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.
Be sure to have your pet cat spayed or neutered by the time it is six months old. A spayed or neutered cat is a more satisfactory pet because it is calmer, quieter and more likely to stay home. Neutered male cats do not spray urine to mark their territory. This is definitely a plus when it comes to cat ownership.
Have your kids help you take care of the cat. Assign daily jobs such as feeding the cat and cleaning the litter box. Not only will taking care of the cat teach them responsibility, it also gives you a break from these tasks. This means that you can spend more time cuddling with your cat.
Make your own enclosed litter box from a large tote box with a lid. Use a coffee can lid as a pattern to cut a door in one side of the tote. Place the coffee can lid fairly high up on the side of the tote. Trace around it with a permanent marker. Cut out the circle with tin snips or a box cutter. Add litter. Put on the lid.
Refrain from giving your cat any food that is spoiled. This can lead to indigestion and food poisoning, which can cost you a trip to the veterinarian. Always buy your food fresh from the store and be sure to check the expiration date before you feed it to your cat.
While cats are good pets for children generally, smaller children may treat them too roughly. Teach your kids how to treat a cat. Give them examples of how to be gentle with it and what should and should not be done. Cats have weaker bones than dogs so should be treated carefully.
While children should help with the care and responsibilities of a cat, leave the litterbox duties to the grownups or older children. A cat’s litterbox can carry diseases and parasites. Since younger children may not follow proper handwashing procedures, this job is better left to those older and more responsible.
Ensure that your cat wears a collar and identification tags at all times. Even if yours is an indoor cat, this is still an important safety measure. You know how curious cats are, and any open door can mean the cat disappears. Your cat’s identification tags should provide your contact info and that of your veterinarian. This is crucial if your cat requires special medical attention.
If your cat begins defecating or urinating too frequently, it’s time to see the vet. This may be a symptom of an infection of the urinary tract or another health problem in your cat. Certain antibiotics prescribed by your vet can clear up the problem.
If you suspect that your cat is pregnant, make an appointment with the vet as soon as you can to make sure that is really the case. There are a few serious illnesses that can mimic pregnancy, so you want to make sure that none of these has affected your cat.
If your cat will not use the litter box, try placing it at a different spot in your home. The cat instinctively feels vulnerable when using the litter box, so make sure it’s in a location that’s totally quiet and safe. For example, your basement, laundry room or other room away from household activity should suffice.
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.
If you were unemployed when you got your cat, but are now heading back to work, your pet will probably have issues with loneliness. One tried-and-true way to keep a cat from getting lonely is to pair it up with another cat.
To keep your cat using the litter box, always keep it clean. No matter what kind of scented or special formula litters you may use, nothing is a substitute for removing clumps and used litter several times a day. Keep your litter box in a quiet area of your home.
If you have a long haired cat, regular grooming is an essential tool. Grooming helps to keep your kitty clean and well cared for. It can help to prevent shedding and skin disease too. While bathing your cat is not required more than every so often, make sure to brush him daily and tend to any mats in his coat.
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.