If you are looking for a pet to share your days with, a cat is a wonderful choice. While these animals are very independent, they are also great companions. However, there are a few things that you need to be aware of when it comes to their care and how to help them have a happy life.
As your cat gets older, changes in behavior may signal pain. If your cat doesn’t like to jump or climb any more, it may be in pain. If your cat stops taking care of grooming or stops using its litter box, pain may be the cause. Be sure to have your older cat checked out by your vet if you notice behavior changes.
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.
Check your cats ears frequently for ear mites. You may notice your cat shaking their head or scratching their ears a lot if they have them. They are tiny parasites that look like coffee grounds in your cat’s ears. If you have more than one cat, they can also travel from cat to cat. See a vet before using any medication on them since their ears need properly cleaned first.
Make sure your cat is properly hydrated. Like humans, cats need to drink lots of water. If they don’t get enough water, they can get dehydrated, develop various health problems, or die. Make sure they always have a bowl of fresh and clean water. The bowl itself also needs to be cleaned and refilled every day. You should also keep this bowl in one location.
Do not assume that because a medication is okay for you to take, that it is safe for your cat as well. Many medications made for humans are lethal to cats, such as acetaminophen containing drugs and aspirin. Always check with your veterinarian before you give your cat anything.
Place a “tablecloth” under your cat’s food bowl. Often cats prefer moving food from a bowl onto the floor to eat. This may make a big mess that you need to clean up. To make clean up a breeze, use a place mat underneath the bowl or a piece of fabric. You’ll be able to pick it up easily and shake the excess food into the trash.
Do you have more than one cat? If so, then you should have more than one litter box as well. Having one for each of your cats will give them multiple spots to go. If the odor gets too much you can add a little baking soda to the litter to freshen it up.
Understand that leaving a small kitten together with small children can be dangerous to both. If a child is under the age of five, you should not leave the pet alone with them. The maturity level isn’t there when it comes to your child. When children are over the age of five, then you should decide whether or not they are mature enough to handle a kitten.
If you want a cat that is well-behaved and not prone to biting and scratching, make sure that you do not try to adopt one when it is too young. It takes 12-16 weeks for a kitten to learn proper cat behavior from their mom and all of their siblings.
Brush your cat’s coat often. This helps to stimulate blood flow and circulation, and it will also help to evenly distribute the natural oil your cat’s fur has. It is also a good way to reduce shedding. This prevents hairballs, which can cause choking, and builds up in the cat’s stomach from self grooming.
You can’t go wrong by selecting a cat as your animal companion. They are smart, they generally don’t require as much care as dogs and they can provide you with the affection that you are craving. However, remember that cats still require a number of things from their owner. Use the tips above to help you carve out a good life for your pet.