Cats make interesting family pets. Because they have a reputation for being aloof, you may think they are easy to care for. However, just like dogs, or your kids, cats need loving care. Cats have very different personalities, so while some may like to act disinterested and nonchalant, others need a lot of pampering. Cats in general live about fourteen years, so bringing a kitten home requires some forethought and commitment.
Not only is it sensible and moral to care properly for your cat, it is also the law. Here are some top tips for looking after your cat.
Cats need a dry warm place to live so they don’t get sick. They also need places to hide and things they can climb and jump on. They are naturally curious creatures and will try to get into everything so you should make sure hazards are securely out of their space. Cats are also quite smart so they need toys to amuse them or they will make toys out of whatever they find around your home.
Cats need friends and companionship just like you do. Try to spend time playing with your cat and loving him rather than ignoring him most of the time. He will also enjoy the presence of other cats or even dogs if he is introduced to them while he is still a kitten. An older cat may not like other cats invading his space so don’t try and force an older cat to accept a new animal into the home. Cats don’t necessarily need another animal companion as long as they get plenty of attention from their human owners.
You should get your cat used to travelling to the vet at a young age so the trip won’t be so stressful if he has to go when he is sick. Regular vet visits will ensure that he is kept up to date on vaccinations and parasite control. You’ll also want to have your cat neutered unless he is going to be used for breeding purposes. Doing so will make your cat less likely to roam and will help prevent unwanted kittens from being born.
You may also want to have a microchip inserted into your cat so he can be more easily returned if he happens to get away and get lost.
Cats need a steady supply of fresh water and a proper diet to stay healthy. Cats require a meat based diet and should not be fed people food as some foods, such as onions, are harmful to them. Cats need several small meals each day but if they eat too much they can become obese just like humans and suffer from medical complications. Don’t place your cat’s feeding dish close to his litter box or he may not eat at all. While every cat is different, what you should watch for is changes in your own cat’s behaviour.
If your normally docile cat suddenly begins to act aggressively, it is a sign something is wrong. Things that can cause behavioral changes in cats include being scared, sick, unhappy or bored. To keep your cat happy, make sure he has access to a clean litter box and food and water at all times. Provide him with a place to hide from scary things and give him lots of opportunities to get exercise and mental stimulation. If your cat does have behavioral problems, consult your vet or an animal trainer for advice. Cats are popular pets that are a lot of fun if you are prepared to care for them properly and provide a lot of love. They will reward you with years of fun loving companionship.