Are you thinking of adopting a cat but do not know where to start? As a cat owner, you have a lot of responsibility in your hands to ensure your cat’s safety and well-being. It is crucial that you start on the right foot with cat care and lay a good foundation for your relationship with your cat. In this article, we have sampled some of the best cat care tips for beginners.
Have a scratching post
If you do not have a tree nearby, ensure you provide a scratching post for your cat. Scratching posts will go a long way in preventing your furniture from being damaged. Sprinkle a bit of catnip on various scratch pads around your house as a way of training your cat to use them.
Regular visits to the vet
Schedule annual checkups at a cat-friendly vet to discuss vaccination schedules and deworming for your cat. It would be better if there is a separate waiting room for cats and dogs to avoid fighting and growling. Booster shots are recommended for young kittens.
Trim your cat’s claws to prevent the occurrence of painful hangnails when sharp ends of nails get caught in the rug. Cats clean up after themselves, but you should give them a warm bath if they become muddy or too dirty. Hairballs come about when cats spit up accumulated fur from licking themselves. Sometimes these hairballs might get stuck in their throat, and this is why it is crucial to brush their coat regularly.
Clean, comfortable bedding
Cats are spotless animals, and they like to lie down in clean places. Always ensure you provide clean and comfortable beddings that should be changed and washed regularly.
Cats need 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water for every 5 pounds of their body weight. Ensure that their cat water bowls are constantly filled with clean and fresh water for them to drink. Ensure that bowls are wide and shallow as cats do not like their whiskers getting wet. A wet diet for your cat will also be ideal. If your cat prefers to eat dry food, mix in a little bit of water. You can encourage your cat to drink more water by placing a spherical ball in their water bowl.
Female cats get spayed while male cats get neutered. Spaying is especially good as it eliminates the irritability that comes when female cats are in heat and is a suitable method of cat population control. Females start to get pregnant as early as four months old. Male cats tend to be very violent when they are not neutered, and they roam a lot. In the process, they might get into fights and acquire infections through bite marks and scratches.
Cat owners are recommended to have one litter box per cat and an extra litter just in case. Always keep the litter box clean and in a place where your cat can easily access it. We do not recommend covering the litter box as cats prefer to relieve themselves in a position to look at their surroundings. Find out why your cat is peeing outside its litter box. A possible reason could be a urinary tract infection or a dirty litter box.
Affection and companionship
Cuddle with your cat and gently scratch its head and chin. Showing your cat some affection will strengthen your emotional connection. Cats that receive love and warmth at home are more likely to be pleasant and happy towards other humans and animals.
Feed your cat a balanced diet as recommended by the vet. Establish a feeding schedule which you should try as much as possible to stick to always. Offer treats to your cat as a reward but make sure you do not go overboard.
Cats could be stressed due to the presence of other aggressive cats in the neighborhood and don’t get along well with each other. Do make sure that you provide an environment that is both safe and stimulating for your cat.
Access to the outdoors
An alternative to constantly having to empty litter boxes is leaving a window open or creating a trap door for access to the outdoors. This way, your cat can relieve themselves outside, and this will leave your house mess-free. Ensure your compound is safe.
Cat proofing your home
It is not possible to keep a constant eye on your cat. Keep toxic cleaning chemicals far away from your cat’s reach and sweep the floor to get rid of tiny objects that can be harmful when ingested. Close the caps of all the medicine bottles tightly and lock them up in cabinets where your cat cannot reach them.
Toys and exercise
Keep your cat busy in the house by getting it toys such as laser pointers and toy mice. If you cannot afford to buy toys, you can make some toys yourself. You would be surprised how much your cat will enjoy playing with a ball of yarn or a feather! Take note to ensure that these toys are safe for your cat to chew on and are non-toxic.
An unsecured cat can be a potential projectile in a moving car. It also poses a hazard as this cat can distract the driver and lead to road accidents. When taking trips with your cat, ensure you have a cat carrier that will provide safety and security.
Check for behavioral issues
Some cats are shy and need some extra help so that they can be able to socialize. If you notice they are running away from visitors or are easily startled by sudden noises, you should look into that. In other cases, your cat might be the bully and be aggressive towards other cats.
Take your time to understand your cat’s needs and personality traits to provide the best care. If you have a hectic schedule, long-haired cats are probably not an ideal choice as they are high maintenance. Cats shed their fur a lot, so you are in for a rude shock if you have dark-colored furniture!