VET’S VIEW: Let’s learn all about our cats

FIRST it was watching our garden birds – now it’s time to watch our cats!

On bank holiday Monday, May 6, the UK’s first-ever National CatWatch Day means our nation’s cat owners are invited to observe heir four-legged feline friends.

So – for just a couple of hours on Monday – cat owners (and children) are encouraged to pick a nice comfy position at home, watch their cats closely, then report all their observations directly to the National CatWatch Survey. This ground-breaking survey aims to help us get to know our cats a little better, to understand how they use their home and garden, spotting any improvements that can be made to their world — potentially even benefiting your home and whole neighbourhood.

So, look out for habits (including the naughty ones!), noting elements like sleep, play and toilet habits, and, of course, interactions; these details can then be added to a short online questionnaire.

High-density living is as stressful for cats as it is for us, and just as noisy neighbours can be irritating, our feline friends often suffer stress over territory, home intrusion, even food theft.

Indeed, stress plays an extremely important factor in our cats’ lives – particularly in multi-cat households – often giving rise to non-bacterial cystitis, inappropriate marking, and excessive grooming.

CatWatch Day will help increase awareness of your cats’ impact, not just on one another, but their surrounding environment, too.

This unique snapshot of UK cat’s life will give valuable information about keeping cats safe from injuries and accidents, reduce tension between neighbourhood cats preventing common feline problems, helping cats to live more amicably together, thus vastly improving their quality of life.

To join CatWatch Day, download your “observation sheet” from the Your Cat website www.yourcat.co.uk and complete your findings online.