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The date was getting near to the end of May and for my cat, that means only one thing; her annual check up at the vets. Not too dissimilar to the servicing of your car, it was just a quick look around to check she was okay. The day came, so i made her presentable, put her in a box, and drove her to the vets.

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.

Whilst sitting in the waiting room, I noticed something on my cat I really should have spotted at home. A flea was dodging in and out her fur towards the lower part of her back. “Of all the times”, I thought! As the receptionist called me into the surgery, I knew the first thing my vet would say to me, “your cat has fleas”. He took a quick look round, and that is exactly what he said! Thankfully everything else was fine.

The vet recommended I treat the infestation as soon as possible and advised I use a treatment called Frontline Spot On. Most of the Frontline range is for dogs, but one of their “Spot On” products is formulated especially for cats.

Frontline for Cats comes in a small green box which contains a number of pipettes. You have a choice of either three or six pipettes and although the three pack is cheaper, the six pack comes out much cheaper per pipette.

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.

As the vet was trying to tempt me to buying the Frontline he had behind his counter, I opted to look elsewhere, knowing full well that buying anything from the vets is seldom the cheapest option. I paid the vet bill, got home and looked online.

Looking around the various websites, I found quite a few bargains. Comparison sites are always a good place to look and it was on one of these sites I found the cheapest Frontline available. A bargain and half the price the vet was selling it at.

Four days later the package came through the letterbox. Today was flea treatment day for my cat and I think she knew it! Reading the instructions, the application of treatment looked fairly simple. Just a spot of treatment to the back of the neck and it's all done.

I took one of the pipettes our, snipped the top off and exposed a small area of fur just above her collar at the back of her neck. I squeezed all the contents onto the exposed area, making sure, as the instructions state, not to get any onto her fur. This I found a little impossible as my cat wriggled around manically, probably as a consequence of the cold liquid bringing an unpleasant feeling to her neck. Squirting any liquid onto a cat is usually a no, no and this was certainly no exception!

I let him go and in no time at all he fled out the cat flap. I didn't see her for a full week after but she did come in for food eventually. Covering the cat flap, I ushered her into the living room to check if the treatment worked. It certainly did. I took a good look and found no fleas! The Frontline worked a treat and I'm sure my cat is feeling much better for it.

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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