More Cat Care Information:

Despite increasing news coverage of the painful side effects of onychectomy (de-clawing) for cats, many pet owners still perceive this surgery as relatively safe and harmless. A 2011 AP-Petside.com poll found that 59 percent of pet owners and 55 percent of cat owners thought was okay to de-claw a cat. What many people fail to understand is that cat's claws are not like people's fingernails. The claw is so closely attached to the bone that the end bone of the cat's paw must be removed during the de-clawing process. The procedure is an amputation and one with profound effects on the cat. Not only is the recovery extremely painful, including pain that may persist long after the surgery is done, but the process also changes the gait of the cat, which can also lead arthritis and joint pain. As such, many countries have actually outlawed onychectomies.

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.

Understanding Tubal Ligation

Declawing and tying the tubes of a beloved cat are typically sought out for very different reasons. In the former scenario, it's most commonly an issue of making the feline furniture-friendly. In the latter scenario, the impetus is most often derived from a misguided desire to preserve the integrity of the cat's reproductive system as much as possible, while still preventing pregnancy. Yet, both derive from a basic misunderstanding of feline anatomy and physiology. Leaving the cat's reproductive system intact is harmful to the cat with few, if any, benefits.

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.

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Feline Sexuality and Reproduction

For one thing, by leaving the reproductive organs, you also leave the cat vulnerable to uterine and ovarian cancer, uterine infections, and other diseases that can afflict the reproductive system. Plus, simply tying her tubes means the cat will still go through regular intervals of being in heat. Some cat owners believe this is the whole point; the cat can still have sexual intercourse without exacerbating the bloated pet population. The problem is that sex itself is very painful for the female feline. The male cat's penis is heavily barbed with backward facing hooks, commonly believed to stimulate ovulation. Finally, as is the case with any tubal ligation, there is no guarantee of success. Your cat may still end up pregnant if the procedure was ineffective. Spaying, on the other hand, is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.

Alternative Solutions

Perhaps the most compelling reason to forgo these procedures is the existence of perfectly acceptable alternatives. Instead of declawing, you can regularly trim the claws, cover the cat's paws in a lightweight vinyl, or train the cat to use a scratching post. Spaying your cat may not feel humane, but given the consequences, it's easily the best solution if breeding is not in the cat's future. But the bigger lesson to be learned is to do your research and talk to your vet before undertaking any significant procedure. The best thing to do for your cat is not always the first thing that comes to mind.

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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