International Cat Day: How To Properly Care For Your Feline Friend

Every year, 8th August is observed as International Cat Day to raise awareness about cats and the different ways in which we can help and protect them. To mark the event this year, we are doing a deep dive into the best ways to care for felines, be it a pet cat you live with or a stray cat that you might have taken under your wing.

Cats are undoubtedly one of humanity’s most beloved pets, yet they are also the most misunderstood. If one hasn’t been charmed and chosen by a cat (yes, you get chosen and not the other way around), it can be easy to find their sharp gaze and aloof nature a bit off-putting. Some might even consider them unloving animals. However, that could not be further from the truth. Cats have their own unique ways of showing affection—purrs, cheek rubs, and head butts are a testament to that. They are also far more independent than their canine counterparts, which only further fuels this misunderstanding.

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Another widespread belief is that cats are low-maintenance, and this notion can actually prove to be quite dangerous. While it is true that they are not high-maintenance, they do require a certain level of maintenance along with adequate amounts of love and care. So if you share a home with a furry feline, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Indoor cats require routine vaccinations and deworming


Cats need protection from illness and disease, even if they live 24×7 indoors. It is recommended to start vaccinating kittens at around 6-8 weeks of age. Discuss core vaccines and a deworming routine with your veterinarian, mainly if your cat is accustomed to a mix of indoor and outdoor living.

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You can train your cat.

You may not be able to train your cat to perform cool tricks, but you can use the clicker training method, and cat treats to reward your cat for desirable actions and encourage good behaviour.

Cats require exercise

Yes, you can exercise your cat! Cats require physical and mental stimulation, and you can provide that with puzzle toys, string toys, scratching posts and even a simple game of fetch.

Remove milk from your cat’s diet but keep the meat.

Most cats cannot digest milk and can suffer from digestive issues if given any. On the other hand, many cat parents prefer keeping their cats on a vegetarian diet. This is not recommended because cats are obligate carnivores which means they depend on meat for most of their protein requirements. To satiate your cat, you could pick a
cat food brand that offers a wide range of fish alongside chicken and lamb options.

All of the recommendations listed above apply to stray cats as well; however, here are a few additional suggestions:

Home-cooked meals are not the most nutritious option.

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Unless prepared by a veterinary nutritionist, home-cooked meals tend to fall short on the nutrition scale. Moreover, several common kitchen ingredients like raw eggs, chicken bones, fish bones, onions and garlic are harmful to cats. A safe and convenient option is to rely on packaged food like
Whiskas that offers 100% complete and balanced meals for kittens and cats.

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Invest in a tick/flea control productOutdoor cats are more likely to attract fleas and ticks. If left untreated, this could lead to grave illnesses. Consult a veterinarian for tick/flea control product suggestions as well as dosage instructions. Not only will this help the cat or cats you are looking after, but it will also curb the spread of ticks and fleas across animals.

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Organise sterilisation drives

Spaying and neutering outdoor cats can significantly reduce the chances of illness and subsequently increase their lifespan. It also stops them from reproducing and adding to the number of stray cats that live undernourished lives in the streets. For better reach, you could try getting together with like-minded animal lovers in your vicinity to fund these drives.

Become an ally for adoption

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Besides all the effort you put into caring for stray cats, you could become an ally for adoption by posting and amplifying adoption appeals on your social media handles, donating to shelters and animal adoption centres, and urging friends and family members to consider adoption. If you would like to get involved with this cause, visit
https://www.whiskas.in/cat-adoption.

Felines bring happiness and joy to the lives of many, oftentimes through our screens with adorable cat videos. As Charles Dickens once rightly questioned, “What greater gift than the love of a cat?”. So to honour International Cat Day, let’s pledge to educate ourselves on the subjects of cat health, nutrition and welfare so that we can make this world a better place for them.

Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of Mars International (Whiskas) by Times Internet’s Spotlight team.

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