Whether you’re getting a new kitten or you’ve kept cats for years – here the team at Vitalin provide their top 10 tips for keeping your cat happy and healthy for many years to come!
The Litter Box
The litter box is possibly one of the most important things that you’ll put out for your cat as they are famously known for being one of the most fastidious of pets to keep at home. Because of this you should make sure their litter boxes are cleaned daily, with a more thorough clean, replacing the litter and cleaning the box, weekly. And lastly - cats don’t like to share! Make sure you have a litter box per cat (and an extra one if you can) to ensure that all your feline friends are ‘going’ where they should be!
Today’s house cat is actually derived from their desert-dwelling forefathers and as such needs to drink a lot of water and can easily become very dehydrated. Your cat’s natural prey, such as a mouse, is made up of roughly 70% water, whilst cat food is only around 5%-10%, so it’s important to keep an eye on him to make sure he is properly hydrated - particularly if he’s an elderly cat. Some signs to look out for are sunken eyes, lethargy and panting. Make sure your cat always has access to fresh water. Cats like to feel special so many will be encouraged to drink more often from a kitty water fountain, or glasses, instead of a bowl if you’re willing to go the extra mile for your cat!
Your cat will definitely benefit from having a feeling schedule - one feed at the same time in the morning and another in the evening. Make sure that you’re not just permanently leaving food out for your cat as they have a tendency to be greedy and overeat, which can lead to other health problems!
Even though cat saliva contains natural deodorising and cleansing properties your cat will definitely enjoy having a helping hand. Regular brushing will help remove any excess hair and prevent your cat from producing hairballs. If your cat seems reluctant to be brushed (though almost all cats enjoy it!) try brushing it a little just before feeding or play time - this will give him a positive association with grooming and they will quickly look forward to the brush appearing!
Train Him To Use a Scratching Post
Don’t want your furniture, carpets and curtains shredded? This is your solution. It’s not simply enough to put a scratching post in a corner and then get annoyed that your cat isn’t using the post and is still going for your favourite chair - you need to help them learn to use it! When you buy a scratching post, sprinkle it with cat nip and place it in the middle of the room, then gradually as your cat gets more used to using it you can move it further into the corners of the room and eventually stop putting cat nip on it too!
Every cat has their favourite toy…but no solo toy can compare to you playing with your cat yourself. Interactive play has a seemingly endless list of benefits for your fury companion including trust building, mental wellbeing, physical exercise, stress relief, and many more. Scheduling in 15 minutes of play time once or twice a day can do wonders for your cat’s mental wellbeing.
Cats love to show off - it’s how they show that they love you! It may be by butting their head against you, batting their paws at you (claws away), purring, rubbing their body against you…or alternatively leaving you a not so appreciated ‘present’. Believe it or not, cats leaving you with a half chewed up mice is actually their attempts at showing affection (“Look what I caught for you!”). Here at Vitalin we suggest you take you ‘gift’ graciously, clean up appropriately, and move on.
Accept Your Cat’s Personality
Just like people, all cats have different personalities. If your cat isn’t the type that doesn’t always want to be on your lap, or being fussed then that’s just something that you have to accept as their owner. Let them have their space and come to you when they do want your attention rather than the other way round-that way they’ll respect you far more and may decide to start paying you more attention gradually.
Don’t Punish Your Cat
It’s important to remember that cats always do things for a reason, so remembering this it is important to think about why your cat may be doing something you don’t like and treat it accordingly. For example, if your cat is going to the toilet around the house instead of in the litter box, first you should rule out health issues, ensuring that there isn’t a urinary tract infection, or some other reason why they may be doing this. Once that is ruled out, you should consider the positioning of the litter box, and also the cleanliness. If this is still not working, try using different sorts of litter- your cat will have a favourite, encouraging him to keep using his box! Punishing your cat may make them feel afraid and insecure, making the problem worse!
Spay or Neuter Your Cat
Unless you’re definitely planning on breeding with your cat, it is highly advisable to spay or neuter you cat. This can prevent your cat from contracting several fatal diseases including feline leukaemia and feline immunodefiency virus (FIV), as well as stopping any male cats from spraying. There is some belief that it isn’t ‘fair’ to take away a female cats ability to have kittens, however this is projecting human emotions onto cats as it has been proven that all female cats are very uncomfortable when they go into heat. You should aim to do this as young as possible (8 weeks onwards) and definitely before your cat goes into heat or starts spraying. This will also help as there is an over population of cats currently, which is resulting in the euthanasia of hundreds of thousands of cats with no health issues whatsoever every year.
The Vitalin Super Premium Cat Food Range
The three-strong range of Super Premium Cat Food consists of Vitalin Kitten and Vitalin Adult Cat in two varieties chicken and salmon.
Vitalin Kitten provides your feline friends with high quality protein using 100% British Chicken.
Vitalin adds probiotic FOS and MOS into the food to support your kitten’s digestive system. Supplementary taurine is also added to promote healthy eyes and heart, as well as nucleotides to help ensure optimum growth and development for your kitten up to 12 months old. Cranberry extract is used to support its urinary tract health, whilst rosemary and citrus extracts deliver natural antioxidant properties into its system.
Vitalin Adult Cat is available in two flavours: 100% British Chicken and 100% Scottish Salmon. These varieties contain all the benefits that are found in Vitalin Kitten as well as added glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM to aid joint health, helping keep your cat as fit as possible throughout his life.