Monthly Archives: October 2013

Choosing the ‘purrrrfect’ cat for you

In my last blog post I gave an insight into what cat ownership entails. Here are some tips and advice, which will hopefully help in deciding on the right cat for you.

The main points that need consideration when making your choice are :-

  • How much time will I be able to dedicate to looking after my cat?
  • How will young children in the home interact with the cat?
  • What type of house and location do I live in?
  • What will the monthly cost of cat ownership be?

All these will need to be answered in order for you to ascertain the type of cat best suited to you.

Lifestyle

If you work during the day and also have a busy social life then you might think about an adult cat. They generally require less attention and human interaction and are able to play and explore by themselves. In these circumstances you may wish to consider having two cats as they will provide companionship for each other.

If you have a little more free time then having a kitten can be very rewarding. They provide hours of entertainment and following their progress into adulthood is fun. Kittens do require a little more attention than adult cats, and they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. Kittens require more feeding during their first year as this is when they are growing. They will eat at least four meals a day.

Long or Short Hair Cats?

Long-haired cats require grooming every day otherwise their fur can become matted which can cause distress. If left, this may result in a trip to the vet to get them trimmed. Short- haired cats still need grooming with a brush or comb but not as much as long-haired breeds. Some cats groom themselves excessively, and as cat fur is not digestible it can become a fur ball in their stomach which can lead to vomiting. All cats should be groomed regularly as this helps them to shed their coat and can help to prevent problems with fur balls.

Children

If you have children selecting the age of cat you choose is very important. If there are toddlers and pre-schoolers in the house I would recommend an older cat as they tend to be more settled and more tolerant of rough handling than a kitten. Older children are generally more gentle and nurturing. A less manic home will be less stressful so a kitten could also be considered.

Living conditions

When choosing a cat please consider the surroundings your cat will have to live in. If you live in a flat or alongside a busy road then you an indoor cat may be more suitable.  If you choose an indoor cat then be aware that your cat will need to be entertained more than a cat that has outdoor access. Therefore make sure your cat has plenty of space to run and jump about and plenty of toys, scratching posts and climbers to stimulate them. Many rehoming centres will have some cats that need indoor homes, due to age, illness or disability.

Costs

As stated in my previous blog it is important to realise that owning a cat does incur some expense. Besides the costs I mentioned in my first blog post you know that indoor cats will always need a litter tray and cat litter as well as a supply of toys and scratch posts to entertain them. By comparison, outdoor cats are more likely to require visits to the vet as they are more susceptible to the dangers that the outdoors provide from infection or fast moving vehicles.

‘Things you need to know about owning a cat’

Are you are thinking of joining the reported 8.5 million cat owners in the UK?

If so there are lots of things you need to consider before committing to Cat ownership.

My wife and I have owned twenty cats, and I have fostered over seventy more, which gives me lots of knowledge and experience to share with you. Hopefully this will help you and give you an insight into what cat ownership really entails. Here are a few basic details about keeping a cat…

  1. Cats generally live between 10-20 years.
  2. If you intend to get a kitten you will need to get them spayed or neutered when they are about four months old.
  3. Your cat will need to be vaccinated (two injections initially then yearly boosters). These are for ‘Cat Flu’ and ‘Feline enteritis’. A third jab is available for FELV (Feline Leukaemia).
  4. It’s a good idea to get your cat micro chipped so it can be easily identified. And don’t forget to update your details up to date on the chip register, if you move house or details change.
  5. Regular flea treatments will be needed. I recommend every four months.
  6. You will need to worm your cat with an oral tablet every six months. I recommend using a vet to make sure you get the correct type.
  7. Consider the cost of pet insurance. Medical treatment can be very expensive, so do not underestimate the potential cost if something goes wrong and budget accordingly.
  8. Feeding your cat will cost in the region of £30 a month. Cats eat wet or dry food, cats have their own preferences.
  9. Indoor cats require a litter trays and cat litter. Most cats and kittens are litter trained by the time they are available as a pet.
  10. If your cat is to have access to the outdoors it’s a good idea to fit a cat flap. There are many on the market and if you do not want neighbouring cats to gain entry it might be worth choosing one which opens with a collar magnet, or with your cats microchip.
  11. If you are going on holiday you will need to ask a friend or neighbour to feed your cat for you, or find a well respected cattery nearby.
  12. Cats need toys, scratching posts which will need replacing regularly and quality bedding which should be cleaned regularly.

So, there are lots of things you need to consider when owning a cat, and also you need to realistically budget for food, litter and treatments.

Owning a cat is an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding experience, however it is so important that you are aware of these things before taking a cat in to your home. I have fostered many cats where the owners have underestimated what ownership entails, and my hope is the above information and my future blogs will be informative and help you make the right choices.

My next blog will be about choosing the ‘purrfect’ cat for you!