How To Understand What Your Cat Is Saying

More Cat Care Information:

One of the most important responsibilities as a cat owner is to provide your cat with the essential nutrients required for its maintenance and growth. A cat's diet needs to achieve the right balance of the five major groups of nutrients: protein, fats and oil, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. A cat needs to obtain 41 different specific nutrients from cat food and it is to be kept in mind that a pet requires nutrients not ingredients.

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.

Cats are obligate carnivores which mean that they need meat in their diet. They require higher levels of protein which can be obtained from chicken, beef, fish and eggs. Protein is responsible for healthy muscles, hair and skin. It is also an integral part of the immune system and ensures transportation of oxygen. Insufficient protein in cats can lead to poor growth and coat condition, loss of muscle bulk and increased risk of infection through impaired immunity. Fat acts as a 'fuel' to a cat as it helps them stay active providing twice as much of energy as protein. Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 are required for a healthy coat and skin as they provide insulation and protect internal organs. All Vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K) are important for cats. Vitamin A, D, E and K are called as 'fat soluble' vitamins and are stored in cat's fatty tissue, whereas, Vitamin B complex and C are called as 'water soluble' vitamins and are excreted in the urine. Vitamins are required in small amount in the diet to help maintain growth, a healthy skin and coat and also normal vision. It is also required for wound healing and normal functioning of the nervous system. Minerals like calcium and phosphorous are essential for healthy and strong bones and teeth. They are mainly important for kittens. Other vital minerals for normal body functions are sodium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper and iron. Carbohydrates are not a significant component of the cat's diet, it is however a source of immediate energy. Another indispensable nutrient for a cat is Taurine. It is an essential amino acid that is only found in meat protein and is mandatory for a healthy heart and good vision.

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.

Water is an equally crucial ingredient in a cat's diet. The amount of water a cat needs depends on several factors including environmental temperature, exercise levels and whether they are eating wet or dried food. A loss of only 15 per cent of their water can lead to death and insufficient water intake can also contribute to bladder problems and cystitis. So it is necessary to provide fresh and sufficient amount of water to cats.

There are three type of food available in the markets for the cats:

Dry food – It is generally cooked under high heat and pressure, fat is later sprayed on it to make it palatable. Some heat-sensitive vitamins and minor ingredients are added after the high heat process of cooking.Wet food – Canned foods or wet foods are higher in protein and fat, and lower in carbohydrates, than dry foods. It has more moisture than dry food therefore it increases the cat's overall fluid intake, which keeps the bladder and kidneys healthy. High amount of fat contributes to a healthy skin and coat. The ingredients are more easily digested and utilized by the cat's body.Vegetarian or Vegan food – Although cats are carnivores, still one can feed them with a vegetarian diet fortified with nutrients like Taurine and Arachidon acid.

Care needs to be taken while feeding a cat. Good-quality cat food is carefully formulated to supply the accurate balance of all the nutrients a cat requires to thrive. Adding human food to a nutritionally balanced and complete commercial cat food may upset that balance. You can purchase great quality pet food from

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 — 5:55 pm

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