Cats make great pets, but they can also make expensive pets. Between vet bills, cat food and litter and cat toys, you may need to reconsider if you can afford a cat. Check out the tips provided below to gain a little insight on being a responsible cat owner.
Let kittens and cat-friendly pet dogs get to know each other slowly. Put up a baby gate to keep dogs in one room while your new kitten gets used to its surroundings. Supervise carefully when the kitten ventures to the gate to meet the dogs. When the kitten feels safe, it will climb the gate. If it feels threatened, it will pop right back out to safety.
Cats love to squeeze into tiny spots. They can get caught or stuck if they happen to be wearing a collar. A collar that will breakaway is the best idea for safety. This can make the difference in whether your cat have nine lives or only a couple of them.
Cats are hunters by nature. They love to chase mice and other small animals and insects. Buying little fuzzy mice filled with catnip and batting them around with your cat is a great idea. Your cat will feel as though they are really hunting prey. This will also help you to connect with your cat better.
Have your cat spayed or neutered. Pet overpopulation is a growing problem, with millions of homeless cats and kittens euthanized every year. Besides the problem of too many kittens and not enough homes, unfixed cats can have a multitude of behavior problems. Males who are not neutered at a young age often start spraying to mark their territory, and females who are allowed to come into heat yowl incessantly as they try to escape to find a mate. Kittens can begin to breed as early as 4 months of age, so get your new kitten spayed or neutered as soon as possible.
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.
Do not flush clumpable litter in your toilet. This can lead to problems with your plumbing. Instead just lift the clumps and dispose of them in a trash bag. Don’t forget, moisture is what makes the litter clump in the first place! Avoid doing that to your pipes and just dispose of it properly.
Consider adopting multiple cats, especially it will be spending a significant amount of time alone. One cat can do fine alone, however two are not much more work or expense than one, and can keep each other company and entertain each other. This will stave off boredom, especially if you work long hours.
Give cat box liners a try. These may not work for everyone, but they can be helpful if they work for you. Line the litter box with one of these liners, and then put cat litter in as usual. If it works correctly, you should be able to gather the liner and dispose of the litter. Unfortunately, sometimes cats just scratch the liner to pieces as they are doing their business.
When you introduce a new cat into your home, you have to be careful with how your other cat reacts. Try giving the new cat a little space in one room at first, and then introduce him to the rest of the house. Make sure to have different litter boxes at first too. If you ease the new cat in, it will go more smoothly for everyone.
You want your cat to be wearing a collar with ID tags on a full-time basis. Even a cat you plan on always staying indoors should have identification. You know how curious cats are, and any open door can mean the cat disappears. You should use a tag with your contact information and the address of your veterinarian. Include your cat’s special diet or medical needs on his identification.
Understand the difference between cat play and real aggression. Both activities can look the same to an untrained eye, but there are differences. When two cats are playing, they will bat each other around with claws retracted. They will “bite” with their jaws loose. Real aggression will involve hisses, squeals and hard biting.
Put a collar around your cats neck that contains your name, address, and number. Cats who stay indoors could still get out. Should this occur, your cat can be returned to you or someone can contact you with his whereabouts.
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.
As you can see, cats are not an exception when it comes to the necessity of spending money on on your pets. Caring for cat is almost like having a child, considering what needs to be done to take care of them. As this article has shown, there are many things that must be done to keep your cat happy and healthy.