If you have recently become a pet owner –specifically of a cat- then you are likely learning many things. For example, no more do you merely walk through your home not thinking about where you put your feet and it is likely that you no longer have a portion of the bed, couch or favorite chair that belongs only to you. Of course, this loss of personal space is not without its rewards! You now have a loving pet that will bring you many smiles and keep you company –not to mention the added benefit of making your home less inviting to mice!
But having a cat, especially if this is the first time, can seem a bit daunting thanks to the plethora of pet care items that are available. To help you get acclimated to having a feline friend in residence. Here are some of the basics of cat care.
Cat Care Items:
Litter box – Purchase one based on the size of your cat; you may wish to buy a smaller one for its time as a kitten and then a larger one for when the kitten reaches its adult size. Should you have multiple cats, you need one litter box per cat, or you may wish to purchase a litter station, which can accommodate more than one cat at a time.
Dining needs – An old towel or placemat to place under the food bowl(s) is a must. It is easier to clean up the eating area when there is a mat of some type under the food dishes. Also, the dishes designed to hold water on one side and food on the other are not as easily spilled.
Grooming products – A brush to remove hairballs and keep your cat looking its best is a must. Other essentials are animal friendly cleaners for your cat’s accessories and flea/tick prevention and removal items. There are special shampoo products made just for cats, as well as grooming powders that keep their coats from becoming tangled.
Toys – A few toys designed for cats and a climbing post area great way to keep your pet in shape mentally and physically. Remember, cats are natural climbers. If you don’t provide them with something to climb on, they will find something of their own choosing.
Down time – Unless you are fine with your cat commandeering your bed or chairs as their sleep spot, you will need to purchase a pet bed or set up a basket lined with blankets. In addition, you will need a pet carrier so that transporting your cat from home to another location is easier and safer.
12 Quick Tips for a Happy and Healthy Cat
1. Schedule regular vet visits for shots and checkups.
2. Brush their fur daily to keep hairballs and tangled fur at a minimum.
3. Even with an indoor cat, be sure that it has a collar that lists your name and contact information. Should your cat escape, you will be glad to know that your cat is wearing this information.
4. Should you opt to declaw your cat, then plan on keeping your cat indoors because once they have no claws they are unable to cope with the challenges of the outdoors.
5. Clean their litter box often. Cats have a heighten sense of smell (14 times strong than a person’s) and an unclean litter box will often make the cat(s) look for somewhere else to do their business.
6. Lock up cleaning agents, insect poisons, human medications, etc. that could harm your cat.
7. Keep your dryer door close at all times! Cats like to curl up in warm spots and the dryer is prime location for them.
8. If you have an outdoor cat, always honk the horn of your vehicle before starting your automobile. Like the dryer, cats like to sleep on the engine block.
9. Keep windows of your home closed, or be sure that the screens are well secured, so that your cat cannot fall out or escape through the windows.
10. Keep strings and other small items off the floor and out of reach of your cat.
11. Use candles and fireplaces with care.
12. Pay close attention to cat toys. Don’t purchase ones with tiny glued on ears, eyes, nose, etc. as these can be chewed off and swallowed by your cat.
Having a feline friend is a wonderful thing, but don’t just bring Fluffy home and forget about her. Chose cat care items and toys with care so your cat can have many happy years together.