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5 Things Every Cat Parent Should Know

Cats. Revered throughout history, as Gods by the opulent kingdoms of the ancient Egyptians and as omens by maritime soldiers. Cats have, without doubt, cemented themselves as our partners, wise counterparts to turn to for guidance and assurance.

Despite their air of wisdom and restraint, our cats rely on us to help keep them safe, healthy and enriched. If your cat could talk to you, here’s give things she might say; 

  1. Cats are Killers

    For food, or for fun, they are a killer. Their murderous penchant doesn’t stop with pests, cats will hunt possums, snakes, lizards, birds as well as native rodents.

    In fact, in our great country, cats kill over 1.5 BILLION native species every year. Has your cat ever bought home a lorikeet? A skink? How many has she not bought home? Most cat owners tend to think “well my cat is so lazy, and she spends most of her time inside anyway. I doubt she actually kills anything”. Well… the numbers don’t lie.

    Our native species carry everything from ticks to lungworm (don’t google image ‘lungworm’), not to mention vicious fight wounds left from possums, and of course snakes. It happens, and we see it all.

    Protect our wildlife from your cat, protect your cat from our wildlife. There are great ways to protect your cat from wildlife, and wildlife from your cat!
     
  2. I’m bored

    Bored cats are lazy cats. Bored cats are hungry cats. Bored cats are fat cats!

    Don’t forget that cats need mental enrichment, too. Most cats won’t play with you like a dog, they won’t fetch or enjoy self-directed play. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and get creative. Cats love predator-driven play, for instance chasing feathers on the end of a string, and chasing laser lights.

    Why not hide their food to encourage them to forage rather than have a smorgasbord at their feet every day? You’ll love seeing this new side to your cat, try your best to introduce playtime as part of a daily routine. Just make sure you do some research to introduce new things in a way that makes sense to them!
  3. Watch me when I wee

    I know… but bear with me on this one.

    What your cat is getting up to in the litter box is a window to all sorts of health concerns, and can be an early indicator of serious problems.

    Occasional on and off diarrhoea, or soft poop.

    Having trouble weeing – only weeing small amounts, sometimes with some blood in it.

    Weeing outside the litter box – in the bath, or under the bed.

    Spraying the walls with wee…

    I would hear these concerns daily from cat-parents, and the causes vary from severe fear and anxiety, to immune disease and cancer. Taking note of your pets toileting behaviours, not just your cat, is a super important clue to their overall health.

    In fact, so much so that you can actually purchase kitty litters which change colour if the wee has blood or an unusual acidity!
  4. If I’m vomiting, I’m sick

    It breaks my heart to see so many resources looking to encourage you that your cat’s vomiting is normal. ‘Cats vomit, it’s normal for cats, it’s hairballs, it’s fine’.

    Vomiting is not normal. Many cats suffer from occasional vomiting, on and off, but otherwise seem ok and are eating well. These cats often suffer from immune system sensitivities or food allergies.

    If your cat’s gut is exposed to chronic inflammation, it is constantly receiving low damage. This is similar to what happens when your skin is exposed to UV sunlight. We know that chronic skin inflammation from sun exposure leads to cancer. Chronic gut inflammation in cats can also transform into cancer in a similar way!.

    Not only does vomiting alert you to a painful condition, but it can turn malignant. Therefore, I make no apologies for being very passionate about encouraging you to take your cat vomiting very seriously.

  5. They love you!

    Your cat enjoys the bond that you have. She will tolerate, but very rarely enjoy, the company of another cat – she’d much rather just have you.

    Introducing another cat into the home is rarely going to be of benefit to the existing cat as it means she has to start competing for the clean litter box, water bowls, the best warm spaces, and of course – your attention. A general guide is: If they’re young, go for it! If they’re older, it’s unlikely to go well.

Do you think there’s anything we missed out on the list? Send me a message and let me know! 

Concerned about your cat? Book an appointment online, let’s have a chat and figure it out.

 

Dr. Vicky Wade

Veterinarian