Author – Amit Borse
It is said that humans have seven lives and cats have nine. Well, keeping aside the eight lives, you can ensure that your kitty has one long and healthy life with the proper care. Cats are wonderful pets due to their intelligence, self-sufficiency and companionship. Many people consider their pet cats as family, and treat them with love and respect. This feeling is mutual as cats like to be petted, pampered and they purr away in your lap. Moreover, unlike dogs, cats are much quieter, they do not smell, they treat your guests politely and they need much less maintenance!
Choosing a Cat
Choosing the right cat can be a big decision. Cats can live up to 20 years and that would mean a big commitment. One should know the difference between having an adult cat or a kitten. Determine if you want a pure breed or a street cat, where do you want to keep it, outdoors or indoors, will it suit your lifestyle and most importantly, will you be able to keep it safe?
Cat Breeds in India
A cat belongs to the feline family just like a tiger. Their body is covered with silky, soft fur that is comforting. They have lovely eyes that will add a spring to your dull mood. There a few variety of breeds that are ideal as pet cats in India.
Himalayan Cat Source commons.wikimedia.org
Himalayan Cat – Also known as ‘Colourpoint Persian’, these cats mostly have a white body, although brown, red and cream colours are also found. The name may scream Indian, but its origin is Persia. They have delightfully fluffy hair, enchanting blue eyes.
Bombay Cat – Source ja.wikipedia.org
Bombay Cat – An Asian breed originating from black cats. In India, we have 2 varieties – the British & the American Bombay.
Siamese Cat – Source flickr.com
Siamese Cat – An ancient Asian breed originating from Thailand. It is a medium sized cat with a long, lithe and well-balanced athletic body. Typically, the cat has a brownish cream body with a black face and black legs.
Rusty Spotted Cat – Source en.wikipedia.org
Rusty Spotted Cat – They are easily found in India. They have grey fur with rusty spots all over the back and flanks, while the underbelly is white.
Bengal Cat – Source commons.wikimedia.org
Bengal Cat – This is a new breed created by crossing an Asian Leopard Cat with an American Shorthair. This miniature leopard with a golden, black-spotted coat is an excellent swimmer and fisher.
Right Cat Food
Feeding is a crucial responsibility of the cat owner. To begin with, remember to put food only in the cat’s bowl everyday. You have to be careful about what she eats and ensure she doesn’t get sick. Right food at the right place, right time and in right quantity should be your goal.
If you feel your cat is podgy, do not put her on a diet on your own, since it is not safe for her. Consult a veterinarian and get appropriate food. Do not habituate it to human food. Give her plenty of water and remember it is a misconception that cats can digest milk. Consult your vet on these issues. You can go for homemade cat food as well.
Cat Care in India
Cats are very clean animals. However, this does not mean you can skip their regular grooming, since it is important as it prevents hairballs, stimulates your cat’s blood flow and is a great bonding moment. Determine the type of fur on your cat and choose the brush accordingly. Cats do not have to be bathed. Aside from the occasional grooming, most cats are able to clean themselves. Provide your cat with a scratching post or a tree they can climb. Cats will naturally want to scratch; it is a behaviour inherited by their wild feline ancestors.
Simply feeding, grooming and taking a cat to the vet isn’t enough; make sure you pet them every now and then. Make sure that you take your cat to the vet regularly for vaccinations needed, and a general check-up.
Make home Cat Proof
Let your cat be a cat. Like it or not, your cat is going to do certain things that may bug you. Your best option is to give your cat a positive outlet for its behaviour. If your cat scratches your furniture, make sure it has a great scratching post to use instead. If it uses the spot behind the chair as a bathroom! Put a litter box there and keep it clean. Your home can be a veritable obstacle course for your cat. While your cat may live happily in your house for many years without encountering an accident, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any in future.