Great Cat Toys and Furniture For Indoor Cats

Great Cat Toys and Furniture for Indoor Cats

We have always had rescue cats in my family and they are part of the family! We have had three in total during the past ten years. Sadly one of them passed away two years ago due to a heart condition, he is sorely missed, and he loved to play with everything. We called him our “Dog-Cat” because he used to play fetch with some of his toys! I am glad that I took so many photo’s of him, inside boxes, in cat beds, on top of units… he had such a wonderful life with us, and for that we are so grateful…

Since we lost our boy his sister got quite lonely, and eight months after he passed away we got the opportunity to adopt a stray kitten who was in need of a home.

We know we are incredibly lucky with our cats, not just that they are affectionate to us, but also because they get on really well together considering they aren’t related.

Here are all three of our fur babies. Our angel in the stars ✩♡✩ on the left, his sister is in the middle, and she turned 8 this week! And finally our youngest is on the right, she will be 2 this June!

They may not be sisters by blood, but they are sisters by love for sure 

I’m writing this blog post to show people how happy my indoor cats are, providing they have the necessary toys, water and food, and of course their own space, there is nothing wrong with keeping your cats indoors.

Furniture was hugely important when we made the decision to keep our original two as indoor cats. There were several reasons, one was due to living metres away from a main road, another was due to neighbours keeping dogs in their back gardens, and finally because of our boys health problems. We purchased three main pieces, one was from Argos and two were from Pets at Home.

When choosing cat furniture and scratching posts always introduce them together, and encourage the cats to use them. If you make it fun as kittens they are more likely to continue with it on to adulthood. Choose items that won’t become a nuisance in your rooms and that blend in with the shapes you already have. There are some awesome trees out now, that are even designed to fit into corners of the room. You can pay around £100 for these sorts, but if you maintain them with regular trimming and hoovering they should last several years.

We had a cream cat stand from Argos back in 2010 when we first got our kittens from the rescue cattery. It was around £30 at the time, and it lasted us for the next seven years! Here is a shot of our original two rescue cats when they were tiny kittens using the stand all those years ago! It gave them so many hours of fun and also was somewhere soft to sleep until they got bigger.


We replaced it in 2017 with the new version, one in grey, an almost identical shape, they just changed the colour and made the base piece more sturdy. Perfect! The colour goes well in most rooms and it stands at 85cm tall. The material is soft fleece and easy to hoover with our pet attachment. It has scratch posts attached and a hiding hole for cats to go into, however we use that to store all their toys when not in use – super handy either way!

Available At: Argos
Design: Grey and Cream – Soft Grey Fleece with Scratching Post Parts
Information: Self Assembly Required
Dimensions: H85cm x W50cm x D42cm
Price: £35.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Here is our youngest, she loves to sit up as high as possible and watch what everyone is doing. As you can see, she is a fully grown adult cat and still fits nicely across the top of this particular cat stand. We use the section inside the drum to store some toys.

Our other main cat unit is this one, it is brown and cream and has a lovely large section for the cats to lay across. It’s situated upstairs so it gets the light in the afternoons.

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Pets at Home Tudor Tunnel and Scratch Cat Post
Design: Brown and Cream – Soft Fleece with Scratching Posts and Tunnel
Information: Self Assembly Required
Dimensions: 44cm x 40cm x 34cm
Price: £37.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

As our youngest demonstrates there is more than enough room for an adult cat.

Cat beds have been one of those items that are used periodically in our house. If it’s during the cooler months of the year you will often find the cats curled up inside the pyramid bed or on a cushion bed near a radiator. But in the summer these don’t get much use. I often decide to wash them in the summer, dry them outside and then set them to one side, this totally refreshes them ready for the autumn.

I would recommend getting the ones with removable covers or cushions that can go in the washing machine, Argos, Pets at Home and various large independent Pet Stores should do ones of this kind. They range from £12 to £40 depending upon size and quality of material, but we have never paid more than £20-£25 for one of ours, and most of them are several years old now, still going strong.

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Paw Fleece Igloo Cat Bed
Design: Black Fleece Material with Cat Paws Print
Information: Machine Washable
Dimensions: 35cm x 35cm x 38cm
Price: £12.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Here is our eldest in her Igloo Pyramid Bed, they changed the design recently to incorporate the paw prints on the outside as well as the inside. Ours is all black but otherwise identical to the one I have mentioned above. Bought from Pets at Home back in 2010 however! We bought the matching round donut bed at the same time too!

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Paw Fleece Cat Donut Bed
Design: Black Fleece Material with Cat Paws Print
Information: Machine Washable
Dimensions: 46cm x 46cm x 10cm
Price: £9.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

The girls are ready to play!

As for cat toys ours do like a real mixture and it can depend what mood they are in as well. They adore Ping Pong balls, Rattling Mice and the range from Kong which contain catnip. I bought coloured Ping Pong balls from Amazon and white ones from the local Pound Shop – these get an awful lot of use in our house and they often go missing for days and then turn up (usually under a unit or chair), so it’s good to get a few in!

You could also consider making your own toys such as Pom Poms! But you need to supervise play with these items for sure as cats usually pull them a part!

Resting after some pom pom play time!

Other toys like Mice we have bought from Pet Stores such as Pets at Home. Here are a few items that are still available to buy out of what we have recently gotten for our cats.

Some of our toys are looking old but they are well loved and well used.

Available At: Amazon by Pet Love
Name: Pet Love Playtime Ping Pong Balls for Cats
Design: Coloured Ping Pong Balls
Information: Wipe Clean Coloured Air Filled Plastic Balls
Dimensions: 4cm x 4cm x 4cm
Price: £3.49
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Amazon Cat Toys Choice and Quality Available 4✩’s

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Catnip Might Mouse by Petstages
Design: Bright Green Mouse with 100% Premium Catnip inside
Information: A crunchy sounding Mouse that offers hours of fun (Pets should be supervised when using this type of toy)
Dimensions: 15cm x 4.5cm x 5.7cm
Price: £4.50
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Pets At Home Toys In General Choice and Quality 4✩’s

Available At: Pet Shops / Pets at Home / Amazon / Garden Centres
Name: Catit Senses Play Circuit
Design: A Plastic Circuit That Fits Together In An Array Of Shapes
Information: Contains A Ball That Goes Inside The Plastic Track, Ideal For Increasing Motor Skills In Kittens And Keeping Indoor Cats Senses Active. Multiple Layout Choices
Dimensions: 24cm x 24cm x 8cm (Approximately and Range of Sizes)
Price: £7.49 – £20.00 (Range of Sizes and Colours Available)
My Rating: Catit Senses Circuits 4✩’s

 

Here are our two on Christmas morning playing with their new layout (green), this was the second Catit Senses Track we had gotten them. The image above shows their first one, a blue one we left in a circle. They love it!

Something else that may encourage your cat to scratch “it” rather than your furniture is a Kong Kickaroo! These can be bought from Vets that stock them such as Vets 4 Pets or from some larger Pets at Home stores. Made in the USA they come in several sizes for both kittens and cats. They are like giant sausages that contain catnip, they have a pattern of fleece and are finished with a soft feather-like end. Ours take a real hammering of back feet and claws on a daily basis, and the cats have yet to ruin one! We have three of them and they are dotted around the house so the cats get the most out of them. It’s pretty hilarious sometimes when they “have a go at one”! Each cat was bought one after their first ever annual injections and the tradition just stuck!

These Kickaroo Toys are awesome! Good quality material, even though they are well used in our house our cats have yet to rip one open!

He loved to hug it, attack it, sleep on it and carry it around… 

My Rating: Kong Kickaroo 5✩’s

✩♡✩

When we move house I would like to purchase a large cat tree from a company whose page I found on Facebook. They are UK based and do them in a range of colours and sizes to suit all homes. I want my cats to have somewhere high up to escape to, once my baby begins moving around independently too. The page is called Cat Tree UK and I like the look of their items and prices, though I will continue to read reviews in the mean time.

✩♡✩

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope that you have enjoyed looking at my life with my cats and seeing them having fun with an array of awesome items! Any questions about products just send me a comment, I’m happy to answer any that I can!

 Sabrina 

Pregnancy Items – What I Have Purchased And What I Would Recommend

Pregnancy Items – What I Have Purchased And What I Would Recommend

Being well over half way into my pregnancy now, I have began to purchase some items. So I thought I should start to give my opinions on a few of them, and whether or not I recommend them. I shall score review the best ones!

Here is what bump and I currently look like, it’s going so quickly!


Pregnancy Pillow

The one item that I knew that I wanted to buy from the beginning was a pregnancy pillow. I have heard friends say they’re great and others say they couldn’t get on with them. But being small and already suffering with back and hip aches, I wanted some support at night. I actually bought this at around twelve weeks gone, and I began using it at around sixteen weeks.

I have not only found it supportive but it’s also helping me to get a better nights sleep in general. I have always suffered with a lot of mucus, especially when I lie down flat and during the Spring months of the year when I get hay fever. But since becoming pregnant it is three times worse, and you literally cannot do anything about it. So I use my three regular pillows to lay the pregnancy pillow against, and at night I lean on the pillow, one arm over the top and one underneath. The rest of the pillow bends around above my head and extends down my back. It isn’t easy to roll over at this stage of pregnancy anyway, but it’s the stage where I need to be lay on my left as long as possible, the pillow definitely helps me to do this.

I managed to get my pillow on a deal through the Bounty App on my mobile phone. Pregnant women can make the most of a range of discounts that regularly come around through the app and through emails. The company is called Online 4 Baby and they do a range of great pregnancy and nursing items.

This pillow can be used during pregnancy and for nursing too. It can easily be shaped to fit behind a person sitting or lying down.

Here is a photo of one of my cats leaning on the pillow when I wasn’t using it. Cheeky! But it really is comfortable.

My Top Tips are to buy a pillow that will fit around your height, I am classed as the high end of Petite, so a 6ft Pillow was more than adequate for me. Because they do a range of sizes you should consider which would be better for you.


This is a close up of the fabric I chose, and the pillow shape without a cover on below.

Colour: Grey with White Stars (other colours available such as grey or cream.
Price: £14.45 (RRP £59.95)
Dimensions: 6 ft (also available in 9ft and 12ft)
Cover Quality: Very Good Cover that is both Removable and Machine Washable.
Pillow Quality: The Pillow itself after several nights needed to be plumped up reshaped.
Overall Rating: 4/5 ‘s

Pillows at Online 4 Baby

✩✩✩

How Many Weeks – Frame

I purchased this gorgeous frame so that my husband and I could count down the weeks until we meet our little miracle. And funnily when I was searching online, those were almost the exact words etched into the wood of this particular frame. I bought this one from Amazon from a Seller called Hello Baby who sell the Bambino products, it currently costs £7.49 (As of the date of this post).

What I like most is the ratio between the frame aspects, the space for the photograph is 4×3″ and then it has both beautiful words and a chalkboard heart for you to write the numbers inside. The quote reads “_ weeks until we meet our little miracle”. The frame itself is cream and free standing, with grey details of stars and the writing.

I purchased this one because of the smaller dimensions, I had a specific shelf I wanted it to fit upon. There are many choices for Sonogram Photo Frames on the internet, though I liked this one the most. My Top Tip when buying a frame online is to look at dimensions and whether or not you want a wall mounted one or a free standing one. There are even some that say “Grandparent” or other quotes on them, making them more personal.


Colours: Cream and Grey
Dimensions: H:15 W:15 D:2 cm
Details: Free Standing
Quality: Very Good, Well Made and Presented
Rating: 4/5 ‘s

If you want to purchase this or take a closer look at the link to it here it is under its title;

Bambino little miracle’ Scan Sonogram Countdown Photo Frame ‘… weeks until we meet”


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Maternity Leggings

Something that I couldn’t live without now that I have them, are Maternity Leggings. They are not only versatile but super comfortable. You can choose to dress them up or dress them down too. My favourites are from George at Asda (I reviewed them already just search for Maternity in my categories), and they wash and wear well. I have several colours now after ordering twice, and I would buy more in a heartbeat if I begin to wear these ones out. So far so good though after a dozen or so washes already!


Thank you for reading this blog post today, I do hope that you have enjoyed it and perhaps you’ve gotten some ideas for purchases for any loved ones or yourself who may be expecting this year. The frames can make great gifts!

When I purchase more items and find they are good quality I will review them. And I have gotten some items for help when our baby arrives, I hope to review these too when I have the time. Look out for these pregnancy related posts as the summer weeks go by.

 Sabrina 

Things In Your Home You Should Probably Change More Often Than You Do!

Welcome to a Lifestyle Post on Severn Wishes.

When we think about our homes we often don’t consider the things that we use every day as not being there. And due to the frequency of which we use said items, it is important to always consider the conditions that we use them. More often than not weeks or months go by sometimes, and in our busy schedules we cannot recall the last time we washed that item, or changed that product.

In this post today I am going to be writing about a huge number of things that are found and used within your home and lifestyle, that you should probably be changing more often than you do. My research has been lengthy and is backed up by some scientific research and also some common sense… Whenever I saw an article I thought, “Oh that’s interesting I didn’t know that!” and therefore I wanted to write a post that could perhaps inform others of these items.

Let us take a toothbrush for one example. We should all use one, at least twice a day, and did you know that there are more bacteria in your mouth than on a toilet seat! Which is why dental hygiene specialists recommend that you change your toothbrush every three months, or after a bout of illness such as a bad cold or the flu. By doing this you are being hygienic and decreasing your chance of spreading germs back to yourself. It will also decrease your chances of sore throats and mouth ulcers when your mouth is cleaner. I can personally recommend the brand Oral B for their toothbrushes, I love Sensodyne Toothpaste and I also use Listerine Mouthwash.

So thinking more about this, there are many other items within your home that you should either sterilize, change or throw out after a certain length of time. I will go into more detail for some of them, but here is a short list of the ones that I do adhere to, and ones that I was completely baffled by and have now taken note of.
You might not know of some!

Toothbrush                           Change Every 3 Months Or After An Illness 
Mascara
                                Should be Changed for a New Unit every 3-6 Months
Slippers                                You Should Have New Slippers Every 6 Months
Hair Brushes                        Clean Regularly But Change Your Main Brush Every Year
Pillows                                  Change Your Bed Pillows Every 6 Months to 1 Year
Duvets                                   Change Your Main Duvet Once A Year
Cushions                              Wash Your Cushion Covers Once A Month
Towels                                   Change Your Towels At Least Once A Week
Pet Beds and Bedding         Wash Every 3 Months – More If Used Every Day
Washing Machines               Disinfect with Liquid Once Every Month
Mattress                                Change Every 7-10 years – Some Brands 15 years
Wooden Spoons                   Change Your Broken Or Split Wooden Spoons Regularly
Bed Sheets                            Aim to Wash your Bed Sheets every Fortnight
Kitchen Sink Sponge            Throw Out & Replace your Kitchen Sponge Each Week
Lipstick / Lipgloss                Throw These Out After A Maximum of 2 years
Makeup Brushes                   When Used Daily (Wash Daily) Replace Every 5 years

The three items I was most unaware about while writing this piece at the end of 2017, were the Hair Brush, Lipstick and Kitchen Sponge time frames. It seems so obvious for some of them, it’s common sense with things like your toothbrush, but other things aren’t always clear. I learnt a lot while doing this Lifestyle Post, and I will be definitely be taking some of these things into consideration in the future in my own home!

Now that I’ve completed this blog post, I would love to hear from you, if you were not aware of any of the above things! I am certainly planning to clear out some of my old makeup and other items after researching this kind of stuff! Sometimes the days get away from us, and I have one top tip for you all.

Sabrina’s Top Tip
Use your mobile phone or calendar or diary to mark down when you need to do certain things at home, even set an alarm to go off with it if you’re worried about forgetting. Life often gets so busy and we don’t always remember to change our bed sheets or wash the dog bed! But it may help all of us to lead a healthier and more hygienic lifestyle.

Thanks for reading and visiting Severn Wishes today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

 Sabrina 

Tough House Plants for People who often Forget to Water

Tough House Plants For People Who Often Forget To Water

There are some pretty hardy house plants out there that don’t need a lot of maintenance, that are perfect for people who often forget to water. If you are looking for some really easy to care for plants for your home, then check out all the varieties below.

Before buying a plant you must consider three things, do you have children, do you have pets, and do you have the time and the space (as it grows). I will be outlining some plants that I have owned and loved and some my family recommend. I have then researched these to give you the best facts on each type or variety of house plant,

Let’s first start with a flowering plant that is so beautiful and you only need to water it once a week. Once it flowers the buds can remain for weeks at a time, plus it comes in many varied sizes and colours… it is The Orchid.

The Orchid has over twenty eight thousand registered species, though many grow in the wild throughout Asia, some varieties have been adapted to become house plants. Here in the United Kingdom they are now readily available, not just at garden centres but even from large supermarkets. They come in various sizes of flowers too.

The most common available is the Phalaenopsis or the Moth Orchid. These two images I have included in this post depict how it usually looks like. Each stem can grow between six and twelve beautiful flowers that emerge from buds.

You only need to water an Orchid plant once a week, it might need to be thoroughly quenched if it has many many flowers in bloom. You can tell by looking at the flowers if the petals are not smooth. Also if you give it some water and it drinks it all up immediately keep adding tiny amounts until the drinking slows.

It needs to be placed in a well lit window but with no direct sunshine during the day. Orchid plants like the light and like to be warm but not hot, and do not allow it to get very cold. Remove it from the window during the Winter overnight.

Remember to gently wipe the leaves clean of dust every couple of weeks, and keep an eye on any blooms that have ended. You can cut these off gently at the stem where they join on. Careful not to damage a stem that has buds on it.

A very cool plant to have in the home is the Cactus! The definition of a Succulent is a plant that has thick fleshy leaves or stems that have adapted to storing water.

Cacti are part of the Cactaceae family, there are currently 1750 species. Usually found in an array of shapes and sizes, some tiny and others grow extremely tall. Most originate from dessert climates but some also comes from forests.

The ones that you have for your home are known as succulents, but not all succulents are cacti (I will show you what I mean further down the post). Many Cacti like a warm home, a window with plenty of light and fast draining pots that don’t require you to water them very often. Years of evolution has insured these hardy plants store water to keep themselves sustained in harsh environments. Cacti are also very good at adapting to our various seasons in the west of the world.

Cacti are easy to look after and there are several varieties that are great for the home. Other Succulents come in lots of varieties (like the Cacti, there is Sedum, Echeveri, or flowering Kalanchoe), they enjoy sunlight and dry air. They are also easy to look after because they require very little watering. Some examples are the following;

Christmas Cacti

The Christmas Cacti needs to be allowed to dry between watering, look at first few inches of the soil and if it’s damp wait another few days. It needs to be watered less in the dormant Winter phase. When the plant is flowering make sure you don’t let the plant dry out and don’t over water it either, doing so might prevent future flowering. These plants need medium to high light, and if you choose to fertilize do it three times in the summer to promote blooms.

Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria)

Pincushions are a group of approximately 200 species of ball-shape cacti, they are the most common cacti that can be grown in the home. Most come from Mexico, they grow in hot climates and can be singular or in clumps. They can often flower indoors. Be careful of the spines they might look delicate but have hooked ends that will be difficult to pull out of skin if you get one trapped. These cacti like lots of light and you should let the soil dry out almost completely between watering. You should withhold water entirely in the winter and allow it to have a cool and dormant period. If you fertilize only do it in the summer months and a maximum of three times.

Sempervivum Tectorum or Echeveria Elegans

Although these two plants are closely related they do in fact look different. Known as Hens and Chicks because the mother part of the plant is known as the Hen, and the rosettes that grow off from it are the Chicks.
Sempervivum Tectorum has rosettes but the leaves are flatter and also more pointed.
Echeveria Elegans has flower shapes rosettes that have rounded edges and are flat.
Both of these plants should be allowed to dry somewhat between their watering, over watering will cause root rot. Water them very little during their dormant part of Winter.

Another easy to care for plant is the Spider Plant or Chlorophytum Comosum is its scientific name. I had a plant of this kind from the age of eleven to twenty four (until it got infected with flies one summer and that was the end of it sadly). It often gave out small flowers and in turn baby plants (known as Spiderettes), that you simply wait for roots to appear and then carefully cut them from the stem and re-pot them. Those Spiderettes from my original plant are still around today, several of my family have them.

This is also a great plant for someone younger, for someone who perhaps wants to start learning about and caring for something flora and fauna. It needs very little watering and its leaves need wiping from dust just once a week. Obviously the larger the plant grows the more leaves it has, and the more it would need tending to. But if you start with a small one and grow with it, re-potting it whenever it gets too big for its space, and you should do just fine.

 The Spider Plant is a great and easy to care for addition to any home. They also remove the following pollutants from the air in your home “Formaldehyde and Xylene”.

Another low maintenance plant is the Begonia and because it flowers for around half of the year it will also be a nice addition to brighten up the home.

Begonias are flowers that bloom in spring and summer, they need their soil to dry out before they need another watering, and they require even less watering in the winter when they don’t provide flowers. Begonias come in a range of different colours.

In my personal experience they don’t grow very large either, so you can have one in a small pot on a half shade half light window in your home and check on it twice a week.

Chinese evergreen plants like Aglaonema are tougher than they look, and come in varieties that have leaves with speckles and stripes. They like medium light, and you only need to water them when you notice the soil is dry. Don’t use cold water on them though, tepid is always best.

Chinese evergreens often tolerate a range of conditions, although they don’t like to be in a room whose temperature will drop below between thirteen and sixteen degrees. The best average for growth seems to be around twenty degrees, and they also dislike being near to drafts, because this can damage their leaves. Thriving in medium to low light, these plants appreciate well draining soil. Speaking of the soil, the Chinese evergreen likes it to be part soil and part sand.

Dependent on the type you decide on will depend on the pot size you’ll need. Do your research before you buy. You can spray the leaves with tepid water if you like which replicates the conditions from its place of origin in the rain forest. If it’s not too cold outside then you could place the plant outside in a safe place away from pets and strong winds so it can have a shower in the rain. You could use a suitable plant food every two months if you feel it is required.

Sabrina’s Top Tips When Buying A Plant

I have learnt so much of my love for plants from my grandparents, they taught me a lot when I was growing up. My Nan is still a keen garden lover and often helps me with my house and garden plant choices.

My first buying TOP TIP is consult a book or the garden centre experts for the sizes and varieties before you buy anything.
My next TOP TIP is that  you need to know where it will be situated so that you can best choose the plant suited for the place. For example, some indoor plants love being on a windowsill with lots of light, where others need a great deal of shade and cooler temperatures.
Another TOP TIP is to consider how much care the plant will need after purchase. If you don’t feel you have the time to care for it, then don’t buy it.
My final buying TOP TIP is make sure the plant that you’re buying has healthy leaves, no infestations in the leaves or the soil and good roots, root rot can mean it’s been over watered and might not survive for long.

My final TOP TIP is for people who forget their plants! Maintaining the consistency is key for plants, especially indoor ones. If need be, set an alarm on your phone or write on your calendar when it will need watering, pruning and cleaning (yes some plants need their leaves cleaning of dust).

Thank you for reading this blog post today, if you have any plants you love I would like to hear about them. There will be more lifestyle posts coming soon on Severn Wishes.

 Sabrina