How to look after a cat
Cats make affectionate and playful pets and thrive best when they're cared for considering their dietary, environmental and health and welfare needs. Cats will need space to be active, with regular interaction with people and other animals (cats don't really like to be left alone for long periods during the day). They will also need access to clean water, meat-based cat food and regular grooming as well as private access to a litter tray which should ideally be replaced once a week.
We have lots of advice for cat owners - including tips on understanding cat behaviour; when and why to neuter and specific advice on how to look after a kitten during those first few weeks and months.
What makes cats great? Everything they do! They can be affectionate, playful, energetic and lazy. Just take a look at Ralph - how can you resist his handsome face?
Check out our top ten cat facts!
No two cats are the same, but insight into the biology and behaviour of cats can help you to understand your pet better.
- Cats have highly developed senses. Cats can detect higher frequencies of sound than dogs or humans. They have an excellent sense of smell, superior to humans and they can see better than us in dark and dim light!
- Cats are expert hunters. Cats hunt alone - in the wild they’ll spend 6-8 hours a day hunting. They can hear the high pitched frequencies used by small rodents and their whiskers or ‘vibrissae’, are highly sensitive to vibrations, helping them to detect prey.
- Cats are agile. Cats have powerful, tightly controlled muscles and fast reflexes that allow them to move quickly and gracefully. They are skilled at running, jumping, climbing, and stealthily stalking prey.
- Cats use a range of methods to communicate. Communication sounds include purrs, ‘meows’, trills, chirrups, growls, yowls, and hisses. They also communicate visually using different body postures as well as visual markers such as scratch marks or the deposition of faeces.
- Cats are independent. Survival is a solitary affair for cats; they are self-reliant for food, shelter, grooming and territory defence. They can be social but prefer to choose their own companions.
- Cats are territorial. A cat’s territory is an area that is defended, aggressively if required, against other cats. They use a range of methods to mark their territory, including scratching, spraying urine and depositing faeces. Help keep your cat safe outside.
- Cats are meat eaters. Meat is an important part of a cat's diet. Eating meat is important for cats; they cannot survive without the nutrients found in animal-derived materials.
- Cats love cat naps! Domestic cats sleep for 12-18 hours a day! Sleep allows energy resources to be replenished so is vital for a predator that needs to be ready to hunt whenever it detects prey.
- Cats are playful. Cats are intelligent and need both mental and physical stimulation. Play is important as it improves motor skills, provides brain training and encourages social behaviour. Keep your cats entertained with our range of fun toys.
- Cats are clean animals. Tiny abrasive hooks, found on the centre of cats’ tongues, helps them to groom themselves efficiently. Grooming keeps a cat’s coat in good condition and also helps to remove fleas and other parasites. Read more about keeping cats in tip top condition.