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VIDEOS: Keep calm and celebrate International Cat Day

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Cat owners around the world will be celebrating everything great about their feline friends for a full 24 hours on August 8 for International Cat Day.

From their cute purrs and soft fur, to their funny playful ways, cats are one of our oldest and most beloved pets.

To help pet owners thank their furry friends for this lifelong companionship, Lintbells, manufactures of premium natural pet supplement YuCALM Cat, have put together some tips on how to ensure our cats are living a calm, happy and healthy life.

Encountering other cats, new and unfamiliar situations and even the busier summer holiday season can all lead to a few triggers that can stress your feline friend. But worry not, as there are signs that you can look out for so you can learn to help your cat feel more relaxed and content.

Lintbells has made this easy for owners by encouraging them to take a “P.E.E.P” at their pets:

POSTURE - are they hunched, tense or cowering?

EYES – are they wide, strained or pupils dilated?

EARS – are they flattened or pinned back?

POSITION - are they turning away, hiding or fleeing/freezing?

If you spot any of these signs in your cat, there is a high chance they are feeling stressed and it could be down to several reasons.

Encountering other cats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tJYa6ij4d4
One of the biggest triggers of stress can be encountering fellow felines, either in multi cat households or where territories are shared/crossed.

Disagreements over territory can be a major cause of stress to cats and can end in serious injury. Problems arise if a more assertive cat extends their territory into yours - this can cause stress, fights or even lead to your cat becoming too scared to go outside. Stress can also affect indoor cats, particularly multi cat households, when they are forced to share resources. For homes with more than one feline, ensure there are plenty of feeding areas, water bowls, litter trays, beds, toys, scratching posts, high places and private places to hide so they don’t have to share (one per cat plus one is advised).

There are several ways to reduce the number of unwanted felines around your home, use deterrents such as high fences where possible or invest in a chip/collar activated cat flap to avoid any unwanted visitors. Cleaning up any urine outside where possible could prevent your cat becoming more agitated or frightened (don’t use ammonia based products as this can make it worse- try enzymatic or bio cleaners). It could also help to temporarily limit the view from the window with a curtain or drape until the outsiders no longer visit.

New situations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHIY2gaCOM4
There are several new and different situations that can cause your cat to feel stressed or anxious. This can range from moving house, an extra busy household during a party for instance, or the addition of a new pet or a new born baby. Something which owners may not consider stressful for their cats is starting a new job, as this may result in a change in routine. All these things should be handled with care to ensure your feline friend remains happy and healthy. Ease them into the changes by introducing them slowly and make sure they have lots of familiar scents and sights around them such as toys, beds, litter boxes etc.

Going to the vets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAwv6IZGliA
Just as a visit to the doctors can put us on edge, veterinary visits can cause anxiety in our beloved pets. However, it is vitally important that cats are taken to the vets regularly, so if you spot any signs they are feeling nervous there are a few ways to help ease them into this situation so they can get the care they need. Ensure they have a familiar blanket and cushion in their carrier to make them feel at home. It may also be helpful to leave the carrier/crate out in-between vet visits, so your cat becomes used it. Keeping it in a quiet place so they can become comfortable inside is also advised. It’s also important to try to avoid strangers approaching the front of the carrier as this can be very intimidating, and particularly avoid people putting their fingers through the front.

Helping your anxious cat can require patience and persistence and won’t happen overnight. Instead of reassuring your cat if they are nervous, try to use positive rewards for calm behaviour such as interactive play to help bring them out of their shell (fishing pole type toys are great for this). Generally keeping a quiet and relaxed atmosphere around the home will also help, as cats are able to sense tension – finding the balance between encouraging your cat without smothering or making them the focus of the household will be key in developing their confidence, giving them enough space to learn comfortably and in their own time.

To help facilitate these positive changes, it is also useful to introduce a natural calming supplement such as YuCALM Cat in to their diet. This complete formula aims to support a calm and content cat and is suitable for both short and long term. The combination of scientifically proven ingredients can help your feline friend cope with stress.

For more information about Lintbells please visit www.lintbells.co.uk or to speak to a member of the vet team please call 01462 416866.