Quiet, gentle and never blows open

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Permethrin poisoning in cats

What is permethrin poisoning in cats?

What is permethrin poisoning in cats? Permethrin is a flea-killing chemical commonly found in a wide range of flea treatments for dogs. It’s completely safe for dogs, but toxic to cats. Permethrin poisoning affects a cat’s nervous system, and is fatal unless treated. Read more on the PDSA website.

How do I avoid it for my cat?

Put simply, never be tempted to use a dog flea treatment on your cat. Use only cat-specific flea treatments, which will not contain permethrin.

You will also need to keep your cat away from your dog if the dog has just been flea treated.

If you ever bring any sort of flea treatment into your home check that it doesn’t contain permethrin.

Symptoms and treatment

Symptoms will start within a few hours and include:

  • vomiting
  • excessive dribbling
  • breathing problems
  • twitching and fitting
  • confusion

If you suspect your cat has come into contact with permethrin first wash it off your cat and then call the vet. A cat suffering from permethrin poisoning will need to be admitted to the veterinary hospital for treament. A cat whose symptoms are treated swiftly has a good chance of surviving. The longer a cat waits for treament, sadly the worse the outcome tends to be.

This can be a very expensive process. Pet insurance is a cost-effective way of ensuring you can afford good vet care for all your pets.

What’s new at Petflap HQ?

What’s new at Petflap HQ?

Usually the summer is our quieter period, but that wasn’t the case this year! Not only have sales remained bouyant, meaning we didn’t have any let up in our manufacturing, but we’ve also been busy in many other areas.

We have a logo at last. We wanted a design that echoed the simplicity of our design but showed you what the Petflap does and how it works. Kelly from Wax Creative was invaluable and we love what she came up with.

We’ve incorporated the logo into the stickers which will shortly be appearing on our fitting rings. The stickers have the logo and a serial number, allowing us to keep close track of each Petflap. As well as the sticker we are etching ThePetflap.com onto each ring. Both of these sit at the foot of the ring under the step, so they remain discreet. We don’t like to shout about who we are, but at the same time if your friend asks you where you got that brilliant new catflap then you don’t have to look far for the answer! As always we keep our manufacturing under review and have introduced some improvements which allow us to manufacture at a greater volume and iron out problems.

We’ve also been planning a new website, as we know this one needs a complete face-lift. After a false start we’re now working with a local firm and hope to be unveiling the new site before the end of 2021. Once we have the new site we will be putting up Petflap prices, so if you want to take advantage of our current price then buy soon! Our materials costs have gone up and up over the last 18 months and we can no longer absorb the increases without a price rise. The price of the Petflap hasn’t risen for several years. We intend to reduce our postal charges by using a different carrier, so there is some good news.

We expect to be using more resellers over the coming wee while. We’ve been preparing to supply a reseller in the USA, which has required us to see to several aspects of how we present our product. This has been 100% a positive thing for us but also very work-intensive. Sales into Europe are picking up, and we would be open to working with a reseller based in the EU. If that’s you please get in touch. We have another possible project involving selling another product into the EU, but that’s under wraps for now.

draughtproof pet door

Between the new website and working with resellers, we needed new photographs. We’ve had two photoshoots over the summer with our regular photographer Jenni. We’re now sorted with much improved shots of the Petflap in glass (oh go on then, since you asked – here’s a white Petflap fitted into glass),  as well as the complete range of Petflap product shots and extra shots of the Petflap with cats. Don’t photoshoots take a long time?

With planning all these developments and more, making them happen and then using them to best advantage, it’s been an exhausting so-called ‘off season’. Here we are now well launched into our busiest time of year without time to really stand back and admire what we’ve done. We’re a tiny team and everyone really goes the extra mile to make sure Petflaps are made, customers are looked after and the wheels keep turning smoothly.


Gift your pet a Petflap this Pet Appreciation Week

Gift your pet a Petflap this Pet Appreciation Week

pet appreciation weekDuring Pet Appreciation Week (6-12th June), we want to debunk some of the common fears around pet doors and encourage pet owners to gift their pet the freedom of a Petflap this year. There are many common fears and misconceptions surrounding pet doors, often surrounding safety, but here at Ecoflap we only provide the best for your pets, ensuring they are properly cared for.

Pet doors let draughts in

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding pet doors is that they let draughts inside. Our Petflaps do the opposite. The pet access flap is pressed more firmly shut with any change in air pressure, regardless of which side it comes from. This means that winds outside will push the door shut just the same as a breeze indoors would.

Our Petflaps are made up of several layers of insulating and durable materials. Tricoya, the material in the middle of the door sandwich, is weatherproof for over 70 years, ensuring you and your pet receive the best quality pet door possible.

Intruders can crawl through pet doors

This is virtually impossible as our standard Petflaps have access of 103mm x 187mm each side, which is far too small for most children to get through, let alone an adult. Our Petflaps also have a locking mechanism that can be locked open or shut for your extra peace of mind and to help train your cat to use the door. Check out our tricoya Maxflap door if your pet requires a larger door or, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Pet doors can hurt my pet

If the action of the flap is very strong or the animal is encourage to go through a space too small for them then a pet could be hurt by a pet door. There is a misconception that by nudging the pet door open with their heads pets will get hurt but this doesn’t arise with the Petflap. Only the gentlest focussed pressure is required to open it, and the acrylic peep holes allow your cat to see through. Your animal will tend to drop their head when they go through the Petflap and, once they are used to it, they will find a way to go through which is most comfortable to them.

Other animals can crawl through

This is a common fear when it comes to fitting a pet door. However, as well as our locking mechanism, we are developing microchip access doors, allowing only animals with the registered microchip to open the flap. The likelihood is most other animals will be deterred by your pet if it is in the house or garden and won’t want to enter.

Above all else, pet doors are a great convenience to both you and your pet. With more of us working from home than ever before, pet doors allow you to get on with your working day and your pet to get on with theirs without interrupting you. They allow your pet the freedom to roam the great outdoors, making them less disruptive as they have a safe, constructive outlet for their energy!

Please remember that if you are using one of our Petflaps for your small dog, they are not replacements for walking your four-legged friend. Make sure you’re meet your pet’s caring needs.

Passivhaus Petflap

Passivhaus Petflap

We often receive enquiries from people interested in fitting a Petflap in a Passivhaus or other low-energy home. Until recently we have had only anecdotal information to offer, but now the Petflap is undergoing accredited testing.

passivhaus petflap

By Jayswipe – James N, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8199117

In September 2020 we were approached by the Passive House Academy New Zealand. They were looking for evidence of the Petflap’s performance. When we weren’t able to provide more than anecdotal and informal test results, their Director offered to help. We have tried before to arrange testing in the UK but never got anywhere due to the nature of the product. We were quite happy to send a Petflap to New Zealand if it got us the data!

We established that we needed two types of test: an evaluation of the Petflap’s intrinsic thermal properties, and a test with air blowing on it to see how much got through. These are respectively the U-value and the air leakage rate.

To calculate the U-value you need to know the thermal value of each component. In theory, you’ll have access to information giving you the thermal performance of each material. We approached all our suppliers but none had been provided with this information, so we had to go with generic values. Because of this, the result is a conservative one. The U-value was calculated to 3.521 W/(m²K).

We were all set to have the air leakage tests run in February. This involves sealing the Petflap into a unit and then blowing air at it and measuring how much gets through. The testing lab is in Auckland, and Auckland went into lockdown just as the lab was ready to go with it. We wish them all the very best and look forward to receiving our test results with they’ve caught up with their backlog.

Please get in touch if you would like us to email you with the information when we have it.

Keep your cat calm during bonfire night fireworks

Keep your cat calm during bonfire night fireworks

cat fireworks

Fireworks photo credit CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=276193

It’s that time of year again when your cat and fireworks don’t mix. Bonfire night has lots going for it, but if you’re a pet owner it can be a very worrying time of year. Here we have a few suggestions for how to keep your cat, dog and other pets cool, calm and collected on November 5th.

Hiding place for your cat

When the bangs and pops start your cat’s first instinct will be to run and hide. He or she is bound to have their favourite hiding places in your home already, so make sure these are accessible. Leave doors open within your home so that the cat can run to wherever it feels safest – in the wardrobe, under the bed or in the laundry pile etc. If your cat hasn’t developed a favourite spot then create one or two – perhaps an old cardboard box or couple of washable blankets left in a heap. They’ll probably ignore them and find somewhere else but it’s worth a try.

If your cat does burrow into a hiding place, leave them there in peace and let them come out in their own time. Trying to coax them out could make matters worse.

Keep the cat in during fireworks

A cat will become far more upset if it’s outside during the firework display. If it’s possible, get your cat in a little while before you expect the fireworks to start. If you have a remote control microchip locking hub or a multiway lock, set it to allow the cat in but not out again. That way, if your cat is still out when fireworks begin but rushes into the house in fright, you can be sure it won’t be able to get out again if it’s still in a panic.

Make your home a haven

There are things you can do to make your home a refuge for any animals you have indoors. Simple things like shutting the curtains and putting some music on can dull and mask the sounds. If you’re staying in with your animals keep to the usual routine and be available for them if they seek you out for comfort. Don’t react at all to the fireworks yourself. If you have dogs avoid walking them during the firework display, even this is a variation on the usual routine. Taking them out before hand and afterwards should be fine.

Thank you to the RSPCA for information for this post.


Equine Flu

Equine Flu

equine fluEquine flu fears forced the Royal Welsh Show organisers this year to bar all unvaccinated horses from entry (we looked at animal vaccination rates on this blog two weeks ago). Organisers had debated whether to ban the horse section entirely. One Welsh horse show cancelled its entire event. This was upsetting as the show had been running since the 1880s, but it was the responsible move.

There have been over 200 cases of the flu this year. At one stage horse racing stopped for a week, with stables in lockdown. The New Forest Show, in Hampshire,  has banned unvaccinated horses from entry. The disease is highly contagious, spread through coughing droplets into the air,  putting the 3000 New Forest Ponies at risk. Equine flu can be fatal to unvaccinated horses such as these.

The Vet Times has this to say:

“Mixing of unvaccinated horses and no mandatory vaccination requirements at some events were among the main reasons for outbreaks of equine flu in the UK. This was the conclusion of a meeting of experts, who also highlighted poor application of biosecurity, new arrivals not being quarantined and the clinical signs not being caught early enough as significant factors.”

The British Horse Society includes this advice in its latest guidance notes:

“We also remind owners of the importance of vaccinations and to ensure that their vaccination records are up to date. The vast majority of confirmed cases reported by the AHT are in unvaccinated horses. We continue to recommend that if it has been longer than six months since the last vaccination, owners should discuss a booster with their veterinary surgeon.