A while ago Kissapuu.com online shop made an inquiry for Finnish newsletter subscribers and FB followers asking their opinion “What features are essential in cat climbing and scratching tree?” Participants were asked to choose from 3 to 5 features that are essential when buying a cat tree. The options were following:
a) Looks & how well a cat tree fits to own interior decoration
b) Possibility to select materials of cat tree (wood, rope & felt)
c) Possibility to choose number of platforms and their place in the tree
d) Separate & maschine-washable sleeping pads of platforms
e) Durability, eco-friendliness & possibility to replace materials of worn parts (felt, rope)
g) Firmness of cat tree for cat climbing
h) Easiness of assembly
i) Possibility to change place of a cat tree (no permanent fastening)
j) Size of cat tree (how much floor space a tree occupies)
k) Multiple payment options in online shop (bank transfer, credit card, invoice or account)
l) Fast delivery
m) Anything else, what?
101 answers were received. When purchasing a cat climbing and scratching tree the most important features were considered to be the following (ranking from 1 to 5):
This feature was considered preeminent, 70 respondents mentioned this. 19 respondents of them ranked this characteristic as most important giving it position number 1. Overall, the firmness of a cat tree was considered very important, it received most nominations also on rankings 2 to 4.
This feature was considered the second most important (in total 44 answers). This characteristic was given first prize nominations as much as “possibility to choose materials of cat tree (wood, rope & felt).
28 respondents ranked this feature as number 1. However, the outlook criteria was considered less important than firmness and durability.
Price was the fourth most important feature = 33 respondents. This criterion got only one nomination for the 1. prize, but became third in ranking for positions 2. and 3. Equally important feature was considered “Separate & maschine-washable sleeping pads of platforms”.
This was the most important feature for altogether 10 respondents, but 30 mentioned it in general.
Subsequently important elements were: “possibility to change place of a cat tree (no permanent fastening) and “possibility to choose number of platforms and their place in the tree”. The least important was “fast delivery” meaning that cat homes can plan well in advance their purchases.
The results of this small survey confirmed our opinion of a good cat climbing and scratching tree. Kissapuu Cat Tree was born by our own need. We did not find a cat tree in the market we would have wanted to have in our living room. It is important for cat’s well-being that it is able to carry out species-specific activities, i.e. climb and manicure its nails. It is also of primary importance that the tree is firm and withstands bigger cats. At the same time a cat climbing and scratching tree can be a stylish interior decoration element and eye-catcher in your living room. Also a cat tree can be design, your cat’s elegant favourite place that withstands looks and time. Nowadays eco-friendliness is self-evident. Even a cat becomes fond of long-lasting furnitures. Cat is by nature wise friend of nature and environment.
A pet going missing, running away or being stolen are a pet owner’s worst nightmares. A registered microchip is a vital tool in the case of missing pets. When found, the pet is scanned using a reader. If a microchip is detected, the furry friend can be returned home soon. Pets must always have a microchip when they are entered into a show or taken abroad.
An ID chip, or microchip, is a capsule roughly the size of a grain of rice (measuring approx. Ø1.4*8.5 mm), containing electronic parts. A layer covering the capsule/ampule enables the chip to attach itself to tissue, forming a connective tissue capsule. The chip is inserted in place using a needle-like, sterile tool designed specifically for this purpose. Microchips come in a variety of sizes. The same chips work with different animals, such as cats, dogs or rabbits. A kitten can be chipped young, at 8–12 weeks, for instance alongside vaccination. The procedure itself is similar to vaccination; the chip is inserted under the skin on the back of the animal’s neck. The chip stays under the skin as long as the veterinarian ensures the chip does not come out with the needle, or that the chip is not placed on the cat’s fur (as can happen with long-haired cats).
Inserting the chip might be slightly painful and the insertion point might bleed a little. On the other hand, some pets might not notice anything. However, microchipping an aggressive cat may be difficult, or downright impossible, meaning that it is safer to perform chipping during e.g. castration. In x-rays, the chip will be visible as a capsule the size of a grain of rice. Sometimes the chip can be felt through the cat's skin. When performed by an experienced, trained expert, microchipping should be harmless for a pet.
The chip’s functionality is confirmed by checking that it works by responding with a number sequence. The 15-digit sequence is a sort of identification code for the pet. However, it is not the same as the pet’s registration number, but rather a number sequence coded by the chip’s manufacturer, compliant with international standards. The sequence can only be read with a specifically designed reader, which transmits a low radio frequency that activates the chip, which itself has no energy source.
Since the chip can move under the pet’s skin, it is recommended to scan from head to tail, in case the chip is not found at the back of the neck. The ID chip should last for the animal’s entire lifetime, although they can break due to injuries to the chip location or surgical procedures. A veterinarian should check the microchip at every visit to confirm the chip’s and the owner’s information, including right of ownership.
A chip is useless without registration, since the chip itself only contains a number sequence. After ID-marking an animal, it must be immediately registered in a database. This prevents possible misuse in cases such as disappearances. During registration, the chip number is given and the owner's contact information is attached to it. It is recommended to register a pet in several databases, improving the chance and speed of finding the owner. Animal shelters etc. can access certain databases at any time of day, whereas others are only accessible during business hours.
Paperwork filled out during registration should be stored with your health card or registration book together with one chip number sticker. Other stickers should be stored in case you need to apply for a passport for your pet. Information about which register the chip is entered should also be stored in the same place. This information is important, since correctness of the register information is always the pet owner's responsibility.
There are four registers in use in Finland, which anyone can check to see if an animal’s chip has been registered. Information in the register about pet owners can only be accessed by register administrators, who decide to whom and under what terms should information about owners be disclosed. The chip number must be treated like one’s own personal ID, since the number can verify that the pet in question is yours when picking it up from the person who found it.
There is also an ongoing project in Finland called Miljoona Mikrosirua (A Million Microchips), whose goal is to provide affordable microchipping and registration with the help of business partners. The chips have been donated by municipalities, companies and organizations, among others. Microchipping events are organized in Finland at least bi-monthly. No reservations are needed and payments are done in cash. Microchipping specialists trained by veterinarians perform the insertion and the information is saved into a register.
Text by Julianna Hautoniemi
Originally published in Sacred Birmans in Finland association’s member magazine, issue 1/2019.