With eight million cats in the UK, it’s safe to say we love our moggies. Here are some surprisingly common questions that cat lovers have asked about their pets.

cat in a coat

I want to buy a cat coat for my kitten. What kind should I look for?

Cats love to be warm and if you want to keep your kitten snug, look for a coat that’s easy to put on and take off. Coats should be fitted, but neither too tight nor too loose – if it’s uncomfortable, your kitten will do its best to wriggle out of it.

Look for fabrics that are soft and flexible (and machine washable), and choose a coat with an open back so your cat can use the litter tray easily.

Can cats catch a cold?

While cats don’t catch the same common cold that us humans do, they can catch cat flu. Symptoms are similar to that of a cold, with sneezing and a runny or stuffy nose. Your cat may also have some muscle or joint pain and not move around as much.

Like many viruses, cat flu is easily caught through sneezing, saliva or eye discharge. Kittens and older cats with poor immune systems are most at risk of catching cat flu, but in the majority of cases healthy felines will make a full recovery.

If your cat is under the weather, ensure water bowls and bedding are cleaned daily to prevent reinfection, and gently wipe away any eye or nose discharge with clean water (preferably saline). You may also need to treat your cat to some tasty treats to keep their strength up.

You can, of course, prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms by ensuring your cat is vaccinated each year to prevent cat flu – speak to your vet for advice.

Are some cats smarter than others? Is there a cat IQ test?

Unlike dog intelligence, there hasn’t been much research about cat intellect. Experts do say however, that there’s a difference in how cats choose to interact with their owners, which could be perceived as differing levels of intelligence.

For example, your cat might always know when you wake up in the morning. That’s not because it can tell the time, but more likely because it’s learned your routine and wants to be a part of it.

There are no official, scientific tests for measuring your cat’s IQ but that doesn’t mean you can’t devise your own.

What are the signs of cat skin cancer?

Just like humans, cats can get skin cancer through exposure to the sun, but they can also develop skin cancer for genetic reasons. Things to look out for include lumps and bumps that don’t go away; change of nose colour; crusting or redness on the bridge of your cat’s nose; balding; chewing and scratching; and any bleeding or general slowness in healing.

If you suspect your cat really isn’t well, then contact your vet. If cancer is suspected, they’ll take a biopsy of the affected area or extract cells for testing. Most cats will make a good recovery if the cancer is caught early on.

You can help reduce the chances of your cat developing cancer from sun exposure by limiting how much time it spends outside sunbathing; you can also buy cat sunblock (but don’t use human sunblock).

chatty cats

Why are some cats chattier than others?

Just as with people, some cats are chattier than others and some breeds are renowned for having a lot to say.

Vocal cat breeds include Siamese, Turkish Angora, Burmese and Tonkinese – it’s advisable to do your homework if you’re considering one of these as a pet.

Primarily, cats ‘talk’ to get your attention – whether it’s for food, affection or play. If your cat suddenly becomes more vocal, it could be telling you that something’s wrong.

If you find your cat’s chat is a nuisance, avoid reinforcing their behaviour and only give your cat attention when it’s being quiet and calm. If you suspect your cat is bored and is filling time with constant babble, then introduce more stimulation to keep them amused.

Is it important to have pet insurance for my cat?

Pet insurance isn’t compulsory but it can provide peace of mind – you’ll need to be confident you can cover the cost of any emergencies, operations or treatment that your cat needs if you choose not to have it.

There are several types of policy to choose from, and the one that’s right for you and your favourite feline will depend on your needs, budget, your cat’s pedigree and whether it’s a kitten or an older cat.

Start a quote with us today to see what your options are.

If you have any questions relating to your cat’s health or wellbeing, it’s always preferable to ask your vet for advice.

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