How to Take Care of a Cat
If you thinking about adopting a pet, and considering your new family member to be a cat, you need to know the basics of how to take care of a cat. People who have busy lifestyles might prefer a cat rather than a dog because they require less attention than dogs do. However, all animals need a certain amount of proper care to be healthy and happy and before you bring your new kitten home, you must learn what the cat will need.
First and foremost, once you have adopted a cat, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your vet. And if you have other cats in your household, you will need to keep your new cat separate from the other cats until your vet can examine your new cat. Cats can acquire a variety of illnesses that can be transmitted to your other cats via biting or scratching. Your vet will be able to perform some simple, relatively inexpensive tests to make sure your new cat is healthy and free from disease. Once your new kitten has been checked and is found to be healthy and disease free, then you can allow contact with your other cats. Until then, you must keep your new cat away from the others to avoid any personal contact with your other cats. Your cat will also require a poop specimen to determine if it has any worms, and if so medicine will be given to you to eliminate the worms. Worms are contagious to other cats so a separate litter box is necessary to avoid exposing your other cats care.
Cats do require some of their own personal belongings. They will need a litter box, and you should purchase one that will be big enough for your kitten to use once it is full grown. I prefer enclosed litter boxes, ones that have a lid, for several reasons. First of all, it helps reduce any mess of litter being scratched out onto the floor. Second, an enclosed litter box helps reduce any unwanted odors. And third, cats prefer privacy when they go to the bathroom and a box with a lid will provide your cat with a private place to go. You should clean out your litter box on a daily basis. This will keep it odor free, and also keep your cat happy and prevent it from eliminating outside the litter box. Cats do not like to use dirty litter boxes and if you do not clean it out on a regular basis, you will more than likely find unwanted messes on your floor. You will find learning how to take care of a cat is not very difficult.
Cats also need toys for stimulation and cat trees or cat furniture that they can play and climb on and use to scratch on. If you do not provide your cat with cat furniture and scratching posts, you may find them scratching on your furniture instead. You cannot prevent a cat from scratching, but you can provide them with appropriate places to scratch which will lessen the chance of the cat ruining your furniture. Cat toys are important for play and exercise. Choose toys carefully and make sure each toy does not have any small parts that can become detached. This poses a choking risk to your cat. If you find any parts of a toy have small parts, remove them yourself and prevent a possible danger to your animal. Toys with catnip in them are great because your cat will absolutely love it. Catnip is a natural herb that cats go crazy for, and they are very entertaining when “high” on this herb. If you find your cat not responding to catnip, but once did, just remove the catnip toys for a while and then reintroduce them in a few days. Cats build a tolerance to the effect of catnip over time.
When choosing a diet for your cat, I recommend talking to your vet about what the vet recommends. Some cats prefer dry cat food, while others prefer wet food. You will have to determine by trial and error what your cat will prefer. I provide both for my cats. It gives them a choice and prevents the cat from becoming bored with the food. Cats require taurine in their diet, which all cat food is fortified with, so if you do feed table scraps to your cat, make sure they still get enough cat food for essential nutrients they need. Always provide fresh clean water to your cat. Some cats prefer a watering system that runs the water constantly. They are attracted to running water and may be more inclined to drink more from running water. That type of system is not necessary though, just make sure you clean the water bowl and provide fresh water every day. Once you learn the basics of how to take care of a cat, the training you want to do with your cat will come in time.
Always keep in contact with your vet for any other questions you have, especially if your cat starts behaving differently, or going to the bathroom outside the litter box or changes in stool, or changes in appetite or energy levels. If your cat has behavior changes, discuss it with your vet as soon as possible to eliminate any illnesses as a possible cause. There are lots of training books available for cat owners and I recommend what I think are the best books available on my blog.