Thursday, 8 December 2016

Cat Cafés in the UK

The rise in popularity of cat cafés has been steadily growing in the UK – we now have nine cafés dotted around, with more set to open in 2017!

The first cat café, ‘Cat Flower Garden’ opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998 and became so popular with Japanese tourists that they then took the idea back to Japan. (Japan now has over 150 cat cafés – due to it being forbidden to keep pets in many apartments the popularity of the cafes has risen, as this allows the Japanese to relieve the stress of their busy lives).

With various studies now indicating that pet owners are happier and healthier, we feel that the opening of these cafés will help to improve the lives of those that visit!

 Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, Bethnal Green, London

Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium (named after the cat in ‘Alice in Wonderland’) was the first cat café to open in London, with the idea that people who live in rented properties could come and enjoy the company of cats.

The funds for Lady Dinah’s were raised through crowd funding on the internet and the café has been going strong ever since.

As well as the usual afternoon tea slots, they have now started offering cat yoga sessions, knitting with cats, ‘Catmas’ card night and pet first-aid courses – sign us up now!

Entry is £6.50 per person (this is a welfare charge for the cats).

Image source: Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium Facebook page.

 Cat Café, Northern Quarter, Manchester

The Cat Café in Manchester opened its doors in July 2016, with 11 furry residents, who have all previously been house cats.

This café features a ‘cat room’ where the furry animals can have some private time away from the public, and has an extensive wooden sky run and personalised bunk bed for each feline!

Not only can visitors sit and relax with a cuppa, the Cat Café offer film nights (blankets, popcorn and cat cuddles!), Kids & Cats (children can learn and play under supervision of their Cat Nanny), craft sessions (think knitting, crochet and colouring), mindfulness and cat yoga to name a few!

£12 per hour, per person (an hour of cat time and unlimited hot and cold drinks).

Image source: @Abicwood Instagram

 London Cat Village, Shoreditch

London Cat Village was set up as a place for animal lovers to visit a stress free environment surrounded by felines (spending time with animals can help ease the symptoms of depression and the stresses of daily life). London Cat Village allocates a table to every guest and encourage guests to allow the cats to come to you. They strongly enforce that they are ‘NOT a petting zoo’ and take great care of the cats and their well-being.

£5 entry charge, per person (added onto your final bill).

Image source: London Cat Village Facebook page.

 Maison de Moggy, Edinburgh, Scotland

Maison de Moggy are a traditional cat café, who focus their attention on their cats and the therapeutic qualities they can offer, therefore their menu is limited to teas, coffees and cakes.

£7 entrance fee, per person, per hour.

Image source: Maison de Moggy Facebook page

 Mog on the Tyne, Newcastle

Mog on the Tyne is Newcastle’s first cat café, all the cats live on the premises and have everything they need, including their very own personal, specially trained animal handler.

£5 admission fee, per person.

Image source: Mog on the Tyne Facebook Page.

Kitty Café, Nottingham

Kitty Café in Nottingham is a café like no other, it’s a cat rehoming centre. The café is a care facility for cats and kittens from various backgrounds – from stray cats, to rescue cats, the Kitty Café takes them in and looks after them until they find their forever home.

£5 per adult, £3 per child (welfare charge).

Image source: Kitty Café Facebook page.

As with all things great, these cafes get booked up weeks in advance, so if you’re planning a visit, check their availability online.

Have you visited a cat café, or have any recommendations of those not mentioned on this blog? Share them on our Facebook page, or visit our Twitter or Instagram account to be a part of the Paws & Claws community today!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Our rescue cat Tabby!

At Paws & Claws we love all pets and realise it’s important to adopt and rescue animals of all ages, shapes and sizes! Here’s a personal story from Ellie, who took in feral kitten, Tabby!

Twelve years ago we rescued my cat, Tabby. She was a feral cat, only a few weeks old when her mum and the rest of her litter were killed by a fox.

Due to the absence of growing with a litter and being feral, she has a hard time socialising. She also suffers with multiple illnesses - from heart conditions and arthritis, to gum disease and diabetes. 

As a result of her heart condition and being without her mum from such a young age, Tabby is afraid to go far from where she is comfortable (generally outside my bedroom), especially as she is getting older. This means she has almost no exercise, we try to ensure she doesn’t eat too much. However, she is sadly overweight.

Did you know these facts about diabetes in cats?
  • It is estimated that up to 2% of cats have diabetes, but it is commonly under diagnosed*.
  • If your cat has diabetes, you must monitor their diet and glucose levels. Most owners will monitor the progress of their cat’s treatment with regular urine testing, or by pricking a paw pad and testing the blood with a glucometer.

What do Tabby’s health conditions mean she needs?
  • Somewhere confined where she feels safe (day and night).
  • Prescription painkillers for arthritis, which she takes once a day when symptoms are bad.
  • Fur brushed once every day or two. As she is overweight and has arthritis, she can’t clean her
  • back herself, which means that her fur matts.
  • Routine - seems silly but all cats, especially timid cats, love routine.
  • A specific type of dry food for gums and health.
  • Regular monthly check-ups to ensure she isn’t in too much pain.
  • Last minute vet visits if she gets ill.
  • Teeth brushed for her gum disease at least once a week.

How can you help a feral cat?
It is important to note there is a difference between a timid and a feral cat. However, there is a similarity. The Top Tips listed below can really benefit a timid cat too! It will be a lot easier for a timid cat to become more comfortable around people, unlike feral cats, as it is instinct to avoid human interaction.

Top Tips:
  • Routine - feral and timid cats love routine! It can really help them feel safe and confident. Routine is so important to cats - having it disturbed can actually impact their physical health, making them ill.
  • Provide an area just for them - ensure your cat has an area they feel safe, to allow them to relax. Tabby likes to sleep in a wardrobe, in her hidden bed, behind some cardboard!
  • Don’t smother them – if you have young children, make sure they don’t chase your cat. Give the cat time to come to them, once they feel comfortable. If your cat also runs off when seeing you, try turning your back to them as you pass.
  • Clean their litterbox – ensure their litterbox is cleaned out at least once a day. It is essential to gain you cat’s trust, and caring for their basic needs within their routine will make them feel more comfortable.
  • Keep quiet when interacting with them – when you interact with your timid cat, be calm and be gentle. Talk softly and slowly.
  • Don’t force them – never pull your cat from their hiding area, or hold them without them being willing, unless it’s an emergency.

Tabby is a huge part of our family! She means the World to us. Due to her conditions, she needs a lot of understanding, TLC and medication.

Vet bills can be an unwelcome shock with any pet - we never thought multiple conditions could develop such as the ones Tabby has, which is why it’s great to be covered by pet insurance.

Do you have your own stories of rescued or feral cats and how to look after and care for them? Upload them on our Facebook page, or visit our Twitter or Instagram account to be a part of the Paws & Claws community today!

* According to

Monday, 31 October 2016

Spooktastic Pet Costumes

We couldn’t let Halloween pass by without showcasing some of the best cat and dog costumes that we’ve seen online*! The team at Paws & Claws have collected the best of the best, to share with all of you lovely people!

We hope you creep it real and enjoy these scarily good costumes, after all if you’ve got it, haunt it right?!

Do you have any spooky photos of your pet that you’d like to share? Upload them on our Facebook page, or visit our Twitter or Instagram account to be a part of the Paws & Claws community today!

*Images sourced from Buzzfeed, Womans Day and Business to Community.

Top 5 Safety Tips for Your Dog at Halloween

When it comes to Halloween, preparation is the key to keeping your pet safe and relaxed, at Paws and Claws we have complied our top tips for keeping your dog safe this Halloween.  

Keep the sweets out of reach

Put your Halloween treats in a safe place - where your dog cannot reach! Chocolate and sweets which contain artificial sweetener (xylitol) can be poisonous for your dog. To avoid any unscheduled trips to the vets this Halloween, keep the human treats out of reach!

Make sure your dog has a safe space 

Create a safe haven for your dog to retreat to when the visiting trick-or-treaters get too much for them. Not only will the doorbell be ringing more than usual, but you’ll be answering the door to unfamiliar faces which could unsettle any dog. By letting your pooch have its own space, it can reduce anxiety and prevents them from scampering out the front door.

Secure your decorations 

Let’s face it, dogs can be nosy and a flickering candle or a loose piece of string is the perfect lure! To dodge any accidents, keep all lit candles up high (so your curious pup doesn’t send it flying with their wagging tail) and ensure all electrical wires are tucked away neatly (not tempting your do to chew on them).                                                                                                                                    

Tag it!

Be sure that your dog is wearing identification tags that are up-to-date. This way if you’re distracted by the trick-or-treaters and your furry friend does escape, it will be easier for someone to identify your pet and help reunite you.

Don’t force your dog to wear a costume 

Only put your dog in an outfit if you know they love it. Wearing a costume can cause undue stress for some dogs.

When choosing a costume for your dog, make sure it’s not too loose (as your dog could get tangled) or not too tight (as it could restrict them from walking).

Unsure whether your dog likes the costume? It’s best to try it on before the ‘big day’ to see if it’s right for them, as when you’re busy trick-or-treating you may not realise that the costume is causing your dog discomfort.

Do you have any tips for dogs during Halloween, or any spooky photos that you would like to share? Post them onto our Facebook page, or follower us on Instagram and twitter to be part of the Paws & Claws community today.

Friday, 28 October 2016

5 Ways to Celebrate National Cat Day

As all of you cat lovers out there know, not a day goes by where you’re not obsessing about your feline friend. You often face a daily struggle not to show everyone you meet the countless photos you have of your cat stored on your phone. But fear not, the 29th October marks the official day it’s socially acceptable to release your inner crazy cat lady/man, as it National Cat Day!

Although National Cat day is an American holiday, here at Paws and Claws we love an excuse to celebrate all things cats, so we have come up with a list of top activities for you and your pet to do this weekend.

Pamper your cat

Although cats are very self-sufficient, when it comes to cleaning themselves giving them a helping hand every now and again will not go a miss (especially long haired cats). By giving your cat a brush you will help reduce excess hair and prevent hairballs. Not only this, but grooming your cat gives you time to bond and note any changes (sore patches or lumps) that could be affecting your cat.

Treat your cat

Everyone likes to be treated once in a while, so why not buy your cat’s favourite dinner or treat them to a new collar or bed.

Have a photo-shoot

What better excuse (to take more photos of your cat than you normally do!) than it being National Cat Day? You could either take a selfie with your cat, or get a shot of them pulling their cutest pose to remember your cat-tastic day!
With Halloween looming why not get a snap of your cat dressed in their best Halloween outfit.
(Don’t forget to post them to our Facebook page because we love a cat selfie!)

Watch cat videos

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a video featuring our feline friends!? So why not spend the day looking up your favourite internet celebrity cats (without being judged!). From grumpy cats to singing cats, there are plenty of entertaining video to choose from on the web. So if your cat is not in the mood to play then this could be a great alternative to fill your day.

Adopt a cat

Not only does National Cat Day allow you to celebrate all things cat (what more could you wish for?), it also raises awareness of all the cats that are waiting to be adopted.
If you have the resources and the time, then why not adopt one of the millions of cats, from a local shelter, who are looking for their forever home. What more can you do for a cat then that?  

Do you have any tips on what to do for National Cat Day, or any photos that you would like to share? Post them onto our Facebook page, or follower us on Instagram and Twitter to be part of the Paws & Claws community today! 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

National Black Cat Day

In celebration of National Black Cat Day (which happens to be today!) we have collected our favourite images of black felines and put together our top 10 reasons to adopt a black cat*

  1. You will be able to spot them in snowy conditions
  2. Love knows no colour
  3. Black is beautiful
  4. Holding a black cat is slimming (haha!)
  5. Black cats match any décor
  6. Black goes with everything
  7. Black cats look sophisticated and sleek
  8. You won’t need to buy them a Halloween costume
  9. Luck will always be on your side
  10. Black cats are the least likely to be adopted (if this isn’t a good enough reason, then we don’t know what is!)

*Other colour cats are available

Do you have any black cat stories or photos that you’d like to share? Upload them on our Facebook page, or visit our Twitter or Instagram account to be a part of the Paws & Claws community today!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How to stop dogs chewing

From shoes and furniture, to back door steps and even themselves, dogs love a good chew. Unfortunately it isn’t great for them, their health and your household! After years of trying to curb the chewing habit, especially in puppies, a good friend shared a recipe to a bitter spray that is 100% natural and acts as a great deterrent as well as being so simple to make.

What you need:

1x spray bottle
1x funnel (optional depending on your steady hand)
2/3 cup of white wine vinegar
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon (optional depending on if your dog likes lemon or not)
Water (optional, to be used for diluting if used directly on your dog)

How to make it:

Pour the ingredients (excluding water) into a small spray bottle and spritz on the areas you want to stop them from chewing on, this can be anything from chair legs and skirting boards to shoes, your tooth brush and even themselves if they are overly licking or chewing a certain area.

Whilst the spray has always been fine on our furniture, it is advised to test an inconspicuous spot, to check if it will damage your varnish or paint.

When used on your pet, diluting with water is advised, generally the same amount of water as white vinegar.

And it is that simple… you can thank us later!

Is your dog partial to a good chew? Tell us your stories on our Facebook page, or visit our Twitter and Instagram to be a part of our Paws & Claws community!