The Basics of Cat Care
Taking care of cats is not terribly hard. Proper cat care will extend your cat’s life and improve her health. Following these tips will make you a proud owner of a healthy cuddly cat.
First of all, a few feeding tips:
- Use a good brand of cat food. Take advice from your vet for the best diet. Your vet will consider factors like health and age to recommend the best cat food.
- Taurine is an essential amino acid for eye and heart health. It is good to have taurine listed in your cat food.
- Wash the water bowl and refill it with clean water.
- Keep treats to no more than 10% of the diet.
- Do not feed human baby food to your cat. It can create problems. For instance, some baby foods have garlic or onion powder which are known to be toxic to both cats and dogs.
- Take your feline friend to the vet whenever you notice clinical signs of vomiting or diarrhea.
Cats preen themselves very well. However, it is still good to groom them with a brush. This will reduce hairballs and shedding.
Never pick a cat by the front legs or the neck scruff. Pick your cat by placing a hand behind the front legs and the other hand under the hind legs. Always lift gently.
Assign a clean, dry place for your cat to rest and sleep. Pay attention to the temperature of the environment. It is important for the comfort and well being of your feline friend.
The bedding should be cleaned regularly. It can be a soft warm blanket or a clean towel.
Keep your cat indoors. Keep close watch when you take it outdoors. Outdoor cats are at much greater risk of being involved in car accidents, attacks by dogs, raccoons and coyotes and face greater risk of tick and flea infestations and infectious diseases.
Fit your cat with an ID tag and safety collar. The elastic panel of the safety collar will let your cat break free if the collar gets stuck somewhere. An ID tag or even better, a microchip, will help you find your cat if she gets lost.
For multi-level houses, keep one litter box on each floor. Clean it every day because cats won’t use dirty, smelly litter boxes. After clearing out the box, use a mild detergent and refill every week.
Install scratch posts. Cats need to scratch to clear the old outer layer of nails so that the new smooth layer is exposed. These implements should be sturdy and at least three feet high. Make sure that the scratching post does not wobble. Cover it with rough material like tree bark.
By the time they are five months of age, male cats should be neutered and female cats should be spayed.
Take your cat to the vet whenever you notice a first sign of ill health.
Cat eye infections are common and very obvious.
Cats are notorious for masking illnesses. Keep a close eye for subtle changes like apathy and lethargy.