47 Different Cat Breeds

Some people think that cats are just cats, and that they are all the same. Those same people might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of different cat breeds, and each of them has its own specific traits, both in appearance and personality. Today we are going to take a look at 47 of our favorite cat breeds, and tell you a little bit about each one.

1. Abyssinian

This is a highly energetic cat that has the appearance of an Egyptian cat. It is not necessarily a lap cat, as it is very active, and it loves to climb to the highest points possible. This is a cat that is always on alert.

2. American Bobtail

The American Bobtail may look like a wild cat, but it is actually a very friendly and playful breed. These cats love attention from their humans, and will not hesitate to let you know when they want to play.

3. American Curl

Here is a cat that has absolutely adorable, curly ears. This is a breed that is known to be very affectionate, and they thrive on attention. They love their people, and they are also good with other animals.

4. American Wirehair

This cat has a curly coat that is low-maintenance. They are calm and friendly, and love to play without being too hyperactive. This is a cat that wants attention, but isn’t going to be demanding about it.

5. Balinese or Javanese

These cats are named for dancers, because they are so lithe and graceful. They are also extremely affectionate, and will follow you from room to room. They also love to talk, a lot, and are very devoted.

6. Bengal

If you want an exotic looking cat, the Bengal is perfect. They have the look of a wild, jungle cat, but they are extremely loving. They do have a lot of energy, and are highly intelligent so they are easily trained.

7. Birman

Here is a beauty that was once worshipped in temples in Burma. Not only is it beautiful, the Birman is also one of the sweetest and gentlest breeds you will ever have the pleasure of owning (or them owning you).

8. Bombay

Who says black cats are bad luck? The Bombay is black and beautiful, and incredibly affectionate. They love everyone, including children, and will follow their people around to get the attention they desire.

9. British Shorthair

This adorable, round-faced cat kind of looks like a small teddy bear, and is Britain’s most popular feline. This is a cat with a sweet and gentle disposition, and gets along well with people and other animals.

10. Burmese

A mix of the Burmese and the Chinchilla Persian, this cat has a playful and sociable temperament, and is quiet and easy going at the same time. This is a cat that is playful and laid back all at once.

12. Chartreux

This is a well-mannered cat that is sweet and quiet, and loves to be affectionate. It is also known to be an excellent mouser. It loves to relax, but it also loves some good play sessions with its people.

13. Chausie

This is a cat that is fast and fearless, and will always keep you on your toes. This is also a very intelligent cat, and it will have no problem finding the most out of the way spots to hide and play.

14. Colorpoint Shorthair

Here is a cat that is very affectionate, and very sensitive. It also loves to talk, and let you know exactly how it is feeling as it follows you around the house, waiting to be pampered and talked to.

15. Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is slim and graceful, and has a gorgeous curly coat. It loves to play, and has an abundance of energy. This is also a very intelligent cat that can be trained to do a few tricks, including opening doors.

16. Cymric

This is basically a long-haired Manx. It generally has no tail, and a stocky body. This is a cat that is playful and loves affection, but can also be quite independent at the same time. It is also very territorial.

17. Devon Rex

The short wavy coat, big ears, and big eyes make this cat very recognizable. This is a cat with tons of energy, and it is very dexterous. It can jump and climb like nobody’s business, and it loves people.

18. Donskoy

This is a hairless cat that loves people, whether it knows them or not, but is particularly affectionate with what it considers to be its people. It is very curious, and very affectionate, and wants to be loved.

19. Egyptian Mau

Here is a cat that can adapt to just about any situation, and is happy as an indoor or outdoor cat. It is an excellent hunter, and will likely bring you back presents after each hunting trip.

20. Exotic Shorthair

This cat has the facial features of a Persian, but not the long hair so it isn’t nearly as high-maintenance. It is easy going and affectionate, while being playful and active at the same time.

21. Havana Brown

Here is a cat that absolutely thrives on love and affection, and wants as much attention as you can possibly give. He loves to watch everything you do, and will constantly try to get your attention for cuddles.

22. Highlander

This is a very large cat with wild cat roots, but is a comical house pet with a great personality. This can be a bit of a goofball, and it loves to show off. This is a cat that loves people, even children.

23. Himalayan

This is the best of both worlds, a combination of the Siamese and the Persian. It is an absolutely gorgeous cat, with the gentleness of the Persian and the playfulness of Siamese cat, and it is very affectionate.

24. Japanese Bobtail

Here is a highly confident cat that gets along well with other people and animals, and it loves to talk. Because it is so confident, it can easily be left to its own devices for a few hours without getting lonely.

25. Khao Manee

This beautiful cat is pure white, with odd colored eyes, one gold and one blue. This is a rare breed, and one of the most social and devoted cats you will ever meet, and it loves to get lots of attention.

26. Kinkalow

This small cat is a little ball of energy, and loves lots of play time with its humans. It love to sleep on its back, and oddly enough, enjoys being on a trampoline. It has short, stubby legs, and curled ears.

27. Korat

This is a cat that wants to be the center of attention, at all times. It is highly intelligent, and has a huge vocal range that it is not afraid to use at any time to get the attention it expects and demands.

28. Kurilian Bobtail

This bobtailed cat has the look of a wild cat, and loves a rough and tumble lifestyle. It even likes to go swimming. It is gentle and loving, and loves most people. It even gets along well with other pets.

29. Lambkin Dwarf

Here is a tiny, short cat that is so adorable, with Munchkin and Selkirk Rex roots that give it a sweet and loving disposition. This is the ideal blend of both breeds, and it is one of the cutest cats you will ever see.

30. LaPerm

The name suits this cat with curly fur, and it is as cuddly as it is cute. This is actually an extremely affectionate cat that will tune into your emotions and comfort you when you need it.

31. Maine Coon Cat

This is one of the larger housecat breeds, and one of the oldest breeds originating in the US. This is a rugged, strong cat that has water-repellant fur. It is highly affectionate, and loves lots of cuddles.

32. Manx

Here is another cat with no tail, and that isn’t its only strange characteristic. This is a cat that is very protective of its home, and its people. It is also the most dog-like of all the cats, and loves to play fetch.

33. Minskin

This is a miniature cat that has extremely short legs, and the body is mostly hairless. This is a very unique little cat that is small in size, but huge in personality. It loves affection, and is highly intelligent.

34. Munchkin

This is a tiny cat with a huge heart, and is social with just about everyone. It even loves to be picked up, when not being cuddled, is a little ball of energy that loves to be active and play a lot.

35. Nebelung

Here is a cat that acts as distinguished as it looks. It is affectionate, but reserves its love for a very select group of people, usually just its owners. This is a quiet and low-maintenance cat that is very sensitive.

36. Norwegian Forest Cat

This is a strong and muscular cat that has one of the sweetest dispositions. It is very affectionate and even nurturing, and loves everyone it meets, even kids. It also has a lot of energy, and love to play.

37. Ocicat

This cat looks wild and exotic, but it is actually one of the sweetest breeds. This cat has no wild DNA, and is overly friendly at most times. You can even train it to go for walks on a leash.

38. Ojos Azules

This blue-eyed beauty can be is probably one of the rarest cat breeds you will find. It does love attention, and it is absolutely gorgeous. If you can find one of these hard to get cats, it is definitely meant to be.

39. Oriental

Here is a cat that will do just about anything to get the attention it craves. It loves belly rubs, and loves to talk until you finally talk back. If you want a companion, this is definitely the cat for you.

40. Persian

This is the most popular cat breed, for its beauty, and for its awesome personality. This is a relaxed and good natured cat, but it does require a lot of maintenance because of its long, lustrous coat.

41. Peterbald

This is another hairless cat that is highly intelligent, and very devoted to its people. It loves lots of affection, and wants plenty of cuddles and play time. This is another cat that loves to talk.

42. Pixie Bob

Here is a smart cat that can even learn to understand a few human words, and it can be leash trained to go for walks. This is another cat breed that has a personality similar to that of a dog.

43. Ragdoll

This big fluffy kitty can be carried around like a ragdoll, hence the name. It is laid back and mellow, and loves attention from just about everyone. It will follow you from room to room just to be near you.

44. Russian Blue

Here is a quiet and gentle cat that is an introvert and shy near strangers. It also doesn’t like large crowds or a lot of noise. But, it does love the humans it lives with, and is very affectionate.

45. Savannah Cat

Here is a cat that has it all: beauty, intelligence, and grace. This is an athletic cat that has plenty of energy, and it can be trained to walk on a leash. It can jump as high as eight feet, straight up.

46. Scottish Fold

You can’t help but fall in love with those big eyes and folded ears. This is an adorable little cat that is sweet and gentle, and loves everyone. It will be playful for most of its life, and loves to pose for photos.

47. Selkirk Rex

This is a cat with a thick, plush coat that is curly and soft. It is playful and affectionate, but is also very calm and mellow. It loves people, and gets along well with other pets.

Just for fun, here's a short video of the cat breeds that made it to the top 10 list:

This list is just a subjective list from some group of people and of course, the choices of the top and best breeds would still be up to you.

Albino Cats: The Ultimate Guide to their history, types, characteristics, temperament, and care

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that albino cats and white cats are the same thing. Yes, albino cats are white, but there are thousands of white cats that are not albino. There are even websites that have made claims about albino and white cats that are completely untrue, which is just going to add to the confusion on the subject. So, today we are going to take a look at the characteristics of both white and albino cats, and you will be able to understand the differences between the two. We will also take a look at some of the myths surrounding both types of cats, and dispel most of them. Let’s get started.

What is an Albino Cat?

Let’s start at the start. Albinism comes from the Latin word, Albus, which basically means white. When any creature is an albino, it means that they have a genetic condition that causes them to have absolutely no pigmentation or color. For a cat to be truly albino, both parents must carry the genetic marker that makes a cat an albino. You may see a white coat, but there are a lot of subtle characteristics that make it a lot different from a regular white coat. Even the eyes and skin are going to be different with an albino cat. But, other than these differences, an albino cat is just like any other cat, and there are no major health issues.

One of the easiest ways to tell if a cat is albino or just a white cat is to look at its eyes. Average white cats can have a variety of eye colors, from green to gold to blue to one blue and one gold or green (known as heterochroma, or odd-eye). Albino cats do not have the same color spectrum. In fact, theirs is very limited, because there is no pigmentation. In most cases, an albino cat will have very pale blue eyes, or they may even be pink to pinkish-blue.

Now, this might confuse you a bit. In this case, pink is not actually a color. Instead, it is light that is reflecting the blood vessels in the eyes. This is also why an albino cat has no pigmentation in their skin, which usually appears to be one of many shades of very pale pink to light pink. Again, this is the light reflecting the blood flow beneath the skin.

In order for the body to produce melanin, the TYR or tyrosinase gene must be present. When a kitten or other animal is born without this gene, their body can’t produce melanin. A kitten that is born with a damaged or missing TYR gene is considered to be albino. Again, this can only happen if both parents carry the gene that is defective, and they will then pass it on.

Not only does melanin play a role in the color of the fur and eyes, it also helps to protect animals from the harsh rays of the sun. Melanin blocks out the harmful UV rays, while allowing the good rays to provide vitamin D. Melanin also plays an important role in the development of the eyes, particularly the optic nerves, muscles, and the irises. When there is a melanin deficiency, an animal may have difficulty with depth perception, focusing and tracking.

If you have or are considering getting an albino cat, it is best to make sure that it remains an indoor cat. Not only is it not likely to have great hunting skills due to the poor depth perception, tracking and focusing, it can also have vision issues because of the sun, as well as skin damage. Albino cats tend to be prone to skin cancer.

It is not just cats that can be albino. Most species have albinism at some points. For instance, Snow Bengals and some Oriental cat breeds are considered to be albinos. These animals are born white, and the color points develop as they get older. Other animals that can be albino include birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks, and all mammals, humans included.

Whiteness in Varying Degrees

A true albino cat is a rather rare thing. Most commonly we tend to see cats that are partially albino. In fact, this is actually quite common. For instance, many of the Oriental cats, including Siamese and Burmese, get their point markings from a variation of albinism. Cats that have the color-pointed coats have colors that are more concentrated in some areas than others. This actually depends on body heat. You will see more pigmentation in the cooler areas of the body, and less on the warmer areas. So, the warm areas have lighter colorations, and the cool areas are darker n color.

Did you know that color-pointed cats are born white? This is particularly true of cats that have been developed from the Siamese lines, including Thai cats. The color patterns will develop over time as the cats age and develop.

So, what are the various degrees of albinism in cats? Let’s take a look at the dominant and recessive degrees, as well as white spotting.

First of all, you always need to remember that cats with colored eyes are not albino, and that albino cats have very pale blue to pinkish colored eyes. The reason why a white cat is white is because they have a gene that covers the other color genes. The reason why an albino cat is an albino is because they have a mutation that creates an absence of color.

So, if you hear anyone say that they have a blue or an orange eyed cat and they are calling it an albino, you can be sure that they either have no idea what they are talking about, or that they are trying to make others believe that the cat is something it is not. What they really have is a dominant white cat, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have dominant personalities. It is all about the color.

  • Dominant White – Dominant white, also referred to as epistatic white, happens on a different gene than the black and red-based colors. Dominant white is the white that is associated with cats that are deaf, and it masks any other colors. A purebred dominant white cat can have odd, orange, or blue colored eyes, and there is a great chance that a dominant white cat with these eye colors will indeed be deaf. If the cat has one blue eye, it could be deaf on the same side as the blue eye. Deafness is less pronounced in cats with orange eyes. There are also dominant white kittens that are born with a color smudge on their heads, but this disappears as they get older. These kittens tend to not experience any deafness, and are not albinos. They can actually be any color, but white is the dominant color.
  • White Spotting – The gene that causes white spotting can also make a cat seem like a self-white cat. The gene is dominant, but how it is appears can vary. For instance, a cat may be completely white, have just a little bit of white, or have various amounts of white. In the case of white spotting, there is no link to deafness. But, white spotting can be the reason why some cats are totally white, but not albino. There are grades of spotting, from zero to 10, with zero means no white spotting and 10 means almost totally white. A grade 10 white spotted cat looks like a white cat, and there is rarely any deafness. You may also notice small color spots on cats that otherwise look to be completely white, because of the white spotting gene.
  • Recessive White – Now we get into the recessive white gene, which is what causes albinism. This cat has light blue or pink eyes, and the gene is recessive to both white cats and Siamese cats. Seal Point Siamese cats that have the recessive white gene are often a lot lighter in color than those that do not carry the gene. These cats also are light sensitive, and it is best to make sure that they are not exposed to bright sunlight, both for their vision and the fact that their skin can burn easily. Other than this, generally albino cats do not tend to have any health issues that any other cat might have.

Health Problems Associated with Albino Cats

When it comes to the health of your pet, it is important to know if there are any issues that could arise as a result of the cat being an albino.

Yes, there are some health problems that are common to albino pets, which is why it is not always recommended that people get animals with albinism, even though they are highly sought after by those who are looking for purebred pets.

That's why it is important to sought health and therapy guides about cat before planning on getting one. 

Here are the most common health problems associated with albino cats.

Light Sensitivity

We touched a bit on the light sensitivity of albino cats in the last section. Let’s go a bit deeper into this subject. Because there is a lack of pigmentation in a cat that is truly an albino, it has no ability to produce melanin. While we think of melanin as something that plays a role in skin tone, it also does many other things in the body, including giving color to the hair and eyes. It can also play a role in depth perception, and it is important in helping the body fight diseases and infections.

Because melanin gives color to the eyes, the lack of melanin means that the eyes are going to be pale, and be very sensitive to light. Being in direct sunlight can be damaging to their vision. It is best that an albino cat be an indoor cat for this reason, and you should also close the blinds during those times of the day when the sun is shining directly inside.

Indirect sunlight is okay, but an albino cat should never be in direct sunlight for more than a couple of minutes at the most. This particularly important if the cat has pink or red eyes, as it can cause blindness. If you have an albino cat and you think it has vision problems, it is important to contact your vet right away so you can get the best advice on how to treat the problem, if possible.

Skin Sensitivity

We also touched on the fact that an albino cat has extremely sensitive skin. Again, it is imperative that an albino cat not be in direct sunlight for any more than a few minutes. Keep them away from direct sunlight between noon and five pm, as this is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. It is also a good idea to get a non-toxic cream from your vet to put on the cat’s nose. Albino cats can sunburn very easily, and they have a higher chance of developing skin cancer than cats that do not carry the recessive white gene.

If you have an albino cat and it goes outdoors, it is a good idea to use sunscreen. Your vet can recommend the best type. Generally, it is best to use one that is meant for babies and children, and that has no colors or scents. Even if it is an indoor cat, it is still a good idea to use a bit of sunscreen on an albino pet

Deafness

While not all white cats are deaf, as is the common misconception, cats with albinism do tend to often be partially or even completely deaf. This is due to the fact that the autosomal gene W leads to a malformation of the inner ear. This is something that is common most albino animals, including humans. In fact, it was once believed that animals and people with albinism had mental deficiencies, which is obviously not the case at all. But, because an animal that is deaf cannot hear, they can’t understand. We now know that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the animal’s intelligence.

You can usually tell if a kitten is deaf, because they do not respond when you call to them. If you have an albino cat that is deaf, you will need to come up with other methods of communication with your cat. You will also need to learn how to care for a deaf cat, because there are some differences between this and caring for a hearing pet. It is a good idea to consult with your vet to find out the best ways to communicate, train, and care for an albino cat.

Deafness in albino cats isn’t always total. For instance, if the cat is odd eyed, it may be deaf on the side that has the blue eye, while the side with the regular colored eye could have perfect hearing. There are claims that the majority of all white cats, including albino cats, are at least partially deaf, but this is not exactly accurate. This is because there are different genes that cause the different types of whiteness, and not all of these genes can lead to deafness.

It really all comes down to the genes that have been passed onto the kitten by its parents. Let’s break this down by taking a look at the following scientific figures that show the percentages of white cats, and the percentage of deafness in white cats (in either one or both ears).

  • Only 5 percent of the entire cat population is white, with congenital deafness being very rare in cats that are not white.
  • The 5 percent that is white is pure white, and 15 to 40 percent of all pure white cats have one or both blue eyes.
  • Out of the cats with one or both blue eyes, 60 to 80 percent are deaf, with 20 to 40 percent having regular hearing. 30 to 40 percent of those with one blue eye tend to be deaf, with 60 to 70 percent having regular hearing.
  • Out of the 5 percent of white cats, 60 to 80 percent have eyes that are not blue, such as orange or green. Of the cats with these color eyes, 10 to 20 percent are often deaf, and 80 to 90 percent have regular hearing.
  • Deaf white cats with one or both blue eyes make up 0.25 to 1.5 percent of the total cat population.

Cats with white coats and blue eyes make up 0.75 to 2 percent of the total cat population.

Caring for an Albino Cat

All cats require a specific amount of care, but when you have an albino cat, there are many things that you need to do differently, as they need extra-special care. In fact, this is why many people choose not to adopt an albino cat. Yes, they are beautiful to look at, but they can have many health issues that are not as common in other cats, including blindness, deafness, redness around the eyes due to sensitivity, skin problems, and even skin cancer. It is important to have a good relationship with your vet, and discuss with them the proper care for an albino cat so you can sure that yours lives a long and healthy life.

Albino Animal Myths and Facts

There are a lot of myths surrounding both white and albino cats and other animals. As we already mentioned, the only real similarity is the fact that they both have white coats. Other than that, there are actually several differences. This is just one of the myths you will hear about white and albino cats, along with many actual facts. Let’s take a look at some of the myths and facts surrounding albino cats.

  • All White Cats are Deaf – We have already discussed the fact that this is just not true. Yes, a large percentage of albino cats are deaf or partially deaf, but this is due to the damaged or missing gene, and is not a problem that is common in white cats that are not albino. In fact, albino cats aren’t actually white. They lack color, which is completely different, so they are nothing like a regular white cat. Even Charles Darwin wrote, “Some instances of correlation are quite whimsical; thus cats which are entirely white and have blue eyes are generally deaf.” So, even back in the 19th century, this myth was debunked.
  • Albino Animals are Worshipped – Whether it is a cat or another animal, there are some groups and cultures that revere and worship albino animals. It is often thought that animals with albinism can bring about good luck. In some cultures, albino worship is taken so seriously that it is considered a sin to hunt and kill an albino animal. It is even considered bad luck in some cultures to injure or kill an albino animal, and they hold them in great esteem.
  • Albino Animals have Short Lifespans – An albino house cat is one thing. It will be properly cared for, so it should have as long of a life as any other house cat. But, an albino animal born in the wild has a very short life expectancy. Often, they are killed by their parents because they are different. If they are allowed to live, they don’t have great hunting skills, due to their lack of depth perception and the inability to focus well, and they will likely die of starvation.

Below is a short video to help you understand some facts about albino cats:

They are extremely rare with only 2% chance of occurring which possibly made some people think that Albino cats are just white cats and doesn't exist.

Some already struggle with what cat breed do they have and much more than they'd know about the existence of Albino cats.

Conclusion

As you can see, albino cats are completely different from any other type of cat you will ever own. While it may look like a typical cat, there is nothing typical at all about an albino cat. They have different genetics, and they have health issues that are not nearly as common in other cats. Owning an albino at may be a bit of a challenge in the beginning, but as long as you make sure that it is kept out of direct sunlight, and gets the proper vet care, you should have your pet for many years to come.

Your Complete Guide to Therapy Cats

Although the term 'therapy cats' might sound like the name of some contemporary jazz band, in fact, it describes a group of animals that can have the same positive effects on humans that music can, and so much more besides.

In this article, we are going to define what a therapy cat is, the ways in which therapy cats can help humans, and what it takes for a cat to be regarded as suitable to be a therapy cat.

Definition of a Therapy Cat

close up outdoor photo of the cat on lap stroke with hand and fingers

The definition of a therapy cat is a cat which has been deemed suitable to interact with humans in such a way that it provides medical benefits. These aren't benefits in relation to medical insurance but clinical benefits such as reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and helping other emotional issues.

With its loving nature, any cat could be deemed to be providing therapy from time to time for its owner. Anyone who has owned and felt the love and affection their cat has for them will know how relaxing and therapeutic that can be.

As good as that might be, to be regarded as a therapy cat for the purposes of treating patients, or simply providing therapeutic benefits to other individuals, a cat should in some way have been trained or certified as such. The problem here is there are no nationally recognized nor legally based criteria for this.

There is also some confusion whereby therapy cats are sometimes thought of as the same as service animals. They are not, and as it stands, a cat cannot be a service animal. Only a dog, and in special cases, a horse, can be one.

For clarification, service animals are primarily trained to help those with physical disabilities such as blindness, deafness, or confinement to a wheelchair. The most common example of a service animal is a guide dog.

Below is some facts about emotional support cats or therapy cats:

Know that there are some requirements you should meet and be able to comply having a therapy cat at home.

What Conditions Can Benefit from Therapy Cats

The list of conditions that therapy cats can bring some relief to, isn’t endless but it is comprehensive. They tend to be those which could be described as emotional or behavioral but as these conditions are relieved, there are many physical benefits which can accrue too.

One thing which therapy cat treatment does not seem to have a limit on is the age of the beneficiary, and that applies at either end of the age scale.  They are used to provide therapy for young children all the way through to the elderly and every age group in between.

Here are the most common ailments and conditions that therapy cats are used to alleviate.

Stress/anxiety/high blood pressure

The mere act of holding a calm and relaxed cat in your arms or on your lap can lower stress and anxiety levels to the point where you are as relaxed as the cat is. If the cat purrs while being held, many people say it magnifies the state of calmness.

The longer you can enjoy these soothing moments the more likely it is that your blood pressure could fall too, and the additional benefit of low blood pressure is a healthier cardiovascular system, which includes your heart.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

This is a condition which can be genetic and is very prevalent amongst children, although it can be something which afflicts adults too. ADHD manifests itself in many ways but the most common are hyperactivity, impulsive or rash behavior and inattentiveness.

Therapy cats help with ADHD in several ways.

  • Their affection is unconditional and unlimited
  • The child receives attention without having to demand it
  • The child can talk to it which is therapeutic in itself
  • They can reduce stress and anxiety
  • They distract the child in a pleasant way
  • Autism

    Autism is often misunderstood by those who have no connection with it, and to be fair even scientists are not 100% sure of all its causes. Defined simply, it is a chronic condition affecting social interaction, behaviors and communication. It is normally first diagnosed in young children, there is no cure, and treatment is done in conjunction with therapists and behaviorists.

    The evidence that therapy cats can help in that treatment is extensive. As symptoms and behaviors will vary from child to child a therapy cat can have a positive effect on their emotional development, social skills, communication skills, and their confidence.

    Geriatrics

    Geriatrics is a rather unpleasant sounding word, which covers those ailments which afflict the elderly such as dementia, Alzheimer's and chronic arthritis to name but three. While a therapy cat can't reverse any of these chronic ailments, what they can do is give the elderly person suffering from them, some comfort, companionship and affection.

    These three simple things can often be enough to give the cat's owner other benefits which can help limit their symptoms and improve their general health.

    Which Cat Breeds are Suitable to Become Therapy Cats?

    There are no hard and fast rules about whether a certain breed of cat can or cannot become a therapy cat, but there are some that are more likely to.

    Tabbies

    Although tabby is not a cat breed in its own right, there are a couple of tabby breeds which have proven to be good therapy cats. The American Shorthair is one of them, and they are particularly effective because of their good nature when in the company of children. Another is the Abyssinian tabby, whose intelligence and outgoing nature make them ideal companions.

    Persian cats

    Persian cats are wrongly considered to be very aloof cats, but the opposite is true. They give back as much love and affection as they receive.

    Sphynx cats

    Being hairless, Sphynx cats may not look to be the cuddliest cats around, but what they lack in hair, they more than make up for in loyalty and love.

    Ragdolls

    Ragdolls are as cute and cuddly as their soft furry appearance would have you believe, and they make great therapy cats. They are comfortable around children, have a calm nature, and as companions, they are perfect due to their love of sitting on their owner's lap.

    Mixed breeds

    The last type of cats we need to mention is mixed breeds. These will often not have some of the less desirable traits that some pure breeds can display like aloofness, and independence, which are both unsuitable for therapeutic purposes. Female mixed breeds have proven to make excellent therapy cats, in many treatment areas, ranging from children with emotional problems to elderly patients with dementia.

    Which Characteristics Should a Therapy Cat Have?

    The main thing you need to assess when considering whether your, or any other cat has the potential to be a therapy cat, is its temperament.

    Unlike dogs, who are instinctively pack animals and love being part of a family, cats are more independent. That does not mean they don't love company, and there are countless examples of cats who follow their owners around like a puppy would.

    Ideally, you are looking for a cat who genuinely seems to enjoy the company of humans, and that includes children too. Evidence of this will be them being happy to be handled, carried and petted, even if that is done roughly, which brings us back to children again.

    Other traits you are looking for is calmness around people, even if there are a lot of them in the room, and they also need to be content when there are other animals around them too.

    Therapy cats should be unfazed by loud noises including machinery and medical equipment. It will often be the case that a therapy cat's patient or owner requires medical equipment nearby, so it is imperative that any noise it makes doesn't bother them.

    Therapy Cat Certification

    One of the issues in relation to therapy cats, is that there is no national association or board who has overall authority in relation to them. This means that legally, there isn't really any obligation to register them as a therapy cat or emotional support animal (ESA) as they are officially called.

    However, for those who have a therapy cat, or ESA, there are two laws that you can read about in the next section which having your therapy cat certified can be very advantageous There are countless websites online who have ESA registration schemes, but it always best to go for one of the ones who are best known.

    One of those is 'Certa Pet' who provide a service which includes a certification letter from a mental health professional. Their certification is accepted by just about anyone who matters, and they are recognized in every state.

    Your Legal Rights

    For those people with service animals there are numerous laws which give them rights in relation to where they can take their animals, however, these are not as comprehensive when it comes to ESAs, of which therapy cats are the most common.

    However, there are two very important laws which owners of therapy cats should be aware of. The first is the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and the second is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACCA).

    The reason for this is that the FHA grants owners of therapy cats and other ESAs rights which prevent landlords and homeowner’s association enforcing ‘no pets’ rules against you, even of that apartment block or condominium already has that rule in place.

    With the ACCA, it allows you to travel on airlines with your therapy cat and do so without being charged additional fees.

    To be able to benefit from these laws your therapy cat must be certified as an ‘emotional support animal’ which we discussed in the previous section.

    Conclusion

    We all know cats can be great pets, and that itself can bring cat owners benefits to their health. With therapy cats this goes a stage further with their calm, friendly and affectionate nature giving the person they are there to help, benefits to both their physical and mental health, which in some cases can be life changing.

    Is Your Cat Sad? How to Tell and What to Do to Cheer Up a Depressed Cat

    Pet owners of dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and even fish, have always sought to give them human qualities and personalities. An example of this is when a dog sits up we say they are begging. They are not begging in the way humans would, they have merely been trained to sit up like that to receive a treat.

    It is the same when a cat might purr, and its owner turns around and tells you exactly what the cat has just said in English. As lovable as cats are, and as communicative as they are, they've not gotten around to being able to speak any human language.

    Animals Can Have Emotions Too

    There is a certain irony to pet owners believing their pets can be almost human in some ways, but not in more deep-seated areas such as emotions. Pets have emotions, and often these are negative emotions. We then get the same owners who think their cat can master linguistics but is incapable of being sad or depressed.

    The simple fact is all animals can have these emotions, but as the focus of this article is cats, we shall concentrate on them. We’ll look more closely at why cats can get sad or depressed, how to recognize it, and what you can do to help it feel better.

    The Signs That Your Cat Is Sad

    Cats have two ways of communicating with you. The first is vocally, and the second is their body language. If you think I am about to say ignore the vocal one because a cat can't tell you it is sad, you're wrong.

    If a cat is vocalizing excessively it can be a sign that something is wrong with them, including them feeling depressed. A cat can make all manner of sounds to indicate all is not well such as wailing, low-pitched meows and even continuous purring which they sometimes do to console themselves.

    Conversely, if your cat is normally a chatterbox, and suddenly they become as quiet as a mouse, this could be a sign all is not well.

    The body language of a cat can also be very telling if they are sad. Here are some signs you might see.

    • Ears held back
    • Tail tucked under their body
    • Changes in litter box usage
    • Sleeping longer than normal
    • Loss of appetite
    • Lack of grooming
    • Scratching objects more
    • Hiding and being reclusive
    • Lack of energy
    • Loss of normal playfulness
    • Sudden aggressiveness

    I should point out that if your cat displays any of these it does not automatically follow that they are sad or depressed as these symptoms can be due to them suffering from an ailment or illness. However, if there is no other obvious reason for these behaviors and symptoms, sadness should be considered.

    What Causes a Cat to Be Depressed?

    While cats have a vastly different psychological makeup to humans the reasons that they become depressed can be similar to those of humans. Here are some of the most common.

    Bereavement

    History is awash with stories of animals pining for, and mourning the loss of, their owners who have passed away, and this extends to other family members or other animals that may have shared their home. If any of these sad events have happened recently do not dismiss it as a possible reason for your cat being sad or depressed. Remember, they have lost a loved one too.

    Illness

    Cats can't really tell you that they have a pain, or they are unwell, but often this will be why they are feeling down and displaying some of the behaviors we mentioned above.

    There are illnesses that cats have, which are not apparent and can only be diagnosed by a veterinarian. Until it is and is treated your cat is obviously going to feel sad about whatever is ailing them.

    Furthermore, if this is the issue, it is best to know what to food to feed your sick cat so that you won't further cause your feline pet any discomfort.

    Physical injury

    While these are easier to spot than illnesses, even after an injury has been bandaged up or had the cat equivalent of a Band-Aid placed on it, these can still affect a cat emotionally. Even though any wound might have been treated, they may still be in a lot of pain. Their mobility might also be hampered which is always frustrating, as it is for us humans when we can't get about as easily as we normally can.

    Below is a short video of symptoms and treatment of cat depression:

    It's much better to know at least some of the important causes and their effects to avoid any discomfort for you and your feline friend.

    Just for a quick note, cats getting older can be less active and would seem depressed or lacks the interest in anything rather than eating and resting.

    Lack of affection or attention

    Believe it or not, and despite the reputation cats have for being solitary creatures, they do yearn for the company of others, especially you, if you are their owner. Hopefully, you do spend time playing with your cat and giving them affection, but if not, you need to question why you have them in the first place.

    How to Cheer Up a Depressed Cat

    There are lots of ways you can help your sad cat become a happy cat again. Here are three of the most effective ones.

    Make more time for them

    It doesn't take much to spend 15-30 minutes or so playing with your cat every day. For playtime buy them some new toys and get the ones which are interactive and stimulate them. In the evening, letting them sit on your lap while you watch TV is an easy way to give them affection.

    You could also use some of the time you spend with your cat to groom them, talk to them, and even teach them to do some tricks. Whichever it is, these are great for letting your cat feel loved and helping them out of their depression.

    Bring another pet into the home

    This takes some planning with the family and an agreement that you are all prepared to have another pet, but it could be a great way to cheer up your sad cat. Ideally, it should be another cat but there are also thousands of households which have a cat and a dog who live happily under the same roof. A therapy cat is a great option for this issue.

    Take them outside

    Many cat owners keep their cats strictly indoors, and there is nothing wrong with that in principle. However, if your cat is depressed, letting them, or taking them outside yourself, could be a stimulus which snaps them out of their sadness. If you are wary of letting your cat roam free outside, then you could build them a 'catio' which would be their very own outside playpen.

    One Final Note

    Finally, it would be remiss not to say that if your cat starts displaying any unusual behavior do not hesitate to contact your vet. Sadness or depression could be the cause, but if not, then the appropriate veterinary treatment should be sought.

    Is Lavender Safe for Cats?

    The question as to whether lavender is safe for cats or not, produces more contradictory answers than possibly any other that is asked about our feline friends. You will get some people who’ll tell you it is safe, and others who tell you whether or not, is lavender safe for cats, so in this article we are going to attempt to clear away any misunderstandings and end the confusion.

    What is Lavender?

    If we understand exactly what people are referring to when they use the word 'lavender' it may shed some light on why there is confusion. The reason is that some are referring to the flower, some to lavender oil, and others mean lavender in all its forms.

    First, we have the flower, which is a member of the mint family and is a very popular flower grown in gardens, both public and private, although they can be found growing wild as well.

    The other ‘lavender’ is lavender oil, which is produced commercially as an essential oil. It has several medicinal properties and is used as an anti-inflammatory, and an antiseptic. It is also used in perfumes, balms and cosmetics.

    Lavender Flowers – Safe or Not?

    First, let's discuss the lavender flower which you or possibly a neighbor, has growing in the garden right now. If your cat were to brush up against a lavender flower, or if it decided it wanted to have a nibble and eat a few flower heads, it is not going to poison them.

    That is not to say that lavender doesn't contain anything that can cause problems for cats. There are two substances that are potentially dangerous. The first is linalyl acetate which is often found in essential oils and secondly, there’s linalool, which is used for scenting soaps and shampoos. However, in the quantities that a cat would be ingesting by simply nibbling a bit of a lavender flower, there’s normally not enough to do them harm.

    Where there could be problems is if your cat decided it was going to have a banquet and the only item on the menu was lavender flowers. If it then ate all the lavender flowers in the garden or at least a fair proportion of them, they are likely to be in some distress.

    Before continuing on, there are some top list of unsafe plants that you might also want to consider.

    We'll discuss that distress in a moment, but the point we must make here, is that there would be problems if your cat ate anything to excess, including its normal cat food. The issue here isn't the fact that it may have eaten lavender, it is when a cat eats large amounts of lavender flowers that the problems can begin.

    Lavender Oil – Safe or Not?

    As lavender oil is made from lavender flowers it could be presumed that it is also safe but that is not the case. The reason for that is that lavender oils are effectively lavender flowers in concentrated form.

    It is to be hoped that in your home the chances of your cat somehow having the opportunity to ingest lavender oil are virtually nil. Nevertheless, if you use lavender oil at all, check right now that is somewhere where your cat cannot get it.

    You do not even have to have a bottle of lavender oil for your cat to come into contact with it. Lavender oil is widely used in products like liquid potpourris when the danger is not that they ingest it, but that they breathe it in.

    So, lavender oil is most definitely not safe, and if your cat were to swallow any, or if they were to be so close to it that it was absorbed through their respiratory system, they could be making themselves very ill indeed.

    Health risks of lavender oil to cats

    We've mentioned that the two substances that cause the biggest issues for cats are linalyl acetate and linalool. One of the reasons they are a danger is that a cat's liver does not have the enzymes which can break these down and make them harmless. Once they get into your cat's digestive system or respiratory system they can cause several symptoms to occur:

    • Vomiting
    • Muscle Spasms
    • Excessive drooling
    • Lack of energy
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Soreness on skin, gums or lips

    If you suspect that your cat has been anywhere near lavender oil, whether they are displaying any of these symptoms, or not, you must call your cat's veterinarian immediately.

    First steps if your cat has suspected lavender poisoning

    One thing you must not do if you suspect your cat has swallowed lavender oil is to induce it to vomit. This can make matters worse by causing burning to their digestive tract. Simply take a sample of the lavender oil, along with you, when you take your cat to the vet.

    The vet will give full cat examination, which could include testing their blood and/or urine. The main concern that the vet will have is if your cat has suffered any damage to their liver or kidneys.

    Treatment for cats with lavender poisoning

    This cat poisoning treatment will very much depend on how serious a condition your cat has because of the lavender poisoning, and which symptoms it is showing. It may be that it cannot eat due to injuries to its mouth, so it may require a feeding tube.

    Other treatments may be those which help settle the stomach and reduce vomiting. The vet may also prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or painkillers according to your cat's condition.

    The good news is that lavender poisoning is not normally fatal, especially if you react quickly enough and ensure your cat is seen by a veterinarian without delay.

    Last Thoughts

    Lavender in its natural flower form is usually safe for cats, provided they don't decide to munch down a whole flowerbed full of them.

    Check out this top 15 list of safe plants for cats that they could freely nibble.

    Here's a short video about essential oils and cats:

    Lavender oil is very unsafe for cats and any amount of it which have in your home must be kept somewhere that your cat cannot possibly access it.

    Best Cat Diapers of 2018: Complete Reviews with Comparison

    If you have a cat or cats in your home, no doubt you love them dearly. Where that love could be tested is if they are unable to control their bladder and frequently pee on your carpet, flooring or furniture.

    We can't give you veterinary advice here to resolve the peeing if there's a medical issue, but what we can do is give you a solution to protect your home. Our reviews will highlight the best cat diapers and give you tips on how to choose the right diaper for your cat.

    Comparison Chart

    Name
    Top Pick
    Barkerwear Cat Diapers - Made in USA - Cheetah Washable Cat Diaper, S, Without Tail Hole for Piddling, Spraying or Incontinent Cats
    Runner Up
    Dono Pet Diapers (14 count) --- For Female Dogs & Cats - Leak-Proof, Super Absorbent Disposable Diapers - Convenient & Environmental Friendly - Safe & Comfortable Fit for Your Pets - Cute Pink color
    Pet Magasin Luxury Male Dog Belly Manner Band Wraps - Extra Comfort (3-Pack) - Washable & Reusable Pet Belly Nappies Diapers for Male Dogs, Cats or Other Small Animals (Small)
    Budget Choice
    Disposable Dog Diapers - Suitable for Outdoor Activities and Long Trips - Environmentally pet-Friendly - Pet Tail Hole Design - Anti-Leakage pet Diapers - Rapid Liquid Absorbing Function
    Image
    Barkerwear Cat Diapers - Made in USA - Cheetah Washable Cat Diaper, S, Without Tail Hole for Piddling, Spraying or Incontinent Cats
    Dono Pet Diapers (14 count) --- For Female Dogs & Cats - Leak-Proof, Super Absorbent Disposable Diapers - Convenient & Environmental Friendly - Safe & Comfortable Fit for Your Pets - Cute Pink color
    Pet Magasin Luxury Male Dog Belly Manner Band Wraps - Extra Comfort (3-Pack) - Washable & Reusable Pet Belly Nappies Diapers for Male Dogs, Cats or Other Small Animals (Small)
    Disposable Dog Diapers - Suitable for Outdoor Activities and Long Trips - Environmentally pet-Friendly - Pet Tail Hole Design - Anti-Leakage pet Diapers - Rapid Liquid Absorbing Function
    Design
    Waterproof center layer
    Environment friendly
    Machine washable
    Leak-proof edges
    Comfort
    Highly comfortable
    Highly comfortable
    Very absorbent lining
    Super absorbent core
    Adjustments
    Adjustable tabs
    Resealable tabs
    Elasticated edges
    Adjustable and resealable tabs
    Editor's Rating
    (5 / 5)
    (4.8 / 5)
    (4.6 / 5)
    (5 / 5)
    Top Pick
    Name
    Barkerwear Cat Diapers - Made in USA - Cheetah Washable Cat Diaper, S, Without Tail Hole for Piddling, Spraying or Incontinent Cats
    Image
    Barkerwear Cat Diapers - Made in USA - Cheetah Washable Cat Diaper, S, Without Tail Hole for Piddling, Spraying or Incontinent Cats
    Design
    Waterproof center layer
    Comfort
    Highly comfortable
    Adjustments
    Adjustable tabs
    Editor's Rating
    (5 / 5)
    Price
    Runner Up
    Name
    Dono Pet Diapers (14 count) --- For Female Dogs & Cats - Leak-Proof, Super Absorbent Disposable Diapers - Convenient & Environmental Friendly - Safe & Comfortable Fit for Your Pets - Cute Pink color
    Image
    Dono Pet Diapers (14 count) --- For Female Dogs & Cats - Leak-Proof, Super Absorbent Disposable Diapers - Convenient & Environmental Friendly - Safe & Comfortable Fit for Your Pets - Cute Pink color
    Design
    Environment friendly
    Comfort
    Highly comfortable
    Adjustments
    Resealable tabs
    Editor's Rating
    (4.8 / 5)
    Price
    Name
    Pet Magasin Luxury Male Dog Belly Manner Band Wraps - Extra Comfort (3-Pack) - Washable & Reusable Pet Belly Nappies Diapers for Male Dogs, Cats or Other Small Animals (Small)
    Image
    Pet Magasin Luxury Male Dog Belly Manner Band Wraps - Extra Comfort (3-Pack) - Washable & Reusable Pet Belly Nappies Diapers for Male Dogs, Cats or Other Small Animals (Small)
    Design
    Machine washable
    Comfort
    Very absorbent lining
    Adjustments
    Elasticated edges
    Editor's Rating
    (4.6 / 5)
    Price
    Budget Choice
    Name
    Disposable Dog Diapers - Suitable for Outdoor Activities and Long Trips - Environmentally pet-Friendly - Pet Tail Hole Design - Anti-Leakage pet Diapers - Rapid Liquid Absorbing Function
    Image
    Disposable Dog Diapers - Suitable for Outdoor Activities and Long Trips - Environmentally pet-Friendly - Pet Tail Hole Design - Anti-Leakage pet Diapers - Rapid Liquid Absorbing Function
    Design
    Leak-proof edges
    Comfort
    Super absorbent core
    Adjustments
    Adjustable and resealable tabs
    Editor's Rating
    (5 / 5)
    Price

    Best Cat Diaper Reviews

    1. Barkerwear Washable Cat Diapers

    As well as preventing your cat piddling on your carpets, the cheetah pattern will also ensure that they are the most fashionable cat in the neighborhood.

    Barkerwear Cat Diapers - Made in USA - Cheetah Washable Cat Diaper, S, Without Tail Hole for Piddling, Spraying or Incontinent Cats

    Whether your cat piddling is due to them being a female in heat, a spaying male, or simply because they have become incontinent, these diapers should provide your floors with some respite.

    Putting them on your cat is very easy, especially with the adjustable tabs allowing you to make it fit comfortably. There are a range of size options when you purchase, so whether your cat is small or large there'll be one to suit them.

    The standard diaper allows your cat's tail to fit through a gap at the back, however, you can request a 'no-tail' version if your cat is a tailless breed.

    These diapers employ three layers to help keep them waterproof, and comfortable. The inner layer is extra soft for comfort, the outer layer is a polycotton material, and sewn between them is a moisture barrier which is waterproof.

    Finally, we have the styling of these diapers which is as distinctive as you are ever likely to see. They have a cheetah pattern on them, which certainly catches the eye.

    PROS

    • check
      Wide range of sizes available
    • check
      Adjustable tabs
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      Eye-catching cheetah pattern
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      Waterproof center layer

    CONS

    • Determined cats can get out of them
    • Priced higher than other diapers

    2. SunGrow Super Absorbent Pet Diapers

    These disposable pet diapers are suitable for both dogs and cats, and as well as preventing liquids from escaping, they can also help retain odors too.

    Dono Pet Diapers (14 count) --- For Female Dogs & Cats - Leak-Proof, Super Absorbent Disposable Diapers - Convenient & Environmental Friendly - Safe & Comfortable Fit for Your Pets - Cute Pink color

    You want your cat's diapers to be leak proof, and these are certainly that. It achieves this using a special resin material which absorbs the liquid and turns into a jelly.

    This resin also kills bacteria, which are the source of unpleasant smells, so that helps keep your cat odor free.  The rest of the diaper's materials includes ruffled edges which keep them leak proof.

    The diapers are breathable which helps keep your cat comfortable, and the adhesive fasteners are reusable. You can unseal, adjust and reseal them so that they fit perfectly, and not tugging at your cat's fur. A hole for your cat's tail has been cut, so it helps with the comfortable wearing of these diapers for them.

    These will fit cats who weigh from 13 lbs. up to 38 lbs. and is suitable for girth sizes of between 17 and 25 inches.

    PROS

    • check
      Resealable tabs
    • check
      Environment friendly
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      Helps to kill odors
    • check
      Leak proof edges

    CONS

    • Only color is pink which doesn't suit males
    • Tabs occasionally break off

    3. Pet Magasin Luxury Pet Diapers

    These pet diapers come as a set of 3, which can be washed, and as each one is a different color, you can color coordinate your cat each day.

    Pet Magasin Luxury Male Dog Belly Manner Band Wraps - Extra Comfort (3-Pack) - Washable & Reusable Pet Belly Nappies Diapers for Male Dogs, Cats or Other Small Animals (Small)

    Let's start with these three colors, which are blue, green and purple. Depending on how often you need to change your cat's diaper, you can either have them wear different colors through the day or a different one each day. It might be prudent to buy more than one set, so you have multiple diapers of each color. There are four size options too, which are small, medium, large, and extra-large.

    The inner is very soft, so it feels comfortable against your cat's skin, and this layer is also absorbent, so any accidents are quickly retained by the diaper. The elasticated edges help to keep the diapers leak proof and enable them to fit snuggly.

    There are Velcro tabs which let you fasten the diapers securely, but also allows you to adjust them so that they are not closed too tightly around your cat's girth.

    PROS

    • check
      Three-color pack
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      Very absorbent lining
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      Machine washable
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      Elasticated edges for a snug fit

    CONS

    • Not a lot of padding
    • Velcro pads are too big

    4. SunGrow Leak Proof Pet Diapers

    These can be worn by dogs and cats, to address issues such as incontinence and accidental peeing. They are disposable, and more suited to medium to larger cats.

    Disposable Dog Diapers - Suitable for Outdoor Activities and Long Trips - Environmentally pet-Friendly - Pet Tail Hole Design - Anti-Leakage pet Diapers - Rapid Liquid Absorbing Function

    Each pack comes with 16 disposable diapers, and they are sized to fit cats with waist sizes of between 12 inches and 20 inches. They have a hole for your cat’s tail so that when the diaper is on, it feels as natural to them as possible.

    Should your cat pee, the proactive layer which deals with moisture will soak it up and turn into a gel. This reduces the amount of liquid the diaper must retain and thus reduces the chance of any of it leaking. It also reduces any discomfort your cat might have felt if their urine was allowed to rub against their fur and skin.

    The other benefit this layer brings is that it is anti-bacterial. This means it will kill any bacteria within the diaper and as result reduce the odors which they can generate.

    To close the diapers and keep them in place, there are tabs which use a sticky tape to seal them. However, if you need to, you can release the tabs, adjust them, and then re-stick them.

    PROS

    • check
      Adjustable and resealable tabs
    • check
      Super absorbent core
    • check
      Reduces bacterial odors
    • check
      Leak-proof edges

    CONS

    • No color options
    • Sizing is smaller than indicated

    BUYER'S GUIDE

    While cat diapers are relatively simple products, there are a few features which you need be aware of when buying one for your cat. These features may differ between the various brands so knowing what they are will help you choose wisely.

    Key Feature 1: Washable or Disposable

    This is the one feature that probably has more impact on you than your cat. If you don't mind machine washing pee-stained diapers then go for them, as they will prove to be more cost-effective, than disposable which must be repeatedly purchased.

    Key Feature 2: Tail Hole

    Most diapers will either have a tail hole or designed in such a way that the cat's tail area is open. If you have a tailless breed, some products have a no tail hole option.

    Key Feature 3: Closures

    Most diapers have one of two ways in which they are closed. These are Velcro fasteners and sticky tape fasteners. Velcro ones tend to be a bit stronger and less prone to ripping off. Sticky tapes tend to be lighter, and less likely to get fur caught in them.

    If you select diapers that use sticky tape, ensure that it is resealable. This allows you to peel it back and adjust the diaper, before resealing it. Whichever closure you use, when sealing them do not pull them so tight that it causes your cat any discomfort or restricts their movement.

    Key Feature 4: Waterproofing

    Obviously this is the most important element of the diaper, and how waterproofing is achieved, varies from diaper to diaper. Disposable diapers tend to use a special resin which reacts and turns to a jelly material. This means all the liquid is effectively turned into a semi-solid, so it reduces leaks and discomfort for your cat.

    In machine-washable cat diapers, an absorbent layer is sewn between the outer layer and the inner layer. This will absorb liquid and retain it, until the diaper is removed from the cat so that it can be washed.

    Key Feature 5: Comfort

    No doubt you want your cat to be as comfortable as possible when wearing their diapers, and this can be achieved in several ways. First, ensure you purchase the right size for your cat, and if anything, err on the side of one size up rather than one down.

    When you are sealing the diapers make sure you do not pull it too tight, and that none of your cat's fur is stuck to the fasteners. If you do, it can lead to your cat trying to remove the diapers which defeats the whole point of the exercise.

    FINAL VERDICT

    All four of the cat diapers we have reviewed will help keep floors, carpets and even furniture free from your cat's urine should they have an issue with peeing involuntarily. It was hard to choose a winner, but we feel that the Pet Magasin Luxury Pet Diapers just has the edge over the others.

    The fact they are machine washable makes them excellent value for money. Coming in three different colors is fun, but also practical, as you can select a different color for each day, especially if you buy multiple packs.

    They are comfortable for your cat, thanks to the soft inner layer, and the waterproof layer does a great job of absorbing all the moisture. The elasticated sides make them leak proof and ensure that they fit snuggly around your cat's waist.

    Tabby Cats: The Ultimate Guide to their history, types, characteristics, temperament, and care

    Whatever your interest in tabby cats might be, there is no denying that they are one of the most recognizable cat types in the world. Although that may the case, many people struggle to define what a tabby cat is, and as there are so many varieties, what one tabby cat may look like, may be very different from another. That's why we have decided to make a complete guide to tabby cats to help you figure them out.

    In this article, we are going to define exactly what qualifies a cat to be a 'tabby’ and explain the differences between the various types of tabby cat that there are. We’ll also tell you why they make such wonderful pets, and some fun facts about them too

    The Definition of a Tabby Cat

    The first fact we are going to tell you may come as a surprise, but a tabby is not a breed of cat. Unlike, Siamese or Persian which are certified pedigrees, tabby isn't recognized as a specific breed.

    Instead, the term tabby is used to describe any domestic cat which has distinctive markings such as lines, dots, stripes and swirls, which identify it as a tabby cat. Other than these, the most recognizable feature of tabbies is the capital 'M' marking on its forehead.

    So, rather than being the name of a cat breed, the term tabby is one which describes the physical description of cats. That being said, there are several breeds of cats, whose markings are generally those of a tabby so almost all cats within that breed could be called tabbies. There are also countless mixed breed cats and mongrel cats who are tabby cats because they have the appropriate markings.

    Where the Name 'Tabby' Comes From

    If you look up the definition of the word 'tabby' you will likely see two definitions. One is obviously the cats we are talking about in this article, and the other is a fabric or silk with a striped pattern. The question is 'Which came first?'

    Answer – it was the fabric, whose name in Arabic was 'Atabi,' and was made in a district of ancient Baghdad, called Attabiah. In the 17th century the word atabi, was altered to tabby by those who spoke English, but this was long before tabby cats had been recognized as a distinct type of cat.

    The word tabby then began to be used to describe the striped markings on cats, but it wasn't until the late 18th century that cats with these markings were called tabbies.

    The 'M' on a Tabby Cat's Forehead

    An individual cat does not have to have all the associated markings of tabbies, to be called a tabby cat, but it must at least have one of them, and that is an 'M' on its forehead. This more than any other type of marking is what defines a cat as being a tabby, and regardless of whether they also have other stripes, swirls, and patches, you should always be able to see an 'M' outline on the forehead of a true tabby cat.

    Some of the mystique about tabby cats comes from the many theories and legends about what the 'M' stands for. One of the earliest comes from Ancient Egypt, where the word for cat was 'Mau', which if you think it about sounds very much like 'Meow,' the noise cats make.

    Another story relates to Mary, who when Jesus was a baby asked animals to move closer to him to comfort him and keep him warm. The only one small enough to get into the manger was a small tabby cat whom Mary thanked by rendering the first letter of her name on its forehead.

    The final legend is that a tabby cat called Muezza saved the life of Prophet Mohammad when a snake attacked him, and to show his gratitude, Mohammad bestowed the letter 'M' on its forehead.

     Whichever of these you prefer or even if you have your theory why the 'M' is there, there can be little doubt, that this letter on their forehead adds to the personality and beauty that tabby cats have.

    The Five Main Tabby Cat Types

    Other than the 'M' on their forehead, there are several other markings that are common to tabby cats. Specific breeds will have very defined markings which are common to that breed and with which they are recognized as such. 

    The markings of other tabbies which are mongrels or crossbreeds can be a combination of some or all of them, depending on their genetics.

    To help classify and identify tabby cats, their markings have been split into five types. These are mackerel, spotted, ticked, patched and classic, and while that might sound like the line-up for a bizarre new range of burgers, they are actually the names given to most common tabby cat markings.

    Mackerel Tabby Cat

    The answer to the question that may be in your head right now is, 'Yes, it is named after mackerel fish.' Having said that, there are some people who believe these markings are more akin to a tiger, and they'll often call a tabby with mackerel markings a 'Tiger Cat.' We'll stick with mackerel for the purposes of this article, as this is the more common name for these markings.

    What you will see on a mackerel tabby are thin, stripes around their legs and their tail, with the ones on their legs often looking like they have bracelet around them. Sticking with the jewelry theme, their chest will have lines which give the appearance of them wearing a necklace.

    The sides of their body will have stripes which can be either solid or broken, and in their stomach area, they normally have two rows of button-like marks.

    Across the cat's haunches and shoulder, there will be very faint lines which produce a pattern similar to that you would see if you were looking at the bones in a fish skeleton, which is obviously where the reference to mackerel comes from.

    Spotted Tabby Cat

    The name gives this one away somewhat, and as you have probably already worked out, these tabbies have spots. Their spots can be oval-shaped or circular, small or large, and they normally appear as dark blotches.

    The spots can be in a random pattern along the sides of their body and along their back, but they can also appear in straight lines. With these, it is often noted that they look the lines of a mackerel tabby pattern whose straight lines have been interrupted.

    Spotted tabbies can sometimes have the necklace markings in their chest area similar to a mackerel tabby, but these are not as pronounced, and tend to be quite faint.

    Classic Tabby

    Tabbies with this pattern has the most common tabby cat pattern, and this pattern is the one which most people think of when they are referring to a tabby cat.

    The main features are prominent and bold swirls which appear on the side of the cat's body, with some of them looking like large blotches. This may be why in some countries, such as the UK, cats with this pattern are called 'Blotched Tabbies.' They are also known as 'Marbled Tabbies,' due to the color contrasts and patterns being similar to marble surfaces.

    Running along their back, and from their neck to their tail, a classic tabby will have three broad lines. They normally have rings around their neck which gives us our third tabby that seems to be wearing a necklace. Classic tabbies have button-like blotches on their belly, and their tail and legs will tend to have broad bands.

    Ticked Tabby Cat

    Don't worry – this does not mean the cat has ticks. Instead, it refers to markings which these tabby cats have. Unlike the other tabbies we have spoken about, ticked tabbies do not have any large swirls, bold stripes or distinctive blotches. This often raises the question as to whether they can really be described as tabbies at all. But with the letter 'M' still visible on their forehead, they most definitely are.

    Ticked tabbies are often called 'Agouti' due to the coloration in their hair. Agouti hair has alternate dark and light bands and this is what many ticked tabbies appear to have.

    ​The most prominent breed of ticked tabby is the Abyssinian cat, who from a distance seems to have no distinguishable markings, so you would not expect it to be a tabby, but if you look at one closely, you will see that its fur has the colored bands which are indigenous to ticked tabbies.

    Patched Tabby Cat

    As the name suggests these tabbies have different colored patches across their fur. The most common colors for these patches are brown with which you might also see red or ginger colored patches. The other common color for patches is a blue-grey which is sometimes seen along with cream patches.

    In terms of any distinctive markings, patched tabbies can have any of the markings we have already described. This means its fur may show traits of the classic, mackerel, ticked, or spotted tabby. If a patched tabby does have any of those distinctive markings, they are more commonly seen on their head and legs.

    Patched tabbies are sometimes referred to as tortoiseshell tabbies, and this is where it can get complicated. A cat which is not a tabby with tortoiseshell fur is nicknamed a 'tortie.' However, when the cat in question is a tabby, that nickname changes to 'torbie.' In other words, the second 't' in tortie becomes a 'b' in torbie.

    Below are some amazing patterns of tabby cats:

    ​Some of these patterns are commonly bred and seen but there are some that can be quite rare in most places.

    Tabby Cat Colors

    As well as the distinguishable markings that identify the different types of tabby cats, there are also variations in their colors. It is possible that these colors could appear on all five types of the tabby cats we have discussed so far. This is to be expected, given that any single tabby cat could be the result of two tabby cats mating, who were different types and had different colors.

    As well as individual tabby cats having an array of colors, there are some colors which are sometimes used when describing the cat. These cats will still likely be classified within one of the five types, but because colors are often easier to identify than a marking pattern, they are used. Neither way is right or wrong if both the people discussing the cat understand the difference.

    Black Tabby Cat

    This is one of the most common colors that the markings on tabby cats have, albeit they are often within a combination of colors which will include browns. Where black markings become very distinctive is when the cat's other fur colors are lighter such as silver or white. When the term 'black tabby cat' is used, it is normally in relation to a tabby cat who is predominantly black, where their markings might be a dark grey and only just distinguishable.

    Grey Tabby Cat

    Grey is very common across all tabby types, and there can be various shades of grey ranging from light to dark. A tabby which has virtually all grey fur will have a combination of dark and light grey stripes, spots, swirls or patches depending on which type of tabby they are. In certain lights, grey tabbies can have a beautiful blue or silvery hue to them, which looks stunning.

    Brown Tabby Cat

    This is the most common tabby color you will see, and it is brown markings that most people recognize as the quintessential tabby cat. Taking this a step further, a brown, classic tabby cat is generally what many people believe is the cat 'breed' called tabby, but as you now know, they are all wrong.

    Ginger Tabby Cat

    Ginger is the last of the four colors that we are likely to hear being used to define a tabby cat. Some might argue that ginger is actually a light brown, but many ginger tabbies, are closer to orange than brown.

    They may not be as common, but a ginger tabby cat once held a Guinness World Record. Not for anything you might think a normal cat might do, but for the most syndicated comic strip. We are of course talking about, Garfield, who is surely the world's most famous tabby cat, and a ginger tabby cat to be precise.

    Common Tabby Cat Breeds

    Although we have previously stated that tabby is not a breed of cat, there are several cat breeds which are tabbies. To give you an analogy, if we were talking about dogs, a terrier is not a specific breed of dog, but you have breeds which are all terriers such as Scottish, Bull and Boston.

    There are around 30 cat breeds which can be classified as tabbies, and while we can't go through every single one of them, here are four of the most popular.

    Maine Coon

    This is not only a very popular cat breed, it is at the top of the league when it comes to popular tabby breeds too. Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds and it is because of its placid nature they are often referred to as the 'gentle giants' of the cat world.

    Apart from their larger bodies, they look even bigger because of their long coats. These often have a glossy appearance, are can come in a variety of colors and markings. The most common of these are brown classic and mackerel.

    American Shorthair

    These are one of the most friendly and well-mannered domestic cats in existence. They mix very well with children and other pets, so if your family is split between getting a dog and a cat, the American Shorthair will allow you to have both. They are also very low-maintenance cats and easy to care for.

    They are a medium to large tabby breed which can come in a variety of tabby patterns on their fur, and in several different colors as well. These include brown, silver, grey, and white.

    Abyssinian

    We mentioned these when we discussed ticked tabbies because they are the most common breed with ticked or 'Agouti' fur. They can come in several colors variations, with the most common being reddish brown, fawn, and blue.

    Abyssinians are thought to be one of the oldest breeds of domesticated cats, and their loyalty and desire to be close to their human owner is a likely reason for this.

    They are also extremely intelligent, playful and loving cats.

    American Bobtail

    American bobtails are friendly and active domestic cats, which are particularly known for being very intelligent. Their appearance doesn't immediately lend itself to you thinking they look domesticated, but they are extremely playful which makes them great family pets.

    Their name comes from the fact that their tails are short and normally less than half the normal length of a cat's tail. They can come in any of the colors associated with tabbies, and the patterns on their fur tend to be classic and swirled.

    Tabby Cat Traits and Behaviors

    Due to the large array of breeds, and the fact that a cat can be regarded as a tabby purely because of its markings, to specify behaviors that apply to all tabby cats, is difficult, but not impossible. There’s enough feedback from those who’ve owned tabbies and evidence from experts who have studied tabby cats to give us a decent idea of their personalities, so here are some of the most generic ones.

    Community

    Cats often give the persona of being very individual, but tabby cats buck that trend by being seen to be very community spirited. They like being part of a group or family and will happily share food with other cats it regards as another member of that team. Tabby females will also care for kittens that are not their own and help to raise them.

    Vocal

    Tabby cats know what they like, and they are not afraid to let you know when something needs to be done for them. When they want back in the house you'll hear them outside the door, and if their food or water bowls need filling they will tell you in much the same way children will pester you for candy or a drink.

    Social

    Tabby cats mix well with other pets, and children and are very happy to join in with any fun, walks, or games which the other members of the family are taking part in. This extends to the love and affection that they receive, as tabbies are well known for returning it in a big way.

    Hunters

    As cute and cuddly as most tabbies might seem to us, to mice and rats they may not be seen in the same way. This is because tabby cats are excellent hunters, and if you ever have a problem with rodents in your property, a tabby cat is a very effective solution.

    They love chasing mice, but one problem which may arise is when they catch one, rather than kill it, they will tend to play with it and torture it. This may sound horrific, but it is simply the sporting element of a tabby's nature coming through.

    Entertaining

    Tabby cats are great fun, and they love nothing more than cavorting around the room with their toys, and anything else that you give them to play with. There are probably more YouTube videos of tabby cats getting up to some hilarious high jinx than any other type of cat, so keep your video camera at the ready when it's your tabby's playtime.

    Tabby Cat Fun Facts

    Having just mentioned how entertaining they can be, to finish off our guide we thought we would give our top 5 fun facts about tabby cats. We hope you enjoy them.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #1

    The heaviest tabby cat ever was called Himmy. He lived in Australia in the 1980s and weighed over 46 lbs. Guinness, who compile world records, was so concerned that cat owners would overfeed their cats simply to try to break this record, they scrapped this category soon after Himmy passed away.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #2

    A tabby cat called Stubbs was elected mayor of the Alaskan town of Talkeetna. He has been re-elected several times, which the locals say is due to him having never raised local taxes.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #3

    Many famous celebrities through the years have been huge tabby cat fans including Winston Churchill, David Bowie, Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift. A candidate for the prize for the most obsessed is writer Mark Twain who loved them so much that he would rent tabby cats to take with him on vacation.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #4

    If you love cats you could soon be ditching Starbuck's and Costa at coffee time, because across the USA there are over 90 ‘Cat Cafes’ in locations which include Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Pittsburgh. In Atlanta, GA, there is a 'Tabby Cat Café' which has friendly cats on the premises and works to help local cat adoption charities.

    Tabby Cat Fun Fact #5

    If you were a male, orange tabby, your chances of finding another orange tabby to be your female companion or mate wouldn't exactly be favorable. The numbers show that there is only 1 female orange tabby for every 4 males, so it is a pretty crowded field.

    ​The video below is more of some quick and fun facts about tabby cats:

    Summary

    We hope you've enjoyed our complete guide to tabby cats, and that your knowledge and understanding of them has been enhanced. Tabby cats are fascinating given their history, and the vast array of types, colors and marking that they can have. There's also the mystique surrounding the 'M' on their forehead which just adds to their enormous charm and appeal.

    How to Get a Cat to Like a Dog

    Many people may not think too much about how they should introduce new pets into their home. Unfortunately, this can result in pets becoming stressed and overwhelmed, which can also contribute to them not getting along very well. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this. There are some ways of how to get a cat to like a dog.

    There are a few steps that you'll need to follow when you bring a new cat or dog into a home that already has a pet. While they might require a lot of patience, these steps can ensure that your cat and dog get along better overall, resulting in fewer problems living together.

    Making the Introduction

    The first step is making the introduction between your pets. This is a very important step, and it's important to handle it very carefully in order to get the best results. For this step, you'll need to be prepared to remove one or both pets from the situation if there should be any signs of aggression.

    For example, if you're introducing a new kitten then you'll want to be holding the kitten. It also wouldn't hurt to have your dog on a leash, just in case. It's best to keep the first introduction as smooth as possible, allowing pets to see each other without necessarily interacting just yet.

    Start Very Slowly

    A lot of the time, pets may have some trouble adjusting to one another if they are forced into a space together too quickly. While some pets may get along right away, it's always better to be cautious in order to avoid issues. This can include keeping pets away from each other for the most part.

    If you can allocate the new pet to one room then this can be helpful for allowing them to get used to their space without too much stress. It's wise to keep in mind that the new pet is in a whole new space, with new people and animals. As a result, it's good to give them some time to get used to your home.

    Let Them Adjust to Smells

    Another option is to keep both pets confined to their own rooms for the most part. After a few days, you can then switch the rooms that the pets are in. This way, they can get used to each other's scents without too much stressful interaction.

    While this may not seem like a big deal to you, allowing your pets to get used to each other's smells can be very helpful for increasing the comfort level overall. As a result, they may be more likely to like each other once they are ready to interact, or at the very least won't have much interest one way or the other.

    Let Them Interact

    Start by letting your pets sniff one another while still in a divided space. Something like a baby gate or a type of door that will allow them a small amount of interaction is a good idea. This way, they can check each other out without risking a fight or flight situation.

    Here is a short funny video about dogs and cats spending some time together:

    In most cases, the cat will be more likely to be afraid of the dog. Because of this, it's a good idea to make sure that the cat seems comfortable before allowing them to interact further. Next, you can try letting them interact more closely while keeping a close eye on them.

    Love Them!

    It can be tempting to give a lot of love to your new pet. After all, a new critter is exciting. Love your pet as much as you can. However, it's important to make sure your affection is shared, if not equally, at least bearable and unnoticeable between your two pets. This can help both animals to continue feeling loved, leading to fewer problems with jealousy.

    Think of it as being similar to having a new baby. You want to make sure both children feel that they are getting the love and attention they need. The same is true for pets! It is possible for one pet to get jealous if the other is receiving more attention, which can potentially lead to problems.

    Give Them Breaks

    Early on, pets may be more worn down while interacting with one another than they will once they're completely comfortable. This is especially true if you have a dog who is excited about a new cat or kitten. While the dog might be having fun, the cat might get stressed out by the attempts to play.

    After a while, this interaction can get stressful, so it's worthwhile to make sure your pets get breaks from one another, during which they can calm down and relax. In time, the novelty of the new pet will wear off and it's likely they'll be able to relax around one another more easily.

    Keep An Eye Out

    Even after your pets appear to have gotten used to one another, there can sometimes be interactions that one or both pets don't enjoy, resulting in a squabble or one pet becoming frightened. Because of this, you'll want to keep an eye on your pets to make sure they're getting along well.

    This problem is more likely to occur early on, but you never know when something might irritate one of them. As a result, it's a good idea to make sure that you can easily remove one or both animals from the room just in case, though it's most likely that they'll be fine once they get used to each other.

    Conclusion

    Overall, the most important aspects of getting your cat and dog to get along are taking it slowly, allowing them to get used to one another and then allowing them to interact in small, gentle ways. Over time, they will get used to one another and become more relaxed.

    If you stay patient and take your time, it's far more likely that your pets will be able to get comfortable and even enjoy playing together. It's just a matter of giving them the time and making slow steps in introducing them. If you have pets that already know one another but don't get along, these steps can also help to introduce them in a healthier way.

    How to Introduce Cat to Dog

    A solid introduction can make all the difference when it comes to introducing a cat and a dog. These aren't naturally animals that get along, though they certainly can in some cases. It is comfortable to at least learn some of the ways about how to introduce cat to dog. Providing them with a calm, relaxed introduction can help pave the way to a happy relationship between the two.

    To help you with introducing a cat to a dog, we're listing some tips that can allow for a more peaceful experience overall. Just make sure to be patient and give them plenty of time to get used to one another. In time, they'll surely be able to exist together in a peaceful, happy home.

    Don't Rush It

    The first thing to keep in mind is not to rush it. Some cats and dogs may be able to get along right away, but most will need a little time to acclimate to the presence of a new animal. Because of this, you'll want to take it one step at a time and keep a close eye on how both the cat and dog react.

    Ideally, you'll be able to reach a state where they get along well but it's also good if they simply ignore one another most of the time. Not all cats are going to be thrilled about having a home with a dog, but they often learn to just do their own thing without paying much mind to your dog.

    Have Control Over the Situation

    When introducing a cat and dog for the first time, you'll want to make sure that you're fully prepared. It's a good idea to have the dog on a leash and harness so that you can pull them away from the cat if needed. In some cases, you may also be able to hold the cat during the introduction but watch out for cat claws!

    The reason for having this level of control is to make sure that the introduction is safe. Dogs can sometimes get over-excited when meeting a new pet and the cat might not be a fan. As a result, you'll want to be able to keep the situation as calm as possible.

    Pay Attention to Body Language

    You can tell a lot about both dogs and cats by looking at their body language. For example, if the cat is huddled up, backed into a corner, or has its ears pinned down then it's not likely to be feeling very comfortable. This can be a sign that the cat may need to acclimate to the dog in smaller doses.

    In addition, the dog may be excited about meeting the cat, or they might not be a fan either. Most likely, the dog may try to play, while the cat doesn't want to. When you notice that the dog has fixated upon the cat, it can be a good idea to distract them with another toy or activity.

    Use Scent

    If the first introduction doesn't yield the best possible results, don't worry! Oftentimes, it can simply be a matter of giving your pets some time to get used to one another. One thing that can really help with this is using the power of scent, which can help more than you might think!

    One thing you can try is keeping the dog and cat in their own rooms, and then switching the rooms after a few days. This can allow pets to get used to each other's scents without having to interact. As a result, it's a more calming way for pets to acclimate to one another in a calm way.

    Give it Time

    The most important aspect of this whole process is to be patient. If you try to rush the introduction, then it can create more stress for all of the parties involved. This can also lead to more inappropriate behaviors or even fights.

    As a result, it's a good idea to stay calm during the process and take your time with each step. Don't forget to take care of yourself at the same time! Keeping yourself feeling great can allow you to give the time and attention your pets need to create a happy home.

    Additionally, there's also a lot of upside with spending some time with our pets. Check the short video about some of the benefits:

    It greatly improves health, mentally, physically and emotionally. Furthermore, it teaches us how to be responsible.

    Allow For Breaks

    When your pets appear annoyed with one another, it can be a good idea to separate them for a short period of time so that they can relax. In addition, this can be done through allowing both pets places to go where they can get away from each other.

    This doesn't have to be a punishment, either. For example, you can give your cat a cat tree or other place they can go to avoid the attention of your dog. Likewise, if you have an indoor cat then you can allow your dog time in the backyard to themselves.

    Don't Forget The Love!

    Most importantly, share the love between your pets in equal measure. You'll be able to help avoid problems with jealousy by making sure that both pets get a lot of love. Giving them both plenty of affection and exercise can also help to limit behavior problems.

    Playing with your pets frequently can give them the exercise and fun they need in a positive way, so that when you want quiet time at home they'll be more likely to relax. This can also help to avoid your cat and dog getting into squabbles with one another.

    Conclusion

    Overall, introducing your cat and dog doesn't have to be a complicated thing! Just follow the steps slowly and carefully and give your pets plenty of time to get used to their environment. If you're bringing a new cat into the home, you'll also want to let them have some peace and quiet for a few days until they feel comfortable.

    In time, your pets will be able to get along and live together peacefully. Just make sure to watch them carefully and make sure they are both comfortable, and address any problems before they have a chance to escalate.