The Tabcat Cat Tracker – My Review


I recently got the chance to test out the Tabcat Cat Tracker. Have you ever struggled to find your cat inside your house or around the garden or in the street, especially when it’s time to take them to the vet (they always “just know”!)? If the answer is yes, then this product may be for you.

The very attractive package I received contained two homing tags, two splash proof covers, and a handheld tracking unit. It was very easy to register a tag, and once it has been attached to your cat’s collar, you are set to track down your kitty wherever it may be hiding! 

Tabcat Cat Tracker package

Very attractive packaging and user guide in multiple languages

The homing tag weighs only 6 grams and is small enough not to bother your cat in its day to day activities.  Its range is up to 122 meters (400 feet), unless there are walls and doors between you and the cat, when it will be significantly less. I easily tracked one of my cats by following the beeps and lights on the handheld tracking unit. These increase in pitch and turn from red via orange to green respectively – green meaning that you have found your cat. There is also a little beeping sound that emits from the actual tag on the cat’s collar, and this can be used to teach your cat to return to you once he/she has been located with the Tabcat tracker.

Even though my cats are indoor only, they go out for walks under my supersion once or twice a day in our very safe pedestrian alley. They usually don’t wear collars, so in order to test the Tabcat Cat Tracker, I put on one of the many colourful cravats they own (see picture of Spider below) and attached the tag to that.

Inside the apartment, the tracker works great. So when you cannot locate your cat because of a trip to the dreaded vets, or after he/she has been scared by fireworks, it’s easy to find your cat’s hiding place. It works through walls, and probably in 2-storey dwellings too, but I was not able to test the latter because our apartment is on only one floor. 

Spider sporting the Tabcat tracker in a funky turquoise cover matching his cravat!

This morning, as I opened the front door, my boy Spider escaped and belted down the stairs into the alley. I used the handheld unit and was able to easily track him, hidden in a nearby alcove, where nobody would have found him because he was obscured by foliage. However, more testing revealed that the tracker will not work through more than one thick wall, and when my ginger queen Ruby was outside and behind two walls, the handheld unit did not pick up her signal until I had only one wall between us.

Here is my verdict and what I think are the pros and cons of the Tabcat Cat Tracker:

PROs

  • Small enough not to bother your cat and weighing on 6 grams.
  • Works through doors and through at least one thick wall.
  • It is possible to train your cat to come back to you thanks to the beeping on the cat’s tag.
  • Recommended for apartments or small 2-storey houses, and to find your cat around your garden and nearby streets.
  • Great to find your indoor cat – especially before vet visits or when he/she has escaped outside!

CONs

  • If it’s a large house or garden bigger than 100 meters square, it may if the cat roams further than that.
  • If the cat loses its collar, the tag will also be lost.
  • Will not work through more than one thick wall.
  • Not recommended if your cat has a huge outdoor territory.

** Click here to find out more about the Tabcat Cat Tracker on their website **


Share

Understanding Cat Behaviour


It’s tempting to think that all cats share the same traits, and of course it’s easy to recognise that purring signifies contentment and that when a cat pricks up its ears it is concentrating or listening. However, some cats act in such a way as to cause puzzlement or distress in their owners, and this is especially true when problem behaviour means the litter box is being avoided or the cat is engaging in painful scratching or biting. Understanding these behaviours can be the key to solving them, or rather resolving the issues that are causing them in the first place.

Problem Cat Behaviours
When cats are seeking attention they often meow excessively, agitating their owners who don’t know what’s wrong with them. It’s worth remembering that there are both emotional and physical reasons for this; cats may be feeling lonely at night, for example, which can become more common as they age due to deafness or senility.

Aggression and hostile behavior towards other people can be worrying if biting and scratching results. Sometimes this is as a result of inadequate training when a kitten, such as allowing biting of human hands when teeth are tiny and not so sharp. As might be expected, this is not a smart move as cats are actually learning that it’s ok to bite and scratch human beings.

Destructive chewing, especially of dangerous items such as electrical cables, is a habit that really has to be stemmed as soon as possible. Like human babies, kittens teethe and they can develop the custom of chewing at this time. Later in life cats may turn to chewing because they are bored or overly curious, although a nutrient deficiency can also be the cause.

Cats are very clean creatures, so when they won’t use the litter box they become something of a nightmare for their owners. It pays to first of all check that there is no urinary tract infection or other physical cause before investigating alternatives, and remembering that cats won’t use dirty litter boxes.

Stress and anxiety can manifest itself in many ways, including via shyness and fear. Yes, cats can suffer stress just like humans, and symptoms include some of the problems already mentioned. Everything from introducing a new member of the family to relocating, or a particularly loud 4th of July or New Year’s Eve celebration can cause cat anxiety.

Catnip
An herb belonging to the mint family, catnip is composed of a variety of aromatic oils and contains a mild hallucinogenic, known as nepetalactone. Cats are naturally attracted to it and it can instigate behavioural change; they will often react by licking, sniffing and eating the plant. Generally their sheer enjoyment is plain, and for this reason it is used in a number of cat treats and toys; in some cases cats react with aggression and if so, treats or toys containing catnip should be avoided.

Treats for Cats
The wise cat owner uses treats with care to change their cats’ behaviour for the better. Rewarding good behaviour with treats means reinforcing the positive changes cat owners would like to see and maintain in their pets. Catnip for cats can give such a pleasurable experience as it offers a very powerful incentive for cats to repeat good behaviour. Owners can view product information here.


Share

Freddy’s Cathouse – Feral Cat Rescue Charity in the Canary Islands


I recently met up to do an interview with Freddy of Freddy’s Cathouse in Playa Blanca, a town in the west of our island of Lanzarote. Him and his charity are totally dedicated to helping improve the lives of approx. 130-140 feral cats, with 26 feeding stations under his care.

Read the full story about this remarkable man and his work in my Catster Article.


Share

Meet The Neighbourhood Meercat Named Watson


Watson is my neighbours’ 3 month old kitten. He is very cheeky and curious and does a fantastic meercat impression. 

20161001_100438 20161001_100402

20161001_100313


Share

My 2017 Cat Calendar Is Out! Street Cats of Jerusalem


On my trip to Jerusalem in April of this year, I had the pleasure of meeting the friendly feral street cats that live all over this ancient city. My new 2017 calendar has 13 beautiful images of these cats, and makes a great Christmas present for both cat lovers and animal photography aficionados. 

€0.50 of each calendar will be donated to The Kennel Klub Lanzarote, one of our local animal charities.

Click on the image below to preview all the pages, and to buy… 


Share

Meet the Campus Cat of Hildesheim University


I recently came across this interesting kitty whilst searching for some info on the town Hildesheim in northern Germany, where I was born. 

Tabby & white girl Fräulein Sinner has lived on the campus of Hildesheim University for 13 years now and she has become a fixture and a familiar sight for students and staff at this university. Here’s my Catster article about this intelligent little feline….

:: READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON CATSTER ::

Photo Credit: Isa Lange

02-katze-uni-hildesheim-fraeulein-sinner-stretching

07-katze-uni-hildesheim-fraeulein-sinner-strolling 05-katze-uni-hildesheim-fraeulein-sinner-yawning


Share

Spider Takes Canna-Pet Natural Cannabinoids for Pets


Spider wasn’t well earlier this year. His kidney disease had got slightly worse and he also had to have a malignant tumour (an adenocarcinoma) removed from his right ear at the beginning of June. 

Sadly, there really isn’t that much we can do about old age symptoms such as kidney failure and cancer. The same as with humans, all we can do is treat the symptoms and work on the best quality of life that we can possibly give our furbabies in their twilight years. 

Since I’m a medicinal cannabis (oil) user myself to dampen the 24/7 chronic pain from my rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia that even the strongest painkillers won’t touch, I googled to see if something similar might also help animals with cancer, pain or other ailments. 

That’s when I found Canna-Pet, and decided to order a 2 month supply of their Canna-Pet Advanced for Small Pets.

spider-0363

Canna-Pet’s products are made exclusively from hemp, a non-psychoactive plant which represents a natural cannabinoid source for pet supplements. A study of pet owners using Canna-Pet for their cats and dogs showed that there was a lot of improvement in their pets, treating conditions such as allergies, digestive tract problems, seizures, muscle spasms and inflammatory illnesses. In many cases it also slowed down the re-growth of cancer cells and reduced vomiting and nausea. 

About a week after starting Spider (who is 17 years old) on his new meds, he started acting like a new cat! He has always been a picky eater, and over the last year he has at times completely stopped eating and lost half a kilo in weight. Since putting him on Canna-Pet, he has been eating really well and has put on all that lost weight again. For his age he is still very playful, but now he plays *even more*, and is more cuddly and much more active in general. The tumour he had removed in June also shows no signs of growing back.

Another thing that regular medicine (Gabapentin) could not help with, was Spider’s crying and loud howling various times a night, every night. For whatever the reason – pain, anxiety, senility – he stopped doing this after a week on Canna-Pet pills.

I am really happy that I found something that is helping Spider regain the quality of life that he deserves in his old age. While Canna-Pet obviously cannot reverse the natural ageing process or cure incurable illnesses, it does appear to help make sure that our pets are happy and relatively healthy… until the day they cross over to the Rainbow Bridge.


Share

Lidl Pet Blankets – Warning: Diabolical Quality!


I bought this lovely pet blanket at our local Lidl here in Puerto del Carmen yesterday, but after only one day of use, it looks like *this*, can you believe it?!

pet-blanket-grey

The material is obviously totally unsuitable for use with pets, and after only one day it looks like it is a few months old.

When I went back today to ask for a refund, I was told that it has “already been used” and I couldn’t get a refund. They also said “oh well, cats do scratch”, but that doesn’t justify the material being crap and it looking like this after ONE DAY! I would expect it to look like this only after many months of use…

I’m not a happy bunny and have written a stinky email to Lidl headquarters, and will have to wait and see what they say…

In the meantime, anyone planning to buy one of these blankets from Lidl, I can’t say I warned you! 😉

pet-blanket-grey-1

This is the complaint I wrote to Lidl headquarters in Spanish: 

Compré esta manta para mascotas ayer, y hoy ya se ve como esto (ver foto adjunta)!

No me malinterpreten, yo esperaría que se vea como esto quizas en 2 o 3 meses, pero no después de sólo UN DÍA! Esta manta se supone utilizar para los animales domésticos, pero el material no es adecuado en absoluto.

Cuando fui a mi Lidl local en Puerto del Carmen para tener un reembolso, me dijeron que se ha utilizado el producto y no me devolvería el dinero, ni cambiarlo. Fue utilizado por UN DÍA SÓLO y no debería tener este aspecto!

Le agradecería si me hagan saber lo que puede hacer por mí, pero aunque no se puede usted hacer nada, esta manta no se debe vender para uso con animales.

Espero oír de usted pronto, muchas gracias.

Saludos Cordiales
Barbarella Silke Buchner


Share

Meet Lugosi & Spider’s Daddy


Last month, David, who is the daddy to Lugosi and Spider visited us here in Lanzarote. Of course, the boys are never impressed about having their photo taken, but they did appreciate their daddy’s visit and attention…

barbandcats-0128

David and Lugosi

barbandcats-0129

David, Barbarella and Spider

David’s wife Suzy (the boys’ step mum LOL!) also gave the boys some cuddles…

barbandcats-0130


Share