs and Cats: Chocolate poisoning occurs when pets ingest a toxic amount of theobromine and caffeine. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain higher concentrations of these substances, making them more dangerous than milk chocolate. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include: Vomiting Diarrhoea Increased heart rate Restlessness Tremors or seizures Elevated body temperature   What to Do if Your Dog Eats Chocolate: If you suspect your dog has ingested chocolate, it is essential to act promptly. Contact your vet immediately and provide them with information such as the type and amount of chocolate consumed, as well as your dog's size and breed. Your vet may recommend inducing vomiting or other appropriate treatments based on the severity of the situation.   Dog Chocolate Toxicity Calculator: To assess the potential toxicity of chocolate for your dog, various online calculators take into account factors such as the type of chocolate, the dog's weight, and the amount ingested. While these calculators can offer a rough estimate, they are not a substitute for professional advice. Always consult with your vet if your pet has ingested chocolate.   Can Chocolate Kill Dogs? Can Chocolate Kill Cats? In extreme cases, chocolate ingestion can indeed be fatal for both dogs and cats. Theobromine toxicity can lead to severe complications, including cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and respiratory failure. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial to increase the chances of a positive outcome. While chocolate may be a delightful treat for humans, it poses a significant risk to the health of our beloved pets. Pet owners should be aware of the dangers associated with chocolate ingestion in dogs and cats, and take preventive measures to ensure their furry companions are kept away from this potentially lethal temptation. In case of accidental ingestion, swift action and consultation with a vet are paramount to safeguard the well-being of your pet. Remember, when it comes to chocolate and pets, prevention is the best medicine. Keep your pets out of mischief with some pet friendly treats. We’ve got a wide range of both dog treats and cat treats for you to choose from here at Lords & Labradors.

By Megan Willis

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How To Keep A Cat Warm In Winter
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

How To Keep A Cat Warm In Winter

As the temperatures drop and winter sets in, it's essential to ensure the well-being of our feline friends. Cats, known for their love of warmth and comfort, may need a little extra care to stay cosy during the colder months. In this guide, we'll explore expert tips on creating a warm and inviting environment for your cat, including the use of warm cat beds, cat warming mats, and other effective strategies.   Invest in a Warm Cat Bed One of the key elements in keeping your cat warm during winter is providing a comfortable and insulated sleeping space. Opt for a high-quality warm cat bed designed specifically for colder weather. Look for beds with soft, insulating materials like fleece or plush, and ensure they have a non-slip bottom for added stability. Our cat’s love both high wall beds which they can curl up into the sides of or self heating beds which contain heat-reflective materials or thermal layers that make them exceptionally comfortable, especially during colder months, check out our comprehensive guide to heated cat beds here.   Create a Warm Environment in Cold Rooms If your cat tends to spend time in colder rooms, take measures to make these spaces more comfortable. Consider using draft stoppers on doors and windows, and use heavy curtains to trap warmth inside. Additionally, you can place a warm cat bed or cat warming mat in these areas to encourage your feline friend to stay warm. The snuggle safe heat pads are a great way to safely heat your cat’s favourite bed or snooze spot.     Keep Your Cat Indoors During Extreme Cold In particularly harsh winter conditions, it's best to keep your cat indoors. Cold temperatures, snow, and icy conditions can pose risks to your cat's health and safety. Create a warm and cosy indoor space with access to sunny spots for your cat to bask in natural warmth.   Dress Your Cat Appropriately For some cats, wearing a cosy sweater or jacket can be a fashionable and functional solution to staying warm. However, not all cats appreciate clothing, so it's essential to gauge your cat's comfort level. If your cat tolerates it, a well-fitted sweater can provide an extra layer of insulation.   Keeping your cat warm in winter is a crucial aspect of responsible pet care. By investing in warm cat beds, cat warming mats, and implementing other strategies to create a cosy environment, you can ensure that your feline companion stays comfortable and content during the colder months. Remember to monitor your cat's behaviour and adjust their surroundings as needed to accommodate their individual preferences and needs.

By Megan Willis

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How To Cat-Proof Your Christmas
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

How To Cat-Proof Your Christmas

Christmas is a time for warmth, joy, and celebration. However, for cat owners, it can also be a time of concern when it comes to safeguarding the festive trimmings from curious feline explorations. To ensure a harmonious coexistence between your beloved pet and your cherished Christmas decorations, adopting a few proactive measures is essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to cat-proof your Christmas, focusing on securing your tree, decorations, lights, and more. 1. Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Selection and Setup Opt for a Sturdy Tree: Choose a robust, sturdy Christmas tree that can withstand playful nudges or climbing attempts by your curious cat. Secure the Tree Base: Anchor the tree securely in a heavy, stable tree stand to prevent toppling. Consider using a weighted base or attaching the tree to a wall or ceiling for added stability. 2. Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Decorations Avoid Fragile Ornaments: Opt for shatterproof or non-breakable ornaments to prevent accidents if your cat decides to bat at or knock them down. Strategic Placement: Hang delicate ornaments higher up the tree where they're less accessible to playful paws. 3. Cat-Friendly Christmas Lights Tangle-Free Wiring: Secure Christmas lights firmly to the tree and tape or hide wires to prevent your cat from chewing on them. Opt for LED lights that produce less heat and are safer if accidentally touched. Use Citrus Deterrents: Cats often dislike the smell of citrus. Spraying citrus-scented deterrents on wires can discourage them from exploring or chewing. 4.Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Skirt and Base Select the Right Skirt: Choose a tree skirt made of sturdy fabric or materials that are less attractive for scratching or playing. Avoid using tinsel or materials that might tempt your cat to paw at them. Cover the Base: If using a traditional tree stand, cover the water reservoir securely to prevent your cat from drinking the tree water, which can be harmful. 5. Supervise and Redirect Supervision is Key: Keep a watchful eye on your cat when they're near the tree or decorations, especially initially. Distract and Redirect: Offer alternative toys or activities to divert your cat's attention away from the tree, creating positive associations elsewhere. By implementing these strategies, you can create a harmonious holiday environment that both you and your cat can enjoy. Remember, patience and consistency in training and redirection are key to successfully cat-proofing your Christmas festivities. While no method is foolproof, these proactive measures will significantly reduce the chances of mishaps, ensuring a peaceful and joyous holiday season for all members of your household, furry or otherwise.

By Megan Willis

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New Year's Cats and Fireworks: What To Do?
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Health Featured

New Year's Cats and Fireworks: What To Do?

The arrival of the New Year often brings with it spectacular fireworks displays that captivate us but may distress our feline companions. Cats and fireworks aren't always a harmonious combination, as many cat owners can attest. Understanding why cats react to fireworks and how to support them during these events is crucial to ensuring their well-being.   Are Cats Scared of Fireworks? Yes, most cats are scared of fireworks. The loud noises, bright flashes, and unpredictable nature of fireworks trigger fear responses in many felines. Cats have sensitive hearing, making the explosive sounds of fireworks particularly distressing for them.   Why Are Cats Scared of Fireworks? Cats' acute senses make them highly attuned to changes in their environment. The sudden, loud noises of fireworks disrupt their sense of security, triggering a flight or hiding response. This fear response is a survival instinct, leading them to seek shelter and safety.   How to Recognise a Cat Scared of Fireworks Signs of a distressed cat during fireworks may include: Hiding: Cats might seek out hiding spots in secluded areas, under furniture, or in closets. Vocalisation: Some cats may meow excessively or exhibit other vocalisations indicative of distress. Trembling or Shaking: Physical signs like trembling or shaking may accompany their fear response.   Supporting Your Cat During Fireworks Here are some strategies to help your feline friend cope with fireworks: Create a Safe Space: Set up a quiet, comfortable area where your cat feels secure. Include their favourite toys, bedding, and familiar items. A lot of cats like to be up high when they're feeling anxious so make sure their cat tree is easily accessible Close Windows and Curtains: Minimise visual exposure to fireworks flashes by drawing curtains or blinds. Provide Background Noise: Play calming music or white noise to drown out the sounds of fireworks. Specialised calming music designed for cats can be beneficial. Stay Calm: Your demeanour can influence your cat's reaction. Remain calm and reassuring to help them feel more secure. Microchip and Identification: Ensure your cat has proper identification in case they escape due to fear. Distraction: Keeping your cat focused on something like a new treat or toy during the fireworks can be a great way to distract them from the noise and keep them calm. Calming Remedies: If your cat has a history of being scared of fireworks you may look to try a calming remedy. We stock a variety of calming remedies here at Lords & Labradors, from spot ons to diffusers, they work by using pheromone technology to help keep your cat calm   Post-Firework Support for Traumatised Cats After the fireworks, give your cat some time to readjust. Offer them comfort, treats, and playtime to help alleviate any lingering stress. If your cat appears excessively distressed or shows prolonged anxiety, consult your veterinarian for additional guidance.   Why Is My Cat Not Scared of Fireworks? Some cats may display indifference or curiosity toward fireworks. This behaviour isn't common but may be attributed to individual temperament or previous exposure to loud noises. Cats and fireworks can be a challenging mix, but with preparation and support, you can help your feline companion navigate these events more comfortably. Understanding their fear response and implementing calming strategies will ensure a safer and more peaceful experience for your cat during New Year's celebrations and other firework events.

By Megan Willis

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Dogs And Cats On New Years Eve: What To Do During The Celebrations
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

Dogs And Cats On New Years Eve: What To Do During The Celebrations

New Year's Eve is a time of celebration and festivity, but for pet owners, especially those with dogs and cats, it can be a challenging time. The loud noises, fireworks, and disruptions in routine might cause distress to our furry friends. However, with thoughtful planning and consideration, you can ensure a pet-friendly celebration that keeps everyone, including your beloved pets, content and safe. Dog-Friendly New Year's Eve Breaks and Events For those considering spending the holiday away from home, numerous dog-friendly New Year's Eve breaks and events cater to pet owners. When planning such breaks, prioritise locations that explicitly advertise themselves as pet-friendly. Research accommodations that not only allow pets but also provide specific amenities or arrangements for them. We recommend packing plenty of home comforts for your pet if you are going away this New Years, their bed and favourite toys to help them feel at home and settle in the new environment.  Creating a Comfortable Environment Creating a safe and comfortable environment at home is essential if you plan to stay in. Begin by setting up a cosy space for your pets, preferably in a quiet room away from the celebrations. This area should include their favourite bedding, toys, and familiar items to help reduce stress. Managing Noise and Disturbances Fireworks and loud music can be distressing for pets. We recommend putting the tv on or some calming music specially designed for dogs to help drown out external noises. Keep curtains closed to minimise visual disturbances from fireworks displays. Dog-Friendly New Year's Eve Parties If hosting or attending a New Year's Eve party, ensure that your pets have a secure and quiet area to retreat to. Inform guests about your pets and request their cooperation in not giving them any unfamiliar food or drink, which can be harmful to animals. This might be a cat tree or a cosy crate, wherever your pets safe space is. Safety Measures It's crucial to take precautionary measures to keep your pets safe during the celebrations. Ensure that your pets are wearing collars with updated identification tags and consider microchipping them if they aren't already. This step can be invaluable if they manage to escape due to fear. Catering to Cats' Needs Cats, known for their sensitivity to change, may find the disruptions of New Year's Eve particularly stressful. Similarly, provide a safe, quiet space for them and consider using pheromone diffusers or calming sprays designed specifically for felines. Post-Celebration Recovery The day after New Year's Eve might be overwhelming for pets. Stick to their routine as much as possible and offer extra reassurance and attention to help them recover from the excitement and any anxiety. New Year's Eve can be enjoyable for both pet owners and their furry companions with some thoughtful planning and consideration. Whether opting for a dog-friendly break or staying home, prioritising your pet's comfort and safety ensures a stress-free celebration for all. By creating a familiar environment, managing disturbances, and taking safety measures, you can ring in the new year joyfully with your beloved pets by your side. Remember, each pet is unique, so adapt these suggestions to suit their individual needs. Here's to a happy and pet-friendly New Year's Eve celebration!

By Megan Willis

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