More Cat Care Information:
Contrary to their image, cats are social animals and can form successful attachments to humans and other family pets. Your relationship with your cat depends on its individual temperament, its early socialization, and how you behave with it. Not all cats appreciate close physical contact, which can be disappointing to an owner who wants a cuddly pet. Certain breeds, such as Siamese, tend to be more affectionate; others breeds, such as Abyssinians, are more independent. There are exceptions.
|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.
People, who don't like cats, often maintain that cats tend to seek out affection only when they want to be fed. While it is true that cats are initially drawn to the person who gives them food, a close attachment to their owner is something that runs much deeper. Merely filling up the cat's food bowl is not enough to foster this kind of intense emotional bond. A broad range of interaction is an important way for you and your cat to learn more about each other so you should play with, talk to, and respond to the cat in as wide a variety of situations as possible when you are first getting to know each other.
|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.|
This does not mean overwhelming the cat with attention. It is particularly important to avoid this in a rescued cat that has been neglected or abused, or is timid and nervous in temperament. Instead, make yourself generally available, and the cat will come to you in its own time when it feels comfortable and relaxed enough.
Dealing with Aloofness
Under-attached cats may be perfectly happy, but their owners may feel rejected and upset. Typically, these cats will not settle on the owner's lap and may run away if they think someone is about to pick them up. The most common cause of this behavior is lack of early socialization, but rough owners, traumatic experiences, and invasive handling during illness can also trigger the problem. To promote good socialization, all kittens should be handled gently on a regular basis, particularly between 2 and 7 weeks of age. If the problem already exists, increase your bond with your cat by rewarding any signs of approach and trying to make the cat more dependent. The cat must dictate the pace. Do not pick it up until it is confident and relaxed about being handled.
|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).|