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How to Take Good Care of Your Cat’s Teeth

Caring for your cat's teeth

Like humans, your cat can develop dental problems such as tartar, gingivitis and plaque build-up. Oral disease starts with a build up of plaque and tartar on your cat’s teeth.

Your cat should have a regular dental check up. You should regularly take your cat to your vet for a health check up, where the vet will also check your cat’s teeth and general dental and mouth health.

Dental disease is the most common disease found in pets, however it can be prevented with greater dental care and attention. Dental disease can lead to more serious build-up of bacteria in the mouth which can worsen to severe periodontal issues and health issues such as heart and kidney problems.  Dental disease can also be linked to other health problems in your pet such as immune system disorders, so it’s really important to maintain your pet’s dental health.

Because of dental disease and poor oral health and decay, a cat’s gums will become painful, swollen and tender which may cause bleeding.

Brushing your cat’s teeth

You can brush your cat’s teeth regularly to maintain good oral hygiene and health. Try and brush the teeth once daily for 1-2 minutes each time. Use a small toothbrush and pet-only toothpaste, do not use human toothpaste as this is not suitable for animals. Special pet toothpastes come in a variety of pet-friendly tastes such as fish, malt or chicken. You can also get a toothpaste from your vet that can be rubbed onto the gums and teeth if your cat is adverse to their teeth being brushed and a toothbrush being stuck into their mouth!

Chews and biscuit food

Specific oral care dental chews can be purchased from your vet and in all good pet shops. Dental chews come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Kibble size with the shape, taste and texture will encourage your cat to chew thoroughly which in turn has a teeth brushing effect that reduces dental plaque and tartar forming on the teeth surface. These chews also contain a harmless, active dental calcium agent that will help to limit dental plaque forming. Chew sticks and various other chews are available, so ask your vet for a recommendation.

You can also leave a bowl of dry cat food out for your cat with wet food, as the crunching on the biscuits can aid ongoing, daily dental maintenance, however it will not cure an unhealthy oral condition. We always give our cats both dry and wet food as they love to crunch the dry biscuit food.

Kittens’ dental health

You should not brush your kitten’s milk teeth, however you can start getting them used to dental hygiene at a young age by touching their teeth and mouth area. But mind their sharp little teeth with your fingers as they may think you are playing a game!

Getting your cat used to teeth brushing

Your cat may not like having its teeth brushed, that is certainly the case with two of our cats who are a bit older!

To get your cat used to being handled by the mouth, you can start by giving the pet flavoured toothpaste to your cat to lick off your finger.

Get a small, baby sized toothbrush to start with or a special cat toothbrush, ask your vet for advice. If you have more than one cat, use one toothbrush per cat, avoid using the same brush as you can transmit bacteria and germs from one cat to another.

Hold your cat gently so that their back is towards you and you are not facing each other as this is less confrontational and controlling to your cat. Very slowly and gently, pull back your cat’s lips and start by touching their teeth with the toothbrush initially (no brushing), then stop and reward your cat with a treat and encouraging words. Repeat this daily for several days and when they feel comfortable and used to this routine then start to gently brush their teeth.

If your cat is not happy with having their mouth interfered with, you will need to be patient and continue reassuring and soothing your cat by touching its mouth and head until it feels more comfortable. This may take a few more days but it will be worth it.

When your cat is ready, apply the bristles of the brush to the teeth at a 45-degree angle so that you are brushing the surface of the tooth and just beneath the gumline, however do not brush the gums. Continue with this for around 10-15 seconds, stop and reward them, then gently continue again.

Try to keep a regular routine with brushing your cat’s teeth, so every morning at the same time after they have eaten, or every evening after they have eaten, but make it a time when both you and your cat are calm and relaxed. It’s also important that you are not rushing the dental care and brushing as this may stress your cat out. So choose a regular time in the day or evening when you have the time and patience to do it.

Signs of dental disease

Symptoms of dental disease that your cat may show include:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen, red and painful gums
  • Changes in eating and chewing habits
  • Depression
  • Excessive drooling
  • Discoloured, broken or crooked teeth
  • Red, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Yellow or brown tartar and plaque crust along the gum line
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Growths or bumps in the mouth

If you think that your cat is suffering from dental problems then take them to your vet immediately for a check up.

 

 

 

 

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Cotton Cat and Kitten Collars

Handmade Designer Cat and Kitten Safety collar 4

We make both webbing collars and cotton collars. We’ve received fantastic feedback on our handmade cotton collars which has spurred us on to add more to our collection.

Why Cotton Cat and Kitten Collars

Sometimes cats don’t like to wear collars at all and we find that some cats prefer the cotton collars to the nylon webbing ones. In fact owners have said that where previously their cats have got rid of or tried to tear off their webbing collars, they have kept their cotton collars on and aren’t too bothered about wearing them. This is more than likely because cotton collars are so lightweight, cats hardly notice that they are wearing them, so they decide that they don’t mind them and keep them on!

Of course it doesn’t mean to say that webbing collars are bad or worse for your cat, it will depend on your preference as an owner and ultimately what your cat prefers to wear. Both cotton collars and webbing collars are soft on your cat.

Kitty Direct’s Cotton Cat Collars

Our handmade, made-to-order cotton cat and kitten collars come in two sizes for the perfect fit and are very comfortable as they are soft, light and flexible to wear. They are also very durable and will last as we make them with quality cotton materials including lined cotton interfacing to increase durability which helps the collar to be even more robust and keep it’s form and shape. You can also spot clean or lightly sponge down cotton collars to keep them clean, so they are easy to maintain.

cotton cat and kitten collarsOur handmade cotton collars are high quality, carefully stitched and are all made with breakaway safety buckles that will snap apart if your cat or kitten becomes caught up in something. They also come with cat-size bells that aren’t too loud for your cat’s ears or stressful for your cat. Our bells are removable as not all owners want their cats to have bells attached to the collar, and not all cats like bells. We also include a cute charm and a split ring to attach name tags.

Popular collars include our floral collars that are available in beautiful cotton print designs and colours. For the boys we also make a lovely blue and white gingham cotton collar, stars print collars and a Japanese cotton designer print collar. All of our cat collars offer excellent value for money and we want to make them affordable for every kitty!

Take a look in our cat and kitten collar shop as we make a variety of special, designer handmade cotton collars to order. You can also supply your own fabrics and we are happy to make collars in the fabric that you like.

Handmade cotton flower kitten and cat collar Handmade Purple Flower Cotton Cat Kitten Collar_5 Handmade floral green cat kitten safety collar_3 Handmade Cath Kidston Cotton Cat Kitten Safety Collar_3 Handmade Purple Stars Cotton Cat Kitten Safety Collar_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handmade floral green cat kitten safety collar_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handmade Designer Cat and Kitten Safety collar 3Yellow Fabric Cotton Cat Kitten Safety collar_5Blue cotton pink yellow flower cat kitten safety collar_3Yellow cotton pink flower cat kitten safety collar_1Handmade pink gingham cat or kitten collar_1Handmade green gingham cat or kitten collar_1

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Purdy’s New Cat Collar is Puuuuurfect!

Purdy cat

Purdy catKaren bought our best-selling cotton collar for her lovely cat Purdy who is 12 years old and was rescued from the streets when she was 6 months old by The Cats Protection League.

Here’s what Karen says about Purdy. “Since she was rescued she has been living a life of luxury but rewards us all for this with lots of love and bags of character! She is a perfect Tuxedo and wears a glossy black jacket with a pure white shirt, white evening gloves and stockings.

A fancy collar ensures she always looks her best. Purdy likes to be involved in everything that is happening. She likes board games and often takes over by sitting in the centre of the board making sure she doesn’t miss her turn. In the summer months Purdy likes to “nest” and makes a new one every year so she can sleep and keep cool. We are all very glad that she came to live with us.”

We love these photos of Purdy sitting on the middle of the games board and nesting in the garden. She’s also modelling her new cat collar which looks gorgeous on her. We love to see our handmade cat collars looking so pretty on our kitty customers!

We also donate proceeds to cat, dog and animal rescue charities in the UK, The Cats Protection League is one of them. Thank goodness they rescued Purdy and she found a loving and caring home with Karen.  Thank you Karen for your custom and photos of Purdy and we hope to see you both again in the future. x     Our handmade cotton cat collars are available to buy in our shop.

Purdy's new cotton cat collar
Purdy’s new cotton cat collar
Purdy nesting
Purdy nesting amongst the grass
Purdy1
I want to play!

Purdy6

 

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Millie and Her New Cotton Cat Collar

Nothing gives us more pleasure than hearing that our kitty customers and owners are pleased with our collars. It’s a real delight to get such nice feedback and makes our day! Nicola contacted us and said, “Hi, I am really pleased with this item, cat loves it. Thought I would send a pic of her in it. Thanks again.” Nicola had bought our popular cotton floral cat collar which is 100% cotton and lined with cotton interfacing. Nicola sent cute photos of Millie wearing the collar and also of her antics and Christmas costume! She has such an adorable face and gorgeous ears. Here’s what Nicola says about Millie.

Millie wearing her new collar
Millie wearing her new collar

About Millie:

Other names: Lil Pumpkin, Littl’un, Princess and Mammy’s Baby
Age: 3 1/2 (nearly 4)
Breed: Moggy
Employment: Fuss pot or food connoisseur as she will only eat top brand pate cat food or gourmet food. She also needs a kitty yoghurt every morning or will cry until she gets one.
Favourite treats: Tuna, cheese, Whiskers treats – cheese and chicken flavour

Nicola says, “Millie is 3 1/2 (4 in December) she’s a moggy. She’s still the size of a kitten and won’t get any bigger. She had two sisters and is the youngest. She had a hard start in life and nearly lost her as she was given away far to young (at three weeks old, breeders just wanted money and didn’t really care about her). She learnt to drink out of a glass rather than a bowl. She’s very spoilt and loved. She likes playing fetch with sticks and barking at birds (she thinks she’s a dog) she loves cuddles and kisses and is scared of leaving the garden. She’s shy but when she gets to know you very loyal. She also likes dressing up at Christmas.”

Here are some more photos of lovely Millie, she is a real little character! Thank you to Nicola, we hope to see you and Millie again soon. x

millie4 millie3 millie2 millie1

 

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Clarabel’s Epic Adventure

Clarabel in her new cat safety collar

We received a message from Caroline about her cat. Caroline has two cats, Clarabel and Zeus. Recently, Clarabel had escaped accidently and ended up on an epic adventure. Here’s what Caroline told us:

“I thought you might like to hear of Clarabel’s recent adventure…

We have recently moved to a new home and unfortunately Clara was spooked and escaped through the front door.

We searched daily for her, paid for an advertising campaign, called out the animal search team… all to no avail. As the weeks dragged on I began to doubt whether I would ever see my beautiful girl again. She is always good at removing her collars and we have lost lots in the past,so I was pretty certain that after being missing for 5 1/2 weeks, her collar would have been long gone.

Then on Saturday evening we got a call. After many false trails and sightings a  lady on the other end of the line told me she had my cat.  I was ready for yet another disappointment… there would be one similarity that this cat just didn’t have… ”How do you know it is my cat?” I asked.

”Well I’m speaking to you on the phone aren’t I?”

Then it began to dawn on me, this lady hadn’t seen any of the hundreds of posters or leaflets we had displayed around our locality. This lady had got my phone number from Clara herself, from her ID tag and to my absolute disbelief, she had managed to keep her collar on throughout her whole time spent travelling.

clarabel_5We went to pick her up, from a derelict farm building on top of a nearby hill and as you can imagine it has been a very emotional past few days. She has been given the all clear from our vet, who says she has managed to eat just enough to survive. We think she has been living in the fields upon the hill trying to catch her own food.

The lovely lady and her husband said they had heard her crying on Friday and then it was the Saturday when they managed to grab hold of her to read the details on her collar.

So Clarabel’s Kitty Direct collar saved the day! Without it, the couple may have assumed she was just a stray and we would never have seen our gorgeous girl again.

Thank you so much for the part you played in her return. If only that grubby collar could talk… I would imagine it has many a tale to tell… it has now been retired to Clara’s memory tin along with the little collars she had from you when she arrived as a kitten.”

clarabel_4We were absolutely thrilled to hear about Clarabel’s safe return to her home with Caroline and Zeus. The clever girl managed to keep her collar on throughout. We were also so impressed with her kitty instincts in catching her own food for so long. She certainly is a special kitty.

Lots of love to you all. xxx

 

 

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Why Does my Cat Chew Everything?

cat chewing

If your cat is chewing non-stop household items around the home – edges of tables, shoelaces, sofas, objects – why is your cat doing this?

Destructive chewing inedible objects is called `pica’.  There could be a number of reasons why your cat is chewing inedible objects including genetics, environmental triggers, stress, boredom or early weaning issues caused by diet. It is very dangerous if a cat ingests a non-edible object.

The first step is to take your cat to the vet to check whether there is a medical or behavioural issue that is causing your cat to chew.  If your cat is healthy and there is nothing wrong with it, there are a few things that you can do at home.

If it’s down to boredom, you can provide your cat with additional stimulation and enrichment to occupy him/her. Have regular play times with your cat – try three daily 10 minute session so that your cat can play and be mentally stimulated daily. Interactive toys such as rotating balls and mouse games are very engaging. Interactive feeders are also a great way to entertain your cat. You can buy one or how about making a really simple and effective one out of reused plastic containers and toilet rolls. See the video below:

Toys with catnip are a great way to entertain your cat, so make sure you have a few catnip toys around that are extra strength to last a while. Creating places that are high to sit and chill are a great way to occupy your cat. Your cat may like to sit looking out of the windows too. We don’t have window sills where our cat can look out, so we put high stools by the front and back windows so that our cats can spectate the garden and outdoor goings on!

If you cat still persists in chewing, it may be worth giving him/her something safe to chew on, so for instance a softened hide stick that is large and not small that you cat could swallow it. Soften in water  and keep an eye on your cat when they chew it. Remove any pieces that are small enough for your cat to swallow whole.