Cats Guide

Buying & equipment

Pedigree cat or "normal" house cat? Every cat has its own unique character, and its breed plays only a small part. The type of cat you decide upon is therefore primarily a matter of personal taste. Our breed portraits will help you decide. 

Tips for buying a cat 

Many cat lovers acquire their pet by chance, for example when a cat belonging to a friend has a litter of kittens that need new homes. Cats can also often be found for sale in the classified ads of local newspapers. Pet shops can likewise help individuals searching for a new cat and may have a notice board advertising kittens or cats looking for a new home. Animal rescue centres are another excellent place to look as they always have cats in need of a loving new family. 
Pedigree cats are best bought from a responsible breeder. You can obtain addresses from your vet, local cat breeding association or pet shop. 

Signs of a healthy cat:

•    Lively and animated behaviour 
•    A soft, glossy coat 
•    Light coloured gums (red patches may be a sign of inflammation) 
•    Dry, warm nose (free of discharge or mucous) 
•    Clear eyes 
•    Clean ears

Checklist for initial equipment

To really feel at home, a cat needs certain accessories in addition to food:
•    A cosy place to curl up that belongs to the cat alone 
•    Food bowls (e.g. stainless steel) and a drinking bowl
•    Litter tray with an edge that curves inwards 
•    Cat litter that absorbs odour, e.g. Vitakraft MAGIC CLEAN®
•    Litter shovel for removing cat waste 
•    Toys to keep your cat occupied, e.g. a small ball 
•    Comb and brush for grooming 
•    Scratching tree for climbing and sharpening claws 
•    Cat carrier for when visiting the vet
•    Main food for daily nutritional requirements
•    Snacks for use as a reward, e.g. Vitakraft Cat-Stick® mini

Customer service

Do you have questions about cats?

Here you will find the answers and a contact form.

Find out more >>

Portraits of cats

Here you find different cats by picture and description.

See portraits >>

Caring for your pet

Grooming and cleaning

Cats are very clean animals and will clean themselves thoroughly several times each day. They do, however, need a little extra assistance on occasion.

Grooming 

Short-haired cats need to be brushed now and then when moulting in spring. Long-haired cats need to be groomed regularly using a special metal comb so that their coat remains smooth and glossy.

Claws 

Cats that live indoors may need to have their claws clipped on occasion. Your vet will be happy to show you how to do this properly. 

Bath time 

Most cats are afraid of water and should therefore be bathed only when absolutely necessary. If you do bathe your cat, be sure to use a mild cat shampoo.

Litter tray 

Remove dirty litter from your cat's litter tray on a daily basis and top it up with fresh litter. Wash out the entire litter tray once each week using hot water and replace all the litter. When using some types of cat litter, the interval between replacing the litter can be longer, e.g. when using 
Vitakraft MAGIC CLEAN® (up to four weeks). Do not use strong household detergents on the litter tray. Cats have very sensitive noses!

Behaviour & upbringing

Behaviour 

The love affair between people and cats began in ancient Egypt. And it was cats who made the first move into human surroundings: the cereal stores filled by humans attracted large number of mice, and cats were happy to take on the job of mouse hunters. This made them so valuable to the people of the time that cats were even revered as gods.

Cats exude a sense of peace and contentment and can behave almost like people at times. They display affection through loving bodily contact and can react haughtily if they are not receiving enough attention. With their intelligence and pronounced ability to pick up on moods, they know exactly how their human owners are feeling. 

Whether living as part of a family or keeping someone company in a single-person household, cats are highly adaptable and can fit in with (almost) any living circumstances if handled with love. They can even grow accustomed to life in an inner-city apartment if brought up in this environment and given a great deal of attention. 

A new member of your family

To begin with, a new cat will need a little time to get to grips with the unfamiliar environment. If you stay nearby and speak softly to it, it will soon explore its new territory with interest and start to feel at home. 

Cats greet "their" people by rubbing their heads against them, and will also react to their feline friends in the same way.

Cats can get along with each other

Cats love the company of people. However, they can also make friends with others of their same kind, although it is best if each cat has its own territory within your home.

Two cat siblings usually get along particularly well. However, it is also possible to keep a young cat together with an older one. It is important to ensure that each animal has its own food bowl and that the older cat continues to receive the same amount of attention as before. 

Aficionados of certain breeds often report that certain pedigree cats get on particularly well together, such as lively Siamese cats or the more quiet Persians.

Use of the litter tray

Cats require very little training as they are instinctively aware of the correct way to behave; for instance, using the litter tray. Cats are naturally very clean and often learn how to use the litter tray from their mother. However, you should still place a young cat in the litter tray after every meal. It will then quickly learn that this is the right place to do its "business". Since the litter tray is the only place in your house where the cat can dig, it will often seek it out instinctively. And if it has a little accident: VITA® Clean stain remover from Vitakraft has a disinfectant effect, removes stains and neutralises odour.

Diet

The perfect diet

Domesticated cats are still hunters at heart whose bodies are designed to digest meat and high-energy animal proteins.
However, cats are not just carnivores: they also ingest vegetable matter rich in vitamins from the stomach contents of their prey. Our house cats therefore need a balanced, protein-rich diet that meets their special nutritional requirements. As true connoisseurs, cats also love variety – and the Vitakraft range has something to suit every taste.

Food types

Main food: 
A main food, such as tasty VITA LIFE®,  covers your cat's basic nutritional requirements.

Snacks: 
These tasty treats are primarily a way of pampering your cat. However, they must still be healthy and suitable for your pet. Some snacks even perform an additional function, such as Vita-Dent®which helps keep teeth healthy.

Nutritional supplements: 
Dietary supplements like Vitakraft's tried-and-tested VITA-bon® tablets help to strengthen your cat and promote well-being. They meet the specific nutritional needs that can arise during certain stages of life, e.g. during periods of growth, after illness or during pregnancy.

Feeding tips 

  • Cats like to eat several meals at different times of the day
  • Always serve food at room temperature
  • Feed at fixed times
  • Measure out just enough in each portion to prevent any being left over 
  • Remove perishable food leftovers 
  • Wash out bowls after each meal 
  • Provide a varied diet
  • Provide fresh water at all times 
  • Cats eat grass, e.g. Vitakraft Cat Grass to help cough up hair swallowed when cleaning themselves and to take in vital nutrients.
  • Only give your cat lactose-reduced milk, e g. Vitakraft Cat Milk as normal cow's milk can cause problems with digestion in grown cats
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