Cat Basics

More Cat Care Information:

Many people believe that it is pretty much impossible to train a cat. However, while it may be a lot more difficult to train a cat than a dog, for example, this doesn't mean it is impossible. Cats are certainly very independent creatures but with the right attitude and motivation there is no reason why you couldn't train your cat well. Here are some cat training tips that should help you out.

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.

It is important that you don't ever punish your cat. As soon as you find something that your cat may have done they are likely to have already forgotten about it. This makes punishing them a complete waste of time and they are not actually going to understand why you are doing it. These punishments can therefore be confusing and can hinder your training progress.

Instead of actually punishing bad behavior it is far more productive for you to reward good behavior. If you see your cat is doing something that they should be doing then you need to present them with a reward immediately. This reward can be anything from a small edible treat to an item to play with.

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.

Cats generally like to remain on a schedule. As such you should make sure that you feed them at exactly the same time every single day, give or take half an hour. Try to make sure that the environment in which they live stays very similar as well. If you do something different then keep an eye on your cat and make sure that this doesn't affect them. Stress will usually end up causing bad behavior in turn and this is something you want to avoid.

Even the best cat isn't necessarily going to be able to avoid temptation all of the time. As such it is important for you to try to cat proof your house as much as you can just as you would if you were baby proofing your house. However, remember that your cat can pretty much get wherever it wants to and therefore you need to lock down certain areas of the house where you may not want them to go.

Spend time with your cat as well. If you don't spend time socializing and playing with your cat then they are likely to get bored and this will lead to bad behaviour. Provide them with toys and scratching posts so that their attention is not on causing havoc around the house but simply on having fun.

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).
Updated: February 24, 2017 — 5:51 pm

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