Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Everything I know about cats—for Julia

Disclaimer: I’m not a vet. Always listen to your vet over anything I say.

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they can’t really digest grains or fruit and that their entire diet needs to be meat. This link takes you to an article on PetMD and here's a quote from the article:
The cat cannot sustain its life unless it consumes meat in some form.
Cats are also actually lactose-intolerant. While they will drink milk, they shouldn’t.

Vitamin D capsules are deadly for cats. At least one of mine loves those capsules so if you take vitamin D, don’t let your kitties near them (just in case).

Not all cats like cat nip. It’s sort of like cilantro—some people love the taste, others think it tastes like soap. All three of my current kitties love nip but I’ve had others just look at it and walk away.

In the wild, cats get most of their water from eating their prey (mice, birds etc.). So drinking water isn’t their first preference and cats tend to not drink enough. This is especially true for male cats, who can end up with kidney issues. I use a CatIt fountain, and it’s made a real difference in how much water they drink.

Cats are territorial but it’s different from the way dogs are. Dogs will have a spot they consider theirs and that spot doesn’t change. Cats will have areas and they’ll shift their spots. Some prefer to climb (Wally is our big climber right now) and others just want a soft, warm spot to curl up on.

You can (and should) trim your kitty’s nails. Start doing it now when they are kittens and it will be no big deal for them.

Cats are also crespucular, which means they are most active at twilight, morning and evening. That's why you may get demands to get up and play, or feed or generally interact with your kittens.

Cats scratch. Some scratch horizontally and some prefer to scratch vertically. We have this “lounger” that all three love, and there are lots of other scratching pad/post options out there.

Hope that helps!

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

I would add that cats who like to scratch vertically (most of ours, over the years) like to stretch out full length to do it. So a tall scratching post is better than one of the shorter, cheaper ones. We have one covered in sisal that's four feet tall.
Also I used to trim our cats' claws when they were inside cats. Now we live in a rural area with woods behind our house and let our cats go in and out during the day, so they don't have to have claw trims, as they wear them down naturally.