Adult 1 - 7 years
WHISKAS® knows that, while all cats are independent, they still need care and affection, which is why we’ve created this guide covering the best ways to keep your little one safe and happy.
MAKING SUMMER COOL FOR CATS:
It’s easy to assume that your cat has a wonderful life in the summer. But cats really aren’t very sensible when it comes to heat. In fact, they’ll probably stay in the sun for far longer than they should. Watch out, for instance, if you have a patio, as it can get hot enough to burn a thinly furred belly.
Their breed can be a problem in the sun too. The more light-coloured their coat is, the more likely they are to get sunburn. You can use sunscreen to protect the parts that tend to burn most – their ears. They won’t enjoy it at first, and will probably try to wipe it off, so make sure you use a non-toxic variety.
WATCH OUT FOR HOUSEHOLD POISONS:
Even if your cat doesn’t spend much time exploring outside, they can still get into trouble at home. Some items you consider harmless can actually be quite deadly to cats. Remember that cats are very curious animals, and they love to investigate everything – especially when there’s no one at home to play with.
Insecticides and fertilisers are very dangerous while many plants themselves are toxic. Ask your local nursery for complete information about any plants you buy. Please don’t give medicines to your cat unless they’re prescribed by your vet. Many human medicines can be very dangerous for cats. Paracetamol will poison a cat, stay-awake preparations can cause convulsions and externally used local anaesthetic can cause anaemia.
CREATING THE PURRFECT PAD FOR YOUR CAT:
A see-through catflap is ideal, and a heavy mat in your doorway perfect for muddy paws. Your cat will love sharpening their claws on it too! But why not give your cat even more fun by introducing a scratching post?
Cat hairs may be a nuisance, but they do have positive uses. Your can encourage your cat to use a new cat bed by giving them a brushing and putting their hair on the bed. If you don’t have a garden, but are lucky enough to have a balcony, remember to make it cat-safe simply by installing fine mesh or trellis. Also, make sure the washing machine and tumble dryer doors are always kept closed. Keep plastic bags, household detergents and your sewing kit well out of the way, and make sure no electrical wires are exposed.
YOUR CAT AND THE OUTSIDE WORLD:
Cats are born with a strong sense of curiosity. They’re explorers at heart, and although many will be content to stay inside, some will find the lure of the world beyond the catflap just too inviting to ignore. Male cats, in particular, tend to wander for hours on end. If you let them run free, make sure you use a collar with an elastic section so they can slip out if it gets caught on a fence or branch. A nametag and bell to warn potential prey are good ideas too.
THE NUTRIENTS CATS NEED AND WHY:
Your cat needs vitamins and minerals for all sorts of important bodily functions. They help with vision, bone growth and metabolism. Each one has its own role to play. If your cat cuts a paw, one vitamin will help to stop the bleeding and another will help to repair the skin. Good sources of vitamins in cat foods include liver, kidneys, yeast and grains. All of which can be found in Whiskas® Adult food in exactly the right amounts.
The major minerals your cat needs are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium chloride and magnesium. They also need trace elements such as iron, copper, manganese, zinc and selenium. Good sources of minerals in cat foods include fish, meat, liver and cereals.
Your cat also needs essential fatty acids to maintain the health of their skin, coat, reproductive system and metabolism. They’re also a major source of energy and make your cat’s meals taste great. Fats also transport vitamins A, D, E and K around the body.
Carbohydrates in the diet are used as an energy source or a source of dietary fibre. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that can support good digestion and proper stool consistency. Finally, your cat needs protein for healthy growth and muscle tone. Proteins are found in most living tissue, like hair, skin, nails and muscles. There are thousands of different proteins in your cat’s body, and they all perform different functions. Proteins provide the essential amino acids that cats require to stay fit and healthy.
You’ll be pleased to hear that if you feed your cat Whiskas® meals, they’ll get a perfectly balanced diet, with all the nutrients they needs to keep them happy and healthy.
IS YOUR CAT OVERWEIGHT, TUBBY, OR JUST RIGHT?
We all know how difficult it is to resist their pleading look and big eyes, so every now and then it’s best to check to make sure your cat hasn’t been overdoing it.
Most obviously, you can weigh your cat. Just step up on your scales with them in your arms and then subtract your weight. Also, keep an eye out for changes in their body weight by standing above them and checking for a slight “waist” behind the ribs. If they’re starting to look a little on the podgy side, your vet can probably suggest a diet plan. It’s time to put a stop to all those treats and snacks. See how your cat feels about having four small meals a day instead of two bigger ones. Make sure you follow your vet’s advice when it comes to how much, and how often, to feed your cat. If they are underweight and you’re not sure why, they could be ill. Take your cat to the vet for a check-up and you’ll get all the advice you need.
EYES, EARS AND SKIN:
Your cat’s eyes and ears have a lot to contend with. If you think your cat has picked up an eye irritation, there’s a lot you can do at home by yourself without having to go to the vet.
1. Gently pull down their lower eyelid. The area here should be pink.
2. Check if the pupils are normal size.
3. If the eyes are producing a coloured discharge, or watering more than usual, she might have picked up an infection.
If your cat’s spending a lot of time shaking their head or scratching at their ears, or if there’s some goo coming out, they might have an infection. Tiny mites which live in the ear canal can sometimes be the cause, so ask your vet for eardrops or a special ‘spot on’ that’s applied to the shoulder blades. But you can still carry out some really quick and easy checks on your cat to make sure their ears are healthy.
1. Are the ears a brighter pink than usual? If so, this could be a problem.
2. Make sure you keep their ears clean and free of dirt. Any strong odours could indicate an infection.
3. Check for wax, especially dark wax, which may be a sign of ear mites or infection.
Eczema can also cause problems for cats. It’s often caused by an allergic reaction to flea bites. Scabs will develop giving their coat a gritty feel. If your cat’s in discomfort, they may start to lick themselves more than usual. Unfortunately this only causes more damage and irritation. Speak to your vet about suitable treatment. Other times itchy skin can be caused by a food allergy, so seek advice from your vet about putting your cat on a different diet.
HAVING FUN GETTING FIT:
Encouraging your cat to play will not only keep them stimulated, but it’ll be a great way to keep them fit. Cats are fun loving, playful animals, and they’re also great at thinking up new games for themselves. Still, there are all sorts of toys you can buy. Ping-pong balls, balls of wool and catnip toys are great, but make sure you replace the catnip toy once the herb runs out, and keep an eye on them with that wool (in case they start to eat it!). Bear in mind, though, that cats are a lot harder to please than dogs. You’ll need to really work to get your cat interested in your idea and, in fact, the best way to get them to play and exercise on demand is to make them think it was their idea all along.
Cardboard boxes are your friend as a pet owner. They make a great sun shelter during the summer, and a wonderful play toy too. If you have more than one cat, you might even find them playing hide and seek.
Most cats are oddly fascinated by anything that’s attached to the end of a piece of string. Dangle a little fuzzy thing in front of your cat and they’ll be able to indulge in fantasies of being a ferocious hunter stalking their prey.
WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT CATNIP:
Catnip is the one thing that can render a cat helpless with euphoria and excitement. It encourages your cat to play, exercise and generally feel good. Catnip is non-addictive, and you can rest assured that even if your cat is nibbling on the dried leaves, it will do no harm at all. In fact, there are many catnip toys available to buy. Catnip can also be a brilliant exercise and training tool to keep your cat healthy without them even knowing they’re having a workout. You can buy catnip in a spray form as well. By spraying the liquid onto a scratching post, you’ll encourage your cat to scratch and nibble the post and not your best armchair.
If your cat is into catnip in a big way, you might like to consider adding the herb to your garden. It’s inexpensive and very easy to grow, and you can buy a packet of catnip seeds from any good garden centre.