More Cat Care Information:
You’ve brought your cat home and got her set up with all her needs. Now, you’re faced with some of the more puzzling aspects of cat care. You’re concerned about shedding. You’re wondering about de-clawing. And that’s just for starters. Not to worry.
|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.
First and foremost, realize that the first step to successful cat ownership is to love your cat. Filling in the blanks on the information you don’t know yet will come. And here’s some information and knowledge to get you started.
Cats shed. And the shedding of a long-haired cat is more noticeable than that of a short haired feline. You may expect your cat only to shed at the change of the seasons, however this is not the case. Because of exposure to a constant temperature and continual artificial light, your indoor cat sheds year round. But it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.
Here’s a good piece of important cat care information, cats take care of a lot of their shedding on their own. They are fastidiously clean animals. You’ll discover they are constantly cleaning themselves with their rough, sandpaper-like tongues. The very mechanism, though, that helps them to control shedding also contributes to one of their health problems, hairballs. Hairballs are a very real threat to your cat’s digestion. They can block the food that’s already been digested from traveling through his intestines.
So how do you know when your cat is experiencing hairballs? You’ll be able to recognize them if he coughs them up – as cats are prone to do. If you find cigar-shaped masses of some indistinguishable matter on the floor or on your furniture, you’ve discovered a hairball.
Sometimes, though, a cat will expel them along with his faeces in the litter box. If you find that your cat’s bowel movements have hair on them, that means he’s got hairballs. Another symptom your feline may exhibit is dry coughing or a hacking. This will especially occur after he’s eaten. In fact, if your cat has a sudden, unexpected loss of appetite, you may suspect a hairball is at the root cause.
So how do you prevent hairballs? Take matters in your own hands, literally! Brush! Brush! Brush! Groom you kitty often. Most cats find it most enjoyable and it builds a marvelous bond between you and your feline.
If you discover that your kitten may need more aid than this, there are many effective hairball remedies on the market today. They come in a variety of forms, from granules you sprinkle inconspicuously on his food to gels.
Thinking about de-clawing?
If you haven’t heard, de-clawing your cat so he doesn’t ruin your furniture or accidentally seriously scratch an individual is controversial. A generation ago, this operation was routine, many times performed at the same time the kitten got spayed or neutered.
|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 public today, though, is more widely educated on exactly what surgery for de-clawing entails. It’s not just a matter of pulling the claws out of the kitty. In order to remove the claws, a veterinarian must actually amputate the cat’s paws at the first joint. This would be the equivalent you getting your knuckles amputated right below your finger nails. Ouch!
In order to perform the surgery, your veterinarian will anesthetized your cat as well as give him pain medication. He will literally cut the first section of your cat’s paw off, since the claws are intricately intertwined in the first “knuckle.”
Following the surgery, your cat’s paws are carefully bandaged. Your cat will undoubtedly spend the night at the animal hospital. The following day you’ll be able to bring her home.
Be prepared! Your cat – understandably – will be distinctly uncomfortable for several days following the surgery. (Actually, she’ll probably be in great pain. But felines are wonderful actors. They hate to show that they’re in any type of pain.)
Considering, though, the extent of the surgery, your cat heals quite quickly. You’ll notice that your pet walks around the house rather gingerly. That’ll last for about a week. After that she’ll back to her old self.
To help prevent infection, you should replace her litter with some shredded paper. This avoids getting granules of litter in his already very tender paws. De-clawing your cat does more than just eliminate the problem of scratching. Her claws -and that portion of the toes that are removed, are valuable to her in another vital way. Removing her claws may throw her entire system of natural balance off.
A cat, you see, is classified as a “digitigrade.” It’s a strange label, but essentially it means that she walks on her toes. But, these toes are used for so much more! Her entire balance and form are based on the length of her digits. Nature, it seems, designed the cat’s body, including her back, shoulders, paws, leg joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons and even her nerves! based on walking on her toes. Because of this, her weight is distributed across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs.
That means a cat’s claws are absolutely essential for her balance as well as for her ability to exercise effectively. Not only that, her toes – and especially her claws are vital aspects of her stretching. Notice when your cat scratches at a post (or, yes, your furniture!). Most of us assume she’s just sharpening her claws. Not so! She is really stretching her entire body. when you declaw your kitten, it throws her entire body alignment off.
Hairballs and declawing. Not usually subjects that come up in everyday conversations, now are they? But these are only two of the important bits of information that every cat owner needs to know in order to give Fluffy the best of care. That, and your love, will help your kitten live a long and healthy life.
|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).|