Reader offer: Cat postcards & trump cards

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Cat Postcards by Sue Parslow, illustrated by Polly Horner and published by Laurence King, is a set of 21 cat postcards that feature beautifully commissioned illustrations of some of the nation’s favourite felines.

Featuring hand-drawn illustrations of the most popular and interesting breeds of cat, along with facts on each from animal expert Sue Parslow, this set of postcards is the perfect gift for anyone who adores cats.

Cats: Best in Show by Sue Parslow, illustrated by Polly Horner, is a set of trump cards that feature beautifully commissioned illustrations, paired with pedigree facts and trivia on your favourite felines.

Cats: Best in Show
& Cat Postcards, each for £6.00 (RRP is £8.95 each.) NB/ Please note that the Cat Postcards are published on January 5, 2015, so will not be available for dispatch until then.

Code: Cats6

Pets Magazine ‘Cats’ promo start & end date: Monday November 24 at 8.00am to Saturday 31st January at 12 midnight.

The code must be activated at the checkout stage of the following website www.laurenceking.com (after adding the item/s to your shopping basket) and entering Cats6 when prompted which automatically applies the discount.


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Brave Boyd better now

Boyd the horse

A six-year-old pony called Boyd is on the search for a home after intensive rehabiliation at Blue Cross rehoming centre in Rolleston has finally paid off.

Boyd was one of a number of horses rescued from a farm in South Wales in April 2011. All were severely underweight and Boyd also had a matted lice infested coat. He had not experienced much contact with people so was very nervous and frightened when he arrived.

Kath Urwin, Blue Cross Centre Manager said: “We have put in a lot of time to help Boyd gain confidence and become the healthy, happy horse he is today. We are delighted that our efforts have developed him into a wonderful horse and hope to see him finally settled in a home of his own soon.”

Boyd is looking for a home as a non-ridden compantion to another horse. He would like to continue his training  in his new home. As with all Blue Cross horses, Boyd will be rehomed on a monitored and supported loan scheme, Blue Cross will reimburse his annual vaccinations, dental and health check along with provide his first years worming programme.

Blue Cross helps over 40,000 sick, injured and unwanted pets every year. If you can help a homeless horse like Boyd or would like more information about the horses at the Rolleston-on-Dove centre please call 0300 777 1520 or visit www.bluecross.org.uk.


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World’s first in-home smart monitoring system for cat owners

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Tailio, the smart litter box device and app to monitor your cat’s health, has launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

Tailio is the world’s first in-home smart monitoring system designed to help pet owners with early detection of many common health issues and improve lives of the world’s cats. Tailio includes a Wi-Fi enabled device that sits under the litter box, data analytics in the cloud, and a mobile app that helps cat owners know when their cat needs care with alerts and tools on a smartphone. Pet Wireless hopes to raise $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Tailio has two intuitive parts: the physical sensory device and the app. The Tailio device is simply placed under your cat’s litter box and through Wi-Fi connection, Tailio seamlessly monitors a cat’s weight, waste, visit patterns to the litter box, and behavior inside the box. Once users download Tailio’s smartphone app, owners automatically receive updates about their cat’s day-to-day wellbeing from wherever they are.

Pet Wireless created Tailio with the aim to help cat owners all over the globe to meaningfully understand their pet’s habits, behavior and ultimately health. Tailio data analytics learns each cat and generates a ‘Pawprint’ – an individual profile of physiology and behavior that is unique to each cat. The Pawprint serves as a baseline for Tailio so it can pick up on regular patterns and notify owners if something out of the ordinary happens.

As a cat owner, Pet Wireless founder Alex Treiner developed Tailio with his own personal experiences in mind. He said: “I know the heartbreak of discovering your beloved cat’s illness a little too late. I knew if I could develop a device that detected signs of disease or distress earlier that owners would and alert them, it would help owners to avoid the pain of losing beloved pet before their time, that my family and I experienced. That’s why I created Tailio.”

Treiner put together a product development team and worked with veterinarians to create a device that would be easy for cat owners to use, and also wouldn’t upset the free-spirited cat with obtrusive sensors and devices. With the help of the experts, he soon developed the ‘under-the-litter-box design’, which is also what makes Tailio unique.

“Tailio’s advanced technology helps owners care for their cats at a much earlier stage of many common health issues, and significantly improves the chances of positive outcomes with less suffering,” Dr. Mark Goldstein, DVM and former President of the San Diego Humane Society, notes.  “Through the intelligence of Tailio analytics, the smart platform can help cats live longer, healthier lives, and also provides owners peace of mind.”

Tailio is available to back on Kickstarter, with early bird pledge levels starting at $99.


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Our pets are now king of the castle

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  • 59% of Brits buy luxury products for their pets at least once a month, compared to 25% who confessed they do not buy gifts for their partners!

  • More than a quarter of people say that their pet is their best friend

  • 32% obtained a pet because they felt they were a necessary addition to their family


We’re a nation of pet lovers, and if we care for our beloved animals and show them affection, they’ll be loyal and show it back. But can the same be said for our better halves? Compared to past times, today sees a much less hierarchical distance between parents, partners, kids and their pets. The latter rule the roost nowadays, with 46% of Brits surveyed allow their pet to sleep anywhere they want in the home.

Research conducted by Vetsure Pet Insurance has revealed that 75% of pet owners say their pet is equally, if not more, important than other family members!Two in five go as far as allowing their pet to sleep on their bed and, of these, 14% said that this has had a negative impact on their sex life!

Ashley Gray, vet and founder of Vetsure Pet Insurance, said: “This research highlights that the special relationship we have with our pets is becoming ever closer and more complex. As pet owners we are benefiting more and more from our pets on an emotional level – in ways that our ‘non-furry’ loved ones just can’t replicate. Pets don’t judge us, they are incredibly forgiving of our faults and usually give more than they get from the relationship. How can any partner compete with that?!”

Clara Guzzardi lives with her husband, five dogs and two cats in Surrey. The findings certainly reflect the goings on in her household, Clara explains: “I’ll call the dogs the love of my life and my husband says are you talking to the dogs or me?!  Our affections go towards the animals, then whatever we have left to each other! When I have spare money, I often spend it buying the dogs treats. The dogs are also on a specific diet which is only available in a few shops, so sometimes I get the dogs food but haven’t got anything for us to eat!”

Our love for our pets is also reflected in our spending habits, pet owners admitted to splurging as much as £846 a month on their pet. 59% of pet owners suggested that they bought luxury items such as treats and accessories for their pet at least once a month and a generous 27% admitted to buying pet presents on a weekly basis!

Our partners faired less well in the research, as only 33% of those questioned confessed to treating their other half every month and a mere 11% on a weekly basis!  Perhaps relying on our pet is more paw-pular than we thought?

However, despite the research highlighting that we are loving and spoiling our pets, only a quarter of us have pet insurance for them.


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The Cockapoo is now the favourite puppy of UK Internet users

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Insurance pioneer Bought By Many has analysed a ton of Internet search data to find the UK’s most popular puppies of 2014.

The surprising results show that the Cockapoo is the new favourite puppy of UK Internet users, while last year’s champion, the Cocker Spaniel has dropped three places to 4th place.

German Shepherd puppies have seen a surge in popularity in 2014, rising six places to 5th, with Husky, Golden Retriever, and Boxer puppies also making gains. Meanwhile, Chihuahua, Pug andShih Tzu puppies have all seen a decrease in popularity.

Surprisingly, Rottweiler puppies are the only new breed to enter the top 15 and have displaced Border Terrier Puppies who previously occupied the 15th Spot in 2013.

Evergreen favourites like the Labrador, Jack Russell Terrier, and the Bulldog have all held their positions, along with Beagles and French Bulldogs.

What’s behind the year-on-year movements?

Could the decline in the Cocker Spaniel’s fortunes be Royalty related?

Perhaps the birth of Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, on 22nd July 2013 took attention away from Kate’s Cocker puppy Lupo?

Could recent media coverage of the Tulisa Drug trial be a factor in the renewed interest in Rottweiler puppies? Or could is be showering Youtube sensation Lena the Rottweiler? How does demand for puppies correspond to supply?

Interestingly, there is actually very little correlation. At the time of writing, there are 2,064 Chihuahua puppies (15th most popular) listed for sale on Pes4Homes, but only 195 Beagle puppies (7th most popular). Similarly there are significantly more pug puppies for sale (1,005) than there are Cockapoo puppies (536). This could mean the price of Cockapoo puppies and Beagle puppies is set to increase, while prices for Chihuahua and Pug puppies fall.

Bought By Many spends a lot of time pawing over statistics about dogs. This kind of data is enormously helpful in providing useful information to members, and in matching the right breeds to the right insurers.

One of the most common things they search for is information about how the popularity of different breeds is changing over time. The Kennel Club produces a very interesting report about new breed registrations each quarter. But that data leaves a couple of gaps. Firstly, it only covers puppies and breeders who are Kennel Club registered. Second, there is inevitably something of a lag between a puppy being registered, and the publication of the data.

With Trending Puppies, Bought By Many hopes to be able to provide a leading indicator of the changing popularity of puppies, nearer to real-time.

How is Trending Puppies compiled?

Bought by Many licenses a tool called Hitwise from Experian. Among other things, Hitwise enables you to research anonymised Internet search data for millions of UK Internet users. For this research, we looked at searches containing the term “puppy” in the 12 weeks to 28th June 2014, and compared them to searches for puppies in the 12 weeks to 13th July 2013. They removed the searches that weren’t relevant (such as those for Hush Puppies) and then summed up different variations on the same search (for example, “cockapoo puppies” and “cockapoo puppies for sale”). Finally they sorted the data set by the volume of searches to create these results.

A note about Huskies

One the interesting aspects of analysing Internet search data is the terminology people use which does not necessarily correspond to what an expert or insider would say. Searches for “Husky” are a case in point: these occur over 100 times more than searches for actual Husky breeds (such as Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute).

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New RSPCA stats show people snub luxuries in favour of their pets

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Pet owners who don’t want to leave their animals home alone miss out on luxuries such as holidays abroad and meals out, new RSPCA figures have revealed.

A survey carried out by the charity revealed more than 51% of people who took part don’t go on foreign holidays, while 29% miss out on time with family and friends because they don’t want their pets to be lonely.
 
A further 29% said they don’t devote as much time as they would like to hobbies and leisure activities, 25% didn’t go for meals out and nearly 24% said they had turned down opportunities for better paid jobs because of the impact a longer commute would have on the time they were away from their pets.

TrustedHousesitters, a leading house & pet sitting website, has now given anyone signing up at TrustedHousesitters.com the option of making a donation to the RSPCA.

Leanne Copp, RSPCA corporate account manager, said: “The RSPCA is delighted that Trustedhousesitters.com has chosen to support us. Using their great service will mean that your pets can be cared for in their own home while you are enjoying your holiday and it might save you money too.

“It won’t be long before many people start to think about visiting friends and family around Christmas time, while others may have invitations to festive parties, so Trustedhousesitters.com could offer the perfect solution for both owner and pet.”

“The money that Trustedhousesitters.com raise will go towards ensuring that we can continue our vital work in caring for animals and eliminating cruelty and neglect.”

Andy Peck, CEO and founder of TrustedHousesitters.com, said: “To be able to offer our support and to help our members become involved with such an important and well established charity, for the good of all animals, fills us with pride. We started this business to help pet owners find a solution and we know just how important their pets are to them.

“It is a shame that in our world there is still suffering for animals and we know our members are extremely passionate about animal welfare. By joining forces we are enabling them to become part of this essential ongoing work and all of our efforts go towards helping the pet animals we all love so much.”

For more information, to find a pet sitter near you, or even to sign up as a sitter yourself, visit www.trustedhousesitters.com <http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/>

Help the RSPCA rescue animals from cruelty this Christmas – text RESCUE to 78866 to give £3 (texts cost £3 plus standard network rate) and help turn a cruel Christmas into a happy New Year for animals today. Click here for Terms and Conditions.


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RSPCA busts nine myths around mysterious moggies this Hallow’een

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Throughout history cats have had an air of mystery surrounding them and the RSPCA hopes to debunk the nine most common myths.

The RSPCA has more cats in the charity’s care than any other animal and this year has taken in 20 per cent more than during the same period last year.

As we near Hallow’een we are getting to the bottom of some of the myths surrounding cats in the hope that it will help people to gain a better understanding of our feline friends and create more homes for the high numbers in animal centres.

Whilst some myths about cats can be traced as far back as medieval times, others, for example, the old wives tale that should have a litter of kittens before being spayed or that cats pose a risk to pregnant women or babies are just modern day mythology and scare-mongering.

RSPCA scientific officer and cat welfare expert Alice Potter said: “Sadly, one of the most common reasons that people call the RSPCA about wanting to give up a cat for adoption is because they are expecting a new baby. How much of this stems from these misconceptions is not known, but the reality is that cats make great family pets.

“This, coupled with the belief that cats should have a litter of kittens before being spayed means that we have high numbers of unwanted cats in rescue centres.

“We would encourage anyone thinking of getting a cat to first look at adopting one of the ones in our care desperately looking for a home.”

Here are the most common myths around cats and the answers our experts have given to them to show that they are mostly no more than myths.

  • Black cats are unlucky Not true. Black cats are just the same as every other cat! They won’t bring you bad luck, good luck, riches or hard times. More than 70 per cent of the cats in the RSPCA’s care are black or black and white, as this is the most common colour of cat – not because they are unlucky. Typically most cats are most active at dusk or dawn – technically this is known as crepuscular – as in the wild this is when prey is most active.


  • Pregnant women cannot live with cats This myth has come about because in some rare circumstances directly touching cat litter or cat faeces while pregnant then not washing hands afterwards then handling food can cause toxoplasmosis which is harmful to unborn children. This can also be caught from handling raw meat or digging in the garden. However, maintaining basic hygiene practices around cat litter is protection from this and there is no harm in petting or stroking your cat as normal. New mothers will naturally be protective of their babies and may worry that the cat could harm or suffocate them. While it is wise to introduce sensible precautions, e.g. not leaving a cat unsupervised with a baby until he or she can interact with the cat safely, there is no reason that cats can’t continue to be a member of the family.


  • Cats should be allowed to have a litter of kittens before being spayed According to an RSPCA study, more than a third of cat owners believe that a cat should have a litter of kittens before being spayed, but this simply isn’t true. A cat can get pregnant from as young as four months, while still a kitten herself. Vets and animal welfare charities recommend that cats should be spayed at four months to prevent accidental litters – the RSPCA’s study also found that 85% of litters of kittens are unplanned.


  • Cats have nine lives While some cat owners may suspect that their curious cats have escaped death by their poise and prowess in fact this is a common myth which has been around centuries – possibly even since Egyptian times. Typically cats live for fourteen years, but many live for much longer.


  • Milk is good for cats Water is all cats ever need to drink once they have been weaned at eight to twelve weeks. Because they are unable to digest lactose giving cats milk can be harmful and can cause nasty stomach cramps and diarrhoea.. Cats should have constant access to fresh drinking water.


  • Cats like to live indoors There is some truth in this. Some cats will like their home comforts and if they have always lived indoors only they may adapt to living without outdoor access. However cats that are used to going outside may find adapting more difficult.Many cats enjoy spending time outdoors roaming around, climbing, running and lying in the sunshine! Some indoor environments can become predictable and boring, leading to stress, inactivity and  obesity. The RSPCA wouldn’t recommend keeping cats that are used to going outside, as ‘indoor-only cats’, except for health reasons.


  • Cats purr only when happy Cat lovers enjoy hearing the sound of their cats purr as it is associated with contentment but actually a cat’s purr is more complex than that and can show a variety of emotions including stress. The sound is made after signals in the brain cause muscles in the voice box to vibrate.


  • Cats always land on their feet As an active and tree-climbing animal a cat’s survival depends on its ability to survive falls. Cats have a flexible spine and no collarbone allowing them to use their hind legs to right themselves during a fall. Although cats are capable of landing on their feet this isn’t always the case, at some heights they are unable to righten themselves. More importantly landing on their feet doesn’t always mean they get away unharmed!


  • Cats are nocturnal
    Typically most cats are most active at dusk or dawn – technically this is known as crepuscular – as in the wild this is when prey is most active.

    The RSPCA encourages anyone who is considering adopting a cat to base their decision on character rather than colour. To see the cats in the RSPCA’s care, please visit rspca.org.uk/findapet <http://rspca.org.uk/findapet>


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Choice of dog breed can reveal owner’s personality

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 The happiest dog owners in Britain have a pet Yorkshire Terrier, research has found.

Owners of Yorkies stated they laughed the most per day – around 10 times on average – and would describe themselves as the happiest. This is in contrast to Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners, who on average crack a smile just four times a day.

The study of 2000 pet owners by flea and tick preventative Frontline Spot On looked at the personality traits of dog owners around the UK.

To some people, money equals happiness, so if you want to get rich quick it may be worth investing in a pug, with owners of these furry friends earning the most. Households with this breed take home a healthy average wage of £85,000 a year, while Great Dane owners are at the other end of the spectrum with an average annual wage of £35,000.

However, when it comes to spending the most time and money on our four legged companions, it is two exotic breeds that take this prize. Despite their tiny size, Chihuahuas demand the most attention from their owners, who admit to spending a whopping 16 hours a day by the side of their pet. Dalmatian owners lavish the most money on their dogs, spending a sizeable £17 a week on treats and toys for them.

And for those looking for the key to a long and happy marriage, it appears the secret may be in purchasing a pug. Not only are these dogs associated with wealth, but the survey showed that their owners are in the highest proportion of those reporting themselves happily married. However, most people in a relationship – but looking to get out of it!- said they owned a quintessentially British dog breed, the Bulldog, while singletons were most likely to own a Labrador.

Christine Male, Marketing Manager for Frontline Spot On, said: “For many of the nation’s dog owners, their dog is more than just a pet but a real part of the family too! It’s interesting to note how our choice of dog can help define what sort of person we are.”

* Nielsen Data – based on value sales 2013/12


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RSPCA helps fight firework fear for our four-legged friends

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The RSPCA is issuing advice for pet owners in the run up to another busy bonfire night season.

The charity regularly receives hundreds of calls about fireworks in October and November, when bonfire night and Diwali celebrations are in full swing.

In 2013 the RSPCA received 310 calls relating to fireworks in October and November and in 2012 this figure was 326.

It is a stressful time of year for all pets and their owners –  an estimated 45 per cent of dogs in the UK showing signs of fear when they hear fireworks*.

Some great ideas to help your pet feel safe include:

  • Using a Sounds Scary! CD to help dogs learn to be less afraid of loud noises.
  • Use pheromone diffusers that can help dogs and cats feel calmer.
  • Provide constant access to safe hiding places.
  • Close windows and curtains and turn on the radio or TV to help mask the sounds from outside and ensure your pets are better able to cope.
  • Don’t show anger towards your dog or cat if they appear frightened – this will only convince the animals that there really is something to be afraid of.
  • If your pets live outside partly cover the cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure your pet is still able to look out and provide extra bedding for small animals so they have something to burrow in.
  • Always speak to your vet or animal behaviourist for further advice


RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer James Yeates said: “Countless pet owners will be dreading the run up to bonfire night because of the distress it causes to their animals.

“But there are ways to help your pets get over any fear they may have. Planning ahead and speaking to your local vet about the options available is a great start.

“Firework phobia is a treatable condition, pets do not have to suffer in misery every year.”

Of course the RSPCA would also ask organisers to be vigilant and give plenty of notice to people in the area. We would also ask for organisers to show some consideration and not let off any fireworks too close to places where animals are – for example farm animals or zoos.

Wildlife can also be burned to death by bonfires so organisers should check them before lighting to make sure there are no wild animals using them as a hiding place.  It helps to build the bonfire as near as possible to the time of lighting, to ensure hedgehogs and other wildlife are not sleeping in the pile when it is lit.

For more information please visit www.rspca.org.uk/fireworks <http://www.rspca.org.uk/fireworks>


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Vet uses cancer treatment to relieve joint problems in dogs

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A leading vet has started prescribing a long-established cancer treatment to transform the mobility of dogs suffering from joint problems.

Richard Allport, a vet for more than 40 years with practices in Potters Bar and Bayswater, discovered that CV247, a cancer treatment invented in the mid-1990s, has a dramatic effect as an anti-inflammatory.

Richard said: “CV247 is mostly used as a treatment for cancer in dogs – but its composition of primarily natural constituents I’ve found has a clear and positive effect on dogs suffering from joint mobility issues.”

“I prescribe it as a treatment for cancer and related issues, and I noticed that around 80% of the dogs prescribed CV247 quickly became far brighter and perkier in their demeanour.

“When I looked into it, it became apparent that the majority of the constituents of the treatment contributed towards an anti-inflammatory effect – a bit of an old-fashioned ‘tonic’. This often gave dogs more mobile joints, which made them feel better in themselves.”

Richard added: “This appeared to be a hugely positive contributor to a dog reacting positively to treatment for cancer and related issues. Dogs don’t analyse how they feel: but they feel better before they get better. Dogs react to the way they feel at that moment.

“Traditional drugs and treatments are very effective for the right patient at the right moment, but I would urge pet owners to try natural medicine whenever possible – they’d be pleasantly surprised by the results, and will instantly recognise the absence of drug-related discomfort, particularly in older and more sensitive or vulnerable pets.”


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