Feline facts

Resources to keep your cat covered and cared for

Have you brought home a cat or kitten who is exploring your couch and claiming your keyboard as their new bed? While cats tend to be independent and low maintenance, it’s important to look out for them. Here we’ve included some helpful advice on caring for your cat.

Cat on a couch

Registering and microchipping

In Victoria, all cats older than three months need to be registered with your local council, and registration renewed each year in April. If this is the first time your cat is being registered, you'll need to make sure they're microchipped beforehand. 

Microchipping is when your veterinarian implants a small computer chip into your cat that contains a unique identification number and your contact information. If they stray from home, a collar could fall off. A microchip, on the other hand, is permanent and can help you be reunited quickly.

Registration fees are set by your local council and can vary depending on your cat's age, if they've been de-sexed, or meets other criteria. Speak with your local council to determine what its cat registration fees are.

The fees your council collects for microchipping and registering your cat help fund community facilities and resources like:

  • Animal shelters and parks;
  • Animal management staff who help collect and return stray cats to their owners, respond to animal complaints, and audit businesses for animal welfare standards;
  • Pet safety education classes for primary schools and kindergartens;
  • Responsible pet ownership publications;
  • And more.

You can claim your cat's council registration or microchipping up to the annual limit of $100 with the RACV Pet Insurance optional ‘Tender Loving Care' benefit.

Cat perched on a shelf

Keeping your cat safe

Cats are curious creatures and many would happily roam your neighbourhood if given the opportunity. Unfortunately, this puts native wildlife at risk and your cat could get lost, annoy your neighbours, or be injured by other animals or vehicles.

So keep your cat inside your home or in a specialised enclosure, especially at night. Cats are typically sedentary and they are at very little welfare risk from being confined, so long as their environment needs are met. This includes exercise through play and exposure to sunlight through windows or fly screens.

How often should I take my cat to the vet?

It’s recommended to take your feline friend to see a veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up, even if they seem happy and healthy.

Vet visits are also essential to keep your cat up to date with vaccinations, which increase immunity against a range of diseases that would impact your pet's health. Your veterinarian will recommend a vaccination schedule unique to your cat based on their lifestyle and environment.

If you suspect your cat may be sick or injured, take them to the vet immediately.

Is cat insurance worth it if I have an indoor cat?

Being indoors doesn’t protect cats from health problems like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and more. And indoor cats can have accidental injuries or ingest things they shouldn’t. Thanks to veterinary medical advances, there are more treatment options than ever, but these can be expensive. Pet insurance for cats is a great way to help budget for your cat’s health care in case of illness or emergencies.

Give your pet a home away from home while you're on holiday. RACV members save 10% when pre-booking the Hanrob Pet Hotel.

Cat grooming tips

Cats are clean creatures and groom themselves regularly, but you can help them stay in top condition. Some of our tips for grooming your cat are:

  • Claws: Trim your cat’s claws regularly to help them avoid the pain of broken claws catching on furniture and carpet. You can learn to trim your cat’s claws or ask a professional groomer to do it for you.
  • Coat: Begin brushing your cat from a young age so they’re familiar with the sensation. Medium-haired or long-haired cats require more frequent brushing than short-haired cat. Brushing your cat regularly helps decrease the rate of hairballs and is a great opportunity to look out for skin problems, ticks, or wounds.
  • Teeth: Maintaining dental health can help prevent major dental work as your cat ages. You can try to brush your cat’s teeth with specialised cat toothpaste but if they don’t let you, there are food products aimed at looking after their teeth and gums.

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Conditions, limitations and exclusions to insurance cover apply. RACV Pet Insurance is underwritten by RACQ Insurance Limited (ABN 50 009 704 152, AFS Licence No.233082) (‘RACQ Insurance’). RACV Pet Insurance is distributed to members of Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) Ltd, by RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd ABN 74 004 131 800 AFS Licence No. 230039 (‘RACV’). RACV distributes insurance on behalf of the insurer, RACQ Insurance. If you purchase a policy RACV will receive a commission that is a percentage of the base premium. RACV does not provide advice on RACV Pet Insurance. Before you make a decision, please carefully read the relevant policy documents including the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Supplementary Product Disclosure Statement (SPDS), available from RACV.