At some point between 1 and 3 years of age, your cat can be considered an adult. Active play continues to be an important element of your adult cat’s life, providing needed exercise, the control of destructive behavior, and the prevention of boredom. Adult cats love the game of pursuit and are keenly interested in the movement of light, toys, and shadows. And they love the element of surprise. Click here for more information on cat toys.
Body Development and Keen Eyesight
As an adult, your cat’s body is fully developed. Their eyes see far better than human eyes, especially at night. They can also hear better than humans. A good way for you to bond with your cat is through brushing and stroking them. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and reduces the likelihood of hairballs. Note that long-haired cats may require a wide-tooth comb to remove any matting or tangles.
Behaviors of Adult Cats
Behavior changes you might notice in your adult cat are kneading, hiding, and hissing. Cats will hiss and spit at other animals or humans if they feel threatened or uneasy. The hiss is not to initiate a fight but to avoid an encounter. A normal stance will resume when your cat no longer feels threatened.
Cats will also hide in high places, a learned response from seeking higher ground from predators. So do not be surprised if you find your cat in a high cupboard or on a high shelf. You may also find your cat wanting to knead your arm or leg with their paws. This alternating paw prodding into your skin can have a calming effect on them.
Nutritious Cat Food
Feeding your adult cat a nutritious and balanced diet is very important. Your adult cat needs to eat enough nutritious food to meet their energy needs, maintain a healthy weight, and repair body tissues, but not too much to cause excessive weight. The amount you feed your adult cat should be gauged by their size and energy output. The best diet replicates what they would eat in the wild: a meat-filled, protein-rich diet. Cats are strict carnivores; as such, they need a lot of quality protein, more than many other animals. They also need various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. When choosing food for your cat, read labels and select food with a balanced nutritional profile.
Dry Food: This is an affordable choice for a lot of families. To keep it fresh, store food in a cool, dry location and never feed your cat kibble past its expiration date. With dry food, you have the option to free-feed your cat, which works great for some cats and allows them to enjoy some crunchies when they’re hungry. If this is not possible because you’ve got a major “muncher” on your hands, switch to a routine feeding schedule so your cat cannot snack into a bulging belly.
Wet Food: This is advantageous for some cats who are picky eaters. Although dry food usually has a coating of flavor enhancers to make it more palatable, some cats just refuse to eat it. Another advantage of wet food is that it’s about 70%+ moisture, so it’s a good way to supplement your kitty’s water intake. If you’re feeding wet food or choose to mix wet and dry food, check the labels and ensure the wet food offers your cat complete nutrition.
Proper nutrition for cats is essential, but so is fighting obesity. Many common cat health problems are caused by being overweight or obese. If you notice that your cat is packing on the pounds, scale back their food and talk with your vet about strategies to keep your cat’s waistline under control. Over 60% of pets today are overweight or obese. Obesity has been associated with numerous diseases, such as diabetes, pancreatitis, arthritis/joint disease, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, and a shortened life span.
Provide Fresh Water
Cats love fresh (moving) water. This is why you sometimes come into the bathroom and find your cat headfirst in the toilet bowl or licking the drips off the faucet. Getting wide, large water dishes and changing the water regularly will help keep your cat interested. Cats who don’t get sufficient water most commonly develop urinary tract infections and other health problems. If you want to really encourage your cat to drink, providing an electric water fountain will keep the water circulating and tempting to your cat.