What are the needs of a cat?
When we think of adopting a cat in order to expand the family, it is common for doubts to arise about the basic needs that we must attend to in order to guarantee its well-being. Food, accessories, care and, also, an ideal environment for the cat to develop the activities that are natural to it are the keys to meeting its needs and providing it with a happy life.
Basic accessories for a cat
Regardless of the age of the cat we adopt or its characteristics, there are a series of basic elements that we must have before it arrives at home if we ask ourselves what a cat needs to live. They are the following:
- Adequate food for its vital stage, since the nutritional requirements of a kitten are not the same as those of an elderly cat.
- Feeder and drinker, better separated because cats prefer it that way.
- Sandbox, sand and shovel, also according to your preferences. There are multiple options for sale and it is about trying.
- Carrier, well, at least, it will have to be taken to the vet.
- Grooming products, such as a brush, nail clippers, wipes, or shampoo in case you ever need a bath.
- Toys and environmental enrichment items, such as a scratching post.
- We can buy him a bed, but usually he is the one who chooses where he wants to sleep.
Before arriving home, we must go through the veterinary center of our choice to carry out a general check-up, as well as to start their deworming and vaccination schedule.
Adequate And Quality Food
There are several options that we find today to properly feed our cat. Whichever we choose, quality should be our guide. Cats are carnivorous, which means that their diet must be made up, as the first ingredient, of protein of animal origin, which can come from meat or fish. In addition, it is important to select a food according to the age of our cat and, if we buy it, respect the administration instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid problems of being overweight.
The ancestors of cats lived in desert climates and hydrated thanks to the supply of liquids provided by their prey. That’s why cats don’t drink a lot of water. If their diet is limited to dry feed, they could present health problems. Therefore, if we opt for feed, it must be combined with wet food on a daily basis to ensure proper hydration. In addition, we can choose a fountain as a drinking fountain, since the continuous movement of water encourages many cats to drink.
If we ask ourselves what a cat needs, we must know that hygiene is one of the pillars that we cannot neglect, since they are extremely neat animals. Cats do not need to go outside to evacuate, like dogs. It is enough for them to have a sandbox with enough sand. This should be placed in a quiet place away from home traffic and should be large enough for the cat to enter and exit comfortably, turn around and bury its droppings. Likewise, it is essential to maintain proper hygiene of the litter box to ensure that our cat feels comfortable using it. To do this, do not miss our article on How often to change the cat litter.
On the other hand, cats spend a good part of their awake time grooming themselves, so it is not necessary for us to bathe them, except on specific occasions. Yes, it is advisable to brush them regularly to help them remove dead hair and prevent them from ingesting it in too much quantity, since balls could form in their digestive system, causing different discomforts. We can also check the nails regularly and cut the tip if necessary.
We have talked about the needs in terms of nutrition and hygiene, but what does a cat need to be happy? A happy cat needs to be able to display all the behaviors that are natural to him, such as climbing heights, hiding, scratching with his nails, jumping, etc. For this reason, it is essential that, for his well-being, he has elements at home that promote environmental enrichment, such as scratching posts, furniture placed at different heights, toys, etc. We can even leave the carrier within his reach so that he gets used to it and it is not so traumatic to introduce it to take him to the vet.
An environment like this offers you stimuli and allows you to stay in shape, also helping to prevent obesity. But not only environmental enrichment is enough. Although cats are spoken of as independent and solitary animals, they all need, to a greater or lesser extent, the daily attention of their caregivers. This means that you have to spend time playing and interacting.
Essential veterinary care
Finally, we cannot forget veterinary care when it comes to the basic needs of a cat. These are not limited to taking the cat to a clinic when it seems to us that he is sick. Prevention is very important and this happens by going to the reviews that the professional guides us and following the schedule of internal and external deworming and vaccinations that he recommends. Although our cat does not have access to the outside, we could carry different pathogens in our clothes or shoes, which is why we must worry about prevention, which the veterinarian will adapt to his circumstances.
Vaccines and deworming are more frequent and important in kittens, since their immune system is still immature and, consequently, they are more vulnerable, but they cannot be forgotten in the adult cat. In this way, whether we are wondering what a baby cat needs or whether we are planning to adopt an adult cat, we must bear in mind to follow the veterinarian’s instructions regarding vaccination and deworming. In this sense, do not miss this other article on What vaccines does a cat need.