More Cat Care Information:

These day it is not at all unusual to see folks out walking their feline companion using a cat harness and leash.

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.

Many of us keep our cats indoors for many reasons. One drawback is that our cats may not be getting sufficient exercise.

Of course playing with your cat helps keep her in trim, as does cat equipment such as kitty condos or climbers. But a regular walk about may be just the thing for keeping your indoor feline in tip top shape. A cat harness and leash is essential for accomplishing this safely.

If your cat has never been walked on a leash before then she is going to need training and it will take quite some patience.

You cannot take a trip to the pet store, select a leash and harness, and be out walking your cat the same day. It is going to take time for your cat to be comfortable with the idea of wearing a harness, let alone being restricted by a leash.

Please, understand that cats should never be walked with a leash attached to a collar. Cats are not built the same way as dogs, their necks are not as sturdy. A leash attached to a collar would put a strain on your cat's neck when she resists the pull, a harness is essential.

The first thing is to get your cat to wear the strange looking contraption. This can only be done with gentle loving persuasion. A good tip is to just leave the harness on the floor for a few days, let your cat sniff at it and get used to it as an object.

Next, attempt to get kitty into the harness, all the time talking to her soothingly. Yes, it is likely she will resist, wriggle and fuss, maybe even attempt to scratch. Don't force the issue, let her be and try again later.

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.

When your patience has triumphed and your cat is harnessed, give her a lot of praise. If she accepts wearing it all well and good, keep her in it for no longer than ten minutes, but it is more likely she will protest and if she does let her wear it for a few moments, then release her before she gets stressed. Again giving plenty of praise.

Repeat this routine until your cat is quite comfortable walking around wearing her harness indoors.

Now is the time to attach the leash, but don't try to walk her yet even indoors. Let her drag the lead around, watch that it does not snag on anything. The idea is to get your her used to the idea that a cat harness and leash go together.

When your cat is happy with wearing both leash and harness, pick up the handle of the leash. Follow your cat, don't try to get her to follow you just yet. Should your pet sit down, pull at the lead or stop, then don't pull, keep the leash slack and use enticing words to try and persuade her to move.

After several sessions, you may be able to congratulate yourself that you've trained your little pet to walk around indoors wearing her cat harness and leash, well done.

Now for the outdoors.

Make it a very short walk out at first, and pick a quiet time. Most probably kitty will not be much interested in walking at first, too many new smells to check out.

Don't try five mile hikes, she is only a cat, investigate where she wants to with you in control to keep her out of trouble. Your feline friend will get great benefit from her little walks on a cat harness and leash, a little exercise, fresh air and some relief from being indoors.

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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