More Cat Care Information:

Dogs, as it is often said, are a man’s best friend. But whilst they may indeed be a very loving and loyal companion to have around, the large proportion of cat owners in the UK would probably argue that their moggy is every bit as faithful a friend, and also a fully integrated member of the family unit.

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.

Indeed, most people are fairly clear on whether they are a ‘cat person’ or a ‘dog person’ and normally have quite specific reasons for their opinions. But regardless of what camp a person sits in, most people would probably agree that cats require a lot less maintenance than their canine counterparts.

For instance, cats quite often tend to take care of their own hygiene, which can be of great help for those pet owners who perhaps have their time occupied with more important day to day tasks. But, and as many cat owners will have experienced, they also have a tendency to wander off, particularly if they are living in the countryside. It’s fair to say, however, that cats are reasonably independent creatures that are more than capable of taking care of themselves.

The down side to this independence is that when cats do stray away from home it can often be for long periods of time, but regardless of how many lives cats are supposed to have, this can still cause a great deal of worry for any feline-loving family.

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.

Of course, when a cat does disappear for days on end, it is merely doing what comes naturally. It may be hunting, looking for a mate, or it may simply have wandered into a neighbouring garden where it has become acquainted with another, perhaps overly-generous, cat lover. Either way, it can be difficult to determine a cat’s reasoning for straying and more than often you begin to consider the worst has happened.

As a result, it’s not too uncommon to see posters placed around a neighbourhood, offering a description of the missing moggy in question, and perhaps even a small reward for its safe return. However, the cat may even wander home eventually of its own accord, and at times possibly a little bedraggled and worse for wear.

Moreover, even the littlest of scrapes or cuts can become infected after days of roughing it, which can lead to a great deal of expense if a vet’s help is needed. But as is the case with anything in life that we hold dear to us, it is possible to provide a little protection should the need arise, and many people choose to take out pet insurance for such occasions.

Having pet insurance in place will ensure that a mischievous moggy isn’t cause for a financial catastrophe, as protection is usually offered not only against the cost of veterinary care, but also for reward and recovery costs too. And as a fully integrated member of the family unit, that’s probably the very least a cat deserves!

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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