How to take care of a cat
Before bringing a new pet home,you should know how to take care of a cat and take a good look around and ask yourself a few key questions: is there anywhere you don’t want your cat to go; is there anything that could be hazardous to a cat; and which of your own habits might you or your family need to change when you have a cat? A little preparation will turn your home into a safe environment for the new arrival. In this article you will know the top cat care tips.
Cat care tips
(A) Making your home safe
The first one of cat care tips is making your home safe. It is feline nature to want to get into and onto everything, and making a house or garden completely cat-proof would be impossible. However, you can reduce the likelihood of mishaps with a few basic precautions.
Free to roam?
If you have a choice, should you let your cat go in and out as he pleases? Undoubtedly, there are greater risks outdoors— especially from traffic, territorial fights, and cat thieves. On the other hand, confining an inquisitive cat indoors can lead to havoc in the house. Take your pet’s personality into account when deciding on the limits of his freedom.
1.Hazards in the home
To know how to take care of a cat, you should remove the hazards in the home which include:
- Most potential dangers are found in the kitchen. Never leave anything unattended that your cat could jump on or knock over, such as a switched-on hotplate, an iron, a boiling saucepan, or sharp utensils.
- Keep the doors of washing machines or tumble dryers closed, but first make sure your cat is not inside.
- Cats are less inclined than dogs to steal food, raid the trash can, or chew up forbidden items, but they still need to be protected from substances that could make them sick.
- Keep them away from wet paint and chemical cleaners, which are easily transferred from walls and floors to fur, and then licked off and swallowed.
- Check that there are no dangers lurking in the carpet, such as pins, needles, or shards of broken glass or china.
- Close off exit points above ground floor level. Cats can climb out of upper-floor windows, or over a high-rise balcony, with serious consequences if they fall.
2.Hazards in the garden
To know how to take care of a cat, you should remove the hazards in the garden which include:
- While cats rarely nibble anything but grass, it is wise to check your garden for toxic plants.
- Ponds and paddling pools are possible hazards, especially for kittens. Until a kitten knows his way around, take him out in a harness on a leash.
- Chemicals and tools should be shut away in a shed or garage—make sure you do not accidentally shut your cat in too.
- The major concern for owners is the road outside. High fencing is expensive, but could deter your cat from wandering and also keep other cats out. Do not forget to protect your garden against the cat.
- Children’s sandpit and soft earth make inviting litter trays, so cover the sand when not in use and scatter cat deterrents around precious plants.
(B) A balanced diet
The 2nd one of cat care tips is providing your cat with a balanced diet to stay it healthy, cats need a regular intake of certain nutrients. You should provide your pet with a diet that not only satisfies hunger but also provides all the essential food elements.
1.The right nutrients
To know how to take care of a cat, you should select the right nutrients which include:
- Meat is the natural diet for cats. A feline digestive system is not designed to process large amounts of vegetable matter, although it is usual for cats to chew a little grass now and then.
- Regardless of your own food preferences, you cannot turn your cat into a vegetarian without putting his health, and even his life, at risk.
- Prey caught in the wild supplies not just meat protein but also essential fats, vitamins, minerals— such as calcium from bones—and fiber.
- Domestic cats are unlikely to have to hunt for their meals, and they are not natural scavengers, so they rely on us to supply the correct nutrients, whether in commercially prepared or home- cooked food.
- Cats are notoriously picky eaters, so you may have to experiment with foods of different types, textures, and flavors before you hit on the ones that bring your pet hurrying to his food bowl.
2.Commercial cat foods
To know how to take care of a cat, you should select the ideal commercial cat foods which include:
- Supermarket shelves offer a huge selection of prepared cat foods in almost every gourmet flavor imaginable. So which ones should you choose? Most commercial cat foods are complete foods; that is, they provide all necessary nutrients and do not need anything else added.
- However, some products may be labeled “complementary,” in which case they need to be combined with other foods to provide balanced nutrition. Check the information on the package to be sure which type you are buying.
Dry food: which comes in the form of small pellets or biscuits, can be left in the bowl for a cat to nibble at throughout the day—a great advantage for owners who cannot always be home at regular times. Some owners feed their cat exclusively on dry food, but it is better to provide a little variety by offering the occasional meal of wet food instead. Dry food gives a cat something to chew on and helps keep teeth and gums in good condition.
Moist or “wet” food: which comes in cans or sealed pouches, looks appetizing and is usually enjoyed by the majority of cats. Moist food keeps well until opened, but any left uneaten in a food bowl should be thrown away. This could prove expensive if your pet is a fussy eater and rejects one flavor after another.
To know how to take care of a cat, you should provide your cat with fresh food. If you prefer to give your cat home-cooked food—and avoid the preservatives found in commercial products—you should apply the same standards for buying and preparing it as you would for your own meals.
However, great care is needed to provide a balanced diet because your cat has highly specialized dietary requirements and could quickly run into health problems if his diet is deficient in, for example, taurine.
Whether you use red meat, chicken, or fish, obtain it from a reputable source and cook it thoroughly to destroy any disease-causing organisms.
Cut meat into pieces that your cat can eat easily, and remove any bones. If you are not confident that home- cooked food will provide your cat with the right level of nutrition, ask your vet for a diet sheet.
4. Titbits and supplements
Offering a titbit now and then does no harm, but if you hand out treats too often you may find that your cat is putting on extra weight. Commercially made cat treats, which are nutritionally balanced, are preferable to possibly unhealthy scraps .
To know how to take care of a cat, you should prevent harmful foods which include:
- Milk and cream can cause diarrhea because most cats do not have the necessary enzymes to digest dairy products. Special- formula “cat milk” is available
- Onions, garlic, and chives cause gastric upsets and may lead to anemia
- Grapes and raisins are thought to cause kidney damage
- The alkaloid theobromine in chocolate is highly toxic to cats
- Raw eggs may contain the bacteria that cause food poisoning. Uncooked egg white disrupts vitamin B absorption in cats, leading to skin problems
- Raw meat and fish may contain harmful enzymes and also cause fatal bacterial poisoning
- Small splintery bones in cooked food can become lodged in the throat or farther down the digestive tract, causing blockage and tearing the intestinal lining
A healthy cat on a well-rounded diet should not need additional vitamins and minerals. Dosing your cat with supplements without veterinary advice is not a good idea, and may even cause illness.
Your cat needs constant access to clean water, both indoors and outdoors, especially if he eats mostly dry food. Keep water bowls well apart from food bowls to avoid contamination from scattered food, change the water frequently, and remember in particular to check that water bowls left in the garden are not full of debris.
(C) Regular grooming
The 3rd one of cat care tips is regular grooming. Although staying well-groomed comes naturally to cats, by assisting with regular grooming sessions, you can enjoy a bonding experience and help your pet to look good. A clean coat is healthy and comfortable.
1.Benefits of grooming
To know how to take care of a cat, you should know the benefits of grooming:
- Cats spend a large part of the day self-grooming—wetting their paws to wipe their face, cleaning between each toe, and twisting their flexible spine to reach awkward places such as shoulders and anal areas.
- The surface of a cat’s tongue is covered with minute barbs and these act as a comb to collect skin debris and loose hairs and to smooth out tangles.
- In fact, cats are so particular about daily grooming that it may not seem necessary to give them any extra help. One reason for grooming your cat is that it strengthens the bond between you and your pet.
- Grooming your cat from a young old age helps to support this special bond. Most pet cats like the close contact with their owners and the sense of being combed and brushed.
- You can also provide your cat with a general check up through grooming process. Take the opportunity to inspect eyes, ears, and claws, and o monitor your cat for possible health problems such as parasites, hidden injuries, lumps and bumps, and changes in weight.
- Another advantage is that constant cat grooming aids to minimize the amount of loose hairs that cats lick up and swallow. Generally, the hair creates harmless balls in the cat stomach, which your cat then coughs up. However, sometimes the balls become large enough that they are a health hazard, causing choking or becoming lodged in the lower gut, and causing a blockage in the digestive tract. In old age, cats sometimes lose their enthusiasm for hygiene and may need gentle grooming to help them maintain dignity and cleanliness.
- The sudden neglect of self-grooming in cats of any age is a warning sign that all is not well, and needs to be investigated by a vet.
To know how to take care of a cat, you should learn the grooming of different coat types.
- In longhaired cats such as Persians, the undercoat can be massively thick. The coat not only collects debris from around the home and garden but tends to form tangles that no amount of licking can remove. Neglected tangles can easily turn into impenetrable mats, especially in areas of the body where there is friction, such as the armpits.
- Even the most fastidious longhaired cats simply cannot keep their coats in good order by their own efforts, so owners need to lend a hand. In extreme cases there will be no option but to cut the matted hair away— a task that needs professional skill.
- Longhairs are also at greater risk than shorthairs of collecting large furballs. If your own cat is a longhaired cat, a daily grooming process is needful.
- Semi-longhaired cats, which involve the Balinese and Maine Coons, have a minimal undercoat and a silky type topcoat, so its fur remains free from matting and tangling.
- Weekly brushing and combing is all that is required. Some cats have fine, wavy, or rippled coats, as seen in the Cornish Rex, and a few breeds sport longer curls.
- Such coats do not shed heavily and are not as difficult to maintain as might be imagined. Over-vigorous grooming can spoil the appearance of the fur, so bathing rather than brushing is often recommended for this type of cat.
- Shorthaired cats have a topcoat of sleek guard hairs and a soft, downy undercoat of varying thickness. Although the undercoat may shed quite heavily, especially in warm weather, these cats are generally very easy to maintain.
- Grooming once a week is usually sufficient for shorthairs. Hairless cats such as the Sphynx are not usually entirely bald but have an overlay of fine fuzz.
- This thin covering is not enough to absorb the natural body oils that are secreted through the skin and regular bathing is needed to prevent a greasy buildup.
- Buy tools intended specifically for cats, and keep a separate set for each cat in the family.
- Basic items include a wide-toothed comb or a bristle brush for removing tangles, and a slicker brush, which has wire pins set in a rubber base.
- The slicker is invaluable for sweeping up loosened hairs and debris from the coat. If your cat lives indoors and cannot keep his claws trim by scratching, you may need a pair of sharp clippers to remove the claw tips (ask a professional to show you how to do this).
- A tick remover is useful for outdoor cats living in country areas.
Whether you groom your cat daily or weekly, aim to make every session enjoyable, and not too stressful for either of you. Use the grooming tools correctly and give your cat confidence by being calm and methodical.
To put your cat in a relaxed mood for grooming, spend a few moments making a quiet fuss of him before you start. Grooming a longhair thoroughly can take up to half an hour, but if you make it a daily routine there will be fewer time-consuming tangles to deal with.
Never try to pin down a protesting cat that has had enough for one session. Release him if he starts to object, give him a treat, and try again later.
To know how to take care of a cat, you should learn the steps of grooming which include:
- Combing through Begin by gently combing the cat from head to tail with a wide- toothed comb, following the natural lie of the fur. Do not tug at knots or tangles—tease them out carefully with your fingers.
- Removing debris Use a slicker brush with fine pins or a soft-bristle brush to collect loosened hairs and skin debris from both the undercoat and topcoat. This helps make the fur look full and shiny.
- Trimming mats Badly matted fur may need removing with clippers. Leave this job to a professional— unskilled attempts could result in injury to the cat’s skin.
- Finishing touches To end the session, fluff up the coat with a wide-toothed comb to make it stand out and comb through long plumes on the tail.
5.Grooming the face
- Cleaning eyes Wipe gently around the eyes with moistened cotton, being careful not to touch the eyeball. Use fresh cotton for each eye.
- Cleaning ears Use cotton moistened with water or a cleaning solution formulated for cats to wipe carefully inside each ear. Never push anything into the ear canal.
6.Washing your cat
1-Spraying Brush your cat’s coat before you begin. Line the bath or sink with a rubber mat so he will not slip. Slowly place your cat in, talking to him soothingly. Spray him with warm water that is as near body temperature (101.5ºF/38.6ºC) as possible. Soak his fur thoroughly.
2-Cat shampoo Always apply a special cat shampoo. Never use products formulated for dogs or humans, which can contain chemicals that are an irritant or are toxic to cats. Avoid getting shampoo in your cat’s eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.
3-Wash and condition Lather in the shampoo thoroughly, then rinse it off completely. Repeat the shampoo wash or rub in a conditioner and rinse off again. Remember to keep comforting your cat throughout.
4-Drying off Towel-dry your cat, or use an electric dryer on a low setting if the noise doesn’t upset him. Brush his coat and allow him to finish drying off in a warm room.
(D) Establishing a routine
The 4th one of cat care tips is setting up a regular routine right from the start will help your cat feel secure. Establish feeding times and use these as an opportunity to teach your cat to come when called.
Kittens may not know how to use a litter tray and, in the strangeness of a new home, even an adult cat can have accidents. Place your kitten or cat on his tray at regular intervals, such as after a meal, until using the litter tray is second nature.
To avoid problems later on, stick to the rules about no-go areas for your cat—for example, do not allow him to sleep on the bed “just this once.”
(E) Monitoring your cat’s health
The 5th one of cat care tips is monitoring your cat’s health. By monitoring your cat for changes in activity or behavior, you can spot illness or injury at an early stage. Similarly, a vet can assess your cat’s condition at regular checkups and keep records of any problems.
To know how to take care of a cat, you must detect where is the problem. Cats are notorious for hiding any signs of pain, illness, or injury. In the wild, their survival would depend on not showing weakness so that they do not attract the attention of predators. However, this ruse also means that owners might not notice problems until they have become severe.
- If your cat seems more hungry or thirsty than usual, goes off his food, or loses weight, you need to consult a vet.
- If your cat cries or strains when urinating or defecating, or has accidents in the home, it could signify an internal disorder. Changes in behavior could also indicate problems.
- Your cat may be reluctant to come to you or may hide himself away. He may be less active or may sleep more than usual. He may become abnormally timid or aggressive.
2.Initial visit to the vet
The most important one of cat care tips is the initial visit to the vet. As soon as you have scheduled the date for your cat’s arrival, register with a vet. You may want to consider pet insurance.
If you haven’t used a vet before, ask friends or neighbors for recommendations, look at local newspaper or internet advertisements, or ask an animal protection agency or one of the cat organizations for suggestions on how to carry out your search.
A cat that was bought from a breeder or adopted from an animal protection agency should ideally already have had a veterinary checkup. Otherwise, arrange for your cat to have a full checkup as soon as you have assumed ownership.
The vet can check that your cat has been neutered and fitted with a microchip for identification, and will carry out these procedures if needed; the vet will also assess the cat’s general health, and make sure that vaccinations are up to date.
3.Routine vet checks
The another important one of cat care tips is the routine vet checks.
- The vet will carry out basic health checks and run additional diagnostic tests if needed. You may be shown how to carry out basic checks at home.
- As well as listening to your cat’s heart and counting how fast it is beating, the vet will feel for the pulse on the inside of the hind leg.
- He or she will watch how your cat is breathing and listen to the lungs with a stethoscope to detect any unusual sounds such as wheezing and crackles.
- To measure temperature, the vet will insert a lubricated thermometer into the cat’s anus.
- The vet will use viewing instruments with lights to examine the interior of your cat’s eyes and ears. The vet will also look inside the mouth and feel the abdomen to detect any swelling or tenderness, before moving on to examine the legs, paws, and claws.
- The vet will weigh your cat. This is important because changes of even as little as around 7 oz (200 grams) can be a symptom of ill-health in a small animal.
Your cat should have a regular health check at least once a year. The veterinary surgery may also offer extra services such as weight control clinics, dental checks, post-neutering care, and clinics for older cats. Minor tasks such as clipping a cat’s claws may be carried out by a veterinary nurse.
5.Signs of ill health
- Lethargy, hiding
- Change in its appetite, walking away from food
- Reduce eating, hungry, or difficulty eating
- Regurgitation of undigested food shortly after eating (Vomiting)
- Coughing or Sneezing
- Opened wound, bleeding, swelling,
- Unintentional weight loss
- Thirst increases
- Difficulty passing a motion or Diarrhea
- Difficulty passing urine, crying
- Weight gain
- Bloated abdomen
- Unusually fast, slow, or difficult breathing
- Abnormal discharge from any orifice
- Coat changes, excessive loss of fur
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