Cats make ideal pets as they are considered to be low maintenance in that they are extremely independent animals. That is not to say that they do not need looking after because they do. This article offers practical advice on the basic principles of caring for a cat.
Feeding Your Cat
With so many different types and brands of cat food that is available in the supermarkets trying to decide which is best for your cat can become overwhelming and to be honest totally confusing.
So how do you know what is the best choice for your cat.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they rely solely on meat from other animals for their nutritional requirements. In short, cats must eat meat. It is a part of their genetical make up. Having a meat only diet means that genetically cats cannot produce certain required nutrients themselves such as amino acids and taurine as these nutrients are provided already in the meat that the cats eat.
Cats therefore cannot be vegetarians and require a well-balanced diet with the right amounts of nutrients in them. Many high street brands, whilst providing the right amounts of nutrients, often use a large amount of grains as fillers and have added sugars.
Below are two of our favourites
Encore is 100% natural and packed full of natural goodness for your cat. The food has a high meat & fish content and the company that produces Encore has a no fillers policy. With no harmful additives, artificial sweeteners or colourings Encore really packs a punch and is exactly as it says on the tin, 100% natural, which is why we love this product so much and we are sure your cats will love it too.
Applaws dry cat food is cereal free and made using only the finest cuts of meat and fish. With no additives and preservatives Applaws is packed with protein to promote muscle growth. Low in carbohydrates it is easy to see why we think this is a perfect complete pet food for your cats. Applaws also offer wet food varieties available in either pouches or in tins.
Should you feed your cat wet food or dry food? You can actually feed your cat either wet or dry food or a mixture of the two. Just be careful not to overfeed your cat. How much to feed will depend upon a number of variables such as your cat’s age or weight for example. All manufacturers should provide feeding guidelines.
You may have noticed whilst out shopping for food that there are different ranges of food available. For example kitten food, food for the adult cat, the senior cat, the indoor cat. This is because the nutritional requirements of your cat changes depending upon how old he or she is. We recommend talking this through with your vet before making any decisions to change your cats diet.
Below are some top tips when it comes to feeding your cat :
- Ensure that your cats eating area is in a quiet space and away from the cat litter
- Water bowls should also be placed in a separate area to food, preferably in a different room
- Try feeding dry foods using feeder balls to simulate hunting behaviours which will help keep your cat stimulated
- When bringing your cat home for the first time, you should wherever possible, feed your cat the same food that he or she has been used to eating
- If you find at any time that you want to change what your cat is eating you should do so gradually over time, weaning your cat off the old food and onto the new
- Do not feed your cat milk as many cats are lactose intolerant and may suffer from upset stomachs
- Many high street brands sell specially formulated milk. We at love your cat advise to avoid these as they tend to be highly calorific and your cats do not require them. NEVER use these as a substitute for water
Cats do not need much water, especially if they eat wet food, however you should ensure that fresh water is always available and changed daily.
Below are some handy tips to help encourage your cats to drink the right amounts of water needed.
- Do not put food and water in the same area as cats do not like to eat and drink in the same place. It is thought that this is because cats in the wild to not take their prey near water sources to eat to avoid contaminating the water
- Try using larger bowls as many cats do not like their whiskers to be touching the sides of the bowl
- Some cats will prefer to drink rain water from outside. This is more than probably because rain water does not contain as much chlorine and other chemicals like tap water
- You should always ensure that fresh water is available at all times for your cat even if he or she does not appear to be drinking it
- Many cats prefer running water to still water, so consider investing in a water fountain. They do not consume much electricity and are very easy to use and maintain.
Any changes to your cats drinking habits could be an indication that your cat is unwell. If your cat therefore starts drinking more or less water than normal then you should consult your vet.
Given that cats are obligate carnivores the fact that they eat grass doesn’t really make much sense. They certainly don’t have the necessary enzymes required to digest it, so why eat it in the first place you may ask.
It is thought that cats may eat grass to help regurgitate items that they cannot digest such as bones and feathers.
No matter what the reason cats do like to eat grass so you should consider buying some grass seeds to grow either outside or in. There are several indoor grass growing packs available on the market.
Hanging Out & Sleeping
One thing is certain, cats love to just hang out and spend 65% to 70% of their time sleeping, as you can see from the photo’s of Merls & Lilly. Like us humans cats like to be warm, dry and comfortable and will choose quiet spots in your home to sleep. Unlike us humans they do not have a set place where they will sleep and will often rotate the spots where they choose to sleep. Following the below guidelines will lead to a more happy content cat.
- Provide plenty of hidey holes for your cat to go to when life is getting all too much. Cat’s are creatures of habit and like routine. Sudden changes to the norm can make your cat feel anxious and stressed so providing your cat with somewhere quiet to go to will help him keep calm and relaxed. This could be an igloo bed or just a plain old cardboard box with a warm blanket inside.
- If your cat is in his hidey hole respect the fact that he is there for some down time and leave him alone to chill out.
- Cats love to observe their surroundings high up so try where possible to provide beds and blankets in high places that your cat can get to.
Why Does My Cat Scratch Like Everything!
A common bone of contention amongst many cat owners is the fact that they love to scratch and are not too bothered about what it is they are scratching. It is important to understand that your cat is not scratching just to be annoying or plain naughty, your cat scratches because it is a natural instinct to do so.
There are a number of reasons why your cat scratches such as stretching, exercise, claw maintenance, marking territory to name a few so it is very important that you provide your cat with something to scratch. If you don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar that your cat will just find something else to scratch, such as your furniture or carpets.