Cats are one of the most popular pets in the UK – and for good reason. They are wonderful companions and are the perfect addition to any family. And to top it all off, owning a cat has proven health and social benefits.
Did you know, for example, that cat owners are less likely to suffer from stress? Research carried out by Cats Protection, in conjunction with the Mental Health Foundation, has found that cats have a positive impact on their owners’ wellbeing.
It’s no wonder that cats are considered the ideal pet for so many of us.
But there are a few things that you need to consider before making the decision to adopt a cat, so this post will guide you to make the process as smooth as possible.
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, helping around 200,000 cats and kittens every year through their national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres. There are thousands of cats in their care at any one time so we’d really encourage you to consider adopting your new pet.
Cats Protection helps around 200,000 cats and kittens every year.
When you adopt a cat from Cats Protection, it will have been treated to their minimum veterinary standards, meaning that they will have been examined by a veterinary surgeon, been vaccinated against flu and enteritis, treated against fleas, roundworm and tapeworm and any sick cats have been blood tested for FIV and FeLV. Your new pet will also be neutered and microchipped if old enough and you’ll be provided with four weeks’ free insurance.
If you adopt a cat from Cats Protection they’ll explain more about how to help your new pet settle in but here are some things you’ll need to keep your cat healthy and happy.
Your cat will need a suitable place to sleep or, ideally, a choice of them (cats like to rotate their sleeping places). They’ll also need somewhere to hide and access to a high spot where they can feel safe and view their surroundings. A cosy blanket on top of a wardrobe or a cardboard box on its side are good ideas.
An igloo-style cat bed is a great place for your cat to sleep or hide.
They will need an area for their food and a separate area for water as cats generally prefer not to eat and drink in the same place. Cats are carnivores and should not be fed a vegetarian diet. Also, avoid feeding your cat cow’s milk as some cats cannot tolerate the lactose in it.
Give your cat a safe place to toilet, providing one litter tray per cat plus one extra. Litter trays should be placed as far away as possible from your cat’s food and water and in private, quiet, accessible locations. Make sure the litter trays are cleaned at least once a day. Also provide your cat with a scratching post (that’s sturdy, at least 60cm tall and has a vertical thread), a few cat toys and space for them to play. Longhaired cats will need grooming daily while shorthaired cats will probably only need to be groomed once a week.
Find out more about cat care by reading Cats Protection’s range of Essential Guides leaflets.
Cat owners should make sure their cat is neutered, microchipped, vaccinated against disease, regularly treated against parasites and regularly seen by a vet for health checks and when ill or injured. Register with a vet as soon as possible and investigate pet insurance to help towards the cost of major illness and emergency treatment.
To find out more about cat veterinary care, have a read of Cats Protection’s range of Veterinary Guides leaflets.
Once you’ve thought carefully about adoption and you feel ready to give a cat a loving new home, it's time to take the next step.
If you’re not sure which type of cat you’d be best suited to, Cats Protection has put together a light-hearted quiz that may help! Have a go here:
Posted May 26, 2016 in Pet Care Advice