GENERAL CAT INFORMATION

A genetic study in 2007 revealed that domestic cats are descended from African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) c. 8000 BCE, in the Middle East. According to Scientific American, cats are the most popular pet in the world, and are now found almost every place where people live.

Cats were originally domesticated because they hunted mice who would eat stored grains, protecting the food stores. It was a beneficial situation for both species: cats got a reliable source of prey, and humans got effortless pest control.

Cats have a rapid breeding rate. Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, and the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, with a population of up to 60 million of these animals in the United States alone, requiring population control and unnecessary killing.

Since cats were cult animals in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to have been domesticated there, but there may have been instances of domestication as early as the Neolithic.

What age should I adopt a kitten ?

Kittens are generally ready to leave their mum and go to their new home around 10-12 weeks of age.

When should my cat be spayed/neutered ?

This really depends on your vet's personal preference. However, kittens can be desexed as young as 8 weeks of age. They should definitely have been desexed prior to six months as some kittens can already reproduce at this young age.

When should I vaccinate my kitten or cat ?

 F3 (1st shot)
 8 weeks
 F3 (2nd shot)
 12 weeks
 F3 (booster shot)
 12 months
 Rabies *
 12 weeks
 Rabies *(booster)
 12 months

 

When should I worm my kitten or cat ?

Kittens and cats should be wormed as follows:

  • Every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age until 12 weeks of age.
  • Every month from 12 weeks of age until 6 months.
  • Every 6 months from 6 months.

What do I need to buy for my new kitten or cat ?

  • Food and water bowl.
  • Cat carrier.
  • Cat bed.
  • Cat toys.
  • Scratcing post.

How can I tell if my cat is sick ?

Common signs of sickness in cats include:

  • Increase or decrease appetite
  • Hiding
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye or nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in stool or urine

It is really important for cat owners to keep a close eye on "what's normal" with your own cat and be conscious of changes. Even the smallest thing like stopping greeting you at the door can be a sign that your cat is not well.

Can I catch FIV from my cat ?

No, FIV is species specific and affects felines only. We cannot pass HIV on to cats for the same reason.

Can I catch a cold from my cat ?

No, it is not possible to catch a cold from a cat, but is possible for a cat to catch a cold from you.

Is it true pregnant women should get rid of their cat ?

No, this is definitely not true. There are two reasons why pregnant women are told to get rid of the cat. The first is that cats can transmit a parasite known as toxoplasmosis. If she becomes infected during pregnancy it can lead to miscarriage or abnormalities.

If a woman is planning to become pregnant she should be tested for toxoplasmosis. A large portion of the human population have already had prior exposure to this and there is little chance of the foetus becoming infected. The problem arises if a woman becomes infected for the first time during pregnancy.

Precautions should be taken. Where possible, a pregnant woman shouldn't clean out litter trays, if she must, then she should wear rubber gloves and wash her hands afterwards. Trays should be scooped daily.

Toxoplasmosis can also be transmitted via undercooked meat & unwashed vegetables.

What are some common cat diseases ?

  • Cat flu is extremely common and is caused by a number of viruses & bacteria. The most common causes are Feline herpes virus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), Feline Reovirus, Bordetella Bronchiseptica & Feline Chlamydophila. Symptoms include runny nose, fever, sneezing, eye discharge, loss of appetite.
  • Hyperthyroidism - Caused by a benign tumour of the thyroid gland. Symptoms include weight loss, increased appetite, poor coat condition.
  • Cystitis- Inflammation of the bladder. Symptoms include frequent urination, crying when urinating, urinating outside the litter tray.
  • Diabetes - There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 in which the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin and Type 2 in which the cells don't respond to insulin. Typical symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, vomiting, bad breath.

 

What food should I feed my kitten ?

Kittens have different nutritional requirements to adult cats and should be fed an appropriate kitten food. This may be canned or dry.

What do cats eat ?

Adult cats can be fed a number of different types of food. A nice combination however could be canned wet food twice a day, and leaving dry food out for him to nibble on when he pleases.

The best cat prime food diets will be available on vet clinics or pet shops.

How many times a day should I feed my cat ?

Adult cats should be fed twice a day, morning and night. Kittens and pregnant/lactating cats require more frequent meals, up to 4-5 times a day.

What do cats drink ?

Water. They can drink milk but many cats are lactose intolerant, so if you want to give your cat milk, buy the "cat milk" available from your pet shop.

Why does my cat scratch sofa/curtains/carpet/stairs ?

Two reasons. Firstly all cats need to scratch. This helps remove the old, outer layer of the claw & exercises the muscles of the shoulders & legs. A little like us having a big stretch when we wake up on a morning. Secondly, the cats have scent glands between the toes which secrete pheromones. Scratching transfers these pheromones onto the object.

Every cat owner should provide their cat with an appropriate scratching post.

Why is my cat going to the toilet outside the litter tray ?

There are a number of reasons this may be occurring. Medical, dirty litter trays, stress, spraying. You should always seek veterinary attention if your cat is not using the litter tray to determine if the cause is medical or not. Some medical conditions can be life threatening.

Medical - Feline lower urinary tract disease, bladder stones, bladder infection, diarrhea.

Dirty litter trays - Cats are fastidiously clean animals & don't like dirty litter trays. They should be scooped out twice a day & fully emptied once a week.

Spraying - Spraying is generally down to two reasons. Stress or territorial marking. Stress is common in the cat & could be caused by a number of reasons. A new family member, inter cat aggression, overcrowding, change in routine etc. Spraying is greatly reduced in desexed cats.

Where do you get a cat from ?

The best place to adopt a cat is from the listed animal rescued groups in your city. DO NOT participate on the cruel animal trading by buying animals.

How long do cats live ?

The average lifespan of the cat is 12-14 years. Some cats have lived past 20 years.

For more details you could contact us on research@friendsofanimalsdxb.com


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