Cats can make excellent companions and are wonderful pets. However, with an average lifespan ranging from 15-20 years, owning a cat is a long-term commitment and their needs must be carefully considered.
After purchasing your kitten or cat, there are several important aspects of their care to consider:
Ensure vaccinations are up to date - some kittens and cats may need booster vaccinations after you acquire them. Cats should be vaccinated annually, this is also important as they receive a health check every year.
Cats should have regular health checks. Since cats age much faster than a human, health issues can develop across much shorter time periods. A cat is considered senior once over the age of 7. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age. However, a visit to us helps us diagnose, treat or even prevent health problems before they become life-threatening.
We recommend that your cat should on parasite control that covers them against fleas, intestinal worms and heartworm. There are many different products that are available and we can help you choose one that is suitable for your cat.
Cats should be microchipped and registered with the council by 6 months of age under The Cat Act WA 2011. This is important for ownership records but very important in case they become lost or stolen.
By law cats must be desexed by 6 months of age. This is important to reduce the amount of stray cats on our streets but also to prevent undesirable behaviours and related medical problems.
We recommend keeping your cats as indoor cats where possible to ensure their safety. Increasingly, people are using cat enclosures for outdoor cats. Placed in a weatherproof area, they keep them safe from neighbourhood cats and protect local wildlife. Indoor cats generally live longer and lead healthier lives.
It is recommended a scratching post be available for your cat to keep their claws in good condition for climbing and defending themselves. This will also reduce the chances of your furniture being scratched.
Some cats can be very particular with their litter trays. Some may like certain litter substrates and not others and it is important to find one your cat is comfortable with. Similarly some cats like open litter trays and some prefer closed in litter trays, The litter tray should be cleaned daily to remove faeces and the litter itself changed frequently. Ensure the litter tray is placed in a quiet and private location. You should have multiple trays if you have more than one pet cat, we recommend one tray for each cat plus one extra.
All cats need to exercise. For indoor cats it is especially important to keep them active and mentally stimulated. Cats like to climb and be up high so providing perches or shelves for them to access can make good exercise. Feeding enrichment such as treat puzzles can also help keep your indoor cat active.
Some cats require grooming assistance from their owners to remove excess hair. This helps in the reduction of furballs and matted fur, which if left, may become uncomfortable for your cat or more significant health issues. During the moulting season daily brushing is essential and food designed specifically to assist with the reduction of hairballs will also help your cat process shed hair. Unlike dogs, you should not need to bathe a cat. Some long hair cats may require a groom which can be done in clinic under a light sedation.
Feeding an appropriate diet to your cat is important. Cats are obligate carnivores that require certain amino acids from their food. It is important to ensure your cat is fed a good quality complete and balanced food. It is also important to feed appropriate to their life stage, for example, kitten or senior cat food. Ensure a fresh water bowl is accessible at all times, especially if they have a dry food diet.
Our staff are always keen to discuss routine health care for your current or future pets. For further information about pet care, please phone our helpful staff during business hours.