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 needs must be carefully considered.
Before you bring your cat or kitten home, we suggest you contact your local council and enquire about its regulations regarding such things as night curfews, compulsory containment within a property, desexing and microchipping.
A cat’s housing needs are simple. Whilst they will usually find a corner that suits them best indoors or outdoors, provide them with a basket, box or chair in a place where they feel safe and protected. Increasingly, people are using cat enclosures for outdoor cats. Placed in a weatherproof area, they keep them safe from neighbourhood cats and protect local wildlife. Indoor cats generally live longer and lead healthier lives.
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.
All cats need to exercise. As cats naturally like climbing and perching themselves up high, trees and fences, for example, provide good opportunities for them if they have outdoor access. Indoor cats, however, will use furniture to climb and perch. Once again, having a scratch pole or indoor cat gym will give an indoor cat an effective alternative. Providing higher perching locations will also give your cats a more enriched environment.
Vaccination & Health Checks
Kittens should be vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, followed by annual vaccinations. This provides your pet with protection against Feline enteritis and Feline respiratory disease.
Feline enteritis is usually fatal and Feline respiratory disease can be debilitating and difficult to treat.
If your cat often goes outside it is recommended that they are immunized against Feline AIDS.
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. We can also provide additional guidance on nutrition, behaviour, training and life-stage treatments available.
Regular worming of your cat with an all-wormer is essential to control intestinal parasites. This should be done every 2 weeks until your kitten reaches 3 months of age and then once monthly until they are 6 months old. Worming can then be reduced to once every 3 months.
Desexing is a simple day procedure and reduces the risk of your cat developing cancer and other diseases of the reproductive tract such as testicular cancers and prostate diseases in males, and ovarian cysts, tumors, mammary cancer and uterine infections in females. Desexed cats also tend to be less prone to roaming, fighting, spraying, night prowling and aggressive and territorial behaviors which are particularly common in males. Desexing is recommended at 6 months of age however it is never too late to desex your cat.
Unless you are truly committed to being a responsible breeder have your pet desexed. Desexed pets are easier to manage and lead healthier lives.
All pets should be identified to promote their own safety should they accidentally stray. Microchips offer the most reliable and permanent form of identification. Please be aware that it is compulsory for all cats to be microchipped in NSW.
There are many products available over the counter to provide protection against external parasites such as fleas and ticks. Ask your vet for the product best suited to your pet’s needs.
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. Except at moulting time, short haired cats are able to groom themselves adequately. In contrast, long haired cats require daily grooming by their owners. Furballs or hairballs can cause appetite and weight loss, and in a worst case scenario, result in surgery. During the moulting season daily brushing is essential and food designed specifically to assist with the reduction of hairballs will also help your cat process shed hair. Unlike dogs, you should not need to bathe a cat.
Providing proper nutrition for your cat is essential, but often neglected. Kittens have totally different nutritional requirements to adult cats, meaning they need to be fed foods specially formulated for their age group. Thankfully the advent of “life stages” diets designed for pets of different age groups has made nutrition a lot easier. Cats should be fed a good quality commercial cat food relevant to their age (Kitten, Adult, Senior).
Most cats are grazers, so we recommend feeding small amounts often. They require a high protein and fat diet. 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. Raw chicken wings/necks are excellent in maintaining good dental health.
Ensure a fresh water bowl is accessible at all times, 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.
Dry kibble is better than canned food and minced meat when it comes to dental care. Specifically formulated dental bones, dental diets and regular dental checkups will assist in maintaining good dental health.
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.
We welcome you to book an appointment with us to discuss how to keep your cat in optimum mental and physical health.