Cat Care 101

Cat Care 101

If you’re a first time can owner, you’re probably going to have a TON of questions on caring for your new furry family member.

In Cat Care 101 we’re going to cover the basics WHATS and WHY’s of cat care. The things you need to buy, the basic changes you’ll need to make in the house and plenty more!

We will begin with the something your cat would say is the most important:


1. FOOD FOOD FOOD!

The food you choose has a significant influence on the general well being of your cat. So you'll need to ensure you give him/her something nourishing and healthy. Make sure the food your kitty eats contains all the nutrients she requires at that stage of her development.

Also take note of the kind of food your cat was eating before adoption. In addition, a cats age affects the necessary diet, (for example kittens should eat foods with high calories, whilst senior cats also have different requirements) and also take note of any medical condition your cat might have - as this will affect the food she needs to eat.

For the average, healthy cat or kitten, there are two main types of food you will find in a pet store:
  • Canned food: Most cats like canned foods, also known as "wet foods", when they become accustomed to it. This type of food has a high water content which provides additional hydration for the cat. We recommend wet diets, as they place less strain on your cats kidneys.
  • Dry food: Some people prefer to feed on dry food or a mix of dry and wet. Dry is convenient if you are not at home during the day because you can leave it without it spoiling, however the lack of water content means you'll have to ensure your cat remains adequately hydrated.
Tip: when buying a new food buy only a small bag till you're sure your cat loves it. They can be finicky at the best of times

There are other diets such as raw feeding and the like, but we will not cover that in this section, they require an entire section to themselves!

Now, when in doubt about the right food to give your cat, we always suggest speaking to your vet!



2. Pick Food Dishes and Water Bowls

For food and water, stainless steel and ceramic plates and plates are ideal. In contrast to plastic, they don't hold smells and easy to thoroughly clean. It's a good idea to have more than one plate and bowl, so you always have a clean plate.

Get shallow food dishes, because it’s easier for cats to eat from them.

Change the water bowls at least once a day and clean the dish with lukewarm water and soap at least several times a week.



3. Have a Litter Box (and the accessories)

Here are a few things to know about litter boxes and accessories:
  • Litter Box: For each cat you have, you will need at least one litter box. I like the standard open-style box. Covered boxes can capture smells or cause a sense of confinement in some cats. Whatever type of box you choose, make sure it's big enough.
  • Litter: There are many types of litter that you can choose: You can start with a basic clay litter. It is usually the cheapest, and most cats and kittens are used to it. (Tip: When you find the type of litter that works, stick with it. Changing the type of litter can often cause pedantic cats to avoid the box.)
  • Litter Scoop and Bucket: You will need to scoop once or twice daily to keep the litter box clean.
4. Brush Your Cat Regularly

Brushing is simple and doesn't take much time. Most cats enjoy being brushed because it relaxes them. Regular brushes remove dead hair and dirt and help to preserve the health of the skin. Short or medium-haired breeds ought to be brushed about once every week.

Those with long hair should be brushed two or three times per week. A regular bristle brush works fine for most cats. You can also use a brush with metal bristles to remove more hair if your pet sheds a lot. Shedding increases as the weather warms up, so brushing is essential to remove dead hair and prevent mats.



5. Bathe Your Cat

Most cats do an excellent job of keeping themselves clean. Except if they're filthy from being outside or old and if they do not clean thoroughly, one or two baths a year are usually sufficient. Use mild shampoo intended for cats to bathe the cat and also make sure you dry the cat with a towel and when the hair is dry, it is important to brush it.



6. Keep Your Cat's Claws Trimmed

Trimming is essential to prevent the claws from becoming too long, streaked, broken or worn out. You will need a pair of small scissors to trim your cat’s claws.

Long claws can cause accidental scratches when holding your pet, and It is essential to trim claws twice a month with sharp scissors.



7. Enjoy Play Time

Cats and kittens love their play times, so get a few types of toys and get that pet to play. If your cat is lazy and needs some encouragement to get moving, use The Bergen Turbo Scratcher toy or try ‘Da Bird,’ Even the laziest cat usually can’t resist taking some swats at it or chasing it around.



8. Have a Scratching Post or Scratcher

To forestall clinging claws on the furniture, place a scraper in some parts of the house. These can be scratcher posts, scratching pads or a corrugated cardboard scratcher. Corrugated cardboard scratcher is very economical.

You can also buy a small bowl of dry spray for a cat's reed on the scratcher to attract your cat. Whenever he uses a scratcher, praise him, so he figures out how to utilize the scratcher and not the edges of your couch.



9. Give Him a Place to Nap

Most cats sleep a lot amid the day, so provide yours a comfortable spot to rest. It could be a comfortable bed for cats or just a soft blanket for him.

Some prefer to sleep in sunny and warm places; Others want to hide in a dark, private place. Watch where your cat sleeps often and put the bed there.



10. Have Treats

Cat’s love tasty treats and It's nice to have a bag of gifts that will reward your cat. Find them wherever you buy cat food.

You have a choice of flavor: chicken, fish, beef, cheese, salmon, dental stones, and catnip, also many cats love fresh grass.

Note: Catnip can cause some cats to become aggressive or fight with another cat, so be cautious until you know how your pet reacts to it.



11. Own a Carrier

Carriers are necessary when visiting a vet, when traveling or in case you need to leave your home in an emergency. Look for the one that gives your cat enough space with little space on each side to move.

For large cats, get a very high or high dog carrier



12. Brush Your Cat's Teeth

Brushing your cat teeth may seem strange but its something that needs to be done for prevention of all kinds of health problems caused by poor dental health.

Bad teeth, plaque, and gingivitis can cause bacteria in the mouth of the cat which can also affect major organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart, causing severe health problems for the cat.

Note: Toothpaste for humans is not safe for cats.

All you need is a toothbrush kit, available in pet shops or veterinarians.

It will take some time for both you and your cat to get used to teeth brushing, after a little practice, it’ll get more comfortable.



13. Find a Good Veterinarian

Your vet will tell you how frequently your cat or kitten should be seen for check-ups and vaccination. Regular veterinary care can prevent many health problems.



14. Teach Children How to Treat Your Cat

If you have small children at home, teach them carefully and honestly treat your cat. Show them how to pet your cats tenderly and give it some space when it's eating or resting.



15. Make Your Home Cat-Safe

Check out your home to know whether anything could be unsafe to your cat or kitten because cats are curious and love to explore, climb, and pick up small objects in their mouths to carry about.

Here are a few dangers to look out for to prevent accidents;
  • High balconies
  • Windows without screens
  • Falling off of certain plants or flowers that are poisonous to cats
  • Small objects such as twist ties, rubber bands, paper clips, strings (choking hazards)
  • Medications or pills dropped or spilled onto the floor
  • Certain cat toys, such as toys that are labeled "Use Only Under Supervision". If you have any of these, store them somewhere inaccessible to your pet when you're not playing with him. Also, be careful with tiny toys or small mice toys.
16. Indoor-Only or Outdoors?

Cats that stay indoors only, live a healthier life. Cats that live outdoor or both indoors and outdoors are exposed to dangers. It is safer to keep your cat indoors

Okay so we've skimmed over the basics. We've given you an idea of the equipment you'll need, and what to watch out for!

So, are you excited for your new family member to join you? We certainly are!

Best of luck!
 
Beginners Guide To Cat Behaviour (Part 1) >