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General Pet care tips

BSPCA offers pet care tips and advice as looking after any animal is a huge commitment and takes time, money and patience make sure you plan ahead for your pet's health and happiness.

Caring for a cat

Pet care cat

Cats are very clean and make good companions for many people. But they can damage carpets and furniture with their claws and may not always want to be stroked and handled.

What do cats need?

  • Companionship - to be with other cats or people for at least part of the day.
  • A balanced diet - cat's food must not have bones in it..
  • Supply of fresh, clean water.
  • Somewhere warm and cosy to sleep.
  • To be brushed regularly, particularly when shedding their coats. Longhaired cats need to be brushed every day.
  • A scratching post.
  • They also need to have their teeth checked regularly by the vet.
  • To come and go as they please, can you arrange a cat flap in your place?
  • To be trained to use a litter tray.
  • To be neutered at an early age.
  • To be taken to a vet if they are ill or injured.
  • Injections to prevent certain serious diseases.
  • Worming and regular flea treatments.
  • To be looked after when you are away on holiday.

Life span

On average cats live for 12-14 years, but they can live for up to 20 years.


Cats are generally loners and will look for companionship when they want it. They spend a lot of time resting but preferably must have access to a garden where they can play and climb. Cats should be house trained and will usually respond to some very basic behavioural training. They are different from dogs.


Caring for a Cat - Handling

Never pick up an adult cat by the scruff of its neck or front of its body. Place one hand beneath the cat's chest and the other round its back legs, so that all its weight is supported.


Caring for a Cat - Health

Cats, like dogs, often eat grass to make themselves sick, if they have a minor digestive disorder or if they need to bring up a hairball. This is nothing to worry about, unless the vomiting is persistent or the cat shows any other symptoms.

The fungal disease ringworm can be passed to other pets and to people, but the characteristic breaks in the cat's skin cannot always be seen. If you suspect that your cat has ringworm, seek veterinary advice straight away.

Kittens must be vaccinated against cat flu, feline enteritis, feline leukemia and given regular boosters (further injections) throughout their life. Your vet will be able to advise you on any other necessary vaccinations.


Thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens are born every year. Mumbai has many stray dogs and cats as we all know. Don't add to this problem. BSPCA strongly advises neutering at an early age. This is a straightforward operation that can be arranged with a vet.

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