Cats as Pets

Although cats are naturally wild animals, with wild instincts, they can make wonderful pets. A cats personality is quite versatile whereby it is both friendly and affectionate and they love to hear their owners voice and be petted and fussed, however, on the flip side of the coin, they are intelligent, solitary and can cope without the company of their owner.

This makes cats both sociable and independent. However, having a cat as a pet is an important role. Cats need a lot of attention and they can be expensive, just like any other pet. Cats need caring for, feeding, bathing and if they get ill, they will need taking to the vets.

Different breeds of cat require different care, a long haired cat would obviously need more grooming that a short haired cat.

When deciding to have a cat as a pet, you should also take into consideration anyone in the family who may have allergies and of course, any other pets you may have. Having a cat as a pet is probably not a good idea if say you already have a budgie, fish, mouse, hamster or guinea pig already resident in your home.

Start teaching your pet cat the rules of the household right away. Consistency is the key to success. Every member of the household must agree on the rules. You cannot overdo praise. It is the tone of your voice, not the volume that counts.

Most cats are easily trained to use a litterbox. Choose a location that is away from the cats feeding area and quiet. Place your new cat in the litter box as soon as you arrive home. Be sure it knows the location and has access to it. Any accidents should be cleaned immediately and the area washed with 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Failure to use the box may be caused by one of more of the following conditions:

  • The cat has not yet learned the location of the litterbox. This is especially common with young kittens. The location of the litterbox is unacceptable to the cat.

  • The brand of litter is unacceptable to the cat.

  • The litterbox is not kept clean. Cat faeces should be removed daily.

  • The litterbox has been disinfected and not thoroughly rinsed.

  • The cat is attracted to an area previously used by another pet. Use an enzyme based odour remover; try the 50/50 white vinegar and water rinse or try placing the food and water bowl on that spot.

  • The cat is reacting to family or household changes or stress. Or a pet or child could be terrorizing the new cat while you are away.

  • Another pet is keeping the new cat away from the litterbox.

  • Another cat is using the new cats litterbox; some cats will not share, especially at first.

Any new pet can make a mistake. Place these ‘mistakes’ in the litterbox, then gently put the cat in the litterbox as well. If you see it sniffing around a previously soiled area, carry it to the litterbox again. When it uses the litterbox, give praise and affection.