More Cat Care Information:
Natural cat care ranges from use of homeopathic methods to simply choosing organic and natural products when they are available instead of using medicated ones. This can range from use of olive oil to combat ear mites, to creating homemade food for your cat. One can chose to use wheat, corn, pine or paper based litter instead of clay litters. There are even crystal litters that will absorb urine and break down feces to prevent disease and infection. There are vets that use acupuncture and other methods to treat illnesses instead of or alongside more traditional methods.
|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.
The basis of natural cat care is preventive grooming. By taking a more active role in the grooming of your cat, through daily brushing of coat and teeth, trimming nails or hair as needed, wiping the eyes and nose to keep mucus and crusting discharges under control, watching for fleas and ticks, and doing regular exams on your pet you can do a lot to prevent needing traditional medicines.
Using massage, brushing, and exams can go a long way to allowing you to take steps to fight little problems before they become life threateningly large ones. Not only will this give you a happy, healthy pet, but it will improve the bond that exists between you and your cat.
A foundational approach to natural cat care includes cultivation of a relationship with a vet to ensure that natural remedies are correct for your pet. Use of homemade food might not be the best for all situations, but your vet can advise you if your pet has special needs that require supplements. If homemade food is not right, you can find organic or raw foods made for cats online through special stores.
|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.|
The vet can perform spaying and neutering as needed to eliminate behavior issues that might lead to the need for medicines in the future, like fighting, breeding, or trying to get outside. Keeping your pet happy and healthy is the vet’s job after all.
Combining natural cat care with bio-awareness means that in addition to sticking with natural remedies that you seek to use things that are environmentally sound. This would mean choosing litter for your cat that is biodegradable, avoiding the use of clay based litters. You can choose from corn-based, pine- based, or other type of “flushable” litter, or use a crystal based litter that has no clay. You can chose organic foods to reduce the use of chemicals in food production. These organic foods would be better for your pet because they do not have artificial dyes or coloring agents in them.
You can find shops, webpages, blogs, forums and other online resources to help you decide if natural cat care is right for you and your cat. With an active community online, finding help with answering your questions is easy. Taking a natural approach does not mean ignoring the vet trips, but rather seeking ways to protect your cat from dangers that commercial products might pose.
|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).|