More Cat Care Information:

Cats have been worshipped as gods by the Egyptians, since these were once believed to be the beloved animals of the Egyptian goddess, Bastet. Nowadays, this simple fact does not exclude them from the different surgical procedures available in a veterinarians clinic. As expected, neutering, spaying, and declawing are the top 3 most common surgical procedures for cats. Based on annual statistics, the population growth of cats is 1.9% every year, while the dog population grows by only 1.2% every year! Do the math, and it shows that cats reproduce more than dogs – one cat can give birth to as many as 14 cats in a single pregnancy!

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.

Neutering is a surgical procedure limited to male cats. Aside from preventing a male cat from seeking a mate and adding another litter to the cat population, neutering stops the male from urinating all over the house in an attempt to mark its territory. Neutering also lessens aggressive behaviors which allows its owners to fondle and cuddle it as much as they want.

However, neutering also comes with several drawbacks. Neutered cats are more prone to becoming obese, developing hair loss/alopecia, and developing osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is linked to bone cancer, and this develops as a cancerous neoplasm. Other health complications associated with neutering include prostate cancer and the formation of stones in the urinary bladder.

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.

Spaying, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure for female cats. Compared to male cats, females are able to experience heat many times during spring and become desperate enough to escape the house just to find a mate. Owners know when their cat is in heat when it vocalizes a lot, stands with its behind raised, and urinating out of its kitty litter. One of the advantages of spaying a cat is that it removes the risk of it developing breast cancer or mammary tumors.

Like neutering, spaying increases the chances of forming urinary tract infection, obesity, and even hemangiosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma is a condition where a tumor forms and is continuously filled with blood. Once the tumor ruptures, it can cause the molly to bleed to death. Hypothyroidism and urinary incontinence are also other possible side effects a cat can develop after being spayed.

Finally, declawing is a surgical procedure usually conducted on cats that exhibit destructive behavior by clawing at furniture, curtains, and other things around the house. A declawing procedure is usually done as a last resort, after attempts to train the cat to use a scratching post or even trimming its nails have failed.

Neutering, spaying, and declawing are all advised to be conducted when the cat is about 5 to 6 months old. Some veterinarians even offer to do neutering and declawing or spaying and declawing at the same time, so that they only need to use one round of anesthesia. It also helps to have these two procedures done at the same time so that the cat's owner won't have to put their pet through two rounds of post-surgical stress.

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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