Cats and ScratchingLitter Box Trouble
Catnip and How It Affects CatsTrimming your Cat's Claws
Mats in My Cat's Fur!Tub Baths for Cats

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Common Questions About Cats

1. What's the lifespan of a cat?

Typically, an indoor cat will live from 15 to 20 years (and more!) Indoors-only cats live longer than cats who remain exclusively outdoors or who travel in and out because of the lower risk of abuse and injuries from traffic, humans, dogs, and other cats. Also, the danger of contracting certain diseases and parasites are lessened when a cat remains inside all the time.

2. How soon can I get my kitten “fixed”?

The general answer to that question is 16 weeks, or about 4 months of age. Kittens in shelters get spayed and neutered even earlier (most often just to "get it over with," in case the adopting parent shirks his responsibility.) Earlier spaying and neutering (at the age of 8 weeks) is usually safe and practical; your vet can tell you more about what’s right for your particular kitten. (How can I tell the sex of my kitten?)

3. What should my cat weigh?

Just like for people, that depends on gender and bone structure. Common domestic (not purebred) cats probably ought to weigh from 8 to 12 pounds, and a male will weigh about 2 to 4 pounds more than a female. However, if you have a purebred Maine Coon, which is a naturally large cat, 18 pounds would be an acceptable weight.

4. How much water should my cat be drinking?

Cats need about a cup of water (8 fluid ounces) per 8 to 10 pounds of body weight. If your cat eats only dry food, you need to be watchful of his fluid intake because his only source of liquid is the water bowl. (Cats who eat canned food get some liquid from their moist meals.) Drinking adequate amounts of water is very helpful in preventing urine crystals, constipation, and hairballs. If you want to promote more water intake, then try putting a few extra water bowls in different places in the house. Keep in mind that domestic cats originated in hot, dry climates (think Egypt and the Middle East), and it isn’t in their nature to take in great quantities of water. Just monitor your cat for any drastic increase or decrease in water consumption; any sudden, dramatic changes are a sign that you need to consult your vet. (If your cat likes running water, take a look at the Drinkwell Pet Fountain.)

5. How much should my cat be eating?

10 pound cat . . . about 250 calories per day
15 pound cat . . . about 300 calories per day
20 pound cat . . . about 325 calories per day

Of course, these calorie numbers are rough estimates because every cat is different. Active cats need more calories to fulfill their energy requirements. A cat who is “fixed” needs about 25% fewer calories than an intact cat. Remember, no one knows your cat better than you do. Feed your kitty a sensible amount of food and share some physical playtime every day. (See our great selection of interactive cat toys -- they'll get your cat moving!) If you think your cat is overweight and you want to reduce his food intake, try to make the change gradually over time.

Reasons for Vet Visits for Cats:

1. Urinary Tract Infection*
2. Stomach Upset
3. Respiratory Infection
4. Ear Infection
5. Eye Infection
6. Skin Allergy
7. Wound Infection
8. Colitis
9. Gum Disease
10. Kidney Disease

AND... For no other reason other than your cat should have twice a year check-ups at the vet. I bet you didn't know that taking your pet to the veterinarian once a year is like you going to the doctor once every seven years. Because cats age so fast they can develop life-threatening diseases in a short amount of time!

*Feeding cranberry extract can help with UTI prevention. (See our "Catberry" Treats.)

Signs of Feline Diabetes:

1. Excessive Thirst
2. Excessive Urination
3. Excessive Appetite
4. Weight Loss
5. Abnormal gait in rear leg (occasional)

If your cat shows signs of feline diabetes you should take the animal to a veterinarian to start on medication or other options. If your cat does not receive treatments to help cure him/her, the animal will essentially starve to death.

Signs of Feline Hyperthyroidism:

1. Enlarged Thyroid Gland
2. Thin
3. Hyperactive or difficult to examine
4. Fast heart rate
5. Scraggly hair coat
6. Heart Murmur
7. "Gallop Rhythm" heard when listening to the heart

If your feline shows any or all of these symptoms, it should be taken to the veterinarian. Your vet should be able to help your feline get on a path to recovery.

Collected bits of smart advice for cat lovers:

1. Cats and cat carriers:
Does your cat have a fit whenever you pull out the cat carrier for a trip to the vet? Get your cat used to the carrier by leaving it out and open so it becomes part of your cat’s everyday environment – instead of hiding it away until it’s needed. (See the carrier we have for $9.95 each.)

2. Cats and litter boxes:
Each cat in your home, should have 1.5 litter boxes. For example, if you have two cats, keep 3 litter boxes. If you have just one cat, round up to 2 litter boxes. (See our category of litter necessities.)

3. Cats and scratchers:
Put the cat’s scratcher wherever the cat likes to hang out (not off in a room that your cat hardly visits.) Cats are territorial creatures; one of the reasons why cats scratch is to make a mark that shows everybody: “I was here.” It’s like feline graffiti, and it’s a real need that’s born into every cat.

4. Cats and milk:
Because most cats are lactose-intolerant, avoid giving your cats milk because they may have trouble digesting it (For instance, excess gas, vomiting or diarrhea may occur.)

5. Cats who are home alone:
Let the TV or radio play while you’re gone to work all day. The background noise can soothe separation anxiety.

6. Telling the sex of a kitten:
Lift up the tail. If you can see a vertical slit that nearly (but not quite) reaches to the anus (like a lower-case letter “i”), then you have a female kitten.

Neat Cat Information

*The smallest cat in the world is the rusty-spotted cat of Sri Lanka and India, weighing in at less than 3 pounds.

*It is thought that a cat's whiskers help them avoid objects in the dark by detecting changes in air pressure!

*In the lifetime of a house cat it will spend approximately 10,950 hours purring.

*A baby that is exposed to a cat in the first year of life has a lesser chance of developing allergies when they get older than a baby never exposed to an animal.

*A cat's ear is controlled by more than 20 muscles! These muscles help the cat to use its ear like a satellite dish, swiveling it around to identify the faintest of noises.

*Most cats can survive a fall of at least 30 feet.

Interesting Facts about our feline friends:

*Cats have been domesticated for a short time -- only 5,000 years, which is comparatively recent considering dogs have been human companions for more than 10,000 years.

*Cat hearts beat twice as fast as human hearts, at 110 to 140 beats per minute.

*Did you know that most cats have no eyelashes!

*Cats lack a true collarbone. That means if they can get their head through something, they can get their body through, too. You may notice your cat testing the size of an opening by careful measurement it with his head.

*Cats’ night vision is six times better than that of humans. This is because cats eyes are adapted for vision in dim light for hunting just before dawn and after dusk, this is Prime hunting time for felines.

*For feeding, most cats only require half a cup of (dry) food per cat per day. Fat cats usually get weight related diseases that shorten their life span. Another MAJOR sign of hyperthyroidism is a huge appetite with weight loss. (Often the cats are eating more than normal, begging for more, and skinny.) They may also look for cool places to sleep, instead of warm. We have always been told that a household number of cats + 1= number of litterboxes. Litterboxes should be kept CLEAN. Cats can develop UTI's or inappropriate elimination because of not enough or a dirty litterbox. Inappropriate elimination is a very common cause for cats to be given up to shelters or even euthanized.

Thank you to Susan for that information

For more curious cat facts you can visit or

Ways to Protect Your Loved Feline From Bird Flu:

1. Keep your cats indoors
2. Don't feed your feline raw or undercooked meat
3. Keep your cats away from other sick cats

It is important to make sure your cat is not around other cats if they have bird flu because it is possible for one sick cat to infect another, however, felines cannot spread the virus to humans.

Information about felines

*On average, a cat will sleep for 16 hours a day.

*The life expectancy of cats has nearly doubled over the last fifty years. (How old is my cat in human years?)

*Blue-eyed, white cats are often prone to deafness.

*A domestic cat can run at speeds of up to 30 mph!

*The cat's tail is used to maintain balance.

*A cat has 30 teeth, 16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. (No need to bother with messy pastes to keep your cat's teeth clean and breath fresh! Try Breath & Dental Treats!)

*The cat's front paw has 5 toes and the back paws have 4. Cats born with 6 or 7 front toes and extra back toes are called polydactl.

*In multi-cat households, cats of the opposite sex usually get along better.

*Cats eat grass to aid their digestion and to help them get rid of any fur in their stomachs. (Try growing some oat grass for your cats -- they LOVE it!)

How old is my cat in human years?

It is believed that after the first 2 years of a cat's life, each feline year is approximately 4 human years. Cats are adolescents at about 6 months to one year old, middle aged at about 8 years of age, and considered senior citizens at about 12 years of age.

Cat's Age
Human's Age
6 Months
10 Years
1 Year
15 Years
2 Years
24 Years
3 Years
28 Years
5 Years
36 Years
7 Years
44 Years
9 Years
52 Years
11 Years
60 Years
13 Years
68 Years
15 Years
76 Years
17 Years
84 Years
19 Years
92 Years
20 years
96 years
21 years
100 years