Before getting a cat

Type of Food

It is important to feed your cat with quality food with high precentage of meat content (at least 70% but preferably higher). I do not recommend food from grocery shops as the meat content is very low, there are sugars added and they do not contain crucial nutrients.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that all required nutrients come from the meat. They cannot, or have limited ability to synthesize some of amino acids, for example taurine, arginine, vitamins – niacin and vitamin A.

Remember, the way how you feed your cat will leave permanent mark on its health and welfare. Do not try to save money on cheap food as in future the bills from the treatments will be higher than money that you saved on cheap food. Improper diet can lead to CKD (chronic kidney disease), diabetic or cardiovascular problems, anemia, joints and bones problems, vision issues, weakness, behavioral changes – aggression, laziness etc.

Avoid food with high carbohydrate and sugar content!

Cats can not digest large amounts of carbohydrates as their digestive system is not developed to do so. Digestive system does not contain hepatic glucokinase which is responsible for assimilating sugars. Cats’ saliva does not contain amylase enzyme which is responsible of breaking down carbohydrates. Cats produce energy from proteins in the glucogenesis process.

Fatty Acids – Omega 6 and 3

These acids are crucial to maintain homeostasis in organism. Cats do not have metabolic pathway to converse linoelic acid (omega 6) to arachidonic acid (omega 6), so both acids have to be introduced into the diet. Arachidonic acid is found only in animal fat, so it is important that cat is fed with high meat content food.

Essential amino acids

As mentioned above, cats have limited ability to synthesize taurine and ariginine amino acids, both are very important to provide correct body functionality. Food should contain high percentage of these compounds.

Phosphorus Level

The study has shown, that high phosphorus level in cat’s diet has negative consequences for kidney functionality (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) ).

Recommended brands – wet food:

  1. Feringa
  2. Mac’s
  3. Wild Freedom
  4. Nuevo
  5. Almo nature
  6. Applaws

Dry Food:

Cats that eat dry food only should have access to the fresh water all the time. Cats get most of the water from wet food, so they do not drink that much water, however cats fed with dry food might not consume enough water which can lead to health issues so I recommend water fountains to encourage cats to consume more water. Cats should not be fed with dry food only as it is hard to find good alternatives compared to wet food. I recommend mixed diet, where cats will eat wet and dry food.

Recommended brands – dry food:

  1. Purizon
  2. Wild Freedom

Brands above can be bought on zooplus.ie or some of them can be found in local pet shops.

Other

Pet fountain

Cats drink water voluntarily if the water level in their body decreases by 8%. Some of cats need encouragement to drink water so pet fountain is perfect solution as most of the cats love runny water. In addition, fountains contain water filters, that clean water from unwanted particles.

Cat tree/ scratching post /cat beds

Cats scratch objects to remove dead tissue from the claws and they stretch muscles this way. You should have at least one scratching post in your house, otherwise your cat will find a very lovely carpet or couch and use it as a scratching post :).

Cat tree has everything in one – shelters, toys, scratching posts. Cats need their own, safe space so built-in houses give them that space. In addition cat trees are usually tall and cats love to climb on them to watch the environment around them. However your cat might prefer a simple cardboard box over the best cat tree in the world. 🙂

Litter and Litter box

You should have at least one (preferably two) litter boxes per one cat. Cats can urinate or defecate outside of litter box if it is too dirty. To prevent that I recommend two litter boxes per cat.

Every cat is different and has its own preferences, so it is hard to recommend the best litter. Try different ones and you will see which one your cat prefers the most. The most common is gravel granules litter.

Cat Carrier

Transporter should be big enough to allow cat stand, move around and lay down. For longer journeys I recommend bigger cages, where litter box, bowls with water and food can fit inside. Remember, if you want to travel in an airplane with your cat, airlines have special requirements for pet carriers!

Toys

Cats should have access to toys for example balls with the bell, soft toys with catnip inside, to provide exercises. You should play with your cat to increase the bond between you and your pet. Animals without stimulates like toys can develop stereotypies (repetitive behaviour) or might get obese, depressed or even be afraid of people and other animals.

Collar with name tag

The collar should contain information such as cat’s name, your phone number and (*address). Even if your pet is indoor, it should have collar on. Accidents happen and your cat can manage to go outside and get lost. I recommend collars with GPS tracking.

Hygiene

Claw Clipper

Cats should have clipped claws regularly. BE AWARE that it is not painful for cats if it is done properly. The claw is a dead keratinized tissue which does not contain any nervous tissue so cats do not feel pain – analogical to human’s nails. However, upper part of the claw contain a quick which is a live tissue. Make sure that you do not cut as it can lead to bleeding and infection.

Eye and Ear Cleaner

You should clean your cats ears and eyes every couple of days either with a tissue and water or special solution found in pet shops. Russian Blue do not have eye problems compare to other breeds so they do not produce that much discharge. However they should be cleaned regularly as the wax + contamination is perfect environment for bacteria. If your cats eyes/ears or nose get dirty very easily and fast, it should be investigated by the vet!

Tooth Paste and Vet Check Up

Improper mouth and dental hygiene can lead to a lot of dental diseases, either affecting the mouth or teeth. The most common diseases are gingivitis, periodontists, tooth resorption. Clean your cat’s teeth every month and do a regular health check up at vet every year.