Autumn and winter are not just difficult times for us human, with dropping temperatures, sniffles and dark days, our pets sometimes suffer more in the winter too so today I’ve put together a little blog post about taking care of your furry friends this season. Of course, I want my cats Cookie and Muffin to be happy and healthy all year round, so I’ve done my research to find out just what to do to look after them during the autumn and into winter and I hope these tips will help you too!A warm place to sit – You may have noticed that your cats like to sit in the sun and will seek out the warmest places to nap. This becomes a problem when sunny days are in short supply during the winter months and your cat can become uncomfortable in the cold. It can even stir up arthritic problems in older cats, especially if they are sitting in a draft on their favourite windowsill. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your cat warm and cosy. You can give them a cat bed or padded windowsill cover to keep their sleeping bodies off cold surfaces and it’s even possible to buy a heated pet bed for added warmth! Check for drafts around windows and ensure that curtains are open during the day to take advantage of any sun that does shine this winter. One particularly worrying Cats Protection article I read warns that cats sometimes like to sit on vehicle engines for warmth in the winter so be sure to check where your cat is before starting the car!Cold spaces indoors – Older cats with thinning fur and ailments may get colder more quickly, so be aware that turning the heating off while you’re out of the house might be a problem for your cat, so maybe just turn it down rather than off completely so that they can still find a warm spot to rest in. Pet owners often keep litter trays and feeding spots the garage or conservatory and these rooms can be much colder than the rest of the house in the winter. The drop in temperate to use the ‘facilities’ may actually put your cat off eating or going to the toilet, which can cause all kinds of complications, so consider bringing the cat’s trays and bowls into the house so they stay comfortable.
It’s Hug Your Cat Day! No, I didn’t know such a day existed either until I googled it earlier this week. As if I need an excuse to hug my cats..! I think it just means that they have to allow me to hug them today. I’m expecting purrs and nudges rather than the usual ‘nooo mummy’ push-away, and the ‘too much’ scrabble when I hug Cookie and Muffin today. Although, have they been told that it’s Hug Your Human Day? I tried to have a word with Cookie about it this morning, but she seemed more interested in the cat crispies I was pouring out for her breakfast. Maybe the hugs will come later today? Perhaps they’re going to surprise me with a bombardment of double-cat fluffiness? I like to think they have been brewing a plan, just like they do on Mother’s Day…
When the opportunity to do some research into spirit animals came up this week, I was really excited to find out more about the subject. As a huge animal lover – I don’t think there’s any mammal that I dislike – I already feel very connected to animals and was interested to learn more about the idea of a ‘spirit animal’. It’s also a great excuse to share lots of photos of my cats Cookie and Muffin so scroll on for more!
Of course, I assumed that I would be a cat. My cats are like family and I wouldn’t be disappointed to find out that I had a connection with cats. After all, I love to sleep, eat and rest – wouldn’t life be so much more simple if I were a cat?! But when I looked into the subject of spirit animals I discovered that it’s not about a preference for a particular mammal, but it’s a representation of the traits and skills that you are supposed to have.
If you’re as crazy about your pets as I am about my cats you’ll understand why I feel the need to share this information with you today. Okay, okay, I know I’ve already bought Christmas stockings for my cats and I’ve shared a festive gift guide for pets a couple of weeks ago, but that was before I discovered the Pet Present Finder app!
After posting a few articles about my fluffy friends Cookie and Muffin over the past couple of weeks, I’ve come to realise just how many of you love your pets as much as I love my cats. Whether you have a pedigree puppy that cost many hundreds of pounds, a rescue dog, or just a stray cat that happened by your home hoping for something to eat, one thing that all our pets have in common is that they capture our hearts and, as has been proven, are very beneficial to our health, so it only makes sense to do everything we can to keep our pets in as good health as we can.
Also an unhealthy pet can place a large strain on our finances. Although we can protect ourselves against the very high cost of some veterinary treatments with pet insurance, there is always an excess to pay every time we take our pets to see the vet, and those costs can build up! Also, some breeds or types of pet may not always be eligible for insurance and if you have a mixed pet household, remember that Cats and Dogs will often need different policies too. So I’ve decided to do some research to save my cats from even needing to go to the vet in the first place and here are some very simple ways that could improve your pet’s health and cut down on those vet bills.
When I was young we had a tortoiseshell cat called Peppy that lived for over 20 years. Given that the average life of cats is around 15 years, Peppy did very well, and my mother certainly didn’t have any cat insurance back then! From the research I’ve ready online it was probably down to Peppy’s healthy diet and lots of outdoor exercise as slim cats tend to live much longer. So for Cookie and Muffin, we’ve read the recommended portion suggestions on the boxes of food we buy, and give them just enough for their size and breed – never too much – with the aim of keeping them at a healthy weight. This is equally important for dogs too and while I can’t promise that a good diet will make your pet live for ever, diet and a healthy weight for the breed is very important for all animals.
If you have cats and live near a busy road or if you take your dogs walking near cars, it’s a good idea to train both types of pet in road safety. Some cats can cross roads instinctively, yet others actually walk along roads and even like to have a lie-down on warm tarmac! It’s a good idea to scare your cats off the road so that they are wary of it rather than using it as a lounging space, and it may be better to let them out of your back-door into the garden, rather than releasing them directly into the path of cars if a road runs past the front of your house. Of course, it is much easier to train a dog in road safety and it certainly pays dividends doing so; a dog that will walk to heel and come when called with be easier to control in an emergency situation.
However carefully you monitor your pet’s health, there are advantages in paying a yearly visit to the vet for a general health check up. Not only do such visits help identify any early symptoms that you don’t notice yourself, you will also get feedback on the health of the coat, the heart, and whether your pet’s body mass index is in the healthy range. And vets don’t always charge a fortune for any treatments needed during routine check-ups: my vets are happy to recommend non-prescription supplements, creams or drops when an off-the-shelf treatment will be cheaper and just as effective as the prescription version. This way you can shop around for the best price of a flea-treatment for example and pay a fraction of the cost – my cats’ flea drops cost £21 directly from the vet, but the same product can be bought online for around £10. Essentially, it’s all about the welfare of the cat so the vet is happy for me to buy it elsewhere rather than not buy it at all due to high prescription prices.
Always keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date. The number of potential vaccinations can be quite disturbing, for instance for diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, adenovirus, para-influenza, kennel cough and even Rabies if you take your pet abroad, but it is better than your pet succumbing to any of them and needing to be treated by the vet. In this case, prevention is better than cure!
It is important to take care of your pets’ teeth. The earlier you start home dental treatments such as cleaning the easier it is. If you leave it until your pet is getting old and is really in need of dental treatment your pet is likely to be very resistant to having their teeth cleaned! During our last check-up at the vets, I found out that Cookie has particularly poor teeth, so we’ve started giving her crunchier food to chew on, I’ve bought her a cat toothbrush and the vet recommended an off-the-shelf tube of cat ‘toothpaste’, which can be applied with the brush or can be dolloped onto her paw and she’ll get the benefit of the toothpaste simply by licking it off. We are now looking after both cats teeth daily and it’ll save us money in the long run because pet dental treatment at the vets can add up to hundreds of pounds and it’ll save our cats the stress of needing to have teeth removed.
By following all of the tips that I’ve researched, I’m hoping to keep my cats happy and healthy for as long as possible. They are already 7 and 8 years old so I’d like to keep them going for at least double their lifetime so far – heck, lets go for the triple!
Hello. Welcome to a day in my life. Wait, don’t go – it’ll be interesting, honest! After my ‘personal branding’ lesson last month, I realised that I really did want to share more about myself with my lovely readers and I think it’s only fair that I give you an insight into my daily life as a full-time blogger – then you can imagine me sat all alone with my cup of tea and might think about sending me a tweet or leaving me a comment to liven up my day, haha! Seriously, I’d love to know more about you too so please get in touch, I love to chat 😉 So here goes:
6am Wake up to the world’s quietest alarm clock that sounds like a harp so that I don’t get jolted out of my sleep. I like to float into consciousness, sit up and take time to let the blood circulate around my body before making any kind of move to get out of bed. This is why the alarm is on early – I like to have time and not feel rushed in the morning. I pull on my slippers (I’ve written about them here!) and head into the kitchen where I feed and fuss my cats Cookie and Muffin and make a cup of tea and breakfast, which I take back to bed.
7am Hubby leaves for work and I sometimes go with him to work in the library but often I listen to BBC Radio 2 and start work almost straight away on whatever article or blog post that has popped into my head during the night. I also respond to all my comments or social media messages that have arrived overnight from my USA audience and have a read of all the lovely blogs that I follow, such as inspirational blog LucyLovesYa, vintage fashion articles at My Blue Rinse and photography site Lacey In Places. I try to post my first blog post of the day before 9am because I think it’s nice to have something to read when you get to work 😉 then I open up my emails for the first time and crack on with replying to them.
10.30am I take a tea break to listen to the Popmaster quiz on Radio 2, while having a second breakfast because I’m already hungry by this point in the day. I usually score around 15-21 points on Popmaster – although once I scored 30 and beeped my horn in triumph! (I was driving the car at the time – I don’t have a horn in my house). I research and draft articles for some of the other publications that I write for, then at 12.30 I force myself to leave the computer for a lunch break, cook something proper for lunch and have a rest, otherwise I know I will get tired and be useless for the rest of the day. I will usually read during my lunch hour – either whatever novel I’m reading (at the moment it’s Julie and Julia by blogger Julie Powell) or a magazine, such as my Mensa or Mollie Makes subscription (thanks hubby).
1.45pm I turn on cbeebies every day without fail and watch a 15 minute episode of Something Special. I have been learning Makaton sign language for the past 2 years so this gives me time to practice and I often learn a new sign during the show. Who’d have thought there would be a sign for ‘zipwire’? Well, I know it now! After the show finishes I make a cup of tea and clean the kitchen while singing along to the jingle of the next children’s TV show which I inevitably learn just by accidentally leaving the TV on in the background. At the moment it’s Let’s Play but I particularly enjoyed Mr Bloom’s Nursery – now that is a theme tune!
2pm – 6pm I head out to my workshop (my little vintage caravan) and work all afternoon on a creative project and take photos for the blog, such as a craft DIY, outfit post or interiors shoot. Some days the afternoon will be a trip out to visit an event, place or person and all of this will feed back into my writing somewhere along the line. I check and finish off my emails for the day and clear away my work. I reward myself for a good day’s work with a session on Pinterest before hubby gets home.
10pm A highlight of the bedtime is Cookie joining me as I brush my teeth – she comes running whenever she hears the toothbrush turn on – so I hold out her own cat toothbrush for her to brush her teeth against and she loves it! We chat until we fall asleep – usually my conversation starts trailing off first as I struggle to stay awake to finish a sentence. If I have trouble getting to sleep I follow my friend & fellow blogger Laurie Rose’s advice of clearing my mind and counting to ten, and if a thought interrupts my counting I start again at number one and so on until my mind is so clear that I fall asleep. In fact I don’t ever remember getting as far as ten!
So I hope you’ve learnt a little more about me through this blog post – if only the fact that I’m a workaholic, pin addict who lets her cat brush it’s own teeth.
You may remember that I posted some pictures that I’d made using Doll Divine to make ‘pin-up’ girl versions of Cassiefairy and even of Amy Childs! If not – here’s the post.
And now, my favourite time-wasting pastime is back – with a cat creator! So I’ve spent a little while making my own cats into cartoons. What do you think? If you need distracting this after check out Doll Divine’s animal creator and waste some time making your own cats (or even ponies!) 🙂