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Choosing a Cat

A cat is a 15 year commitment that can bring enormous joy and companionship. Every cat is different and it is best to try to choose a healthy cat with a lovely temperament.

How to tell a healthy cat.

Cats and kittens often come with cat flu. This is a combination of viral diseases which causes runny eyes and runny noses . Once a cat has had cat flu they may have recurrent episodes of cat flu throughout their lives. When looking at a new cat keep your ears pricked for sneezing and see that their eyes are clear and shiny.

Dental disease can be a debilitating health problem. A cat or kitten with clean, healthy teeth and gums will have a good start in life.

Adult cats will be healthiest if a normal weight. If your new cat comes at an unhealthy weight it will be useful to get advice from your veterinarian on the best diets and amounts of food to feed.

Desexing at Pittwater Animal Hospital: If your new cat has not been desexed we strongly recommend desexing at PAH be carried out around 6 months of age. Your cat will be safe, well care for and have excellent pain relief and aftercare.

Hair type:

Most cats shed hair apart from a very unusual cat called the Devon Rex. Some cats shed more than others. If you have a long-haired cat it is really important to train them to tolerate being brushed right from the start. Matted hair often starts behind the ears or on the belly and if left, grows to cover the whole cat.

At Pittwater Animal Hospital we are very experienced at sedating and clipping long haired cats. They look interesting when clipped but the hair grows back and is much more comfortable and easier to manage.

Temperament:

It can be hard to gauge a kitten’s temperament early on. Early experience is very important for temperament. Kittens coming from a household where they have had lots of human contact from an early age are often much more friendly.

Adult cats can take months to really feel relaxed in a new environment. A frightened and skittish adult cat may well become a wonderful companion with a few months of gentle handling.

Cats and dogs:

Kittens will accept a dog companion much more readily than an adult cat will. You must however be mindful of the safety of the little kitten.

Adult cats will take months to adjust to a new dog or puppy. They will feel the most secure if they are able to observe the dog from a safe vantage point especially if they are hidden in a box. Give your adult cat time and gentle attention. They are deep thinkers and take time to come around to a new pet in the household.

Multi-cat households:

Having more than one cat can be a blessing but needs to be carefully managed. A pair of litter mates often make great companions. Introducing a new cat or kitten to a house with a resident cat can be very difficult. Make sure to give both cats lots of space and lots of litter trays.

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