Sunday, September 25, 2011

Foods Cats Should Avoid

We're often asked what foods are bad for cats, and there are definitely foods that cats should not eat. Here are our top five common foodstuffs that are toxic for cats:-

5. Chives - Chives are bad for cats. This herb can cause gasto-intestinal problems, so watch out for cats in the herb garden

4. Grapes and raisins- Grapes affect cat's kidneys, so don't be tempted to let your cats eat them (they can cause problems for in dogs too).

3. Zylotol (sugar replacement sweetener) - highly toxic even in small doses so keep out of reach of cats
2. Raw eggs - the egg white contains a high consentrate of Vitamin B which can upset the natural gut bacteria in cats.

1. Liver - Cats can become addicted to liver causing a diet imbalance and Vitamin A toxicity.

This list isn't exhaustive but rather highlights the foods that we often see have caused problems for cats, so  if you have any doubts, consult your vet or pet health professional. Make sure keep harmful foods away from cats and if in doubt, leave it out (of her diet)! If you think your cat may have eaten one of the above products, please contact your vet or pet poisons emergency centre immediately.

Next week: Foods dogs should not eat!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cat Friendly Home Designs

Those of us who have cats know that they really rule the home, and we all make an effort to ensure our cats are comfortable, but some cat lovers do seem to take it just a little further! 

But what about the architects, interior designers and furniture makers who are designing homes with the most amazing cat centric features! For example take a look at these photos from "The Cats' House" book by Bob Walker:

Photos from The Cats' House book by Bob Walker
Photos from Walker's The Cats' House
In the book, Bob Walker  explains how he transformed his home into pussycat paradise. Walker built steps and ramps that wind up and around rooms and there are holes in many walls for his fur family to duck between rooms; they even have access to the roof space above his ceilings.

The Cats' House book by Bob Walker
The Cats' House by Bob Walker

For more great photos of Walker's creation, visit his website The Cat's House .

And its not just happening in North American houses. There are also some brilliant examples from Japan.

A ceiling-high catwalk in The Cats' House, Japan by architects Fauna +DeSIGN.
Japanese Designed Ceiling Walk
The above photo is of a ceiling-high catwalk from The Cats' House in Japan  desigend by architects Fauna +DeSIGN. These Japanese architects were commissioned to create a paradise for 16 cats and a home for their owners and five dogs. (more on dog centric houses next week!).

The Cats' House in Japan by architects Fauna +DeSIGN
More from the Japanese Cats House

 There's also a great house in Japan called The Plus-Nyan cat house by architect Asahi Kasei

The Plus-Nyan cat house by Asahi Kasei
The Plus-Nyan cat house by Asahi Kasei

Even if you're not willing to redesign your house to suit your cat there is lots of fabulous cat furniture with pet-friendly features can be attractive and tastefully integrated into your home.

Akemi Tanaka Curve
The Curve by Tanaka
American designer Akemi Tanaka has created a stylish way of allowing your cat to display itself among your other artworks with a wall mounted, soft badded display shelf called "the Curve".

Scratching posts and "cat house" hidey holes have moved from kitsch eyesores to the status of real furniture. Take this stylish Kitty Washroom design for the bathroom.

Kitty Washroom Cabinet 
And there are even descrete litter boxes for the living areas.
cat box

If you can't find a purpose-built litter tray disguise or an attractive cat climber, try an "Ikea hack". The Ikea Hackers website is filled with brilliant ways to make Ikea products more cat friendly. Modifications include ideas for wall-mounted perches and furniture for climbing, scratching and (of course) attending to bathroom needs.

Ikea hacker, Cave Lion's "Billy" Cat climbing shelf
Ikea hacker, Cave Lion's "Billy" Cat climbing shelf hack in action

Next week .... designer houses for dogs.