Cats are one of the leading choices for family pets in America. Their popularity isn’t there for no reason at all, people love to raise cats and enjoy the experience associated with owning a feline. You are probably ready for a cat yourself, but you shouldn’t rush out and adopt one without reading these tips first.
Make sure your cat sees a vet regularly to maintain their good health. A yearly visit for a regular check-up is important, with more frequent visits for shots as required. Cats should go to a vet immediately if they have any conditions, health problems, or injuries that need to be tended to right away.
Realize that cats do not normally pant. Dogs pant to keep cool. If a cat pants, it’s a sign of trouble. Your cat could be very anxious or in pain. Likewise, rapid breathing is a sign of pain or anxiety. Be sure to contact your vet right away if your cat starts panting.
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.
If you absolutely must bathe a cat, set everything up in advance. Set up two tubs large enough to dunk a cat. Fill them with comfortably warm water. Set your open bottle of cat shampoo, a heavy towel, and a secure pet carrier close by. Wear heavy rubber gloves. Grasp your cat by the scruff of the neck. Dunk, shampoo and scrub quickly in one tub. Dunk to rinse in the second tub. Wrap the cat securely in the towel and place in the carrier to dry.
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.
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.
Cats love heights. Your cat will be truly happy if you provide a place for him to view his surroundings. If you don’t want a large cat tree in your home, a sturdy shelf cleared of breakables will work in a pinch. You can also add a small bed or blanket at the top.
If your cat does not use the litter box, do not use punishments to try to discipline him. Your cat probably did not use the litter box because it is not well taken care of. Your cat will become afraid of you if you punish it or scold it too often.
If you have more than one cat, it is a good idea for you to give them each their own food bowls. Place them far apart so that each cat has their space. If you provide just one bowl for the cats to share, it may cause larger cats to bully the smaller ones.
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.
When your cat has kittens, it can be tempting to get rid of them as soon as possible, but you should wait a reasonable amount of time. A kitten needs to learn a few things from mom before going off into the world alone, so give him six weeks to learn all he can.
Protect your cat and your kid by demonstrating the proper way to show affection for the animal. Few things are more appealing to children than the sight of a soft, fluffy cat, and they might be tempted to hug or squeeze the animal. Instead, teach your child to allow the animal to come to you rather than pursuing it. Tell them to use a light touch and avoid making direct eye contact with the cat
Make sure to feed your diet pet food specifically made for cats. While a bag of dog food might be cheaper pound for pound, it will not contain the necessary vitamins, minerals and especially protein content to keep your cats healthy. Giving a cat dog food on a regular basis can also cause kidney failure and other serious illnesses.
This is only enough to help you get started with raising your new kittens. From here forward, you will need to seek advice from your friends, family, and other proud parents. The internet is also a great source of feline facts that come from every source and every walk of life.