More Cat Care Information:
Caring for your cat is easy when you try to remember her origins. Being domesticated doesn’t mean you should abandon how she would live in the wild. Cats have evolved in the wild over millennia. They have been domesticated for a mere trifle in comparison.
|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.
This means that their nutritional and emotional needs remain identical to those of their forebears. In attempting to provide the best cat care means looking at these needs. Lets look at their nutritional needs first.
Wild cats hunt on their own. They hunt small animals, sometimes up to about their own size, but mostly smaller than themselves. They rarely eat anything other than freshly killed meat. Contrasting this with a typical domestic cat’s diet of dried pellets and you realise how off the mark commercial pet food is. Even if dried pellets were made with the best cuts of meat (which they aren’t), the meat is still not fresh or raw. So, if you’re trying to provide the most complete cat care, what should you feed your cat?
In my opinion, the best cat food is raw meat and bones. You can’t completely duplicate a wild cat’s diet, but you can come so close as to not compromise her health. Cat care starts with food as this is consumed daily. Something done daily has much more impact on our health than say something that only happens once a year.
When a cat eats her prey, she will eat all the meat, including the bones. Bones are the best source of calcium for a cat. And meat can only be properly digested when it is consumed with bones. After all, all carnivores eat meat with bones. Not only that, crunching up on bones is the best way of keeping her teeth and gums healthy, as long as they’re not too big. No dried pellets can do that as well, despite the promises on the label.
|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.|
Some think that giving a cat raw meat will trigger their hunting instinct. In my experience, it does the exact opposite. Because raw meat is nutrient dense, your cat will be satisfied and won’t feel the need to supplement her diet as when fed a nutrient deficient diet.
Natural cat care also means providing your cat with her basic emotional and physical needs. Cats are intelligent and inquisitive. They need visual stimulation. This is best served by being outdoors, where nature provides an abundance of stimulation. If it’s impossible or too dangerous to let your cat outside, do make sure she has access to safe stimulants, perhaps in the form of toys. Make sure you play with her to ensure she gets adequate exercise.
Sun is an important aspect of good cat care. Cats love the sun and it is essential to good health for all of us, not just your cat. Regular outdoor access will allow her to choose for herself. For confined cats, make sure there are times when you can open a window (safely) to allow the sun’s rays in, unhindered by glass or plastic.
Easy cat care really means allowing your cat the freedom she desires. Confining cats indoors is going against good animal husbandry, I am also of the opinion that declawing cats is not only painfully inhumane, it deprives the cat of the natural joy of stretching. If you are considering declawing your cat, maybe you should also consider having a cat is not for you. Cats have already adapted a great deal to live with us. Putting them through an unnecessary, inhumane and painful operation is purely for your benefit, not your cats.
Cats provide us with an abundance affection, love and enjoyment. To provide even adequate cat care, we should at least do the same for them.
|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).|