More Cat Care Information:

Those of us who are cat lovers know that our love of felines comes with a little frustration at times. One such time occurs when our kitties employ their claws to acts of destruction on your carpet or furniture.

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.

We have all tried to train our cats to stop scratching the backs of our couches; many of us have experienced this is not a simple matter to correct. While some people resort to yelling or shooting water at their cat's nose, there is a much more effective way to correct this issue.

If you've taken basic psychology, you'll remember there are two types of reinforcement, positive and negative. Employ both reinforcement tactics to training your cat and you'll be through the woods before you know it.

Negative Reinforcement – The idea behind negative reinforcement is to take something away to impact behavior. When it comes to your cat scratching in areas you don't want destroyed, you want to provide motivation for your cat to stop scratching.

One of the most effective ways of providing this motivation is through a product called Sticky Paws (available or your favorite pet supply retailer). To use this product, place the tape on the areas your cat has been scratching.

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.

Positive Reinforcement – Once you use the Sticky Paws, the next step is to provide the place where you want your cat to scratch. This can be as easy providing a scratch post, either large or small. These posts come in two varieties, cardboard and carpet, and either will do the trick.

Beyond just supplying the scratch post, you need to attract your cat to the post. A very easy way to develop this attraction is to spray the post with some Catnip Spray (Whiskercity makes one cats love). This can make for a playful transition from an undesired scratch area to a more appropriate one.

Old habits die hard – More so for us, the human, than for our cats sometimes. If you've been caught yelling at your kitty, this can be a difficult habit to break. You may have become accustomed to hollering every time you hear your cat scratching. When you put both the Sticky Paws as well as new scratch post in place, you'll want to become very intentional about checking where you kitty is scratching before open your internal megaphone.

Keep in mind all three of these areas. If you provide either the negative or positive reinforcement, you will be ineffective. To be successful you really need both. Likewise, if you continue to holler at your cat when they start scratching at your preferred scratch post, you'll prevent them from forming the habit of scratching at the right spot.

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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