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.
When bringing home your cat or kitten there are some things you must consider.
Firstly, is your cat going to be exclusively indoors, outdoors or both?
- We recommend cats be exclusively indoors with monitored visits out doors or outdoor cat enclosures. Benefits to having an indoor cat include:
- They are protected from fighting with "feral" or neighbourhood cats, which lead to cat fight abscesses and diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV (Feline AIDS)
- Your local wildlife will be protected from your cat, as cats pose a great threat to our beautiful and unique Australian wildlife
- Indoor cats generally live longer and healthier lives due to being exposed to far less risks
How can I make my house more feline friendly?
Cats need an adequate amount of Environmental Enrichment, especially indoor cats.
Environmental enrichment includes anything that can keep your cat busy and allows them to display their natural behaviour such as scratching. Some things to consider adding to your house to keep your feline friend happy:
- Scratching posts; cats love to continuously sharpen their claws, if they are not provided with enough scratching posts to do this on they will use your furniture and carpet instead, which is never pleasant!
- Hiding places; Cats are commonly animals that value their space, and require a place that they are able to go to if there is too much traffic in the house or they are just wanting to hide away for a cat nap
- Litter trays; cats are naturally clean animals, and like to have a clean litter tray with as much privacy as possible. Locations that are ideal for litter trays include laundries or bathrooms with adequate ventilation and away from high traffic areas
- Toys; cats are natural hunters, they have high prey drive and love being able to chase and catch whatever they can get their paws on, often including insects flying around the house! Providing your puss with plenty of toys to play with and taking time out to play with your cat is an important key to bonding as well as keeping their mind active
Bringing home a new kitten and wandering how your current cat will tolerate it?
Cats are naturally solitary animals, and are not always as easily introduced to others as well as dogs are, especially if they have never had to share their house before!
Some tips to introducing your new kitten in a positive way
- Take it slow! This is a very important step, for best results keep your new kitten in their own room (a bedroom, study or bathroom works well). spend time with your new kitten and your cat separately, this will give them each a chance to get used to each other's scent in a positive way; getting love from you! Do not force your cats to interact when they are not ready, they will become acquainted in their own time when they are comfortable
- Litter trays; Cats don't always love to share at first. It is recommended to have 1 litter tray per cat in the house hold, plus one, and in some cases in separate locations
- Need a little assistance? Feliway is a great tool for introducing cats, and is available in store.
Feliway works by using the calming pheromone that cats produce in their cheeks when rubbing against something they are happy with. Feliway is available in a spray or a diffuser, by using Feliway you are tricking your cats into thinking that they have already assessed and approved of a new object, person or animal and creates a calm environment for them.