More Cat Care Information:

Setting Boundaries in Cat Care

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.

If you do not set boundaries with your cat, you will find yourself in a losing situation. Remember, you need to keep yourself in a higher position in the hierarchy than your cat so that you remain in charge of your cat’s behavior.

Where to Potty

Potty-training your cat is one of the most important things in cat care. When you bring your cat home to the safe room, one of the first things you need to show your cat is where the litter box is. The litter box also makes the cat feel more at home, too.

You will also need to decide who needs to clean out the litter box. If you have kids, this could be one of their daily or weekly chores.

Eating

You will also need to set up a specific place for food and water. It should not be anywhere near the litter box, as cats do not like the two to be anywhere near each other.

You will also need to set up feeding times, especially if you have more than one animal in your home. Animals do not think twice about eating each other’s foods, but they are not always good for one another. You need to keep them away from other animal’s foods.

Play

Are there places your cat should not play? Are there things you do not want your cat to play with? You will need to set up rules about play in your home.

Grooming

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.

Grooming is an essential element of cat care. Though many cats never enjoy getting a bath, they will get used to the brushing and combing process. Cats often do not like the tooth brushing or nail clipping process, but if they learn you are going to do it anyway it will get a little easier over time.

Begging

Cats learn that when they get away with something once, they can try to push a little further every time. Sometimes it gets so bad that cats have no problems jumping on the table during a meal. Not a good example of cat training. It is probably best that you discourage any begging at the table and set a house rule that the cat is not to be fed from the table at all.

Furniture

If you have furniture that your cat is not allowed to touch, you had better lock it up somewhere. Even if your cat is very good about staying off the bed, couch, table, etc. when you are home, it is not likely that the furniture will be untouched when you are not there. Still you can set the boundaries with your cat.

Freedom

Your cat likes freedom, and you need to decide on what kind of freedom your cat will have. Will your cat be allowed outside? If so, do you have a schedule your cat will need to follow? Are there rooms in which your cat is not allowed?
If you have a room that you would like to keep cat-free, you will need to keep the door closed. You will also need to make that rule known to your family, so, again, everyone is consistent.

Routines

Routines in cat care are the biggest way to establish boundaries and house rules. Cats respond very well to having a routine – it promotes a feeling of safety. Changes to a routine should be the exception, not the rule.
For the best possible results with your cat, everyone in the house should have a good appreciation of sound cat care and training practices. It’s not difficult, and you’ll be richly rewarded.

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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