There are lots of ways to help cats, and here are just a few. Cats are independent creatures that like to laze around (they still need shady places, to avoid heatstroke) and they also like to sleep a lot.
See the pets tag for help on pet food, insurance, vet care, lost pets and animal shelters. See make your garden safe for pets for toxic plants to avoid (just brushing a tail against lilies or sago palm can harm). Avoid cocoa/pine/rubber mulch (and fresh compost) near pets.
- Never use essential oils (beauty, cleaning, candles) near cats. Air rooms before allowing cats back in (don’t use aromatherapy oils, if cats sleep on your bed).
- Kitty Collars (6 months plus, depending on size and breed) make quality collars that snap open, if cats get snagged. Info can be embroidered on, to avoid hanging tags. Read FAQ for choosing/fitting collars of the right type, age etc (kittens grow quickly).
- Ecokitty makes organic catnip, which is safer than playing with wool. Cats love it, but don’t give too much, to avoid upset tummies. This company also makes fun cardboard playhouses.
- Avoid cat litters with essential oils or pine, and change over gradually. Natusan is made with recycled wood, endorsed by vets.
- Cats don’t always ‘right themselves’ when they fall. Flat Cats & Cataire (custom) both make window guards.
- What Cats Want is an illustrated guide by Japan’s leading cat doctor. Learn how to name your cat, why it’s important where you put their water bowl, how to groom them properly, and why cats need a quiet place to sleep. Plus which plants and essential oils can harm.
- See clothing brands that help animals. Buy your tees, hoodies and beanies from here, to fund charities that help street dogs and dogs/cats used for the meat trade abroad.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
The simple truth is that when you buy, a shelter animal dies. Shelters are full to bursting with over-bred cats, yet many are purebreds (just google your breed choice, to find specialty shelters who can help). The main reason why the issue of homeless cats never disappears is because cats have lots of kittens, so spaying/neutering by shelters is key.
A few years ago, the Icelandic bank scandal was in the news, and one major cat charity lost £11 million. One has to ask – with all the cats and kittens that need spaying/neutering (that would likely result in no homeless cats and fewer feral cats – what was £11 million doing in an offshore bank account, and not being used to solve this issue?)
Feral cats don’t sing on dustbins, like Top Cat. Most have the feline version of HIV (not transferrable to humans) and many have injuries from fights and car accidents. There are many charities that help, but most will remain wild. If you have land and no predators, some charities rehome them as ‘farm cats’. 60s model Celia Hammond runs a London charity that helps feral cats (she singlehandedly saved a whole colony of them, to stop them being killed during the 2012 London Olympics). Her site lists those needing homes.
- Eco Kitty offers eco-friendly goodies for cats. They don’t need much, so this simple little company offers recycled cardboard boxes to provide comfort and privacy at nap time that folds down neatly into a shallow box, along with the best quality organic catnip toys. Everything is made to very high standards, with rigorous quality checks. The items are made to withstand tough play and all packaging is printed with tips to keep cats safe.