Feral Cat Care

More Cat Care Information:

Owning a pet is not all just fun and games. Cats are one of the most affectionate and loyal pets around. A lot of responsibility comes with taking home a new pet. Just like humans, house pets get sick and need lots of love and attention. Having a housecat is not the same as owning a dog, a rabbit or any other household pet, each has to be taken care of in a particular way and each has its own common ailments. There are many cat symptoms that every pet owner should be aware of to keep their feline in tip-top shape.

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.

If you ever hear your cat making a funny noise, listen carefully, because your pet may have a cough. It may sound cute, but it should be taken seriously. A cough may lead to a fever, difficulty in breathing and discharge from both the cat's eyes and nose. Anything from a collar that is too tight to asthma can cause a cat to cough. If the cough seems minor, it is okay to give it treatment at home. However, if your cat is having trouble breathing, is wheezing, has a loss of appetite and is visibly losing weight, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately. Coughs can be a sign of the following cat symptoms, heartworms, bronchitis and asthma.

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.

Many say that cats are picky eaters. Being a choosy eater and being anorexic are two completely different things. When a pet refuses to chow down on its pet food it is usually a cause for concern, but more so when it comes to felines. Cats that do not eat can potentially cause liver damage. Some cat symptoms that can be a factor to loss of appetite are illness, new surroundings and recent vaccinations. Anytime that your cat completely refuses to eat should be a red flag. There are a few stimulants you can give to your cat to encourage it to eat but it is always best to consult a veterinarian beforehand.

Cats are not known for their minty fresh breath. However, their breath should have a tolerable aroma. If your cat seems to have bad breath or halitosis there could be a concealed medical condition. A lot of the times the bad breath may be triggered by plaque or gum disease but in some cases even a cats diet can affect the way their breath smells. However, if the odor becomes extremely foul smelling, it could be the indication of more serious health problems like problems in the mouth area, respiratory system and liver. By visiting the veterinarian, proper treatment can be given to your cat and any further concerns you have can be addressed.

Many assume that giving the veterinarian a call should be reserved for emergencies. The fact of the matter is, when you are dealing with a pet that obviously cannot tell you how it feels, it is always a good idea to be aware of the possible symptoms and signs of illnesses. Whenever you are in doubt, call the veterinarian. Never risk the health of your beloved pet.

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).
Updated: February 24, 2017 — 5:54 pm

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