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Looking To Adopt A Furry Four-Legged Companion?

Cats are a great addition to any household and can provide you with comfort when you are having a bad day. However, there are a few things you need to know before getting a cat – coming from an owner of three furry babies!

Each cat has a different personality

While cats are known to be more aloof animals – which is why most prefer dogs – cats can be loving too. That being said, each cat will react differently to certain things. If you have children, or a dog, it is important to gauge the reaction of your new furry tenant and act accordingly. Even if you already have a cat, there is a certain way one should go about introducing this new member to the house. Most veterinarians commonly recommend  to put the new cat in a separate room, away from the other pet, and allow the animals time to track each other’s scents from underneath the door. Place the new cat’s food bowl, litter box and pet bed in this room and allow them to live there for the first week. Gradually begin the process of allowing 10 minutes a day of interaction with the other pet, until they are used to each other. This will be no easy process; animals are territorial, but eventually they will get used to each other or at the very least tolerate each other.

Regular check-ups are very important

Every month, for the first three months of your cat’s life, they are required to receive three shots: Feline Aids Vaccine, Feline Leukaemia Vaccine and Deworming shot. After that, the first 2 shots are required annually, and deworming is advised trimonthly. It is important to educate yourself on this, as both feline aids and feline leukaemia are debilitating and often fatal illnesses to cats. It is also important to monitor your furry friend’s litter box. If you notice vomiting or changes in stool, take your cat to the vet immediately. While these are not often things for concern, it is better to be safe than sorry and catch these problems before they progress. On that note, taking your cat to the vet can be very stressful for them, which is why it is important to choose the right type of carrier; one that is soft and makes them feel safe. It is advised not to force or shove your cat into the carrier, as this causes trauma and panic. Instead coax them into it with catnip and wet food. Some have also found that covering the carrier with a blanket and driving slowly can reduce panic in cats. Take care of their coat by brushing them regularly and administering flea treatments when necessary.

Did you know that cats sleep for 16 hours a day?

When taken into account of their average lifespan of 12 years, cats sleep for 70% of their lifetime! Cats are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night. However, this does not coincide well with most. If that is the case, it is important to ensure that your cat does not sleep too much during the day. How? By keeping them active. Referring back to the first point, each cat has a preference to toys too. Some cats like lasers, some cats like catnip laced mice, some like no toys at all. Whatever the case may be, it is important to stock up on these toys. If your cat is an indoor cat, it is important to provide them with a scratcher. Cats have a natural instinct to sharpen their nails, hence scratch posts. Positive reinforcement when using a scratch post will go a long way for your furnitue...

A lot of common household items are toxic to cats!

To name a few: humidifiers, lilies, lavender and chocolate. Do research on this and safe proof your home for your cat. Cats may have 9 lives, but they can easily be injured. Even with collars! Which is why breakaway collars are recommended for outdoor cats.

Lastly: ADOPT, don’t shop

Breeders make a lot of of money each year breeding aesthetically pleasing cats and selling them for extravagant prices, while there are hundreds of cats waiting in animal shelters. Half of the time, there are no adoption costs too! Animal shelters are overcrowded, and sometimes some of these animals are euthanised. Save a life, adopt, don’t shop!

Just a writer at UCT
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