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Welcome to Petplan’s blog, a space where you can read up on the latest pet-news, find out interesting facts and tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy, and share your views on hot topics.

Does your cat need more litter trays?

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Posted on by Petplan

Q: I have three cats and they have one litter tray between them, but my vet has said that I should have more trays. Why is this?

A: When cats defecate outdoors, they normally urinate and excrete in separate locations. I usually recommend one tray per cat, plus one extra. Not providing enough trays can lead to house-soiling problems. However, some cats are happy to share litter facilities. You need to provide whatever suits your cats best and consider your circumstances, such as whether the cats also have the opportunity to 'go' outdoors.

Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist

Controlling your dog's barking

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog behaviour barking

Q: My dog loves people, but she constantly barks at the postman and delivery people. Why might she be doing this?

A: This is quite a common problem with dogs. As dogs are pack animals, they have a very strong sense of territory. The most common reason why dogs bark at people who come near their territory is to make them go away. And, in most cases, the people do go away, for example the postman or newspaper boy or girl, therefore the dog believes that this is due to their barking. This perceived success increases the dog's confidence to bark at the next potential intruder and so the barking escalates. If this pattern of behaviour is allowed to continue over a period of time, it can become an automatic reaction.

Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist

Neutering your pedigree cat - when's the right time?

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat neutering spaying castration

Q: We recently bought a male British Shorthair cat. We've always had our kittens spayed or neutered by around six months old, but we've been told that pedigree cats need to develop all their pedigree characteristics first. Is this true?

A: Breeders will have all sorts of advice when it comes to treating their kittens, but one thing that obviously goes against 'breeding' is to neuter. Your British Shorthair should reach maturity by six months and will continue to grow even if you castrate him at that time. In my opinion, the benefits of neutering outweigh any potential concerns and male cats of around that age can begin to stray, fight and scent mark - not attributes that many owners will desire for a house cat. Take your British Shorthair to the vet at six months and decide together what is best for him.

Scott Miller, vet

Moving house - helping your pet to cope

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Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: cat behaviour moving house

Q: I've had my two nine-year-old feral cats since they were kittens. I've downsized from a house with eight acres of land, where the cats hunted mice. Since I moved, the male cat has turned on me. How can I master him?

A: Your cats have moved from a property where it sounds as if they lived a semi-feral existence to a much more restricted environment. They were used to hunting and I suspect the male cat is displaying predatory aggression towards you. Ensure he has lots of toys available upon which he can focus this behaviour. Have wine corks strategically located and in your pockets so that, should you think he is about to run at you, you can quickly roll a cork on the ground for him to chase instead of leaping at you. Don't underestimate the injuries a cat can inflict and seek professional help if this behaviour continues.

Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist

How to make a tasty Christmas dinner for your dog

How to make a tasty Christmas dinner for your dog
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains: dog diet food Christmas Xmas

We've invited writer Elaine Everest, author of hit book Canine Cuisine (£8.99, How To Books) to give us this extra-special recipe for a festive meal for your dog. Hope your dog likes it!


  • One mug of brown rice
  • One beef stock cube
  • Half a small butternut squash
  • Four large carrots
  • One head of broccoli
  • A small bunch of fresh parsley
  • One tray of minced turkey
  • A small carton of chicken liver
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • One mug of wholemeal flour
  • One mug of oatmeal
  • Four eggs
  • Half a mug of vegetable oil



  • Heat your oven to 190°C or gas mark 5.
  • Put the brown rice into a pan with the stock cube and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the rice is cooked but not too soft.
  • Meanwhile wash the vegetables. Peel the butternut squash and chop all vegetables into even-sized pieces and place into a food processor. Blitz until the vegetables resemble fine breadcrumbs before adding the parsley for a final five-second blitz.
  • Place the finely chopped vegetables into a large mixing bowl along with the wholemeal flour and oatmeal. Mix together.
  • Next, place the minced beef and the ox liver into the food processor and blitz along with the garlic cloves until you have a smooth paste. Add the four eggs and mix well together for several seconds.
  • Add this mix to the bowl and stir together well. At this point, stir in the cooked rice and add the vegetable oil until you have a mixture that is not too runny. It is not essential to use all the oil. If the mix becomes too liquid, add a little more oatmeal to stiffen.
  • Pour into a greased baking tin or two round cake tins and place into the centre of the oven. The new-style silicon bakeware is ideal for this recipe as the cake will slide away from the container with ease. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when slid into the centre of the cake. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
  • After feeding your dog a portion of his own cake, allow his meal to go down for an hour or so before enjoying a brisk Christmas Day walk with the whole family.

Happy Christmas!

If you have a recipe you would like to share, just comment below.


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