More Cat Care Information:

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.

When you walk down the isles of the cat food section in any supermarket, you could be forgiven for thinking that all the big brand names were offering you the most nutritious cat food for a healthy cat.

Can you believe the advertising, the pretty pictures and sage words by 'veterinarians'?

Not on your life!

Turn the packet or tin over and you'll see what constitutes 'quality' ingredients – meat by-products.

Meat by-products are the net result of a rendering plant. Rendering plants take the waste from slaughter houses – typically heads, hooves, intestines (including the contents…). Many also get their 'raw material' from veterinary clinics (euthanised dogs and cats), road kills, euthanised or dead zoo animals, horses and the like.

This not only means the quality of meat is very low, but that you are turning your cat into a cannibal.

The chemical that is used to euthanise animals cannot be broken down in the cooking process, which means your cat is living on a diet of a fatal chemical.

Most of the top brands of cat food then bulk out this 'meat' with a filler. This makes the end product much more profitable for them, but much less nutritious for your cat, if you thought it was in the first place.

Fillers tend to be whatever is currently cheap in the world market. Sugar can be used. So can melamine. I'm sure you've heard of all the deaths of cats from cat food manufacturers importing melamine from China.

Don't imagine that it has gone away. It's just been buried a bit deeper.

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.

Because the manufacturers want to keep this 'nutritious cat food' on the shelf indefinitely (good for marketing), preservatives are then added. Two of the worst ones are ethoxyquin (which can give factory workers symptoms similar to agent orange poisoning) and formaldehyde (which is great for preserving or embalming dead bodies).

Animal fat is a bit of a problem, as humans tend not to eat much of it. So a lot goes into pet food. Look at what your butchers sells as pet food. One butcher told me that it's a common practice to add beetroot juice to fat and sell it as pet food. If that's done openly, imagine what goes on behind closed doors.

Don't risk the health of your cat by believing those with a vested interest that their product is nutritious cat food.

There are undoubtedly some ethical and conscientious manufacturers of cat food, who really do make real, nutritious cat food, which is healthy. But these are often small and threaten the bigger companies who then buy them up, but retain the label.

For my money, the best way to ensure your cat is consistently getting a nutritious cat food is to do it yourself. Buy the raw ingredients and make up the meals yourself.

It really isn't difficult. It just takes a bit of time while you get your head around the notion. Then it's just a question of repeating the same thing every week.

It's not even time consuming. Once you have learnt to do it once, you just keep repeating the same thing, while differing one or two ingredients to give your cat a variety.

The most nutritious cat food which will ensure your cat has the healthiest and longest life possible, is when you care enough to purchase each ingredient for its nutrient content and freshness.

After all, putting a packet of meat in your trolley is no more difficult than putting in a packet of commercial cat food.

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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