More Cat Care Information:
In the last decades of the 20th century, people were generally hoodwinked into believing that processed and prepared food was better for your health and that of your pets.
|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.
Happily, people are now realising that this isn't the case. More and more people are looking for a healthy diet for themselves and their pets.
When you search for a healthy diet for your cat, you really can't go past natural cat food. Nature does know best, despite the clamouring of the pet food manufacturers. Of course they clamour – it's big business.
But it doesn't mean that the clamouring is based on fact.
So how do you set about finding a natural cat food? You probably have certain criteria, such as:
- it must be easy as you're busy
- it must be nutritionally complete
- it must satisfy your cat mentally as well as physically
- it must be realistically priced
As the demand increases, businesses will spring up everywhere that offer natural pet food. Some will indeed do their utmost to fulfil this honestly, but sadly, there will always be others who will cut corners on quality and truly natural cat food.
Who do you trust?
The only person you can really trust, when it comes down to it, is you!
But I don't have the expertise, I hear you say.
No, you may not now. But you can learn. And learn quite fast. All you need to do is to follow natural laws.
Lets look at a wild cats diet first, as that's the most natural cat food there is.
A cat will kill and immediately eat small animals up to about their own size. This can tell you five important facts:
|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.|
- the food is very fresh
- the food is raw
- the food is warm
- the food contains bones
- the food is mostly muscle meat and bones, but there are small amounts of offal
I can hear questions forming in your mind – can you really feed cats raw meat? Doesn't that contain harmful bacteria or parasites? Won't the bones splinter and pierce the intestinal tract?
You know, nature doesn't get things wrong. It's had a long time to perfect things. If the raw meat and bones in natural cat food created health problems, cats would have died out long ago. But we all know, that given the right conditions, wild or feral cat populations can grow very large.
So yes, raw meat is the healthiest and best natural cat food you can give your cat.
And no, raw bones won't create problems. It's cooked bones which can splinter and create all sorts of health issues. But cooked bones aren't natural, so it's logical that they have the potential to create mayhem.
And no, bacteria and worms are not a problem for cats.
So nature has got it right. Raw food is best!
Of course, it's not that simple – nothing ever is, is it? You need to know the right balance, what to supplement and why, how many meals a day, what sort and size of bones are suitable, how to feed growing kittens and pregnant queens, how much offal and what kind, because you can get it wrong and then your cat can suffer the consequences.
And the big question on how to convert an adult cat to raw food – this can be quite a challenge. It's not dissimilar to the concept of raising your kids on fast food, then telling them it's all raw fruit and veggies from now on. You're likely to have a riot on your hands!
However, once you get the hang of doing it yourself, it's a doddle. And the best thing about it, is that the health of your cat will steadily improve to the best it's ever been. And the spin off from that is much lower health professional fees.
Don't you just love a win-win situation?
|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).|