Have you finally decided to get a pet cat? If you’re new to pet ownership, you probably have plenty of questions about caring for your kitten.
Cats are relatively low-maintenance. Once you’re familiar with feeding, grooming, safety, and general health, all that’s left to do is to shower your feline with love. In this article, you’ll learn what you need to know to ensure that you care for a happy and healthy pet.
Here’s a list of cat care basics you need to keep in mind:
The food you pick for your feline friend will have a huge effect on his overall health. You must make sure that you’re only feeding your new pet the best-quality cat food.
To slowly transition your cat to his new food, take a small amount of his current food and mix it with the new one. Increase the amount of new food gradually, until your cat gets used to it. Switching to a new food will require a slow transition to prevent stomach upset.
Other important things you need to take note of when feeding your cat:
- You should only feed cats that are under one year old a kitten formula as they’re still growing and will require a high-calorie diet.
- For a cat with health issues like being underweight or overweight, or having a disease brought on by old age, seek your vet’s advice on selecting the right food.
Most cats like wet food once they get a taste of it. Wet food, also known as canned food, comes in various textures, like bits and chunks. If you need to, let your cat taste a little of each different type of wet food to determine what he likes best.
Premium canned foods will have meat as their primary ingredient and don’t contain by-products or artificial colours, flavours, and fillers. Although good quality wet food is more expensive, its pure ingredients and minimal fillers translate to more nutrition for your cat. Remember no to leave wet food for longer than 20 minutes out in hot weather as it can easily spoil and become unsafe to eat.
You may find feeding your cat dry food to be convenient, especially if you’re not home during the day. This is because you can leave the food out for longer periods without the risk of it spoiling.
Some pet owners prefer feeding their cat a combination of wet and dry food. If you’re still unsure, try buying a small bag or can first until you’re certain what your cat wants.
Your new pet will need cat supplies to lead a comfortable life in your home. For instance, you’ll need stainless steel or ceramic dishes to contain your cat’s food and water. Moreover, you’ll need at least one litter box for each cat you plan to have.
Here are several things you need to know about cat accessories:
- Litter Box – Whichever box you choose, make sure it’s large enough for your feline.
- Litter – There are many kinds of litter that you can choose from like clay, clumping, corn, and pine pellets, to name a few. If you’re unsure about which one to pick, start with the basic clay litter as this is usually the least expensive, and cats like it. Once you find a specific type of litter that works for your cat, stick with it as switching too often may cause your pet to avoid the box.
- Litter Scoop and Bucket – Pick a scoop that works with the litter you bought. Also, include a small bucket you can use to dispose of scooped dirty litter. Make sure to scoop at least once or twice a day to keep the box clean for your pet.
Most felines do a great job of keeping themselves clean. Unless your cat gets dirty from being outdoors or not cleaning himself well, regular bathing isn’t necessary. If you bathe your cat, make sure to take note of the following:
- Use a gentle shampoo meant for cats and avoid getting soap or water near the eyes or ears.
- Use a towel after bathing your pet to dry him thoroughly. Also, keep him in a warm place until he’s dry.
- Once your pet is completely dry, brush his fur to make him look fluffy and beautiful.
Kittens love playtime, and it’s a great way to keep them entertained as well as to get enough exercise. Each cat will have his toy preference, so keep trying until you find one that your pet likes.
Mice toys are great for cats who love to carry around toys. But if your cat is a lazy one and needs some encouragement to move, a long wand with hanging feathers at the end of a string might work. This toy mimics a bird in flight once you swing it around and may catch your lazy cat’s interest.
The vet is still your most valuable ally
The four points listed above are only the basics of cat care. However, remember that each cat has distinct needs, which is why it’s still important to meet your vet first. Your vet will give you the best tips when it comes to the things your feline friend needs to live his best life.