How to find a lost cat

As fellow pet lovers and owners, we truly understand how upsetting it is if your cat goes missing. And your natural reaction is to panic. However it is far more important, and more useful, to make a search plan and start looking as soon as possible.

To cover all bases and exhaust your options, follow our pointers:

  • Search indoors
    Before doing anything else, search high and low in your house. Take a torch/flashlight and treats with you, moving from room to room and look in small spaces, cupboards and on top of furniture.
  • Stay calm
    Think like a cat. Have you just moved house or introduced another pet or a baby into the house? They may have found comfort somewhere they are familiar with.
  • Ask around
    If you can’t spot them within the house or surrounding ground, it’s time to reach a little further afield. Find any recent photos and visit neighbours, ask to check their outdoor spaces and leave a contact number in case they see anything.
  • Leave home comforts outside
    Whilst you’re out and about, leave food, water and a litter tray by the door for your wandering kitty to use in case they arrive back.
  • Make posters
    Create posters with a photo and description of unique markings and colours, where and when they were last seen and your contact details. Place the posters around your neighbourhood on main roads and in local shops. Take the below for example of a well presented and clear poster.Downloadable from here.

Lost-Cat-Flyer--250x300

  • Go online and try social media
    It’s important to create and share a photo and description on social media, send it to local Facebook pages that can share it to a larger audience. It’s also beneficial to submit a description to websites such as CatAware who work as a community to report any missing or found cats according to postcodes.
  • Notify local vets
    Get in touch with the relevant shelters and vets with your cat’s information and visit whenever possible to look for your pet.
  • If you’ve just moved…
    If you’ve recently moved house, check your old neighbourhood if possible. Cats have a strong homing instinct and will find their way to familiar surroundings so may have got themselves back to where you used to live.

It is important not to give up hope when looking for a lost cat, and keep a good group of friends or family with you- more eyes mean more likelihood of finding your missing pet.

For more control over your cat’s freedom, we suggest taking a look at our wide range of Staywell® Cat Flaps. From Microchip access to Magnetic and Infra-red, choose the right one to suit you and your cat’s needs.

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How to prevent hairballs

Cats groom themselves, it’s a fact.
They are also prone to hairballs, that too is a fact.

But why does it happen? What can we do to prevent it?
And what are the dangers when they are ignored?

Why does my cat get hairballs?

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When a cat grooms themselves, their rough tongue picks up some of the loose fur which they then swallow.

In proportion, the amount of hair they swallow is minimal and can mostly pass out naturally and without any issues.

However, in some cases the hair can form a knot in the stomach which creates a hairball. They can become quite firm and in cases cause a blockage in the digestive tract, though most of the time they are regurgitated without any harm to your cat.

How we can prevent it?

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Most of the time, a hairball won’t cause any problems and a cat is perfectly fine managing their own, but there are ways in which we can help our furry friends reduce the amount they regurgitate. This can be done by:

  • Brushing
    It’s important to brush long haired cats a few times a week Removing loose and dead fur from your cat’s coat before it is ingested is the best way to prevent a hairball forming.
  • Discourage excessive grooming
    Sometimes your cat will over-groom as a prevention for boredom, to combat this increase your interactive playtime and draw their interest away from grooming. An interactive toy such as the FroliCat® CHATTER™ can be played with whilst you’re not around thanks to its ‘Play while you’re away’ mode.
  • Keep them active
    Regular exercise encourages a healthy digestive system, helping hair move through the system without creating clumps.
  • Remedies
    There are certain gels and pastes available which include a lubricant such as petroleum jelly to help move hair more easily. Always check with your vet before administering the product.
  • Specific diet
    Formulated to treat hairballs, certain cat foods have a high fibre content and include enzymes designed to breakdown hair. Be sure to check with your vet before adapting your cat’s diet.
  • Plenty of water
    Dehydration can affect the digestive system and make it harder to move through the body. Providing fresh and clean water for your cat every day encourages a higher consumption and a healthier digestive system.

The dangers of hairballs

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Occasionally a hairball may get stuck in the digestive system either in the stomach or throat causing a blockage. Symptoms of a serious hairball appear in the form of:

  • Persistent vomiting, retching or coughing without a hairball coming up
  • Constipation and swollen abdomen
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy and unwillingness to move about much

In some cases, a lodged hairball may require surgery to correct, so if you witness any of the above behaviours in your cat it’s best to book to see your vet as soon as possible.

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Introducing the Automatic Ball Launcher!

Enjoy playtime with our latest interactive dog toy; the Automatic Ball Launcher.
It’s portable, easy to use, ideal for all ages and sizes but most importantly… it’s dog-approved fun!

Read through our handy guide to learn more about this exciting new toy.

Top Features

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  • Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use
  • 9 distance settings and 6 angle settings
  • Launches between 8-30 feet and up to a 45-degree angle
  • Multiple built-in safety sensors keep people and pets safe while playing fetch

 

Introducing your dog

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Our fantastic new fetch dog toy can be a ton of fun for both you and your dog to play with. We have a few tips and tricks to get you fetching in no time at all.

You’ll want to introduce it to him slowly as the launcher does make sounds which at first may make some dogs a little anxious. They’re no different to you and I when it comes to new clicks and whirrrs and pops.

– Grab some delicious treats and a clicker (if you have it).

– Then start by leaving the launcher out and letting your dog notice and approach it. When your dog looks at the machine, give positive reinforcement by clicking your clicker or saying ‘Yes!’ and give him a treat. Do this multiple times.

– You should also give positive feedback if he walks towards the launcher or interacts with it. When your dog seems comfortable around the launcher when it is turned off, place the machine further away from him and turn it on without any balls in it.

– The final step is to get your dog comfortable with the unit launching the ball.

– The launching sound can be a little loud which might be the part your dog is most anxious about. Keep the machine further away and have someone else place the ball in the machine. When the ball launches, click your clicker or say “Yes!” and deliver tasty treats. Do this several times.

– When he is comfortable with the unit launching a ball at a distance, bring the launcher closer and do this again. When he is completely comfortable with the ball launching, you can begin playtime with your dog and the launcher!

 

DOs & DON’Ts

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DO: Adjust distance & angle settings accordingly for indoor vs. outdoor play

DO: Monitor your dog’s play

DO: Help your dog to get used to the Automatic Ball Launcher before use

DO: Teach your dog to drop the ball into the machine to launch

DO: Place on a flat, level surface, NOT elevated
And of course for safety…

DON’T: Put your hands into the launch area at any time

DON’T: Use anything other than a tennis ball to launch

DON’T: Submerge Ball Launcher in water or leave outside when not in use

 

FAQs and helpful tips

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How many balls can be loaded into the launcher at once?
– No more than three at a time. It is recommended to load one at a time for use during independent play, or when launching on higher settings.

How far should my dog stand back from the machine before the ball launches?
– The motion sensor detects movement from up to 7 feet away. Your dog should be standing behind that distance or to the side of the launch pocket area, out of view of the motion sensor.

Will the Ball Launcher turn off automatically?
– No, however, the Ball Launcher will go to sleep after 15 minutes of play. It will then rest for 15 minutes and cycle through another 15 minutes. This continues until the power button is turned off.

We hope you found this little handy guide useful and enjoy playing fetch with your dog and our interactive PetSafe® Automatic Ball Launcher!

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