Cats make great pets but their needs can be much more complicated than people realize. If you want to be a perfect pet-owner and give your cat what it really needs, read on and discover our tips.
Places to Rest and Hide
Cats can spend hours each day sleeping and need a space which is quiet, safe and comfortable. It is a good idea to provide your cat with a bed at floor level, which it can use any time that it needs to rest. When choosing a cat bed, look for a design which is easy to clean (for hygiene purposes) and warm. You should also make time to teach children that cats need sufficient rest and shouldn't be disturbed when they are asleep.
You should also provide another space which your cat can escape to if it feels threatened. Cats instinctively leap and scramble to high places when frightened, so you should make sure that your cat is able to do that without hurting itself. Remember that cats are inquisitive and will find their way up to shelves and furniture, especially if a sudden noise or an unknown animal on their territory spooks them. Always be wary of the dangers of precariously balanced ornaments, loose curtain fittings and electrical wires, all of which could present a hazard for a nervous (or playful) cat.
Food & Drink
Cats are carnivores and have specific dietary needs which human food cannot meet. Many cat owners find it convenient to use a combination of dry cat food and wet cat food to their pets. Dry cat food comes in the form of small biscuits (kibble), while wet cat food is available in tins and sachets. Generally, cats will eat several small portions of food throughout the day and abundant, fresh water must be available . Portion sizes will depend on the sex, age and size of the cat, as well as the brand of food. All good pet food products will provide nutritional information on the packaging and you should refer to this for specific guidelines.
A Friendly Veterinarian
A friendly veterinarian is a very important person in your cat's life, and finding a great vet will make a big difference in how your pet reacts when it comes to those annual check-ups. When choosing a veterinarian for your cat, ask your friends and neighbors for advice. Word of mouth recommendations (and warnings) can be very valuable and will give you a good sense of whether you can trust this person with your pet. You should also bear this advice in mind when choosing any care-giver (such as a pet-sitter or cat-hotel) for your cat. As a secondary check, see if you can go and meet the staff and have a look at the clinic or cattery before taking your pet there they should be happy to let you visit and ask questions. If you feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, just imagine how your cat will feel if you leave him there!
Freedom from Parasites
Fleas, worms and mites are all nasty parasites that can make your cat's life a misery. These little critters can be treated with regular use of products such as Frontline Plus and Droncit. These products are reasonably priced, highly effective and safe for your pets. Bear in mind that Frontline Plus is available in different formulas for dogs and cats and Frontline Plus for Dogs should not be used on cats. Always ensure that your buy Frontline Plus for Cats for your pet!
Mental Stimulation & Physical Activity
If your cat does not have access to outdoors, you will have to pay special attention to providing mental stimulation and encouraging physical activity. One of the main issues for indoor cats is boredom and frustration, so owners need to focus on providing an exciting environment for their pet. Having more than one cat is a good way to provide company for your pet but human interaction and play (using toys to imitate hunting for example) is important, and you should not leave your pet unattended for long periods. Indoor cats will also need a regularly cleaned litter tray, placed at a distance from their sleeping and eating areas. A scratching post is also essential if you don't want your favorite upholstery ruined when your pet sharpens his claws and stretches his muscles!