20 December, 2019   By: Tatum Stafford

Cats are fairly low-maintenance pets, but they still have a range of basic needs that need to be met by their owners. 

Here are our top tips for keeping your cat content.

1. Feed them a balanced diet

Cats are 'obligate carnivores', which means they need animal proteins to survive. This usually comes from a diet rich in meat.

A balanced diet for your cat may include fresh raw meat, complemented by premium cat food that is appropriate for their age group. Talk to your vet for further advice on what to feed your cat.

Leftover bones, dog food, yeast dough and foods with artificial sweeteners are all potentially harmful foods that you should never feed your cat.

2. Implement a regular grooming schedule

Your cat can benefit greatly from a regular and effective grooming program.

Firstly, your cat's claws may require regular trimming, especially if they're kept indoors most of the time. Do not attempt to cut your cat's claws without instruction as you may cause pain or infection. Ask your vet for assistance, or ask your vet to teach you how to trim its claws correctly.

 

Brushing your cat's coat is another way to ensure your cat is well groomed - and can also prevent problems with hairballs. Brushing their coat is also a great way to reduce the amount of fur on your clothes and furniture.

Lastly, keeping your cat's teeth clean can help prevent expensive dental work. Try gently brushing their teeth yourself with a small toothbrush and cat toothpaste. In healthy cats, teeth are clean, white and free of any chipping. If your cat's gums contain any sores or if their teeth do not appear healthy, take them to your vet for a check-up.

3. Have regular vet checks

Taking your cat to the vet at least once a year helps to keep their injections up to date, and can also identify any potential, developing issues.

If you suspect something might be wrong with your cat, visiting the vet as early as possible could help prevent a much bigger issue later. You should always see your vet if you notice changes in appetite, increased vocalisation, lethargy, an increased avoidance of people or limping.

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4. Incorporate playtime into their daily routine

Playtime should be a vital element of your cat's daily routine. Cats are extremely social, active and curious creatures - and having this daily playtime will both positively affect their mental health and strengthen the bond between owner and pet.

There are a number of toys and games made specifically for cats, but it isn't always easy to know which one is the right one for your pet. It's important to note that when playing with your cat, you must attempt to motivate them. Games such as 'hide and seek' or using a toy fishing rod are great ideas for cats to stay alert whilst still enjoying play.

 

5. Keep them safe from harm

Unfortunately, most cats would constantly roam the neighbourhood if given the opportunity. This puts them at risk of getting into fights, getting lost or getting run over by cars.

Most vets recommend keeping cats inside (or in a contained enclosure outside) as much as possible, and especially at night.

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Disclaimer:

*Illness and injury cover – covers up to 80% of eligible vet bills up to $12,000 annually. Conditions, limits & exclusions apply. RAC Insurance Pty Limited is authorised by RACQ Insurance Limited (ABN 50 009 704 152, AFSL 233 082) as an agent to issue RAC Pet Insurance. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Read the PDS and SPDS (where applicable) before making any decision. **Discount applies to the first year of insurance only.