How To Stop Bad Cat Behavior

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All cats like to scratch and dig their claws into things. This is just a natural characteristic of cats. It's as natural for them as eating and sleeping. The scratching action is good for a cat's physical and mental health. A good cat owner will provide something for the sole purpose of a cat's scratching. Without one, your carpet, furniture, and walls will be in danger of being remodeled with claw marks and damage.

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.

There are many different things that your cat may like to scratch. Most things made out of wood or carpet can be appealing for most cats. Scratching posts, scratching trees, and various scratching toys are available in most pet stores and on many websites. A base item for scratching won't cost you a lot of money and you can always upgrade to a nice scratching tree or post in the future.

If you do purchase (or build) a scratching post or scratching tree, make sure it has a wide and secure base on it. This will ensure that it remains standing while your cat is using it. If it falls while being used, your cat may be tentative to use it in the future and might go back to using your furniture.

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.

Some scratching posts are made to lay down on the floor. The nice thing about these is they are in a natural position for your cat to scratch, plus they won't fall over.

An alternative to purchasing something to use for scratching is to make one yourself. This can be a lot more simple than it sounds. Gather some branches or tree limbs and screw them together. This would be a very basic scratching tree but will serve the same purpose of store bought ones. If you are a little more creative you can build an actual scratching post and cover it with carpet. Do some research on retail scratching items to figure out the dimensions that you want yours to be. Another option is a simple wooden log on the floor. A wooden log laying down can be heaven for a scratching cat.

Cats may be very common pets but not all owners understand the importance of a designated area or item for cats to scratch on. For the health of your cat and your furniture, either purchase or make a scratching tree, post, or log. It will be an investment well worth it.

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 — 5:48 pm

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