More Cat Care Information:
Cats are very popular domestic pets. Most owners are responsible and take good care of their cats. Despite this, there are some illnesses and conditions that are difficult to prevent your pet from getting. Keeping your feline happy and healthy requires some knowledge about what to look for when your kitty is suffering from an illness or ailment.
|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.
Fleas are a common problem for cats and dogs. They can be, especially, troubling if your pet gets the opportunity to go outdoors. Fleas cause itching and bite the pet's skin. They can, also, carry tapeworm eggs and cause anemia. Signs of fleas include hair loss, skin lesions, and excessive itching or scratching. Over the counter flea treatments are sufficient to deal with the problem and prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
|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.|
The next most common health problem in cats is internal parasites. These include things like tapeworms and roundworms. Diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms of roundworm infection, while tapeworms can cause skin irritation around the anus. Treat these with a de-worming medication that can be found in pet departments or pet supply stores.
If you cat is scratching at his or her ears a lot or shaking it's head there may be ear mites in it's ear. Ear mites are a parasite that can damage the eardrum if steps aren't taken to remove them. They spread quickly from host to host and show as small, dark spots in the ear and ear canal.
Viral infection is another thing to keep an eye out for. Feline leukemia virus is the top viral cause of death among cats. This cancer is spread through saliva or common use litter box areas. Tests are available to detect this virus but as it is a cancer, it is almost always fatal. If you suspect your cat has a viral infection you should seek the help of a veterinarian.
|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).|