ADVICE AND TIPS
Bringing your new cat home:
Most cats usually don’t like to travel and are not keen on being put in a carrier! but when looking to buy a cat carrier, aim for one that is strong and secure and can be easily cleaned. If your cat is particularly nervous, you might want to use a pheromone spray like Feliway travel spray, 20 minutes before putting your cat inside.
Setting up a space for your new cat or kitten: Before you let your new pet out of its
carrier, you’ll need to set up a safe space with everything they need. A quiet room away from busy areas of the house is ideal as it’ll give them a chance to relax. This room should include:
an area for food and a separate one for water
at least one litter tray placed as far away as possible from their food and water in a private location
a place to hide – perhaps a cardboard box with a soft blanket or an item of your clothing
access to a high spot like a cardboard box on a sturdy shelf
a suitable place to sleep
a scratching post
a few cat toys to allow them to play
Once you have a quiet room set up, it’s time to welcome your cat to their new home,
leave your cat to explore if they want to. Some cats may be shy or timid so go at your pet’s pace.
If they choose to hide, sit quietly in the same room and talk to them in a soft manner. Don't force them to come out. You’ll need to give them plenty of time to adjust, especially if they are particularly shy.
If you are worried that your cat still hasn’t come out of hiding just be patient and as long as they are eating, drinking and using their litter tray, there is no need to stress. If your cat is too shy to eat move their food bowl closer to their hiding place and leave the room.
Make sure you have a scratching post or similar area they can use as scratching this a natural part of a cat's behavior and helps keep their claws trim. A brush or comb for grooming is important, especially for long haired cats , grooming is also a good way of getting your pet used to being touched as this is important when taking to your vet. Cat toys are great for playtime and are essential for keeping cats occupied. Remember that your cat needs to stay in doors for several weeks after adoption to ensure your cat knows where home is and stays safe with you before being allowed out and about.
Adopting an Older Pussycat: There are a few steps you can take to help your older cat be happy and healthy during their twilight years.
Older cats make great pets and some people prefer an older cats as they tend to stay at home more.
Elderly cats (12+) may need a little extra help as they age, but older cats often make fantastic companions who love to spend their time with you. Owners often comment on the special relationship they have with their older pet. Cats can be good at hiding their symptoms and suffering, so talk to your vet if you notice any change in your cat's behavior as many conditions in elderly cats are treatable and your vet can often help to reduce pain and improve your cat's quality of life.
What happens as cats age?
· appetite and/or fluid intake may change
· disorders associated with old age may develop like diabetes, renal impairment, arthritis, or hyperthyroidism
· vision and/or hearing may become less effective
· bowel and urinary system functions may change
· immune system may weaken
· coat condition may deteriorate
· deep sleep may decrease whilst light sleeping increases
· activity levels decrease and muscle tone reduces
· behavioral changes can occur, such as dementia, aggression, increased dependence on you or excessive meowing
Preventative healthcare for our seniors
Elderly cats usually need more frequent visits to a vet if they have age-associated symptoms or diseases. Ask your vet how regularly your cat needs a health check. Some surgeries run clinics for older cats and things like regular weight checks are important, as are booster vaccinations to support your cat's weakening immune system.
Feeding older cats
As your cat gets older, they may benefit from a senior cat food that is designed to meet their precise nutritional needs. You can also try putting down food and water in a variety of locations around your home.
Take notice of how much food your cat eats as a change in their appetite can indicate an underlying health condition. Talk to your vet if your cat starts eating more or less.
Cats may eat less if their sense of smell weakens so adding in some tasty sprinkles, adding tiny morsels of cooked plain fish or warming their food may help to increase the aroma and entice them to eat.
Surgical procedures on older cats may carry a risk of causing other health problems, so they should be considered carefully. Your vet will advice you once they have carried out a pre-operative assessment to check your cat's overall health, and can talk to you about any specific concerns.
Some health issues that could affect your older cat
Cats can suffer from a wide range of health conditions as they age they will try to hide their pain, so you will need to be alert to small clues that your cat is not right especially if they need to go out several times during the night. There might be changes to their movements, or in eating, drinking, sleeping or toileting. Talk to your vet if you notice any changes as prompt action may help to reduce suffering and may also extend your cat's life.