Caring for cats
Cats make our lives better. They make terrific, easy-going pets and provide a lifetime of love and companionship.
Caring for cats is a significant responsibility. We know happy pets make happy people, so here’s a guide to help you keep your purrfect pal healthy for life.
Give your cat ‘their best shot’ at a long and healthy life by having them vaccinated. Vaccinating your cat helps protect them from preventable illness and disease like panleukopenia. Like parvovirus in dogs, panleukopenia is a highly contagious disease that spreads through direct contact with other cats or indirectly through faeces. Signs of panleukopenia include loss of appetite, extreme lethargy, vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. Read more about Panleukopenia and how you can protect your pet.
Desexing and Microchipping
We recommend microchipping and desexing your cat to help them live a happy and healthy life.
Desexed animals are less likely to suffer from certain cancers, diseases and illnesses, are less likely to roam and can be calmer and happier. Desexing also reduces the number of unwanted litters and homeless animals in your community. There are many myths surrounding desexing which simply are not true. There are no health benefits associated with allowing your pet to have a litter before desexing. Desexing will not alter your pets’ personality, in fact it could have a positive impact on your pet’s behaviour.
It’s important to ensure your pet is microchipped so if they do become lost, you are far more likely to be reunited with them. It’s also important to make sure your personal details are up to date with the applicable microchip registry.
Cats require a balanced diet tailored to their size, age and any health conditions they might have.
Cats should be fed small amounts regularly, as they are natural grazers. It is a good idea to provide a small breakfast and dinner while providing a small supply of dry food throughout the day – but be careful not to overfeed them.
It is critical that your cat can always access clean, fresh water, inside and outside the home.
Cats are very clean animals and cat owners should work to keep their environment as hygienic as possible.
Cats are easily toilet-trained, providing they have access to a litter tray that is cleaned daily. Litter trays should be kept in a private area, well away from food and water supplies.
Learn more about litter-training your cat or kitten to help them form good habits.
Exercise and Play
Caring for cats isn’t just about looking after their physical needs, it’s also about looking after their mental needs. All cats need exercise and enrichment. There are many kinds of enrichment available to keep your cat entertained and stimulated.
- Toys – wand toys, balls or stuffed mice toys.
- Puzzle feeder toys that allow your cat to forage for food and encourage problem solving
- Opportunities to scratch and get up high – cats love heights and scratching, so providing scratch posts or getting crafty and making a cardboard tower will keep them happy.
Remember cats like companionship, so regularly spending time playing with your cat is essential for their wellbeing and your bond with your pet.
See more cat hacks to help you keep your cat safe and happy at home.
Bathing and Grooming
Almost all cats require grooming assistance from their owners, particularly if they have long hair. By maintaining a good grooming schedule you will have a happier cat, less hair around the house, and will not need a vet’s assistance with matted or tangled fur.
Unlike dogs, you should not need to bathe a cat.