Your Cat's New Favorite Toys, Treats and More!

Here are Cat Naps Cattery, we go through a lot of toys, treats, games and activities to test out exactly what our feline guests are enjoy during their boarding stays here in NJ. Some of our biggest hits include:

Treats

Inaba Churu treats are a HUGE hit with even the pickiest of kitties! This creamy, mousse-like treat comes in several flavors and each size pouch is enough to share between two feline friends, or for one’s indulgence! For a crunchy treat, Kitty Cravings are a tasty and popular. Having trouble getting your cat to eat wet food? Fussie Cat Premium canned food has stinky, yummy Tuna in every flavor as an appetizer.

Toys & Games

While every kitty may have different favorites in cat toys, some of our most popular play things include feather toys (with or without a jingly bell), stuffed catnip toys and crinkly balls for them to bat around and chase.

Health & Wellness

Hidiing places and interactive furniture is a must have for any kitty. At Cat Naps, our Jungle Combo by Kitty City pop up tents and tunnel are a favorite by cats both young and old. If your cat loves running water or needs to be drinking more water daily, a pet fountain is the way to go. For flat face or light colored cats, tear staining is a big concern. This Lid ‘N Lash eye wipes gently clean any gunky build up on sensitive cat eyes.

But Won’t My Cat Hate Being Away From Home?

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Cat boarding can be an unfamiliar environment, and many cat owners are nervous to take their cats away from home while they are away. However, getting your cat used to being in new places and around trained cat lovers is very beneficial!

Get Them Used to Traveling, Car Rides and Carriers

It is very common for indoor cats to hide away in their homes and vary rarely venture out. However, it is very important to get them comfortable with being in their carrier and some traveling. If your cat only goes in their carrier and for a car ride when they are sick or are getting groomed, it can be difficult for the cat to have a positive association with their carrier and with traveling.

Scheduling a cat for short term visits to a cat boarding facility, cat groomer, etc. can help them to realize that the carrier is a safe place and that car rides lead to something fun! Like treats, snuggles and play time. For tips on getting your cat comfortable with their carrier, see this article. When your cat is used to their carrier and car, then it is significantly easier to transport them if they are feeling under the weather, there is an emergency, or there is a change in the household (moving, new additions, etc.). Taking the time early on to help the cat be comfortable with dramatically improve their overall quality of life.

Socialization With Trained Cat Lovers

In addition to learning to like their carrier and traveling, it is good for cats to learn how to meet new people without feeling scared or overwhelmed. Cats need to be approached in a specific way and be in an supportive environment for them to come out of their shell. For cats that already have a high level of socialization, then visiting other cat lovers is a great way to enrich their lives. While some cats can be adverse to change at first, as cats become socialized they thrive on different environments, toys, people and play time.

A cat boarding facility is not like your average pet boarding. And it is very different from having a neighbor or friend stop by to check on them while you are away. Many cat boarding facilities have highly trained staff who know exactly what to look for and how to treat the different cats that stay in their care. This includes recognizing a change in litter box behavior, physical symptoms of illness, and knowing how to adapt each cat’s stay so they are engaged and stimulated in ways they enjoy.

One-on-One Attention Customizing Their Stay

Cat boarding is not just for the cat’s safety and well being, but to keep them engaged. Enrichment using toys, games, play styles and treats is a great way to fend off boredom. Bored pets can turn destructive, or just mope around the house being unfulfilled. At Cat Naps Cattery in NJ, our cat visitors get a chance to try a huge variety of activities and toys so we can find out what they like. Each cat will have different preferences and it is important to not overstimulate or make them nervous. This includes climbing walls, cubby hiding places, feather toys, chasing games, jingle or bell type toys, scratching posts, tunnels and cat tents, watching out a busy window (cat TV) or just quiet snuggling with soft music. Trained, cat loving staff know exactly how to approach your cat while introducing new activities and how to find out where your cat’s favorite petting spots are.

Also, many cats who enjoy being around people love the near constant attention they get while being at a cat boarding facility. Instead of a quick drop in visit once or twice a day, they have access to care takers any time they are feeling frisky or lonely. Always check with your cat boarding facilities to see if they have overnight staff as well, Cat Naps Cattery is one of the few cat boarding facilities in New Jersey that have staff onsite overnight.

Smells Like Home

Cat boarding places can easily be your cat’s home away from home. The surest way to do this is by bringing a small blanket or towel with you when your cat comes for boarding. Cats process a lot by their sense of smell instead of just sight. Having one or two items that smell like home can help a cat acclimate to a short or long term stay with a smooth transition. Cats have scent glands on the tops of their heads, which is one of the reasons they rub or headbutt people and furniture they like - it is so they can smell like them! Once the cat’s boarding room smells like them, they will see it as a second home and get comfortable quickly.

Why Cat Naps Cattery

Cat Naps Cattery is the premiere cat boarding facility in NJ. We have spacious boarding rooms, a variety of activities, treats and toys, and best of all - no barking dogs! Our Certified Feline Master Groomer also offers beautiful cat grooms for cats of all ages and breeds, services can include nail trims, nail caps, cat bathing, haircuts, shedding treatments and more!

See the difference at Cat Naps:

  • Daily housekeeping including litter box cleaned 4x a day and food/water bowls refreshed 2x a day minimum

  • Cat-safe cleaners, disinfectants and deodorizers keep our facility clean and smelling fresh

  • Custom cat trees, furniture and climbing shelves made with materials that can be cleaned thoroughly (no carpet)

  • Stays include 20 minutes daily out and about in our Kitty Courtyard play area with additional time available to add to any stay

  • Separate temperature control and air flow in our boarding area with HEPA filters

  • Large, open windows bringing natural light throughout the day

  • Plush, layered bedding, blankets and cat beds for snuggling and taking cat naps

  • Constant monitoring and security measures, plus overnight staff onsite

Are you in NJ? Schedule a tour to see our cat boarding facilities by contacting us here. Questions about our cat boarding and cat grooming services? See our FAQ section for commonly asked questions.

Helping Your Cat Love Their Carrier

The Cat Carrier. To many cats, the carrier is a scary place. Usually the only time a cat needs to be inside one of these portable kennels is to go to a strange place – the veterinarian, the groomer, moving to a new home, or even to go live with a new family. Because of these negative connotations, many cats hate carriers. They can lash out at their owner when being forced into the carrier; they can stress out while inside it; and they may go to the bathroom due to being uncomfortable in such a small space. However, the carrier doesn’t have to be a cause of stress for any cat. This article will discuss the importance of cat carriers, the different types of carriers, how to introduce a cat to a carrier, and how the pet owner can get them inside the carrier safely.

It is very important for a pet owner to be able to get their cat into a carrier quickly, easily and without causing undue stress to the cat. Many cat owners have expressed to me that their cats are more comfortable being held, wrapped in a blanket, or without any confinement during car rides, vet visits and grooming appointments. While this may be comforting to the cat, it creates a very dangerous situation where the cat is vulnerable to harm. Carriers keep the cat from escaping from their owner’s arms if they are spooked by a dog barking, a car horn, or any number of sudden noises. I have helped owners chase cats down major roads, through neighbor’s backyards and even under houses due to the cat escaping while not in a carrier. Luckily, all of the cats in those scenarios returned unharmed. But, it could have easily ended with the cat being injured by a car, another animal, or even being lost. Keeping the cat safe and protected inside a carrier prevents any of these situations from occurring.

Favorite Cat Carriers

We ask that each cat arrives to our facility in their own carrier. This is for the cat's safety and comfort. Cats can easily wriggle out of owner's arms when transporting to or from the car. After grooming appointments, cat siblings can sometimes be cranky to one another. This is due to a change in each of the cat's smell (how cats communicate with each other), but this will subside after a day or two. 

Several of our preferred carrier options: 

Amazon Two-Door Top Loading Kennel

PetMate Jackson Galaxy 2-Door Carrier

Pet Magasin Pet Travel Kennel

Our favorite cat carrier features:

  • Top Loading: this provides two doorways to get the cat in or out, giving multiple options for the cat's comfort

  • Hard-sided: soft-sided carriers can lose their shape over time, starting to cave in causing a cramped environment for the cat

  • Easily disassembled: some shy cats prefer not going through a carrier door. Alternatively, a carrier that has clasps instead of screws allows for an easy in/out, as well as an easy way to clean the carrier if the cat has any accidents.

How To Introduce Your Cat to the Carrier

If your cat isn't thrilled about being in its carrier, start as early as possible (before any veterinary, grooming or boarding appointments) to acclimate the cat so it sees the carrier as a safe place.

The first step is to bring the carrier into your cat's daily life. Bring a clean carrier and place it in your living room (or where your cat hangs  out the most). It can help to put a small blanket or cushion inside the carrier that your cat has used before, since cats relate to smell very heavily. If it smells like them, it can be easier for them to feel comfortable with it. 

The carrier should be left in the living space for at least a few days. When you want to give your cat a few treats, place 1 or 2 immediately outside the carrier and then another couple inside the carrier. Once the cat walks into the carrier on its own, gently close the door while the cat eats the treats. If they are finished, put another one or two treat through the door of the carrier for the cat to eat. Then open the door and walk away. 

Next, continue with the treats inside the carrier and shutting the door. Once the cat is comfortable with the door closed, life the carrier slowly and walk the cat outside to your vehicle. Give a few more treats through the door once inside the car. Then bring the cat back inside, open the door and give another treat. 

We are going to continue this process every few days, until the cat is showing no signs of stress when in the car. The next step is to take a quick drive around the block, giving a treat when you return home. Go for progressively further and further drives. This should allow the cat to become comfortable in the carrier, in the car and going on short drives for any veterinary, grooming or boarding appointments. 

Schedule your cat's grooming or boarding reservation with Cat Naps Cattery in Hamilton, NJ here.

My Cat Has Fleas! What Do I Do Now?

Fleas are nasty little critters.  These parasites jump onto your pets and drink their blood, leaving flea dirt and eggs in their wake.  They are hardy insects that are designed to be resilient and uncrushable.  What does this mean for you?  It means that in order to get rid of fleas for good, you will have to take multiple steps.

What’s So Bad About Fleas?

Fleas drink your pet’s blood and leave itchy bumps wherever they bite.  Pets can even suffer from anemia (severe blood loss) if the infestation is bad enough! In addition to the blood they steal from your pets, fleas also carry parasites like tape worms and can provoke allergic reactions.  Flea allergy dermatitis is caused by fleas and causes severe itching that can lead to secondary infections.

Treating Your Pet Is Not Enough!

Fleas don’t just live on your pets: they live in your house and in your yard.  This means that the battle against fleas must be fought on three fronts: pets, house, and yard.  Because fleas have a 4-stage life cycle that can take up to 8 months to complete, removing all fleas from your pet’s environment takes time.

Your First Step

Remove fleas currently on your cat.  We can give your cat a flea bath with a cat-safe flea shampoo that removes all fleas that your kitty has when they come in the salon.  This provides temporary relief from the current pests, however shampoos do not kill all stages of the flea life cycle. You’ll need to continue with a topical or oral treatment as directed by your veterinarian, and treat your furniture, carpets, etc. for full relief care.

Next Up: Prevention

Treat your pet with an oral or topical monthly spot-on treatment like Revolution, Frontline, Cheristin or Advantage, etc.  Your veterinarian can recommend the best product for you and your area.  Be absolutely sure that the product is safe for use on cats.  Cats are very sensitive to certain chemicals and if you use a product for dogs, it could result injury or even death to your cat!  If you aren’t sure, consult your veterinarian.  If your cat has just been bathed, so you will need to wait a few days before applying the product (each product is different, so check the product’s label for specifics).

Continuing the Fight

Now that your cat is more comfortable, begin eliminating the fleas in your cat’s environment.  If you do not treat the environment, the fleas will just keep reproducing and continue to bite you and your pets!

House: Many different products exist on the market for treating your house.   Among them are carpet and floor sprays, bombs and foggers, and powders.  Read the labels carefully to find the product right for your home.  Again, be sure that the product is safe for cats.

Yard: If you have fleas in your house, then you have fleas in your yard.  Fleas can jump over 6 feet and can ride in on any carrier they can find: cats, dogs, and even humans.  There are many insecticides available on the market, but the best long-term flea management contains insect growth regulators.  These products prevent anything with a larval stage (like fleas) from maturing so once the current generation dies, the fleas will be unable to replenish their numbers.

Last But Not Least

Don’t give up!  A flea infestation can be very difficult to get rid of, but with the right products and diligent effort you and your cat can be flea free!  To help with the flea removal process, we recommend a Follow-up Flea Bath within 2-3 weeks after your initial grooming appointment. 

Schedule your cat's flea bath appointment with Cat Naps Cattery here.

 

Ringworm in Cats

The following content is intended to be informational. We do not assume responsibility or liability for patient care or outcome.

What is ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin, hair and nails. It is highly contagious to not only other cats, but dogs and even humans! It is not an uncommon condition and any animal showing symptoms should be seen by a vet immediately to begin treatment. Animals with compromised immune systems, like kittens and senior cats can be particularly susceptible.

 

How is it spread?

Dermatophytosis (the medical name for Ringworm) is very contagious as infected spores are spread into the cat’s environment, including on bedding, furniture, toys, grooming tools, even carpeting and air vents. Ringworm can be spread by direct contact with an infected animal, or just by being exposed to the same environment.

Spores in the environment can remain infectious for up to 2 YEARS and can be difficult to kill.

Symptoms/Diagnosis

The name “ringworm” is misleading in that it is not caused by any worms, but refers to the red “rings” that can appears on the skin. Lesions of ringworm can be localized areas of redness, with bald, flaky patches of skin in the center. These lesions will commonly appear on the cat’s head, legs, chest and back. Ringworm can sometimes appear more generalized over large portions of the body and is seen as patchy hair loss.  Not every animal will have the same symptoms, so diagnosis by a vet is needed if ringworm or exposure to ringworm is suspected.

In order to determine if a cat is positive for ringworm, a veterinarian may use the following tests:

  • Wood’s Lamp: Infected hairs will fluoresce under this lamp that emits ultraviolet light at a particular wavelength. However, only around 50% of cases show fluorescence, so another test is usually required.

  • Cultures: Skin and hair scrapings are taken to be used in a fungal culture. This test is reliable, however may take up to several weeks to get a positive or negative result.

  • Microscopic Examination or Biopsy: In a laboratory, a sample of hair and skin scrapings can be examined to determine if spores are present. However, the absence of dermatophytes does not rule out ringworm infection.

Treatment

Once diagnosed, treatment is important to prevent the spread of the infection to other pets and humans. Your veterinarian will prescribe a recommended treatment based off of the severity of the infection, as well as taking into consideration any other skin conditions. Treatment may include oral medication, and/or topical treatment such as ointment or shampoo. Periodic rechecks of the fungal cultures and treatment of the cat’s environment will help eradicate the infection and keep it from reoccurring.

Cleaning house

A thorough cleaning should be done of the cat’s entire environment, it should also be repeated as the cat is going through treatment.  Cleaning and disinfecting products should be used that kill the spores, including products like All Stop or a 1:10 bleach and water solution. Make sure to read directions as most of these types of products must be left to sit on the surface for at least 5-10 minutes to be effective. Remember, bleach may cause discoloration or damage to some surfaces or fabrics (do not use chlorine-free bleach).

  • Bedding and Toys: Should be thoroughly cleaned or thrown away

  • Discard any item that is difficult or impossible to clean (carpeted cat trees)

  • Frequently vacuum the furniture, floors, vents, etc. and throw away the bag

  • Wear gloves and/or wash hands thoroughly after cleaning or handling pets

  • Restrict the infected pets to smaller areas or certain rooms to help minimize cleaning and chance of spreading the infection

  • Damp mopping or electrostatic cleaners (like Swiffer) will help clean floors

Treatment should continue on the recommendation of your veterinarian. Typically 2 negative cultures indicate that your cat has been successfully treated.

Choosing a cat groomer

Proper grooming is essential to the well-being of our beloved felines. Finding the purrfect groomer should be more than just looking in the yellow pages. Use the following tips to help you find the right professional cat groomer for you and your pets!

Education and Training

The grooming industry is currently unregulated. Which means there are no licensing requirements, such as a hairdresser would have. So it is important to ask a lot of questions about the education and training a groomer has had, specifically for cats. How much experience do they have? Did they attend a grooming school or receive any certifications? The ideal groomer should be able to answer any and all of your questions regarding safety, handling, and the grooming needs of your cat.

Attitude

In addition to be well educated, a cat groomer should be patient and compassionate toward your pets. When speaking to the groomer, they should be taking the time to address all of your concerns and have a calm, confident demeanor.

Tour the Facilities

If possible, ask to see where your pet will be groomed. While it is impossible to keep cat hair out of every corner, the groomer’s area should look and smell clean. The kennels or area where the cats are kept should be secure and of the appropriate size. The grooming room should be well-lit and of a comfortable temperature. If the salon also services dogs, where are they kept in relation to the cats?

Salon vs. Vet vs. Mobile vs. Housecall

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Each type of grooming salon has its advantages. The right choice for you will depend on a variety of factors including the cats’ needs, the owner’s location and schedule, and what is available in your area.

Salon

Each grooming salon is unique in layout, design, services and schedule. Some will even service only one cat or one family of pets at a time. Some have specific drop off/pick up times, others have appointments throughout the day. It is important to ask how each salon operates in order to best fit you and your cat’s needs. A salon that allows cats to stay for longer periods will be convenient for owners who work during the day, while nervous cats may benefit from “express” appointments. Also, stationary salon prices are usually lower than mobile or housecall, so cost can be a factor as well.
 

Veterinary Clinic 

Some veterinarians employ a groomer on premises. This is an option if your pet requires sedation or additional medical supervision during the grooming process. Only a licensed veterinarian should ever prescribe and/or administer sedatives to your pet. Make sure to ask questions regarding education, training and experience to make sure a professional groomer will be the one grooming your pet. This is a good option for cats that are too aggressive for a regular salon or have health conditions that require monitoring by a veterinarian or technician. Keep in mind that sedation can increase the cost of the groom by a significant amount.

Mobile Groomer

A mobile groomer brings the grooming salon to your doorstep. Usually inside a specially converted van or trailer, it is equipped with all the tools and equipment needed to provide full grooming services. Only one cat or one family of cats is inside the mobile salon at a time, and grooms are performed straight through. This is a great option for cats that are anxious, become stressed during car rides, and for owners with busy schedules. Ask to see the van and consider the above questions on safety, cleanliness, lighting and temperature. Mobile grooming is a premium service and the price of grooming will increase accordingly.

Housecall Groomer

A housecall groomer is someone who grooms your pet inside your own home. They bring all their own tools and equipment, only requiring a large sink or tub, and a surface to use as a grooming table. Housecall has many of the same benefits of a mobile groomer, with the added feature of the cat never having to leave its personal space and the owner is usually able to observe most of the groomer process.  Make sure your home has enough clean space for the groomer to work in, this can include a large bathroom, mudroom, laundry room, etc. The area should ideally have a door so a sopping wet cat can’t escape under a bed! Housecall grooming is also a premium service and will have a higher cost associated with it.

 

At Cat Naps Cattery, our Certified Feline Master Groomer Lynn Paolillo provides a variety of cat grooming services in our cat exclusive boarding and grooming facility in Hamilton, New Jersey. Ranging from nail trims to cat haircuts, we do it all! See our cat grooming services here.

What is a lion cut?

The term “Lion Cut” is used by cat groomers to describe the haircut done on cats when they are completely shaved down. Professional cat groomers use a set of clippers to shave the cat’s hair very short on the body.

There are a number of reasons why a cat would be shaved into a lion cut. It is unsafe to try and cut out matting with scissors or without proper training.  If your cat is either matted or you are interested in getting a Lion Cut done, it is best to seek out a qualified professional cat groomer.

 

 

What does a Lion Cut look like?

This trim is shaved very close to the skin on the body, belly and chest, leaving long hair on the legs, around the cat’s head and leaving a “pom” on the tail. Professional groomers can tailor this look to the client’s preference, as long as high-risk areas are not trimmed. These high risk areas include, further down the legs and paws where skin, ligaments, and tendons are sensitive to nicking, any whiskers on the cat (including by the muzzle, above eyes and backside of front paws), and too high around the face and tail.

This Long-Haired cat is severely matted and shaving the cat into a Lion Cut is the only humane option

This Long-Haired cat is severely matted and shaving the cat into a Lion Cut is the only humane option

Who gets a Lion Cut and why?

Cats can get lion cuts whether they are long or short-haired. The most common reason for a lion cut is matting. If a cat is already matted, the best and most humane option is to shave the cat into a lion cut, then get the cat on a regular grooming schedule to prevent matting.

Regular lion cuts can also be a good way to prevent a cat from becoming matted. Matting is not the only time a cat gets a lion cut; shedding and allergies can be reasons as well.

Lion cuts are very rarely done for vanity purposes. However, many cats enjoy their new hair do's!

This cat had large mats on its back. Shaving them off relieves the cat of these painful mats. This photo is after having the matting shaved off into a Lion Cut. Severe matting can cause discoloration and scarring on the skin.

This cat had large mats on its back. Shaving them off relieves the cat of these painful mats. This photo is after having the matting shaved off into a Lion Cut. Severe matting can cause discoloration and scarring on the skin.

Who should NOT get a Lion Cut?

Not all cats are candidates for getting shaved. Cats that are elderly, or in poor health can be at a higher risk for becoming stressed or nicked during shaving.  Cats that are aggressive or combative during the grooming process can also become overly stressed by shaving which can increase the likelihood of injury to both cat and groomer. 

Prevention is key. The best recommendation is to get these cats on regular grooming  schedules so that matting can be avoided entirely. Bath and blow dry appointments can prevent not only painful matting, but also excessive shedding, dandruff, hairballs (and dangerous blockages caused by hairballs), and much more. 

Speak with your professional cat groomer to determine the best grooming schedule and services for your cat.

While a standard lion cut includes "boots" trimmed to the front elbow and back hock bone, with a moderate mane and "pom" tail. There are variations to this depending on preference. These include full tails, fuller manes, even a mohawk or a "bolero" jacket (leaving all hair in front of the shoulders). 

Are you in the Hamilton, NJ area? Find out more about our cat grooming services here, performed by Certified Feline Master Groomer and Certifier, Lynn Paolillo at Cat Naps Cattery.

Are you looking for a professional cat groomer in your area? Visit www.NationalCatGroomers.com to search for members and CFMGs.

Are you a groomer looking to learn how to do beautiful lion cuts? Check out NCGI's Lion Cut online course, we also recommend  Grooming the Aggressive Cat online courseHere Kitty Kitty DVD and Cat with a Mat DVD.

Want more hair left? Check out our article What is a…Comb Cut.

What is a comb cut?

A Comb Cut is a term used by cat groomers that refers to a haircut that is created using clipper comb attachments. Sometimes referred to as a "teddy bear trim" or a "plush trim." If there is a specific haircut you are looking for, the best thing is to bring your groomer a picture for confirmation.

What is a Comb Cut?

A comb cut has the same stopping points as a lion cut – leaving boots, a natural ruff and a full or pom tail. While the lion cut is very closely shaved to the skin, professional cat groomers use additional tools to  leave anywhere from 3/8″ to 1″ worth of hair on the cat’s body.

This trim is primarily for medium- and long-haired cats, although shorthaired cats with thick hair can have a bit “taken off the top” with a comb cut.

Who can get a Comb Cut?

This trim is a great option for cats who are older, as shaving elderly cat skin can be treacherous. Comb cuts can also be performed with less manipulation of a senior cat’s legs and body, which can exacerbate arthritic limbs. Some feistier cats may be able to get this trim if they are not lion cut candidates, but should be discussed with your professional cat groomer.

Who can NOT get a Comb Cut? 

Comb cuts can only be done on cats that have no mats or tangles. It is a trim that is recommended for cats who are on a regular grooming schedule (6-8 weeks) and would not prefer a lion cut. For the best trim, the coat must be bathed, dried and the groomer must have the appropriate equipment. Scissors are NOT used to create this trim and we do not recommend using scissors or shears to trim hair on the cat’s body, legs, tail or head.

Are you in the Hamilton, NJ area? Find out more about our cat grooming services here, performed by Certified Feline Master Groomer and Certifier Lynn Paolillo at Cat Naps Cattery.

Want to learn more about another cat haircut?  Visit What is a Lion Cut article.

If you are looking for a cat groomer near you, visit www.NationalCatGroomers.com to search for members and Certified Feline Master Groomers. Also visit the National Cat Groomers Institute if you are looking to learn more about cat haircuts and cat grooming techniques.