Tails Blog

Cats and Cars

Steve Coppell - Saturday, September 10, 2011

More often than not, cats don't travel well in cars. Cats enjoy the comfort of familia surroundings and stay close to their own territory. Another thing that cats don't like is to be confined as they are inside a car. Travelling in cars can be noisy and full of strange smells. Not to mention this experience for them is often associated with bad memories. For example the trip to the vet. 


Clipper Cayman Pet Carrier

It's a good idea to use a  pet carrier. It improves safety for you and for your pet as well, because you can imagine just how distracting it is to have a freaked out cat roaming about free inside your car. 

Free Delivery : Tails delivers at no extra cost to you. Just click on the Clipper Cayman to learn more.

My cat has stopped using the litter box!

Steve Coppell - Monday, June 20, 2011

What happened?

You start to notice your feline has a problem hitting the litter box, and now she is going on the kitchen floor, in the bathtub, or anywhere else inside the house but where she suppose to go.

First things first.

Firstly, are you clearing the litter box daily and replacing the litter often enough?  Do you have enough litter boxes for the number of pets in the house?  Or is there a litter box for every level of the house?  Can you be sure there isn't a health problem associated with these events?

Don't Despair
You can try these ways to get her back using the litter box again.

If it smells like a toilet it must be the toilet.

When you notice your pet has missed the litter box you need to remove all traces of this event. So of course the faeces and urine needs to be cleaned up, but also any smells left behind that your pet will pick up in the future. Failing to remove these odour's will only encourage her to go to the toilet in this place again next time. 
Once the area has been cleaned you can spray a urine smell neutraliser to kill the scent.

This is where we eat, not where we go to the toilet.
You can discourage your cat from using the wrong spot over and over again by placing her food in the spot every day for at least 21 days. She will get the idea that this is a feeding area and stop using it for a toilet.

When all else fails.

If your cats litter box is made of plastic and you have had it a long time, it will eventually absorb the offending odours so it doesn't make a difference how often you replace the litter. A new plastic litter box is not expensive to replace. It might be worth buying a new one.

Giving your pet their pill

Steve Coppell - Saturday, June 11, 2011

One way to get a reluctant pet to take medicine is to open the animal's jaws wide and pop the pill in their mouth. Place it on top of their tongue, as far back as you can without causing discomfort. Then hold their jaw closed and massage their throat. Sometimes blowing a quick puff of air over their face is effective, (when they blink they swallow). Don't release their jaws until the pill is swallowed. Once you are sure the pill has been swallowed, let go of the jaw and watch to see that the pill doesn't get spit out. If it does repeat the exercise from the beginning.

My Kitten has Baby Blue Eyes

Steve Coppell - Saturday, June 11, 2011

Are you delighted that your cat just gave birth to four kittens that all have blue eyes?
Don't get too excited; all kittens are born with blue eyes. Their true eye colour doesn't develop until they are several months old.

Pets and Bad Breath

Steve Coppell - Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bad breath in pets is just as offensive as it is in humans. But besides being a turn off, halitosis can be a sign of a health problem. It may indicate an accumulation of tartar on your pet's teeth, which can result in gingivitis, or gum disease. ( Bad teeth and gums also produce bacteria that your pet will swallow, causing other health concerns). Or it may be a sign of digestive problems.
What can be done?
For tartar control, feed your dog or cat some dry food every day. Or give your dogs bones to chew.

A bathroom on every floor

Steve Coppell - Saturday, June 11, 2011

If your home is spacious, or if you live on two floors, it's a good idea to set up two litter boxes for your new kitten, one at either end of the house or on each floor. Not only will this be more convenient for your pet but it will also cut down on accidents.

Friendliest Cat Breeds

Steve Coppell - Saturday, October 23, 2010
One of the tricks  with getting a friendly cat is to bring them into the family home at a young age, as a kitten, so they get to know the routines and the personalities in the house. Expecting an older cat to adapt to a rowdy family of kids is a big ask. When choosing kittens, though, have a good look at the parents. As well as checking the health records, take the time to know the parents of the kitten. If the parents seem to be friendly cats  with a good temperament, then theres a good chance the kittens will be a chip off the old block and be even tempered as well.

Finally, just remember that a cat needs to be happy in order order to be friendly. So some of its friendliness is down to you. Make it feel secure and happy, and then it will turn on the charm.


Personality: almost the checky kid you remember from school that could never sit still. Burmese have a real love of adventure that almost amounts to a craving for chaos . While they are capable of having fun by themselves, they will often take it to you as well. They will also come to you for affection.

playful Burmese definately  need entertainment in the form of toys. A good scratch post is another essential, otherwise they could take out their energy on your furniture, curtains and other treasured decor. A true indoor specialist, a burmese handles apartment living well. However, they do love to go outdoors if allowed by their owners, but they are really just not cut out for it. These cats are prone to being picked on by other cats, and they also lack road sense, making road accidents a real danger for them. Being short haired these cats have low grooming requirements. Just a brush once a week will do. It is advisable to keep their claws trimmed to minimise collateral damage around they house.
One downside of living the indoor life is being prone to obesity, so you  will need to be careful not to overfeed them.
However the good news is that they are generally medically sound. Dental disease is common in Burmese over 3 years of age, just as it is in other cats the same age. I know from experience these cats are accident prone, so keep them away from dangers such as roads, other cats and high balconies.

Devon Rex 

these closely cropped cats arent your typically independent animal. They thrieve and almost demand company. While they prefer the human kind, most Devon Rex cats even accept other animals as playmates. This amounts to friendliness in some peoples eyes, but it could also be seen as neediness in others. But its a fact of life that  the Devon Rex  can become a real shadow around the house. Its short hair, prominent cheekbones and large eyes can almost give a human like apppearance.

this cat loves company. The good news is that its short coat means very little grooming is required. In fact, a light run over with a damp sponge is often all it needs. Unfortunately its lack of street sense means it is best kept indoors. Otherwise run ins with cars or even other cats could cause problems. Health wise, this breed once had many health problems, but its now generaly free of disease. Dental problems caused by a build up of tartar are usually the primary concern. Dry food and perhaps the occasional clean at the vet will reduce any risk of this happening.

Russian Blue

Personality: not much fazes these cool Russians. Russian Blues tend to be adaptable to both indoor and outdoor living. Even other pets are accepted, or is that tolerated? Russian Blues are keen to please without being overbearing, in a family situation all family members are accepted, however they are known to pick a favourite to whom they will most be strongly bonded.

try not to let their environment become too noisy or they can become a little withdrawn. Due to their short coat, you will be spared any major grooming duties, as these are easy to care cats. From my experience, the Russian Blues are healthy, there are no major health concerns, so provided you take care of the basics (vaccinations, worming, flea control, keep the weight down and the teeth clean) this is one cat that can live for a long time.

 British Short Hair 

this is one for the kids, a cat that is amazingly tolerant of the ankle biters. This cat is so easy going its almost scary. This relaxed Brit insists on living the good life on the coach in the comfort of home. This makes for one of the most companionable and easy going cats in the world. For someone working long hours who wants a friendly face to come home to, the British Shorthair may make the perfect companion.The only downside is that this cat can sometimes be too reserved- and may require a fun game to lure it out of its retirement mode.

a good brush once or twice a week takes care of grooming this easy care cat. British Shorthairs are reasonabley sound medically


if you believe the stories regarding the emergence of this breed, you will understand why Birmans like to sleep alot. They have certainly been busy. Apparently once the sacred temple cats of Burma, their white feet were meant to have been spiritually gifted to them. Fast forward to the present day and they are well and truely making their presence felt as an up and coming breed. Their popularity revolves around their Persian like coat, their deep blue eyes and a playful yet settled temperament. These cats mark themselves as something special from the start. Their months as kittens are amusing to say the least. They are really cheeky personalities who almost seem to be aware of their good looks and are more than aware of what they can and cant get away with. Their meow can be loud and distinctive, so make sure you dont give in to their every whim, otherwise they can become demanding.

The Birman tend to be trouble free if the owner does all the basics right. Cat owners who enjoy caring for cats. So the ideal owner is one who feeds this cat well and plays diligent attention to this cats grooming needs. Focus most your attention on that thick silky coat. You must brush regularly (twice a day is often required) to avoid that loose hair causing fur balls. Excess hair can also combine with this cats narrow pelvis to make constipation a big risk. Feed your Birman a well balanced diet (Premium brand dry food is ideal) Raw chicken wings will assist with keeping teeth clean.

Cleaning up after your pet

Steve Coppell - Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sometimes things dont go according to plan and your pet does leave its mark on your house but it is possible to oust those bad odours without too much drama or chemicals. Heres how.

1/Make a bucket containing Napisan and water.
2/Soak a cloth in the bucket and then sponge the area throughly with  the wet cloth.
3/Sprinkle some napisan powder over the area once all colour has disappeared from the stain.
4/Vacum the area when it is fully dry
5/If an odour still remains, spray the area with a spray pack containing a few drops of oil of lavender and water.

If an extra detterant is required, Tails have sprays designed to assist with this problem.

Did you know? Cats in New Zealand

Steve Coppell - Saturday, September 18, 2010

A group of cats is called a Clowder.
The catdoor was invented by Sir Isaac Newton.
Cats have 30 teeth.
The first Cat show was held in London.
The oldest cat on record lived to be 38 years old.
The Japanese word for cat is Neko.
A cats pregnancy lasts for 9 weeks.
A cat sweats through its paws.
In New Zealand there is an estimated population of 1.5 million cats.

How to control litter box odor

Steve Coppell - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

There are a number of ways you can control litter box odour.

Clean the litter box regularly.
Cleaning your pets litter box is nobodys idea of a good time. But it is important if you want to keep those nasty odours under control.
Clear the box of debris daily, and change the litter at least once a week, depending on the material you use and the number of pets who use the box.

Ventilate the area
Make sure you park the box in a well ventilated area, preferabley close to an open window.

More litter boxes
Be sure to have enough litter boxes for the number of pets in your home.

Good Quality Litter
Buy a good quality litter like Silica litter crystals which is anti bacterial, absorbent, and has a deodouriser.

Teach your pet a new trick