How to take care of a cat
In this article, we discus how to take care of a cat. You probably cannot wait to spend time holding and playing with your new cat. But you need to give it plenty of time to get to know its new home. You also need to give it time to get to know you. When you first bring your cat home, keep it in one room. The cat will feel more secure if it learns its way around one room at a time. Let it slowly explore its new home.
Slowly and quietly let it meet other family members and household pets. In time, cats adapt happily to any house or apartment. They never need to go outside, where cars, diseases, other cats, dogs, and bad people can harm them.
The steps to take care of a cat
(A) Introduce your cat
The first step for how to take care of a cat is introducing your cat to other family members and household pets.
Meeting children & friends
Children can often be too loud and boisterous for cats and kittens, so supervise early encounters until you are confident that both are comfortable in each other’s presence. As ever, allow the cat to make the first move, and do not force it to be in the presence of any houseguests.
Meeting other cats & pets
Keep the new cat and the established pet in separate rooms at first, switching them around every few days, so they can become familiar with each other’s smell. Supervise the first few meetings, making sure the new arrival has a safe place to retreat to in the event of an aggressive reaction.
(B) Handling your cat
The 2nd step for how to take care of a cat is handling your cat. After you have picked up your cat, cradle it gently against your chest. Create as many points of contact as you can between your body and your cat’s. This will increase its feeling of safety. If a cat starts struggling while in your arms, put it back down as quickly and gently as you can. Try to maintain a hold on the cat without getting scratched until it is safely on the ground.
(C) Feeding your cat
The 3rd step for how to take care of a cat is providing your cat with the balanced and high quality food.
- Always have a bowl of fresh, cool drinking water for your cat.
- Do not give your cat milk because it may cause diarrhea. Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name food made for cats.
- The three main types are dry, soft-moist, and canned.
- Ask your veterinarian what kind of food is best for your cat and how much food to feed it.
- Always feed your cat in the same place and at the same time. Do not touch or bother your cat while it is eating.
- Do not feed your cat human food because it may not have the right kinds of nutrients your pet needs. Also, cats should never be fed bones or raw fish.
- Kittens should stay with their mothers until they are at least eight weeks old so they can drink their mother’s milk. If you adopt a kitten younger than this, ask a veterinarian how to feed it.
- Just like people, cats need a well-balanced diet. And always have a bowl of fresh water out for your cat.
How much and how often should I feed my cat?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to survive. Unlike dogs, cats are not usually greedy, and they will adjust their calorie intake to their level of activity. As a result, as a cat grows older and less active, it might start to eat less. If you are concerned, ask your vet for advice on an older cat’s food intake.
FEEDING GUIDE :This chart is an estimate of daily feeding requirements (in calories, as well as number of ounces of both wet and dry food) of your cat, based on its current weight and lifestyle.
(D) Which is better for cats wet or dry food?
The 4th step for how to take care of a cat is selecting good food. Commercial cat food is scientifically formulated to provide your cat with a balanced diet that meets all of its nutritional needs. Kittens and senior cats, which have slightly different dietary requirements from adult cats, have their own ranges of food. To add variety to your cat’s diet, buy wet food in a range of flavors and supply it in conjunction with dry food and fresh food. Introduce any dietary changes slowly to avoid stomach upsets.
- DRY FOOD These come in various flavors and are good for keeping your cat’s teeth free of tartar.
- DRY FOOD This cat appears to have a preference for dry food. Some dried foods are especially suited to specific dietary needs—for example, dealing with hair ball relief or weight control.
- WET FOOD A stunningly diverse range of flavors— from fish, to poultry, to meat—ensures that no cat ever has to grow bored with the food in its bowl.
(E) Provide enough water
The 5th step for how to take care of a cat is providing your cat with enough water.
- Cats are desert animals with a relatively low thirst drive, and they draw most of the water they need from the food they consume.
- However, it is important to provide your cat with a bowl of fresh water at all times, especially if it has a predilection for dry food, which has a very low moisture content.
- Some cats prefer to drink running water, and they might make a beeline for a faucet if it is turned on.
(F) Cat treats
The 6th step for how to take care of a cat is providing your cat with treats. There are many types of cat treats on the market, so choose wisely. Avoid treats with a high fat content, and instead opt for those that are high in protein, such as dried fish flakes. Treats can also help keep teeth and gums healthy. The key word with treats is moderation.
(G) Giving milk
The 7th step for how to take care of a cat is providing your cat with milk. One of the most persistent feline myths is that cats love a saucer of milk. However, not only is milk not essential to a cat’s diet, but many cats are actually lactose-intolerant, so drinking cow’s milk can lead to a stomach upset. The only exception concerns young kittens, who need their mother’s milk to grow up and thrive. If the mother is not around or not producing enough milk, you will have to feed the kitten a special formula, which may be partly cow’s milk.
(H) Setting a routine
The 8th step for how to take care of a cat is setting a routine. Some people work long hours outside the home and resort to free-feeding their cats. This means the cat has food at its disposal and can eat when it is hungry. In such cases, use dry food, which doesn’t go bad in the heat. However, if your lifestyle allows it, opt to establish a feeding routine for your cat. Feed it two meals a day, at regular times, but leave a bowl of water out at all times.
Cats take plenty of long naps. They like to sleep in a padded, shallow box or basket. They may also end up choosing their own resting place, such as your bed or a sunny windowsill. Cats may sleep as much as eighteen hours a day.
(J) Using the Litter Box
The 9th step for how to take care of a cat is using the litter box. The best toilet for your cat is a plastic litter pan, or litter box. Cover the bottom of the pan with about two inches of litter. Clumping cat litter is easier to scoop than regular litter. Put the pan someplace where your cat will not be bothered or annoyed by other pets or household activity. Make sure the pan is far away from the cat’s food and water bowls.
Your cat will naturally want to use the pan, so you should not have to worry about training it. Just make sure your cat knows where the pan is. In a two-story house, you might need one pan upstairs and another one downstairs. A very young kitten may need a few litter pans at first.
Keep the litter pan clean. Otherwise, your cat may decide to use the corner of a room instead. Scoop out the waste at least once a day. Change the litter and wash the box with a mild soap as often as needed.
(K) Identification your cat
The 10th step for how to take care of a cat is providing it with the identification through:
1- Using a collar
- Buy your cat a collar that has an elastic insert. If your cat gets caught on something, the elastic in the collar will expand so the cat can free itself without getting hurt.
- On the collar, place an identification (ID) tag with your family’s name, address, and phone number on it. Even a house cat might slip through an open door or window and become lost.
- An identification tag lets neighbors or animal shelter workers return your pet to you. Also, ask the adults you live with to find out if you need a city or county license for your cat.
2- Using a microchip
- A microchip is a very small computer chip. More and more people are having vets put microchip IDs into their cats.
- This is a safe and effective way to have a permanent ID for your cat.
However, some people who find cats do not know that they may have a microchip. So it is a good idea to have an identification tag on your pet’s collar at all times. That way, you will help your pet find its way home if it ever becomes lost. In case your pet gets outside accidentally and becomes lost, or in case of an emergency, such as a fire or flood, have information about your pet ready to share. This includes a recent photo, vaccination records, vet information, and names and phone numbers to contact.
The 11th step for how to take care of a cat is grooming your cat.
- You will not need to bathe your pet because cats clean themselves with their very rough tongues.
- But some cats do enjoy baths. If you give your cat a bath, use warm water and soap made for cats.
- Do not use a shampoo used for dogs because it could harm your cat.
- Let your cat dry off in a warm place. Even though you will not have to bathe your cat often, you should regularly brush its coat. Brushing helps prevent hair balls. When cats lick their coats to clean themselves, they swallow pieces of hair.
- The hair forms a ball in the cat’s stomach. Sometimes, cats throw up hair balls. Regular combing can help prevent hair balls from forming. Long-haired cats should be combed daily with a steel comb.
- A brush works well on short-haired cats. You can also buy a paste to feed your cat as a treat. The paste will help the cat pass the hair through its body instead of throwing it up as a hair ball.
The 11th step for how to take care of a cat is praising your cat. Most cats love attention. Make sure you talk to your pet. Praise or say good things to your cat when it is good, and include it in your day-to-day activities, when possible. Remember that your gentle words and behavior will make your cat even more loving.
(N) Health care
The 12th step for how to take care of a cat is providing it with health care. Other health concerns for cats are intestinal parasites and heartworm. Also, cats are more likely than dogs to catch diseases that cause breathing trouble.
- Ask your veterinarian how you can tell when your cat is sick. For example, cats have a third eyelid, called the nictitating (nik-te-tate-ing) membrane. This third eyelid sometimes can be seen when a cat gets sick.
- Also, cats that are sick may stop using their litter box. They go to the bathroom in other areas of the house. Also ask your vet about how to get help if there is an emergency after the vet’s regular office hours. That way, you will know when and how to get help for your pet.
Have your kitten vaccinated against three potentially fatal viruses: feline infectious enteritis, feline influenza, and feline leukemia. You are advised to do this even if your cat is indoor only. You may have to use a kennel one day, and vaccinations are mandatory for residents. If you are acquiring an adult cat from a shelter, confirm that its vaccinations are up to date.
Spaying and Neutering
The vet will want to talk to you and the adults you live with about getting your cat spayed, if it is a female, or neutered, if it is a male. To spay or neuter is to operate on an animal so it cannot reproduce. Spaying and neutering prevent overpopulation. Every year, millions of lovable cats and kittens must be euthanized, or put to death, in animal shelters because there are no homes for them.
- If your cat is eight weeks or older, it is old enough to be spayed or neutered. Most animals in local shelters are spayed or neutered before they are put up for adoption.
- Spaying and neutering are safe operations. Also, the operation may be helpful to your cat. Neutered males lose their urge to roam and fight with other cats. Cats are less likely to spray where they should not.
- They usually become calmer and more loving. Another advantage to spaying and neutering is that it will prevent your cat from getting certain diseases.
The 13th step for how to take care of a cat is playing with your cat.
To make sure your cat stays healthy, play with your cat. Playing is how cats get their exercise. You can buy toys for your cat at a pet supply store or use objects around the house. Cats love things that they can chase, pull, or swat.
They like small, round objects, such as Ping-Pong balls and golf balls. They enjoy playing with wadded-up paper and in boxes. Cats also like to climb into paper bags. Remember that plastic bags can be dangerous for cats, just as they are dangerous for humans.
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