Cats have a number of basic requirements if they are to remain healthy and happy.
- Feed your cat an appropriate balanced diet to maintain him/her in good condition. Either too little or too much food, or the wrong type of food can cause health problems for your cat. Don't feed dog food or a purely vegetarian diet to cats as this will not supply all the necessary nutrition for cats. The Cat Body Condition Score Chart can give you an idea of whether your cat is under or overweight.
- Supply clean cool water at all times in a container that cannot be tipped over.
- Provide a comfortable dry sleeping area, including shade during the day. Read more about safely confining cats to the property.
- Provide routine healthcare, including regular vaccinations, worming (including heartworm), flea and tick control, along with veterinary treatment for injuries or illness.
- Give your cat plenty of company and time with the family.
- Provide your cat with environmental enrichment, to prevent it from getting bored or developing behavioural problems.
- Ensure your cat is adequately cared for when you are on holidays.
- Ensure you transport your cat safely. If transporting your cat ensure he/ she is transported in a well ventilated cage or cat carrier and that the cage or container is strapped into the car to prevent it sliding around. Don't transport your cat in an enclosed boot (such as a sedan boot). Don't leave a cat in a car on even a mild day as the interior of a car can heat up quickly and cause heat stress and even the death of your cat.
- Include your cat in your emergency planning.
- Provide your cat with additional care during times of extreme heat.
- Ensure your cat does not have access to poisons, human foods that are toxic to cats, or plants that are toxic to cats.