More Cat Care Information:
If you love your cat you'll want to know how to keep your cat as healthy as possible. There are many different things that could come into play and be dangerous to your cat's health, so it's important to know what to look for to keep your cat healthy her entire life.
|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 typical house cat will go through three main life stages. The exact duration of each stage varies between different cats and different breeds, but the time frame is generally quite similar between cats. Cats begin their lives as kittens, and during this process they are constantly growing and developing. It's very important to make sure they are getting proper nutrition and care during this time, as they are especially vulnerable to disease and the elements when young. Make sure your kitten is warm at all times, and is eating a healthy diet of nutritious food. You should also take your kitten to the vet to get shots to protect it against diseases, and to get it spayed or neutered. Kittens have usually reached adult cat hood at around one year old, though some kittens continue growing until they're over two years old.
|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.|
Once your cat has reached adulthood, the point where she has stopped growing, she continues to live a normal adult life, until around age eight or nine. During this time as an adult, your cat is stronger, and less vulnerable to the dangers that are posed as a kitten. However, your focus should be switched to maintaining a healthy adult cat, in addition to protecting your cat from possible health risks as an older cat. Keeping your adult cat at a healthy weight is also important, as an overweight cat is more likely to get other health problems.
Annual trips to the vet should be a top priority, to check up on your cat's health and detect any problems early. You should also keep your eyes peeled for the first signs of diseases that show up in older cats, like heart disease and feline diabetes.
Cats over the age of eight or nine are considered senior cats, entering their last stages of life. However, there is still much that can be done to ensure your senior cat has a healthy life. It's a good idea to go to the vet twice a year at this point as an additional step to detect any health problems early. Focusing on dental health is also very important now, and it may be necessary to adjust your senior cat's diet to accommodate any health issues. For example, a cat with weak teeth may need a more moist diet, while an overweight cat should go on a weight control diet. These tips can ensure your cat will live a happy, healthy life.
|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).|