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Cat Care

Owning a cat will be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you will ever do.

To enjoy all the benefits of owning a cat, it is vital you take the steps to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

If your cat is less than 12 months old, please refer to
PETstock's Kitten Care Brochure.

While it's exciting bringing a new cat home, remember the environment is new and cats get extremely scared and stressed. Act calm and allow your cat to explore on their own. They may not want to play or interact with you for several days. Don't worry; they will come around in their own time.

Provide a warm, soft and cosy area for your cat to feel secure.

TIP: Do not let your new cat outside for two weeks.

Cats are not little dogs and should not be fed dog food. They are 'obligate carnivores' and require more protein and other nutrients than dogs. Wet food is fine but it is important to always feed some dry food too, as it's much better for your cat's teeth!

Feed your cat once or twice a day. Premium adult cat food is full of the right nutrients in the right proportions, unlike many supermarket foods. Make sure you give your cat the correct portion of food each day and avoid topping up the bowl every time they meow or ask for more, as this can easily make your cat overweight.

TIP: There is no need to give cats milk, fresh water is far better for digestion.

Cats are at risk of a number of serious diseases, including feline enteritis, feline respiratory diseases and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) - similar to the AIDS virus.

These diseases are debilitating and can be fatal, so vaccinating against them is vital.

Your cat should have been vaccinated as a kitten, so yearly boosters should be sufficient. If you have any doubts about your cat's vaccination status, an immediate course of two injections, four weeks apart is required except FIV vaccinations, which follow a course of three injections, each two weeks apart.

If your local PETstock store offers a PETstock VET service you can get your cat vaccinated conveniently in store.

TIP: FIV is a serious problem among the cat population. It is highly recommended you vaccinate against this deadly disease if your cat has any outdoor contact. FIV is transmitted via biting and scratching and in some areas, up to 25% of outdoor cats are carrying this disease. FIV is extremely serious and can be prevented by vaccinations. Ask your vet for more information the next time you visit.

Your cat should be wormed every three months for life. The most common intestinal worms include roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm. Worm treatments are easy to administer and come in the form of a tablet, paste or spot on.

TIP: 'All wormers' are a good way to protect your cat from all types of intestinal worms. Remember, some worms can transfer from cats to humans, so be diligent.

Fleas carry tapeworm and can cause severe scratching and allergic reactions, known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis.

Protect your cat with a good quality flea control product on a monthly basis, all year round. Ask a PETstock staff member for a product suitable for your cat.

TIP: If giving your cat tablets is impossible, flea and worm combination spot-on treatments are a great alternative!

Cats are about 2,000 times more resistant to heartworm than dogs, meaning the general consensus is that it's less vital to protect against it in cats.

However, heartworm disease has been associated with sudden death in cats, so prevention is available and advised.

A microchip is a permanent identification device implanted under the skin, allowing a quick and easy return if your cat ever gets lost.

Pet microchipping is mandatory in most Australian states, so ask a PETstock staff member or your local council if this is a requirement in your area. Your cat can be microchipped at any age but the earlier the better. Microchipping is quick and easy, causing very little discomfort.

If your local PETstock store offers a PETstock VET service you can get your cat microchipped conveniently in store.

TIP: It's essential to inform the microchip registry if you move, or your contact details change.

As well as microchipping, it's a good idea to purchase an I.D tag for your cat's collar, engraved with their name and your contact number. This will also increase their chance of finding their way home if they should get lost!

This is a common behaviour in adult male cats when they're 'marking their territory' or stressed.

Firstly, ensure your male cat is de-sexed. If he sprays an area, clean it thoroughly with a biological detergent or spray.

If spraying reoccurs, consult your vet, as there are special pheromone sprays and diffusers that may help.

TIP: Cats won't use heavily soiled litter so rule out litter issues by cleaning your cat's tray regularly. A general rule is that you should allow one litter tray per cat in the household, plus one extra.

Due to various health and behaviour problems it is highly recommended your cat is desexed at five - six months of age. This will not change the personality of your cat. Female cats can get pregnant as early as five months old, so it's best not to let them out doors until they are de-sexed.

TIP: Male cats must be de-sexed unless they are in a breeding colony. Otherwise, they can be uncontrollable in a normal household.

Cats are nocturnal animals and are most active at night when they love to hunt and fight other cats. One of the most common illnesses seen in cats are abscesses caused by fighting - this is usually when FIV is transmitted. Keep your cat indoors from dusk until sunrise to ensure they stay out of trouble. Many councils will also enforce fines if your cat is found roaming at night.