Cats are amazing creatures, and they can be wonderful pets. Owning a cat is a challenge, however. There are special needs that a cat owner should be aware of, even if they have had other pets. Cats are not the same as other animals. Keep reading to learn more about cat care.
Check your cats ears frequently for ear mites. You may notice your cat shaking their head or scratching their ears a lot if they have them. They are tiny parasites that look like coffee grounds in your cat’s ears. If you have more than one cat, they can also travel from cat to cat. See a vet before using any medication on them since their ears need properly cleaned first.
Have your cat spayed or neutered. Pet overpopulation is a growing problem, with millions of homeless cats and kittens euthanized every year. Besides the problem of too many kittens and not enough homes, unfixed cats can have a multitude of behavior problems. Males who are not neutered at a young age often start spraying to mark their territory, and females who are allowed to come into heat yowl incessantly as they try to escape to find a mate. Kittens can begin to breed as early as 4 months of age, so get your new kitten spayed or neutered as soon as possible.
Do not assume that because a medication is okay for you to take, that it is safe for your cat as well. Many medications made for humans are lethal to cats, such as acetaminophen containing drugs and aspirin. Always check with your veterinarian before you give your cat anything.
Create a tablecloth that your cats can use. Some cats like removing food from their bowl and eating it beside their bowl. This can really make a mess, and you might have to spend significant time cleaning around your cat’s food bowl. Something as simple as a place mat can help make cleanup easier.
Who says only dogs can do tricks? Cats are very intelligent and have the ability to learn as well, especially as young kittens. Some people train their cats to play fetch just like dogs do. There are even people who have successfully trained their cat to use a regular toilet, instead of a litter box.
If you want a cat that is well-behaved and not prone to biting and scratching, make sure that you do not try to adopt one when it is too young. It takes 12-16 weeks for a kitten to learn proper cat behavior from their mom and all of their siblings.
Do not try to hold a cat when they are clearly trying to get away. This will not make the cat feel any closer to you and it may prompt them to start avoiding you in the future. Pick the cat up gently and lay him across your lap. If you feel him wiggling to get away, let him go.
Most veterinarians recommend that you feed your cat food that is in the can as opposed to the dry varieties in the box or bag. This is because the canned food contains more water, fat and protein than the dry variety. It is also easier to consume for cats with dental issues.
If the cats scratching post is looking tired and worn out, never throw it away. Cats tend to enjoy a scratching toy more after they’ve gotten comfortable with it and made it their own. If you throw it away too soon, that cat may look to your furniture for some clawing while it slowly breaks in a new scratching post.
If your feline just won’t use the litter box, try moving it to a different location. Cats often don’t go to the bathroom when they feel vulnerable, so move the litter box somewhere quiet. The best places are basements and laundry rooms.
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.
Do not leave the door to your washing machine or dryer open if you have cats. This is a place where cats love to crawl and take a nap, but it can be very dangerous. You don’t want to turn on the machine then find out your cat is in there. It will be very frightening for them and it may cause an injury.
Put a collar on the cat that lists your name, address, and phone number on it. Even a house cat may get outside. If this should happen, you will have a better chance of getting your cat back home.
Never give your pet any drugs that were designed for use by humans. When your cat has health issues, they should be taken to their vet, who will give them any medication they need. When you make the mistake of giving any type of human medication to your cat, it can kill them or cause them some other type of grave medical misfortune.
Encourage your child to play with cats by using toys, not by using their fingers and hands. Choose toys that put distance between the child’s hands and the cat’s teeth and claws. During a vigorous play session, an excited kitten is more likely to accidentally scratch its playmate’s skin. For example, you might use a long wand-type toy with a dangling feather or bell.
Cats are excellent pets but being a cat owner comes with certain responsibilities. But they should be treated as the special species they are. They behave differently and have different nutritional needs. Read back over the advice again, then start applying the knowledge to your home environment. Your cat will thank you!