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Owning a cat has its highs and lows – from the cuddles and the playfulness to the ‘gifts’ your pet can bring you. It’s a journey we call Pethood, and our community of pet experts and fellow owners is here to support you and your cat with advice about health, behaviour, nutrition and more.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      body language

      Body language know-how

      Understanding your cat’s body language can be a hugely rewarding experience and will help create a special bond between you. Here are some tips on how to transform your time together.

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    • Vet's Corner

      hairballs coughing

      The lowdown on hairballs

      It's completely natural (even if it does sound a little alarming!) for your cat to cough up a hairball every now and then. But can it ever be a problem? Petplan vet Brian Faulkner answers our questions on the furball facts, and explains the symptoms to watch out for.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      love behaviour

      10 Signs Your Cat Loves You

      We often expect our feline friends to show us love in the ways that we’re used to – and then feel a bit disappointed when they don’t always appreciate our cuddles. But don’t despair, your cat has her own way of showing you affection. Here’s how you can better understand her behaviour:

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    • Vet's Corner

      microchip tag tagging

      Should all cats be microchipped?

      In April, it will have been a year since it became a legal requirement for all dogs to have a microchip – something that’s helped to reunite 75% of missing pooches with their owners. We explore the case around whether similar measures should be put in place for cats.

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    • Vet's Corner

      cold symptoms cold treatment colds

      Does your cat have a cold?

      Winter usually brings on a case of the sniffles for most of us – but can your cat be affected in the same way? Petplan vet Brian Faulkner has the answers.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      fussy cat

      What’s up, fussy cat?

      Does it feel as though your cat has become more and more choosy about what she eats? Or are you worried that she always seems to be scrounging for extras? Clinical animal nutritionist Marjorie Chandler addresses these concerns and shares tips on how best to feed your feline.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      scared cucumbers reflections water

      3 scaredy-cat fears explained

      Trying to work out why your cat behaves in certain ways can be baffling. One of the strangest quirks to get to grips with has to be the feline fear of (seemingly) random things. To help you better understand what your pet is thinking, we’ve asked clinical animal behaviourist Rosie Bescoby to explain these phobias – and why they’re every bit as real and distressing as our own.

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    • Pet Life

      home safety

      Cat Home Safety

      Sadly, the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’ is rooted in truth – cats of all ages like to explore and play by chewing, and sometimes they consume things that are harmful to them. Vet Brian Faulkner provides expert advice on the household items that pose a threat to your cat’s wellbeing, from fish bones to antifreeze.

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    • Pet Life

      home safety

      Kitten Home Safety

      Naturally curious, kittens like to explore and play by chewing and biting. Sometimes, they consume things that are harmful to them. Vet Brian Faulkner provides expert advice on the household items that pose a threat to your kitten’s wellbeing, from string to slug pellets.

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    • Pet Life

      settling in new cat

      How to Settle a New Cat

      Welcoming a new cat into your home may be an exciting time for you, but it could take some weeks for your pet to feel truly at ease in their new environment. These simple steps will help make your cat feel relaxed, at home and one of the family.

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    • Vet's Corner

      vet visits vet clinic health

      Getting to the clinic

      Visits to the vet can be a worrying time for both you and your cat. Older pets can be especially anxious, so one way that you can help ease anxiety is by helping your moggy to become comfortable with the journey to the clinic in advance.

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    • Vet's Corner

      vet visits check-up health

      How to make vet visits go smoothly

      Cats like to have control over their environment so can be stressed by a trip to the vet. However, there are ways to minimise their discomfort. Pet behaviourist Claire Hargrave advises on how to make your kitten’s introduction to the vet as calm and stress-free as possible.

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    • Vet's Corner

      check-ups health

      Preparing for vet check-ups

      Even a routine check-up at the vet can be stressful for your feline friend. Behaviourist Inga MacKellar discusses some preparation strategies that can help make those all-important visits less difficult for anxious cats.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      spraying urine marking pee senior cat

      Senior Cat Spraying

      From strange smells to health problems, there are many different reasons why cats of all ages urine mark. Our animated video gives an insight into spraying and why our feline friends do it.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      spraying urine marking pee

      Why senior cats spray

      Urine marking – known as spraying in cats – can prove a common problem for owners. Behaviourist Inga MacKellar explains the reasons why older cats may spray and offers some advice for reducing it where it’s unwelcome

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      cat language

      Do you speak meow?

      We all know a purr from a hiss, but are you sure about the more subtle sounds? We have the inside scoop on cat communication that can be difficult to decipher, and tell you what it really means.

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    • Vet's Corner

      hairballs coughing

      The lowdown on hairballs

      It’s completely natural (even if it does sound a little alarming!) for your cat to cough up a hairball every now and then. But can it be a problem as your cat gets older? Petplan vet Brian Faulkner answers our questions on the furball facts, and explains the symptoms to watch out for.

      Read more
    • Behaviourist's Corner

      behaviour habits

      Understanding bad habits

      Many owners find that their cats have some curious or annoying behaviours that they expected to have been left behind in the kitten years. Behaviourist Inga MacKellar answers questions and provides sound advice on the reasons for, and ways to tackle, persistent ‘bad habits’.

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    • Vet's Corner

      summer healthcare warm weather

      Five summer healthcare tips for senior cats

      Help your pet enjoy sunny days in safety and comfort

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    • Vet's Corner

      summer healthcare warm weather

      Five summer healthcare tips for cats

      Help your pet enjoy sunny days in safety and comfort

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      body language tail language

      Cat Tail Language

      Cats are expressive, but can we really decipher what they’re saying? Feline body language can often be misinterpreted, so learning to read your cat’s postures and movements may help you to understand her moods and emotions. Justine Harding explores body language, focusing specifically on the tail.

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    • Pet Life

      home alone indoors

      Caring for your cat when you’re away

      Cats may seem independent, but they can become unhappy very quickly if their needs aren’t properly met when you go away on holiday. Choosing the right kind of care will give you peace of mind while you’re away.

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    • Pet Life

      food diet nutrition feeding

      Cat Food and Dietary Needs

      Whether you own a picky Persian or a ravenous Russian Blue, you’re not alone in worrying whether your cat is too greedy, too fussy, underweight or overweight. Whatever the breed, you need to be in the know about your cat’s nutritional needs and eating habits to ensure maximum health and fitness, and a sleek body shape that’s not carrying excess weight. Veterinary surgeon Daniel Chan, senior lecturer and head of nutritional support service at the Royal Veterinary College, answers some common questions on feline diet and weight.

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    • Vet's Corner

      check-up health

      Senior Cat Health Check

      As well as the annual dental checkup and booster vaccinations required by your insurance, it’s a good idea to have your cat looked at by the vet at least once a year. You can also play your part by regularly checking your cat’s eye, teeth, skin and joint health, as vet Brian Faulkner explains. These checks will help ensure that problems are detected and treated as early as possible.

      Read more
    • Pet Life

      Christmas health Xmas

      Senior Cats at Christmas

      Unsurprisingly, loud noises, festive foods and other temptations can all prove a bit much for older cats at Christmas. Watch Tinkerbell in our fun video, filled with useful tips on how to keep your feline friend safe and happy during the festive season.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      calming fireworks scared

      Three tried-and-tested ways to keep your cat calm during fireworks

      Have you ever wished you could ease your cat’s anxiety during fireworks season and the end-of-year festivities? We review three products that promise to help you do just that.

      Read more
    • Behaviourist's Corner

      outside roaming wandering off

      Understanding roaming behaviour

      Whether it’s a quick turn around the garden or a leisurely, late-night prowl, many of our feline friends seem inclined to go for a wander now and then. But what’s behind this urge to explore, and how can we help keep adventurous cats safe when they’re out and about? Kim Sullivan explains the facts about roaming.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      behaviour problems naughty

      Kitten Behaviour Problems

      Is the honeymoon period over? Has your once lovable ball of fur turned into a feisty claw machine? Our pet behaviourist Claire Hargrave addresses some common problems that owners of young cats encounter.

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    • Vet's Corner

      parasites fleas ticks infections

      Parasites in Cats

      Aside from making life extremely uncomfortable, parasites can cause severe health problems for your cat. Scratching and biting to relieve the itching can result in infection, while some pests also transmit serious diseases. Here is a guide to the most common parasitic infestations and how to manage them.

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    • Vet's Corner

      fitness exercise healthy

      Kitten Fitness

      Young cats are naturally very playful and active – that is, when they are not cuddled up and snoozing. They love jumping, climbing, play fighting and running. Join in their fun and encourage them to stay active, fit and mentally stimulated as they grow.

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    • Vet's Corner

      cat care risks hazards outdoors

      Caring for Cats: Risks of the Outdoors

      The onset of warmer weather tempts many cats to spend more time outdoors. Exercise, fun and stimulation are among the benefits, but alfresco activity isn’t without risks. Deirdre Vine talks to Zaila Dunbar, Petplan’s Vet of the Year 2012, about the common hazards of outdoor exploits.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      communication

      Do you speak meow?

      We all know a purr from a hiss, but are you sure about the more subtle sounds? We have the inside scoop on cat communication that can be difficult to decipher, and why older cats are more likely to make a noise at night.

      Read more
    • Pet Life

      moving house

      Six essential tips for helping your cat move home

      Moving home can be a very stressful time for your cat, especially if she’s older and has been in the same environment for a long time. Here are some simple steps you can take to minimise disruption and help your feline friend to feel happy and comfortable in her new surroundings.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      lazy

      Why Have I Got a Lazy Cat?

      It’s cold and wintry outside – enough to make most cats slope back to the sofa for more snoozing. Here, Kim Sullivan gives five top tips to encourage your feline friend to wake up, get moving and stay fit during the winter months.

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    • Pet Life

      Christmas health senior

      Cats at Christmas

      Unsurprisingly, loud noises, festive foods and other temptations can all prove a bit much for cats at Christmas. Watch Tinkerbell in our fun video, filled with useful tips on how to keep your feline friend safe and happy during the festive season.

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      vaccination injection vaccine jab health

      Kitten Vaccinations

      Having your kitten vaccinated before he or she is three months old is very important. It’s an issue that can be confusing for a new cat owner, so follow our easy guide to the vaccinations, why they’re necessary and the myths that surround them.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      training

      Kitten training

      Training a cat may sound like a pointless or daunting task, but teaching your young cat to pay attention to you will make it easier to get them in safely at night (to avoid accidents on the road), and help you to bond.

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    • Vet's Corner

      check-up health senior

      Kitten Health Check

      Your kitten is coming up to one year old, so it’s a good time to line up the annual veterinary and dental check-up.

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    • Vet's Corner

      brush coat fur grooming senior

      Kitten Grooming

      Vet Brian Faulkner demonstrates how regular grooming is good for your kitten’s health, helping you spot fleas and other parasites as well as bumps and cuts. It can also avoid mats and tats causing discomfort to your cat. So, it’s just a case of getting him or her to stay still

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      healthy old age

      Help your cat enjoy her golden years

      Just like us, many cats will slow down a little as they get older. Here’s how to help your cat live life to the full, no matter what her age.

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    • Vet's Corner

      check-up healthy

      How to Keep Cats Healthy

      Whatever their age, cats need to keep active for their physical and mental wellbeing. Aileen Scoular explores ways to ensure your feline friend gets plenty of exercise.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      games playing

      Games to enrich your cat’s life

      It’s logical to think that as cats get older, we should minimise their playtime. However, pet experts recommend you do exactly the opposite, as games give your cat a sense of purpose and can help to keep her brain young. Read on for our top advice on the enrichment activities that can help your furry friend enjoy life to the fullest.

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    • Vet's Corner

      parasites infections fleas ticks

      Kitten parasite

      Aside from making life extremely uncomfortable, parasites can cause severe health problems for your kitten. Scratching and biting to relieve the itching can result in infection, while some parasites also transmit serious diseases. Here is a guide to the most common parasitic infestations and how to manage them.

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      food diet nutrition feeding

      Senior Cat Food and Diet

      Why is it that pet food manufacturers make a distinction between adult and senior pet food? Nutritionist Marjorie Chandler explains the importance of getting your cat’s diet just right.

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    • Vet's Corner

      asthma

      Spotlight on Feline Asthma

      Cats of any age, breed or gender may develop respiratory conditions such as feline asthma. The condition, which occurs when the airways in the lungs are restricted, isn’t uncommon – an estimated 85,000 cats are affected in Britain – yet milder cases can often go undiagnosed for years. Petplan’s Vet of the Year 2013, Laura Pugh, explains what feline asthma is and how it can be treated.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      drinking habits

      Changes to drinking habits

      There are some things that you may not think to mention to your vet – your cat drinking more or less than normal is one of them. But Petplan vet Brian Faulkner says that if your cat’s drinking habits noticeably change with age, you shouldn’t ignore it. Here, he outlines three common health conditions related to changes in drinking habits.

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    • Pet Life

      Christmas presents gifts DIY Xmas

      DIY Christmas gifts for your cat

      Christmas can be an unsettling time for your cat. Make the festive season special for her with these three safe and easy-to-make presents, perfect for your feline friend.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      clicker training

      Clicker training your cat

      Cats are well known for doing things on their own terms, but you might be surprised at how well yours will respond to simple clicker training. Our expert talks you through what it entails, and the steps you should follow.

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    • Pet Life

      Christmas presents gifts Xmas

      What I'd buy my cat for Christmas

      How better to celebrate the joy that your pets bring you, than by giving them a festive treat? To help you pick the perfect present, we´ve asked the experts for their top recommendations on fun, safe and enjoyable gifts for your furry friend. Plus, an animal nutritionist weighs in on the best edible end-of-year indulgences.

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      behaviour changes

      Changing Cat Behaviour

      What does it mean when your cat behaves a bit out of character? Behaviourist Inga MacKellar highlights three common changes that may occur as our feline friends age.

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    • Vet's Corner

      skin cancer

      What you need to know about skin cancer in cats

      The ‘C’ word is always a scary one, but the good news is that vets can often treat skin cancer successfully – as long as it’s promptly identified. We asked Petplan vet Brian Faulkner for his advice on preventing, spotting and treating this disease.

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    • Vet's Corner

      health check-up

      Cat Health Check

      As well as the annual dental checkup and booster vaccinations required by your insurance, it’s a good idea to have your cat looked at by the vet at least once a year. You can also play your part by regularly checking your cat’s eye, teeth, skin and joint health, as vet Brian Faulkner explains. These checks will help ensure that problems are detected and treated as early as possible.

      Read more
    • Pet Life

      brush coat fur grooming

      Cat Grooming

      Vet Brian Faulkner demonstrates how regular grooming is good for your cat’s health, helping you spot fleas and other parasites as well as bumps and cuts. It can also avoid mats and tats causing discomfort to your cat. So, it’s just a case of getting him or her to stay still...

      Read more
    • Vet's Corner

      fleas bites stings ticks

      Preventing and treating bites and stings

      Summertime means longer days and more time for your cat to explore, and laze about, outside. However, it also increases her chances of coming into contact with a range of biting beasties. Follow our expert tips to lessen the sting – or itch!

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    • Behaviourist's Corner

      calming fireworks scared

      Three tried-and-tested ways to keep your cat calm during fireworks

      Have you ever wished you could ease your cat´s anxiety during fireworks season and the end-of-year festivities? We review three products that promise to help you do just that.

      Read more
    • Pet Life

      outside alone outdoor dangers

      When Can Kittens Go Outside?

      There are many considerations to think about when you’re approaching your kitten’s first venture to the world outside the home. You need to think about the neighbourhood cats and the challenges and dangers they represent, whether you want more cats if you’ve decided not to neuter your kitten, and ensuring your kitten’s vaccinations are all up to date. But nothing beats seeing them starting to explore that world, as our video shows.

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    • Vet's Corner

      teeth dental

      Kitten Teeth

      Brushing keeps your cat’s teeth and gums healthy. It stops the build-up of plaque, tartar and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). It also helps to prevent many painful dental problems later on.

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    • Vet's Corner

      health basics

      Cat Health

      A cat is a happy addition to a home. As well as fun and love though, a pet brings a host of responsibilities for their health and wellbeing. Find out the key facts that will keep your cat in top condition and on track for a long and healthy life.

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    • Vet's Corner

      food diet nutrition feeding healthy

      Kitten Food: 5 Steps for Healthy Eating

      Your young cat’s food requirements change as they rapidly grow into an adult. Dr Marjorie Chandler, animal nutritionist, has compiled this guide to making sure your pet stays at a good weight and receives all the nutrients they need to become a healthy, happy and energetic cat...

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