More Cat Care Information:
Cats love to play and when they are kittens, it is an important part of their development. It allows them to work on their physical coordination and also learn problem-solving skills. They learn to interact with others of their own species and while it may look rough, this is normal. The mock aggression between litter mates is their way of learning how to behave around other cats. However when this aggression is focused on a human, it can lead to problems and concerns.
|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.
Type of play
Cats engage into two different types of play – one is solitary and the other is social. Solitary play involves playing with their toys and anything from skeins of wool to paper bags and boxes. Social play involves other cats, animals or people but when aimed at the latter, injuries can be incurred because cat scratches and bites can easily become infected and can be painful. This is not the aim of the cat, simply the natural by-product of the social play.
Sometimes true aggression does surface and knowing how to react to it when it does can stop a lot of problems. Cats can become aggressive when they are frightened by a sight, scent or sound, particularly when outdoors. Most of the time, cat aggression will be part of play but their body language can help you spot the difference. When a cat is playing, they will have their mouths half open and pounce or hop sideways with the back arched. It also tends to be without accompanying noises but when they are really angry, they will growl, spit and hiss.
|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.|
Reducing rough play
If you feel their rough play is becoming a problem, then there are steps to take to help reduce it. Firstly, make sure they have access to plenty of different toys with small ones such as balls and fake mice being favourites. They can stalk and pounce on them while toys such as feathers on flexible rods are great to dangle around and let them chase.
Producing new items even if it a paper bag or box allows them to have something new to investigate and attack so they don't get bored with their toys.
Dedicate some time each day to play with your cat, at least ten minutes. During this time, don't encourage them to attack your hands or feet but direct their attention to a dangling toy or something you throw for them. If they get too rough, then have a time out – leave the room and stop playing but don't try to put them in another room as this could lead to more scratches and bites.
If you cat loves to ambush and scratch at your feet when you pass, carry a toy on a string in front of you so that their attention is drawn to the toy, not your feet.
Sometimes it can an idea to have more than one cat. By having a playmate for your kitten, they can use up their aggression on each other, rather than on you.
Never physically punish your cat for scratching or biting you as this can actually make them rougher and more aggressive, turning play into real anger.
|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).|