What Do Cats Need ?[Full Guide]

What do Pet Cats need ? 

Even if cats are independent, they are still sensitive animals that need a lot of attention, their physiological, psychological, emotional and sexual needs must be met, as well as some specific needs such as the need to hunt, all this so that they grow up happy and healthy. 

In this article we will talk about all the needs of your cat, I invite you to use the table of contents above to facilitate navigation and to have a quick answer to your questions

what do cats need ?

Do cats need to be pet ? 

Pet cats like to be cared for and pet . They are very intelligent and sociable animals that can easily adapt to people, children, and other pets. 

However, it all depends on the breeds of cats.  Indeed, the answer is more extensive, I’m not going to tell you about feral cats because the answer is clear, I’ll tell you two types of cats, both are domestic but one likes to be pet , the other not because the level of closeness between a human and a cat differs from one breed to another.

The first category is a cat that lives strictly with humans, and is dependent on its owner for all its needs (pet cats). 

The other type is a domestic cat that is totally independent of humans, and will shun any contact if possible (the domestic house cat, but does not like cuddles ). 

These cats prefer to live outside your apartment in a group with other cats. 

This is the first type of cat that likes to be pet . Here are 5 examples: 

  • The Ragdoll.
  • The Maine coon.
  • The Sphynx.
  • The sacred of Burma.
  • The Tonkinese.

These cats are domestic pets that are very attached to their owners.

Talking about human interaction 

Why do cats need humans ?  

They’re lazy pets 

Cats Communication, understanding c... x
Cats Communication, understanding cat's language

Pet cats are a bit lazy, when adopted , they don’t need to hunt all the time for food. Also, they like to find their comfort, sleep in a litter box, play, etc. 

Cats need to Feel safe 

Pet cats feel comfortable and safe when they are living in a home because most domestic cats are afraid of dogs and other wild animals like wolves, etc., they need to feel safe.

The need for human interaction

Cats are too much like humans, not only in physical characteristics but also in the way of thinking, intelligent animals are easy to adapt with humans and prefer to live with them, because they can easily understand the mimics, and can feel the love of their owners. 

What do cats need in their first year?

Cats , especially kittens need Milk 

During the first year of life, the first thing that the cat will surely need is the milk of his mother as an infant. But in case of absence of its mother, no worries.

What milk for a baby cat ?

Fortunately, a formula for kittens is available and can be sold, it is the most suitable milk for cats during these first days, you must give him this milk at least during the first month so that he benefits from all these advantages because this milk is rich in lipids, proteins and minerals. 

Unlike cow’s milk which can be dangerous for a cat during its new year because it is low in fat and protein compared to cat’s milk and it contains a lot of lactose which can disturb the digestion and the functioning of your baby cat’s digestive system. 

Your cat needs to sleep 

How much sleep do cats need?

A normal cat spends half the day in dreamland. During the first two months, your baby cat should get enough sleep, at least 16 hours a day. After 3 months he can sleep like an adult cat (well, even adult cats sleep too much up to 12 hours). 

What do cats need to grow healthy ?

Cats need a good quality food: 

A cat to grow you must pay attention to the quality of its food it must get a good quality and healthy cat food that’s made with enough protein , fat and a bunch of vitamins fiber and minerals .. 

Don’t hesitate to always check your cat’s plate if he finishes it or not, if he eats very little or if you observe a change in his eating behavior you should either change his diet or take him to a veterinarian because some cats can have a lack of appetite. 

Maintaining your cat’s mental health 

To keep your cat in a good psychological state, you must meet all its needs, play, hunt, sleep, and especially offer him a quiet place. 

As sensitive animals, cats’ mental health can affect their physical health by disrupting their hormones, causing them to have a lack of appetite or the opposite. 

Don’t forget the milk during its first year of life 

Milk is an essential element for the proper growth of cats. 

Your cat needs a regular follow-up of its weight and size 

Whether orphaned or not, your cat should be brought in regularly (most importantly during the first 8 months of life) to check if it is growing normally. 

These measurements will allow your veterinarian to determine the amount of milk your cat needs. Then this quantity of milk will be linked to the weight gained or lost, the advantage is of course to gain weight while growing. 

On average, your cat should gain between 10 to 15g per day, but if for example there is a weight loss of 7g despite the amount of milk taken, this is a warning sign. 

What do cats need to eat ?

The cat should continue to drink its milk until one week, at which point you can introduce solid food to your cat.

It is important to pay attention to the quality of the food, your cat needs proteins, amino acids, lipids including omega 3, dietary fiber, carbohydrates and especially vitamins and minerals. 

Then it is necessary that it is far from the toxic food for him. The most known poisoning in cats is vitamin A. Cases of onion poisoning have also been described. 

The nutritional needs of cats differ depending on the breed, sex, age and feeding behavior of your cat, so a specific diet for your cat should be established.

You should also vary your cat’s meals and avoid giving him only one type of food as this carries a risk of nutritional deficiencies. 

1-Your cat needs protein 

Foods that contain protein must be of animal origin to provide all the different amino acid requirements for your cat’s proper growth. Meat, fish and chicken are the main sources. 

Proteins of vegetable origin have a better quality in addition to their digestibility. But one should not neglect the vegetable proteins contained in soy, for example. 

A very important amino acid for cats is “Taurine”. Chicken thighs are very rich in it.

2-Fats are a vital need for cats 

Fat is also important when feeding your cat . Choose the right fat for example omega 3 which is very essential for the nervous development. However, be careful with excesses because of the risk of overweight. 

3- Cats need carbohydrates 

Cereals, vegetables, legumes, potatoes and sweet potatoes. All these foods are contained in cat food. 

The cat’s intestinal system is too similar to that of humans, so beware of excess sugar because there is a risk of dietary error and therefore a digestive disorder such as diarrhea. 

Then there are other essential elements such as calcium that he can get from dairy products. A yogurt or cheese should be present in every meal. 

Wet VS dry food for cats?

The AAFCO recommends giving both textures to your cat to maintain digestive balance and avoid intestinal transit problems. The AAFCO recommendations are 1000 mg /KG for dry food, and 2000 to 2500 mg/kg for liquid or wet food, i.e. food that contains water. 

Therefore, you should mix the two, but its also preferable to give him wet foods to ensure your cat is well hydrated and to avoid constipation. 

Do cats need meat to survive? 

Cats are omnivorous animals, which means they eat meat and its derivatives. Therefore it is important for them to consume meat whether it is red meat or chicken or its derivatives. 

However, there is an imbalance and deficiencies that can be seen in cats that only receive meat in their diet! 

So the cat needs to eat a little of everything it can digest including: milk and dairy products, fish, cereals and then meat and derivatives. 

Important note: it is advisable to boil the meat, rather than frying, grilling or roasting it. Indeed, cooking in water is the one that allows the best digestibility of amino acids.

How often do cats need to eat per day?

The nature of cats allows them to eat 10 to 20 small meals per day and each meal should last 1 to 2 minutes. But it’s important for the owner to spread out the cat’s meals in a regular rhythm. 

This regular routine allows to space the meals so that the cat can take the necessary time to digest its food and then eliminate it. 

Some cats can regulate themselves and eat at an optimal intake of 10 to 20 small meals per day. But many cats lose the ability to regulate themselves and increase/decrease their daily food intake. 

Scientifically proven, the more meals per day (and not the quantity) the more enzymes and hormones the cat’s body produces and the better the body functions with several meals per day. But without increasing the ration and the quantity of meals. 

What do  cats need to drink?

Water should always be available to your cats, regardless of their age or physiological stage. During lactation, the need for water is strongly increased.

At the peak of lactation, the daily water intake can represent more than 15% of the live weight, against 5 to 10% in normal time.  

What do cats need to be safe at home? 

Generally, Most of cat breeds do not like to be left alone at home. So they need a friend or family member to spend more time with them.

You can observe this when he shows a state of joy when he sees you come home after finishing your work outside.

And above all before leaving the house you should close all doors including the garden door so that your cat feels protected from the outside environment. 

Cats Need at least one litter box 

Your cat’s litter box should be accessible and in a quiet, secluded area to allow your cat some privacy. Avoid putting it next to noisy objects such as the washing machine, as they can scare your cat. 

To simplify your cat’s life, put one litter box on each floor of your home. And above all, keep your cat’s litter box clean – at least three times a week, or even daily, with a weekly renewal and complete cleaning.

Do Cats need a special place to themselves ?

Cats like to go to their corner when no one is home, knowing that cats who sleep a lot so a litter box will be sufficient. 

A scratching post for your cat

It is important that your cat can “do its claws”, put at its disposal a large enough and solid scratching post in a visible place.

Cats need Blankets 

Cats will like to sleep on or cover themselves with a soft blanket when it’s cold, as it will offer them a lot of comfort, warmth, softness, plus it will let them feel protected. 

A dedicated place for your cat’s meals

Choose a quiet place, easily accessible. It is important that the bowl is placed at a distance from the litter box. Finally, if your cat does not have a weight problem, it is advisable to divide its food into several small portions throughout the day. 

Clean water for the cat

As with food, access should be easy. Your cat is very sensitive to the cleanliness and taste of water. It’s important for your cat’s health to change it daily.

Do cats need light at night? 

If you’ve noticed, cats’ eyes glow at night because they get much more light at night than we do. So cats don’t need light at night , but you just need to remove the curtains from your windows so that your cat cat catches the light from the sky and that will be enough.

To sum up, a cat’s paradise is routine, a well laid out territory with warm sleeping spots and height!  But it’s good to get him outside too. 

Do cats need another pet?

It’s true that cats don’t like to be left alone at home, so another pet can be a good companion for them as long as it’s domestic and a calm animal that doesn’t scare your cat. Preferably another female cat if you want to make your family a little much bigger !. 

Do cats need Collars? 

Cats in general don’t like collars, because it bothers them. But it is very important for the owner to make a collar to your cat, to distinguish it from other cats in case of disappearance. Just choose a suitable collar that can be comfortable to your cat and that he can get used to and live with. 

What do cats need for grooming?

Taking care of your cat is a very important responsibility for its well-being. 

Do cats need regular Baths?

As far as showering is concerned, cats are independent, they clean themselves, but as an apartment cat you have to take care of his health and the health of the people around the cat. 

It is necessary to give him a shower at least 1 time during 3 to 4 weeks. Indeed, to make the shower to his cat does not possess a rule or a specific program, a liver it is necessary that it is soiled, you make him a shower.  

How to wash my cat? 

Wet him, avoiding the head with warm water. Once wet, apply his shampoo and massage very well for about 5 minutes. Comb his hair and dry it directly before he catches a virus especially when it is cold. 

Do cats need to brush their teeth?

The vet should give you a soft toothbrush to brush your cats’ teeth. Some cats develop tooth decay quickly, which can damage their teeth and may require daily brushing. If not, on average you can brush your cat’s teeth at least 3 times a week.

Do cats need to get their nails trimmed?

Cats claws are essential for him, indeed if the cat does not claw, he will not feel satisfied. So I recommend that you wash those claws well but don’t cut them every time he takes a shower. 

However, if your cat is big enough, its nails must be big too, and they can get in the way. You can trim his claws once you notice that they are so large or protruding. 

But cutting your cat’s nails is not necessary, because your cat will take care of them by “doing” his claws regularly.

Why do cats need to take care of their whiskers?

Your cat’s whiskers are important for him ! It allows your cat to feel its environment, thanks to his whiskers he can detect what is coming towards him on a long distance.  

Not only that, these whiskers are also an element of communication between cat-cat and cat-man. So they are also part of the body language of cats. 

You can cut them a little (just the tip) if they are big enough, they will be pushed away, but if they don’t bother you or your cat, it is not necessary to cut them. 

What do cats need to be happy?

Cats need a lot of playtime 

To feel happy, cats need to play from time to time. So you should give him toys or play with him in your own way. Cats usually love to play “fishing” with you; it creates a bonding time.

When you’re away, leave toys scattered around the play area (not opposite the litter box).

What do cats need to be loyal?

Cats are friendly and sociable animals that like to stay close to their owners. So, if they live quietly with you, and you meet all their needs, they will remain loyal. 

You have to feed them on time, offer them comfort, pet them, etc.  The most important thing in a cat is routine, cats are animals that like routine, so avoid moving too much. 

Several families have reported the disappearance of their cats during a move. To learn more visit : Are cats loyal & friendly?

Do cats need daily walks?

Unlike dogs, cats don’t like to go out every day, they are pets that like to stay home, eat, sleep, play and seek comfort. 

But it’s good to take them out for a walk once or twice a week, to avoid sedentariness, because just like humans, cats need to keep the balance between the energy consumed by food and the energy burned by physical activity to avoid overweight problems. 

Indeed, the duration of the walk or outing depends on the shape of the animal, the more the muscle mass is important, the more the animal can walk. 

For example, a dog should walk 3 to 4 hours a day. On the other hand the cat has a very low muscle mass, with its thin and soft body, it can not walk much and without stopping during the day. 

So 20 minutes maximum per day and once a week for him while resting every 5 minutes is enough. 

What do cats need when they knead you ?

This is the most sincere message of love from a cat. When a cat is born, the first gesture it learns is to knead its mother’s teats, this gesture allows the milk to flow. So when a cat does this to you, it is because it considers you a very close companion that it loves, it expresses its affection and its well-being.

Can we prevent a cat from kneading?

I advise you not to prevent him from kneading you, but rather find a solution if it makes you male with those claws. Because the cat makes this gesture by instinct. For example, cover your skin with your clothes and let her continue. 

What do cats need when they meow?

When your cat meows, either it wants to relieve itself, or it wants to eat, or it wants to get your attention because you are neglecting it (for example when you come home from work it starts meowing), or your cat is talkative! 

When your cat meows more than ever, it has developed a new behavior, in this case check if : 

Your cat’s breed is talkative: 

Some cats can be calm by nature, others are talkative, for example: the breeds Siamese, Tonkinese, Balinese, Burmese or Japanese Bobtail are generally very talkative and are difficult to convince. 

If the meowing happens overnight, maybe: 

Your cat is sick: so it is necessary to take him to a veterinarian.

Your cat may be worried: Usually when moving or a stressful event that the cat develops this behavior, so it should be taken to a behavior therapist or a cat trainer for some tips.

Do cats like to travel?

Cats don’t like long trips at all. They are often stressed by the idea of being outside their familiar environment. However, it is possible to travel with your cat in peace. To do so, a good preparation is always necessary 

As far as possible, it is advisable to accustom your kitten to multiple situations (travel, moving, transport, …). 

If not, a soft blanket should be present during your trip to put your cat in, because it will not like the noise outside of vehicles or airplanes. 

What Basic Items do cats need?

A special soft fabric blanket for him, especially on cold days.

Scratching post : Scratching is a spontaneous and very important act in cats, most of them do it regularly. 

A special toothbrush from a veterinarian.

Toys: A ball is his best toy. 

A cat collar: I don’t want to wish this on you, but you should always take precautions. It is important to put a collar with your cat’s name on it, to differentiate it from others when it goes missing. 

Do cats need to go regularly to the vet?

Only during the first 7 weeks of your cat’s life, preferably to bring him every week to follow his development of weight and size if he is growing well and healthy, the amount of milk that suits him … etc. 

For the adult cat, once a year. But once it is necessary, for example when you notice a strange behavior or a trace or pimples you bring it to the vet immediately. 

What do cats need to be vaccinated from?

  • Rabies shots 
  • Vaccine against rabies (mandatory) 
  • Vaccine against certain parasitic diseases 
  • Vaccine against panleukopenia (typhus)
  • Coryza: flu vaccine 
  • chlamydia, and leukemia due to FeLV virus

Do cats need vitamin D?

Yes, vitamin D, which must be provided to your cat by its diet, is necessary for the development of not only the skeleton of your cat but also for the maintenance of its muscles.

What kind of vitamins do cats need in their diet?

The vitamins that cats need to have regularly in their diet are the vitamins that they can’t produce enough themselves.

Because there are some vitamins that are produced by the body, and others provided by the food. These vitamins are :

Vitamin B3: found in meat products.

Vitamin A and D: Vitamin D can be found in abundance in offal, especially cod liver, tuna and vegetable oils. As for vitamin A, it is also abundant in the liver but be careful! An excess of this vitamin can cause your cat intolerance or intoxication. 

Omega 3 and 6: So you must offer fish to your cat. 

Vitamin C is also important to strengthen your cat’s immune system.  

Psychological needs for cats :

Love, affection and human care

The need for petting and affection are among the basic necessities that you must provide to your cat, because your cat is an animal that likes to give to receive affection. 

So respect its desire for caresses: the cat loves to rub against you as much as to be caressed. But know how to respect his desires! If she starts to stiffen or flap her tail, it’s time to stop.

Sexual needs

If your unneutered cat is over a year old, respect her/his sexual needs, as this is an instinctive event that must take place to maintain her physical and mental health.  Cats need to mate several times a year, but more specifically between mid-February and mid-September. 

Do cats need to be alone ?

By nature, cats are solitary animals, they like to be surrounded by people, but this is to make their life easier, and to have their needs met easily. 

However, cats often need time to be alone, and it is the nature of their ancestors to live alone, hunt, etc.. 

Many parents have reported that they have lost their cats for up to 3 months and the cat is reunited with its owners and returns home. 

This act can be explained by either your cat is going through a period of depression, or you have not met all its needs such as mating needs , or it is by their nature that they want to be alone for a period. 

This behavior is not justified until today scientifically only by the fact that their ancestors are made to live alone and solitary. 

Is it worth the cost to satisfy your cat’s needs?

People who adopt cats are more and more widespread in the world because cats are excellent pets thanks to their calm and sweet character that appeals to many more people. 

It has many characteristics that must be the cause of being among the most adopted pets in the world; It stimulates the secretion of hormones of happiness and sensation of joy, it boosts the immunity of its parents , it helps to get rid of insects and flies in your home…etc.

Let’s wrap all this Up

Finally, cats are certainly excellent pets, but they require a lot of maintenance and needs like a little baby, you must take care of them, veterinary care, hygiene, meet their psychological and physiological needs.