CATS

Cat at WindowHello, cat lovers, wherever you are!

So, you are thinking about getting a cat.

 
LIFE SPAN - A cat can live up to 25 years or more but the average life span is 12-16 years.
ADVANTAGES
Not as tying as a dog but more trainable and affectionate than other pets. As they are quite independent they are very easy to look after unless it is a long-haired cat which will need daily grooming.
DISADVANTAGES
Cat with FishThey are natural hunters and like bringing presents home to their owners like dead mice, birds, etc., or, even worse, half dead pressies! It might be kind to ensure that your cat is wearing a bell to alert prey of its presence beforehand. They are not quite as loyal as dogs and if they find a more comfortable home will move into it.
CARE
Cats need little more than a warm, dry bed. They are particularly susceptible to draughts, dampness, and cold, so the bed should be raised about 10cm off the floor.
Although cats enjoy roaming at night, it is advisable to keep them indoors. At night they run the risks of bad weather, fighting, road accidents, indiscriminate breeding, cat thieves, poisoning, teasing and air-gun pellets.

Cats do not need a great deal of exercise but they do need freedom. Once they have been neutered they should be allowed their liberty during the day (please put a bell on its collar to warn off prey). If you use a collar, make sure it has an elastic inset to enable it to free itself should it get it caught in a tree, etc.
All cats should have access to a scratching post whether it be shop bought and a tree in the garden. They are fastidious creatures and their routine grooming includes keeping the claws clean and sharpened.
In addition, cats, especially kittens, need to play. Suitable toys are ping-pong balls, balls of paper, wooden cotton reels, paper cartons and anything that takes its interest but avoid toys that are easily swallowed, broken or have sharp edges.

GROOMING
Cats normally moult twice a year and, unless groomed, will swallow loose hair which will mat together with food to form a hairball in the throat or intestine, causing a very serious blockage. Longhaired cats should be groomed everyday but short haired cats will cope themselves except when moulting.

 It is unlikely that a cat will need a bath which will come as a relief to them as, unlike dogs, they aren't quite as fond of water!

VACCINATIONS
Recommended vaccinations:-
  • Feline Leukaemia
  • Feline Influenza
  • Feline Enteritis
FEEDING
The adult cat needs 2 meals a day. In its diet it needs protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, milk and water. Water is important and should be put down twice a day, although cats prefer to drink from a dripping tap this has been confirmed by Gemma, owner of Mischief) or puddle. Unlike the dog, the cat cannot manufacture vitamin C and so benefits from a teaspoonful or chopped greenstuff scattered on each meal. Most pet food manufacturers produce prepared, balanced diets off the supermarket shelf! However, cats tend to develop food fads (only eating chicken, etc.) so it is wise to feed a variety of foods from an early age.
AILMENTS

It is advisable to vaccinate your cat against the ailments in red as most of these can be fatal

FELINE LEUKAEMIA

A cancerous blood condition caused by a feline virus. There is no cure. Have your cat vaccinated.

FELINE INFLUENZA

It is a common disease in cats and is highly contagious, spreading rapidly where there are a lot of cats. Symptoms are sneezing, crusty eyes, a runny nose and drooling. There may be coughing and ulcers on the tongue. Take it to the vet immediately. Convalescence is likely to be slow and there may be a relapse.

FELINE ENTERITIS

This is caused by a highly contagious virus and over 50% of cats infected die. Symptoms are high fever, sudden loss of appetite, vomiting, weakness and dehydration. The cat may look droopy and stand at a dish of water but not drink. It may also look hunched up, a sign of abdominal distress. Take it to the vet immediately.
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