Cats are cute, and they make our lives better by just being there for us. It is our responsibility to take care of them and bestow all our love upon them. Unfortunately, even after proper care, these feline friends can fall ill to numerous diseases. Learn how all about cat care here.
Health, Wellbeing & Treatments
Cats and humans go back to ancient times. You don’t have to look far to see the significance they held with the Egyptian people with the most significant example being the Sphinx.
Caring for a Cat
If you are considering adopting a cat or bringing home a new kitten you will want to know what’s involved in caring for them. No matter what their age is cats use their natural hunting instincts to play. If you haven’t seen it before you will get great amusement from watching them chase a light or laser around trying to catch it. Climbing and “kneading” are two other regular activities so having the right accessories will be important to keep them amused and protect your furniture.
Cats make for wonderful pets and they are reasonably low maintenance. They are extremely clean and will be constantly found self-grooming. They often have a reputation for being aloof and whilst that may be true for some cats it is also true for some humans! Most cats are very affectionate and make great companions especially if you want an extra “heater” in winter as they will curl up on your lap.
How Much Space Does a Cat Need?
If you don’t have a lot of room then a cat makes a great pet for you. Unlike dogs they do not need much space for exercise and they spend a lot of time sleeping. Cats are very independent so cope fairly well with being home alone while you are at work. Whether you want to have an indoor or outdoor cat may depend on your local council laws but space should not be a limiting factor in your decision.
Feeding your Cat
Our feline friends need protein to survive as they are carnivores. The options for kitten and cat food are vast and it can be difficult to know what the best cat food is. You will find recommendations here at Cat Informer to help you with that decision. As a guide we recommend you provide a good quality cat food which is made for the age of your cat. As with humans cats have different needs as they age and there is cat food designed to suit these life stages or health needs such as urinary tract cat food.
As they are carnivorous the food should always contain meat. We recommend you avoid products which contain fillers like corn and rice in larger quantities. Whilst your cat will likely go crazy when they smell a tin of cat food being opened, we recommend the core base of your cat’s diet is dry cat food. Research has found too much wet cat food can increase the risk of dental disease but may be needed for fussy eaters or specific medical conditions. To aid with cat teeth health and general wellbeing we recommend you give your cat some fresh raw meat such as raw chicken wings.
Cat’s and Milk, Chocolate & Human Food
No doubt you have grown up watching cats and kittens drink bowls of milk and think that is what they should be given. I hate to burst your bubble but cats actually can’t drink cow’s milk and should not be given it. If you really want to give your cat milk then make sure you give only the one’s developed for cats and give as a treat and not regularly. It is also dangerous for your cat’s health to give them chocolate, avocado, alcohol, coffee, cooked bones, garlic, grapes, nuts, onions or processed meats such as sausages.
Please always make sure your cat has plenty of fresh clean water.
Grooming & Care
Whilst cats are excellent at self-grooming it is recommended you brush your cat from a young age. Whilst most cats enjoy being brushed some don’t so the earlier you start the better as your cat will learn to enjoy it. Grooming is important and particularly if you have a long haired cat as it will help reduce fur balls which can become a health issue along with matted fur which can become painful if left unattended.
Gently touching your cats ears and paws will teach them to be comfortable with this and not feel threatened. This will make any future visits to the vet less stressful for both you and your feline friend.
Cats and Veterinary Care
When you first adopt your cat it should have had a number of the vaccinations it needs. As a cat owner it is important you make sure your cat has annual visits to the vet, just as we humans do, for a general check up and to have any vaccinations or boosters needed. One of the main risks for cats is the cat flu and the regular boosters will assist in preventing this from occurring. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat they will need flea control and worming regularly. Cat teeth need regular care and a dental check up will be included in the annual veterinary health check. It is recommended you stay on top of the care of cat teeth by using treats specifically designed for this purpose.
Other than the regular check up if you notice changes in your cat’s drinking or eating habits, their urination or defecation changes or you notice a shift in their weight (up or down) you should check with a vet. You can either contact the Online Vet, via the link on our site, or visit your nearest vet.
Litter & Litter Boxes
Felines are generally very clean pets but they will need access to a clean litter tray. Just as we like privacy when we go to the toilet, cats do also so they will want their litter tray in a quiet place which is also not near their water or food. If you have more than one cat you will most likely need one litter tray for each. Cats do not need usually need to be trained to use the litter tray as they instinctively know how to use it.
There are many options available for both litter trays and litter. You should have no trouble finding something that suits both your home environment and your cat. Be aware that some cats can be fussy with the types of litter, and litter trays, used so if your cat is one of these you may need to try different brands until you find the one that best suits them. Keeping the litter tray clean will be important as your cat will not use a tray that hasn’t been cleaned regularly. If they are not happy they may become stressed and find somewhere else in your home to relieve themselves.
Indoor or Outdoor Cat
You will need to check your local council laws regarding cats to know if you can have an outdoor cat. Before deciding this it is worth considering the pros and cons. Risks to your cat’s wellbeing increase if they are an outdoor cat. This is due to the potential exposure to diseases, injury due to cat fights and also road traffic. If you decide to have an outdoor cat we recommend keeping them indoors at night both for their own protection as well as your native wildlife.
For indoor cats there are some essential accessories that will help them to be happy and healthy in your home, including:
- plenty of toys (in particular one’s that make them chase and pounce)
- cat grass to nibble on
- some sunny spots to snooze in
- a good scratching post for claw sharpening (and to protect your furniture)
You can find details of the recommended products on our Cat Informer website!