Cats come in all sorts of different sizes, body shape and temperament. We have lots of cat advice for owners on cats health - 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.
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.
- 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. .
Our top tips for cats health:
- Cats have similar pain thresholds as people. They are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases or illnesses. Try to check your cats health for signs of injury or illness daily, and have a cats health checked at least annually with your local vet
- If you notice any unusual symptoms in your cats health, seek advice from your vet promptly. Remember, changes might not be obvious as individual cats show pain or distress differently.
- If your cat needs medical treatment, it can be costly. When you get a cat, consider pet insurance to protect you from expensive vet bills.
- Help your cat live a calm and relaxed life because it could decrease the risk of illness or disease. Stressed or insecure cats can become unwell. Changes to cats behaviour is an early sign that something is wrong with your cats helath.
- You need to protect your cats health. Ask your vet about vaccination, parasite treatment (e.g. fleas and worms), having your cat spayed or snipped (neutered), etc.
- Cats health care packages can help manage vet costs, plus ensuring regular checkups and preventative treatments. Many vets, including Medivet, CVS UK Ltd veterinary group practices, Companion Care/Vets4Pets, provide these.
- To protect against pregnancy, female cats should be spayed before four-months-old. Your vet will perform this simple operation, also known as ‘neutering’, ‘fixing’, or ‘being done’.
- Male cat neutering involves a simple operation called the snip. This can protect him against injuries and catching nasty diseases from fighting over mates. It can also stop your cat spraying in the house.
- Owning a pet is a long-term commitment so consider it carefully. For example, think about how long cats live for. Investigate potential health and behaviour problems they could have or develop e.g. as a result of breed, how they’ve been bred and cared for. Some cat breeds have exaggerated physical features which can cause suffering and reduce quality of life; some are also prone to inherited disorders/diseases. If unsure consult your vet for advice.
- Human and dog medicines can be very dangerous to cats. Make sure you only treat your cats health with medicine prescribed to them by a vet.
- To keep your cat’s coat in good condition, regularly groom them. It can also help identify changes in your cat’s health. If you’re unsure about grooming, or your cat changes it’s grooming habits, consult your vet for advice.
- Road accidents are the most common cause of injury or early death in cats. Microchipped cats are more likely to be reunited with owners and receive prompt veterinary care if injured. Please speak to your vet about microchipping your pet.