It is often said that there are two kinds of people in the world-those who love cats and those who do not. Cat lovers are often portrayed as introspective, introverted people seeking a companion that is equally introverted and self-interested. While this stereotype may hold true for some cats and cat owners, the only real “rule” for who and who should not own a cat involves who and who is not willing to devote themselves fully to offering the best in pet cat care and health.
Because kittens are so cute and in plentiful supply, many people are tempted to impulsively attain a cat, operating under the impression that cats are “independent” and can “take care of themselves.” For your future cat’s sake, pay attention to this pet cat care advice before falling in love with the perfect feline.
Learning how to care for a cat isn’t rocket science, but it’s also not as simple as some people think. The first thing you want to be absolutely certain of before you decide to get a cat is that you are giving it a forever home with you. Not a “you clawed the sofa so you’re out of here” home or an “I’m moving and don’t want to bother finding a cat-friendly rental so I’ll take you to the pound” home, but a permanent home with a person who can devote as many as 20 years of their life to cat pet care.
If you’re ready to accept this commitment, then consider opening your home to one of the thousands of cats whose past owners failed to make this commitment–adopt your kitty from the local animal shelter. Many cats and kittens are euthanized every day simply because there aren’t enough loving homes for them all. Save a life and get your new best friend all in one go!
So now that you’ve decided a pet cat is indeed something you’re ready for, it’s time to create your pet cat care and health checklist. To ensure that your cat stays as healthy as possible, you’ll need to find a regular vet where you’ll take your cat for his or her yearly check-ups, vaccinations, and any other medical issues that may arise. Hands down, the easiest way to keep your cat healthy is to keep your cat indoors.
While most cats enjoy being outside, they’re just as happy, and far safer, curling in a sunny window or on a screened-in porch. Cats who spend a lot of time outdoors will inevitably end up in fights with other cats which usually result in costly abscesses. They also run the risk of being hit by a car, contracting Feline leukemia or FIV, being attacked by a dog, or being shot, poisoned, or trapped by a cat-hating neighbor.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to allow your cat outdoors, you’ll need to be certain that you’re prepared for the cost of having your cat spayed or neutered. A bonus of adopting from an animal shelter is that many shelters “fix” their pets before placing them in new homes. Regardless of where your new cat comes from, you must make the commitment to have your cat altered, whether to prevent diseases of the reproductive system in females, to prevent territorial “spraying” in males, or to prevent litters of kittens from further increasing an already tragically large cat population.
Another easy way to ensure your cat’s continued health is to feed him or her a quality diet of premium dry cat food. The difference between a few dollars per bag could mean the difference between less veterinary bills down the road. Search for a cat food that offers chicken or fish (not meat by-products or corn) as its primary ingredient.
Keep a small amount of dry food is in your cat’s dish at all times, as cats will usually nibble throughout the day, and always keep your cat’s water dish clean and full. If you want to offer your cat a little more variety in his diet, try roasted chicken, cooked fish, and cooked vegetables such as green beans. Do not, however, offer your cat milk or other dairy products as many cats are slightly lactose intolerant.
Obviously, much of what you learn about pet cat care and health will come to you in the many happy years you spend with your cat, but hopefully, this has been a start. Commit to providing your feline companion with the best you can offer and he or she will reward you richly-with unconditional affection and unrivaled devotion.