It is always an exciting experience to bring home a new kitty and watch her settle into the environment. However there is more to feline care than just providing food and a litter box; cats require attention, exercise, balanced diets, toys and trinkets, transportation carriers, and identification collars. Learn how to care for your cat through the many facets of her lifestyle.
Cat Care Items
The immediate step after purchasing a cat is to make sure that you have all the items and products needed for her survival. This will include things like food and water bowls, healthy cat food, kitty litter, a litter box and scooper; cat treats for training, and an ID collar in case she gets lost. Your furry friend will need to feel secure in her new home, with a place of rest and a cat bed where she can retreat. Other elements that are not as urgently required but nevertheless are contributing factors to a happy cat’s life, are kitty toys and cat furniture where she can climb, hide, and scratch to her heart’s content. Cat owners will also need shampoo, cleansing tooth chews, grooming tools and a cat carrier for visiting the groomer and for traveling. Finally, a reliable veterinarian will be essential for check-ups, and in the event that health complications arise.
Exercising & Playing
Similar to humans, cats require activities that stimulate them both mentally and physically. By ensuring that a cat receives ample exercise, the owner helps him maintain a healthy body weight, an active mind, and decreases the likelihood of developing bad behaviors. Movement like chasing, walking, jumping, climbing and wrestling will help a cat stay agile and keep his muscles toned. Most cats usually find ways to both entertain and exercise themselves, but with a little direction from their owners, playing games and engaging your cat’s interest for as little as 15-30 minutes a day can work wonders for his health. This can be accomplished by letting your cat explore the yard, or by playing with toys to stalk, such as shining laser lights that he can chase. In extreme cases where unhealthy cats need to increase their daily cardio, there are indoor wheels where they can tread as long as they please.
Choosing a brand of cat food might seem like a no-brainer for most cat owners. However, by using marketing ploys and jumping through production loop holes, many pet food manufacturers create products that have little nutritional benefit to cats. Usually in dry cat food, there is insufficient water content or animal protein, and far too many carbohydrates. Many illnesses that felines battle often arise from a failure to receive proper nutrition, leading them to suffer with diseases like diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, UTIs, dental weakness, and digestive disorders. Avoid these ailments by providing your cat with a natural diet based on his instinctive nutritional requirements, such as fresh/raw meat, fish, animal fat, veggies and healthy vitamins. Feeding your feline a balanced and diet is the best way to ensure both the quality of his life and health care.
Though cats tend to have fewer grooming requirements than dogs, they still benefit from regular visits to a professional groomer. Here the cat can receive attention to his ears, eyes, paws and claws, as well as his fur and dental hygiene. Long-haired cats can receive styling cuts like the lion cut or the kitten clip to keep their long fur from looking shaggy. Cats can indulge in baths that fight odors, soothe itchy skin, kill fleas, or increase a coat’s silkiness and shine. They can also receive paw trimmings, nail clippings or acrylic claw capping as an alternative to declawing. They can also have a “sanitary potty trim” which eliminates the hair on places where the cat may soil himself. Cats naturally tend to keep themselves cleaner than most animals, but professional grooms provide services for the areas that they have difficulty reaching. Additionally, going to the groomers provides an opportunity for someone else to make Fluffy take her bath!
Cats face a variety of health concerns in their lives, brought on from factors like poor nutrition, and exposure to bacteria or hereditary diseases. This section covers the primary physical issues cats battle in their lives, whether through infectious diseases like “cat flu”, vomiting diarrhea, urinary tract disease, or the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) that weakens a cat’s ability to fight illnesses. Cats also frequently struggle with obesity which can cause diabetes; they can also get cataracts in their eyes and develop conjunctivitis. From common cases of fleas, to the life threatening maladies like cancer and heartworm disease, cats require regular visits to the veterinarian to receive the proper treatment and medication that help guard against illnesses.