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.
Be sure to have your pet cat spayed or neutered by the time it is six months old. A spayed or neutered cat is a more satisfactory pet because it is calmer, quieter and more likely to stay home. Neutered male cats do not spray urine to mark their territory. This is definitely a plus when it comes to cat ownership.
Keep a clean litter box. Like you, a cat will generally not use a bathroom that is filthy. Find a quiet area out of the way that the box can stay in, and don’t move it unless absolutely necessary. Scoop solids out a couple time of day. Make sure to dump the whole box, wash it with a gentle detergent, and refill it once a week.
Be certain your cat has regular vet visits. They should have a routine check-up once a year or more if important shots are due. Never hesitate to have your cat checked out if you think that something is wrong; remember that your cat can not tell you they are not feeling well.
If your dog and cat are best friends, be sure to keep them separate after flea treatment. Your dog’s flea products are very hazardous for cats. Cats that come in contact with dog flea products often die. Be sure to use only cat products on your cat and only dog products on your dog.
Cat claws are one of the worst enemies of your home and furniture. If you find your cat shredding your furniture, consider purchasing a scratching post or cat tower. Put cat nip on it to attract them to it. Eventually it will cause you less of a headache.
Get a scratching post to keep your cat from tearing up your carpet. If you can, get a post that does not have the same type of carpet that is on the floor of your home, so your cat doesn’t associate the two. Instead, get a post that is covered in cardboard, sisal, or thick rope.
Consider those expensive cat litter boxes. There are cat litter boxes now that allow you to have minimal interaction with them. This can be great for anyone who is tired of cleaning a litter box. But be careful, as they may not work as easily as they claim to. If you can, make sure there is a return policy and don’t lose the receipt. You may find you prefer the old-fashioned style!
Handle your kitten often. The longer your cat is handled as a kitten, the more readily they will accept being handled when they are grown, especially around their paws. This is important as all cats will have to visit the vet occasionally, and this process is much easier and less stressful if the cat is accustomed to being handled. It will also make grooming and nail trimming much easier.
Play with your cat. A lot of cat owners don’t do this. They are happy to let their cat entertain themselves. However, playing with your cat can help to mentally stimulate him and give him the physical activity he needs. Use small balls, paper bags and any number of small toys to get your cat moving.
Understand your cat’s sounds. Meowing is a form of communication, often for food or to get your attention. There are other sounds, though. Hissing usually indicates fear or anger, so you should stay away. Cats also make certain sounds when they see prey. This often sounds like a chirp. Purring may indicate contentment, but sometimes it means nervousness.
Most cats are prone to wax build up and ear mites. You can purchase a solution at the pet store that will clean out your cats ears. You put a couple drops in each of your cats ears and then hold them closed while massaging them for a minute. When you let go, stand back or you will get covered in the liquid when your cat shakes its head.
While there is nothing wrong with using clumping cat litter for older felines, you should stick with sandy litter when dealing with kittens. The clumping litters are usually treated with all types of chemicals that may nto be safe for smaller cats. Once they are older, you should be able to make the switch with no issue.
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.
Kittens should never be taken from their mothers before they are eight to ten weeks old. During this time, kittens learn most of their social and instinctive behaviors, and removing them from the mother too soon can cause future behavioral issues the mother cat could have taught them had they not been removed too early.
If you have a problem with your cats scratching furniture and doors, here is a natural way to curb this destructive behavior. Take a cloth, or soft brush, and apply a thin coating of citrus juice or hot sauce to the areas your cat is scratching. Try to find something that will not discolor the wood. Cats hate citrus and anything spicy, and should eventually learn to avoid these areas.
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.