Properly training your new cat takes a unique skill-set that no other animal can prepare you for. If you hope for your pet to be well-behaved, house trained, and playful with others, then you need to spend as much time with it as possible and practice any of the tips you find in the following paragraph. It’s not like a dog that you can leave outside on the chain for weeks.
Let kittens and cat-friendly pet dogs get to know each other slowly. Put up a baby gate to keep dogs in one room while your new kitten gets used to its surroundings. Supervise carefully when the kitten ventures to the gate to meet the dogs. When the kitten feels safe, it will climb the gate. If it feels threatened, it will pop right back out to safety.
Set up a nice, warm and comfortable area for your cat to rest in your home. It should be lined with a warm towel or blanket. Make sure to wash the bedding regularly since it can acquire dust, dander, and anything from outside if your cat is an outdoor cat.
Choose a high quality food. The key to a healthy cat starts with nutrition. Take a look at the ingredients label. If you look at most “popular” commercial cat foods, you may be surprised to see the top ingredient listed is corn. Cats are carnivores, so look for a food with a real meat as the top ingredient. You may pay more up front, but these foods are often more nutritionally dense, meaning your cat eats less and the bag lasts longer.
As your cat gets older, changes in behavior may signal pain. If your cat doesn’t like to jump or climb any more, it may be in pain. If your cat stops taking care of grooming or stops using its litter box, pain may be the cause. Be sure to have your older cat checked out by your vet if you notice behavior changes.
Save your furniture with scratching posts and pads. It is natural for cats to want to stretch their claws out and scratch. This does not mean that a cat owner must have damaged furniture. Provide your cat with places that it is okay to scratch and redirect them there if they decide to try out your sofa. Cat scratching posts come in many shapes and materials and some cats prefer a particular type so it may take some trial and error before you find the right combination for your kitty.
Lessen the chances of your cat becoming harmed or killed by spraying all electric cords with something to keep them from chewing it. Bitter apple is a good choice and can be found at most pet stores. If your cat happens to be a champion cord-chewer, you’ll need to use cord covers to protect your cords. An inexpensive way to hide electrical cords is to thread them through used paper towel rolls. Personal electronic devices should be stored when not needed to keep their cords out of reach.
Take your cat to the vet periodically. A lot of cat owners tend to avoid the vet because it can be harder to get a cat ready to go anywhere she does not want to go! It is also easy to avoid the vet because cats seem so self-reliant. However, it’s smart to get your cat to the vet to avoid any problems.
If your cat is traveling with you, remember their ears. Cats tend to prefer gentle sounds during the day. This means that you should keep your music turned down or off so the cat can relax.
When training a cat, take the proper approach. Encouragement works better than anger. If you are trying to teach a kitten to use a litterbox, for instance, yelling will only frighten a small cat. When the cat starts to go outside the box, gently place them in the box so they learn.
Give serious thought to spaying or neutering your cat. Your vet can give you the pros and cons of both, but if you plan to keep your cat for a long period of time you should consider this operation. Cat overpopulation is a real problem, and you can do your part.
Most veterinarians recommend that you feed your cat food that is in the can as opposed to the dry varieties in the box or bag. This is because the canned food contains more water, fat and protein than the dry variety. It is also easier to consume for cats with dental issues.
Many people do not realize that it is perfectly normal for you to take cats on walks so they can get exercise and fresh air. There are special harnesses made for you to use with your cat. If you use the type that were made for dogs, there is a chance your cat can get away.
Ensure that your new cat is spayed or neutered. This is important even if your cat will not be outdoors or around cats of the opposite gender. Studies show that spayed cats are less vulnerable to uterine, mammary, and ovarian cancer. Neutering your male cat decreases his risk of developing prostate cancer. Another benefit of neutering is that your cat will not feel compelled to mark his territory by spraying.
Use aversives to deter your feline friend from going places where it is not allowed. An aversive is anything that creates an undesirable environment for your cat. Examples include shelf paper (sticky side facing upward) and tinfoil. Most cats prefer to avoid these textures at all costs. You can also use carpet tape that has adhesive on both sides.
Your first cat will always be your hardest, but the ones that follow will all be pretty difficult as well. Each cat has its own unique attitude, habits, and back-story. All that you can do is try your hardest to train them properly and implement the tips you have read above.