Cats make wonderful companions. Although they’re quite independent, they do require love, attention and care. Your cat’s essential needs include:

  • Food – high-quality cat food. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the best food for your kitten or cat.
  • Water – access to fresh, clean water at all times is crucial. Ensure that water bowls are cleaned and filled daily.
  • Sleeping conditions – a clean, cozy, comfortable sleeping place will induce good sleeping habits. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel.
  • Litter Box – cats need a litter box, preferably placed in a quiet, accessible area of your home. Cats won’t use an untidy, smelly litter box, so it’s important to remove solid wastes from the box daily. On a weekly basis dispose of all the litter and wash the box.
  • Grooming – cats are generally clean and rarely need a bath. Regular brushing will keep your cat’s coat clean.
  • Visits to the veterinarian – Some cat owners might wonder when their pets need a visit to the veterinarian. After all, many of them only go when it’s an emergency – but that’s not enough. In fact, once a year, your cat(s) should see a veterinarian for a full checkup and all the necessary shots and vaccinations for his or her age and your geographical environment. If your cat is sick, injured or behaving strangely (uncharacteristically lethargic, struggling to breathe, not eating or drinking water, etc.) then make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.


  • Reduce stress (limit noise and harassment by other cats/animals; offer retreats)
  • Check your cat for any ear discharge
  • Attend to your cat’s dental care
  • Feel for external lumps on your cat
  • Keep your cat trim and in shape
  • Groom long-haired cats
  • Neuter/spay your cat
  • Treat your cat for fleas
  • Vaccinate your cat


Fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance; they can actually endanger the health of your cat. Both fleas and ticks feed on blood and, therefore, have easy access to your cat’s bloodstream. They not only cause scratching, chewing, or licking of the irritated, itchy skin but can introduce dangerous infection into the body.

Some fleas can lead to blood loss and anemia in cats, which is especially dangerous for kittens. Cats can also suffer allergy dermatitis, an allergic reaction to flea bites. Tapeworms are another flea-borne danger to cats.

The dangers from tick bites include irritation or infection of the skin, loss of blood, anemia, tick paralysis, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, among others.

It is important to frequently inspect your cat for ticks and fleas, especially from early spring. The longer fleas and ticks remain on your cat, and in the environment, the greater the risk of infection.

Veterinarians recommend year-round flea and tick prevention for almost all cats, indoor and outdoor. A flea comb used daily is added prevention. Frequent vacuuming and washing of bedding, linens and fabrics that your cat comes into contact with are strongly recommended.


Your cat can pick up many parasites whether they spend time indoors or outdoors. The common cat parasites are roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.

Be sure to deworm kittens as often as necessary (usually against roundworm every two weeks from 6 – 16 weeks old). The age and weight of the kitten will determine which product you should use. Deworm adult cats regularly, even when they are feeding kittens. Most cats should be treated about four times each year, but check with your veterinarian to confirm (based on your cat’s behavior, for example, whether it hunts or plays outdoors).


Your veterinarian will guide you through a vaccination protocol that’s right for your cat depending on factors such as, age, breed, lifestyle, medical history and environment.

Most veterinarians recommend administering the following core vaccines for:

  • Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis)
  • Rabies

Non-core vaccines are important in certain regions, situations and lifestyles; these include vaccines for:

  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Bordetella, Chlamydophila felis
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus

It’s important to take your cat for regular booster shots throughout their lifetime. Keep your cat’s vaccination certificate(s) up to date. A cattery will require this document, should you need their services.


Cats should not eat or have access to any of the following:

Xylitol | Alcohol | Onions & Garlic | Coffee, Tea & Other Caffeine | Grapes & Raisins | Milk & Other Dairy Products | Chocolate | Fat Trimmings & Bones (Raw or Cooked) | Raw Meat & Fish | Too Many Cat Snacks | Sugary Foods & Drinks | Yeast Dough | Human Medicine | Baking Ingredients & Spices | Candy & Gum | Dog Food | Liver | Tuna Only or in Excess

Only give your cat medicine that has been prescribed by a qualified, certified veterinarian and keep rodent, insect and other poisons in a safe place, always out of reach. If, for any reason, you think your cat might have ingested any poisonous substance, call your veterinarian  immediately.


Besides the fact that there are already so many unwanted kittens, and eventually unwanted cats, there are certain health and lifestyle reasons why spaying and neutering cats are often the best decision. Recovery is almost always rapid.

  • Every three weeks females come “on heat”
  • Females “on heat” are restless, often meow loudly and appear to be in pain
  • Recurrent heats can cause distress, while drugs to suppress it can have side effects
  • Spaying prevents womb infections later in life and reduces the risk of breast cancer
  • There’s no need or benefit for a cat to have a litter before being spayed
  • Unneutered male cats are more likely to spray in the house and display aggressive behavior
  • Male cats should be neutered to reduce the risk of contracting a cat version of incurable AIDS (contracted during fights)
  • It is generally considered safe for kittens as young as eight weeks old to be spayed or neutered

Certain cities and other local governments have adopted mandatory spay/neuter ordinances. Check with your municipality or veterinarian as to laws requiring sterilization of cats.

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