More Cat Care Information:

To understand why our darling cats scratch we first need to think about what their sharp claws are for. They do not intentionally scratch furniture to annoy us or to inflict damage. Actually cats have retractable claws in order for them to balance, turn, run, climb, jump and defend themselves with pin-point precision.

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.

An alternative to declawing or re-homing your furry friend is simply teaching them the house rules. There are a few simple techniques that are tried and tested to work in regards to this ongoing dilemma.

First, get multiple cat scratching posts or cat houses covered in either ropes or carpet. Once you have installed the posts or houses place a bit of catnip on them to lure your kitty to them so they will know it is alright to use them. You may even need to take their paw and do a scratching motion or scratch on it yourself to teach them how it works. When they go back to the furniture, which at first they will, pick them up and take them back to the post.

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.

Secondly, try double sided tape. It may sound wierd, but it does seem to work. Cats do not like anything tacky on the pads of their feet. When they go to claw the furniture and feel the tape they will instinctively stop. However, you will need to replace the tape as it is pulled down from time to time.

Thirdly, if both of the above fail is to try a small squirty gun filled with water. When your kitty goes for the furniture, simply say 'No' in an authoritative voice and squirt them once on the butt with the water gun. Do not spray them in the face as it is very easy for a kitty to lose their breath for a second if this is done.

If done with consistency and authority your new scratching friend will soon be a non-scratcher in no time. The key is not giving up! It will not happen overnight, but it can be taught. Good Luck!

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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