Do you have a cat? If you do, you know how much fun it can be. Cats are not as easy to please as dogs, but they have their own personalities and can be a great pet to have in your home. Here are some tips that will help you take care of this wonderful animal.
When considering a new pet, make sure you visit the area shelter first. Shelters have lots of great cats available, and your adoption fee often covers key veterinary services. Adopting from a pet shelter benefits the cat population.
Keep a clean litter box. Like you, a cat will generally not use a bathroom that is filthy. Find a quiet area out of the way that the box can stay in, and don’t move it unless absolutely necessary. Scoop solids out a couple time of day. Make sure to dump the whole box, wash it with a gentle detergent, and refill it once a week.
Choose a high quality food. The key to a healthy cat starts with nutrition. Take a look at the ingredients label. If you look at most “popular” commercial cat foods, you may be surprised to see the top ingredient listed is corn. Cats are carnivores, so look for a food with a real meat as the top ingredient. You may pay more up front, but these foods are often more nutritionally dense, meaning your cat eats less and the bag lasts longer.
If your cat is misbehaving, you can influence its behavior in a safe and humane way by using water. Fill a small squirt gun or a spray water bottle with plain water. Give your cat a few light squirts of water when you catch it misbehaving and it will soon learn to stop doing the unwanted behavior.
Get a scratching post to keep your cat from tearing up your carpet. If you can, get a post that does not have the same type of carpet that is on the floor of your home, so your cat doesn’t associate the two. Instead, get a post that is covered in cardboard, sisal, or thick rope.
If you want to have your cat for many years, it is a good idea to keep them indoors. While a cat may enjoy going outside, it is statistically proven that outdoor cats live shorter lives than indoor cats. There are dangers to a cat that spends time outside, not least of all other animals.
Try not to let your cat go outside. The outside world is very dangerous for cats. Your cat may get fleas or something even worse than that. Cats can be harmed by cars, people and other animals. If the cat must go outside, set aside a small part of the backyard or front lawn as a place where they can go.
Play with your cat. A lot of cat owners don’t do this. They are happy to let their cat entertain themselves. However, playing with your cat can help to mentally stimulate him and give him the physical activity he needs. Use small balls, paper bags and any number of small toys to get your cat moving.
While cats can be finicky, you should not encourage this behavior. A cat will eat the exact same cat food their whole life if it is tasty and nutritious. You do not need to mix up the flavors. Doing this can encourage the cat to skip certain foods they previously ate and wait for another.
If you’re tempted to load up on litter to cut back on cleanings, think again. Some people believe that the more cat litter they use, the longer they can go between emptying the litter box. Actually, this is a waste of your litter! Many cats refuse to use a litter box with more than 2 inches of litter on the bottom. Some prefer to dig to the bottom of the box before doing their business.
Playtime is important for kittens as well as older cats. The best games are those that involve hunting and chasing. Try to think like your cat, choosing toys like feathers on string. The cat is attracted to the movement of the toy, so he will love to chase it if you pull it along without him seeing you. It is important to let your pet win occasionally, to keep him interested.
Look for potential problems when getting a new cat. Their eyes should be clear, nose clear as well, and the ears without any kind of discharge. The cat should have a shiny coat and the mouth and gums should be free of sores. Taking on an unhealthy cat can be expensive.
Don’t let a cat that’s had its claws removed go outside. Cats without claws cannot stand up for themselves if they encounter another animal. The result could be injuries or death. The only cats that should be declawed are indoor cats. With indoor cats, just remove the front claws. Never remove the claws from the back, as these are not harmful to your stuff.
Sometimes cats can have problems with arthritis when they get older. This makes it harder for them to get around. You can buy them a heated bed to lay in to help ease the discomfort. It is also a good idea to talk to the vet about any medications that might help out.
When choosing what type of cat to bring home, consider your lifestyle. Do you travel often? How long are you at home? If you will not spend a good deal of time in the company of your new pet, adopt a more mature cat. Kittens require considerable care and are easily frightened when alone. A mature cat requires care as well, but should fare well when you aren’t at home.
Cats can be a lot of fun if they are happy. They might never play fetch with you, but a cat is a wonderful companion. Use the tips laid out in this article to help you to properly care for this furry friend. Then, see if you can search out more tips. The more you know, the better cat owner you will be.