Cats can make excellent companions and are wonderful pets. However, with an average lifespan ranging from 15-20 years, owning a cat is a long-term commitment and their breed specific needs must be carefully considered. From the talkative Siamese to fluffy Persians, there is a breed suited to every lifestyle.
Before bringing your new cat home, there are a few details to consider:
- We highly suggest insuring your new kitten. Please see our Pet Insurance information page.
- How are you going to cater for your kitten’s housing needs? Whilst they will usually find a corner that suits them best, provide them with a basket, box or chair in a place where they feel safe and protected.
- Do you want your kitten to use a litter tray? Cats like to be clean at all times. As a result, cats can easily be toilet trained if a litter tray filled with dry earth, sand, or cat litter is available. The litter tray should be cleaned daily to remove faeces and the litter itself changed frequently. Ensure the litter tray is placed in a quiet and private location. You may even need multiple trays if you have more than one pet cat. A good rule of thumb is one tray for each cat plus one extra.
- Kittens are climbers, so be prepared! All cats need to exercise and naturally like climbing and perching themselves up high.
- How much grooming are you prepared to do? Most cats require grooming assistance from their owners to remove excess hair. This helps in the reduction of furballs/hairballs and matted/tangled fur, which if left, may result in a visit to us. A cat that is introduced to grooming early in life, will be much easier to groom in their later years.
- An appropriate diet is vital for growing kittens. Feed a high quality kitten food to ensure the correct levels of nutrients are provided and avoid stomach upsets causing diarrhoea.
Once you have adopted your kitten, it is a good idea to book an appointment for a general health check. This also gives you the chance to book their vaccinations and ask any questions you may have.
- Always provide accessible fresh water, especially if they have a dry food diet. Whilst many cats love to drink cow’s milk, it’s not recommended as they can be lactose intolerant and experience stomach upsets.
- Cats require a minimum of one health check per year. Regular visits help us diagnose, treat or even prevent health problems before they become life-threatening. Routine vaccinations, worming and flea control form the basics of feline medical care.
- It is recommended a scratching post be available for your cat to keep their claws in good condition for climbing and defending themselves. This will also reduce the chances of your furniture being scratched. Cats use scartching as a form of territorial communication, providng an outlet for this natural behaviour makes for a much happier cat.
- During the moulting season (spring time) daily brushing is essential to remove the build up of dead hair. Commercial diets are avaliable that are designed specifically to assist with the reduction of hairballs and also help your cat process shed hair. Unlike dogs, you should not need to bathe a cat.
- Most cats are grazers, so we recommend feeding small amounts often. A diet high in protein and fat is essential. Cats require a good level of the protein called ‘Taurine’ (and no, this does not mean cats can be fed energy drinks!) in their diet as their bodies are unable to synthesie it. This means NEVER feed your cat a food made for dogs, as it does not contain the required proetins. There are many formulations of cat food available and we recommend discussing your cat’s individual nutritional needs with us to choose the most suitable formula.
We welcome you to book an appointment with us to discuss how to keep your cat in optimum mental and physical health.