Caring For Your Cat: Everything You Need To Know

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 01 September 2014

Cats are charming and cute companions that can bring lots of love and joy to your home. But before you bring that gorgeous kitty home, there are a few things to consider.

When many people think of cats, they think of fiercely independent creatures- hunting for food and coming and going as they please. Despite this, these clever creatures do rely on their owners to provide them with the necessary care to keep them happy and healthy.

cats need plenty of care and love from their human companions

These cat essentials include:

Give them these, and they in turn will give you unconditional love for many years to come!

1. Food & Water

Before you embark on your kitty keeping adventure, you should first educate yourself on the adequate nutrition they require- good nutrition is key to good health. Generally speaking, cats prefer a mix of both wet and dry food, and should be fed twice a day. Be sure to check the label, and feed your cat the recommended amount. If you over feed your cat they can become obese, which can cause furthered health issues such as diabetes- a fat cat is not a healthy cat!

Place their food in a secure cat enclosure or somewhere where other inquisitive animals won’t be able to get to it.

You should ensure that your cat has access to fresh water at all times- especially if you are subject to soaring temperatures. Make sure there are several water bowls set around the cat enclosure in case of spillage.

Be sure to clean your cats food and water bowls regularly to help prevent an unwanted diseases.

2. Cat Enclosure

There are many debates about whether cats should be kept indoors or outdoors. While cats that are kept predominantly indoors stay safe from many outside dangers, they are unable to benefit from developing many of the natural feline behaviours associated with being in their natural habitat.

An outdoor cat enclosure is a great alternative for those who don’t wish to keep their cat permanently indoors, but want to provide their pretty little pals with a safe and secure indoor/outdoor home.

We all know that cats are quite complex creatures, and they like to be constantly challenged, so a cat enclosure that is a standard and simple build just won’t make the cut for your kitty. A cat enclosure should allow your feline friends to develop natural feline behaviours, pursue an active lifestyle, and experience the wonders of the great outdoors- all while keeping them safe and sound.

There a few key things that you should look for when wanting to provide your feline companion with a safe and secure outdoor home. Firstly, the cat enclosure should be purpose built with the height of security in mind- this means fitted with a galvanised wire mesh that is firmly fixed in place.This is to make sure that your furry friend is kept well and truly out of the claws and jaws of pesky predators- and innocent wildlife out of theirs!

Make sure your cat enclosure has proper locks, sliding bolts and padlocks- cats are clever and curious creatures, and will easily push open flimsy twist closes to cause some mischief!

Felines are sun loving creatures, which is why they love being in the great outdoors so much- how often do you catch your furry friend napping in the afternoon sun? So be sure that your cat enclosure has plenty of sunlit area for your feline friend to bask in to their hearts content. Add their favourite cat tree, a few of their favourite toys and some catnip, and your kitty’s cat enclosure will be the envy of all the neighbourhood cats!

As much as they love the adventure seeking lifestyle, our kitty counterparts love nothing more than snuggling up for a little R&R- so they need a cat enclosure that will cater to all their napping needs! Make sure there is a safe and cosy little spot in a draught-free area of the cat enclosure (with some blankets and cushions for maximum comfort),so they can get down to some serious catnapping!

An ideal cat enclosure should also be well ventilated and made with a sturdy timber and quality roof to help keep kitty safe from the elements- rain, hail or shine, hot or cold!

While cats are generally quite clean animals,and prefer to keep their living quarters quite well-maintained, it is important that you take the time to give their cat enclosure a regular clean. Refresh their litter box, tidy their napping nook, and a general once over of their cat enclosure should do the trick! A neat and tidy cat enclosure and a happy and healthy cat will make it all the worthwhile!

If your cat enclosure can encompass each of these things, you are bound to have a super happy, outdoor loving kitty on your hands! The Kitty Kastle, and Purrfect Palace cat enclosures tick all the boxes!

cat playing with fake mouse

3. Veterinary Care

To keep kitty at the height of health, they should be taken to the vet regularly for checkups. As well as this, upon getting a cat, there are two things you must do: get it vaccinated and have it spayed or neutered- sorry kitty, but its for the best!

To help prevent the spread of viral diseases, it is important that they are vaccinated. It is best to talk to your vet about when your cat should be vaccinated, and what exactly they should vaccinated for- you may need added vaccinations depending on where you live etc. Vaccinations are especially crucial if your cat is going to be living predominantly outdoors. Even though a cat enclosure will provide them with some security from diseases that can be contracted from the great outdoors, vaccinations are the best preventative measure against unwanted diseases.

While the thought of it makes us really feel for our furry companion, cat spaying and neutering, otherwise known as desexing, is the responsible thing to do if you don’t wish to one day be liable for lots of little kitties!

Desexing is not a cruel nor a painful procedure for your cat and can be performed from about 10 weeks of age to 6 months- depending on the preference of your vet.

There are a great number of benefits to having your cat desexed, including:

  • Reduces roaming behaviour in male cats- which in turn can cause them great harm (a secure cat enclosure will also assist with this).

  • Reduces diseases such as mammary cancer, pyometra, testicular cancer and cat aids- all which can be life threatening for your cat.

  • Reduces unfavourable cat behaviour, such as calling in the female, male aggression, and fighting and ‘spraying’ in both sexes.

4. Exercise & Play

Cats are very curious creatures, and require both physical and mental stimulation in the form of exercise and play to keep them both happy and healthy. If your cat becomes bored, this is when it will start to act out and display undesirable behaviours such as roaming, spraying, scratching and aggression- not what you want.

Make sure your kitty’s cat enclosure has plenty of toys in it to keep them occupied- scratching posts, string toys, soft toys and even balls of wool will keep your feline friend chipper and content! Lucky cats will also have a cat enclosure with play bars- where they can climb, tangle and play till their hearts content! The Kitty Kastle, and Purrfect Palace cat enclosures can cater to this for all the extra spoilt cats out there!

You might also want to invest in a ‘cat tree’ for your cat enclosure- a structure that is typically covered in carpet or a rough material, that your cat will spend hours joyfully scratching, climbing and stretching on with their other playful pals.

A large area where your cat can roam and adventure will provide them with endless entertainment- but this can often be problematic with the many dangers that can cause them harm in the outdoors. Dogs, traffic, other cats and wildlife often harm our pretty little pals; while parasites, feline AIDS and other deadly diseases pose a major threat to our unattended cats. Luckily, if you cat has an outdoor cat enclosure with an extended play area, you can have peace of mind knowing that your feline friend is getting the stimulation and exercise they crave, while staying safely out of harms way. The Kitty Kastle, and The Kitty Kastle, and Purrfect Palace are both great quality cat enclosures that your kitty will happily call home! Safe and secure with plenty of room for play means your cat will revel in being in the great outdoors, but will stay well and truly out of harms way.

Sources and further reading