No amount of articles can prepare you for raising your first cat! This is a wonderful and exciting experience that you may only have once in life. Make every moment count by having fun with your pet, feeding it delicious food, and keeping it active outside of the home. If this is your first cat, you’ll be glad you took the time to read this article and get prepared.
Before acquiring a cat, be sure that you have the wherewithal to take care of all necessary vet care. Cats reproduce at an alarming rate, and spaying or neutering is essential to keeping cat population under control. Check spay, neuter and vaccination costs and packages with local vets and clinics and be sure you can afford to give your cat proper medical care.
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.
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 your own enclosed litter box from a large tote box with a lid. Use a coffee can lid as a pattern to cut a door in one side of the tote. Place the coffee can lid fairly high up on the side of the tote. Trace around it with a permanent marker. Cut out the circle with tin snips or a box cutter. Add litter. Put on the lid.
Cats love to much on grass and plants such as catnip. There are plants however that are poisonous to cats. Chrysanthemums and holly are beautiful and common around the Holidays, but can be very toxic to cats. Other plants that are toxic or lethal include lilies, rhubarb and daffodils.
You should be sure to place your pet’s litter box in a good location. Try and put it in an isolated area away from the cat bowl. Also make sure the area is well ventilated to keep the smell to a minimum. Both you and your pet will appreciate that.
Prevent crystals from forming in the urine of male cats with the right diet. Passing these crystals is painful and the vet bill to have this corrected is expensive. To stop this from happening, make sure your cat’s food doesn’t have much magnesium in it. This means you should pay attention to labels on food. Fish products are usually higher in magnesium.
Attend cat shows for tips about your cat. A cat show only costs a few dollars to attend. But when you attend one, you see vendors selling cat items, and show pet owners that give their cats the best of everything. You can get ideas for best brands to feed your cat, as well as ideas for grooming and caring for your cat.
Do not use medicine meant for a dog on a cat. This is especially important for topical medicines. Cats do their own cleaning, and if a dog medicine is used on a cat, your pet can ingest it. There are some medicines that work for both cats and dogs, but only use them if the vet says it is okay.
While children should help with the care and responsibilities of a cat, leave the litterbox duties to the grownups or older children. A cat’s litterbox can carry diseases and parasites. Since younger children may not follow proper handwashing procedures, this job is better left to those older and more responsible.
When your cat has kittens, it can be tempting to get rid of them as soon as possible, but you should wait a reasonable amount of time. A kitten needs to learn a few things from mom before going off into the world alone, so give him six weeks to learn all he can.
If you’re tempted to load up on litter to cut back on cleanings, think again. Some people believe that the more cat litter they use, the longer they can go between emptying the litter box. Actually, this is a waste of your litter! Many cats refuse to use a litter box with more than 2 inches of litter on the bottom. Some prefer to dig to the bottom of the box before doing their business.
It might seem like a little much for an animal, but you should comb your cat’s hair as often as possible. Combing the hair helps prevent the cat from licking loose fur and building a furball to spit up later. Different cats shed at different rates and some require a lot more maintenance than others.
If you are expecting a child, this is more than enough reason for you to have your pet spayed or neutered. Some cats get very aggressive when they see little ones in the house. After having this procedure done it is less likely for your cat to do anything to harm the baby.
You can use certain scents to discourage your cat from going into certain areas of your home. Aloe gel, citrus peels, and citrus juices smell wonderful to us, but cats don’t feel the same way. Soak a cotton ball in one of these liquids, then place it on top of a piece of foil to prevent the liquid from staining your surface. Place the foil and cotton ball near the off-limits area.
Your first cat is a special pet that should remain in your memories as a great time spent raising an adorable animal. Future pets will get easier to train and feed, but cats will always be a complex, confusing, messy animal. Small changes here and there help make this a unique experience.