Bermuda SPCA Please call 236-7333 or if it is an Emergency: 737-1108, 32 Valley Road, Paget PG 05

Pet Care and Behaviour

Cats

Size:  8-11 lbs on average however, some breeds can weigh as much as 15+ lbs

Lifespan: 13-17 years. There have been domestic indoor cats recorded to be in their 30’s

Cost per year: about $600-$700

Good with kids? Kids always need to be supervised with animals. They may inadvertently mishandle or hurt the animal. Children ten and up are ready for responsibilities associated with looking after a pet.

 

There are always cats and kittens available at the SPCA.

FOOD

  • Feed Kittens 6-12 weeks old 4 times per day
  • Feed kittens 3-6 months old 3 times a day
  • Feed adult cats 2-3 smaller meals a day
  • Kittens have different energy requirement s than adults so they should be fed a kitten food for the first year
  • Feed your cat a well-balanced commercial diet of dry food. Dry food helps keep the tartar build up down on their teeth.
  • Make sure they have fresh water available at all times
  • Clean dishes and bowls daily to help prevent the growth of bacteria. It will also decrease the chance of your cat developing cat pimples.
  • Throw away uneaten canned cat food.
  • Do not give cats milk. It can cause Diarrhea.
  • Treats should be kept to a minimum.
  • If your cat is refusing food or isn’t eating enough, you can try canned kitten food to encourage her to eat. If it persists see a veterinarian. It may be more than a finicky kitty.
  • Monitor your cat’s food intake carefully. An overweight cat will develop health problems.
  • Cat food comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. If a cat has been exposed to only one shaped kibble in its life it may show shape discrimination when a new food is introduced. Introduce the new food slowly by mixing it with the previous food.  Gradually increase the amount of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old food

Bedding and housing

  • Your cat should have her own clean dry place in your home to sleep and rest.  Be sure to wash the bedding often
  • Cats do well kept indoors. They sleep about 13 hours of the day and are then ready to play in the evening when you are home from work
  • Cats that go outdoors are exposed to cat fights, diseases, parasites. They can become lost or get hit by a car

Litter Box

  • Place the litter box in a quiet place that is accessible.  A bathroom or utility room are good locations
  • Avoid moving the litter box unless you have to.  Then do it slowly. Inches per day
  • If you have a multi-level home there should be a litter box on each floor
  • In a multiple cat household there should be a litter box per cat
  • Cats will not use a smelly or messy litter box so remove the waste at least once a day and dump everything and clean it with a mild detergent at least once a week. 
  • Do not use strong cleaners or strong scented cleaners on the litter box
  • Cats can develop a substrate preference. If you are changing litter and suspect  you have a finicky cat introduce the new  litter slowly by mixing it with the previous litter a little more each time

Grooming

  • Cats spend about 3 hours per day grooming themselves
  • They rarely need a bath but you should brush or comb your cat regularly. This keeps the coat clean, reduces shedding and cut down on hairballs and matting
  • During the grooming session check for wounds, Hair loss and inflammation. Also look for flea dirt,  black specs of dried blood

Handling

  • To pick up your cat place one hand behind her front legs and the other supporting the hindquarters. Lift gently.
  • Never pick up the cat by the scruff of the neck or the front legs

ID

  • Your cat should wear a safety color and an ID tag. The safety color is a quick release color in case she gets snagged in something she can get free.
  • It is also highly recommended to get your cat mircrochipped to help secure your cats return if she was to get lost or accidentally out of the house

Play

  • The best toys for cats are those that can be made to jump and dance around. Your cat can safely practice the pouncing on toys rather than ankles
  • Please do not use hands and fingers as play objects with kittens. This can lead to biting and scratching behaviors
  • Avoid strings and toys with pieces that can come off. They can accidentally swallow it.

Scratching

  • Cats need to scratch! Their nails shed in layers and the top layer comes off to expose the sharp smooth claw underneath. So it is best to provide them with a scratching post so that they will use that instead of the furniture
  • A scratching post should be sturdy and at least 2-3 feet high. This will allow the cat to stretch while scratching.  Some cats will use scratching pads as well. You can rub it with catnip from time to time to keep the cat interested in the post.

Health

  • Your cat should see a veterinarian for a full physical exam and fecal check at least once a year.
  • If she is sick or injured seek help immediately

Spaying and Neutering

  • Female cats should be Spayed (the removal of the ovaries and uterus)
  • Males should be Neutered(removal of the testicles)
  • Cats can be spayed or neutered as early as 4-6months
  • Neutering can prevent urine spraying, decrease the urge to roam and reduce fighting between males.
  • Spaying greatly reduces the chance of breast cancer and serious infection of the uterus
  • Cats can breed up to 3 times a year. Please help prevent unwanted litters

Vaccinations

  • Cats are vaccinated against diseases such as Panleukopenia, Calicivirus and Rhinotracheitis
  • The vaccinations begin at 6-8 weeks of age at 4 week intervals until the cat reached 16 weeks of age
  • Depending on the cats risk factors these vaccines will also include vaccines for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus(FIV)
  • Keeping your cat indoors will prevent your cat from being infected by other cats

Ear Mites
This is a common problem that can be transmitted from cat to cat
If you see your cat constantly scratching its ears or shaking its head and there is dark colored wax in its ears she may be infested with ear mites. Take your cat to the veterinarian right away to get treatment.
Fleas

  • Flea infestations should be taken seriously. These tiny parasites feed off your pet  and transmit tapeworms and irritate the skin
  • You can get preventative flea control for your pet at the veterinarian hospital
  • They should be on the preventative all year round.
  • Once your cat has fleas the house and cat bedding should be treated as well
  • Please make sure you use products that are safe for your pet. Ask your veterinarian what flea control program is good for your pet and home

Internal Parasites (worms)

  • Cats can be infected with several types of internal parasites. A microscopic exam of your cat’s feces is done at the Vet Hospital for diagnosis.  Your vet can then prescribe the proper medication
  • You can prevent your cat from contracting worms by keeping her indoors.  Cats that hunt and eat infected prey and come into contact with infected cats and fleas are likely to become infected.  Keeping a clean litter box also decreases the chances of becoming infected

Cat Supply Checklist

  • Commercial Brand Cat food
  • Food Dish
  • Water Bowl
  • Interactive toys
  • Brush and cat claw clipper
  • Comb
  • Saftey collar with ID tag
  • Scratching Post or pad
  • Litter box
  • Litter
  • Cat carrier
  • Cat bed with blanket or towel

The No No List

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Grapes, Raisins and avocados
  • Moldy or spoiled food
  • Onions, Garlic or Chives
  • Poultry Bones
  • Salt and salty foods, macadamia nuts
  • Tomato leaves, stems or unripe fruit
  • Yeast dough
  • Human medications unless prescribed by the veterinarian

The above information was compiled by the Bermuda SPCA from the following sources ;
www.aspca.org
www.RSPCA.org.uk
www.AAHA.org
www.avma.org

©2017 Bermuda SPCA