First Time Cat Owners – Five Things that are Different About Cats and Deciding on Should I Get a Cat or A Dog?

In the past few months we have met some lovely new cats at the clinic, more than usual. Many clients are considering cats as a pet, who may have never considered one previously, this may encouraged by the fact that dogs are even more difficult to source right now than usual.

Basic Needs At Home – Whats Different About Cats To Know Before You Bring Your Ball of Fluff Home

Think Vertically: Cats love to jump and climb !!. They have vertical world, curtains,Christmas trees furniture and work tops. This is natural and required for good health. Think about making your home a safe place for your cat or kitten to explore and perch somewhere with a view.


Scratching: All cats need to scratch. This is for healthy nails as well as to mark their territory. Consider how to protect your furniture while providing good scratching areas.

Understand Cat Body Language: Did you know the meows are developed by cats just to communicate with humans and rarely used between cats. Also many cats have their own unique language with their chosen human. We are all familiar with the purr, usually a sign of contentment but also it is used as a way to self comfort in cats that are painful or ill. Finally tail and ear positions can tell a lot about how a cat is feeling and what they are trying to communicate with you. For more on this fascinating topic visit http://www.petcarevets.ie/cat-behaviour/

Toileting: The dreaded litter tray! Indoor and outdoor cats will need litter trays. The rule of thumb is one tray per cat in the household plus one spare, even if the cats go outside. So for one cat per house there needs to be two litter trays and for two cats there needs to be three litter trays, etc. . Failing to provide this and keep them clean will result in accidents around the house, usually somewher difficult to clean on the sofa or bed!!

Indoor or outdoors? Indoor cats have fewer traumas , fights with other cats or road traffic accidents. However they are prone to a higher level of stress, and will be more sensitive to things such as a visitor to the home, moving furniture around, redecorating and what is going on outside the window they spend the day looking out of. Stress often results in physical diseases we see quite often at the clinic such as skin problems and bladder issues. Indoor cats also need to be encouraged to exercise and play as they can tend towards being quite lazy and fat!

So What Is the Same As Dogs?

At home More than you think! Like dogs, cats require their poop cleaning up several times a day, grooming and tooth brushing, feeding a good diet at routine times, fresh water daily, attention daily. They will also need a human free place in the house where they can go to be alone and get away from what is going on, just like dogs dog. (perhaps the pet owner too could use a human free space like this too?!!)

At the Vets :Cats need vaccinations,flea and worming regime, health check ups. Cats suffer from just the same amount of health issues as dogs, if not more, and so this needs to be considered in terms of financial viability for you and your family. They are not a “low maintenance” pet option and on top of routine home care of feed and toys bedding and litter , pet insurance, routine health costs and emergency funding for any cat related health emergencies needs to be set aside.

**TOP TIP – Remember to always bring a big towel or blanket to drape over the top of the cat carrier when visiting the vets.

Finally enjoy your new amazing pet!

We have a saying at Petcare Vets ” Time Spent With Cats is Never Wasted”.Sometimes pet owners will get a cat thinking they are less demanding than dogs and require less time together. However , cats will really enjoy having you around and will also enjoy a deliberate play time together using toys to hunt and pounce on. For more on taking care of your cat and how much time they need from you visit http://www.petcarevets.ie/new-kitten/

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