More Cat Care Information:
Cats, unlike dogs, are a little bit aloof. But they are cute and cuddly, and they make for good companions. Your cat will get sick in the course of its life, despite your best efforts. During these times, you have to be extra sensitive to how your cat is feeling. Try to see the differences in its behavior. Look for physical symptoms. The earlier you spot the warning signs, the earlier the treatment can begin, the better your chances are at curing whatever is ailing your cat. Sure, your vet will look for any tell-tale signs of an illness but monitoring changes can make a huge difference to your cat's health.
|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.
Changes in your cat's behavior
Cats posses the same behaviors larger felines do. When they are suffering from an illness or injury, cats will retire and hide so they can heal in peace. This is because in the wild, any sign of weakness is an incitement to predators and competitors. Look out for small changes in your cat's behavior as this may be your only clue to move along with.
Cats are solitary creatures, but they do stick to a routine and interact with their owner in the course of the day. If your cat chooses to be alone for more than a day, it is very likely that it is experiencing some trouble. If your cat is normally playful or listless but suddenly lost interest in toys or refuses to move at all, your cat maybe in distress. Your cats purring may also be a clue to how it is feeling. Purring, combined with a bad move and excessive defensiveness may be a signal of pain.
When to call a vet
|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.|
When you notice you cat's strange behavior, give it a careful physical exam. Check for wounds, lumps or difficulty in breathing. Some signs may not be as obvious. If your cat just doesn't seem right to you, call your vet immediately. Here are other things you should do:
- Take your cats temperature. A cat's temperature should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 and 38.1 degrees Celsius). A slight increase may be normal, but if your cat's temperature reads 105 degrees F, take him to the vet immediately. Temperatures lower than 100 degrees F are also signs of a serious ailment.
- Check for drastic changes in your cat's appetite or thirst.
- Check for irregularities in your cats bowel movements. Constipation is also a cause for concern. Inspects its stool. It should be firm and consistent. If your see blood, worms or things that appear like grains of rice, take a sample and take it to your vet for testing.
- If you notice a considerable increase in your cat's urination along with a noticeable increase in thirst, it could be a sign of kidney failure or diabetes. Cloudy or bloody urine, plus pain when urinating warrants a visit to the vet.
- Vomiting and diarrhea are fairly common in cats and may be caused by a gastric upset only. However, constant vomiting, projectile vomiting, blood in the vomit and/or unproductive retching may be a sign or a serious stomach problem. Also, persistent diarrhea may signal a number of serious disorders.
- Sneezing, coughing and runny eyes often means a common cold or flu-type illness and usually clears up within a few days. But, if these symptoms persist or are complicated by pus-like discharges, drooling or listlessness or loss of appetite, call your vet.
- Anemia is characterized by pale gums, tongue and lack of energy and appetite. If you think your cat is anemic, take it to the vet immediately. Anemia could be a sign of some other illness.
|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).|