More Cat Care Information:
Pets are wonderful companions. The loyalty and constant acceptance from our pets is priceless. Many pet owners make sacrifices so they can have their furry friends in the house. Pet hair on the floor and furniture, litter boxes, and messes in the feeding areas are just a few drawbacks of having cats in your home. Fortunately, there are some steps to living in style with indoor cats.
|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.
Create a Space for the Cat
If you have the space in your home or apartment, it's a good idea to create a space for your cat that can be considered his or hers. Place the litter box, food, water, and bed all in this space if there is room. You don't want the litter box too close to the food and water. Your friend won't enjoy this and may refuse to eat or use the litter box. You can put some toys or scratching posts in this area, as well.
Set Rules in Other Areas
|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.|
Now that your cat has it's own space where it can do what it wants when it wants you'll want to set some rules for the rest of the house. This can be a long process with cats, especially if your pet has been living with you without rules for some time. The key here is consistency. If the counters, tables, or certain furniture are going to be off limits now you will need to reinforce this rule every time your friends decides to venture on to these areas. Simply placing the cat back on the floor should be enough if you are consistent. Some pet stores carry products to help in this training. Motion-activated sprays and other items are of great help while you are at work or away from home if you don't want to use an indoor cat cage.
Place Litter Box Out of Sight
This can benefit you and your cat. Cats like privacy when using their litter box. If you have company often, this will promote healthy behavior in your feline friend. Sometimes just using a litter box with a cover can improve an area. Other options include placing the box under tables, shelves, or cabinets. Table cloths or drapes can be used to help conceal the litter area. Be certain, if you move the litter box, that your indoor cat knows where it has been moved to. This will help avoid accidents during this process.
|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).|