Looking after a cat isn’t as simple as you think and while cats may not seem like as much effort as dogs there’s still a lot you need to know and consider before introducing a furry friend into your home. Whilst it is true that cats are more self reliant they still need a helping hand to feel loved and safe. I’ve had my two cats for almost 5 years now and there’s still things I’m learning about them! There are some basic things you need to nail though when it comes to taking care of a cat so here a 10 important things you need for a happy and healthy cat.
Cats like to sleep. A lot. Having multiple beds around your home provides them with safe spaces to rest. Chances are cats will utilise other surfaces a lot of the time but don’t be tempted to think that beds will never get used because they will. Cats like options and they like things covered in their scent. One of our cats loves to sleep on our bed during the day the other one loves to sleep on the living room radiator when it’s turned on but on a night they use one of the few beds we have for them.
Try placing beds around the house so your cat always has an accessible safe spot. Also try a variety of different beds too such as donut beds, soft baskets and tepee’s.
Linking in with beds is making sure your cat has plenty of hiding spaces. Beds can double up as hiding spots if you use teepee’s, boxes or other enclosed beds. But make sure your cat knows it can use other areas too. Cats like high places so they can survey their territory so cat trees are perfect for this. Don’t worry about providing anything too fancy, a good box to hide in and your cat will be happy!
Hiding is part of a cats basic needs so it’s nothing to be concerned about. Just make sure hiding places are safe and secure especially if you have young children visiting that your cat may not be keen on. Also if you have more than one cat make sure each cat has it’s own space. They’ll likely share hiding spaces but just ensure that when they need some time out from each other that there’s plenty of hiding spots in different areas so they can escape each others company for a while.
Providing your cats with toys is a great way to keep them stimulated and entertained. This is especially important if you have indoor cats like I do. Cats can be a little fussy when it comes to what they’ll play with so it’s going to be trial and error until you find what works for your cat. Luckily there’s a wide variety of good value toys available at places like The Range and B&M so you don’t have to spend lots of money.
We have lots of toys that our cats can play with by themselves then some toys where they can play with us. It’s good to have a mix of both as they can then keep themselves entertained when they need to but get a nice but of exercise and bonding time with their owner too.
Keeping your cat in good health will not only save on any unwanted vet bills but ensure that they have a long and happy life too. Certain breeds of cat may be predisposed to certain health issues so always do your research. Even your standard moggie can come with some problems. From skin and coat issues to joint problems. It’s definitely worth looking into natural supplements for cats to make sure they’re as healthy as possible. All of Broadreach Nature’s cat supplements are developed with vets, are sourced from natural high-quality ingredients, and are non GMO ensuring only the best for your feline friend
Speaking from experience too male cats are prone to urinary tract infections which can be fatal. This is something I wasn’t aware of until one of our poor cats got a UTI. Luckily we took him straight to the vets and now we keep on top of it. If you have a male cat it’s best to take preventative measures when it comes to urinary care.
Another health area to keep on top of with cats is fleaing and worming. It’s super easy to do but does require upkeep. Unfortunately all cats, whether they’re indoor or outdoor, are susceptible to fleas and worms. We simply maintain a spot on flea treatment routine and a worming tablet routine as a preventative measure.
Even if you stay on top of your cats health an unexpected trip to the vets is guaranteed at some point. That’s why you need to take out pet insurance. Vets bills add up quickly and if you end up need to visit out of hours you’ll more than likely have to pay a call out fee before you’ve even got to the root of the problem. Pet insurance is absolutely vital because bills can quickly end up costing thousands of pounds.
Both our cats are indoor cats and while it’s tempting to get complacent and assume they’re safer it’s still important to get insurance. While indoor cats are safer from accidents there’s still no accounting for health problems so make sure you’re covered!
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The right personality
Before you even get a cat you need to consider if you’re the right person to look after one. While cats are preferred by people with busy lives thanks to their independence and lack of needing to be taken for a walk they still do require a lot of love and attention. No two cats are the same so while you may know someone with a super chilled out cat there’s always a chance you could end up with one on the complete opposite end of the scale.
The same goes for any pet but if you don’t have the time and patience to dedicate to a cat then you shouldn’t get one. Pets aren’t a short term commitment. On average cats will live to around 14 or 15 but indoor cats in particular have a good chance of going beyond this and even reaching 20 or more. At this point they will the human equivalent of around a 95 year old! It’s definitely worth taking the future into consideration before getting a cat.
Now your average cat is pretty good at grooming itself so you don’t need to worry too much about an abundance of grooming products. Some breeds, particularly hairless cats, do require regular bathing though. Also as cats get older grooming themselves may become a harder task so it’s best to get them used to a little help early on just in case they need it later on in life. Giving cats a good, regular brushing will help with the maintenance of a healthy coat and skin.
When it comes to bathing a cat this is something that should be done only when absolutely necessary (as I’ve pointed out hairless cats do need bathing around once a week to help with oil build up). Cats are extremely good at keeping themselves clean and most cats hate water so it’s just an unnecessary stress for them. Also excessive bathing can dry their skin out too.
A healthy diet is very important to keep your cat feeling happy and healthy. If your cat has allergies or special dietary requirements then obviously they will need to follow a diet approved by your vet. Your standard cat however will be happy with nutritious food and the odd treat.
As tempting as it is try not to feed your cat too much human food. Unseasoned cooked meat and poultry is good for a treat as is oily fish such as tuna or mackerel but they should be kept as treats and not form part of their every day diet. Also you should avoid giving your cat milk to drink as cats are actually lactose intolerant and you could end up with a poorly kitty.
Cats love to scratch but I’m going to guess that you don’t want them scratching at your furniture. To prevent this from happening you need to provide your cat with scratching posts. Both indoor and outdoor cats will scratch as it’s a way to release energy, mark their territory and keep their claws from getting too long.
Indoor cats are definitely more likely to get scratch happy though as they’re not wearing down their claws outside and don’t have anywhere to scent mark so dotting a variety of scratch posts around your home will keep them happy.
OK this one is more optional than the others (which are definitely all essential) but from personal experience two cats are better than one! My two cats are actually same litter brothers despite the fact that their looks and personality are completely different. We only intended on getting one cat but came away with two and I couldn’t imagine not having them both. Now obviously my cats are brothers and they’ve only ever known a life with each other but some cats will just not take to mixing with other cats. That being said though, my fiancé had a few cats growing up and always had two and never had any problems with them bonding.
If you’re keen on having more than one cat look for siblings or cats that want to be rehomed together.
With this list of 10 things you’ll have one very happy and healthy cat on your hands! Cats make amazing pets and when cared for properly they make wonderfully loving companions.
Do you have any essentials for looking after a cat? Let me know in the comments!