What does your family need to know about cat care?
If you’re new to owning a cat, you probably have lots of questions. You may even feel a bit nervous about the responsibility of caring for your new feline friend. Fortunately, cats are pretty low-maintenance in general. There are just a few basics you’ll need to learn. Soon, you’ll be a confident pet owner and can focus on enjoying your new kitty. To help you out, here are a few things your family should know about cat care.
One of the first steps you’ll want to take care of is finding nutritious food for your pet. What you choose to feed your kitty will have a big impact on her health and vitality. Food made up mostly of fillers won’t provide her with the nutrients she needs to thrive. While you don’t have to buy the most expensive brand, you will want to take a look at the ingredients. Try to opt for cat food with meat as one of the first ingredients listed. Grains, by-products, or other fillers are inexpensive empty calories. It’s smart to try to feed your cat the same food she was eating before she came to live with you. An abrupt change could cause tummy troubles. You can begin to gradually introduce a new food over time for less disruption.
You should try to get at least one litter box for each cat in your home. If you live in a large or multi-level home, consider getting one for each floor. For cats over 10 pounds, a large cat litter box is recommended. Your kitty needs enough room to move around comfortably. When it comes to litter, it’s typically fine to choose common clay litter. It’s affordable and easy to find. As with the food, you might want to go with what your new friend is used to. If you choose, you can try another type such as recycled paper, corn, or pine pellets. Don’t forget to get a scoop to remove clumps. A mat is an optional accessory that can keep your floors cleaner. Try to scoop once a day, as cats don’t like to have a dirty litter box and may develop poor bathroom habits if their box is not clean.
Brushing your cat’s fur is an essential part of grooming. Doing so keeps your kitty’s skin healthier by removing dirt and shedding hair. Plus, most kitties enjoy being brushed and find it relaxing. It’s a nice way to bond while caring for your feline friend. Brushing once a week is fine for short or medium-haired cats. Breeds with long hair should probably get a weekly brushing. Keeping up with grooming lessens the chance of developing mats, which are difficult to remove and may require the service of a professional groomer to manage. Most cats don’t require bathing. They tend to keep themselves fairly clean. You will want to trim his claws on occasion to avoid breakage or fraying.
Cats love to play. It’s in their nature to jump and pounce. You may need to experiment with the type of toy your kitty likes most, as each has its own preference. Keep trying. Playing provides mental stimulation and keeps them fit. Plenty of play can keep anxiety and boredom at bay. In addition, you’ll want to invest in a scratching post or pad. Cats with claws need to scratch. Getting a scratching toy will save your furniture and walls from damage and keep your pet happy.
Finally, an essential part of cat care is taking your pet to the veterinarian. If you don’t already have a practitioner, try to get a referral from someone you trust. You’ll also want to be sure to choose a vet that is easily accessible from your home so that you can get there quickly in case of an emergency. Regular checkups, as recommended by your veterinarian, will ensure your cat stays as healthy as possible.
These tips should get you started on your cat care journey. There can be a learning curve, so don’t get discouraged. Some aspects of caring for your new friend will be trial and error. Be patient, and reach out to your vet if you have any concerns.