Many individuals adore cats and would want one for themselves – or already have one – but do they really know how to take care of felines? Taking care of cats is not a difficult thing if you know how. Read this article to find out more.
Getting A Cat
Before we get into the nitty gritty of cat care, you’ll need a cat first – unless you’re looking to educate a friend or family member about taking care of their cat. Now, it’s recommended that you take time to do some research on the different breeds of cats in order to find one that suits your lifestyle the best. Take into consideration the amount of time you have available to spend with your potential cat, the amount of space you have in your home, and the amount of money you have available to spend on it. Most importantly, make sure you’re willing to dedicate years of your life to living with and taking care of your feline friend.
Before bringing a cat home, make sure you have all the basics: a litter box, cat litter, food and water dishes, a cat bed (if you’re not a fan of your cat sleeping just about anywhere), bedding, and a cat carrier. Scratching posts and toys are also important things to think of getting.
Make sure your feline has met with a veterinarian before coming home with you! Vaccinating and neutering/spaying your cat is highly recommended. Declawing is not recommended, however, as it is a terribly painful procedure. Instead of declawing, training your cat to use a scratching post will usually deal with any scratching-related issues.
House and Behavior Training
Training should be done as soon as possible in order to ensure an easy lifestyle between you and your cat. Common training methods include clicker training and treat rewards. Refrain from using physical punishments as it may end up causing your cat to be afraid of you. Patience and understanding are key in the training process. Focus on litter box, cat carrier, and scratching post training – any other specific behavior traits can be worked on after your cat is comfortable with you and its surroundings.
Feeding and Grooming
Feed your cat with the highest quality of cat food you can afford. Cats prefer a mix of dry and wet/canned food compared to a diet composed solely of one or the other. Keep amounts reasonable; not too much food nor too little, as excessive amounts of food can lead to obesity and obesity related diseases, whereas too little food can also result in health problems of other kinds.
Cats are great self-groomers, but it’s not a bad idea to give your cat a good brush over daily or weekly, depending the length of your cat’s hair. Long-haired cats need to be brushed more frequently than short-haired ones. In addition, you should keep a lookout for any activity of fleas or parasites – use a comb specialized for combing out such creatures. Brushing a cat’s teeth will require a soft toothbrush and a veterinarian approved toothpaste. Having your cat get used to its teeth getting brushed will be a gradual process – start off exposing your cat to the taste of the toothpaste, then moving on to using your finger to “brush” its teeth, before finally using the toothbrush. If your cat resists access to areas of its mouth, give it extra time to get used to the action.
Interactive playing provides your cat with exercise and the chance to utilize its hunting skills. It also helps it release any pent up aggression and strengthen its relationship with you. Use toys such as wand toys, stimulating toys (e.g. Balls with bells in them), and catnip toys. Rotate its toys every couple of days so that your cat won’t get bored easily. Let your cat win during playtime after a period of pursuit – the sense of satisfaction is (not surprising) quite pleasant! Play sessions do not have to be long (around 10-15 minutes will work just fine), but they should be frequent.
This hardly needs an explanation, I think. If you care for your cat, you’ll love your cat, and vice versa. You may be brand-new to the art of caring for a feline, but it’s with time, dedication, and effort that you’ll succeed. As long as you follow the general guideline provided, you’ll be sure to develop an amazing bond with your feline that will never waver.