The Purr Company Mews-Letter - September 2007

Hi and welcome to the September Mews-letter

Just in time to catch the last burst of summer(?), here we are with (possibly) the last Mews-letter of summer 2007.

I know that, to many people, this would actually be more appropriately thought of as the first autumn edition, but I'm a ‘Glass is Half Full' kind of person. That being the case, and with full backing from the cats, I've decided that this year autumn is not going to start until at least the middle of next month, and maybe even later. (Feel free to write and complain about it, even though I'm actually doing you a favour!)

As always we've got a great pick of articles for you this month, including one that is very close to our hearts all about older cats. You may already know we have a number of senior cats here and the older they get the more friendly and loving they get, so this is a topic we're all very interested in.

So, without further a-do, here's The Purr Company's September 2007 Mews-letter!

Best wishes




  1. Living With Older Cats
  2. Should your cat wear a collar?
  3. New cat moves into number 10
  4. Website of the month - Ruling Cats and Dogs


1. Living With Older Cats

Everyone can see the appeal of a cute fluffy kitten, and many of us cat owners started down this path because of just such a kitten who was in need of a good home. Very quickly we end up happily owning adult cats and if we're lucky enough we will eventually be looking after that same cat in their old age.

When a cat reaches around 7 years old it is considered to be ‘middle aged' and any cat over 10 years is considered to be at the beginning of old age. Just as it goes with humans, ongoing medical discoveries make these lines blur and shift, and are also making it possible for our feline friends to live longer and healthier lives than ever before.

Here at The Purr Company we have four senior cats, Mitzi who is 15, Tango is 14 and Rags and Bones are 13 years old. They all seem to be slowing down at different rates and old age has taken its toll in different ways for them all. One thing that has changed in all of them is that they all seem to be much more affectionate than they were in their younger days (many years ago we could not even touch Mitzi and now she demands a good fussing every day).

Older cats are quieter and much more laid back in general, and they tend to prefer their home comforts more, rather than adventuring around the neighbourhood at all hours.

Lovely though they are, owning older cats comes with extra responsibilities and there are some common problems that it's good to keep an eye out for, such as:


Older cats are prone to dental problems; build up of tartar on teeth and gums is common and leads to tooth decay.

You may notice your cat has difficulty eating or grooming, has smelly breath and may shake his or her head. A visit to the vet is a wise move, as decaying teeth are painful and can lead to kidney problems.


Arthritis is inflammation within joints, which causes pain and restricts movement.

Your older cat may seem a little stiff in the mornings, perhaps limping around and could have trouble jumping and climbing.

Your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment based on how severe the arthritis is.


Kidney problems are very common in old cats. If you notice your cat is drinking more, your vet will probably offer you (your cat) some basic blood or urine tests to check for problems and assess their extent.

Cats who have kidney disease can be put on a special diet if it is caught early enough, and there are some great new medications available to help the kidneys function for longer. Catching the problem early is vital!


Old cats are less supple and may need a little help grooming. Regular brushing will help to remove dead hair and skin and prevent mats appearing.

Longhaired cats may require a regular trim around the backside to keep this area clean and mat free, since most cats don't like this area brushed.


By the time your cat reaches old age you should be very familiar with the odd fur ball on the carpet, some cats will eat grass to make themselves sick and some will vomit if they eat their food to quickly.

Cases of unexplained vomiting should be monitored closely. If the vomiting lasts for more than 24 hours, and especially if there is also diarrhoea, the cat should see a vet.

Vomiting and diarrhoea can lead to dehydration and this can be serious in itself.

I love having older cats. They're not only great company but they're also very loving and seem to really appreciate the extra care they're given.

If you're thinking about adopting a cat and I would encourage you consider an older cat first, as not only are they great to have around but they are the ones who often have the hardest time finding a new home so you'll be helping out in more ways than one.

This article was first published in The Purr Company's regular Mews-letter, visit us for more cat stories and articles, a gallery of our visitors cats , cat videos and our online shop.

You may reproduce this article free of charge in any free newsletter or on any free web site on the condition that this resources box is included with any reproduction.

© copyright The Purr Company


2. Should your cat wear a collar?
by John Marcus

Most cat owners find themselves in a quandary over whether or not to use a cat collar on their outdoor cats. The debate still reigns over the pros and cons of outfitting an outside cat with a collar, but many veterinarians and cat experts agree that collars are the best way to go. However, before you decide, take a look at these pros and cons:


  • Cat collars can hold identification and registration tags. This is critical in case your outdoor cat becomes lost or is picked up by a concerned individual. Also, collars can hold bells or other noise generating items to scare away potential prey.
  • Many cat collars are equipped with reflective material. Whether the collar is made completely out of reflective material or only contains a small strip, this will help your cat to become more visible in the dark. Cats, especially those of dark colour, can become invisible at night, which is a potentially dangerous situation.


  • Cat collars can easily snag and cause your cat to become hung or stuck on branches, fences, or anything else in the great outdoors. Some cats have actually been strangled when their collar has gotten caught and cut off the animal's air supply.
  • Your cat may not be comfortable wearing a collar or the collar may be too heavy for the animal.

Given these pros and cons, consider choosing a collar that will maximize the positives and minimize the negatives. For example, there are many collars on the market that are specially designed to break away or unclasp when the cat is hung. These collars are considered strangle-proof and release when approximately seven pounds of pressure is applied. This way, the cat can break him—or her—self free from any snare.

Furthermore, there are many different types of collars on the market. Bring your feline friend with you to the local pet-friendly pet store and try on several different types of collars until you find one that best fits. Avoid choosing a harness for outdoor cats unless you plan on walking the cat on a leash. If this is the case, only allow your cat to wear a harness while supervised, as most are not snare-proof.

On a whole, collars are encouraged on cats that spend their time outside and inside. In addition to providing visibility to your animal, the collar will hold valuable identification information that will protect your cat and assist you in finding your pet.


3. New cat moves into number 10

Hot on the heels of the Browns, Sybil Darling is the newest resident to move into 10 Downing Street.

For those who haven't already guessed, Sybil is a pretty black and white moggie owned by the family of Alistair Darling, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Asked if the moggie was being given free rein in the building, a spokesman pointed out that cats were ‘not the easiest of animals to deny access to.' (Whoever asked that question has obviously never owned a cat!!)

Full story here:


4. Web Site of the Month - Ruling Cats and Dogs

Ruling Cats and Dogs is a site all about… well, cats and dogs! If the introductory text is to be believed (and why wouldn't we?), the site has been put together by the animals themselves, with the goal of entertaining and enthralling the audience, and that it certainly does!

This site is separated into two main sections, one for cats and one for dogs, I bet you can guess which was our favourite. Both sections are packed with useful and fun information, including ‘world record breakers', ‘famous cats', ‘famous cat owners' and much more besides.

The web site itself is very easy to navigate around, even though it's quite big. Every section is well written and very informative and on every page there is a funny picture or quote – here is one I can definitely relate to: ‘ There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.'

If you find yourself with a bit of spare time (and considering you've just finished reading the Mews-letter, what else are you going to do?) it's well worth visiting this site. In our book it's a sure-fire winner!!


That's all until next time, thank you for reading.