More Cat Care Information:

Traveling via airplane tends to be remarkably stressful, both for you and the four-legged members of your family. Nevertheless with careful homework, you can guarantee a safe and enjoyable expedition for everyone.

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.

Animal welfare associations encourage pet owners to think carefully about flying their dogs and cats on commercial aircraft, specifically if they plan on checking them in as cargo. Unless your four-legged friend is small enough to fit under your seat and you can bring him or her in the cabin, the ASPCA recommends pet owners to not fly their animal. If pet owners have previously committed to transporting their animal companions on commercial flights, here are ten tips for safe air travel with your dog or cat:

Before You Fly
1. Have your pet checked by a veterinarian, and ensure that all vaccinations are current. Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within ten days of departure. Be aware, if you are traveling outside of the continental United States, even more preparation and health care requirements could be needed. For more information, contact the foreign office of the country to which you will be traveling.

Microchip and ID Tag
2. Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and is wearing an ID tag and a collar. Breakaway collars are best for cats. Also, the collar ought to contain destination details in the event your dog or cat escapes.

A Direct Flight
3. Reserve a direct flight if feasible. This will greatly reduce the odds that your dog or cat is left on the tarmac during intense weather conditions or mistreated by baggage personnel.

Escape-Proof Carrier
4. If your pet will be in the cabin with you, under your seat: Make sure to use a sturdy, escape-proof carrier. Felines, in particular, can effortlessly squeeze through small spaces. Appropriate carriers are required by most airlines and are obtainable through airlines or at pet-supply stores. Double-check the carrier's clasp and consider padlocking it. The carrier must have adequate ventilation, with at least a three-fourth-inch rim around the sides so the air holes won't be covered if the kennel is pushed against other boxes.

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.

Shipping Crate
5. If your pet will be in the in the baggage hold: Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate
that is large enough for your pet to sit, stand and turn around in easily. Shipping crates can be bought from numerous pet supply shops and airlines.

Labels and Supplies
6. Write the words “Live Animal” in letters at least one inch high on top of and at least one side of the crate. Use arrows to prominently show the upright position of the crate. On the top of the crate, write the name, address and telephone number of your pet's destination spot, and whether you will be escorting him or if someone else is picking him up. Be certain that the door is firmly shut, but not locked, so that airline employees can reach your pet in case of an emergency. Line the crate bottom with some type of bedding–towels paper or shredded–to absorb accidents.

Photo ID
7. Affix a recent image of your pet to the top of the crate for identification purposes. If your pet breaks free from the carrier, this could save your pet's life. You should also carry a photograph of your pet.

Shipping Crate
8. The day before you depart, be sure to freeze a small dish or tray of water for your animal. This way, it can't spill during loading, and will thaw by the time he's thirsty. Tape a small bag, preferably cloth, of dry food outside the crate. Airline staff will be able to feed your animal in the event he gets hungry on long-distance flights or a layover.

Tranquilizing Your Pet
9. Sedating your cat or dog is largely not recommended, as it could impede his respiration. Ask your veterinarian first.

Communicate with Airline Personnel
10. Tell every airline staff you come upon, on the ground and in the air, that you are flying with an animal in the cargo hold. This way, they will be ready if some other considerations or attention is needed.

Bonus Tip: Worst Case Scenario
If the airplane is late, or if you have any worries about the health of your pet, insist that airline staff examine the animal whenever feasible. In some situations, extracting the pet from the cargo hold and de-planing may be called for.

Conclusion
If you must travel by plane, contemplate leaving your pet at home. If you have to fly with your pet, do your research, make preparations well ahead of time and be certain you know the airline's restrictions concerning and requirements for flying with pets.

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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