For Mental Health Awareness Week this year, we want to give a shout out to the unsung furry or feathered heroes that provide companionship, comfort and cuddles when we’re not feeling our best – the Power of Pets. We asked the Omlet community to share their stories of the times when pets have saved their day, month, year or even life – and the results are extremely heart-warming. Grab a tissue and keep reading!
DEBORAH & TEDDY
I have always wanted to have a cat, but I struggled with the thought of supporting an animal, thinking they wouldn’t be happy with me and that I would be using them.
I have very low self-esteem. I suffer from ADHD, and one of the symptoms is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria i.e. the fear of being rejected if I made the slightest mistake. This led to me not wanting to become attached to anyone, human or animal, as I was sure that I would automatically make them unhappy.
And then, in the summer of 2021, a friend who knew I wanted a cat told me about Teddy. I fell in love with her as soon as I saw a photo and adopted her on a whim. I have never regretted it.
She taught me how to respect her, to respect myself, that I could be loved unconditionally and that she has absolute confidence in me. She wakes me up, she plays, she cuddles, and we have created a way to understand each other. I especially like it when she comes and disturbs my meditation sessions. I’m sitting cross-legged and quiet so I must want hugs, right?
Of course, I have also had help from mental health professionals, but Teddy was definitely the one who taught me that I was valuable and had the right to be loved. Today, I can’t imagine my life without her. I’ve been having anxiety attacks for a few years, but they have changed, and now I can fight them.
CLAIRE & RYO
I am a psychologist and my dog Ryo, a Lhasa Apso, comes with me to work to meet my patients. I work with people aged 55 to 99, and I can only see the benefits Ryo has on them. For a moment they forget everything else and just relax and laugh, and they always talk about Ryo the next session and how much they liked meeting him.
Sometimes patients cry, and then Ryo goes straight to them and offers hugs. It’s amazing to see how sensitive he is to our emotions. And for me, it’s a daily joy to have him by my side – I genuinely never feel lonely.
BECCA & HER HENS
I have 6 hens. Nat, Wanda, Prim, Nieve, Peggy and Winter, plus two in heaven. They are rescue hens but really, they rescued me. I was going through a really dark time in my life and they made me smile on my darkest days. They are still sometimes the reason I get out of bed. The way they are so excited to greet me. Many people don’t realize how spectacular and loving chickens are. I’m forever grateful that they came into my life – they help me so much!
LINDSEY & BIGGIE
I have struggled with mental health issues and drug abuse issues since I was 12 years old, I am now 30. Growing up I always had cats and dogs, but everything changed when I got Biggie Smalls.
Biggie is a 2 pound male teacup chihuahua, and the most unique dog that I have ever owned. I don’t even consider him a dog, he is my son and he comes with me pretty much everywhere I go. When I got him I was in a very bad place mentally, and my life revolved around drugs. I ended up going to rehab twice after getting him, and the last time I decided that he was the most important thing in my life and that I needed to change and better myself for him.
I have no human children, just my four dogs; Biggie, Puppers, Milo, and Luna. After coming home from rehab for the last time my life has completely changed. I wake up in the morning happy and blessed to be able to have Biggie and the rest of my dogs in my life, I don’t wake up craving anything but him! I am doing things that I never had any interest in doing before. Like cooking, I want the best and healthiest life for him. The point is that if I didn’t have Biggie I don’t know where I would be right now, or if I would even be here. My outlook on life has done a complete 180° and I don’t have to force myself to want to do anything anymore, it just comes naturally.
They all bring so much joy to my life, I have been clean going on just around a year now and it’s all because of him! I truly believe that anybody struggling with mental health issues or drug addiction can change their lives for the better and mine has changed because of Biggie Smalls!
AZANIEL & SIMON
A few years back my father passed away. He was my best friend and teacher and meant the world to me. When he passed away I had a hard time accepting it. Then someone gave me a budgie. His name is Simon and he decreased the pain a lot. After 3 years I decided to get him a partner. Her name is Catherine and they also have a baby chick together, Luke. They just make your life so much more pleasant because they are so adorable and won’t judge you. They also accept you and who you want to become.
Keeping your home free from loose fur is particularly hard at this time of year as many cats shed their winter coats in the warmer weather. On top of that you have the increased risk of fleas, plus dry dust and dirt from outdoor cats, and loose litter mess from indoor cats.
Discover our top tips and best easy clean products below for fuss-free hygiene in your home.
Facilitate healthy grooming habits
In molting season, it’s important you help your cats with the extra grooming required to remove their loose fur, not only to minimize the clumps of hair discarded around your home, but also to assist them in maintaining a healthy and comfortable coat for summer.
If your cat isn’t a lover of the grooming brush, try placing beauty grooming mats on table or chair legs in your home for them to rub up against and lift away the loose fur. These mats will cling to the loose fur so it doesn’t float through your home, and you can easily pull it out, dispose of it and clean the mat if necessary.
Discover more grooming and fur-collecting techniques here.
Anti-tracking and low odor litter box
Another source of mess in homes with feline residents is, of course, their litter box. Not only because of the odors and unsightly mess that comes with it, but also the tiny litter particles that cats will carry out the litter box on their paws and walk through your home, also known as ‘tracking’.
Thankfully, there is a solution to all of the above! The Maya Jump on Top Entry Litter Box features an anti-tracking platform which, once they have done their 1s and 2s, cats will step out onto before jumping down from the box. This platform has tiny holes which allow the loose litter to fall through and back into the litter box as your cat jumps out, significantly reducing the amount of litter they carry out with them.
As well as the clever anti-tracking platform, the Jump on Litter Box also features an active carbon filter which effectively absorbs and controls bad odors before they emit from the litter box, plus a wipe clean, waterproof liner which makes it super easy to maintain a clean, odor free and hygienic environment, all in a discreet, private furniture-style box.
Air-purifying, cat-friendly plants
Air-purifying plants in the home can help to improve air quality and contribute to a fresher, hygienic feeling for everyone. Just because you have cats doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy the benefits of plants! There are lots of cat-friendly species, such as the Boston Fern, which will refresh your home.
If your cat likes to play with plants, claw at the soil or chew on the leaves, you might want to consider smaller plants out of reach, or more robust plants. Discover 10 cat-friendly plants here.
Machine washable cat beds
It’s easier to maintain a fur-free, clean and hygienic home when living with a cat if their most favorite sleep spots are easy to wash, so a cat bed with a removable, machine washable cover is a must.
The Maya Donut Bed offers this easy clean solution, just unzip the cover and pop it in the washing machine at 30 degrees on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Leave to air dry and pop the cover back on – super easy! You can also raise the bed with stylish feet, which not only look great but also improve airflow beneath the bed to prevent a buildup of fur, dust and moisture and protect your carpet. The donut bed is a great hygiene solution AND is super cozy and soft for cats who desire the best!
Easy clean cat blankets on furniture
If your cat isn’t a cat bed lover, and much prefers your bed or sofa, you might find these tips on encouraging your cat to sleep in their own bed helpful or you might prefer to opt for something to protect your furniture from fur, dirt and sharp claws!
A dedicated cat blanket, or two, is a simple solution to creating a barrier between your nice clean sofa and your cat’s fur and mucky paws! The Luxury Super Soft Blankets are just as they say – super-duper soft – so your cats won’t turn their nose up at snuggling down on these dual-sided, quilted blankets, available in three sizes to suit the area you’re trying to cover.
Have a pet-safe cleaning kit on hand
A strong vacuum cleaner is the obvious choice to keep pet fur at bay, but there are other essentials you should have in your pet-safe cleaning kit! Lint rollers are super handy for running over clothes, cushions and blankets to quickly lift any clumps of loose fur. Fabric freshener sprays are also a must to eliminate any bad odors which cling to curtains and sofas. A pet-safe carpet cleaner is bound to come in useful when you’re faced with muddy paw prints or other accidents!
Wipe clean feed bowls
Regularly cleaning your cat’s feed bowls is also an important step to reducing odors and maintaining hygiene in the home so make sure you buy sturdy, wipe clean bowls. Consider placing the feed bowls in a quiet spot with little footfall so your cat can have privacy while they eat, and the food smell also doesn’t upset visitors or attract other pets and children! Putting the feed bowls on a wipe clean mat will also protect your floor, especially carpets, from food mess or spilt water.
While some cats follow their owners to the bathroom and don’t understand the concept of privacy, many are still wary of who’s watching when they go to the bathroom themselves.
Some cats will do their business solely outside, others might do a bit of both, perhaps preferring a warmer toilet in the winter months. Many cat owners choose open litter trays, and don’t always have the option to have the tray hidden away.
But how do cats feel about doing their business?
Why do cats prefer to poop in private?
It’s easy to empathize with our feline friends’ desire for privacy when we remember the troubles their ancestors faced and the natural instincts that’re placed in our cat’s mind.
Cats have a deep-rooted urge to be alert at all times. Their desire to protect themselves and be wary of their surroundings extends to the toilet.
Using an uncovered litter box while other people are around can make a cat feel extremely vulnerable and exposed, this may especially be the case for anxious cats and rescues.
So, it of course makes sense that some cats may prefer to do their business in private, without disturbances, somewhere they can feel safe and comfortable to relieve themselves without the potential of being attacked!
What’s the best litter box for privacy?
Open litter trays give the most exposed and vulnerable bathroom experience for cats, and for you they offer the least in the way of odor and mess control. An enclosed litter box, such as the Maya Jump On Top Entry Litter Box, allows your cat to drop down into a dark and secluded litter box, giving them a feeling of peace and privacy to do their business.
The Maya Jump In Litter Box takes that privacy one step further with a high entry point where cats can jump in and step down into a completely covered litter box. In the Jump In, cats can feel completely at ease that no dogs, children or adults can watch or touch them while they’re using their toilet.
For you, the Maya Cat Litter Box also offers an effective odor control solution, reducing tracking mess around the home thanks to a grid platform which collects loose litter from your pets’ paws, and an easy wipe clean litter liner, with a cute underwater scene printed on the inside for your cats to enjoy.
The Jump In’s optional storage space is a great place to keep spare litter and poop bags, and the discreet pocket on the side of the litter liner holds a complimentary, fold-flat scoop, meaning everything you need for used litter removal is always on hand.
Best of all, this litter box fits in your home seamlessly, designed like a discreet cubicle, with no hint to what’s going on inside. This gives your cat that all important privacy and keeps all the mess which comes with loving a cat hidden out of sight from you and your guests.
What else can I do to help my cat feel comfortable?
As well as an enclosed, private litter box, there are other things you can do to minimize any feelings of vulnerability your cat may have when they use the toilet.
If you notice your cat is visiting the litter box frequently but never leaving any mess behind, it might be a sign that they have been disturbed and not felt safe enough to do their business.
Leave the room for a while to give your cat the opportunity to use their litter box without noise and disturbances. If you have children or other pets in the house, encourage them out of the room with you so your cat has complete privacy.
If you can, place the litter box in a room which is not frequented often and rarely gets noisy, for example a bathroom or utility room.
Do cat’s dislike using dirty litter boxes?
Another reason for cats being reluctant to use their litter box or visiting without using it, could be that the litter tray has already been used and is dirty. Cats can be incredibly fussy about mess and filth in the litter box and may decline their used litter as to not dirty their paws!
Make sure you are regularly removing used litter from the litter box, and that you choose a litter with strong odor control qualities.
Use the fold-flat scoop in the Maya Cat Litter Box to remove the used clump of litter, and the loose, clean litter will fall back into the litter box through the fine holes in the scoop.
What are the best litter boxes for a multi cat household?
Covered litter boxes are also a wise choice for multi cat households where cats may prefer to do their business in secret from their house mates! Cleaning the litter box regularly is also key if the same box is used by multiple cats, and opting for fresh, hygienic type of litter such as provides longevity and ease of cleaning.
Some cats can also be fussy about sharing a cat litter box with a friend. While keeping it clean will help, the scent of another may put off your cat, and bringing a new cat into the home to share the litter box can make an existing cat feel especially annoyed. In this instance you may need to be prepared to get a separate litter box for different cats in the house.
How and when to give your cat space
Giving your cat privacy extends beyond the litter box. Cats can also feel vulnerable and exposed when trying to sleep in a busy house and particularly anxious cats will search for a quieter spot in the home.
Consider where your cat chooses to rest during the day when the house is busy and make that space comfortable for them, for example, if your cat prefers to nap under a bed or chair, place a blanket or small bed, like a Donut Bed, beneath to make the spot cozy and warm.
If you have children and dogs in the home, it’s a good idea to keep them from your cat’s ‘safe space’ when your cat is resting or grooming.
Also consider where you have placed your cat’s food and water bowls. It may also be advisable to leave the room, or move them to somewhere quieter, where your cat can eat in peace without feeling threatened.
What’s the best litter box for a senior, disabled or pregnant cat?
While tall Jump In boxes will give cats peace and privacy, less agile cats will feel most comfortable with an easy access litter box that won’t cause them pain or discomfort. The Maya Walk In Litter Box offers just that, while still being a relatively covered and discreet litter box for cats who want to feel secluded and safe.
7 Reasons You and Your Cat Will Love the Maya Litter Boxes
1. Easy to clean cat litter box solutions, reducing smell and mess 2. A range of entry point options and litter box styles to suit all cats 3. Designed to fit seamlessly into your home like a piece of furniture 4. Enclosed litter box to give your cat the privacy they desire 5. Durable, reusable and long-lasting litter liners are easy to wipe clean 6. Includes a complimentary Omlet folding scoop in discrete pocket 7. Push-to-open door prevents accidental opening
Which litter box should I choose for my cat?
All the Maya Cat Litter Boxes offer an easy clean solution and effective odor and mess control, in a discreet, seamless unit. Find the right box for you and your cat from the range of 5 entry points…
Jump On – Anti-Tracking & Low Mess
Walk In – Senior & Disabled Cat Friendly
Walk In + – Senior Cat Friendly with Storage
Jump In – Anti-Tracking & Discreet
Jump In + – Anti-Tracking with Storage
From left to right: Jump In with Storage, Jump In, Jump On, Walk In with Storage, Walk In
Discover Omlet Cat Litter
Our modern range of high-performance cat litter offers excellent odor control and highly absorbent particles to eliminate bad smells from your litter tray. With 5 different types of cat litter on an easy to compare page you’ll find the perfect litter for you and your cat.
Use our clever Cat Litter Selector to get an expert recommendation for your cat. We only sell direct, with competitive pricing and free delivery.
Do rabbits dig out of boredom, fun or general mischief? We look into the behaviors of our floppy-eared friends and dive deeper down the rabbit hole to discover why they dig. There are some simple Omlet approved hacks that might just do the trick!
In the wild
Wild rabbits live in burrows, a network of underground mazes where they feel safe and protected from predators such as foxes and dogs. Digging is a necessity, a matter of survival. Without it, they would be left open to attack, which is why rabbits have evolved into these digging machines!
Have you ever noticed just how big their paws are? All the better for pounding away at the dirt as well as their sharp claws and teeth, perfect for scraping at the earth. Maintaining their burrows is a big job too, no one else is going to do it!
All rabbits have their own behaviors and personalities, but females tend to be the most determined diggers because they instinctively prepare themselves for nesting. Certain traits like this will be apparent in our domesticated bunnies as often this behavior is innate in them.
Fun & Exercise
Digging is not just instinctive though, it is a fun activity and also great exercise (think Zumba for rabbits!), so rather than trying and eliminate it completely it’s a good idea to give pet rabbits ways that they can use this natural behavior without destroying areas of your home.
At Omlet we developed theZippi rabbit tunnel system, so that our pet bunnies can feel at home and comfortable, while also keeping your garden intact! The tunnels provide an extensive playground of interconnecting tunnels that keep rabbits entertained, similar to the burrows their wild ancestors would be used to.
Play is fundamental to the well-being and mental health of all animals and it’s a good sign when they play, though some are more mischievous than others.
Constant digging and disruption will not only cause havoc and be a general concern to you, but it could also be a sign that your rabbit is bored or lonely. These bunnies are naturally very sociable little creatures and love company, whether it’s from other rabbits, guinea pigs or even cats and dogs (this will depend on the nature of each animal, don’t take our word for it!). We do, however, recommend giving your rabbits a housemate or two, because they really do thrive in this environment. If you do only have one rabbit, then they will need more attention and entertainment than those who cohabit.
Space to explore
If you start to notice some aggressive and disruptive behaviour in your rabbit it could be due to lack of space. Just because they are small mammals, they can still outgrow their living environment and will thrive from more space and stimulation. The Zippi Rabbit Playpens will provide your rabbit with more room to grow and explore in a safe environment.
They are simple to install, move and maintain and they can be easily extendable, offering endless possibilities and endless fun!
“The devil makes work for idle hands”, which can easily be applied to rabbits! The idler they are, the more trouble they will cause. So, keeping busy equals less digging. Provide lots to do to keep your rabbit busy! Listed below are a few tips, or as we like to call them, bunny proofing tactics.
Place a cardboard box or a plastic box (which may last longer) in the hutch and fill it with soil, paper, twigs, anything that will provide a little resistance, so that the rabbit can satisfy the urge to dig while also burning some excess energy!
Scatter your rabbits’ favorite treats around a designated “digging spot” to reward their burrowing efforts and hopefully sway them from digging elsewhere. It may not work the first time, but over time, they should get used to the new routine, while being rewarded with some tasty rabbit snacks.
Indoor and outdoor rabbits enjoy organizing! In other words, they like to pull, bite, tug and scratch the materials around them. This is called “bunching”. Not only is this a great source of entertainment, it also keeps them physically and mentally busy. Use some old bath mats, rugs or towels and let them “bunch” as much as they want, providing a good distraction from creating a huge hole in your flowerbed. Be careful with the type of fabric though, if anything shreds too easily it could become a choking hazard so keep an eye on it and be sure to change the fabric if it becomes too thin.
Some rabbits will dig out of frustration and the need to escape and find a mate. Spaying your rabbit will mean that it won’t have this impulse which could also lead to behavioral problems. It is also recommended that rabbits are spayed if they are living with other rabbits, even same-sex ones.
The Omlet Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch, is made from a strong steel mesh that deters predators! It also comes with an underfloor wire that can be placed in the run. This will not only prevent your rabbit from relentless digging, but it will also stop them from burrowing under the run and escaping. It is still recommended to have grassy areas for your rabbit to enjoy, but if you are really worried about escape then this is the ideal solution. It is more hygienic than a solid floor, with big enough gaps in the mesh so that it still provides the comfort of grass rather than uncomfortable hard ground or metal.
At Omlet we dedicate our time to developing products with the animal and the owner in mind. For ease of use, comfort and safety and they are great to look at! A perfect addition to any pet lovers’ home. View all our rabbit related products and join the Omlet family!
As indoor cats frequently use their litter boxes, it is important for cat owners to take the right measures to keep litter box odors under control. Stinky cat litters, however, can be more than just an unpleasant aroma in the air around our homes. More worryingly, the smells coming from your cat’s litter box can actually be having an impact on yours and your cat’s health. However, with a few helpful tips on good litter box hygiene, you can be on your way to keeping pungent cat litter smells at bay, all while creating a healthier environment for both you and your cats.
What Causes a Stinky Litter Box?
A rancid smell from a litter box can often derive from a lack of, or poor, cleaning. Although you may be cleaning your cat litter box, if not done effectively, you may simply be masking the smell, as opposed to eliminating it.
Before anything else though, make sure that your cat is not spraying outside of their litter box, which can be one reason as to why there is an odor circulating your home. Your cat spraying outside of the litter box can be happening for a number of reasons such as boredom, territorial marking, and sickness. If you do, however, notice that your cat is simply refusing to use their litter box, the chances are, this is due to an issue surrounding the litter box itself. Some suggestions include
the litter box being dirty, (we wouldn’t like to use a dirty bathroom so why would our cats?); your cat disliking the litter you are using, based on either smell or texture (remember, cats have preferences too!); or the location of the litter box not being well suited to your cat/s.
A litter box should be placed in a quiet environment, away from the heart of the home or any outside traffic, to ensure peace and quiet. The litter box should also be separate from where your cat eats, have sufficient lighting, and within a room your cat likes or is comfortable in. The Maya Cat Litter Boxes are a great solution for cats who need complete privacy and comfort. With five different styles and entry points, your furry friend is bound to find a way to suit them.
However, if you do decide that it would benefit your cat to move their litter box to a more suitable location, which will in turn hopefully
help with the odor of the house, be mindful that cats are creatures of habit, so disturbing their space must be done with caution. Take it step by step with the litter box transition by purchasing a second box to place in the new location, while keeping the old box in its remaining place. After around a week, if your cat is using their second litter box, then feel free to remove the original, as this is a sure sign, they have comfortably made the transition. Another pro tip is to continue to use the same litter as you had before, which will make sure you’re not putting your cat under any more additional stress than need be when you replace their litter box.
Once you have ruled out that the smell is not from your cat spraying outside of their box, but in fact the odor is coming from what is going on inside of the litter box, you can begin to follow the appropriate steps to eliminate the stench and have your house smelling fresh again.
How to Control the Odor
Regularly Wash the Box
Although it may sound obvious, regularly cleaning the litter box is the starting point to waving goodbye to nasty odors. How often you give your litter box a deep clean really does depend on how often your cat is using the litter box along with other lifestyle factors such as age, diet and exercise coming into play. If you are starting to notice litter box odors becoming stronger with your current cleaning regime, up the frequency of cleaning and start giving the litter box a good scrub once a week. To wash your cat’s litter box, first remove and dispose of any litter, before beginning to scrub the box using warm water mixed with a mild dish detergent. Once cleaned, thoroughly pat dry with a towel. If you’re after an even easier cleaning solution for your litter box, have a look at litter liners, which prevent dirt from sticking to your box. The Maya Litter Box comes with a waterproof and long-lasting liner, making it simple for you to effortlessly wipe your box clean.
Keep On Top of Scooping Out the Litter Box
Scoop out your cat’s litter at least twice a day. It may initially seem a bit of an ordeal, but your cat really does prefer plenty of clean and dry space in their litter box to continue using it comfortably. Furthermore, frequently scooping the litter box means a lot less time for litter box smells to accumulate. It’s also important to replace the scoop itself, along with the litter box annually. This is because over time, the plastic scoop reacts with the acid in your cat’s urine, eventually causing the plastic to degrade and then smell.
Use a Clumping Litter
Clumping litter works by forming clumps when the litter gets wet, or your cat’s urine is detected. A great thing about this type of litter is that it makes it easier to scoop out all of your cat’s waste, before it has time to build up and cause an odor. If you’re on the search for a good clumping litter, clay clumping litter is a popular option, due to its absorbent properties. As clumping litter dries out cat feces, its absorbability makes it fantastic for preventing your cat’s waste from reaching the bottom of the litter box, which makes things a lot more difficult when it comes to cleaning.
Add Another Litter Box
If you’re lucky enough to have more than just the one cat, we’re sure you’re more than aware of how bad litter box odors can get! We all know how bad the smell can become from one cat’s waste, let another one, two, or three…! Purchasing another litter box, however, will definitely help you to fight nasty odors. Adding another litter box will help to control the litter box smell, as the rate at which cat waste piles up will significantly reduce. The general rule of thumb is to use one litter box per cat in the household.
Try a Cat Litter Deodorizer
A cat litter deodorizer should not be used to replace correct hygiene, however they’re a fantastic way to get your cat litter smelling wonderfully clean and fresh, once all other cleaning is complete. Deodorizers can come either as granules, beads, sprays, or in powder form, with a range of different scents on the market. Alternatively, you can use a scented litter, which also comes in a number of fragrances. However, just be mindful that some cats are more sensitive to new smells than others so may not take to scented deodorizers or litters. As another option, you can go for an unscented deodorizer, which works by neutralizing odors. These will be best for cats that are more prone to irritation from strong scents.
Charcoal Cat Litter
Just like clay, charcoal, or activated carbon, is highly absorbent, making it perfect for getting rid of nasty odors. To incorporate charcoal/carbon into your routine, you can either opt for a bag of cat litter with activated charcoal or carbon or purchase a cat litter deodorizer that contains it. The Maya Cat Litter Box comes ready with an activated carbon filter, that will prevent odors from escaping the box.
Use Baking Soda
If you decide that a cat litter deodorizer isn’t right for either you or your cats, using a little baking soda is another sure way to help with the odors coming from your cat litter box, although it may sound like an unlikely fix. Not only is baking soda a completely natural, safe, and pet friendly option for your cats, but it can also be used on any type of cat litter, working by absorbing your cat’s urine. A little baking soda goes a long way, so you will only need a couple of teaspoons, even for a large cat’s litter.
Dangers of a Dirty Litter Box
Dangers of a Smelly Litter Box to Humans
Ammonia is the most likely culprit for litter box odors, found in approximately 0.5 percent of your cat’s urine. As the litter box continues to accumulate waste within a room in your house that may not necessarily be well ventilated, the harmful gas of ammonia is formed. Overexposure to ammonia can result in queasiness and headaches, but should it become more serious, it can further lead to pneumonia. For those with a compromised immune system or are pregnant, overexposure to ammonia can be the onset of toxoplasmosis, an infection by the parasite toxoplasma gondii, which can become life threatening.
Cat scratch fever, or cat scratch disease, is a bacterial infection from Bartonella henselae bacteria, associated with cat feces. Although very rare, the disease can again cause dangerous symptoms such as fatigue, swollen glands and fever.
Dangers of a Smelly Litter Box to Cats
Cats really are clean animals, which means that many will only use a clean litter box, often resulting in cats doing all they can to avoid using a dirty one, even if it means uncomfortably holding in their urine. However, delaying using the bathroom is not a great idea for cats as it can cause urinary tract diseases such as bladder inflammation and kidney blockage, or failure. Although all of which can be treated by your vet, prevention is always better than the cure.
Cats can also unfortunately fall victim to cat scratch fever. Their symptoms are similar to those that we can suffer, with swollen glands, fatigue, and a lack of appetite being the most common.
Having a cat should not mean having to compromise on the smell of your home. Although the unpleasant odor from a litter box can be overwhelming at times, it doesn’t have to remain that way. Hopefully with a bit of advice, you can now be one step closer to saying goodbye to cat litter odors for good.
Spring has nearly sprung, which of course means new beginnings! Many of us will make a start to the annual spring clean and take advantage of the slightly longer days and warmer weather by spending some more quality time outdoors again. And just like us, our pets appreciate all that spring has to offer after a long winter! For our furry friends, this season means more time outside in their run, where there will now be a lot less mud, and plenty of luscious grass to play in and peck at. But before your pets head out again, get them involved with the spring clean and give their run a tidy up as well!
Move Runs to a Fresh Space
Before beginning a spring clean, you’ll want to take your chickens, guinea pigs, or rabbits to a temporary enclosure to keep them safe and out of the way. Once this is done, you can move their run to a fresh spot in the backyard. All Omlet runs can be transported and can then simply be secured in their new position using the Omlet screw pegs.
Guinea pig and rabbit bedding should be changed frequently (twice a week), so be sure to include this job when you’re carrying out the spring clean. Fortunately, the Omlet rabbit hutches and guinea pig hutches can be easily navigated to change bedding with slide-out trays, which can be cleaned and refilled.
For hens, spring is the time of year where you’ll begin to notice an increase in egg laying output after a winter of minimal or reduced egg production. Make sure that your hens’ nesting boxes have soft bedding for chickens, which will provide them with a cozy place to nest, as well as reducing odors in their coop.
Use Caddis to Improve Run Cleanliness
To further improve cleanliness of your rabbit or guinea pig hutch, you can use Caddis as an alternative way of feeding. Not only do Caddi Treat Holders provide pets with the mental stimulation they require but they keep food off of the run floor. In doing so, you’ll also keep unwanted predators and rodents away from your pets.
Give Your Pets a Groom
As well as keeping your pets in pristine condition, grooming is a great way to build a bond, and it’s not just for cats and dogs! So why not hop into the new season with your pet looking their very best, all ready to get back into their run?
Although it might be your first instinct to run your guinea pig a bath if they’re looking in need of a clean, this can actually be harmful for them. Instead, invest in a guinea pig grooming kit and chemical-free wipes, which will help to maintain their fur cleanliness. For more information on guinea pig hygiene, have a read of a previous blog we wrote on this topic.
The amount of grooming a rabbit needs, however, is dependent on its breed. Longer haired breeds such as the Lionhead require a thorough grooming regime, so it’s important that you upkeep this routine all year round.
Chickens are very low maintenance animals and will often bathe themselves in dust to keep clean. You can even offer them a helping hand and make your very own chicken dust bath by converting a bucket or old cat litter tray!
Extend Their Run
Now that your spring clean is complete, why not consider adding a few extras to their run? Your pets will be spending more time outside, so it’s the perfect excuse to get an extension for their run, and theZippi Run Extension Kits are ideal for making your rabbit or guinea pigs’ play space bigger. For chickens, try the Chicken Walk In Run Extensions, which can be fitted to your existing chicken run to give your flock some extra freedom.
Upgrade Your Pets’ Run With New Toys and Accessories
A few more toys and accessories for your pets’ run won’t go amiss either! Omlet has a wide range for chickens, guinea pigs, and rabbits. TheZippi Shelter with a Play Tunnel is a great option to go for, giving your cavies hours of entertainment in their run, alongside providing them with plenty of exercise, essential for their wellbeing.
Chickens will absolutely love theOmlet Chicken Peck Toy for their run, which can be filled with their favorite treats or feed, stimulating their foraging instinct.
Now you’re hopefully all ready for what spring brings you and your pet. Make a start to upgrading their run today!
Thursday, February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day, celebrating the small (or big) things you can do to make someone else’s day, week, month or even year. This is the perfect opportunity to spread some happiness to friends and family, furry or not! Here are a few suggestions of things you could do (pet based of course!)
Walk a Friend’s Dog
If your friend has just had a baby, has a busy time at work or just has a four-legged friend that won’t relax, they will most likely be overjoyed if you pop in to take their dog for a walk. Spend an hour enjoying a nice stroll around the block or throwing a ball around in the park, and you will be both dog and owner’s favorite person!
Make a Cake from Your Hens’ Eggs
Gather up a few fresh eggs from your chicken coop and dig out your favorite cake recipe. Invite some friends over for a spontaneous brunch or knock on the neighbors’ door and hand them your delicious creation.
Buy Your Pet a Blanket
For pets it’s Random Acts of Kindness Day every day of the year. They give us so much joy it’s nice to, every now and then, treat them to something nice. A great gift for your pet is a Super Soft Dog Blanket to put on their bed. They don’t even have to be a dog, many pets will love snuggling up on a blanket for some extra warmth and comfort.
Go to a Pet Shop and Pay for Someone’s Shopping
Give back to a fellow pet owner at the pet shop. You don’t even have to make yourself known, just leave some extra money when you’re paying and tell the shop assistant to put it towards the next customer’s purchase. A gift to both pet and owner!
Donate to an Animal Shelter
If you have a few pennies to spare there is arguably no better way to spend them than to donate to an animal shelter or charity. Some shelters accept donations in the form of food, treats and bedding, so you could buy an extra bag of your own pet’s favorite feed and put it in a donation box or bring it to the HQ.
Make Today Your Pet’s Perfect Day
You probably have a pretty clear idea of what your pet’s ideal day would look like. Maybe it’s a special breakfast followed by a walk or some playing? A grooming session and some cuddling? Or just treats galore! You can pretend it’s their birthday and make every aspect of the day that little extra bit special. And we’re sure you’ll also have a big smile on your face by bedtime!
Collect Litter on Your Dog Walk
As you’re already going out, you might as well take a trash bag and some gloves and pick up some litter while your dog is bouncing around. You’ll be surprised how much trash is hiding in bushes or on the side of the road. A great help for wildlife, and a nice thing to do for the community!
Leave Out Bird Food
Wild animals can also need a little help sometimes, especially in the colder months, and they will definitely appreciate a small random gift of kindness. Put up some bird feeders in your backyard and fill them with delicious seeds or fat balls and you will quickly be able to spot a range of beautiful little birds outside your window.
These are our suggestions, but I’m sure you have lots of other ideas! A Random Act of Kindness could be to share them on social media and tag us so more people get a chance to spread some happiness this February!
We asked people from the amazing Omlet community to share stories of how their pets helped them find love, or how animals played a big part in some of their most romantic moments. Cuddle up and read these heart-warming stories!
Elisse – VW, USA
I met my husband, Dan, in 2001 while we were both working for FEMA in NYC, on the Disaster Response Operation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; he was Logistics from HQ, and I was Community Relations from NYC. He came over to my apartment, and, being a US Army Ret. workaholic can-do kinda guy, he decided I needed shelves – and that he was just the man to install them! Dan set out his tools and got to work… and Trapper, my sweet old Yellow Lab, laid down next to him and put his paws over Dan’s tools. It was SO obviously a possessive “he’s mine” move that we both started to laugh- that was one of the many reasons I knew Dan was “the one”: Trapper was not going to let him go!
Trapper always loved me, I’d had him since he was a puppy in 1988, but he ADORED Dan: he’d finally found “his guy”! And Dan loved him back: When we moved to WV in 2002, and Trapper’s back legs started to go from old age, Dan carried him up and down 3 flights of stairs every day… and Trapper would lay out in the sun while Dan worked on our garden, swiveling his head around, as he had to see Dan All The Time… he’d “arf” if he couldn’t see Dan at all times!
Mel – UK
As a child I grew up around animals, and this pushed me into my career as a veterinary nurse. My life is based around my pets, and pet owners put their trust in me every day to keep their 4 legged, feathered, and scaled family members safe.
My valentines love story is about my wedding day, it wouldn’t be the same without animals around me! Upon planning the wedding when I called my local pastor the first thing he asked was ‘I hope your dogs are coming’ of course they were going, but he didn’t realize the extent of the animal packed day! I was taken to my wedding by 2 beautiful grey horses pulling us along with my 3 dogs by my side. My dogs walked down the church aisle with my man on honor, and one of them was my ring bearer! I’m so proud that she managed to go all the way down the aisle without stopping to get cuddles from all her favorite guests in the church pews. I was then taken by the horse and carriage to a beautiful barn where my mom surprised me with one of my favorite animals, alpacas!
By the end of the day my dress was black and green where the alpacas had stood on my dress, but I didn’t care, it truly was a magical animal packed day! However, I was a little sad my chickens and guinea pigs didn’t get to make an appearance, but I think they were happy enjoying the sun at home!
Lauren – UK
When I first met my now husband, he told me he had a cat. Having not had my own place due to being at university and travelling I was very intrigued as I love animals. I swear blind he told me that she was called Stripe because she had a white stripe from the tip of her nose to the tip of his tail. This wasn’t the case as she was a tabby with no white markings. But it got me intrigued enough to hear more!
When I first went to my now husband’s house for the first time shortly after we met, I sat on the sofa while he made a cup of tea in the adjoining kitchen. While he was doing that his cat (Stripe) came and sat on my lap and I was stroking her. When he came back with the tea my husband said that she never does anything like that as she is a very shy cat. So we always say that Stripe chose me as she knew I would love her!
She sadly died in 2020, but we gave her the cat equivalent of a state funeral.
Annette – UK
My cuddly Cupid was my first ever dog called Dooby!! She was a Lakeland Terrier cross with a Jack Russell – and a very picky, feisty dog. When I had a few friends come over to stay, just near Christmas, she decided that night that she would leave my nice warm bed and go and sleep with one of my friends. Her choice!!
His name is Ian and we have now been married for nearly 25 years, and yes, she was at the ceremony. Unfortunately, we no longer have her with us in the flesh, but she will always be with us in spirit, having made the best decision of my life for me!!
Mathieu – France
When I met my future wife Céline, she had a 3-year-old Yorkie: Nouky. The first time I went to pick her up to go to the cinema, her father opened the door. I politely asked to see Celine, but the dad called Celine’s mother Lyn, pretending I was coming for her… But the little dog, whom I had met the week before, came to cheer me on. I wasn’t in the wrong house! He stayed with us for the next 12 years, always playing ball (excellent goalkeeper) and never tired!
The new Maya Donut Cozy Collection will have your cats snug, and your home looking stylish over winter.
Just like us, our cats feel the effects of the cold weather that comes with winter, with some breeds less equipped for the harsh weather than others. Hairless cats, or cats with shorter coats, for example, struggle to retain their body heat during the colder winter months. Unsurprisingly, longhaired breeds such as Siberians find it easier to adapt to the cold because of their long and thick coats that offer layers of protection. However, sometimes all of our feline friends need that extra bit of help to prevent them from becoming too cold when the temperature drops. Here’s how to keep your cat warm in winter.
Do Cats Get Cold in the House?
If you have indoor cats, you may be wondering whether they can be affected by the cold weather as well. The answer is, yes! While we can try our best to keep our homes warm by turning up the heating and wearing more layers, certain rooms always seem to feel as though they have more of a draft than others.
How Can You Keep Your Cats Warm in a Cold House?
Our homes can get pretty chilly over the colder months, which means you’ll often find your cat moving to areas where they can find the most warmth. Luckily, there are several ways that you can help keep your outdoor, or indoor cat warm in the home.
Do Blankets Keep Cats Warm?
One way to keep your feline friend warm inside of a colder house is to purchase acat blanket, which you can place over a piece of furniture that your cat likes to spend time on, or even on top of their own bed. The Omlet Luxury Super Soft Cat Blanket is ideal for cold weather, with a quilted grey plush on one side, and a luxury sherpa on the reverse. How about using your pet’s blanket along with a cardboard box and cushioning to build them a cozy den? Find out how you can make onehere.
The machine washable cat throw can turn any spot in your house into a comfortable sleep haven for your pet.
A Cozy Bed
In a previous blog, we explainedwhy some cats prefer to sleep on our beds instead of their own. However, having a good quality, cozy pet bed could help to resolve this issue as well as keep your cat warm in a cold house. TheBolster andMaya Donut beds are great cat bed options, both having been designed to provide your cat with ultimate levels of comfort in mind. The snugMaya Donut Bed is perfect for winter weather, with the deluxe faux fur being irresistibly soft and cozy, alongside its squishy cushioning, making for a bed that your cat won’t want to leave!
A Safe and Warm Hideaway
For additional comfort for cats during the winter weather, you can place your cat’s bed inside anindoor cat house. A cat house can be placed in any area of your home and will protect your cat from drafts and disturbances in their private den.
An additional top tip to help keep your cat happy and healthy over this period is to feed them more. You might notice that when it’s colder your cat appears to be more hungry, just like us! This is a response to burning more calories as they maintain their body temperature to stay warm. Try adding a bit more to their food to their diet or provide them with a few more nutritious treats to keep them going.
Something else to be aware of during the colder months as a cat owner is the location of their litter tray. Of course, it’s only natural to want to keep cat litter odors at bay, which can mean placing their indoor litter tray in a room away from where the family spends a lot of time. However, secluded areas of the home such as the garage can have more of a breeze, so be sure to move it to a warm room if need be.
What Temperature is Too Cold for Cats?
Extreme weather conditions such as really low temperatures can be detrimental, and even fatal, to cats. Older cats and kittens, as well as indoor cats, in particular, are more susceptible to feeling the cold as their bodies are not as well adapted as cats who have spent more time outdoors. Other factors such as body weight and fur also play a role when it comes to dictating what temperature is too cold. The general rule of thumb, however, is that they should not be left outside once it reaches below 44ºF.
When cats are left outside in freezing temperatures, they become at risk of developingfrostbite and hypothermia. If your cat has been outside and displays symptoms such as excessive shaking, shallow breathing, being cold to touch, having blistering on their skin, or icy paws, tail tip or ears, when they return, you must contact your vet immediately.
Is It Okay to Let Your Cat Outside in Winter?
The best place for cats to be over winter is indoors, where you know you can keep them safe. We earlier found out just how dangerous the low temperatures can be for cats, so it’s wise to keep them indoors until it warms up again. Fortunately, when the weather gets too cold, most outdoor cats will naturally retreat to their home, where they know they’ll be warm.However, it might take other outdoor cats a bit more convincing.Keeping your cats entertained with plenty of stimulating toys is a good idea to help them get through this period, which will help with meeting their physical and mental exercise needs.
Does Cats’ Fur Keep Them Warm in Winter?
Cats’ fur plays a vital role in protecting their internal body structure, and how they communicate. Have you ever noticed how your cat’s hair stands on end when they’re agitated? Your cat’s fur is also there to keep them protected from the outside elements like the cold, but also from warm weather. The amount of sunlight affects how much your cat sheds, which is why you’ll find that they will often shed more during the summer months. During autumn, when we begin to lose sunlight, cats will grow a thicker winter undercoat to keep themselves insulated, ready for the cold weather.
As we previously touched on, this means that cats with longer hair have more protection from the cold weather. Hairless, or cats with short coats, need a bit more help staying warm over this season. It’s important that you are able to provide your cat with a safe, warm indoor space, regardless of breed, along with investing in additional winter supplies such as blankets. For hairless cats who struggle more this time of year, you may wish to purchase a sweater for them to keep warm and toasty. Just be sure that they are completely comfortable, and the fabric doesn’t irritate their skin.
The winter can be a tough time for our pets but as we get through the last few months of cold weather, you should continue to make sure that you’re helping to keep your cats happy, healthy, and warm with the right resources!
With the new Cozy Collection, there are six new amazing Maya Donut colors to choose from! If you like them all, or are just a bit indecisive, why not let your cat’s personality decide? Take the test to see which color bed your cat should have!
What time does your cat wake up in the morning?
They do all their sleeping in the daytime
Whenever I wake up
When they hear the noise of food bowls being filled
Never before noon
What does your cat do when allowed outside?
Just sit by the door waiting to be let in again
Chase squirrels and birds
Sleep on a lawn chair
Go meet up with their friends
Sit in a tree and groom themselves
God knows, they just run off
You have to take your cat to the vet, how do they react?
They love it
Run and hide somewhere I can’t get to them
Hiss and scratch
They make a lot of fuss for a while, then happily jumps in the carrier
They always behave really well
We have to get the vet to come to us, it’s the only way
What word would you use to describe your cat?
A little cranky
How does your cat react when you come back after a day at work?
Just roll over and continue sleeping
Run towards me
They always sit by the door waiting
They are nowhere to be found
Make sure I notice them, then go and sit by the empty food bowl
Come in to say hi, but go away again pretty quickly
What animal would your cat be friends with?
They are a bit of a loner to be fair
They could get along with anyone
What is your cat’s favorite treat?
Anything with catnip
They just love normal cat food
Anything really smelly
Expensive, organic cat treats
It’s a bit weird, but my cat loves fruit
My cat doesn’t care about food
If your cat went to school, what would their favorite subject be?
What is your cat’s least favorite thing?
Being woken up
Having their nails clipped
Butterscotch Yellow Your cat knows what it wants and is not afraid to say it. The Butterscotch Yellow donut bed will be a great match, and we think it will look great against their coat as well.
Fig Purple Your cat is clearly full of energy, so giving them a nice, calming Fig Purple cat bed to relax on will be an improvement to their lives.
If your cat was a human, we’re pretty sure it would be pretty cool. Mint Green will match their amiable personality, and will look great in any room of the house.
Your cat is pretty relaxed and likes to just chill out with the family. A bed that is stylish and classic will be ideal, choose the Mousse Brown Maya Donut!
We get the feeling your cat is a bit of a sensitive soul, and the color that goes best with that is of course a lovely Peacock Green.
Your cat is a rebel, so they need a bed to match their fiery personality! Ruby red will be perfect.
A luxury dog bed with a super snug topper is perfect for dogs over winter.
With the holiday season winding down, it’s always a struggle to get back into a routine and avoid the winter blues. This also applies to pets as well as their owners.
By spending quality time with our pets and making the most of our friendship with them, we can all find the joy and energy to beat the blues.
Healthy food for pets
Animals often need more food in the winter months. This is because they spend a lot of energy on keeping warm, and they need the fuel to feed that energy (just like a boiler that needs to work harder to heat the house during cold snaps). Always give them the correct, high-energy foods to get them through the cold spell.
Keeping moving is important all year round, but for dogs the winter walks may be shorter or less frequent than in the warmer months. Bear in mind that for a dog the need to exercise doesn’t change with the seasons – they’ll love sniffing through the snow every bit as much as they love chasing the scents of summer. If they have a space outside to run around in, this can help them let off steam before the next walk. You could try keeping a shorter walk interesting by taking it in a new location, or one you haven’t visited for a long time.
Exercise is important for all other pets, too. If you keep rabbits or guinea pigs outside, adding some excitement to their runs with a tunnel system adds hours of fun and exercise to those short winter days. Zippi runs for rabbits and guinea pigs are an ideal way of keeping these small pets content. You can add shelters and all kinds of twists and turns to keep them stimulated and happy.
Keep your pet’s brain active
By spending time with your pets, you can keep their minds active in various ways, depending on the pet. Talk to your pet birds; play with your dogs and cats; and give your hamsters, gerbils or other small mammals some stimulating new toys. Budgies, finches, canaries and parrots will enjoy getting to grips with a new bird toy, too. Nothing like a new cerebral challenge to beat the winter blues!
The toys will also help your pet entertain itself once everyone is back into their routines and the house falls quiet again after the holiday season.
It’s possible that your pet dog has been missing those trips to the park during the holidays and the cold weather. If you have a sociable dog, a trip to the park for a sniff around and perhaps a meet-up with some old friends will give an added boost to the day. A doggy play date is another great way of combining socializing, fresh air and lots of moving around.
Keep your pets warm
In the average home in winter, some parts of the house or flat are warmer than others. Make sure your pet bird, hamster or gerbil isn’t in a cold or draughty corner, as a drop in temperature takes its toll on a small animal’s health and its ability to keep warm.
A sophisticated, cozy cat bed that fluffy friends can’t resist!
Extra bedding does the trick for rabbits and rodents. With cage birds, you need to keep a regular room temperature. You’ll notice when they’re cold, as they’ll fluff out their feathers and will be less active than usual to conserve energy. Covering the cages at night helps to retain heat.
A dog or cat is spoiled for choice when it comes to comfy corners and snug blankets. You can give your pet a real treat by ensuring maximum comfort with a Topology dog bed or Maya donut cat bed. Cats and dogs that really feel the cold can be dressed in winter coats.
Rabbits and guinea pigs that live outdoors will need an insulated hutch to keep them snug during the winter. The Eglu rabbit hutch and the Eglu guinea pig hutch are the perfect choices here, as they keep your pets warm in the winter with a twin-walled insulation system, (and these hutches keep them cool in the summer too).
Keeping the indoor environment safe
When the winter winds and horizontal snow restricts you to the great indoors, you’ll need to keep the room warm, but not too dry. Spending all day in dry air can dry out an animal’s skin (and yours too). An open fire should always have a fireguard on it, and hot radiators and wood burning stoves need shielding from pets, too. Dogs and cats can easily scorch themselves by getting too close to the hot spot.
Keeping old dogs comfy
Cold weather has a tendency to make common conditions such as arthritis worse than usual. An older dog may need to take it easy for longer than usual after a run around in the park. Again, a super-comfy dog bed is what you need here, and some nice soft dog blankets.
Keeping yourself and your pets warm, active and healthy in the winter months is a surefire way to beat the winter blues!
Does your cat get in the way when you’re wrapping presents at Christmas? Are you tired of hunching over badly wrapped socks with scotch tape stuck to your fingers? Is your dog snoring in the corner with one eye on the food gift sets?
It’s time to take a break and make some fun DIY pet toys! These four simple toys can easily be made with used wrapping paper cardboard tubes, so you can make great use of the tubes, and keep your pets entertained.
Opting out of wrapping this year? Don’t worry, you can make all these toys with a toilet paper roll or paper towel rolls.
Safety note: Always supervise children with scissors and supervise your pets with these new toys. Give treats in moderation.
You will need:
Toilet roll cardboard tubes or a longer wrapping paper tube cut shorter
Your dog or cat’s favorite treats/kibbles
Cut into one end of the cardboard tubes, and repeat around the edge of the end of the tube, about 1cm between each cut, and up the tube by about 2cm
Fold the cut pieces into each other and hook together so they hold their position, push your thumb through so the ends point inwards into the tube
Repeat with the other end, but before closing up the tube and pushing inside, fill with your pet’s favorite treats or kibble
Use the pencil to poke holes into the tube, just about big enough for the kibble to fall out of
Give to your pet and encourage them to kick the tube around to release the treats!
You will need:
Toilet paper roll cardboard tubes or a longer wrapping paper tube cut shorter
A small cardboard box
Your dog’s favorite kibble
If using a cardboard box, cut down the top flaps so it’s a completely open box
Stand up toilet paper roll cardboard tubes in the box. You can cut them into different heights to make it more interesting
Fill the box with your dog’s food
Place the box on the floor and watch as your dog sniffs out their kibble and nudges and removes the tubes to eat
Christmas tree chewer
You will need:
Toilet paper roll cardboard tubes or a longer wrapping paper tube cut shorter
Fold a toilet paper roll tube in half by length (end to end)
Draw a Christmas tree shape on the toilet roll
It’s very important to leave a folded edge uncut by about half a centimeter either side – this will hold the tree together
Once the tree shape is cut, push in the sides so isn’t folded flat, and the tree should stand up
Place in your hamster’s cage or playpen and enjoy!
You will need:
Toilet roll cardboard tubes or cut up a longer wrapping paper tube
Treats or kibble
Cut a toilet roll tube into 5 rings
Place one ring through the other, and a third ring through these 2
Place another ring through a gap, then pop some kibble into the center
Place the final ring through the tiny gap left so it holds its shape
Roll the treat ball on the floor for your cat or dog to kick around to release the treats!
We all love our pets, and sometimes it simply seems far too difficult being apart for just a few hours, even at night. Surveys have shown that up to two thirds of people with cats or dogs now sharing a bed with their furry friend, so it’s clear that the prospect of snuggling up with the cat or dog at bedtime can sometimes be impossible to resist. Many pet owners would agree that co-sleeping with a beloved pet seems harmless. However, with sharing the bed also comes drawbacks. First of all, though, let’s talk about the main benefits of letting your pet sleep on the bed.
Benefits of Sharing a Bed with Your Pet
Sleeping with your pet can be a great bonding experience for both parties. Dogs and cats provide their owners with physical comfort and support, strengthening your bond and relationship, which can help your pet to feel more at home.
For dog owners in particular, sharing your bed with your pet every night can be a great security measure if you have any concerns about break ins. Regardless of how your dog would react to any intruders, they’re a great deterrent to any burglars and provide you with a sense of safety at night. Although your cat might not be able to put up much of a fight against any intruders, they’re highly sensitive creatures and can alert you of anything that appears suspicious, such as unusual smells or sounds.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Studies show that co-sleeping with your pet can help elevate your mood and reduce stress and anxiety levels. When you cuddle with your dog or cat, having that contact releases the happy hormone of oxytocin. Reduced levels of stress and anxiety levels may also help you to get a better night’s sleep.
Personal Alarm Clock
Like humans, cats and dogs sleep at night and are awake for the day (well, for the most part!). They’re both creatures of habit and love routine so don’t be surprised if you get a very personal wakeup call from your pet at 6am every morning. Look on the bright side though, you might never have to set an alarm for work ever again!
Drawbacks of Sharing a Bed with Your Pet
Fleas and Parasites
Unfortunately, cats and dogs are notorious for fleas. If you regularly welcome your pet into bed for a snuggle at night, then you may also be welcoming their fleas too. Although easily treated, having fleas is an unpleasant experience for both you and your pets. More worryingly, co-sleeping with your pet could actually be putting your health at risk. Both dogs and cats can spread parasites such as tapeworm, that can make us sick.
If your cat or dog is prone to shedding, then don’t expect your bed to escape from the mess! It’s no secret to most pet owners how much of a nightmare it can be to forever be hoovering up your dog or cat’s fur from around the house, so if you don’t fancy adding another chore to the list then maybe it’s best to avoid sleeping with a dog or cat.
It’s not a good idea to share the bed with your pet if you suffer from allergies, even if they’re not pet related. Those who suffer from asthma or are sensitive to pollen and dust for example, may find their allergies being triggered from sharing the bed with a dog or cat.
When you allow your animals to share the bed, you run the risk of facing behavioral problems. For dogs that are prone to separation anxiety or territorial aggression, allowing them to sleep on the bed at night could only be worsening these issues. Cats can also suffer from issues such as territorial behavior, so if you’re met with a hiss or lash out from your cat when you attempt to move them off the bed then it’s probably not a great idea to continue sharing.
If you (or your pet) do decide to sleep alone, it’s important to make sure that you provide them with a safe and cozy bed at night. Omlet stock a wide range of pet beds for dogs and cats that optimize comfort and hygiene, so that your cat or dog will be just as snug in their own space.
If you (or your pet) do decide to sleep alone, it’s important to make sure that you provide them with a safe and cozy bed at night. Omlet stock a wide range of pet beds for dogs and cats that optimize comfort and hygiene, so that your cat or dog will be just as snug in their own space. The newMaya Donut Cat Bed offers first class comfort, made with a luxurious faux fur fabric your cat will love. Or how about trying theTopology Luxury Dog Bedfor your pet pooch. With a memory foam mattress base, your dog will be in their element with a number of customizable toppers to fit their personality.
So, as amazing as it can be to share the bed with our favorite furry friends, with risks such as behavioral issues and allergies to consider, the decision really is a matter of personal choice. Either way, it’s always worth investing in your pet’s own bed to give them the option to have their own safe space (however little or often it may be used!).
Every cat owner knows the feeling of treating their feline friend to a new bed, only for him to reject it in favor of the cardboard box it came in, or even worse, jump straight back on to your bed and curl up right in the middle! But why is it that cats often like to sleep on our beds instead of their own? And can their minds be changed?
How long do cats sleep for?
Cats sleep an average of 12 to 16 hours a day! That’s double a human’s recommended sleep time. It’s no wonder cats can be so particular about where they choose to rest and can be found sleeping in different places all around the home, often depending on the time of day or night. Their important sleep routine should be supported by the perfect bed, so why do they choose yours?
Why does my cat prefer to sleep in my bed?
Many surveys have concluded that owners who allow their cat to sleep in the bed with them have a worse night’s sleep due to having less space or being disturbed by their cat meowing, snoring, purring or grooming, yet cats don’t seem to mind bunking with their owners!
You may also notice your cat is getting more use out of your bed than you and chooses to curl up there for a quick cat nap, or even a leisurely 5-hour snooze. This also leads to many cat owners reporting they have to wash their bed sheets more often if they share the bed with their cat.
Cats may like to sleep with their owner for warmth, company or reassurance, but it may also simply be because your bed is far better than theirs.
Why won’t my cat sleep in its own bed?
A commonly cited reason for cat owners not buying their cat a bed is that they think they won’t use it, but never giving your pet the chance to find somewhere else cozy to sleep will surely mean a life of nighttime disturbances for you.
It’s no secret that cats are the fussier pet in the home. This fussiness might extend to wanting a particular brand of cat food or litter, and of course refusing to sleep in that luxurious new cat bed you treated them too.
But why is this?
If your cat is eager to curl up on your thick fluffy blankets, or stretch out on your own memory foam mattress, the problem could lie with the quality and style of the bed you have chosen for your cat. Do you need to get your cat a new bed?
The first step to finding a bed your cat will actually use is identifying what they like; there is no use in buying a small cave bed if your cat prefers to stretch out across the sofa, or a thin, flat bed if your cat likes to sleep in a deep, squishy cushion. Ignore novelty cushions, get your cat a bed they will actually love.
If your cat likes to curl up and sleep on a plush or faux fur blanket on the sofa, consider a fluffy bed they can really sink into, like the new Maya Donut Cat Bed from Omlet. The removable, machine washable cover is super soft to touch, and the deep donut cushioning supports all around the body for a warm and cuddly feeling which will lull your cat to sleep.
If your cat likes to sleep near you, place the Maya Donut Bed on the sofa for a cozy cat cushion. You can also raise the bed off the floor with sophisticated, designer feet to minimize drafts, disturbances, and maximize style.
For cats who like sleeping on their owners thick, memory foam mattress, consider a memory foam bed they can call their own, like the Omlet Bolster Bed. The generous size of the bed will allow your cat to stretch out and roll around just as much as on your nice double bed, and they can still curl up against the cushion of the bolster edge.
How can I encourage my cat to sleep in its own bed?
The position you have placed the bed in the home may also be unfavorable for your cat. Notice where your cat chooses to sleep in the day and place the bed near this area. If your cat sleeps on your bed or the sofa, start by placing the cat bed on top of these.
Use treats as a reward for getting on the bed voluntarily. Make sure not to move the bed repeatedly around the home, this could unnerve your cat and make him resistant to getting too close for fear of it being moved away again!
Some cats don’t like sleeping on the ground, so consider raising the bed up with feet, like for the Maya Donut Bed. You can also place the bed in a sleek frame, like the Maya Sofa, perfect for the Bolster Bed.
Why has my cat discarded his old bed?
If your cat has decided his once favorite cat bed is no longer for him, it could simply be a small personality change. If he’s not showing any other signs of abnormality which could hint to a health problem, he could simply have got bored of the bed, or found a better sleeping spot somewhere else in your home.
It could also be that the bed has lost its cushioning and is simply no longer comfortable enough for your cat to sleep on, or perhaps the bed has become dirty or smelly and your cat would prefer a fresh start. This also might be the case if you’ve got another cat in the home who has stolen the other cat’s best nap spot.
Make sure to buy a bed with an easy to remove and machine washable cover so you can keep the bed fresh, and a high-quality mattress or cushion which won’t lose its plumpness!
It’s important to give your cat freedom to sleep where he or she feels most comfortable, and if that’s a cardboard box then so be it! But by ensuring your cat has at least one warm and cozy option and using positive encouragement, your cat might see the benefit to his own space and finally let you sleep in peace!
Introducing the new Maya Donut Cat Bed
Super soft and luxurious feel for a restful cat nap
Removable, machine washable cover is easy to keep clean
Raise the bed with designer feet for style, comfort and hygiene
Supportive shape with deep filling for a warm, cuddly feeling
Choose from two stylish colors to suit your home
One size suitable for cats up to 11 lbs.
Available from $28 now!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gemma, Verified Omlet Product Tester – “I am so glad I have finally found a cat bed that is not only nice to look at but my cats love! I find that cheaper cat beds lose their shape and color quickly, and this hasn’t happened at all! It still looks great, and a super easy to wash cover means it will stay looking great for a while yet! Can’t recommend enough!”
Topology Dog Beds give all dog’s that ‘clean sheet’ feeling.
It is estimated that 44% of Americans share a home with their canine companions but 1 in 20 of those dog owners never wash their dog’s bedding. A recent survey discovered that 22% of dog owners think that the dog bed takes 2 weeks to become unhygienic, yet 23% still leave it a month between washes! No wonder a dog bed is one of the 10 dirtiest spots in the home.
We’re known as a nation of dog lovers, but it has become clear that many owners do not give their dogs the sleeping experience they deserve. In fact, the survey showed that only half of dog owners wash their dog’s bed as frequently as dog and hygiene experts recommend: at least every other week.
The survey found the main reasons people struggle to keep their dog’s bed clean is that it’s time consuming and it leaves their dog without a bed while the cover is being washed and dried.
So how do we make it easier for the owners, and more comfortable and hygienic for the dogs? Enter Omlet’s newest innovation: Topology, the dog bed evolution our pets have been craving!
Topology Dog Beds feature patented, machine washable toppers that easily zip on and off a sturdy and supportive memory foam mattress. This allows owners to quickly swap to a new topper when the dirty one is in the wash. A range of designs from luxurious sheepskin to highly absorbent microfiber and even a beanbag version mean that you can find a topper that suits your dog perfectly, and looks great in your home.
After many days of rigorous play and nights of deep sleep, a worn topper can also be replaced without the need to throw away the rest of the bed. Economical, hygienic and kinder to the environment!
Another exciting feature of the Topology Dog Bed is the possibility to raise the bed with stylish designer feet. Not only does this make the bed blend beautifully in with the rest of your furniture, it also improves airflow around the bed without creating nasty drafts, minimizing dust and debris as well as unwelcome disturbances. Yet another improvement to dog bed hygiene, thanks to Omlet!
Omlet’s Head of Product Design, Simon Nicholls, says: “We wanted to combine all the things dogs and their owners find important into one ultimate dog bed, and what we ended up with was Topology. The combination of the base, the toppers and the feet provides extreme comfort and support, cleanliness and hygiene, and durability. It’s been really nice to see how different dogs tend to go for different toppers and how their favorites match their personalities!”
Meet five “pawsome” stars from our exciting new video, and find out more about their new favorite dog bed: Topology!
Topology is a super stylish, comfortable and practical bed that both dogs and owners will love! Machine washable toppers zip on and off the supportive memory foam mattress, so that your dog’s bed can easily be kept clean and hygienic. The range of five different toppers also means that you will be able to customize the bed to fit your dog and their personality.
We asked five of the canine characters in the Topology video to tell us which topper was their favorite and why:
Freddie love his Topology Dog Bed with a comfy Beanbag topper
Freddie is a boisterous Dalmatian with bundles of energy! He loves showing off his jumping skills, and will happily throw himself at his bed over and over again to burn off some steam. This isn’t a challenge for the robust fabric and stitching of the Topology Dog Bed, and Freddies favorite topper, the Beanbag, is both fun and super comfortable as it fully lets the dog’s body relax as they lie down on top of it.
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes even Freddie needs a good, long nap, and as much as the Topology dog bed can withstand his lively playing, it will also provide superb support for his resting body. Thanks to the memory foam layer in the base and the softness of the topper, the owners of Freddie have no doubt he’s fully relaxed and comfortable when he finally settles in for the night.
Woody could relax for days on his Topology bed with luxurious Sheepskin topper
Even if neither he nor his owner would admit to it, Woody the Goldendoodle is what many would describe as a pampered pooch. He won’t settle for anything but the most luxurious of dog beds after his strolls around the city’s parks, so it’s no surprise that his favorite topper is the sheepskin.
Positioned in the best position in the living room, Woody can stretch out on his Topology Dog Bed and feel the super soft fabric against his skin while the memory foam mattress molds around his body. Woody’s owner really appreciates how easy it is to remove and clean the topper.
Winston feels safe and supported on his Topology dog bed with Bolster topper
Little Winston is a Dachshund, and only six months old. With all the exciting exploring, learning, playing and chewing shoes he has to do all day, it’s extra important that he has a comfy bed to retreat to when he gets tired.
Winston absolutely loves the bolster topper. Not only does the perfectly padded bolster give his little head support when he snoozes, it also encloses the body to provide a den-like feeling that adds a sense of security.
Margot favors the elegance and extreme comfort of the Quilted topper
Margot is a classy Afghan Hound who appreciates the simple luxuries in life. She loves being comfortable, preferably curling up by the fire after a walk around the town when she enjoys meeting new dogs to sniff.
Margot’s favorite topper is the super soft quilted version. It stays cool against the body in Summer and has a warming effect in Winter, and the classic design oozes luxury and comfort. Additionally, Margot’s owners love the look of the soft minty grey against the rest of their furniture!
Esme can dry off and relax on the Microfiber topper on her Topology Dog bed
Esme is a perfectly sized terrier mix who loves nothing more than running over wide fields and chasing squirrels between trees on long country walks. Rain and wind won’t stop her – the muddier the better! That’s why the microfiber topper is her favorite. The structured fabric is nice to roll your wet back against, and it will speed up the drying process.
Esme’s owners also love that she’s got a space to dry off after inevitable hose-downs that isn’t the living room carpet! Leftover mud and moisture from walks will quickly and smoothly blend into the microfiber topper, and it can be washed over and over again, allowing for more lovely nature walks.
Ever cleaned your pets’ run and found old bits of moldy cabbage or soggy feed that is nearly impossible to pick out of the grass? There is an easy way of keeping your pets’ treats fresh for longer, while also improving run cleanliness AND keeping your animals entertained!
The Caddi can be hung at any height from all pet runs, trees or other structures in your backyard or garden. It’s super easy to fill with whatever you want to give your pets, be it bits of fruit, or fresh hay.
At the moment you will get 50% off Caddi Treat Holdersfor chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs when you sign up to the Omlet newsletter. Take this opportunity to make your pets’ run more fun and more hygienic than ever before!
4 reasons Caddi will improve your pets’ run:
Improves run cleanliness
All pets will be happier if their living quarters are tidy and clean, but it’s also important for their health that both their coop or hutch and run are kept hygienic. Moldy food left on the damp ground can make a chicken, rabbit or guinea pig very ill, so having a Caddi to keep it in will make it much easier for you to spot anything that’s gone off, and to remove it in a second.
Reduces food waste
Food, treats or hay that is left on the ground on the run will go off very quickly, especially at this time of year when temperatures can vary dramatically between day and night and there is likely to be more rainy days. With the Caddi, the treats you leave your pets will keep fresher for longer as they won’t come into contact with the wet ground. They will also be kept dryer thanks to the waterproof top.
Keeps pests away
The end of summer means that there will be less food available for wild animals like rodents and small birds, and they are likely to approach your garden and your pets’ home in search for tasty morsels. By putting feed, hay or vegetables in the Caddi rather than scattering on the ground, you are making things more difficult for uninvited visitors!
Yummier tasting treats
As the treats, veg or hay you are giving your pets are kept contained in one place and won’t get stepped on by muddy feet, they will be crunchier, cleaner and better tasting. As the swinging motion of the Caddi offers stimulation and entertainment, your pets will truly enjoy snack time!
Buy now and get 50% off when you sign up for the Omlet newsletter!
Terms and conditions: This promotion is only valid from 09/28/21 – midnight on 10/03/21. Once you have entered your email address on the website you will receive a discount code that can be used at checkout. By entering your email you agree to receive the Omlet Newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any point. This offer is available on single Caddi Treat Holders only. The offer does not apply to Twin Packs or Twin Pack with Peck Toys. Excludes all other chicken accessories. Offer is limited to 2 Caddis per household. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.
It’s often hard to tell if a hen is laying. Hens do not produce the same number of eggs each week throughout the year, and there may be health- and environment-related changes to egg production, too.
It’s useful to know when a hen stops laying, as you can then give her a quick health check to identify the cause of the interruption. But how do you tell which chicken is not laying eggs? In a coop of six hens, in which the daily average number of eggs is five, it’s not immediately obvious which hens are laying.
Seven signs that a hen has stopped laying
1. Age. This is the most obvious cause of a drop in egg production. Over her egg-laying years, a hen’s production will tail off. This is natural, and it does not mean the chicken has reached the end of its usefulness. All hens play a part in the social order of a coup, and a bird reaching the end of its egg-laying life will still be as feisty, active and lovable as the younger birds – and she’ll still lay the occasional egg.
2. Molting. This occurs every year once a hen is 18 months old (although younger birds may shed feathers, too). The signs are very clear – lots of feathers lying in the coop, and bare patches appearing on the hen. During this time, chickens need to produce lots of new feathers, which is a physically demanding process. Consequently, egg-laying is reduced, and sometimes there will be several days without an egg. The molt tends to occur in the autumn, but it depends on when the hen first started laying. Molting takes 8 to 12 weeks, occasionally longer.
3. Vent. A dry vent – the hole through which the hen lays her eggs – is a sign of no production. In a hen that is still laying, the vent will be moist.
4. Abdomen. If the area below the breast bone is hard, it means the hen is not laying eggs.
5. Comb and wattles. A healthy laying hen tends to have bright red comb and wattles. These become duller when she is about to lay, but turn bright red again once she has laid the egg. If the comb and wattles are pale or dull looking all the time, it could be a sign of illness.
6. The food dye test. If you put a small dab of food coloring on a hen’s vent, the color will be transferred to the egg. The color that fails to appear tells you who the non-layer is. This is only practical in smaller flocks, though, given the limited palette of food colorings…
7. No eggs. This isn’t as silly as it sounds! If you only have a few hens, and they are different breeds, you will often come to recognize which eggs are produced by which hen. In this case, the sudden disappearance of one particular egg-type will tell you who’s not laying.
Five reasons why hens stop laying eggs
1. Temperature and sunlight. Seasonal factors play a part in egg production. As the daylight hours lessen in autumn and winter, hens tend to lay fewer eggs. In the depths of winter, the low temperature becomes the cause, as a hen needs all her energy to produce body heat. With her resources diverted to this essential function, egg-laying is put on hold.
2. Stress. Any form of stress will tend to interrupt or stop egg production. Stress can be brought on by several things, including parasites, bullying, injuries and fear (of noisy dogs, for example).
3. Diet. Poor diet can impact egg production, too. If a hen is laying, she needs all the essential nutrients – not just calcium – to produce eggs. Top-quality layer’s pellets will contain everything the hen needs. A hen that fills up on treats before filling up on pellets may become malnourished and stop laying. It’s a good idea to let the chickens feed on their pellets first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and only offer corn and treats in the middle of the day.
4. Broodiness. A broody hen – that is, a hen who has decided to sit on her eggs in an attempt to hatch them – will stop laying. There are several ways of discouraging broodiness, but some hen breeds are more prone to it than others. If all attempts to dissuade her from leaving the nesting box, you have the consolation that after 21 days – the time it would take for a fertilized chicken egg to hatch – the hen’s self-inflicted ordeal will be over and she will resume normal life – including egg-laying.
5. Change of routine. If you move the hen house or introduce new birds to the flock, or if one of the hens dies, the birds’ routine and pecking order will be interrupted. This often causes them to stop laying for a short time, until their social lives settle down again.
Four ways to encouraging laying
1. Comfy coop. The first thing to do is to make sure the hens’ environment is adequately equipped and comfortable. Check for red mites, as an infestation of these nocturnal parasites can stop egg production. Reduce drafts and make sure there is no bullying going on – often a sign of an overcrowded hen house.
2. Light. Some chicken keepers install lights in the coop to encourage laying in the colder months of the year. However, bear in mind that a chicken can only lay a finite number of eggs in its lifetime. If she’s naturally programmed to lay 1,000 eggs, encouraging her to lay regularly throughout the winter will simply reduce her laying life.
3. Eggs. If an apparently healthy hen isn’t laying, she can be encouraged by leaving eggs in the nesting box, or placing rubber ones, or even golf balls, in the spot where she is supposed to lay. The sight and feel of these will encourage her laying instincts.
4. Reduce stress. Discourage dogs from disturbing the hens, and make your run and coop are as predator-proof as possible. Equally important, make sure the run isn’t overcrowded, and provide enough roosting space in the coop for all the hens to rest comfortably.
If your hens are free-ranging, they will sometimes lay an egg in a quiet corner of the backyard. This can become habit-forming, and if she’s doing it in secret, you may reach the incorrect conclusion that the hen isn’t laying.
A healthy hen who does not appear to be laying may be the victim of egg sabotage. A predator, a human thief or an egg-eating chicken might be removing the evidence of her labors. The best way of preventing this is to encourage your hen back to the nest box for laying. In crowded coops, a hen will sometimes seek an alternative laying place if the boxes are all full when she feels the urge to lay.
As a hen ages, she will produce fewer eggs. If you are uncertain of the age of your chickens, there is a simple test you can conduct that might sometimes give you a clue. Place your hand gently on a hen’s back. If she immediately squats down, it means she is still fertile and therefore producing eggs. Hens squat when they are mating, and it is an automatic response.
Although egg production drops as a hen ages, it will often continue throughout her life. The occasional egg from an old hen always reminds you what a wonderful friend she’s been throughout your long time together!
If you have done your research and decided that a rabbit is the pet for you, you now have the task ahead of choosing which rabbit breed you would like to get. There are lots of wonderful breeds to choose from, and they all have their own specific features and characteristics. To help you pick the right rabbit for you and your family, we’ve put together a list of things to think about:
Rabbit breeds differ in size, from small Netherland Dwarfs to large Flemish Giants. Smaller breeds tend to be more skittish and nervous, whereas larger rabbits are generally more gentle and less aggressive.
Larger rabbits will naturally need more food, and more space. But don’t think that small rabbits will be fine with limited space, often littler bunnies run around a lot more as they have more energy.
Child-friendly rabbit breeds
While young children should never be given the main responsibility of looking after a rabbit, if you have children in the family it’s good to find a breed that is generally happy to be touched and handled.
A lot comes down to personality, but there are some breeds that are known to get along well with children, like French Lops and Dutch Rabbits.
Reason for getting a rabbit
Think about why you are getting a rabbit, and what is important to you in a pet. Are you happy to just watch them enjoy themselves in the garden, or would you really like to have a rabbit that is sociable and wants to come to you for cuddles? Would you like to breed for your bunny, or show it off in rabbit shows?
Rabbits come with various fur lengths, colours, ear types and builds. You probably have an idea of what you would like your pet rabbit to look like, but it’s worth exploring a few different breeds to see what’s out there.
It’s important to remember that different breeds require different amounts of grooming and looking after. Long fur, like that of the Angora rabbits, will for example need brushing daily or a few times a week, so you will need to consider if that is something you will be happy to do.
Meet the rabbit in person
While rabbit breeds have characteristic features and temperaments, a lot also comes down to breeding and personality. If possible, try to go and see the breeder or person you are buying your rabbit from, or the center where you’re adopting from.
If your rabbit is still small, watch how they interact with their surroundings and siblings, and if possible, see what the mother is like. Make sure the rabbit doesn’t have any obvious health problems, and try to get a feel for its temperament. If it’s important for you that the rabbit is happy to be picked up, make sure they have been around humans from the start and have regularly been handled.
Read up on specific breeds’ susceptibility to different health problems. Some breeds tend to have a higher risk of developing problems with their jaws, others with joints, or ear mites. With good care the absolute majority of rabbits will be happy and healthy, but it’s a good idea to research problems in order to prevent them.
The expected lifespan also differs somewhat between breeds. The majority of rabbits live between 5-8 years, but some breeds are known to often live for over 10 years. This is obviously a bigger commitment, so it’s worth thinking about.
Consider these things when choosing a pet rabbit. If you know what you want, here are some of our suggestions:
You want a gentle family bunny that is good with children
Your chickens’ coop should be a space for your flock to eat, drink, lay eggs, and sleep. It should also be a place for your chickens to feel safe and be protected from the outside elements or any danger. However, sometimes chickens may suddenly decide that they do not want to go into their coop at night, which can be for a number of reasons. Here are some explanations as to why this could be happening.
A Broody Hen
Hens can get broody, regardless of if you have a rooster. Although many hens will decide to stay in the nest of their coop so that they can sit on their eggs, others like to search for a quiet space away from the coop, which can mean remaining outside the coop all night.
Moving a broody hen can be highly stressful for them, so should you decide that it’s best to move your hen inside the coop, due to safety concerns, you need to take great care when doing so. One way to start is by collecting your hen’s eggs regularly (twice a day). Be sure to wear leather gloves when doing so, as a broody hen is likely to be aggressive around you as they are very protective of their eggs. You’ll also want to reduce the light supply when you move her, as the moving process situation will be less traumatic in the dark.
Predators such as foxes, cats, rats, and badgers could be one reason as to why your chickens have stopped going inside the coop at night. These animals will spook your flock, with smaller predators such as badgers having the potential to gain access inside the coop by climbing over the fencing, or squeezing through small openings in the coop’s wiring.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to deter these animals and have your chickens back in their coop every night. One option is to get a motion sensitive light installed, which will scare off any unwanted guests. Alternatively, take a look at the Omlet chicken coop range. All of the Omlet coops are predator resistant, which will reassure you that your chickens will be safe from any night time visitors. With anti-tunnel skirts that lie flat on the ground, and heavy duty steel weld mesh, these features will help to prevent animals from digging in. You can also purchase the Omlet automatic coop door which shuts your chickens away in their coop at night to keep your flock secure, enclosing them until the time you set for the door to open in the morning.
An Overcrowded Coop
Chickens need their own personal space, hence why many chickens are also kept free range. Not only is overcrowding an unpleasant experience for chickens, causing them to avoid the coop at night, it can also lead to further complications such as the build up of ammonia and an increase in disease. The solution? The more space the better! For size reference, the Omlet Large Eglu Cube chicken coop can comfortably accommodate six large hens or up to ten bantams.
Tensions Amongst Your Chickens
Unfortunately, bullying amongst chickens happens, and isn’t actually too uncommon of a problem. Chickens naturally create a pecking order, whereby the flock will establish themselves in a social hierarchy of strongest to weakest chicken. However, if aggressive behavior continues after the head rooster, or the dominant hen in their absence, has found their way to the top of the ladder, you may be dealing with a bully. Common signs are missing feathers from a chicken’s back, unusual weight loss, reduced egg production, or blood from where the victim has been pecked, all of which could lead to a chicken/s refusing to go into their coop at night.
To stop the bullying, and therefore get your chickens back in their coop at night, first try to establish the cause. Common reasons for bullying can be an injured or ill bird, having a large flock, or your chickens being bored. However, should the bullying continue after attempting to resolve what you believe to be the cause of conflict, you can purchase anti-pecking spray, which will discourage feather pecking. Alternatively, separate the bully from the flock. Isolating the bully for a week may mean that they lose their dominant position in the hierarchy once they are reintroduced.
Mites and Parasites in the Coop
Pests are a very common cause for chickens to have stopped going to their coop at night. Red mite in particular is a likely culprit, a parasitic mite that lives inside chicken housing and lays eggs in cracks near nests. They can make your chickens restless at night, as they live inside chicken coops and crawl onto the chickens to feed on their blood as they sleep. Only active during warmer weather, red mites are also more likely to strike wooden coops.
Red mites are not the easiest thing to get rid of, however, one solution is to purchase red mite treatment, which works by immobilizing pests with its sticky consistency. Rest assured, it’s also completely safe to use in the chicken feeding area, so you do not have to have any concerns about your flock digesting the product.
Luckily, chickens are creatures of habit, so once you’ve identified the cause, you should be able to get your flock back into the coop at night in no time!