Cat Habits

More Cat Care Information:

Water is a basic element we all need and cats are no exception. It accounts for up to 75 percent of your cat's weight and it helps her digest food, eliminate waste and regulate body temperature.

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.

The amount of water your cat needs will vary based on a few things including their activity level and diet, but ensuring she is getting enough water is important. Hydration is one of the factors that can contribute to urinary tract problems, which can in turn lead to other problems. But there are a few things you can do to make sure your cat is regularly getting enough water.

Ways To Encourage Proper Hydration

Fresh water should always be available to your cat, ideally in more than one location. You may even try moving one source of water around to see where your cat likes it best. Having more than one water dish is especially important if you have more than one cat.

Consider getting a re-circulating water fountain. Many cats like to drink running water. These water fountains encourage some cats to drink more often.

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.

Another great way to get more water into your cat's diet is by feeding her wet or canned cat food. This is especially important if your cat has had a feline urinary tract issues in the past. You can even add a little extra water to the food if you feel she isn't drinking enough on her own.

What You Feed Your Cat Is Important

Besides adding some wet cat food to your cat's diet the type of food you choose is important as well. If feline urinary tract infections are of concern choose a food that is low in magnesium.

To keep your cat as healthy as possible choose a natural cat food that uses whole food ingredients instead of by-products. Companies that make natural and organic cat foods often pay more attention to the ingredients in the food and in most cases they use better quality ingredients to encourage optimum feline health.

Litter Boxes

The other side of hydration of course involves litter boxes. Having clean litter boxes in out of the way places is important as well. If you have multiple cats you should have more than one litter box.

Taking a few easy steps to ensure your cat is eating and drinking well will help keep her healthier and it may cut her risk of some common cat health problems down the road.

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 — 5:45 pm

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