Owning a cat may seem like an easy job. After all, they are notorious for being independent. However, if you are a first time cat owner, there are lots of things you need to know. The following article is full of helpful tips and tricks that ensures you and your cat live happily together.
If you have outdoor cats, be sure to discourage pests such as coyotes, possums and raccoons by bringing cat food indoors at night. Feed your cats first thing in the morning, and make sure there is no food left at nightfall. This will keep your cats safe from attack and illness.
Make a free toy for your cat by placing a little dry rice or a few dry beans inside an empty pill bottle. Close the lid and roll the rattly toy across the floor. Most cats can’t resist the sound and motion. You can also tie a length of twine around the neck of the bottle to make a pull toy or a dangly toy.
To keep your cat happy and healthy, its important to schedule regular visits to the vet. Not only are regular checkups good for catching problems early, but regular visits can insure that your cat keeps up to date on its vaccinations. If you don’t know when the last time your cat had its shots, schedule an appointment for booster shots as soon as possible.
Clip your cats nails regularly. Cats do have to scratch. However, when cats scratch, their nail sheaths come off and their sharp, pointy claws are exposed. Clipping your cat’s claws every two to three weeks keeps them blunt and helps keep harm to furniture, humans, and other pets to a minimum.
As your cat gets older, changes in behavior may signal pain. If your cat doesn’t like to jump or climb any more, it may be in pain. If your cat stops taking care of grooming or stops using its litter box, pain may be the cause. Be sure to have your older cat checked out by your vet if you notice behavior changes.
If you just got your cat you want to take them to the veterinarian right away, especially if it is a feral cat or kitten. Kittens are born with parasites and need shots and medication to get rid of them. Feral cats can carry diseases. This is why it is important to have them checked out immediately.
Make sure you have a good pet carrier or basket for transporting your cats from one location to the next. A proper carrier or basket should have enough room for them to turn around in comfortably. It should also be easy to clean. Make sure that it is lined with a blanket, cushion, or towel to help it stay comfortable and cozy for them when traveling.
Feed your cat a proper diet. Cats are carnivores and have specific dietary needs. Feed them quality cat food that has been approved by AAFCO or the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If you wish to make your cat’s food yourself, make sure you speak with a vet about necessary supplements or specific recipes that your cat needs to eat.
Consider getting your cat a scratching post. Scratching is something that comes extremely easy to cats; it is part of their nature. Don’t force your cat to play with it. Rather, interest him in it by spraying catnip spray on it, or by dangling a string from the top. Soon he’ll get the idea that it’s there for a reason!
Make sure that there are enough litter boxes in your home for all of the cats that are staying there. It is optimal to have one litter box for each cat. If you live in a home that has a lot of floors, there should be one on each floor for each cat.
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.
Many people do not realize that it is perfectly normal for you to take cats on walks so they can get exercise and fresh air. There are special harnesses made for you to use with your cat. If you use the type that were made for dogs, there is a chance your cat can get away.
If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, you should take him to the vet. This sort of behavior is common among cats with UTIs and other health problems. Some inexpensive antibiotics can clear up a potentially dangerous illness.
Don’t buy a closed litter box without first considering the disadvantages. True, it’s nice that you don’t have to see the contents of the litter box. However, odors tend to build up in closed boxes, making it necessary to clean it more frequently. Covered litter boxes also constrict your cat’s movement, which is a problem for larger pets.
Get your cat all the necessary vaccinations. There are a number of them and you should talk to your veterinarian about the proper schedule. Many are given at the early stages of a kitten’s development, then given annually thereafter. These vaccinations prevent such problems as feline leukemia, rabies and respiratory problems.
When it comes to cat litter, you should scoop out all of the waste on a daily basis. Cats will not use a litter box that is overflowing with waste, and they will start looking for somewhere else to use the bathroom. Change the entire box at least once every few weeks.
As was mentioned earlier in this article, being a cat owner is a lot more work than you might have believed. Be sure and use the information provided if you are considering getting a cat. The advice will benefit both you and your new feline friend for years to come.