Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A Picture of Health – Pet food and Exercise Tips for a Healthy Cat

Keeping pets at a healthy weight can be a real challenge for loving pet owners as those big eyes gaze at you beseechingly whenever there's food in the offing - yours or theirs!  But as those vastly overweight pets we see on TV programmes show, it is vitally important to maintain a healthy cat through diet and exercise.  Here are our tips on how to do just that.

As our five are indoor cats, well with a balcony, but not heading off into the great outdoors on their own, we are very conscious of making sure they eat well but also maintain a healthy weight, and that they get lots of exercise too.  Luckily the girls love playing with them, so the cats get lots of activity, not to mention chasing each other round and doing some very cool and dramatic free jumping moves from doors, bookcases, wardrobes etc.  Want to see a cat run up the curtains, scramble along the curtain pole, leap 10 feet to the back of the sofa, throw herself vertically to the top of a door then traverse an entire room to the next door, without dropping or stopping?  Come to our house on an average day!  That's our Jess.

Whether your cat is a free runner or not, here's what you can do to keep them fit and healthy:

  • Have a collection of cat toys, including ping pong balls to chase; cat nip mice to pounce on; and long tails on string type toys for you to play with them together.  (N.B. For safety, keep the latter in a drawer when not being used.)
  • If you are out during the day, leave lots of 'prey' lying around for the cats to play with, and hide some in fun places, e.g. in shoes, under long curtains, etc.  A few regular biscuits left beside them can help the cat to seek out the 'dead body' and acts as a reward too.
  • Keep anything that interests your cat but may be bad for them well out of reach, preferably locked away.  Check your garden and house plants on the toxins list, and don't have cut lilies as they are highly poisonous to cats.  We also have to keep our loo roll in a box as otherwsie Jess shreds it!
  • If you use a litter tray, change it regularly and keep it meticulously clean.  Cats are very clean creatures so remove the stools at least once a day too.
  • Follow the pet food manufacturers guidelines on how much and how often to feed your cat, but keep an eye on their body size too.  They should go in at the 'waist' (behind the ribs) and not have a stomach that hangs down.  Here's more information about pet weight management.
  • Check your cat weekly for any lumps and bumps or scratches, and if they go outside, for fleas and ticks too.
  • Remember cats aren't necessarily the lonesome creatures they're portrayed to be, so give them plenty of attention and affection, play with them, and make sure they are comfortable in the home too.  Consider keeping at least two cats as company for one another, two girls or a girl and a boy is usually a safer bet than two boys.

Hill's Science Plan kindly sent us this gorgeous picture of our Jess, happily shredding a loo roll!

If you would like to win a bespoke bundle of Hill’s Ideal Balance or Science Plan pet food tailored to the nutritional needs of your pet, just answer this simple question.

Which technique do Hill’s vets use to determine whether a dog or cat is a healthy weight?

Hint: You can find the answer here.

Just enter your answer in the first Rafflecopter option, NOT in the comments, to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hill’s Science Plan Competition Terms and Conditions:

1. Promoter: Pet Nutrition Ltd, Building 5, Croxley Green Business Park, Watford, WD18 8YL.

2. This competition is open for entry to residents of England, NI, Scotland, Wales and RoI over 16 years, excluding employees of the Promoter, their immediate families, agents, or anyone else professionally connected with the competition.

3. Promotion Period: Enter between 24th June 2015 and July 27th 23.59.  All entries received after this date will be deemed invalid.

4. To enter: Entrants must respond with the correct answer by submitting their entry via the competition form/comments section (delete as applicable)

5. Entries are limited to one entry per person, for the time period in the day.

6. The Prize: Five winners selected at random by Hill’s will each receive a pet food package from one of the following ranges only to the value of £15. If the chosen item(s) is not available a suitable alternative will be offered.

• Ideal balance
• Science Plan

7. Winner Selection: All valid entries received by the end of the Promotion Period will be reviewed by the Promoter and will be supervised by an independent person. The five winning entries will be selected at random.

8. Winner Notification: The Winner will be contacted via email on JULY 27TH. They will be asked to confirm details of their pet: (dog/cat; age; breed, wet/dry food preference; medical needs)

9. If a winner is not contactable or fails to respond within 7 days of the notification, the prize may be reallocated by the Promoter to a reserve winner selected in the same manner.

10. The prize will be delivered within 28 days to the winner once they provide the requested contact details

11. The winners will be required to participate in relevant publicity associated with the competition.

12. By entering the competition, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by these terms and conditions. All entry instructions form part of these terms and conditions.

13. The name and county of the winner can be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Customer Services, Hill's Pet Nutrition Ltd, Building 5, Croxley Green Business Park, Watford, WD18 8YL.

14. Data Protection: Personal data provided will be used for the purpose of the competition and in accordance with these terms and conditions by the Promoter.

15. The information you provide will only be used by Hills Pet Nutrition Limited solely for the purposes noted in the terms and conditions above.

16. Bulk entries made from trade, consumer groups or third parties will not be accepted. Incomplete or illegible entries and entries which do not satisfy the requirements of these terms and conditions in full will be disqualified and will not be counted. If it becomes apparent that an entrant is using a computer(s) to circumvent this condition by, for example, the use of ‘script’, ‘brute force’, masking their identity by manipulating IP addresses, using identities other than their own or any other automated means in order to increase their entries into the competition in a way that is not consistent with the spirit of the competition, that person’s entries will be disqualified and any prize awarded will be void.

17. The Promoter may require the winner to provide proof of identity and age. Identification considered suitable for verification is at the Promoter’s discretion.

18. The Promoter is not responsible for any late, misdirected or incomplete entries, or effects of hackers, failure of any electronic equipment, computer transmissions and/or network connections, nor are they responsible for any inaccuracies in information or any technical or human error which may occur in processing the entries. Proof of submitting an entry is not proof of receipt by the Promoter.

19. The Promoter, and any affiliated companies are not responsible for any errors that are beyond the control of the Promoter. In the event the competition is compromised by any cause beyond the control of the Promoter (including, but not limited to, hackers and viruses) which, in the sole opinion of the Promoter, corrupts, or impairs the administration, security or fairness of the competition, the Promoter reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, suspend or terminate all or part of the competition.

20. The Promoter and any affiliated companies are not responsible for any entry, generated by computer hardware or software, malfunction, error or failure. Persons found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this competition, as solely determined by the Promoter, will be disqualified.

21. The Promoter cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury, costs, expenses or claims suffered by entrants as a result of entering the competition or of accepting the prize.

22. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.

23. The Promoter cannot be held responsible if, for circumstances beyond its reasonable control, the stated prize is no longer available. The Promoter reserves the right to award a prize of equivalent value.

24. The decision of the Promoter shall be final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into.

25. If you have any queries regarding the competition or experience any problems, please message the promoter on Hill’s Pet Nutrition Facebook page, or Hill’s Pet UK & IE Twitter page between 9-5 Monday through to Friday.

The competition is governed by English Law and entrants submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Good luck!

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And don't forget to enter our competitions!


  1. I'm a dog person and it's so easy to exercise with a dog since it loves outdoor activities. I can't imagine the heavy effort of cat people to get their cats exercise. Must be tough.

  2. Would ;ove to win this for my cat.
    carole n

  3. This would be great for my new puppy x

  4. Have entered for my 4 :) Have used hills quite a lot as one of my cats is a special needs kitty with a sensitive tummy and their sensitive food is great for her :D


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