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Feline companions

Updated on April 24, 2012

Our lovable friends

Yes they are our adorable, loveable, unconditional fluffy friends and we can't seem to get enough of them. We simply love our cats! Their warmth, playfulness and even their cheeky little ways only endear us to them more, and if we're God forbid unfortunate enough to loose our little bundle of joy, life can feel unimaginably empty and dark.

Like many other animal lovers I have owned cats for the past eighteen years and really could'nt imagine a life without the company of my treasured little companions. How can anyone possibly not fall in love with these gorgeous creatures. They add so much more to life with their unconditional love and affection and are there to adorn ones own protection and nurturing onto them. Of course like all animals, as the saying goes "an animal is for life and not just for xmas" which means they need to be cared for and looked after which in turn means all the practicalities that come owning any animal. This isn't difficult if you're committed and can be an enjoyable part of the process.

cats are naturally inquisitive
cats are naturally inquisitive

Curiosity killed the cat

So you have your new addition and you're full of excitement and anticipation.STOP! Unfortunately the saying 'curiosity killed the cat can be not so far from the truth. Cats by their very nature are very inquisitive creatures and once in a new environment will take every opportunity to explore their surroundings. It is therefore important to ensure that it is safe and as free from hazards and potential risks as possible.Cats have been known to get trapped in all kinds of unthinkable places to us humans, so never assume they couldn't possibly gain access. As far as they're concerned where there's a will there will be a way!

Cat proof home

Take extra care with chemicals such as some cleaning products and bug control products both of which contain toxins that cats can absorb through their pores. Alcohol free sprays can deter your cat from chewing furniture and fabrics and simple sticky strips of adhesive aranged around indoor plants can deter from digging.

Cat behaviour

It takes time to get to know your cat and all their little ways and habits. Like any relationship work at it and soon you will begin to see the rewards of your toil. Like humans cats do have their own unique personalities and this will manifest itself over time. You will begin to notice amusing little things they get up to, how they enjoy to play, their favourite toys and their favoured spot in your lounge! However, there are common behaviour traits that one can educate themselves on to help better understand the workings of their little minds.

communication

Interacting with your cat can be a fascinating experience and produce endless laughs and so understanding some of their audio cues can certainly help to understand their moods.

meow

This is simply a way of getting attention or occasionally can signal an acknowledgement of a verbal transaction.

hiss

This can indicate pain or can be a warning that your cat is not happy!

chatter

Chattering of the teeth often occurs when your cat is faced with birds.This is a natural predatory instinct that cats possess.

purring

Usually the most blissful of all sounds.Your cat is at rest, content and happy and hopefully the sound of this means that you are too! However, it must not be forgotten that cats can also use purring as a plea for help. Knowing your cat will help you determine which it is.

social behaviour

Food plays a huge part in social interacion between humans and cats. When food is plentiful then there isn't a need to become aggressive or fight and therefore interactions often increase. However,when it comes to other felines this can be a whole different ball game.Never expect your cat to welcome a new resident feline both in or outside the home immediately. Disputes are usually settled by eye contact or by the ocacasional wop of a paw! This then may lead to a hierachy which is very often subject to change depending on the circumstances until such a time a level of trust and understanding is established.

Hunter

Cats are hunters by their very nature. Often owners will be disgusted or even shocked if suddenly their well housed, well fed, quiet natured, lovable friends suddenly pounce into action at the sight of prey.I can't help but laugh as I recall a lady in my street after having bought a cat which she described as perfectly behaved,and which she'd lovingly trained to give her a paw on request suddenly sprung off her lap, sprinted outside and proceeded to stalk a mouse only to kill it and bring it to her door. She was absolutely horrified and needless to say I was left trying to explain that this was a natural instinct and in fact a sign of trust and affection for her as its owner, to which she replied 'My God I can't be having that!' So, never forget that no-matter how well your cat is cared for or loved it will always be impelled by its natural instincts and basic need to stalk.

Play and exercise

Toys and games

Cats love to play. As pointed out earlier, by their very nature they are inquisitive creatures which can and will turn any household item into a play activity! It is important that owners spend some time interacting through play.This will help build and sustain bonds and needn't be expensive. Paper bags and of course boxes for example are great tools for your cat to amuse themselves with. Even a piece of string tied securely to a stick will give endless pleasure, especially to younger cats. Make time, this will pay off.

Food and nutrician

It is said that the best cat-food manufacturers use foods that are actually fit for human consumption. Dry foods are more covenient but not particularly the best due to the way they are cooked and then dried.Below is an example of a home cooked diet which will feed a cat for three days.

140g (5oz) chicken liver

30g (1oz) liver

70g (2.5 oz) uncooked rice

10g sterilized bone meal

2g (a pinch) Iodized salt

5ml (1 tsp) sunflower oil

cook rice, bone meal and salt and oil in twice the volume of water for 20 mins. Add chicken and liver, simmer for another 10 mins. Blend.

Drink

Always make sure there is fresh water for your cat when required. A cat will drink twice as much water as dry food.

Health concerns about your cat

As your relationship with your cat grows you will inevitably know when something is wrong or not quite right. Ensuring that they have the right inoculations will most certainly reduce the risk of infection or viruses.Recommended vaccinations are as follows;

cat flu; two injections as early as eight weeks in kittens and an adult booster at fifteen months then every year.

feline leukaemia virus; two injections at over ten weeks old and again in an adult booster every year.

feline infectious enteritis; two injections at eight weeks and an adult booster at fifteen months and then every three years

Temperature

Knowing what your cats temperature means it can also guide you as to whether you seek vetinary advice or not.Taking a cats temperature can be a tricky business so its always best to have two people present.Firstly lubricate the thermometer with a petrolium jelly. Then with one person holding your cat raise the tail and insert the thermometer into the rectum. A normail temperature should run at between 100-102 degrees fareinheight If it is below this then seek same-day advice and if it is above at 103 degrees fareinheight then telephone for advice. Anything above 103 preferably needs same day advice.

Enjoy!

And finally enjoy! A cat can really bring so much joy into a home and provide companionship and love as well as having important phsycological benefits.They can often give endless hours of amusement and laughter simply in return for our commitment and patience.

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    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      I have never met a cat lover that I didn't like! Welcome to HubPages and thank you for the great advice to cat owners. I cannot imagine life w/o my furry feline companions. I've had cats for 50 years and plan on doing so until I'm in my grave. (of course, I'll allow for my dear cats in my will, so they will always be loved and cared for!)

    • cherriquinn profile image
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      cherriquinn 5 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

      Hi cat on a soapbox thankyou for your lovely comments.I must admitt when I first started to read them I thought you were about to say 'I have never met a cat lover that I didn't like'..until now!What a relief!Gosh fifty years I'm sure you are an expert by now on them and evidently a devoted lover of animals.Thankyou again cat on a soapbox.

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