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Cats are fun, cute and fluffy - but getting a cat or kitten is also a big responsibility. Take a look at our expert advice and tips on how to keep your feline friend happy and healthy.

Diet

  • Food plays a vital role in your cat's health. A cat needs a diet that contains essential nutrients - think proteins, fibre and fats.
  • Good quality, ready-made food will help provide a well-balanced diet.
  • Unlike dogs, cats are 'nibblers' and prefer to graze throughout the day.
  • Also, make sure that your cat always has access to a bowl of fresh water.

Wellbeing

  • It's important to keep your cat well-fed, properly wormed, regularly treated against parasites and fully vaccinated.
  • Grooming, stroking and playing with your cat will help you to build a strong relationship.

Playing and hunting

  • Kittens and cats need to play - this includes hunting and stalking.
  • Playing with a paper or cloth toy is a positive way for your cat to be active and express its natural instincts.
  • It's also important you join in these games so it can learn to control its biting and scratching.

Health

  • Cats are very clever at keeping an illness well hidden, until it gets serious.
  • If you notice a change in behaviour or habits, ask your vet for advice.
  • Look out for signs such as loss of appetite, excessive drinking, vomiting, diarrhoea and scratching.

Cat-proof your home and garden

  • Before you get a cat or kitten, scan your home for potential dangers to your new feline friend's health and safety.
  • Always check ovens, washing machine drums or spin dryers. They are amusing hiding places - especially for kittens.
  • Keep all heavy and hazardous items including sewing needles, books and vases out of reach.

Cats make excellent companions - just make sure you're ready for the commitment. Good luck!

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