No amount of articles can prepare you for raising your first cat! This is a wonderful and exciting experience that you may only have once in life. Make every moment count by having fun with your pet, feeding it delicious food, and keeping it active outside of the home. If this is your first cat, you’ll be glad you took the time to read this article and get prepared.
Make sure to keep your cat’s litter box clean at all times. Most cats do not like to use a dirty litter box, much like you would not want to use a dirty toilet. Scoop it at least once a day. Empty and give it a good cleaning once a week or more if needed.
Groom your cat. Cats have to be brushed or combed on a regular basis. If you brush cats on a regular basis, it will keep their coats clean and attractive. Removing excess hair also reduces shedding and can prevent hairballs. Cat grooming will not only keep kitty looking great, but it will also help to reduce the effort spent picking up cat hair around the home.
Think about putting a microchip in your pet. Indoor cats could run out your door or jump out the window. Tags and collars are great, but if a cat escapes them, there’s no guaranteeing they’ll make it home safe and sound. Microchips are as small as a rice grain and have all of your important contact information. The chip will never be lost because it is under the skin and it can easily be read by any shelter or vet.
Wash your cat’s bed at least once a week to remove all of the bacteria from it. Even if the bed looks like it is clean, it will usually have toxins in it that can cause your pet to become sick. Replace the bed every six months to keep your cat in a sanitary environment.
If your cat has a tendency to eat your plants, you can stop him. You can either purchase bitter apple spray and spray the pot, or you can put a bit of clove oil on a cotton ball and bury it a bit in the soil. Your cat will avoid both.
While usually cats make great pets for kids, younger kids may be too rough with them. Make sure your child knows how to treat a cat. Teach them about appropriate activities and how to gentle pick up the cat. Cats need to be protected, too. Their bones are much more susceptible than dogs.
The chances are good that your cat will come running for their favorite treat. There are many different recipes out there specifically for homemade cat treats. This is a fun way to spoil your cat. There is also the benefit of knowing what exactly your cat is consuming, to ensure that it is healthy for them.
If you’ve just met a cat, don’t look at them in their eyes. Cats do not like being stared at by people they don’t know. That’s why they are more comfortable if you are not looking at them. They are more likely to approach you that way, and more likely to kindly regard you in the future.
It is important that your cat always where a collar that identifies them. This is essential, even for indoor cats. Cats are inquisitive and will explore an open door or window if it is presented to them. Tags that have your vet’s name and phone number are good things to put on the collar. This precaution is especially important when your cat has an existing medical condition.
Do not leave wet cat food in the bowl for longer than twenty minutes after your cat is done eating it. After you see your kitten is done for the time being, throw out the rest of the food and make sure to wash their bowl thoroughly with light soap and water.
Understand the difference between cat play and real aggression. Both activities can look the same to an untrained eye, but there are differences. When two cats are playing, they will bat each other around with claws retracted. They will “bite” with their jaws loose. Real aggression will involve hisses, squeals and hard biting.
Sometimes cats can have problems with arthritis when they get older. This makes it harder for them to get around. You can buy them a heated bed to lay in to help ease the discomfort. It is also a good idea to talk to the vet about any medications that might help out.
Medical conditions and other dietary factors may make it necessary to switch your cat from moist foods to dry formulas. Cats are finicky enough already, and many resist the change. For the first week or so, mix the dry food with a small amount of warm water to soften it up. Gradually decrease the liquid until your cat will eat the dry food. If you try this approach, do not allow the moistened food to sit for longer than 20 minutes; it could spoil.
Brushing your cat more frequently is the most common way to combat hairballs. If it doesn’t work, though, you have other options. Consider mixing cat food with a single teaspoon of pumpkin. You might even want to try to add a teaspoon of tuna water mixed together with the pumpkin to see if that helps. Some cat foods include hairball fighting elements, such as fiber, that may be useful.
Your first cat is a special pet that should remain in your memories as a great time spent raising an adorable animal. Future pets will get easier to train and feed, but cats will always be a complex, confusing, messy animal. Small changes here and there help make this a unique experience.