Mandatories & Recommendations

Requirements and Recommendations from Cat People of Melbourne for your Cat People of Melbourne cat / kitten *items with an asterisk we consider necessary, the others are recommended

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS
CPoM cats and kittens must be fed a raw or high quality wet food ONLY twice a day, no free feeding and no dry food as their main diet.
CPoM cats and kittens must be kept indoors or restrained to property 24/7 without exception. Indoor/outdoor is permitted if the adopters backyard is fully cat proofed and they cannot escape the property. Cats must be inside at night without exception.
If leaving the adopters property the cat/kitten must be in an approved rigid carrier, or in secure lead & harness and carried in a backpack or cat pram. See Lead & Harness Training near the end of this page.
These conditions are not negotiable. If they are not acceptable to you, please withdraw your adoption application as rejection will offend. 

READ THIS FIRST! Toxic substances for cats – these must be removed from your home. 

Here are the most common household items / substances poisonous to cats that you should be aware of: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/top-10-cat-poisons

Plants & flowers toxic – we’ve had cats killed from just a few grains of lily pollen on their paws. Don’t take the risk and lose your beloved feline, read the list and educate yourself and have non toxic plants in your home: https://www.rspcavic.org/cats-toxic-plants

Essential oils – essential oils are toxic to cats, despite what the multi-level marketing essential oil enthusiasts will tell you. Do not ever put essential oils (either neat or in a carrier oil/medium) directly onto your cat. If you are using a humidifier or nebuliser, do not have your cat in the room with you unless you are using water (H2O) only. If you use a diffuser, please read this article and avoid using it with your cat in the room:
https://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/a-scent-sitive-subject-essential-oil-diffusers-and-your-cat/

INPUT – Food

BARF aka raw feeding – we highly recommend feeding your cats biologically available raw food (referred to as BARF or raw) twice a day*, this is necessary for their best health. Here is an article about the benefits of raw feeding and how to transition your cat to raw food https://www.bellaandduke.com/learn/cat-nutrition/raw-feeding-guide-for-cats/
There are quite a few options now available for raw feeding cats, such as ready made BARF, meal completers to make muscle meat a complete BARF food and of course, you can make your own BARF if you have the time.
The most convenient and what we recommend if you only have 1-3 cats/kittens are ready made frozen/refrigerated raw food, ready to use:
• Big Dog BARF for cats, pet shops & delivery https://www.bigdogpetfoods.com/raw-food-for-cats
• Proudi: pet shops & online delivery https://www.proudi.com/cats/
• Monty’s Meats – at Megapet pet stores https://shop.megapet.com.au/brand/montys-meats/
• Leaps & Bounds raw – pet shops & online delivery https://leapsandboundspetfood.com/cats/
• Raw & Fresh – online delivery https://rawandfresh.com.au/collections/cat-raw-food
There are many more options for healthy raw food for cats as obligate carnivores, as raw feeding is becoming more known as the best way to keep your cat healthy for it’s lifetime, a quick google search will be helpful.

If you wish to make up your own raw food, you can purchase a mince eg. beef mince, roo mince or other pet mince (preferably with no preservatives, we get ours from Megapet, 4 stores around Melbourne) Raw Meow meal completer, add to human grade or good quality preservative free pet mince https://rawmeow.com.au/

Under no circumstances should you free feed your cat! Cats are not herbivores, they do not graze. They are obligate carnivore hunters, and need time to rest and digest between meals. Here’s the Jackson Galaxy article on why free feeding is bad for your cats health. https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blogs/news/you-re-feeding-your-cat-all-wrong

To stop feline acne and other health issues, we recommend only ever feeding with a ceramic food bowls. A good quality steel/metal bowl is our second choice. Both ceramic and metal are hygienic & easy to clean, we put ours through the dishwasher daily. We recommend flat with lip (not plastic). Plastic has been shown to contribute to acne in cats and aren’t hygienic. https://www.killarneycat.com/best-bowls/

INPUT – Treats, teeth & exercise those jaws at the same time!
– We recommend chicken necks 2-3 times a week to keep the teeth and gums in great condition and exercise their jaw and predatory instincts.
– Hills Science Diet Oral Care biscuits (for teeth) as treats 8 to 10 a day* to help with gingivitis and as behavioural reinforcement / incentive (especially if the cat won’t eat chicken necks!) https://www.hillspet.com.au/cat-food/sd-feline-adult-oral-care-dry
– BARF treats and supplements by Natural Instincts https://naturalinstinctpetfood.com.au/
– Often cats won’t eat the chicken necks and the Hills Science Diet oral care biscuits aren’t enough, so we recommend silvervine sticks (also known as matatabi or polygonum), we get ours from this Australian supplier at a very reasonable price. https://www.mishcats.com.au/shop/mishcats-silvervine-matatabi-sticks-10-pack/

INPUT – Hydration & Water
– Extremely important is giving fresh water every day*. Use a ceramic bowl that’s not easy to tip over and clean & refill daily. Alternatively, you can purchase a water fountain and clean/refill every week. Water fountains we have used and recommend are: The CatIt 5 senses https://www.petcircle.com.au/product/catit-senses-flower-water-fountain/catt05, the Drinkwell fountains https://www.petcircle.com.au/product/petsafe-drinkwell-pet-water-fountain are both popular with our carers & adopters.
– Another way to keep cats with gingivitis and teeth issues with heathy gums and teeth is a water additive. There are a number on the market but our vets recommend called OxyFresh, available through your vet clinic or online from Aussie Vet Products https://www.aussievetproducts.com.au/products/oxyfresh-water-additive
– food mat – easy wipe plastic to keep your floors clean! We got ours for $1 each from Kmart and they get put through the dishwasher regularly, still going strong five years later.

Recommended suppliers for cat health, diet and remedies
The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier the high calcium chicken broth from this book has helped numerous CPoM cats & kittens get better when they were unwell. It’s worth buying just for this recipe.
Dr Pitcairns Complete Guide to Natural Health of Dogs and Cats jam packed with so much good information for helping your feline companion life their best lives.
McDowells Herbals is our go-to for herbal remedies for chronic health, nervous sytem, and supportive care during serious illnesses such as cancer treatment. We have been working with McDowells for over a decade and use their products all the time.
Natural Animal Solutions have a range of naturopathic products, supplements and health care for cats. CPoM have used NAS products since 2017 and they are effective!

OUTPUT – Ssshhhh it happens!
– We recommend recycled pine pellet cat litter and sieve litter trays from CatMate, you can buy online, in pet stores or purchase from us! Scoop out the faeces, and the sawdust left can be put in the compost bin, or on the garden (except for vegetable gardens, not recommended). https://provirogroup.com.au/product-category/catmate/
– Other options for litter are: Max’s rice litter (great for kittens), ALDI brand clumping cat litter, (not suitable for kittens), CatSan clumping cat litter (not suitable for kittens), Wonder Wheat cat litter from Megapet (suitable for kittens), Coles Soy cat litter (suitable for kittens) – all these have been used by our foster carers and adopters, and are CPoM Cat Approved!
– Other recommendations for litter trays are a hooded litter tray if you don’t use a sieve tray*, such as Trouble & Trix brand. Just make sure you take the door off, cats hate them. The hooded litter tray stops the litter scattering everywhere and helps contains the smell. https://www.budgetpetproducts.com.au/product/trouble-and-trix-litter-tray-with-removable-hood-and-scoop-for-cats/10453contains or check out the Hop In / Jump In Litter Trays which are not suitable for older cats, but great for young cats! A google search will bring up lots to check out.
– A large nappy bucket with a push down lid for collected litter such as this 15 litre nappy pail from Kmart (recommend you line the nappy bucket with a bag for easy cat poop dispsal)*
– poop scoop* (if you don’t get one with your litter tray, the poop scoop from Coles that’s around $5 works)
– getting rid of cat urine (oops!) you can buy TrueEco cat & dog surface cleaner https://www.trueeco.com.au/cpom. A purchase of a 1 litre bottle of concentrate makes up 25 bottles of urine spray. Great economical value and it works fantastically too!
– Other options for urine cleaners is the popular UrineFree https://www.urinefree.com.au – made right here in Melbourne). There are many other brands such as UrineOff, WeeOff, Rufus & Coco Wee Away, etc. They’re all enzyme cleaners and they all work, it’s about personal preference and cost (and smell, some are very highly scented!).

NECESSITIES – Mandatory ie. you must have these too
– A rigid sturdy cat carrier, PP20 airline approved style is preferred*, but if you are on a budget and you are adopting a smaller cat or a kitten, the Kmart cat carrier works well. Do use or purchase a fabric carrier, they are not strong enough to contain distressed cat and are easy for cats to escape from. Do not buy a carrier that snaps together at the sides and has a metal grate you click in with a flimsy plastic handle (example here do not waste your money). Certainly don’t turn up with a cardboard box (yes it really has happened!).
Warning: If you arrive without an appropriate carrier, you will be asked to come back with the correct legally required carrier for your cat. The other reason we are insistent on this is because it’s illegal to have a cat unrestrained in a car. A soft carrier or box cannot be restrained with a seatbelt through the handle or around the carrier. The cat/kittens welfare and your safety is very important!
– A 1m high scratching post*, needs to be high enough for your cat to stretch full length – it must have one surface that’s at least 1 metre or longer. Different types of scratchers: you can go from a basic straight pole such as this Kazoo Large Cat Scratch Post (super popular with the cats & kittens at CPoM HQ) or pole scratcher which is floor to celing, like this iPet Cat Tree, you can get a wooden Cat Tree from Michu or right up to a fully customised cat tree with all the platforms, beds and ramps you could want from Vic’s Cat Scratchers, made right here in Melbourne https://www.facebook.com/VicsCatScratchers. The main thing to keep in mind is that one surface is at least that important 1 metre high so the cat can reach up and stretch their back and have a good scratch. There are many great options out there, have a look at your local pet shop and online.
– Grooming for cats with for sensitive skin or thin/fine coated short haired cats we recommend the Kong Zoom Groom, it’s a massage and fur remover all in one (the added bonus is the other side is good for getting cat fur off clothes!)
– Grooming for long haired cats or thick coated cats  – we recommend the Furminator undercoat de-shedding tool, they do have to be used vigorously so we recommend starting off gently and getting them used to the action.

PLAYTIME & ENRICHMENT so very important 
– recommended toy is Da Bird, best cat toy ever!* , there are different types of wands and attachments, find out which one your cat likes best! Check out Pampered Playgrounds various Da Bird rods and feathered & toy attachments here.
– Kmart cat laser toy, for when your arm is sore from flinging Da Bird aroudn or throwing yet another ping pong ball for your beloved cats entertainment https://www.kmart.com.au/product/cat-laser-toy/1899367
– the CatIt Senses circuit toys, which can be bought and put together in lots of different configurations and extra balls which flash. Also pulls apart for easy cleaning too.
– Other toys that are super popular are ping pong balls (a firm favourite at HQ), rattly balls, mousies that make noise, mousies that don’t make noise, scrunchy balls (made from scrunching up foil or paper into balls) and ticklers/teasers. Google shopping will entertain you for hours as well, the choice is huge!

MEDICAL 
Topical spot on flea & worm treatments – there are a number of spot on flea & worming treatments only one does fleas/worms/tapeworm/ear mites all in one, which is Nexguard Spectra.
Other options are use Moxiclear, Revolution Plus, Advocate (which also treats lungworm), Bravecto Plus (lasts for 2 months),  Aristopet and Evicto are all spot on treatments which do fleas & roundworms/hookworms in one easy treatment. Given with Popantel tapeworm tablets and these are a complete parasite solution.
Topical spot on flea treatments that we use and recommend are Frontline Plus (waterproof after 24 hours, can be used on pregnant cats)
Topical worming treatments Profender is a topical allwormer which is good for people who have cats that will NOT take a tablet (there are quite a few that object to tablets!). Recommend you leave a week between this and a flea only topical treatment.
Topical spot on flea treatments Flea only spot on treatments – Advantage or Activyl brands are preferred.
Tablet all wormers  – we use Milpro, Milbemax or Drontal all wormer tablets which kills off anything and everything in their system with minimum reactions.
If you are unsure which product to use for your cat or kitten, ask a verterinary professional for their advice.

RESTRAIN TO PROPERTY 24/7
Purpose made cat proofing with cat netting or static line systems. Joe Bellavita from the Cat Shack mobile: 0416-725-745 website thecatshack.com.au, he specialises in netted outdoor areas and can come out and chat with you about enclosing a verandah, making a cat run down the side of your house or cat proofing your whole yard (or all three like CPoM HQ!). Also available are static line systems which are less visually obvious and run on solar powered batteries. Joe has cat proofed small verandahs in units and the cat netting is virtually undetectable from the street. Joe has worked with a lot of our adopters and foster carers with owned and rental properties to find a cat proofing solution that works for them. Highly recommended. Tell him CPoM sent you!
Purpose built cat enclosures
Betta Pet Systems produces portable customised secure cat enclosures give the cats outdoor time and enrichment but keeps them safe. The advantage is these enclosures can be moved with you if you relocate. Clint Elser is their master installer http://bettapetsystems.com.au/.
Cat Cubbys – builds great cat enclosures for rental or owned properties. Call Dale on 0419-551-914. Recommended by one of the founders of CPoM!
Elite Cat Enclosures Charlie is the person running this and has some great reviews and there are some great options to choose from.
Make your own! If you are handy and wanted to do the cat proofing yourself, you can buy the four way knotted cat netting from Cat Nets Australia.

Lead & Harness Training – keeping them safe off your property!
Is your cat suited to being an adventure cat? Start here with the Cat Explorer’s articles on first steps to training your cat. If you want to safely explore the world with your cat, check out Cat Explorer (https://catexplorer.co/), a community started by a couple from Sydney who absolutely adore their cats. They have a wealth of information on lead & harness training, cat backpacks, stories etc, well worth a look and possibly joining.
If your cat/kitten is confident, you can always look at training it to walk on a harness and leash, we love this tutorial from CatManToo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qSMk8tJB20

Already got a cat?
Check out these two helpful guides to introducing your new cat or kitten to your resident cat/kitten from our guru Jackson Galaxy! Please read all of these and refer back as needed. Better to get the introduction right the first time than have to undo trauma caused by incorrect introductions.
Jackson Galaxy: The Dos and Don’ts of Introducing Cats
Cat Introductions Part 1: before the introduction
Cat Introductions Part 2: welcome home
Cat Introductions Part 3: dinner time

Got a dog?
Here’s a guide from our friends at Pet Rescue on how to introduce your new cat to a resident dog
How to introduce a new cat to other pets