With the average lifespan of a cat being around fifteen years, deciding to keep one represents a significant commitment. Before committing to getting a new feline friend, it’s a good idea to consider the following:
Things to Consider:
- Would I prefer a pedigree, crossbreed or rescue cat?
- Is the size and type of my home suitable for a cat?
- Do I have the time to spend with my cat and will it get lonely if I am out all day?
- Can I afford the cost of feeding and healthcare?
- How much time do I want to spend grooming my cat?
Cats like to sleep in lots of different spots: a comfortable lap, an empty box or a sofa. Nevertheless, many people like to provide their cats with a particular place to sleep, and this should be a suitably sized bed or basket with bedding. Your cat will probably choose when and if they want to use this area, so it is a good idea to move the bed or basket around to increase the animal’s interest in using it.
If you have a kitten, it will need special kitten food for the first year of its life. These are specially formulated blends that contain a healthy balanced diet for your growing kitten. Adult cats require a combination of nutrients to stay healthy, including protein, taurine, fat, minerals and vitamins. You should choose a cat food that has a good mix of these. Pet foods have feeding guides on them which will indicate how much food your cat will need. At PAWS we stock a variety of kitten and cat food including moist and dry blends. Come and talk to us and we can help you select a variety that is best suited to your feline friend.
Toys and Scratch posts
A cat’s claws are its natural hunting weapons and its instinct is to keep them sharp by scratching. Scratching also allows a cat to mark its territory. Unfortunately this behaviour can be destructive in a domestic environment, where cats can quickly destroy patches of wallpaper, carpet and upholstery.
It’s important to provide your cat with an outlet for their claw sharpening and a scratching post is ideal for this.
Just like dogs, cats enjoy playing with toys that appeal to their natural hunting and stalking instincts. Interactive play with your cat provides it with valuable exercise and helps to improve the bond between you and your pet. Think about purchasing balls, wand toys, anything containing catnip and, of course, a toy mouse for it to chase! We stock a huge range of toys for kittens and cats. Come along to the shop and have a look.
Unless your cat has free access to outside areas, it is very important to provide it with a litter tray inside the home. At PAWS we stock a range of litter trays, including those with hoods which reduce mess and odour, as well as litter tray liners. We also stock different types of cat litter including wood-based, grit and self-clumping litter. When cleaning your cat’s litter tray always use gloves to prevent taxoplasmosis – a parisitic disease sometimes present in cat feces, which is particularly harmful to pregnant women.
It is vital that you groom your cat, especially if it is longhaired. It is best to get into the practice of daily grooming as early on as possible so that your kitten gets used to it. Prevention of knots and matting is the best course of action, so groom your cat regularly even if it has smooth or short hair. We stock a large range of grooming products including brushes and combs that can help to untangle knots and matts. Visit our shop – we will be happy to help you select the right product.
Flea Control and Vaccinations
Keep your cat healthy by giving it regular treatments for fleas and other skin parasites. You should also worm your cat every 3 months to treat roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Your vet can provide the necessary vaccinations for your cat, while at PAWS we can provide flea and worm treatments.
Your Essential Kitty Shopping List
- Bed or basket
- Food and water bowl
- Brush and Comb
- Litter tray
- Litter and scoop
- Scratching post
- Carrier basket
- Collar and tag