Cats contribute so much to our own lives that you will want your cat to live a long and happy life. The benefits of feline companionship bring with them obligations to ensure that your cat receives the care and attention it needs. A cat is not a demanding pet to keep, however cats need adequate feeding, regular grooming and proper veterinary care throughout it's life.
This page is all about feline care and what any cat owner should know about keeping their cat healthy. The sections covered are basic care and nutrition. Please also note that this page is only a summary of feline care. Cats also need a loving owner who is willing to devote time, love and attention to their cat.
Before you bring your new cat home, it is essential that you prepare for the new arrival. A cat must be provided with a litter tray, separate food and water bowls, a comfortable basket or bed, a carrier, and a comb or brush. It is also a good idea to provide toys as a cat will bond quickly with you through quality time spend playing with your cat. If you wish, you can also provide your cat with other useful items such as a scratching post or cat flap.
If you are allowing your cat outdoors, it is also very important to provide your cat with a collar and name tag. Start training your cat at an early age to wear the collar by putting it on for a short period of time each day until the cat is used to wearing it. A collar must have an elasticated section so a cat can slip out of it should it get caught. The name tag should contain the cat's name and your address and telephone number. An identity microchip can also be injected under the skin of your cat's neck. This is the best way of tracing your cat should it get lost. Consult your vet for advice.
One of the biggest responsibilities of caring for your cat involves taking it to the vet for regular check-ups, vaccinations and boosters. Choose a reputable vet in your neighbourhood and register your cat with the vet as soon as you bring it home. If your cat becomes unwell, never try to treat the cat yourself at home. Seek veterinary advice early to avoid your cat's condition worsing by delayed treatments.
Unless you are planning on breeding from your cat, responsible cat owners must have their pets neutered at the appropriate age. This is ideally carried out when the kitten is six months old. The procedures for both male and female cats are routine and usually without complications.
Cats require certain dietary needs and animal derived nutrients in it's diet. They are not vegetarians and are unable to live long on a completely meat-free diet. A well-fed cat is active and alert with bright eyes and glossy coat.
Feed your cat prepared foods only from a reputable manufacturer at room temperature. Do not feed your cat food intended for a dog or another animal. Try to fed your cat at the same time of day and in the same place to establish a routine. A fresh bowl of water and dry cat food from a reputable manufacter to graze on should be available at all times. Food bowls and feeding utensils should be kept clean at all times.
Your cat should be fed two or three small meals a day. Kittens require extra feeding. Please visit my new kittens page for more information on a kitten's dietary needs. The meals should be fresh and disposed of when the cat is finished.
Your cat can also be served a treat of fresh food a couple of times a week. Cats love fresh fish and chicken. Make sure you carefully remove any small bones from fish and chicken before serving.
Watch your cat's weight and do not let your cat overeat. Felines like humans suffer health consequences from being over weight such as heart problems, arthritis and shorter life expectancy. An average adult cat should weight between 9 to 11lbs varying according to the type of breed. Male cats tend to be heavier in general. If your cat is over weight consult your vet first to make sure your cat is not over weight due to a hormonal problem. Once this has been ruled out, your vet can advise you on a feline weight loss plan. It is also important to consult your vet if your cat refuses food for more than 24 hours.
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