Showing posts with label cat products. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat products. Show all posts

Thursday 11 August 2011


SureflapThe SureFlap is a cat flap (sometimes called a "cat door" in the USA) that I have been thinking about. As you might know I have two cats, one very old and one with three legs - I am a kind of cat nurse! I love it though.

They both like to go out into the garden. They never travel more than about 20 yards from the cat flap. I am confident that they are safe.

But, the cat flap is an open invitation to stray cats and what I call time share cats. Time share cats are cats who like to spend time at various homes in the neighborhood. This is probably because they are not completely satisfied with their actually home! That can be for one of several reasons. The most common is because the person is not there much and there is a shortage of food or the food is poor and yours is better.

I have had a few time share cats and one is affecting my quality of life. I call him Marty and he wears a bell. He comes in late in the evening after I have put down night food for my cats. He wants to eat the night food. If he eats it, my little old lady cat wakes me up at 3 in the morning asking (nay..demanding) food. I lose sleep. It is a simple chain reaction of events that messes up my night

The SureFlap recognises the ID chip that is implanted into your cat. I am told that microchipping is quite common in the United States. Microchipping a cat is not completely without health risk, I think it far to say, but it is considered safe.

The SureFlap only lets your microchipped cat pass through the cat flap. At a stroke that would solve the "Marty problem". Another benefit is that it protects the indoor environment of your cats. This is their territory and intruders may cause tensions and even fights. My three legged boy has occasionally attacked or charged at Marty in the home.

There are health risks too if a strange cat eats from your cat's bowl. You don't know about the health of the stray cat. Is she carrying a contagious disease? Will it be transmitted in saliva or through direct contact?

The SureFlap would solve these potentially serious health problems too. They supply internationally (

Michael signature

Thursday 2 June 2011

British Shorthair

Grey tabby British Shorthair show cat sleeping on grey litter at a cat show
At London cats show 2008
One of the original cat fancy cat breeds, the British Shorthair is a purebred cat of singular appearance that has been developed over one and a half centuries of selective breeding from the British moggie (random bred cat), which itself goes back to the Romans.

Although I say selectively bred it should be noted that after the second world war there was a need to cross bred with other cat breeds to keep the breed alive (why wasn't it crossbred with British street moggies?). This has taken the Brit SH away from its origins. Even earlier in the early 1900s the breed was crossed with Persians. Personally I don't find this so much "selective" breeding and reckless breeding.

Robinson's Genetics says that the breed originates in the UK in the 1870s. The first cat show was at the Crystal Palace London in 1871. I have a page on the history of the British Shorthair.

SKY - a British Shorthair Cat living with Ken and Helmi Flick
"Sky" - blue Brit SH.
By the way, "British" in this context means a cat of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (the UK) and including: the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and the British overseas territories. So Britain is bigger than the UK. And bearing that in mind I think it would be more accurate to say that this cat is more the English Shorthair as at the outset it would have been developed from cats in the south of England. Although as mentioned it was outcrossed. I find this bizarre. Why couldn't we just keep the original cat? Is the Brit SH actually a hybrid cat breed  - it looks like that. There appears to be nothing pure about it, sadly. Sorry if that sounds a bit tough but...

The Brit SH is a popular cat ranked 8th out of over 100 cat breeds on my long standing poll.

British Shorthair Cat Facts

A short bulleted list of facts of British Shorthair breed information:
  • Date of origin: 1870s.
  • Place of origin: Great Britain (Britain).
  • Ancestry: British moggie and then crossbred.
  • Weight: 4 - 8 kg or 9 - 18 lbs.  
  • Temperament: relaxed and gentle.
  • Cat Associations: GCCF, FiFe, CFA, TICA, AACE, ACFA, ACF, CCA (as expected completely accepted by all cat registries.
  • Colours: All colours and all divisions of the traditional category (ref: legacy of the cat - taken from breed standards.
  • Breed Standard: See CFA breed standard.

British Shorthair Temperament

Undemanding and gentle. They are famous for their silent voice. The mouth opens and nothing comes out! Or the sound is very gentle and quiet. Apparently they don't like being handled that much. They have been described as "unflappable".

British Shorthair Health

There is a health screening test for this cat breed for hip dysplasia, indicating that there is a possibility of inheriting a predisposition to this condition. This cat has a low incidence of inherited diseases on my assessment and this page mentions two. The coat is dense. It is suggested that the home should not be too warm.

British Shorthair Photos and Pics

Daisy British Shorthair cat
Classic chubby cheeky face by nick@
You can see from Helmi's wonderful photos below that this is a sturdy, semi-cobby, medium to large cat. The face has been developed to look chubby and cheeky! It is slightly flattened but far short of the excessively bred flat faced Persian.

This cat is strong, muscular and heavy. The most outstanding feature is probably the coat  - dense and springy, it is a pleasure to put your fingers through it.

British Shorthair catAll the photos and text on this page are protected by copyright © except where indicated. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

British Shorthair cat
"Nox" lives with the Flicks. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick
British Shorthair cat
Blue and fawn (?) coloured British Shorthair cats
Photo: copyright Helmi Flick

Nox (above) is all black. He has the most gorgeously dense and even coat. It is a pleasure to stroke. He is a nice balanced and pleasant cat. What more do you require in a domestic cat?

The British Blue is the original show cat colour. The two cats/kittens below on the outside are British Blues as is the cat on the left in the photo above.

This page has a bit about the genetics behind the coat colours. And this page discusses the differences between the Brit, American and European SHs.

British Shorthair Bicolor

British Shorthair cat
The 2 in the middle are solid blue and white bicolor Britis Shorthairs
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

British Shorthair Kittens For Sale

Always visit the breeder. You can check out facilities and ask direct face to face questions. Watch out for overbreeding. My sister bought two British Shorthairs. She eventually gave them back to the breeder (or someone else) as they were stupid - yes, inbred to the point where the cat was affected mentally. I have seen before in Burmese. Not sure how prevalent it is but in any case you want the cat to choose you and you can only do that in the presence of the cat before purchase. Helmi Flick highly recommends visiting the breeder.

The cat clubs, Yahoo Groups and major cat associations are good sources of cat breeder listings. A Google search will list the best established cat breeder high up in the search results.

In the USA, TICA list seven breeders, all in the USA except for one Canadian. The CFA list twelve. They are all in the USA as the CFA is a US cat association. You can do your own breeder search on their website by going to this page.

In the UK the British Shorthair Cat Club has a very long list of breeders. You won't need to look any further.

This page: Yahoo Groups for British Shorthair has quite a nice list of groups. I recommend these groups as it is a good networking resource for info about a cat breed and they are easy to join and get started.

British Shorthair Rescue

Rescue is best of course but purebred cats don't usually need rescuing. Nico needed rescuing though.

The UK club for this cat breed have a rescue section. There is a page on PoC about purebred cat rescue too. And there is a website dedicated to purebred cat rescue. Finally Yahoo groups are a good source for cats that need a home. I would therefore refer you to the link above.

British Shorthair Link Exchange

If you would like to exchange links with me please leave a comment. You can get my code from this page.

British Shorthair Gifts do a lot of gifts based on this breed. Here is a selection:

Allevatori British Shorthair

The word "allevatori" is Italian for farmers according to Google translation. In this instance I am guessing that it means breeders. Italians are also fond of this cat breed.

Le British Shorthair & Chats British Shorthair

This heading is a reference to the search phrases people make. In this case it must be French people who are demonstrating an interest in this long established cat breed.  I hope this page helps.  The all French Chartreux is similar to the British SH blue with a similarly long history. French people wanting to buy a Bristish Shorthair are probably better off jumping on the Eurostar (train direct from France to England) to visit English cat breeders (see links above).

Michael Avatar

Sunday 22 May 2011

Cat Tiffany Lamp

The Cat's Meow Louis Comfort Tiffany-Style Vinyl Lamp by The Bradford Exchange
Cat Tiffany lamp

This lamp is called "The Cat's Meow". It lights up. It is claimed to be the first ever Tiffany style lamp design of its type. Click on the pic to buy it...!

Athough it is robust and looks as if it is made of stained glass it is not. It is "hand assembled in high quality translucent vinyl". It is extremely colourful. I would expect it to be durable too.

It looks particularly nice when lit up and the room is illuminated by subdued lighting. It cost $59.95 on This is 4 cents cheaper than from Bradford Exchange who are sell it "exclusively". Not sure if that is exclusive!

Next we have a similar looking cat Tiffany lamp:

Dale Tiffany TA100859 Tiger Cat Accent Lamp, Art Glass Shade
Dale Tiffany
Tiger Cat Accent Lamp, Art Glass Shade

A bit more expensive at $71.99 (prices as at date of post). This is because it is made of glass. The real thing you could say although I prefer the other design. Click on the image to go to Amazon. USA products only.

Tiffany cat lamp

A quick point to make. A Tiffany cat lamp is not a cat Tiffany lamp. The former is a Tiffany cat in the form of a lamp while the latter is a lamp that is called a Tiffany lamp, which is in the form of a domestic cat.

Michael Avatar

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Friday 13 May 2011

A great use for hair balls in cats

Man made cat hair balls look great when used in imaginative, designer jewellery. We know that hair balls in cats can cause the cat to throw up. This is all pretty normal stuff. Sometimes they can become compacted and cause an intestinal blockage leading to vomiting and worse - serious stuff.

This page, though, is about a completely different aspect of cat hair balls. I am reminded how useful hair balls can be. They can be made up into cat toys as well.

Hair Ball Jewellery - see base of page
for copyright issues
Cat hair combed out is very fine as it is usually the undercoat, the downy fine hair that is brushed out with some binding awn hairs.

This fine, pleasant to touch cat hair rolls up very easily in the hand, between two hands or the fingers of one hand into a shape of your choosing.

Cat hair is something that people who dislike cats, hate. But it is a really pleasant material that is easy to work with. It binds together very nicely.

In this instance small man made hair balls in muted greys and fawns accompany precious metal such as silver to form very interesting jewellery including necklaces. Perhaps the idea came from a well known video on home made cat toys using cat hair.

The creator is designer and silversmith Heidi Abrahamson. It is popular jewellery, mark my words. In the USA, there are, after all, 80 million domestic cats in homes with about 1.5 cats per home (a guess), which makes over 50 million potential and ready made customers!

There is one little caveat. Cat hair might have the cat allergen Fel D1 on it as this protein comes from the cat's saliva and is deposited on the fur when the cat grooms.

If you are allergic to cats the jewellery might affect you. However, I wonder if Heidi washes the cat hair before forming it into neat balls. I would have thought that she might but I have a feeling that she does not as washing it would change its properties even after drying, I suspect.

One other thing. Cat hair balled up in the hand is quite rigid and firm but it has a certain fragility about it too. It can be easily forced into a different shape and damaged. Does Heidi do something to the cat hair balls to protect against this?

Maybe she will tell us by leaving a comment. Thanks Heidi for an imaginative use of cat hair. The idea will help cats too. Some people think cats are useless - wrong. This is one good example.

Michael Avatar

From to Home Page

Image of Heidi's jewellery - this is reproduced here under fair use as it is small, does not have a negative impact on her business, quite the contrary, it promotes her business.

Friday 25 March 2011

DVD For Cats

Chilled out - Photo by abbesses

DVD for cats means music for cats. One fine cat lady who knows a lot about cats says she is very happy with her Amazon purchased cat music. Her name is Elisa Black-Taylor and she refers to cat music in an article that discusses whether cats can tell the time. She doesn't mean reading a clock! Just whether cats get a feel for the time based on sensory markers, routines and the light (dawn, dusk etc.) - Can Cats Tell Time? There is no doubt that cats can tell the time.

This is important when cats are left alone at home for hours on end. What happens? If we live alone with our cats we don't know how they react when we are out. We might be out all day at work. Or we might visit a relative overnight. We provide good food, plenty of fresh water and a nice clean litter box so all is well. But is it?

What about the cat's expectations and emotions. Is she stressed? It is almost impossible to tell except that she will probably be very pleased to see us on our return. That in itself tells us that she might have been stressed. Stress can cause behavioral problems (inappropriate elimination for example) and health problems (cystitis for example).

The idea is that playing a DVD for cats may de-stress our cat. Here are some products to try out:

Michael Avatar

From DVD For Cats to Home Page

Thursday 17 March 2011

Scuba Cat Bird Bath

Where do you buy a scuba cat bird bath? I have been trying for the past 30 minutes online to find a retailer that sells this bird bath without success. the way, this bird bath looks like this (I think!):

Scuba cat bird bath

Well, it's an interesting looking object but I can't find one for sale on the internet like this one. There are some variants of this one for sale but not many. I think you'll discover them hard to find for sale. I am not sure where the idea came from to have a cat scuba diving bird bath because I am sure that bird lovers won't like it. Well some of them won't like it because they don't like cats. This works against selling the product.

I guess the bird bath has a neat look because we have a cat pretending to dive into the bird bath and lurk underwater in waiting to catch a bird! Plenty of poetic license but a nice idea.

Michael Avatar

From Scuba Cat Bird Bath to Home Page

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Cat Cookie Jar

I think of two things when I read "cat cookie jar". A jar that is in the shape and image of a cat and a cat getting into a cookie jar! Well if it is not a cookie jar it is something as small as a cookie jar (for the cat) and it makes a good video.

Some cats (very, very few) like to shimmy and wriggle, acrobatically into a very small jar. Perhaps they find it comforting. Perhaps they are getting back into mother's womb! It certainly looks like it and I don't blame them. It can be pretty hostile out there.

Well first up is the classic cat cookie jar....

And next we have that little cat inside a jar. I am told the cat is a Himalayan (a purebred pointed Persian cat) that lives in Russia but can't confirm that:
Cat in a jar! Still taken from a video.
Here is the well known video. I don't actually like this but that is just me: Michael Avatar From Cat Cookie Jar to Home Page

Monday 7 March 2011

Cat In The Hat Book

Buy the CAT IN THE HAT book here. This is a book written for primary school children in the age range of six to seven that was created in response to a May 25, 1954 Life magazine article that was critical of school books for primary school children on reading in the United States.

William Ellsworth Spaulding (director of Houthton Mifflin's education division) invited Theodor Geisel, whose pseudonym was Dr. Seuss, to write a more effective and interesting book. The result was the Cat in the Hat book.

The commission to write the book came with what might be considered strict conditions, namely that it should be written using 225 words that children of this age range should know. Dr. Seuss actually wrote the book using 223 words that where on the list of 348 words that could be used. Dr. Seuss added 13 words that were not on the list of 348! He stuck pretty closely to the specification therefore. The limitations on vocabulary made it more difficult to write. It took nine months.

The first Cat in the Hat book appeared in 1957. The now famous cat was tall with you guessed it, a hat:

See base of post for copyright issues

I have not read the book but the story line or plot is said to be "Kafkaesque" meaning involved, complicated. Wikipedia describe it as chaotic and exuberant. The lives of a brother and sister left alone in their home on a rainy day (is that correct in a modern world?!) are brightened up by an anthropomorphic cat who turns the house into a "chaotic playground". The childrens' play is unrestricted. The story is interesting and above all it teaches reading.

The Cat in the Hat book was intially published by Random House but due to its success an independent publishing company was formed. It was called Beginner Books and Theodor Geisel was made the  president and editor.

A series of six books followed.


The picture of the cover of the book is reproduced under fair use adopting the arguments expounded by the Wikipedia authors in their article on the same subject.

Michael Avatar

From Cat in the Hat book to Home Page

Sunday 6 March 2011

Cat Address Book

You like cats and need an address book? Get a cat address book. This is an address book with cats on it rather than the addresses of local cats!

The best sources are and but there are others. A simple search of Amazon will bring up lots of options.

Some other sources are listed below - links can become broken over time please note:
This page was written in 2011! I think all the links are broken by now. But the point is that you can find some great cat address books on Amazon (my recommendation).

Next up is a book that I like the look of - nice stylized picture of cats on the cover: Mediterranean Cats Slim Address Book - UK market and priced at £9.99 at the time of this post.

Next is a very colourful address book. I like this one too but it is made for females, I reckon! North American market and cost $8.99: Colourful address book for cat lovers.

Next is an address book featuring Edward Gorey's cat illustration - really nice - UK - £5.00 - Link.

Last but not least is a second hand cat address book! USA market and priced at $3.95 - Link

Michael Avatar

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Lucky Chinese Cat

The lucky Chinese cat or Chinese Lucky cat is, I think it is fair to say, a misdescription of the The Maneki Neko (meaning "Beckoning Cat") and which is also known as the Welcoming Cat, Lucky Cat, Money cat, or Fortune Cat.

Chinese Lucky Cat? No...the Japanese Beckoning Cat. Photo by Naked Eyes (Flickr)

This is a Japanese model of a cat that essentially brings good luck. It is used primarily to create good luck for business and is therefore seen outside shops etc. (see photo above of the Beckoning Cat).  It is a representation of the Japanese Bobtail cat. A purebred cat that you could say is the national cat of Japan.

I guess people get confused between Japan and China. They are very different countries and there is some friction between these countries.

As it happens I have a nice article on Maneki Neko Cats and an article on the Japanese Bobtail cat.

I won't, therefore, repeat the information here.

Michael Avatar

From Lucky Chinese Cat to Home Page

Monday 21 February 2011

Cat Flushing Toilet

People search for a cat flushing toilet. They mean a toilet that is made for a cat rather than a cat trained to use a human toilet. That is what I have assessed that it means and on that basis. Here is one!

Uhmmm... it flushes cat litter and self cleans - a big ask but does it do it? It gets 3.5 stars from 163 customer reviews. This is a large number of reviews but an average score. This means that a good number of people have bought it or want to buy one (unsurprisingly) but that the machine does not work that well.

This does not surprise me. Personally, I wouldn't buy one because this sort of convenience machinery that is designed to carry out quite a complex task and made of plastic or a material that at least looks like it, will never be as reliable and as convenient as it is made out to be. That assessment is born out of general experience.

The CatGenie 120 is claimed to be the world's only self-flushing, self-washing cat box. It sounds awfully attractive.

Am I being too critical though? The manufacturer has improved the product significantly over the earlier 60 model. And a decent number of customers rate it five stars.

I get the impression that it is clever and works but it is not as reliable and durable as it might be and there might be some cat training involved plus a change to our methods. This up front change presents a resistance to using it.

It is the best on the market currently so if you positively hate doing cat litter and/or are away and want it done while you are away and can accept some downside this might be the product for you.

Michael Avatar

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Thursday 17 February 2011

Cat Toilet Brush Holder

Well, there is nothing provocative about this post! I had never given a thought to the cat toilet brush holder. In fact, I wasn't quite sure what it was. It must be a toilet brush holder but is the holder meant to be in the shape of a cat or is their meant to be a picture of a cat on the holder or either or both..phew.

To play safe I'm presenting a range (no, not quite) of cat toilet brush holders. I have to say that I like them. As I am moving soon (and need one), I'll definitely consider a toilet brush holder with a cat on it.

I think the one on the top left here is the best. It is desribed on Amazon as "Detailed resin toilet brush holder (with brush) featuring gaggle of relaxed cats.." Nice. And you can combine and coordinate this with other bathroom items. Here are the two usually chosen:

Here is a selection. In fact the entire range on Amazon for the north American market at the date of the post - things change:

Uhmmmm....there are no toilet brush holders featuring the humble domestic cat, purebred or not on UK Amazon..damn. I won't be able to get one.

Michael Avatar

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