More Cat Care Information:

Just like their human owners, domestic pets like cats and dogs also suffer from the adverse health effects of being overweight – or worse, of being morbidly obese.

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.

Obesity in pets affects them in two main ways, namely, decreasing their quality of life and shortening their lifespan. Both pose several difficulties for pet owners including but not limited to the high financial costs for veterinary care, the physical stress of caring for a sick pet and emotional stress when the pet prematurely dies. Indeed, the dangers of pet obesity affect both people and animals.

On one hand, obese pets have a lower quality of life because their existence is marred by disease and illness, which could have been avoided with good nutrition and an exercise program implemented by their owners. Your pets will be unable to enjoy the activities that other pets of their age and breed can, say, running, jumping and playing. For example, your obese Afghan hound will be unable to jump hurdles like he used to.

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.

With physical limitations, your pets will be unable to socialize with other animals of their kind. Their mental health and social skills will then be adversely affected, diminishing their quality of life. You will observe noticeable changes in how your pets interact with other animals and with the other members of your household.

Obese pets also have a higher risk of developing a wide variety of chronic degenerative diseases. These illnesses will obviously shorten their lifespan, which any loving owner will want to avoid.

What exactly are these chronic degenerative diseases? You will not be surprised that humans share plenty of these diseases with their pets including:

Diabetes – Obesity leads to increased secretions of insulin because of the increase in blood glucose levels.

Arthritis and other bone and joint diseases – The bones, joints and muscles as well as the tendons and ligaments become damaged because of the excess weight placed on them. Plus, certain canine breeds like Dachshunds are more prone to bone issues because of their physical structure.

Cardiovascular disease – These range from hypertension to congestive heart failure, all of which are caused by fat accumulating inside of blood vessels.

Indeed, the importance of preventing obesity in pets cannot be overemphasized, both for your sake and the sake of your beloved pets.

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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