Cats are excellent companions and wonderful pets. With an average lifespan of 15-20 years, owning a cat is a rewarding and long-term commitment.
Desexing and microchipping are both compulsory in the ACT.
A cat’s housing needs are very simple and they will usually find their own special place that suits them best either indoors or outdoors. However, it is still a good idea to provide a basket or chair in a place where they feel safe and protected. Increasingly, cat enclosures are being used for outdoor cats and eleven Canberra suburbs, or parts of suburbs, are now cat containment areas in accordance with Domestic Animas ACT 2000. Jacka will be added to the list as of January 1 2017. See the Quick Links page for more details.
All cats need and enjoy exercise. They naturally like to climb and enjoy perching up trees and on fences and ledges. Outdoor cats manage these aspects of their life independently, but it is important for indoor cats to be provided with opportunities too. An indoor cat gym or other perching locations provide a great alternative to the outdoors and enrich your cats environment considerably. A scratching post is recommended to keep cats claws in good condition both for climbing and self defence.
Cats like to be clean at all times, though you should never need to bath your cat. Long haired cats require daily grooming assistance to remove excess hair which reduces furballs and the discomfort of tangled/matted fur. Except at moulting time, short haired cats are able to groom themselves. Furballs can cause appetite and weight loss.
Most cats are grazers and require a high protein and fat diet. Many high quality, commercial formulations of cat food are available and raw chicken wings/necks are excellent in maintaining good dental health.
It is important to ensure a bowl of fresh water is accessible at all times, especially if your cat has a dry food diet and whilst many cats love to drink cow's milk, it's not recommended as it can cause stomach upset.
Cats require a minimum of one health check per year. Routine vaccination, worming and flea control form the basics of their medical care.