Feline Needs

Companionship – It is important for both cats and kittens to have plenty of human company. Some will also benefit and have more contented lives if they also have a feline friend, and in some cases, a dog. Some though prefer to be single cats and do not want to share their lives with another animal !

Diet – A good quality and balanced diet is essential for your cat’s health. What you save on buying cheap cat food you will make up eventually on Vets fees ! If your cat or kitten has a particular condition, your Vet will advise you as to the best food to give and where you can purchase it from.

Water – Fresh, clean water must be available at all times. If you have a cat or kitten with a sensitive digestive system, or any other sensitivity, it may be beneficial to give boiled water (obviously once it has cooled down !) instead of water from the tap.

Exercise – Cats ideally need freedom to roam in a safe area away from busy roads. It is not natural for cats to be kept indoors although there are exceptions to this rule. They will probably spend quite a lot of their time in the garden, but most, at times, will go further.

Access – It is essential that the cat has access into the home at all times, and the easiest way to provide this is via a cat flap. If you do not want other cats inviting themselves in for a bite to eat you can install a cat flap which recognizes the microchip already implanted in your cat, allowing access to your pet while making unwanted visitors a thing of the past. Your home becomes a secure environment for your pet leading to a happier, more relaxed pet.

Night time – It is always advisable to keep your cat in at night as more go missing after dark. They are also more likely to be injured or killed on the roads.

Grooming – Regular grooming is essential, especially with long haired cats.

Neutering / Spaying – Is a MUST. Indiscriminate breeding can lead to serious health problems. Feline Leukaemia can be passed from an infected male during mating so if the female is infected, so will all her kittens be. Feline Aids is also transmittable by fighting which un-doctored toms are quite prone to doing. It is not worth the risk.

Vaccinating – All cats and kittens should be vaccinated against flu, enteritis and leukaemia with a booster injection every 12 months. All these diseases can be fatal, with leukaemia there is NO cure.

Microchipping – This is the best, safest and most reliable way of identifying your cat. Collars on cats are not safe as cats can and do get them caught while climbing, sometimes with devasting results. A bell on a collar does not help their prey escape unscathed plus the constant noise from the bell must be something they would rather do without. If taken to a rescue centre or a Vet, they will scan the animal and contact the owner immediately. In our case on the Isle of Wight, any fatalities found on the highways will be collected by the Council and taken to Island Roads.

General Health – Any animal that is unwell must be taken to a Vet for treatment. Most human medicines are toxic to cats so home treatment without your Vets advice is not an option.

Worming and Flea Treatments – These must be carried out regularly, again your Vet can advise as to the best product to use. The ones purchased from the Vet are far more reliable than those bought over the counter elsewhere. Also the environment you live in will be a much nicer place if you are not having to share it with these parasites !

Holidays – It is best to put your cat or kitten into a reputable boarding cattery whilst you are away, or if that is not possible get someone to stay at your home (ideally someone they know and like). They can then take care of the animals, the house and all your possessions and in turn give you total peace of mind.

Litter trays – These must be provided for any cat or kitten who are predominately indoors. One overnight or if they are unwell or elderly is a good idea in case they get caught short !

Is a cat the right pet for you ?

If you are willing to provide all of the above, you have a genuine interest in cats and you can commit to them for maybe 15 years or more then they are a lovely pet to have. If you don’t want the ‘occasional’ present bought in by a feline friend then maybe think again, although a lot of cats do not hunt. You will be rewarded for your care and kindness, and be shown the loyalty that only an animal can give. Cats are very clean by nature, have a degree of independence and basically are a joy to own, or should that be the other way round !

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