Cats' needs

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Cats are very often misunderstood. Many people are surprised to learn that cats have a shared ancestry from a solitary species (the African wildcat) who spends its time alone, with a large territory to explore.

The domesticated pet cats of today, despite their owners’ best intentions, often find themselves in an environment far removed from that of their ancestors which can sometimes lead to stress and unwanted behaviour as the cat tries to make sense of its world.

If you have a pet cat it is important to make sure that its five welfare needs are met:
  • Somewhere suitable to live
  • A proper diet, including water
  • The ability to express normal behaviour
  • Any need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  • Protection from and treatment of, illness and injury

This section will explore these needs and how best to provide them. As you will see, they might not be what you think!


Other Cat Needs videos

Simon's Cat Logic
- Why do cats sleep in unusual places?! - Click here to view

Simon's Cat Logic -
Why do cats love boxes? - Click here to view

We are often asked..... Why do cats sleep all the time?

Cats tend to sleep an average of fifteen hours a day, which might be why you believe your cat does more sleeping than anything else!

This is mainly due to their natural instinct. In the wild, cats need to spend a good proportion of their time hunting for food alone. They only have themselves to rely on to find enough food to survive and as a result, have to keep going until they are successful. As hunting usually takes place when the natural prey of the cat (small rodents) are awake, this usually happens late in the evening or early in the morning.

Hunting is hard work for cats and they tend to rest and sleep for much of the rest of the day to conserve energy. It often seems to us that our cats sleep a lot because they sleep during the day when we are awake!

Sleeping habits vary in one cat to the next  - some are particularly inactive and will rest for a large amount of the day. This also might occur when their activity patterns are inhibited in some way; for example, indoor cats that do not have an enough to keep them occupied might become quite inactive.

The Cat magazine articles

- litter trays - click to view
Behaviour - m
ake eating times fun - click to view
Behaviour - the importance of play - click to view

Meow! blog articles

Behaviour focus: drinking waterCat drinking water

In this behaviour focus post, Cats Protection Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow explains what to do if your cat isn't drinking from their water bowl.

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Behaviour focus: scratchingKittens scratching

In this behaviour focus post, Cats Protection Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow explains how to discourage your cats from scratching areas of the home.

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Behaviour focus: litter trays

In this week’s behaviour focus post, Cats Protection Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow discusses why cats may not use their litter tray.

Read the article