A lot of people out there just don’t know what goes into taking care of a cat. These are great animals to have and don’t take quite as much maintenance as other animals. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn a few things about them. Read this article to help you care for your cat better.
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.
Protecting your cat from household chemicals is something that you may already know, but did you know that protecting them from medications is just as important? Common over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen can be toxic to your cat, even in small doses. Keep your medication safely out of the reach of your cat.
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.
Cats and electrical cords don’t mix. If you notice your cat has a habit of chewing on electric cords, try to bundle them up and hide them out of the cat’s reach. If that’s not possible, spray a little bit of bitter apple onto the cords. Not only is bitter apple non-toxic, cats absolutely hate the taste.
Have your cat spayed or neutered. Pet overpopulation is a growing problem, with millions of homeless cats and kittens euthanized every year. Besides the problem of too many kittens and not enough homes, unfixed cats can have a multitude of behavior problems. Males who are not neutered at a young age often start spraying to mark their territory, and females who are allowed to come into heat yowl incessantly as they try to escape to find a mate. Kittens can begin to breed as early as 4 months of age, so get your new kitten spayed or neutered as soon as possible.
Brush your cat at regular times. This can help spread their fur’s natural oils around and stimulate blood flow to their skin. It also loosens hair that is about ready to fall out. Brushing eliminates the formation of hairballs which may choke your cat and lead to buildup of excess hair in the abdomen when the cat grooms himself.
Is your pet’s scratching post starting to look beat up? Don’t toss it out! When a post is worn, your cats may enjoy it more. Even if you throw it away and buy a new one, your cat may opt for tearing up your upholstery instead.
Think about getting a drinking fountain for your cat. Cats normally look to drink from running water. This is true in the wild or at home. Normally, cats much prefer water that comes out in a stream. You may have noticed that a dripping sink faucet quickly attracts their attention. A drinking fountain provides a more natural and environmentally friendly way for your cat to drink.
If your cat bothers your Christmas tree or other plants, try beating him at his own game. Make his favorite chewing and climbing areas unattractive to him by placing the peelings of oranges, lemons or grapefruit around the places you wish for him to avoid. Cats hate citrus, and this is a natural way to keep them from getting into trouble.
Cats love to climb trees. This is a natural tendency, that can be hard for some indoor cats to control. If you find that your cat is literally climbing up your curtains, it is time to invest in a cat tower. This will provide your cat a place to climb, in a safer and less destructive way.
Help keep your cat’s fur soft and healthy with regular cleaning. While your pet might object violently to a dunk in the bathtub, there are other options. Many pet stores sell feline cleaning wipes. These convenient disposable wipes reduce allergens and remove oils and dirt. Some are scented with chamomile, which helps to calm your cat. These are especially useful if you have an older or injured pet that cannot groom itself properly.
Most cats are prone to wax build up and ear mites. You can purchase a solution at the pet store that will clean out your cats ears. You put a couple drops in each of your cats ears and then hold them closed while massaging them for a minute. When you let go, stand back or you will get covered in the liquid when your cat shakes its head.
If your cat has bad breath, a trip to the vet is in order. Bad breath in cats can be a red flag for tooth decay or more serious conditions. These include diabetes, stomach problems and lung disorders. So, if your cat’s breath smells worse than the food he eats, get to the bottom of the issue before it gets out of control.
As you can see, there is quite a bit that goes into having a cat. The main thing you need to have is some patience. Now that you’ve read this article you should have no problem caring for your cat. Use what you have learned here and everything will be a lot easier for you.