Cat Care – The Basics For a Happy and Healthy Feline

More Cat Care Information:

Although cat care is relatively easy — especially when compared to caring for a dog, there are certain important things you should be aware of.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Cat Care Supplies

Before bringing your new kitten or cat home, from an individual or an animal shelter, make sure you’re prepared with the basic cat supplies. You’ll need a food and water bowl, quality cat food, collar with I.D. tag, litter box, litter, brush, and flea and tick medication if applicable.

Cat Health

No matter who or where you get your feline from — be sure to ask for any and all veterinarian or health records. This way you’ll be prepared when you take your new cat or kitten to the veterinarian. You should visit your vet soon as possible after the adoption, and then on a yearly basis — it’s a necessity of providing basic cat care.

While you’re at the veterinarian, have your cat spayed or neutered (if they aren’t already). It makes so much sense. Not only to help control the pet population, but for sanitary and health reasons as well.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

An unfixed cat that goes outdoors wanders long distances and gets into fights on a regular basis — which can lead to all sorts of illnesses and expensive vet bills.

An unfixed indoor cat has problems too. A male sprays urine all over the place to mark his territory. And an unfixed female experiences a lot of stress when she goes into heat (which happens quite often) and is open to health issues.

Cat Safety

The safest way to care for your feline is to keep him/her indoors at all times, but many choose to let their cat outdoors part of the time. This is dangerous in high traffic areas and areas that have dangerous predators such as large dogs, coyotes, and other cats. If you’re going to let your cat outdoors, at least bring them indoors at night — that’s the most dangerous time for them.


Good cat care means not over feeding your cat. Give them the quantity recommended on the cat food package label. An overweight cat is prone to many serious illnesses such as diabetes. And make sure that any food you buy contains a large percentage of real meat — as cats are carnivores.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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