People Talk to Their Pets More than they Talk to their Partners
New research conducted by tails.com has discovered that many dog owners talk to their pets more than they talk to their partners. This is true of almost half of owners studied and almost as many stated that were more likely to share secrets with their dog than with anyone else! If you own a dog yourself, or indeed any pet, then this probably does not surprise you at all.
The erosion of natural habitats means that domestic gardens are becoming more and more important to wild birds. Your feeders will really help the birds, particularly in the winter months, but judicious planting is the key to creating the perfect garden for a variety of species. Continue reading Use Planting to Create a haven for Wild Birds→
Pets bring so much joy that you can forgive them almost anything. That doesn’t mean that you enjoy having your furniture scratched though. Whilst it is dogs which are most associated with destruction in the home, it is surprising just how much damage a cat can do.
Scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, so you are never going to be able to stop them. But you can teach them to scratch the right things! If you want to save your sofa from being shredded or your table legs from being turned into sawdust then invest in a scratching post.
Your cat may ignore this initially so you should introduce your moggy to the post but don’t attempt to place the cat’s paws onto the post as they tend to dislike this. Place the post close to furniture that your cat likes scratching and reward them with a treat when they use their new accessory. Warn them sternly when they scratch inappropriately and, if necessary, cover your furniture to protect it.
Ornaments and Your Cat
Cats are agile creatures that can jump onto to mantelpieces, window sills and bookcases with ease. They will choose lofty positions in which to sit as these are safer in the wild and tend to be warm spots in the home. It can be extremely disconcerting to watch your cat pick their way around your valuable porcelain! Cats are generally quite careful about where they put their feet but accidents do happen. Some cats are just plain clumsy!
If you have any ornaments which you particularly treasure then these are best kept in a cabinet. Your other pieces can be preserved by dissuading your cat from venturing near them. Whatever you do, don’t shout at the animal or make too big a deal out of the situation. If you startle them then the ornaments are more likely to go for a burton. To make matters worse, if your cat detects your agitation then this may encourage them to walk over your possessions even more as they will realise that it is a good way to gain your attention. Cats quickly learn what yanks your chain!
To prevent your cats from walking where you would rather they didn’t, use a firm voice to chide them, preferably before they jump. Praise them and reward them if they don’t jump but never reward them if they jump down after a warning. This will only teach them that walking around your valuables will present them with an opportunity to earn a treat.
Some cats will happily sit around all day and need no distractions. However, if your cat is especially intelligent or hyperactive then they will easily become bored or restless and will start looking for something to do. If you don’t want to come home to find that your window frames have been stripped of their veneer or your books have been ripped to shreds then you need to provide some more appropriate distractions.
Start by tying some cat toys on strings and then dangling these from your door handles. Play with your cat whenever you have the time and hide treats around the house for them to search for. In extreme cases you may have to create a play area for them. This is easy to do with a few old cardboard boxes. Seal the boxes and then cut entrances into the side of them. Connect some of the boxes with tunnels and hide toys and treats inside them.
Indoor cats have the greatest tendency to get bored so allow your cat to spend time in the garden if you can. They will keep themselves occupied and expend more energy and this could save your furniture from being attacked.
If your cat is displaying strange, disruptive or aggressive behaviour then this could be the result of stress. Cats dislike change and can manifest their anxiety in bad behaviour. Even something as simple as rearranging your furniture or investing in a new sofa could make your cat feel agitated. Try to calm them by spending time with them and stroking them but if they don’t improve then it could be worth trying a calming diffuser. These emit pheromones which remind cats of when they were nursed as kittens. They can be incredibly effective with some pets but make no difference at all to others!
If all else fails then seek advice from your vet. They may be able to identify an issue which you hadn’t thought of or undercover a medical problem that needs addressing.
It is wonderful to attract native wildlife to your garden and to feel that you are helping the creatures which visit. But your garden can present many hazards to wild birds. It is vital that you create a safe haven for our feathered friends so that you can enjoy watching them without the risk of the birds being injured or contracting a disease.
So what do you need to do to make your garden safer for the birds?
Feeders and Bird Baths
Feeders and sources of water will ensure that many species visit your garden. However, these features also increases the risk of diseases spreading. Gardens with feeders result in dense populations of birds, if only from time to time, and so disease can quickly spread. It is essential that uneaten food is not left to rot in your feeders and that the feeders are thoroughly cleaned regularly. Bird baths should also be cleaned as often as you can manage and the water emptied and replaced with a fresh supply every day.
Barrels and Water Butts
Wild birds will be attracted to the water in your butts and barrels but the water is too deep for them. With nowhere to place their feet down they easily become trapped and then drown. It is best to keep butts covered but if this is not possible then create a slipway with a piece of wood so that small birds can safely approach the water to drink.
Netting and Wild Birds
Many ponds are covered in netting but this is a serious hazard to wild birds as they can quickly become tangled up in it. It is far safer to cover your ponds with a metal grid but if you can’t afford to do this then pull your netting as tightly as possible across the pond. The less tension there is in the net, the less likely the birds are to get caught up in it. The netting around suet fat balls also presents a danger and should be removed before offering the balls to the wildlife.
Wild birds will build their nests in your trees, hedges and shrubs. These are not always obvious and so are easy to disrupt or damage when you are pruning. It is best to prune in the autumn after the birds have finished with their nests but if you prune any greenery in spring then check it carefully before you start cutting.
Wild birds often fly into windows because they simply cannot see that they are solid surfaces. The more birds that you attract to your garden, the more likely you are to experience a bird strike. You can make your property safer for the birds by ensuring that the windows are as visible as possible or have visible obstructions in front of them. Single rooms which run the width of the house and which have windows at both ends create a visible path to greenery and so at least one set of curtains should remain closed.
With a little care your garden will become much safer for the wild birds and you can then relax and enjoy your fascinating and beautiful visitors.
It doesn’t matter how large your house is, you never seem to have enough space do you?
Somehow your life and possessions always expand to suit your property and then expand a little more. Before you know it, all of your cupboards are full up, the loft has been taken over by boxes and there is nowhere to put that new desk that you want. Continue reading Is a Conservatory a Wise Investment?→
Every bathroom needs a mirror. You must be sure that you haven’t missed a bit when you shave and doing your make up without a mirror will almost certainly end in a disaster!
You will automatically stand in front of the mirror to ensure that you are looking at your best and so it is incredibly annoying when you can’t see yourself in it. Instead of that familiar face staring back at you all, you can see is mist.
Bathrooms are small spaces and so all of that hot water can lead to misty mirrors. You then reach out and wipe the mirror with your hand to get a better view and all that does is create smears and blotches. Then the mirror mists over again! You can open the window if you have one to alleviate the problem but that isn’t funny when it is sub-zero outside. You have created a gorgeous cosy environment in the bathroom only to ruin it with a blast of cold air.
Wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could guarantee that your mirror wasn’t going to fog up?
Well you can!
Heated mirrors are a really useful innovation and you should consider fitting one in your bathroom. You will experience no further foggy days and you will never endure any annoying hold-ups when you are trying to get out of the house in the morning. You won’t be wiping mist of your mirror leaving streaks and so you won’t have to clean it so often. Better still, you won’t have to open the window and freeze to death whilst you attend to your cosmetics.
Heated mirrors are reliable and are safe to use in the bathroom. They should provide years of service and they are one of those accessories that you will only truly appreciate when you find yourself without one again.
Your heated mirror is best fitted to an internal wall. It is possible to mount them to external walls but these must be well-insulated and the ambient room temperature should be at least 70°F.
Demista Heat Pads
If you already have a bathroom mirror then it would be a shame to waste it. Why not invest in one of the clever heat pads from Demista? These ultra-slim self-adhesive heating pads can be fitted to the rear of many mirror to provide highly efficient demisting. The pads are available in several different sizes so there should be one which provides a good fit for your existing mirror. Demista pads don’t cost the earth and are a brilliant solution if you have a stylish mirror that you would like to keep.
Steamy bathrooms don’t have to be an issue when you are trying to get ready to go out. You need your mirror but you also need to be able to see yourself in it!
I remember an occasion a few years ago when a friend returned home from a much needed holiday in Cyprus only to announce that the trip had been something of a disaster. He had experienced all sorts of issues but it had been the lack of air conditioning in the hotel room which had really ruined the holiday. It had proved impossible to sleep and so my fiend has spent much of his break wishing he was back home in England. Continue reading Would You Benefit from Air Conditioning in the Home?→
As a little girl I was an avid reader from a very young age and was consuming books at an alarming rate. My mother was always looking for books that would appeal to me and I was given a wide variety of works, pretty much all of which I read from cover to cover. One of my favourites was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. Continue reading The Secret Garden→
Most shoppers are aware that the big retailers use sophisticated software to analyse our shopping habits and to monitor their stock. They are assisted in this endeavour by loyalty cards and reward cards which enable them to see the activity of individual shoppers. The supermarket chains now know exactly what we buy and when and so can tailor special offers to individual shoppers. Continue reading Big Data and Small Retailers→
Mirrors can work on so many different levels in the home. Often they are the perfect choice for enhancing the light or creating the illusion of space. In these cases larger mirrors are the best choice and simple styles are usually the most effective. However, sometimes it is the mirror itself that you want to be the centre of attention. If that is the case then a more decorative piece with an interesting frame, an unusual shape or striking form would fit the bill. Continue reading Finding the Perfect Mirror→