Owning a cat may seem like an easy job. After all, they are notorious for being independent. However, if you are a first time cat owner, there are lots of things you need to know. The following article is full of helpful tips and tricks that ensures you and your cat live happily together.
If your cat is an outdoor cat or a cat that has a habit of getting outside, they need proper identification. The cat should have a safety collar and an ID tag. Safety collars that have elastic bands allow cats to get out of the collar if they get it caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help your cat get returned if they’re lost.
Be careful when treating your cat for fleas. Be sure to consult with your vet before using natural alternatives to control your cat’s fleas. Cats are very sensitive to essential oils and many herbs. Your vet will probably recommend you use a prescription flea treatment, which is usually best for cats.
Protect your cat from choking. Be sure to dispose of poultry and fish bones safely. Wrap them in a paper or plastic bag and put them in your outdoor garbage can with the lid tightly secured. Alternately, place them in a plastic bag and freeze them until garbage pick up day.
Feed your cat a proper diet. Cats are carnivores and have specific dietary needs. Feed them quality cat food that has been approved by AAFCO or the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If you wish to make your cat’s food yourself, make sure you speak with a vet about necessary supplements or specific recipes that your cat needs to eat.
Do not feed your cat any kind of human food that contains bones in it. If you are giving your cat chicken or fish, be sure to remove the bones beforehand to prevent a choking hazard. Chop the food that you serve into small bits to make it easier to digest for your cat.
Cats are pretty low maintenance pets. They do not need as much attention and one-on-one time as dogs do. Cleaning the litter box is one of the most dreaded chores in the house. Investing in a good self-cleaning litter box can help to reduce the amount of times you have to clean it out.
If you’re getting a kitten for your children, discuss this with them before bringing the cat home. Make sure your children are aware of rooms that are open to your cat. They should know that indoor cats can’t go outside. Clearly explaining the rules will limit future mishaps.
Do you own both a dog and a cat? A dog will probably end up eating the cat’s food if it gets the chance. Try locating your cat’s food in an area where the dog cannot go. This will ensure they don’t fight over food or water, too.
There’s always a chance that you cat can slip outside your home and become lost. This can be prevented with a breakaway collar. The collar includes an ID, featuring your name, phone number, and address. If the cat is found, anyone can easily contact you and return the cat to you thanks to the information on the collar.
You should keep wet cat food in the refrigerator after it has been opened. Bring it to room temperature before serving it to your cat, because it will smell more enticing to them and be less likely to cause an upset stomach. If you like, place it in the microwave for a bit to warm it up.
When taking your cat or kitten to the vet, or to other places that involve a car ride, it is wise to socialize him to this situation. Try taking your cat, always in a carrier, on short rides, adding time to the ride every so often. Getting your pet used to the car can mean the end of his fear and frustration, as well as yours.
Understand the difference between cat play and real aggression. Both activities can look the same to an untrained eye, but there are differences. When two cats are playing, they will bat each other around with claws retracted. They will “bite” with their jaws loose. Real aggression will involve hisses, squeals and hard biting.
Don’t buy a closed litter box without first considering the disadvantages. True, it’s nice that you don’t have to see the contents of the litter box. However, odors tend to build up in closed boxes, making it necessary to clean it more frequently. Covered litter boxes also constrict your cat’s movement, which is a problem for larger pets.
If your cat seems excessively thirsty, take him to the veterinarian to get him checked out. Excessive thirst is a common symptom of diabetes in cats, and this often missed diagnosis can cause serious complications if left untreated. Always keep a close eye on your furry friend’s water intake, and if you are concerned get him to the doctor to have a look.
A clean litter box is essential for a healthy cat. Litter training your cat is relatively easy. It is almost an instinct for a cat to use a litter box. Make sure you scoop it every day and every week completely change the litter and wash the litter box with dish soap.
As was mentioned earlier in this article, being a cat owner is a lot more work than you might have believed. Be sure and use the information provided if you are considering getting a cat. The advice will benefit both you and your new feline friend for years to come.