Ten Tips to Take Care of Your Cat
2 July, 2013

If you are a new cat owner, this article will help you with the ten fundamentals of cat care. It’s just a quick overview to get you acquainted with caring for your cat.  Every cat reacts differently to owners and environment, but the below are some stead-fast tips/rules that a cat owner should abide by.

1. Spay or neuter your cat. This will keep your kitty healthier and help decrease the number of cats put down every year because of cat overpopulation.

2. Feed your cat a nutritionally balanced diet and provide fresh water at all times. Educate yourself on your cat’s nutritional needs, or ask your veterinarian for advice on what and how often to feed your pet.

3. Make sure that your cat has a visible ID that includes your name, address, and telephone number or has some sort of tracking device such as a microchip. No matter how careful you are, there’s always a chance your cat could run out the door. Your cat is more likely to get home safely if he has ID.

4. Keep your cat safe by keeping your kitty indoors, safely confined to your property or walked on a harness and leash. While some owners allow their cats to go outdoors, there are too many reasons why you shouldn’t including fleas and your cat never coming home!  Make sure to keep the washer and dryer kept closed and check inside before each use. (Some cats like to climb in these appliances if they’re left open.)  Get into the habit of closing all drawers, closets, and cupboards before you leave and make sure there isn’t a kitty lurking inside.

5. Take your cat to the veterinarian for regular check-ups and vaccinations. If you don’t have a veterinarian, ask your local animal shelter, rescue group, or a pet-owning friend for a referral. Medical care is as essential for your cat as it is for you. If you already have dogs or cats at home, make sure they are up-to-date on their shots and in good general health before you introduce your new cat.

6. Keep the litter box clean. Cats are clean by nature and most will instinctively use a litter box.  You just have to show your cat where the litter box is.  Don’t pick your cat up and place her or him in the litter box as it will upset your cat and may make him leery of the box.  Scoop out the poop at least once daily and wash the box weekly with liquid soap and hot water. Because cats also value privacy, place the litter box in a convenient but quiet spot.

7. Groom your cat often. All cats, whether long- or short-haired, should be brushed regularly to keep their coats and skin healthy, prevent matting, and reduce shedding and hairballs. They also need to have their claws clipped to keep them from growing into their paw. Grooming is also a good opportunity to discover any lumps, fleas, injuries, etc., and bond with your kitty.

8. Make time to play and provide entertainment. Cats often entertain themselves, but regular play sessions with your pet will provide him with the physical and mental stimulation he needs and strengthen the bond you share.

9. Give your cat toys and scratching posts to distract her or him from your couches. Cats love to play and will appreciate simple and inexpensive toys. Toy mice, little balls and opened paper bags (remove the handles) can provide hours of fun. A comfortable perch by a window can become your cat’s very own entertainment and relaxation center. Rotate your toys to maintain your cat’s interest in them.

10. Provide your cat with some basic training to help him get along in your home. It’s true that cats usually have their own ideas about how to do things. Even so, most cats can be taught not to scratch the couch, eat plants, or jump up on the kitchen counter. With repeated, gentle and consistent training, your cat will learn the house rules. Don’t yell or hit your cat ever.  It is mean and counterproductive.

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