More Cat Care Information:
We all think that we know the basics of looking after your cat. However you would be amazed at how often we overlook our cat’s basic health needs. This article examines the basic routine that we need to follow to ensure that our cats remain healthy.
|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.
You will from time to time find small clumps of dirt will accumulate in the corner of the eyes of your cat. Try to clean simply with a piece of cotton soaked with tepid water. If your cat seems to have eyes that are half closed and it is not a characteristic of its race, check with your veterinary surgeon to see whether your cat has an allergy.
They should be cleaned at least one time per week. Cats ears often clean themselves, however sometimes a build up of dirt will lead to a bad smell or accumulation of cerumen. If however you note that they are slightly dirty you can clean the inner ear with a piece of cotton but take care not to go too far in the auditory canal. Never use an ear bud not as thus is likely to wound the cat. The ears of your cat must be examined at least once a year by your veterinary surgeon.
|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.|
Normally, the cat cleans them itself. Nevertheless, if they are dirty, which can be due to bad weather and when your cat goes outside, clean them with a wet cotton cloth.
Cats which live outside maintain their claws naturally, while climbing trees, for example. But an indoor cat can require their claws to be cut for them, especially if it is old or if your cat damages them on the pieces of furniture. Indeed, if your cat’s claws are too long claws then they can become ingrown and infect his paws. Use special guillotine nail-clippers and ask for the assistance of somebody to hold the cat during the cutting process. Press behind each paw to make the retractile claws open. Only the points of the claw should be cut and not the interior o the claw.
This operation is a little delicate. If you cannot stomach cutting your cat’s claws then ask your veterinary surgeon to show you the best technique or simply visit a grooming salon.
|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).|