Adult Cats

Cats are curious and playful creatures. Although your adult cat may not require as much attention as a kitten it is important to know the needs of your adult cat.

Here you can find helpful tips and information
for cats who are over 12 months.

Cat nutrition

Cats can be fussy creatures!

We recommend a premium food for the right age and lifestyle. A young cat should stay on kitten food until 12 months.  Adult cat food is for cats between 12 months and 7 years. Once your cat is over 7 years old, it should change to a senior food.

You may choose to feed only dry, a mixture of dry and canned food, or only canned food. Dry food helps to exercise your cat’s jaw and assists with teeth cleaning, so we recommend including some dry food.

Some examples of excellent quality food include:

  • Hill’s science diet
  • Royal Canin
  • Advance

Clean, fresh water should be available at all times for your cat. Even if your cat drinks from unusual places, such as the bathroom tap, it will need its own water bowl. Ideally this should be placed some distance away from its food and be completely separate from the litter tray.

Many cats enjoy drinking from a water fountain. There are several water fountains on the market for cats!

Cat dental health

Cats often suffer from poor dental health. This is partly genetic and partly due to diet.

Encourage your cat to chew on raw bones, such as chicken, turkey or duck wings/wing tips, necks, drumsticks, as well as  rabbit, lamb or beef bones.

Pieces of (raw) meat can also benefit to keep your cat’s teeth clean. Cats rely on smell to take an interest in food. If your cat does not seem interested, you can try grilling meat slightly (not cooking the bone).

Premium foods aimed at cleaning teeth include:

  • Hill’s Science Diet oral care for felines
  • Royal Canin oral sensitive for felines

There are also specialised prescription foods for your cat’s teeth. Please contact us for advice before using these products.

Learn more about dental care.

Foods you should never feed your cat

  • Chocolate. As little as 50 grams is enough to poison a cat
  • Onions, leeks and garlic, as they destroy red blood cells
  • Caffeine, as it causes restlessness, hyperactivity and seizures
  • Grapes, raisins and sultanas, as they cause kidney damage
  • Apple seeds, cherry pips, peach, apricot and plum stones, as they contain cyanide
  • Xylitol. It is a sugar-free sweetener that can cause low blood sugar and liver damage
  • Potato peelings, as they can cause stomach upset, seizures and death
  • Tobacco, as this causes rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death
  • Alcohol in all its forms
  • Cooked bones, as these can damage the stomach and intestines

A large percentage of cats are lactose intolerant, and while many of them love milk, it can cause diarrhoea and bloating. Pet milk is lactose free and safe to give.

Other items that can cause problems if eaten/swallowed:

  • Lilies in a vase
  • Feathers
  • Fishing line, wool and other string like objects, including hair ties

Grooming your cat

You don't need to brush a short-haired cat, but it is a good idea to get your cat used to it, so they get used to the feeling. Start with a grooming mitt or grooming glove. This is a gentle way to brush your cat and, once used to it, you can move onto a “zoom groom” or fine “slicker brush”.

Some long-haired cats require a lot of grooming. Ideally they have been accustomed to this since kittenhood, however do not despair if this is not so. You can start with the same techniques as for a short-haired cat to get them used to the level of grooming they require.

If you are not succeeding in grooming your long-haired cat, please contact us. We will first check that there are not physical reasons why your cat does not like being groomed, such as a sore back. We can then assess your cats behaviour for future grooming success. In some cases, your cat may need a regular anaesthetic to be groomed successfully. We can also arrange for your cat to be clipped short.

How to safely transport your cat

Car travel can be pretty scary for felines. To avoid scratches and pants soaked in urine or worse, we highly recommend you buy a carry cage for your cat. A carrier that opens easily from the top and front is best for cats.

If you are stuck transporting your cat without a carrier, an emergency substitute is a pillow case or similar bag to contain your cat.

When you have a carrier, it is useful to encourage your cat to use it even when not travelling. If it is out and your cat uses it as a sleeping area, or to eat treats you place in there, it will be less scary for your cat to go in it for a trip in the car. There is also less chance of your cat disappearing when it sees its carrier come out of the garage!

Which cat collars are best?

A cat that goes outside should have a collar with its council tag attached. You may also choose to attach an additional tag with your cat’s name and your contact details, in the event it goes missing, as well as a small bell to decrease any hunting success.

The collar should be tight enough to stay around your cat’s neck, but 1-2 fingers should still fit underneath.

As cats are experts in removing their collars, we recommend that your cat’s collar comes with either a quick release lock when under tension or an elastic section. These are to protect your cat from getting one of its legs through the collar and causing a rubbing wound in the armpit. They also stop the collar catching on items such as trees.

A collar is not necessary for an indoor cat, unless you need a bell to hear where your cat is hiding!

Cat signs and symptoms you should never ignore

There are certain situations where a visit to the vet is essential for your cat’s health.

If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms, please contact us or your local vet immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fitting
  • Collapse
  • Swollen face
  • Unable to walk. This includes both being unable to get up or not being able to put weight on one leg
  • Vomiting repeatedly during the course of 30 minutes
  • Blood in vomit or blood in diarrhoea
  • Refusing food for more than 24 hours
  • Vomiting on an empty stomach
  • Vomiting up water
  • If your cat has eaten rat poison, or if they have eaten rats or mice and you know there is rat poison in the area
  • If your cat has eaten medication meant for people
  • If your cat has eaten a foreign object like a needle, fish hook or string
  • A bleeding wound where the bleeding does not stop with 2 minutes of firm pressure
  • Continuing meowing or yowling
  • If you have seen your cat with a snake

More information

For more information, please contact us at Glen Iris Veterinary Hospital & Cattery.

We are conveniently in the City of Stonnington and Glen Eira. The pawfect location for pet parents living in Glen Iris, Malvern, Toorak, Kooyong, Armadale and surrounding areas!