More Cat Care Information:
In the 3,500 BC wild cats were domesticated from Africa by the ancient Egyptians and from then on they became treasured pets. The natural instincts of a cat were put to use by using them to protect food stores from vermin and other pests. You need to be informed about cat health, cat care and cat illness when you pet them.
|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.
Neutering cats is to remove the sex organs and as a result stop them from reproducing. Neutering stops hormones production responsible for the sexual behavior of cats. From the age of 5 to 8 months, kittens reach sexual maturity. They are thus, capable of breeding and reproducing. Most people find it difficult to have too many pets so they opt for neutering. This results in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. It restricts the unwanted behavior pattern associated with sexual maturity; which in turn reduces the risk of contracting certain diseases.
Spaying a female cat:
Once a female cat reaches maturity it will begin to come into 'call' or season. Cycles of sexual activity occur every three weeks and when a cat is 'calling', it is a noisy affair. Drugs are used to suppress the sexual cycle. But, this carries a risk of side effects and should be avoided for long term use. The spaying operation involves general anesthetic and the surgical removal of uterus and ovaries. The fur at the incision will be shaved before the surgery. Your vet will ask you to not feed the cat from the evening prior to the anesthetic. Your kitten will be able to come home the same day and skin sutures are removed after 7 to 10 days.
|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.|
Castrating a male cat:
Castrating male cats is necessary as they have a tendency to roam and get aggressive by marking their territory by spraying urine. Uncasterated cats are put at risk due to this behavior. They get exposed to infectious diseases such as feline 'AIDS', feline immunodeficiency virus. They are vulnerable to feline leukemia virus. Both these diseases are transmitted through cat bites. Castration is the removal of both testes under general anesthesia. It is done through a small incision into the scrotum. The cat needs to withhold food from the previous evening to minimize complications. The kitten comes home the same day. The skin incision is small and thus sutures are not required.
Post operative care
Cats recover from neutering quickly. They may get drowsy for a few hours but are lively by the next day. It is wise to keep your kitten quiet for a day or two. This allows the internal wounds to heal. However, if your pet cat is unusually dull get in touch with your vet. If the kitten starts to scratch aggressively or lick at the skin sutures, get the dressing done from your vet.
|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).|