Pet Cats are entertaining, great stress busters and provide unconditional love and companionship. 

Here are some tips  to help you keep your cat happy, healthy, and growing. While there are many ins and outs of cat care, I highlighted some important ways to promote your best friend’s wellness but before going in detail we must know certain basic things about Cats. So let us start.

Taxonomy of the domestic cat













Domestic cat and some of its wild relatives

Domestic cat

Felis catus


African wild cat

Felis silvestris lybica


Indian desert cat

Felis silvestris ornate

South west Asia; northern India

Jungle cat

Felis chaus

Egypt to India

Sand cat

Felis margarita

Sahara to Turkestan

European wildcat

Felis silvestris silvestris

Scotland to south east Russia


  • Cats are a cosmopolitan species and are found across much of the world.
  • They are extremely adaptable and are now present on all the continents (including Antarctica) and on 118 of 131 main groups of islands.
  • Feral cats can live in forests, grasslands, tundra, coastal areas, agricultural land, scrublands, urban areas and wetlands.
  • Their habitats even include small oceanic islands with no human inhabitants.
  • However, this ability to thrive in almost any terrestrial habitat has led the cat’s designation as one of the world’s worst invasive species.
  • Despite this general adaptability, the close relatives of domestic cats, the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) and the Arabian Sand cat (Felis margarita) both inhabit desert environments, and domestic cats still show similar adaptations and behaviour.



  • Free ranging cats are active both night and day and they tend to more active during night times.
  • House cats are more active during morning and evening and it mostly relates with human activity.
  • Cats conserve their energy by sleeping in most of the time, particularly they if they are aged.
  • The average sleeping time ranges between 13 and 14 hours.


  • House cat spend most of the time in the vicinity of their home which ranges some hundred meters from the central point.
  • They show scent rubbing / spraying urine as a primary behaviour to claim ownership, mostly male cat spray and female cat do not spray.
  • When male cat is neutered the scent rubbing or spraying will stop.


  • Kittens scared of people first and if handled and cared it will develop attachment within 16 weeks post kittening.
  • To decrease the odds of a cat being unsocial or hostile to wards humans, kittens should be socialized at an early age.
  • Cats can be good companions.
  • The strength of the cat-human bond usually depends on the human behavior, whether the human is always gentle and considerate, takes time for affection when the cat wants and knows when to stop when the cat grows tired of it, responds to the cat’s needs and wants, and appreciates the cat.
  • The formula for a successful relationship thus has much in common with human to human relationships.

Paws and claws

  • The cat’s feet are digigrade, that it walks on its toes.
  • The cat has five claws on the front paws and four claws on the back paws.
  • Although these claws are referred to as “retractile”, they are actually “protractile” meaning that the claws are sheathed in the resting state like the nail of dogs.
  • Each claw is attached to the final portion on its associated phalange and is controlled by a ligament that connects the middle and distal phalanxes.
  • The cat’s claws are sheathed when the ligament is tightened.


  • In addition to the walk, trot, gallop, cat also excel at stalking, jumping, pouncing and climbing.
  • They can jump up to 5 feet and are adept climber.
  • Another aspect of the cat’s sense of balance is its well known ability to right itself when falling.


  • The cat’s eyes are specialized to detect movement and for maximum efficiency under conditions of dim light.
  • Anatomically, the cat has a very large eye relative to body size, and the eyes are set well forward on the head.
  • This provides a very wide field of binocular vision of approximately 120 °
  • The cat has a much lower density of cones in the retina, tat react to light waves within the green and blue regions of the light spectrum.


  • Cat has about 200 million scent receptors in the nose, slightly higher than dogs (human posses 5 million)
  • Cat posses vomeronasal organ (Jacobson’s organ) fond in the roof of the mouth and is comprises of pair of small fluid filled sacs.
  • This organ involved in feline courtship and sexual behaviour and in the ability of an individual to identify and recognize other cats and people.
  • The characteristic behaviour “Flehmen” response is also exhibited by cats during courtship.


  • Cat can detect sounds within a very wide range and very high frequencies.
  • Human can hear up to 20000 cycles per second, cats can detect sounds as high as 60000 to 80000 cycles per second.


  • Other sensory organs fond o the surface of the cat’s body are the vibrissae (whiskers), which are very thick, long, stiff hair fond on the muzzle and above the eyes.
  • Another set of sensitive hairs, called carpal hairs are found on the back of the front wrist.
  • Both the vibrissae and the carpal hairs are sensitive to air currents and provide sensory information about the precise position of the head and legs.
  • This aids in movement in the dim light. The whiskers also function to protect the face and eyes by conveying information about objects close to the face.


Age at sexual maturity

8‑9 months

Mating weight

2500 g

Oestrous cycle

14 ‑ 21 days

Duration of oestrus

3 ‑ 6 days


63 days

Litter size

3 ‑ 6

Weaning age

5 ‑ 6 weeks

Domestication of cat

  • While the dog has historically been known as “man’s best friend” it is probably accurate to say that the domestic cat is “man’s most interesting friend”.
  • The cat is a member of the order Carnivora, which includes a diverse group of animals that are all predatory.
  • Carnivores are so named because of their enlarged carnassial teeth, which include the enlarge upper fourth premolar and the lower first molar on each side of the mouth.
  • The description of domestication adequately describes most domestic species such as dogs, horses, cattle and goats, but does not provide a completely adequate explanation for Felis catus.
  • It is difficult to identify the exact time period of domestication for this species.
  • The oldest archaeological evidence is in the form of a cat’s tooth that was found in a settlement area near Israel approximately 9000 years ago.
  • A more significant find was the fissile remains of a large cat on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
  • The remains of this cat are estimated to be about 7000 to 8000 years old.
  • The earliest consistent evidence of domestic cats in human settlement is found in Egyptian tombs dated around 4000 BC.

Advantage of cat as pet

  • Cats are independent and self-sufficient and make excellent companions for old people and it require less care than dog.
  • Cats fit well into apartment living and the less active lifestyle of the elderly person.
  • The initial purchase price and the cost of feeding and keeping a cat is usually less than that for a dog.
  • Cats are clean, generally requiring very little or no house-training. Depending on the circumstances, cats can be used to control mice and other rodents.

Young or adult cat to be purchased

  • For the busy family or elderly person, it may be best to purchase an adult cat.
  • It will not require as much time to care for as a young kitten.
  • Adult cats should be taken to a veterinarian soon after obtaining them, because they may have parasites.
  • This is especially true if the cat is a stray.
  • Older cats may not live as long, which could be emotionally upsetting.
  • Young kittens adapt quickly to a new family; they can be fun to watch as they grow.
  • The more attention a kitten receives, the closer it becomes attached to the family.

Male or female

  • If one does not intend to breed the cat, it is best to have the animal spayed or neutered.
  • It makes very little difference if the pet cat is male or female; both are equally intelligent, affectionate, and playful.
  • A male kitten reaches sexual maturity at about six or eight months of age; even if the owner lets it outside, it will start spraying areas to mark its territory.
  • The smell is very strong and unpleasant; if one decides to keep a male cat, special housing may need to be provided.
  • A female kitten becomes sexually mature as early as five months of age.
  • She usually comes in heat about every three weeks; unwanted litters may be expected by keeping an unspayed female cat.

Breed of choice

  • If one is just looking for a pet, the common domestic, mixed –breed house cat will probably make a suitable selection.
  • These animals have traits from several breeds and make affectionate, friendly pets.
  • Pedigree animals usually have both good and bad characteristics; one needs to be aware of these traits before purchasing a particular breed.
  • Some breeds are basically inactive, solitary animals, whereas others are more active, playful, and demanding.
  • Long haired cats require more time for grooming.
  • Also, the climate of the area is important; unless they have air conditioning, long haired cats may become uncomfortable in high temperatures.
  • Mixed-breed animals can usually be obtained free from neighbors or friends or by checking advertisements in newspapers.
  • To obtain some of the specialty breeds, one may have to contact local or state cat fancier clubs.

Cat purchase 

  • Pet stores also offer cats, but it is important to make sure the animal has received vaccinations, because diseases may be a problem in some pet stores.
  • Cats may also be obtained from animal shelters.

A healthy cat  

  • When selecting individual animals, one should be alert to signs of illness.
  • Gums should be pale pink and the teeth white; older cats may show some yellowing of the teeth because of tartar buildup.
  • The eyes should be bright and clear. Animals that have discharges emanating from the eyes or nose should be avoided.
  • An extended, red third eyelid is usually a sign of illness.
  • The nose should be cool and slightly damp.
  • One should check the ears for a buildup of wax, which may indicate ear mites.
  • The coat should be clean, glossy, and free of mats; one should check for traces of fleas and other parasites.
  • A potbellied condition may indicate an animal with worms.
  • One should feel the animal to check for lumps, abscesses, or other abnormalities.
  • The rear area of the animal should be checked for signs of diarrhoea or worms.
  • The area and surrounding fur should be clean and free of mats.

Healthy kitten

  • Kittens are best purchased at eight to twelve weeks of age.
  • One should select a kitten that is playful, alert and lively and that does not shy away.
  • When selecting animals for breeding and show, one also needs to check for correct marking, eye color, coat colour, and conformation.
  • Be aware that adult colourings may not develop for several months.


  • Hold the loose skin at the back of the neck with one hand and hold him with the other, while you talk to him.
  • If it is necessary to pick up a cat with one hand only, place your open hand right under its chest and make sure you can lift it comfortably without clutching, so that it feels safe.


  • Cats are usually identified by the colour and pattern of their fur. or they are housed singly, by a cage label.
  • Expanding collars may also used but these must be adjusted as the kitten grows and must ‘chew proof’.
  • The danger of using non‑expanding collars is that may become Caught in loose fittings and consequently injure the cats.


  • Cats need sufficient exercise when they are confined in houses/they should be provided with play things like crushed paper pieces, balls etc, so that they can run after them.
  • The best thing is to keep two cats together.


  • They clean the body by washing with the tongue. However grooming will save the furniture from the cat hair.
  • Cats up to one year of age have coat shedding or moulting. So moulting should not be mistaken as a disease.
  • For short haired type cats, grooming is not necessary.  Where as long haired type breed required grooming twice daily.
  • For this purpose wide toothed metal comb or nylon brushes can be used.
  • The grooming is also a way of communication of our affection.
  • At the time of grooming talcum powder can be sprinkled and grooming can be done until all powder is removed.

Purpose of grooming

  • A sleek and glossy hair coat is an indication of a cat’s general health and care.
  • All cats benefit from grooming, although the long haired breeds require more attention.
  • A cat’s fur usually sheds in spring and fall, although some shedding may constantly occur.
  • Grooming removes old, dead hair and lessens the risk of hairballs.
  • Regular grooming gives the opportunity to check for  parasites, skin disorder, and eye and ear problems.
  • Long haired cats should receive daily care. If neglected, the hair will tangle and mat.
  • Removal of these tangles and mats may be difficult and an unpleasant experience for the cat.

Equipment and its use

  • Equipment for long haired cats should include a comb with two sizes of teeth, a fine-tooth or flea comb, nail clippers, a grooming brush made with natural bristles (nylon may cause excessive static), and grooming powder (baby powder, talcum powder, or cornstarch).
  • Using a wide-toothed comb, comb all areas of the animal.
  • One must be careful of the sensitive areas of the stomach, the insides of the legs, and under the tail.
  • If the coat is free of tangles and mats, the fine-toothed part of the comb should be used.
  • The skin and not just the outer fur should be combed; now, the fur should be brushed out.
  • One should brush in the opposite direction to which the hair naturally lies and occasionally sprinkle grooming powder into the fur.
  • If the fur has become badly tangled and matted. Scissors should be used to cut the mats out, being careful not to injure the animal. Blunt-ended scissors never sharp-pointed scissors, knives, or razor blades should be used. A sudden movement by the cat could cause serious injury.

Grooming of short haired cat

  • Grooming short haired cats can usually be accomplished with a fine-toothed or flea comb. In many cases, hand grooming is sufficient to remove dead hair.
  • A rubber grooming brush is also very effective, but it must be used carefully because good hair may also be removed.
  • The use of a soft chamois, silk, or nylon pad causes some static in the coat and helps it cling tightly to the body.
  • This is an especially effective way to complete the grooming for Siamese, Oriental Short hairs, Colour point Short hairs and Burmese.
  • Other breeds enjoy a light brushing with a soft brush.
  • The coat of the Cornish and the Devon Rex is delicate and easily damaged; a soft brush should be used occasionally, avoiding friction or over brushing.
  • Friction and over brushing may cause the hair to break and may even cause bald spots.

Bathing of cat

  • Occasionally, it may be necessary to give a cat a bath.
  • In the case of show animals, more frequent bathing is necessary.
  • Cats should be accustomed to bathing at about four months of age.
  • Cats get nervous from the sounds of the water, and unnecessary splashing should be avoided.
  • The tub should be filled with about 4 inches of warm water.
  • The cat should be gently lowered into the water and wet all over, being careful not to get water in the eyes or ears.
  • If the cat allows,  a piece of cotton can be placed in its ears.
  • After the coat is thoroughly wet, one should apply shampoo and lather the coat followed by a thorough rinse to remove all traces of the shampoo.
  • The cat should be wrapped in a towel and patted dry or blown dry using a hair dryer on the warm setting.
  • Excessive rubbing should be avoided because this causes the hair to tangle.
  • The cat should be dry before letting it outside, including the insides of the ears.
  • Many pet shampoos are available in the market that are suitable; some of these are medicated to help control fleas and other parasites. Baby shampoo is also suitable.

Care during  grooming

  • During regular grooming, the ears should be checked for mites, signs are a dark, crumbly residue inside the ear.
  • Ear mites can be controlled with ear drops available at any pet store.
  • The eyes of the cat should be bright and clear; any discharge may indicate illness or infections.
  • White cats, especially Persians, may show staining around the eyes; this staining can be removed by careful bathing.
  • Teeth and gums should be observed during regular grooming and should be free of any soreness.
  • Occasional use of dry food helps clean the teeth. Excessive amounts of tartar may need to be removed by a veterinarian to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  • If claws require trimming, one should be careful not to cut into the pink area of the claw because this causes pain and bleeding.
  • Specially designed clippers should be used-never use scissors. Cats that are using a scratching post will probably never need their claws trimmed.

Introducing a cat to a house

  • Introduction of kitten should be at a time when all the people of the house are present.
  • Provide proper bedding. cardboard box with blanket or newspaper can be provided.
  • During the first day, it will feel lonely in the new house.
  • To reduce loneliness a timepiece may be kept near the bed.
  • The first sign that the new pet feels safe in its new environment is when it starts grooming
  • The new kitten should be introduced gradually to the existing animals in the house.
  • But the introduction should be only after the establishment of’ a friendly relationship between them.


  • They share the house of owners. But we have to provide some additional facilities like litter box, toilet tray, feeding and drinking bowl, ward bed, collar of harness, traveling basket etc.
  • The kitten will have a tendency to escape from the new surroundings and this is called ‘suicidal escape’, so provide a well sealed room until it settles down.
  • House trained kitten will be familiar to the use of toilet/litter tray and it is better to continue the practice for few more days even if there is attached garden for the purpose.
  • The tray should be placed in the same spot always to avoid confusion. Initially the cat should be taken to the tray regularly after feeding or its first wake up after sleeping.
  • After the initial period of settling, the tray can be removed and kitten can be trained to use the garden for the purpose.
  • A scratching post may be provided to help the cat to sharpen their nails. It is a vertical wooden board covered with carpet or gunny bag can be used for this purpose.

Training a cat

  • The amount of training and exercise a cat needs varies considerably depending on the bred and where its home is.
  • A cat living in a city apartment may get little exercise, whereas cat in rural areas may be allowed to run free.
  • Apartment cats may need to be furnished with toys, cardboard tubes, or other play equipment to provide them with a means to exercise.
  • Owners of variable purebred or show cats may not want their animals to run free where they risk injury, loss, or unwanted litters.
  • Outdoor cats get plenty of exercise; however, they run a greater risk of injury from fights, of death or injury on the roadways and of contracting diseases and parasites.
  • Cats living indoors should have a clean litter box and plenty of water.
  • Owners should be aware of plants that may be poisonous to their pets and of other dangers if the cat is left alone for long periods.
  • To protect the furniture, cats should be trained to use a scratching post.

Cats scratch

  • Cat use this to sharpen their claws, to remove loose scales and fragments of dry skin, and to leave a mark for other cats.
  • Kittens should be trained to use a scratching post as soon as they are weaned.
  • The kitten should be held near the post and its claws placed on the post.
  • The kitten will soon learn what to do and will usually continue to use the same post.
  • A cloth-covered post may offer the cat an alternative to clawing soft furniture and draperies.

Correct toilet

  • Training is easier with cats than with dogs because cats naturally cover their urine and faeces.
  • If a mother cat does a good job of raising her litter, she will probably train them to use a litter box.
  • If a kitten does not know what the litter box is for, one can train it easily.
  • Holding its front paws, the owner should show it how to scratch in the litter material.
  • Every time the kitten appears to be looking for a place to urinate or defecate, it should be placed in the litter box.

Urine spraying

  • It is a natural part of a cat’s behavior.
  • The male cat will spraying  walls and furniture to mark its territory.
  • If one can catch the cat in the act, spray it with a water pistol.
  • Another alternative to try is to hang aluminum foil around the spraying area.
  • One can try feeding the cat in the target areas, because cats will usually not spray near feeding
  • Some cats can be trained to sit, beg, jump through hoops, and do other tricks.
  • Training should be similar to the methods used with a dog, with short training periods, firm verbal commands and instant rewards.
  • Whether a cat learns any tricks depends on its intelligence and whether it wants to oblige.
  • In any case, training should not be forced on a cat that does not appear interested.

Male and female reproductive organ

  • The ovaries are relatively small,lima bean shaped, following ovulation the ova spend approximately 2 days moving through the oviducts to the uterus.
  • In cats, the first stage of meiosis takes place before ovulation.
  • Unlike the dog’s ova, the ova of that are ready for fertilization immediately upon ovulation and movement into the oviducts.
  • Most female cats have four functioning pairs of mammary gland, which located in two parallel rows.
  • The male cats are capable of sexual activity and mating throughout the year, but during winter their activity is reduced.
  • The penis of cat is shaped and positioned so that it deflected slightly downward and caudally (rather than cranially, as in other domestic species) when erect.
  • This allows intromission when the male mounts a receptive female.
  • An additional unique characteristic is cat the external surface of the glans portion of the cat’s penis is spiked.
  • These are directed to wards the base of the penis and provide stimulation to the walls of the female cat’s vagina during mating
  • This stimulation is necessary for the Luteinizing hormone surge in the female cat that subsequently lead to ovulation.

Reproductive details

  • Female cats are seasonally polyestrous, and the season begins in January and end in October
  • Cats normally reach sexual maturity at 5–10 months (females) and to 5–7 months (males), although this can vary depending on breed.
  • Oestrus cycle is 14-21 days and during this period more number of males are attracted. Males will fight each other and succeeded male will mate.

Signs of estrus

  • The female in estrus can be identified by the ‘calling’, although this can be more like shrieking or wailing in some breeds such as Siamese. Some Persians content themselves with dainty little mews and miaows.
  • The female displays some brazen behavior, rolling and dragging herself around the floor, flicking her tail and raising her rump to expose the reddened vulva.
  • She may also lose interest in her food. Picking her up by her neck folds (as an interested tom would do) and stroke along her back may show positive response with pleasure, pads her feet and raises her tail.

Breeding of cat

  • If a decision has been made to breed, the health of the cat must be thoroughly evaluated.
  • For female, information like previous estrus period, breeding date and the outcome, health record, vaccination detail, disease history should be noted.
  • The timing of breeding is best determined by the queen/s behaviour.
  • As the queen enters estrus, she begins to show a coital crouch when in the presence of a male cat or in response to genital stimulation.
  • A receptive female will solicit attention from the male cat and allow mounting and intromission.
  • Mating in cats occurs rapidly, lasting between 30 seconds and 5 minutes.
  • The tom cat mount and clasps the flanks of the female with his forelegs, her with his hind limbs, and grasps the dorsal aspect of her neck with his teeth.
  • This grip is inhibited, and so only in very rate case penetrates the female’s skin.
  • Almost immediately, the male treads rapidly with his hind limbs and shows pelvic thrusts, resulting in intromission.
  • In domestic cats, intromission is almost immediate followed by ejaculation.
  • The male immediately begins to dismount this cause the female to elicit a very shrill postcopulatory cry, after which she usually turns aggressively to wards the male.
  • The aggressiveness is less to wards known mates.
  • After mating female will vigorously roll on the floor, it shows other reactions like rubbing and licking that lasts between 30 seconds and several minutes.
  • If the male is present she usually adopts a receptive position shortly after and breeding begins again.
  • Cats resume mating with in 30 minutes and experienced pair will mate ten times in an hour.
  • For LH surge and ovulation minimum of four mating is essential with in a period of 24 hours.
  • The estrus period will normally end abruptly by 24 to 36 hours after initiation of mating.
  • The female cat will not come to estrus until the kittens are weaned or until next breeding season.
  • If the female does not conceived, she will either enter pseudopregnancy or return to estrus cycle.

Gestation, kittening and weaning

  • The gestation period for cats is between 63–67 days, with an average length of 66 days.
  • The size of a litter averages three to five kittens, with the first litter usually smaller than subsequent litters.
  • Kittens are weaned at between six and seven weeks, and
  • Females can have two to three litters per year
  • Cats are ready to go to new homes at about 12 weeks old, or when they are ready to leave their mother.

Pregnancy diagnosis

  • The first sign is the distinct change in the teat at about 3 weeks of gestation, it turn from a pale colour to pink and become enlarged and more firm.
  • Next sign is failure to return to estrus. Pregnancy can be palpated as early as 15 days on wards.
  • Uterine locules feel like a string of small distinct lumps about the size of walnuts, separated from one another along each uterine horn.
  • Palpation beyond 30 to 35 days of pregnancy become difficult because the uterus becomes diffusely enlarged and separation between fetuses are difficult to detect.
  • Ultrasonic examination of abdomen can be used as early as 14 to 15 day of gestation.
  • After about four weeks, the queen’s stomach starts to distend, the nipples become very prominent, and she begins to look pregnant.
  • By around 28 days, all the kitten’s internal organs have formed, and the embryos are about 2.5 cm long. The skeleton develops from about 40 days, and at 50 days, the kittens quicken – show signs of movement.

Management at queening

  • A quiet place that is free from draft and cool place is suitable for queening.
  • The pregnant cat should be introduced to this area 1 week prior to expected date of queening.
  • This allows her to become adjusted to the area and have her scent deposited throughout the queening area before the kittens are born.
  • Queening boxes may also be provided, it should provide easy access to the mother while preventing young kittens from escaping.
  • The box should also be large enough for the mother to stretch out in full length on her side and have room to spare.
  • A box that measured 1 to 2 times the length of the queen is ideal.
  • Old towels, mattress pads or cloth diapers can be provided as bedding

Signs of parturition

  • The average length of gestation is 63 to 65 days and female will show signs as early as 61 days.
  • At the final week of gestation, the mammary glad enlarge rapidly, milk can be squeezed at last 1 to 2 days.
  • One reliable mean is the body temperature of the queen, during the advanced stage of parturition, the body temperature should be monitored regularly, normally the female’s body temperature falls down 12 to 36 hours prior to parturition.
  • The rectal temperature usually falls from 101.5 ° F to 98-100 ° F.
  • The average time between initiation of strong uterine contraction of 2 stage labour to birth of kitten is around 10 to 30 minutes, and the total litter will born within 2 to 6 hours.
  • Some times the female may take rest and will not show sign of labour for up to 2 hours between kittens.
  • But active straining and signs of hard labour for more than 30 to 60 minutes is a sign of dystocia.

Care of newborn kitten

  • Mother provides most of the care of newborn kitten. At birth the kittens are relatively immature.
  • Their eyelids are not yet opened and cannot see. Their ears are also not yet functioning.
  • When picked up, healthy newborn kitten should have good muscle tone, feel firm and plump and wiggle vigorously when handled.
  • Healthy kittens are also quiet most of the time, crying only when they are hungry or cold.
  • Excessive or prolonged crying is the first sign of a problem.
  • They spend most of the time in sleeping and when they are awake, nursing.
  • Healthy kitten should show normal weight gain.
  • They should gain equivalent of their birth weight each week for the first 2 or 3 weeks.
  • After 12 weeks of age; male kitten grow faster than female.
  • First week they spend 4 hours or more per day for suckling, divided into short period.
  • It gradually decreased to 3 hours and 2 hours in subsequent weeks.
  • The mother cat gives a characteristic ‘murmur’ cry to initiate suckling and she adopts a body posture that makes the nipple easily accessible.
  • Both the mother and the kitten usually purr continuously while nursing, and the kitten show treading movement (kneading) when their paws held against the mother’s abdomen, it facilitates milk ejection.

Kittens are weaned at between six and seven weeks, generally mother cat introduce solid food such as killed prey (mice) to the kittens.
Similarly nutritional weaning of house cat also involves the introduction of solid food in the form of prepared cat food.
In both cases, nutritional weaning involves a very gradual change in the diet from queen’s milk to solid cat food or prey.

During first introductory week soupy gruel by mixing dry food with warm water can be provided.
The mother cat should be separated form the litter for an hour prior to each feeding to ensure the kittens are hungry and not recently suckled.

This will shift the kitten from suckling to lapping and then to chewing.
Gradually the added water to the dry food can be decreased when age advances.
The length of time that the mother is separated from the litter should also be gradually increased.
Most queens will initiate these separations voluntarily and begin to make their milk less available to their kittens by walking away or using body postures to block access to their nipples.

By 6 to 7 weeks of age most cat nurse little but it is advisable to continue to allow interactions between the mother and hen kitten until 7 to 9 weeks because these interaction are important for normal social development.


Temporary care requires if the dam is ill or has had a caesarean section.
In some case like death of mother or refusal to care for kitten require complete care.
The needs of this kitten are same as that of others.
Most important care is provision of ambient environment to the kitten; the sleeping area should be slightly warmer than the body temperature of cat.
Since orphans did not receive colostrum, care must be taken to minimize exposure to pathogens or chilling.
Orphans can be fed using either a commercial kitten formula or a homemade formula.
For the first few days, kittens should be fed every 2 to 3 hours. This can be decreased slightly to every 4 to 5 hours until the kittens are 3 weeks of age.
From 3 to 6 weeks, they should be fed at least 4 times per day.
Eye dropper can be used to feed the food to newborn kittens because only small quantity is fed at a time.

During the first 5 to 5 days, orphaned kittens should be weighed daily as a means of monitoring health.
It is the goat when caring for orphans that they achieve near-normal rate of weight gain.
For the first 2 weeks of life, the kitten must also be stimulated to urinate and defecate by stroking the belly, genital, and anal areas with a washcloth dampened with warm water.
At 3 weeks kitten can be introduced to semisolid food and gradually weaned, just as if the mother were present.


Cats can be surgically sterilized (spayed or castrated) as early as 7 weeks to limit unwanted reproduction.
This surgery also prevents undesirable sex-related behavior, such as aggression, territory marking (spraying urine) in males and yowling (calling) in females.


The ancestor of cat is the African wild cats which primarily prey on small rodents that are similar in sizeto field mice.
Therefore the immediate ancestor of the cat is not an intermittent feeder like the larger wild cats; rather, it is an animal that feeds frequently throughout the day by catching and consuming a large number of small rodents.
Like the majority of wild felids, the African wild cat is a solitary animal, living and hunting alone for much of its life and interacting with others of its species only during mating season.
This solitary nature has resulted in an animal that tends to eat slowly and is generally uninhibited by the presence of other animals.
Most domestic cats living in homes consume their food slowly and do not respond to other cats by either increasing the rate of eating or consuming a higher volume of food.
In multiple cat homes, cats often eat peaceably from the same bowls either together or at different times of the day.

When problems do occur, they are often very subtle, with one or more cats intimidating a less assertive cat and not allowing access to the food bowl or supplanting the cat if he or she was already eating.
To prevent this type of feeding problem, several feeding stations located in different areas of the home should always be provided in multiple-cat homes.
If fed free-choice, most cats will nibble at their food throughout the day, as opposed to consuming a large amount of food at one time.

Several studies of eating behavior in domestic cats have shown that if food is available free-choice, cats eat frequently and randomly throughout a 24-hour period.

It is not unusual for a cat to eat between 9 and 16 meals per day, with each meal having a caloric content of only about 23 kilo calories (kcal). (Interestingly, the caloric value of a small field mouse is approximately 30 kcal.)

It has been suggested that the eating behaviors observed in domestic cats are similar to those of feral domestic cats eating rodents or other small animals. However, just like the dog, the cat is capable of adapting to several types of feeding schedules.


  • Cat should be fed individually and food selected should promote health
  • The food should result in the formation of well formed stools and normal defection frequency
  • The food should contain optimum nutrients
  • Rapid change in the diet should be avoided.
  • New diet should be introduced gradually by mixing it with the old diet in 25% increment each day.
  • Cats are carnivores in nature.
  • Feed should be rich in protein of animal or fish origin.
  • Either raw or cooked meat can be fed. Sometimes there may be digestive trouble.
  • Also provide vegetables, green grass etc to avoid digestive trouble.
  • Green grass helps to expel fur balls from the stomach.
  • Grass will be having vitamins and minerals especially trace minerals and so grass feeding is advantageous.
  • Cat should be given plenty of drinking water.


The dietary requirement for cat is more than other omnivorous species.
Domestic cat required high protein along with its need for taurine, arachidonic acid and vitamin A in the diet impose requirement for the inclusion of animal tissues in the diet.

During pregnancy 1.25 to 1.5 times of maintenance ration can be given up to end of gestation and during lactation it should be increased to 2 to 3.5 times of adult maintenance ration.
Studies showed that cats required substantially more protein than other mammals including dog.
Cat can be fed with balanced commercial cat food.
Under Indian condition mostly cats are fed with homemade food. The recipe of homemade food should be complete and balanced.


A minimum level of fat is needed in the cat’s diet for the same purposes as with dogs. Also similar to dogs, cats are capable of thriving on a relatively wide range of dietary fat, provided the diet includes proper levels of all essential nutrients.
In general, cat foods contain slightly higher amounts of dietary fat than do most dog foods. For example, dry maintenance cat foods contain between 8% and 13% fat (DM basis).

The current AAFCO’s Nutrient Profiles minimum fat recommendation for cats during all life stages is 9% in a food containing 4000 kcal/kg.
Exact estimates for the EFA requirement in cats are difficult to make because adequate levels of linoleic acid in the diet decrease the cat’s requirement for AA, and high levels of AA can meet some of the needs for linoleic acid.

In Addition, recent evidence suggests that most adult cats do not have a dietary requirement for AA and are capable of synthesizing adequate levels from dietary linoleic acid. The AAFCO’s Nutrient Profiles for cat foods recommends 0.5% linoleic acid and 0.02% AA in diets containing 4000 kcal of ME/kg.
The current NRC provides similar estimates along with the caveat that the AA recommendation is a presumed adequate intake rather than a minimum requirement for adult maintenance.
Similar to dogs, requirements have not been established for alpha-linolenic acid or for any of its LCPUFA derivatives for the cat. The NRC provides an AI estimate of 0.1 g of EPA and DHA combined per 1000 g diet in a food containing 4000 kcal/g.


Early studies of the cat’s nutrient requirements showed that it has a protein requirement substantially higher than that of other mammals, including the dog. When growing kittens were fed varying levels of dietary protein, supplied as minced herring and minced liver, growth was reported to be satisfactory only when protein exceeded 30% of the dry weight of the diet.
In comparison, growing puppies fed mixed diets required only 20% protein for adequate growth and development. One of the first studies of the protein requirement of the adult cat reported that 21% dietary protein was necessary to maintain nitrogen balance when cats were fed a mixed diet containing liver and whitefish as the primary protein sources.
Subsequent experimentation using crystalline amino acids and protein isolates allowed more precise definition of the minimum protein requirements of growing kittens and adult cats.
One study reported a protein requirement of 18% to 20% (by weight) in growing kittens fed either crystalline amino acid diets or casein diets supplemented with methionine.
Another study reported requirements as low as 16% of ME calories when growing kittens were fed a purified diet containing all of the essential amino acids in their assumed correct concentrations and ratios.
Using a similar semipurified diet, the protein requirement of adult cats was determined to be 12.5% of ME.
The profound effect that protein digestibility, amino acid balance, and amino acid availability have on determining an animal’s dietary protein requirement is illustrated by the substantially lower values that were obtained when semipurified and purified diets were used to determine requirements.

However, the comparison of these figures with the ideal minimum protein requirements of other mammals still demonstrates that the cat, together with other obligate carnivores such as the fox and the mink, has a higher requirement for dietary protein.

NRC recommended minimum requirement of protein for adult cats of 160 g crude protein/kg food in a diet containing 4 kcal/kg.

The NRC’s minimum requirement for kittens after weaningis 180 g/kg, equivalent to 15.75% of ME
Once again, it is important to recognize that all of these values assume highly available and well balanced protein sources that contain all of the necessary amino acids.
AAFCO Nutrient Profiles for cat foods, as with dog foods, suggest a higher level of protein for inclusion in commercially prepared foods.

A level of 30% of the diet (dry matter [DM]) is suggested for growth and reproduction in foods containing 4 kcal of ME/g of food. This value is equivalent to 26.25% of ME calories. A level of 26% of the diet, equivalent to 22.75% ME, is suggested for adult maintenance.

Feeding frequency

2‑3 months : 4 meals/day

3‑5 months : 3 meals/day

6‑8 months : 2 meals/day

adult: 2 meals/day

After each feeding the stomach of kitten should be rubbed with coarse warm towel.

Feeding pot should be very thick otherwise it will be spoiled by the cat stepping on it.

Practical feeding of cat

Feeding principles

Cats are true carnivores and require almost twice as much protein in their diet as dogs.
The best source of this is from animal products; 30 to 40 percent of the cat’s diet should be animal-type proteins (meat, meat by-products, fish, eggs, and milk).

About 10 percent of the diet should consist of fat; fat provides calories and the essential fatty acids.
A cat should be fed using one of the many commercial cat foods. If feedingfresh foods, it is important to provide a variety.

Strictly feeding meat, chicken, fish, and other muscle meats may cause bone disease, stunted growth in kittens, poor eyesight, and other problems due to the lack of calcium, and vitamin A.
Calcium can be supplemented by adding sterilized bone flour, calcium phosphate, calcium lactate, or calcium carbonate.

When feeding meat, it is important that all of the bone has been removed or chopped to prevent pieces of bone from becoming lodged in the throat or digestive system. Cats should never be given chicken bones.
Canned foods contain more animal protein than the other commercial rations, have a higher fat content that makes them more palatable, and contain about 75 % water.
Because of the high water content, cats may not drink as much water, but water should be available at all times.
Labels should be checked because some of the commercial rations may be nutritionally incomplete.
Fresh and canned foods should not be fed straight from the refrigerator; these foods should be allowed to warm to room temperature before being served.
Too much liver can cause vitamin A poisoning. Milk is a good source of calcium, but it may cause gas and diarrhoea in adult cats.

Feeding too much of some oily fish such as tuna may through oxidation destroy vitamin E and lead to a deficiency called steatitis or yellow fat disease.
Raw egg white contains a substance that destroys the B Vitamin biotin, but egg yolk and cooked egg white provide valuable protein, fat, and vitamins.

Semi-moist foods

Semi-moist foods are usually less expensive because they contain some vegetable protein and are usually supplemented with nutrients to make them nutritionally complete.
Semi-moist foods have chemicals added to keep them from drying out or spoiling; they contain about 30 percent water.
Again, labels should be checked carefully because some of the semi-moist foods may not be nutritionally complete, especially for growing kittens.

Dry foods 

Dry foods contain about 10 percent water and less fat and protein than semi-moist foods. Cats on dry diets should have plenty of water available.
Some cats on dry diets may develop bladder problems.
Milk, water, or gravy can be mixed with the food to improve palatability and to ensure that the cat gets adequate water intake.

One may wish to feed canned foods occasionally to help prevent bladder problems, get the cat used to different types and textures of foods, and ensure that the cat gets a balanced diet.
Dry foods do have the advantage of helping to clean the teeth and prevent the buildup of tartar.

Amount of food

The amount of food one gives depends on the cat’s age, weight, breed, condition, and amount of activity it gets.
Cats and young kittens will not consume enough food in one meal to last 24 hours .Two meals are recommended, and young kittens and females that are pregnant or nursing require more frequent feedings.
Cats should never be given a diet of dog food because it contains large amounts of cereals and vegetables. Because of this, the cat may not get enough animal protein.
Dog food also lacks necessary amounts of vitamins A and B and some essential fatty acids.
Many times cats will be seen eating grass. The exact reason for this is not known, but it may be an attempt to increase roughage in the diet or to eliminate a hairball.

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