General Cat Care

 

Have you 
lately added a  nimble friend to
your family? Congratulations! We know you ’ll be  excited to have your new cat in
yourhome.However, please visit your original 
sanctum, If you’re considering 
espousing a cat. We encourage you to browse our directory of
adoptable  pussycats in your area, or use
our  sanctum finder to start your hunt.   Read on for useful tips for new cat parents,
and for those looking to brush up on their pet care chops.

Basic Care

Feeding

We recommend purchasing high-quality, brand-name
kitten or cat food. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your new cat or
kitten and determine the best diet. Factors such as age, activity level and
health make a difference in what and how much a cat should eat.

 

Cats require taurine, an essential amino acid,
for heart and eye health. The food you choose should be balanced for the life
stage of your cat or kitten. Properly balanced foods will contain taurine.

You will need to provide fresh, clean water at
all times, and wash and refill your cat’s water bowls daily.

Treats should be no more than 5-10% of the diet.

Many people feed baby food to a cat or kitten who
is refusing food or not feeling well 
Please read labels carefully: If the baby food contains onion or garlic
powder, your pet could be poisoned.

Take your pet to your veterinarian if signs of
anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting or lethargy continue for more than two days.

Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding
Your Pets page for a list of off-limits items, as well as our Cat Nutrition
Tips page for more information.

Grooming

Frequent brushing will help keep your cat’s coat
clean, reduce shedding and reduce the appearance of hairballs

Handling

To lift the cat, place one hand behind the front
legs and the other under the hindquarters. Lift carefully. Never lift the cat
by the  neck or  front legs.

Housing

Your pet should have its own clean and dry
place  to sleep and rest. Line the cat’s
bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Remember to wash your bedding often.
Keep your cat inside. Outdoor cats do not live as long as indoor cats. Outdoor
cats are at risk of trauma from cars or 
fights with other cats, raccoons and free-roaming dogs.cats. Cats living
outdoors are more likely to get fleas or ticks and get infectious diseases.

Identification

If  your
cat is allowed outside, it must have a 
collar and ID. The safety collar with a flexible panel lets the cat out
if the collar gets caught on something. For both indoor and outdoor cats, an ID
tag or  implanted microchip can help
ensure  your cat is returned if it goes
missing.

Litter Box

All indoor cats need a litter box, which should
be placed in a quiet, easily accessible place. In a multi-level home, one box
per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary, but
if necessary, move the box only a few inches per day. Remember that cats won’t
use a messy, smelly litter box, so scrape solid waste out of the box at least
once a day. Throw everything away, wash with 
mild detergent and refill at least once a week; you can do this less
often if you use a folding carrier. Do not use ammonia, deodorants or
fragrances, especially lemon, when cleaning the litter box. If your cat does
not use the litter box, contact your veterinarian. Sometimes the reason for
refusing to use the litter box is an illness that required treatment. For more
information, visit the sandbox issues page.

Scratching

 When a cat
scratches, the old outer nail cup is pulled away and the sharp, smooth nails
underneath are exposed. Trimming your cat’s nails every two or three weeks will
keep them relatively dull and less damaging to people’s hands and furniture.
Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post that is at least three feet
long. The stick should also be stable enough not to wobble during use, and
should be covered with a rough material such as sisal, burlap or  bark.

Health

Your cat should visit the vet at least once a
year for exams and annual vaccinations, and immediately if they are sick or
injured.

Medicines and Poisons

Never give your cat medications that have not
been prescribed by a veterinarian. If you suspect  your animal has ingested a toxic substance,
call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for 2-hour
animal poisoning information at (888) 26-35.

Spaying and Neutering

Female cats should be spayed and male cats
neutered by five months of age.

Leave a Comment