The first thing to consider when choosing a cat is do you want a moggy or a pedigree? Moggies can be hardier but personalities are less easy to predict, while breed types do have their own personality traits and are also predisposed to certain hereditary and congenital conditions. Do you want a long or short-haired cat? Will a cat suit the whole family and their lifestyle? Once you have decided on these things, what other things are there to think about?
Depending on what age cat you get will depend on which life stage diet you require.
For kittens, it is critical to choose the correct food during the first year of life to promote healthy development. Overfeeding a kitten will lead to adult obesity so you must follow the feeding guide. Adult cats require a maintenance diet and there are several tailor-made types available from Regular, Light, Hairball and so on. You’ll need to choose the correct diet for your cats lifestyle.
For senior cats will need to provide a senior diet, this takes into consideration the aging process of the cat and adjusts the nutritional requirement accordingly.
The choice of feeding wet or dry food is up to you, dry tends to promote better dental care but you will notice that the cat will drink more water – this is normal.
Make sure that you are feeding a good quality complete food and always follow the recommended feeding guide. Overfeeding leads to obesity and on to further health problems that will reduce life expectancy.
Cats and Milk
Cats actually don’t need milk and for some cats cows milk can cause diarrhoea, therefore if you want to give your cat milk then make sure it has been specially formulated for them. Whether you provide milk or not, water should still be available at all times.
This is an initial course of two injections three weeks apart, followed by yearly boosters. Vaccines cover the main diseases which are: Cat Flu, Enteritis, and Leukaemia. These diseases are killers so make sure you keep vaccines up to date. More information about vaccines can be found on our vaccination page.
Cats are not required to wear a collar for ID purpose, and in some respect, they are not always appropriate as they can hang themselves on branches and various other obstacles that might get in their way, not to mention collar injuries under armpits and around mouths that can occur. The alternative would be microchipping and more information can be found on our microchip page.
Exercise and Training
Cats need exercise to stimulate mental health, prevent boredom and prevent obesity. They need to hunt, climb, scratch and sleep – this is the natural behaviour of a cat and therefore this must be accommodated for especially if you wish it keep the cat indoors.
Hunting skills, climbing, and scratching can all be provided for through play in the form of toys, activity centres and scratch posts.
For kittens, you’ll need to aim to spend at least 20 minutes a day of interactive play.
Because cats love to climb or get into hiding places, don’t forget to cat proof your home.