We will talk about cat ownership responsibilities. You need to consider basic stuff and important information that will help you choose, live with, and enjoy your cat.
I would like to recommend a great resource for cat care and health that we have found indispensable. It is called Complete Cat Care, and it contains vital information for the well-being of your cat.
Which Cat is Right for You?
You have a couple of selections to make: whether you would prefer a male or a female and whether you would like a purebred or a domestic cat. Also, you can choose whether to get along with or short-haired cat Short-hair cats tend to have a better temperament than long, they shed less, and they are generally more active.
Male or Female? – We currently have five males and five females; we’ve had many more cats over the years, and it would be difficult to say if we prefer males to females as each one has had its personality.
Some cat owners say they prefer females as males tend to spray to mark their territory. However, we have one female who sprays also! Whatever sex you choose, spaying or neutering your cat is necessary for a couple of reasons.
Purebred or Domestic Cat? – As to the question of whether to get a purebred or a domestic cat, you could either buy a responsibly bred purebred or adopt a kitty from a shelter or rescue organization.
Personally, all of our cats are strays or abandoned kittens, but we have bought one purebred…our first cat was a Siamese.
Inside or Outside Cats
Cats should be allowed outdoors. It’s in their nature…they love to be outside inspecting their territory. Ideally, you should get a cat if you live in a house with a garden and preferably in the suburbs or countryside. However, many cat owners live in apartments or houses in a city; they either keep them inside or let them out, and the cat learns to survive.
Of course, an indoor cat will have a better chance of living to old age as there is no danger of being run over by a car. On the other hand, outdoor cats are healthier and happier. If they do manage to avoid accidents, they will live longer than indoor cat.
We have three cats that have never been inside the house. They prefer to live outdoors. The rest of our cats are indoor/outdoor cats. They are free to come and go as they please, although we try to get them inside for the night. This is to avoid problems with stray cats that sometimes come to visit, and our male cats fight them off their territory.
Cat Claws – Some people have their vet cut off their cat’s claws so that they don’t scratch the furniture. I would disagree with this practice, especially if your cat is allowed outside, as they should. Taking off a cat’s claws is like cutting off your fingers to the first joint. Cats need their claws, whether for self-defence, killing a rat, or scratch their favourite tree.
Scratching Posts – Even if your cat is an outdoor cat, they still enjoy clawing, so you should buy or make a scratching post. There are many reasons why a cat scratches; to exercise and tone its muscles, mark territory, hone its claws and relieve boredom and stress.
Should you feed your cat dry or wet cat food? We provide our cats with a mixture of dry and tinned cat food twice per day. Although dry food is good for keeping their teeth healthy, it does not contain enough water. On the other hand, canned food has about 75% water. Of course, you should be providing your cats with fresh drinking water, but here is a surprising fact:
So why not just keep the water bowl filled up? Although there isn’t 100% agreement on this, some studies show that cats are less sensitive to thirst and dehydration. Cats fed a diet of dry food may ultimately consume about half the water that cats eating wet food do. This can contribute to the concentration of minerals in the urine leading to serious problems with the urinary tract.
How much should you feed your cat? There is no standard amount to feed your cat. Every cat is different in its energy requirements as it depends on its activity level and the climate. So, you just need to evaluate their intake by seeing if they are too fat or too thin.
Buy high-quality cat food but avoid foods with very high percentages of carbohydrates – protein from animals should top the list of nutrients. Look for a manufacturer with a good reputation and experience. It is a good idea to look for foods that have been through AAFCO feeding tests (Association of American Feed Control Officials).
However, when you consider that the FDA Compliance Policies allow harmful ingredients, bird or rodent feces contaminated ingredients, chemical contaminated ingredients, and even pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died other than by slaughter, you can never be sure of finding quality cat food.
There is a solution, though; Petsumer Report is an online pet food information database that provides you with vital information on over 2,500 dog foods, cat foods, and pet treats.
Every cat is different, and this includes their toilet routine. We have some cats that go out to the garden, make a hole in the soil, do their business, and then cover everything up perfectly. Another cat can be outside, but he will come running indoors straight to his litter box!
Whether you have indoor or outdoor cats, you will want to have a litter box, preferably one for each cat. Place it in a hidden place and make sure you clean it out every day and replace the cat litter regularly.
There are thousands of cat beds available just to amazon and search for “cat beds” to see what I mean. However, most cats don’t like soft and fluffy beds. They are quite happy to sit or lie down on a hard, flat, smooth surface. Some of our cats love sleeping on the flat fence at the top of our stairs. They lie down with a paw hanging down each side of the wall, just like a lion or leopard sleeping on a tree branch would do.
Outside, cats love to lie down on a hard, smooth stone that has been heated by the sun. Indoors, if you want to give them a bed, an open cardboard box cut down on three sides to about 6 inches will be all they need. On the other hand, if you have cats like the 3 I mentioned above that prefer to sleep outdoors, you will want to provide them with a shelter or outdoor bed:
A Cat’s Routine
What do cats like to do the most? Sleep! They sleep for about 17 hours per day. They will spend another couple of hours grooming themselves and the remainder of the time is for exploring, playing, eating, or just sitting about.
First thing in the morning, our cats like to eat and then groom themselves. After that, the males are off on their rounds. They patrol their territory, keeping to their boundary on a specific route. They have a favourite tree that they like to claw to mark their territory and certain shrubs they spray.
Then they might go back to sleep, have a quick playtime, another nap, have a wander around the house (exploring every nook and cranny), eat their dinner, grooming time again, and finally another inspection of their territory before we shut them in the house at night.