RECOMMENDATIONS

Cat Scratchers/Trees

Kalven are a great company for sturdy scratch posts suitable for our chunky cats.They are made with solid wood (not cardboard), the same type as they use for telegraph poles, so they withstand the weight of our BSH's. Don't make the same mistake I did and buy the standard trees as they will not last, nor be suitable, when your BSH is fully grown.

I did own 'The Monty' (£140) which they all loved and often slept on. However, due to having an increasing amount of cats, and limited space, I have now passed this onto my brother for his cat to enjoy and I have replaced it with the Deluxe Gym (£325).

Another company is Cat Tree King. They have luxurious cat trees and I did own the 'Maine Coon Tower' (£215).

Aphrodite and Keisha were very keen to try it out for the first time (pictured).

They are lovely but unfortunately they are not built as good/strong as Kalven and mine didn't last very long. If you only have the one cat then perhaps yours would.

Litter Boxes

I own a Litter-Robot 3 Connect which I recently upgraded from the Litter-Robot Open Air 3. It is expensive to buy (from £579), but worth it if you have more than one cat at home. You do save on litter in the long run as you do not use as much as you would with standard boxes. Having a self-cleaning litter box means less shovelling and more time playing with my kitties :-)

I do use standard litter trays also, for when I have kittens or need to separate my cats. As a general rule, you should have 1 for each cat you have, plus 1 extra, and these need to be placed in different areas of the house. 

I have found, and come to love Brit-Pet litter trays (starting at £33.95) and have replaced all my standard trays with these. It's amazing how much litter you save. I highly recommend!

"The Sieve Litter Tray... This litter system uses less than a third the amount of natural wood pellet litter compared with single litter trays because the fresh pellets are always kept separate from the waste. No Wastage of Unused Pellets".

I personally like to use a puppy pad in the bottom tray as it absorbs the broken down, damp pellets that have been sieved through the top tray. It also makes cleaning so much easier.

Litter

When first bringing your new kitten home, it is best to try to use the same litter they are used to. This will help settle them in, and avoid any accidents caused by confusion as to where to 'go'.

The Litter Robot requires clumping litter for it to work. I have tried many brands but so far I find the Pets at Home brand to be the best. I use the Anti-Bac range (Clumping litter should not be used with small kittens as there is a risk of them eating it which clogs up their systems and can be fatal). 

I use Pets at Home non-clumping pine wood pellets in the Brit-Pet litter trays, or the Platinum Plus which ever is on offer at the time. I find that the trays do not smell and are very easy to clean. Kittens raised in my care are introduced and trained to use this system (Brit-Pet trays and wood litter). The best part is that you save so much money as there is very little waste with the Brit-Pet litter trays. Solids are disposed of, double bagged in the general waste bin, and the wood shavings can be composted and put into your garden waste bins (brown bins in the East Riding).

Food

I feed and recommend Royal Canin complete (dry food/kibble). 

Kittens dry food (Complete feed suitable for 4 - 12 months old) 

Adults dry food (Complete feed suitable for over 12 months old)

My kittens are weaned onto Royal Canin dry, and Hi Life (complete) kitten wet food. It is strongly advised to continue with the foods that your breeder has weaned them with to avoid upset stomachs. (Contact me to claim your free Royal Canin Starter pack - my customers only).

Alternatives for non kittens/cats of mine, or for when my kittens have settled and are older (please see the information sheet in your packs for guidance on introducing/changing food types. It is also discussed in the blog's FAQ's page): 

 

Royal Canin dry is a complete feed, however you can give them some complimentary wet meat daily or as a treat along side the usual dry food to give them some variety.

Applaws Tuna (Tins - Complimentary feed)

Applaws Kitten (Tins - Complimentary feed)

Applaws Mixed (Pouches - Complimentary feed)

Thrive is a complete wet food, that I give on occasion. It can be given in replace of the dry food, however I still always provide the dry daily for them to graze regardless of any other additional food/treats.

Cosma is also a big hit with my cats and kittens (as an alternative to Applaws), which is used as a complimentary feed alongside the dry food.

Teddy-C in a tunnel

Toys

A very popular toy these days for both you and your cat is Da Bird (USA version), or PurrSuit (UK version).

"These are no ordinary feather on stick toys! The feather refills are aerodynamically configured to spin through the air simulating a flying bird and for your cat look and sound like the real thing! Cat's Adore them!"

This 'Tower of Tracks' activity toy is a big hit with all (£17).

All my cats and kittens love the tunnel £13.99 (pictured here with Teddy-Campbell) and provides hours of fun.

As soon as they hear me getting the laser pen (£5) out they all coming running out from everywhere. Apart from keeping them fit and entertained, it is also a great way of getting them down from those high to reach areas or rounding them up for vet visits etc. Works every time ;-)

All cats love Catnip! I find most I buy from pet stores are not very potent and my clowder show very little interest. However the American brands such as Yeowww and Bam are fantastic.

Mine have the Bam Chilli and the Yeowww Fish which they all go crazy over. These designs are good too because they are long so they are able to grab them and give them a good kick!

Cat Chalets & Garden Security

If you are really wanting your cat to enjoy some outdoors, I highly recommend investing in an outdoor chalet or catio. British Shorthairs are not good having an outdoor life and should be indoor only pets. However, this doesn't mean they cannot enjoy the outdoors if they are supervised or put in safe enclosures.

shedcetraltd.co.uk

If you wish your cat to have the run of your garden (supervised), maybe you could consider installing rollers on the tops of your fences/walls to prevent them from jumping or climbing over. A business I came across during one of the Shows I entered who makes and installs such a product are Katzecure.

Another two alternatives for fence-top barriers or made-to-measure balcony frames is Protect A Pet, 

or FeliSafe.

Window Coverings

You don't want to risk your indoor kitties escaping, yet you need to open your windows for some fresh air and to cool down in those hot summer months. 

I found Flat Cats and were a lifesaver! I have them installed on most of my windows now. There is no need to damage your frames either by screwing fixtures and fittings as these are installed with just velcro. They come in several colours to match your deco. An added bonus; They keep out unwanted bugs and insects too which is a great hit with my daughter!

Insurance

When you buy a kitten from me, I provide you with 4 weeks free insurance from PetPlan. You are able to continue the plan if you wish which is highly advisable, and if you sign up before the end of the 4 weeks initial cover, you will usually get another month free. I use these myself and have had no issues with them in all the years I've been a customer.

Why should I insure my pet? One of the hardest positions pet owners can find themselves in is being unable to afford the cost of treatment. That's where pet insurance can come in and provide that peace of mind, so that you do not have to make these difficult decisions, allowing you to focus on caring for your pet. Which plan and insurance is right for you? We promote Petplan insurance for your pet as they offer a true lifetime policy and cover dental and hereditary conditions as standard, making it no surprise that they are the UKs no.1 pet insurance provider. Our practice specifically recommends Petplan's Covered For Life® policies you don't have to worry about your cover reducing when you claim, as veterinary fees cover renews each year no matter how often you claim, as long as you renew your policy each year with no break in cover.

Stress Relief

There are times and situations when our pets may become stressed, such as travelling, Bonfire Night/New Years Eve, introducing new pets or a new baby arrival, and moving house to name a few. There are many products out there that can help relax them in these cases, and if you are due to get a new fur baby it is a good idea to get one up and running a week before your kitten joins you.

Pet Remedy and Feliway are natural de-stress and calming products that I have used and find work. I use Feliway Friends regularly with having a multi-cat household.

Cat Hotel

I am yet to find the need to put my fur babies in a cattery as I usually have a family member stay over to look after them while I'm away. However, I do keep my eyes and ears peeled for potential good catteries if such an occasion should arise.

This lovely place was brought to my attention and has had nothing but great reviews. It looks absolutely fantastic and I  wouldn't mind being a cat in my next life and staying there myself.

They call it Yorkshires Ultimate Retreat - The Ings Luxury Cat Hotel and is definitely worth a look!

Grooming & Teeth Cleaning

There are many grooming products on the market, therefore it can be hard to choose which one is best for you and your fur babies. I do not recommend Furminator brushes for the British Shorthair breed. This particular brush works by removing the under layers of fur which will thin out the characteristic dense fur of the British Shorthair.

A great grooming kit I came across is from Catit, and it contains everything you need for your British Shorthair.

Or, if you have a British Longhair click here.

Cats generally will not appreciate nor tolerate you trying to clean their teeth. If that is the case for your fur-baby then I recommend sprinkling some Plaque Off powder onto their food. It is best practice to have a scale and polish done by your vet every two years. This will prevent disease and keep their teeth clean and healthy. It will also ensure your insurance will remain valid for any dental issues that may arise in the future.

Cat Scratcher

Not only does this Infinity Scratcher by PetFusion have a cool look for your home, cats love it for laying about on, and more importantly scratching on which saves your furniture. Not all cats like the vertical poles for scratching which is why you may find your cat scratching at your carpets as they have a good stretch. Having multiple, different varieties of scratchers around the house will eliminate this unwanted behaviour. 

I tend to spray catnip on the scratchers which will attract them to the areas I am happy for them to use.

Cat Carrier

I often get asked what carrier I recommend but I feel this is more down to personal preference. Have a look a different types and get a feel of holding them and see how easy it is to open and close. Some are practical but are not the most comfortable when it comes to carrying them (talking from experience). One thing I would highly suggest is make sure you get one that has a top opening option.

I personally use the open top ones the vets use but that's purely down to the fact it's a requirement for some shows I attend, and also because it holds quite a number of kittens which is important for when I take litters for check-ups at the vets. However, it is very uncomfortable to hold so it's not recommended for carrying long distances!


If I were to recommend one for normal circumstances, I would say the Catit is a popular choice. I often see these for sale at shows and they seem popular amongst pet owners. It does have the top-opening option as well as the front, and it even has a drinking bowl attached to the door which is great when travelling longer distances. Don't choose the smallest one as you'll soon find your fur baby has out-grown it.
 

Flea, Tick & Ear Mites Treatments

There are many products out there to prevent your fur babies getting fleas and ticks etc, but please do your research before buying and applying! There have been many cases of certain brands causing severe reactions to our beloved pets with some leading to fatalities.

 

**My recommendations are just that. Please seek expert advice from your vet before using any products and/or treatments.**

I personally use Advocate for my cats (not for any pregnant or lactating cats, in which case I would use Stronghold). This is prescription only so it is supplied by my vet. The dosage depends on the individual cat's weight (The images supplied are for adult cats weighing more than 4kg). I love this product because it protects against much more than just fleas!

Another great product which I've just been introduced to for all round protection is Bravecto. It is more expensive and only comes as a single dose for around £30, however this product lasts for twelve weeks rather than the usual four so it works out to be around the same price in the long run but without having to stress your cat each month applying it. Again it is prescription only so you would need to order it from your vet. 

 

For control of fleas only then Advantage is a good product to use. This can be purchased from your vet or from Pets at Home stores. Pets at Home also do a subscription service.

 

In the event you have a flea infestation then you would need to treat your home at the same time as your pets. Virbac Indorex Defence Spray is a great product. **Please read and follow the care/usage advice before using and remove all pets (including fish), food and water bowls for a few hours**. 
 

Worming

Cats and kittens should be wormed according to the data sheet of the product but in general:

Prior to 13 weeks old your breeder should have been treating the kittens.

Then you should continue to treat MONTHLY until the age of SIX MONTHS

Then, every 3-4 months.

**My recommendations are just that. Please seek expert advice from your vet before using any products and/or treatments.**

 

The products I recommend are Panacur or Drontal.

They often come in forms of syrup, granules, paste, or tablets and the dosage is determined by your pets weight. It can be a pain trying to get our fur babies to take these as they soon cotton-on to what we are doing even though we try our hardest to conceal them in food! Thankfully they have made Dronspot, a spot-on which is applied just like the flea treatments on the back of their neck! It is more pricier than the traditional forms, but anything for an easy life! More importantly, you know that your fur baby has definitely had their full dosage. Furthermore, Pets at Home offer a VIP subscribe and save deal so you can't go wrong. You can also tie it in to your monthly flea treatment subscriptions they offer too. Please note though, it can leave a chalky residue on the site of application, therefore if you intend on showing your cat or kitten it is not the best option to use a day or so before the big day.

Gigi & Sunny Beds

Beds

On occasions, products are recommended to me by my customers who have bought something they love as much as their fur-babies do.

Check out how proud Gigi looks in her new bed by Sunny Baskets. They are lovingly handmade, and the quality and style speaks for itself. Gigi highly recommends this comfy bed.

I've spent a small fortune on different beds only to find out that they prefer the box they came in. They will always find a comfy spot on your sofa, or bed if permitted, and even rest up high on their cat trees which are highly recommended for this and many others reasons. However, when they are small and first arrive in their new homes I recommend this igloo bed, or one similar, as it offers somewhere safe and cozy for them to hide should they wish.

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Household Cleaning Products

There are many products out there that are not suitable for homes with pets and their usage can cause serious harm and sometimes fatalities to our beloved fur-babies. Therefore I feel it is important to show and recommend some alternative safe products to use.

Safe4 has a great selection of products for all your cleaning needs, such as disinfectants, hand cleansing, odour products, laundry liquids, and animal shampoo.

Air fresheners can cause issues and be poisonous for our pets too. I tend to stick with ambi pur 3VOLUTION Pet Odour eliminator which the company deems safe for pets but recommend not using any of their products in any area that might come in direct contact with them. These can be purchased at your grocery or pet store.

Lint Remover Tool

Hair Removal

British Shorthairs of course shed their fur, but as much as we love our fur-babies we don't want to go out looking like we too have fur.

I keep lint rollers near the door to use before leaving the house and in my car for touch ups if needed.

You can buy them from many places such as grocery stores, Home Bargains, The Range etc, and I even pick up a few when I visit Ikea.

I found a great tool on Amazon for removing fur from furniture, carpets, rugs, stairs, cat trees etc. I would not be without this! Its amazing how much hair you can remove.

Image by David Becker

Food and Water Bowls

There are many bowls and dishes of all shapes and sizes on the market. Your choice may come down to the asthetics however it is important that you choose one made of stainless steel or ceramic and not plastic. Many cats become allergic to plastic bowls and develop acne on their chins.

I have witnessed my cats having a preference to wider bowls. They don't seem to like it if their cheeks touch the sides of the bowl, and we all know how big those chubby cheeks can get on a male BSH. Choosing one that is heavy with a non-slip base is a good idea too. Some cats like to pull the bowl towards them which results in spillage. I personally use dog bowls for water for my adult cats as they are bigger, wider and heavier.

For food it is best to have a more shallow dish. This double bowl system by Catit is a good example for both wet and dry food.

It is important that cats have access to fresh clean water at all times and for them to drink plenty to avoid water infections etc. To encourage those less interested in drinking, water fountains are a great way to get them drinking more. Again, make sure not to choose plastic ones.

**My recommendations are just that. Please seek expert advice from your vet before using any products and/or treatments.**

Disclaimer:

Under no circumstances will I, Ria Hilfi or any of my family members, be held responsible or liable in any way for any claims, accidents, damages, losses, allergic reactions in any form to human or animal, expenses or liabilities whatsoever (direct or indirect), arising from the usage or advice given to you from any (not limited to) products or services I or my family members use or recommend, however caused.