Owning a cat is a huge commitment. Refresh your knowledge of responsible cat ownership with our complete guide.
Cat care routine
With so many things to remember, staying on top of your cat’s care routine can be a challenge.
The vast majority of cat owners do a great job of keeping their pet healthy and happy, but if you feel you need a little helping hand, read on for our advice.
Maintaining the right diet for cats
Just like humans, cats have very specific needs when it comes to their nutrition. Choosing a high-quality, balanced diet and knowing how much they should eat is crucial in maintaining their weight, preventing health issues and making sure their body gets all the nutrients it needs.
Read our complete guide to your cat’s nutritional needs to find out if they’re eating correctly.
Pet-proofing the home
Cats can be very curious and the home environment has plenty of opportunities to explore. While they find different sights, smells and sounds highly stimulating, they’re not always aware that their inquisitive nature can land them in trouble.
Here are some ideas for pet-proofing your home:
- Keep medications, cleaning products and other hazardous chemicals (such as antifreeze) in high cupboards, well out of reach.
- Keep toilet lids closed to prevent your cat from drinking from them or falling in.
- Use a cable tidy to clear away loose cables and wires, or hide them behind furniture to prevent chewing.
- Store knives, scissors and other sharp objects well out of sight.
- Switch to a heavy-based bin that isn’t easily opened or tipped over to stop your cat from rummaging inside for scraps.
- Be mindful of the plants and flowers around your home and garden as some, such as lilies and daffodils, can be toxic to cats.
Microchipping and ID tags for cats
Microchipping your cat is an essential part of being a responsible owner. While it’s not yet a legal requirement for cats, their inquisitive nature and tendency to wander off means it’s strongly recommended.
A microchip contains a unique code that links to your pet’s details, including their owner’s name, address and phone number, and means they’re instantly identifiable when scanned by a vet, rescue centre or pet warden. This is often the only way to return lost, stolen or injured cats back to their owner.
As well as having your cat chipped, keeping your details up to date on the central database is crucial. Learn more about the process and the benefits in our pet microchipping advice.
Even though your cat should be microchipped, it’s still highly recommended that they also wear an ID tag if they wear a collar (a breakaway safety one is recommended). This should include your name and phone number so that a member of the public can call you if they find your pet.
Exercise for cats
Regular exercise is important for any cat’s health, no matter their breed, age or size. Thanks to their independent nature, most cats take care of their own exercise needs, but you can supplement this with regular playtimes together.
Your cat’s exercise needs will depend on their breed, age and any health issues they have. Speak to your vet or nurse for their recommendations on how much exercise your cat needs, and how to make sure they’re getting enough.
Regular trips to the vet provide many benefits for your cat. At every visit, your vet will give your pet a full nose-to-tail health check to look out for any signs of illness. This is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions about your cat’s ongoing care, including their nutritional needs, exercise requirements and preventative care.
Your cat’s needs will change as they get older, and booking routine appointments with a vet or nurse is the best way to understand how to adapt your care regime. This includes booster vaccinations, dental checks, and even blood and urine tests in older cats, to keep them happy and healthy for years to come.
Taking your cat to the vet regularly will also help prevent future health issues that could affect your cat’s quality of life and lead to expensive vet bills. Detecting some conditions early can greatly increase the chance of a positive outcome.
Read some of our top reasons to visit your vet.