Purring

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Did you know that some cats will purr to get cuddles? They learn from an early age that purring is a good way to get their owners' attention, who are likely to oblige and make more of a fuss of their clever cat.

Did you know that some cats will purr to get cuddles? They learn from an early age that purring is a good way to get their owners' attention, who are likely to oblige and make more of a fuss of their clever cat.

 

Kittens start communicating through purrs when they are a few days old and is just one of the many methods of non-verbal communication felines use to convey their moods and needs.

 

As a cat owner, you’re probably familiar with the relaxing, ‘all is well’ purrs as you cuddle and stroke your furry friend. But not all purrs are of contentment – cats also purr when they are stressed, in pain or unwell. This is because it’s thought that purrs reassure and soothe, promote healing and reduce pain.

 

All cats are individuals however, and it’s fair to say that ten different cats will have ten different reasons for purring so it’s important to get to know you’re little cat and their way of communicating.

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The importance of interactive playtime

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Playtime is an essential way to keep your cat stimulated mentally and physically. It’s also a great tool to help your cat in a variety of situations: building trust, helping two cats to become friends, exercising, burning energy and for stress relief.

Playtime is an essential way to keep your cat stimulated mentally and physically. It’s also a great tool to help your cat in a variety of situations: building trust, helping two cats to become friends, exercising, burning energy and for stress relief.

 

Try to maintain a regular schedule of interactive play – it’s as easy as 15 minutes a day – and take this opportunity to bond with your cat and find out their preferred games.

 

Anything light and soft that they can bat around will give them something to play with, pounce on and fetch. This doesn't mean you need to buy a range of weird and wonderful toys – a cat will often be as happy with ping-pong balls, boxes, paper (not plastic) bags or even scrunched-up receipts.

When it’s time to end the game, don’t just suddenly stop and put the toy away. Instead, wind the action down, in the same way you would cool-down after exercise.

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Making new friends

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Introducing a newcomer to a resident cat can be challenging, especially when the new addition isn't another cat.

Introducing a newcomer to a resident cat can be challenging, especially when the new addition isn't another cat.

 

Creating a ‘blended family’ will require planning, patience, space and careful guidance on your part.

 

It’s important to have an understanding of the different animals you’re introducing and their natural behaviours. For instance, its instinct for some animals to chase smaller species – so an already confident cat is more likely to be comfortable with a docile dog, rather than a timid cat and an excitable dog. If the dog is too small, however, it might be the cat that is the troublemaker!

 

Before introducing the soon-to-be-friends, create a safe place for your cat away from the new family pet, in every room that forms part of their territory. You can use a baby gate, a cat door or simply the top of a bookcase.

 

Take time to slowly familiarise each to the other’s smell and then monitor short visits, repeating to gradually give each more freedom. You could even try some food treats as rewards for good behaviour.

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Shedding fur

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Cats can spend 15% of their waking hours grooming, and it is natural for them to begin moulting as the weather heats up.

Cats can spend 15% of their waking hours grooming, and it is natural for them to begin moulting as the weather heats up.

 

As your furry friend begins to shed their winter coat, it's even more important to brush and groom your little cat. Not only is helping them groom a good way to reduce fur balls – it also gives you some quality bonding time.

 

Try to develop a regular routine at a time when both you and your cat are relaxed. Start by keeping the sessions short and positive, and always stop before they protest.

Brush your cat slowly, combing in the direction of hair growth to smooth the coat and remove any minor knots or tangles.

 

As your little lion learns to enjoy the sessions, you can make them longer, and soon, it will become a time of day you both look forward to!

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