More Cat Care Information:
Your cat is an important part of your family, so it is natural to want to include him in family festivities and celebrations. Food and drink are the focal point of many gatherings and parties, but try to avoid indulging your cat in table foods. It may seem harmless to share food with your cat, but many common foods can be dangerous for your cat.
|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.
Rich or fatty foods can cause digestive stress for your cat. For example, turkey, ham or other meats rich in fat will result in diarrhea. Excessive fat intake can also cause a life-threatening inflammatory disease called pancreatitis. Signs of this disease include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and a loss of appetite. If your cat is craving meats, satisfy his hunger by giving him turkey-flavored cat food.
Bones from meat, fish and poultry pose a potential danger to your kitty and should be avoided. If your cat manages to pull a bone from your trash, table or counter he could severely damage his digestive tract. A bone can result in laceration or obstruction within your kitty's digestive system.
Onion and garlic:
You may also be tempted to give your kitten baby food, which can contain onion powder – a highly toxic ingredient for your cat. Any type of onion or garlic – raw, cooked or in powder form – can damage your kitten's red blood cells and cause life-threatening anemia. Stews, soups and sauces are sometimes a hidden source of onion and garlic.
|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.|
Raw or undercooked meat may contain bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Likewise, keep your cat away from moldy or spoiled foods. They can contain toxins, which can cause tremors, shaking, seizures, diarrhea and vomiting.
Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin, which can affect your cat's digestive and nervous systems. They have also been known to cause muscular weakness and tremors in dogs. Researchers believe that macadamia nuts can have the same effect on your cat.
Chocolate, raisins and grapes:
Unlike dogs, most cats are not drawn to sweets. Even so, take note: a chocolate snack can cause increased heart rate, tremors and hyperactivity in your cat. The severity of the reaction depends on the type of chocolate and how much is eaten. Dark baking chocolate will cause a more severe reaction than milk chocolate. Also, raisins and grapes have been proven to induce kidney failure in dogs. There have been reports of similar effects on cats, so it is wise to avoid letting your cat ingest these fruits.
We all picture pouring our beloved kitten a fresh, cold saucer of milk. Unlikely as it may seem, milk is a no-no for your cat. Shortly after they're weaned, kittens lose the ability to digest milk. More than a few of licks could translate into a very messy episode of diarrhea. If your kitten has a taste for milk, specially formulated lactose-free milk products are available for cats which should satisfy his craving.
The most important thing you can do for your cat is to ensure that he receives the nutrition and care that he needs. If you remember the things to avoid giving your cat, as well the things he needs to thrive, your cat will have a long, happy and healthy life as member of your family.
|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).|