Resolutions for your cat this New Year – the five cat welfare needs.
Whether you’ve been a cat owner for years or have just welcomed a moggy into your life, New Year is a perfect time to make some caring commitments to your feline friend.
Cats have five basic welfare needs and by fulfilling each one you can make life happier for them and you. Here are some resolutions you can make to help you meet your cats’ needs and get 2019 off to a good start.
1. Make sure your cat has a healthy diet
Giving your cat access to suitable food and fresh water will ensure they get all the nutrients they need. A complete cat food should be enough to give them a balanced diet but avoid overfeeding as preventing your cat from gaining weight is much easier than helping them lose weight. For more advice on feeding your cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/diet
2. Provide your cat with the perfect place to live
Cats should be able to live in a suitable environment with everything they need, including food and water bowls, a comfortable bed, a litter tray, a scratching post, some fun toys and access to a high spot where they can escape to and hide. You'll find a checklist on our website of everything you need to supply them with.
3. Protect your cat from pain, suffering, injury and disease
As well as keeping your cat healthy with a balanced diet, you also need to make sure they receive all of the necessary vet treatments they need, including vaccinations against common cat illnesses and regular flea and worm treatments. You should get you cat checked by a vet at least annually and have them neutered, as neutered cats lead healthier and longer lives. For more advice on keeping your cat healthy, visit www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/health
4. Enable your cat to express normal behaviour
There are certain behaviours that make a cat a cat, so letting your moggy exhibit these is important for their wellbeing. For example, hunting provides your cat with great physical and mental stimulation, so if you’d rather they didn’t catch prey in the garden, let them play with cat toys instead. There’s lots more information about cat behaviours at www.cats.org.uk/behaviour
5. Give your cat the choice to be apart from other cats
Although some cats can be sociable with other cats, they generally don’t need the company of other moggies as they are evolved from a solitary species. If you have more than one cat at home, make sure they each have their own separate space to retreat to if they want to be alone, complete with their own food and water bowls, scratch posts, litter trays and beds. Visit www.cats.org.uk/other-cats to find more advice on helping cats live happily together.
Are you planning to follow our five cat commitments? Or are you already meeting your moggy's must-haves? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.