What Does Responsible Cat Care Mean?


Adopting a cat is a lifetime commitment. When you bring a cat into your family, you also accept responsibility to care for her health and well-being throughout her lifetime. This level of commitment should be obvious to cat guardians, but sadly, the number of cats being returned to shelters for health or behavior issues indicates that it is not.

Commit to the relationship for the life of the cat

If your life circumstances don’t allow you to commit for the life of the cat, you may want to consider volunteering with a cat rescue group or fostering instead.

Keep only the number of cats you can provide for

For most cat lovers, it’s hard to resist that adorable kitten, or the elderly cat in need, but make sure you have the resources to provide proper care and companionship before you increase your feline family.

Provide a stimulating and enriched environment

Providing a stimulating and enriched environment, regular playtime and interaction with the humans in the household goes a long way toward keeping your cats happy and avoiding behavioral issues.

Caring for a cat requires an investment of time and money

Cats need a healthy, premium quality diet and regular veterinary care. Both cost money. But more than that, cats need time and companionship. Cats have a reputation for being aloof and are often mentioned as the perfect pet for busy professionals, because they can be left alone all day. This may be okay if you have more than one cat, but to leave a single cat without human companionship for long hours does not make for a happy cat and home.

Establish and maintain a relationship with a veterinarian

Cats are notoriously underserved when it comes to receiving veterinary care. A recent study by Bayer Animal Health has shown that dogs see the veterinarian twice as much as cats. At a minimum, healthy cats need an annual exam; cats seven years or older should be seen by a veterinarian twice a year. If at all possible, find a vet who specializes in cats, or look for a cat-friendly practice.

Make alternative arrangements if caring for your cat is no longer possible

Nobody wants to think about becoming ill, incapacitated, or dying, but responsible cat guardians think ahead and make arrangements for their cat’s care when they can’t. There are a number of things you can do to ensure peace of mind not just for yourself, but for family and friends who may not know what to do in the event of your death or any other emergency, such as including arrangements for your cat in your will.

Sharing your life with a cat is a privilege as well as a responsibility.

This article was previously published on Answers.com, and is republished with permission.

Welcome to the Conscious Cat

The Conscious Cat is an award winning website published by writer and cat expert Ingrid King, author of Buckley's Story and Purrs of Wisdom. Here at The Conscious Cat, we're passionate about cats. Our mission is to educate cat guardians so that every cat, and every cat's human, can have a happy, healthy life together.


On this site, you will find expert advice from a seasoned cat consultant. The Conscious Cat features articles on cat health, cat nutrition, cat behavior, cat lifestyle, pet loss, and, of course, pictures of cats. We'll bring you product and book reviews, as well as news from around the cat world.

We'll also share Purrs of Wisdom: lessons in conscious living, inspired by the cats who share our lives. Other features include our Mews and Nips; fascinating feline stories from around the globe, and Allegra's World and Ruby's Reflections; written from the perspective of Ingrid's two feline companions. After all, who better than a cat to teach us a thing or two about how to live a joyful life!

And let's not forget, we have a soft spot for tortoiseshell cats and their unique personalities, also known as "tortitude."

We hope you'll enjoy our site. Please join our community of cat lovers: sign up for our newsletter and join us on Facebook. Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

Mews and Nips: Edna the Fire Cat


This week’s biggest news story in the cat world involved a tortie: Edna had called San Francisco’s Fire Station 49 home for the past four years, providing purrs, cuddles and stress relief for the first responders at the station. After an anonymous complaint last week, the fire department ordered Edna removed because ” the cat in the facility compromised the sterility of supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals used on patients.” The decision unleashed a firestorm (pardon the pun) of outrage across multiple social media platforms. As of this writing, Edna is living with one of the first responders, but San Francisco’s fire commissioner has asked the department to reconsider the decision. To keep up to date on Emma’s fate, follow her on Instagram.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: Continue reading…

How to Care for Your Cat’s Teeth


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Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for cats. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, an astounding 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.

The inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease can lead to damage to other organs such as the heart, kidney and liver, and lead to other serious health problems.  Dental disease can also be an indicator of immune system disorders. Continue reading…

Mews and Nips: Meows for Military Program Helps Hospitalized Veterans


The Meow for Military program, organized by The Hermitage Cat Shelter in Tucson, AZ, comforts veterans at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System, a VA hospital. Each week, the shelter’s outreach coordinator and a feline ambassador visit hospitalized veterans to provide supportive therapy to lift their spirits. “It’s kind of magical seeing the veterans really sit with these cats and pet them. Just to see the calm come across their face,” Stephanie Malone, an employee at the hospital, told Tuscon News Now. For more information and a wonderful video about the program, visit Tuscon News Now.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: Continue reading…

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