More Cat Care Information:
Cats are normally very careful and cautious creatures. They will not jump onto a ledge if they are unsure it will hold their weight, for example. However, accidents do happen and you need to be able to deal with them. You need to know when to take your cat to the vet immediately and when you can treat your cat at home.
|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.
Firstly, it is essential that you have a first aid kit for your cat. You have one for your family and you do need one for your pets as well. Your kit will contain many of the same items but it is necessary to have both kits.
For any injuries you cat might have, minor or major, it is essential that you try to keep your cat as calm as possible. This means you need to be calm as well. You will want to talk gently to your cat and stroke it while examining the injury. If there is a second person there that the cat trusts, this is even better.
Scrapes and Abrasions
For minor injuries such as scrapes or minor abrasions, clean the area with an antiseptic solution such as Betadine. It will be necessary to get any blood, dirt or other debris out of the injury. If you wish, you can wash the area with sterile water (bottled is fine, not tap water) first. This way you can see if everything has been removed but use the Betadine when it is clean.
|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.|
Next, apply an antiseptic ointment to the area. You only need a thin coat of this. For scrapes or minor abrasions you shouldn’t need a bandage, and you might have trouble having your cat keep it on. It will be necessary for you to clean the abrasion two or three times a day, using the antiseptic ointment, until it appears to be healing. Your cat will also lick at this to speed up the healing process. The licking will help keep the abrasion clean. If it is not healing after three days, contact your vet.
Minor cuts can most likely also be treated at home. A minor cut is one that stops bleeding on its own after a couple of minutes. If it keeps bleeding longer than that, contact your vet. To treat this at home, get some clean gauze pads and press gently but firmly on the cut until the bleeding stops. Clean the cut as you would for an abrasion, then apply a small amount of antiseptic ointment onto a clean gauze pad and wrap the area with a gauze bandage. If the cut is on a limb or the tail, this should be fairly easy.
However, if the cut is on the body, you will have to wrap it as best you can. If you have trouble keeping the gauze on the cat, just apply the antiseptic ointment liberally. Keep your cat somewhere you can keep an eye on it for a few days to make sure it is healing well.
I strongly suggest keeping your specialized ‘pet first aid kit’ next to your own. You never know when you will need it.
Please, if you have a wound that continues to bleed or a more serious injury, or even if you are at all worried about your cat, contact your vet. Most vets will have a method of dealing with emergencies or can tell you where to take your cat.
|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).|