You will need a great deal of commitment in order to own a cat
as they do require some care (although not as much as dogs!) and
can live as old as 15 years (or even longer in some cases).
Cats require feeding (daily), care and ‘play time’ on a regular
basis. You will also have to take into consideration, before
getting your cat, that you will have vets’ bills to pay for
annual vaccines, worming and if treatment is required for any
illnesses. These bills can sometimes be very costly, but you can
purchase insurance for pets – it may be a good idea to ‘shop
around’ to get the best deal.
Before getting your cat, you should purchase bowls for food and
water, a collar (if you want the cat to wear one), a bed (or pet
quilt), a few suitable toys, and some food.
A kitten should be fed throughout the day 4 times with a small
amount of food each meal, reducing to 3 times a day at 3 months
old, then at 6-8 months 2 meals per day. Older cats (over 12
months) should only be fed twice in the day (usually morning and
Cats groom themselves, but using a soft brush on the cat,
especially the long haired variety, will help to cut down the
number of hairballs in the cat’s stomach, which are caused by
them licking / grooming themselves.
If you decide to have a cat-flap fitted to your door in order
that the cat can come and go as it pleases, you will have to
train it to use the flap. You can use tit-bits to entice the cat
to go through the flap, when it is fully open. Start by opening
the flap fully, just showing the tit-bit, then next time close
the flap a little bit and keep on doing so until the cat
realises that the flap will open with a small push of the head.
Cats like to sharpen their claws on most household furniture!
Suites, corners of walls (thick paper), carpets. Invest in a
scratch post – there are many to choose from. When the cat
starts to scratch, lift the cat and place him/her next to the
scratch post, they will soon get the message and use the post
instead of the furniture.
If you are concerned about your cat going missing, or it being
involved in an accident, you can have a micro-chip
(approximately the size of a grain of rice) inserted into the
back of the cat’s neck. The chip contains information, which can
help to identify the cat as belonging to you.
It is often said that ‘a cat looks after itself’. This is
obviously not really true, but they do have a more independent
nature than some other domesticated pets. That said, they still
make ideal companions when they ‘allow’ you to be their friend.