No amount of articles can prepare you for raising your first cat! This is a wonderful and exciting experience that you may only have once in your life. Make every moment count by having fun with your pet, feeding it delicious food, and keeping it active outside of the home. If this is your first cat, you’ll be glad you took the time to read this article and get prepared.
If your cat is picky about drinking water, invest in a cat fountain. These battery-operated or plug-in fountains keep water circulating and aerated. Many cats prefer this. A cat fountain will help keep your cat out of the kitchen sink and the toilet. It will also help prevent your cat from pawing water onto the floor in search of fresh water.
Check your cat’s 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 to be properly cleaned first.
Give your cats easier access to a window in order to keep your curtains from getting scratched. Putting vertical blinds up will allow the easiest access for your cat, but if you need to keep your curtains, use a lightweight rod that will fall if your cat attempts to climb the curtains. It will keep both your curtains and your cat safe.
Cats love too much on grass and plants such as catnip. There are plants, however, that are poisonous to cats. Chrysanthemums and holly are beautiful and common around the Holidays but can be very toxic to cats. Other plants that are toxic or lethal include lilies, rhubarb, and daffodils.
If your cat takes all the ornaments off the Christmas tree, don’t fight it. Begin collecting attractive cat toys and unbreakable ornaments to decorate the tree next year. Be sure not to decorate with potentially dangerous items like tinsel and garlands. Tinsel is a choking hazard for cats, and garlands can cause strangulation.
The correct location is important when picking a spot for a cat’s litter box. Try to keep it away from areas of household traffic and away from your cat’s eating areas. In addition, you should ensure you place the litter box in a well-ventilated area to minimize the smell. Your cat will be more comfortable, and you too.
When bringing a new kitten home, take it slow. It is tempting for children to want to play with the new addition to your home immediately. But the young cat will likely be scared. Give the cat time to acclimate itself to your home and to get comfortable with everyone.
If your cat has to have surgery, such as being spayed or neutered, it will need rest when they come home. It is hard to keep a cat from jumping up on furniture, but necessary to avoid pulling out stitches. Designate an area in your house for your cat to recuperate where they will be less likely to injure themselves until they are healed enough to roam free.
You should do regular checkups of your cat between veterinarian visits. A good time to do this is when you are petting the animal. Check the entire body for things like scabs and lesions. Also, look in and around the ears for any discharge, which can be a sign of ear mites. Check the cat from head to tail.
Brush your cat’s fur regularly. Brushing improves the circulation of your cat and helps spread natural oils in the fur. Brushing will also help to remove loose hair. This keeps hairballs at bay, which may cause choking and build-up inside their stomach from self-grooming.
Provide safe and engaging entertainment for your cat at all times. Even if you cannot be in the house with your pet, you should ensure that it has access to toys and other diversions. Sometimes we perceive that cats are lazy animals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy playing to pass the time. This is especially important if your cat is alone in your house for long periods of time.
Make sure playtime is an important part of your cat’s life. Actually, playtime is very common for all animals, especially cats, and people, despite their age. Although older cats won’t be as active as younger cats, they still need a little exercise. Take the time to play and have a little fun with your kitty.
Has your cat stopped using its litter box? If so, consider moving the box to another location. Cats feel vulnerable when relieving themselves, so make sure the litter box is in a secluded spot. For example, your basement, laundry room, or other room away from household activity should suffice.
Is your cat really sweet and lovable? If so, they might make good therapy pets. Pet therapy uses animals to go into places like nursing homes and bring some joy to the people there. Your cat will be happy with all the attention, and you can feel good about doing something positive for others.
Try to be consistent with the type of cat litter and food you buy your cat. If you change up, it may cause some issues. Cats are creatures of habit, and they do not adapt well to change. If you made some changes, it would be a good idea to do them gradually.
Despite popular belief, you should never give your cat milk to drink. Cats’ digestive systems lack an abundance of lactase, the enzyme used to break down dairy products. The reality is that this can cause your cat to experience diarrhea, vomiting, and other types of gastrointestinal discomfort. In this case, milk does NOT do a body good!
Your first cat is a special pet that should remain in your memories as a great time spent raising an adorable animal. Future pets will get easier to train and feed, but cats will always be complex, confusing messy animals. Small changes here and there help make this a unique experience.