CAT Pet Care
"Meow, meow, meow!" ...CAT
General Care Information
- Cats, as independent as they may seem, do require care and attention. Be sure to pay attention to these important details:
- Cats should visit the veterinarian annually and kept up-to-date on the necessary shots and vaccinations
- Cats should be given a heartworm pill once a year
- Dry Cat food is recommended for the bulk of the catís diet and should be supplemented with a good cat vitamin
- Cats should be bathed regularly with a cat shampoo Ė use baby shampoo if you need to wash the catís head. In addition to bathing, cats should be brushed one or two times per week.
- Cats should have their teeth brushed at least twice a week.
- Use only low calorie treats Ė dry treats will also help clean the catís teeth
- Cats should be checked regularly for fleas and ticks during the Spring, Summer and Fall months
CAT Feeding Information
Cats require a balanced diet from a cat food that includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals. Cats do not do well on a diet that revolves only around meat and do not require fancy or expensive cat foods to be healthy and happy.
A quality cat diet includes mostly dry cat food with only occasional meals coming from the dinner table. As health and wellness varies from cat to cat, it is always wise to seek a veterinarianís help in adjusting your catís diet.
Dry Cat food
Dry cat foods contain a mixture of cereals, vegetable proteins, meat by products, vegetables, and vitamins and minerals. Typical commercial dry cat foods contain approximately 10% water. Generally cats do well with dry cat food, by feeling satisfied sooner and feeling healthier because of the contents.
The catís dish should be kept full to encourage regular eating.
These types of cat foods are created to look and smell like meat, but are generally made of soy, cereal grains and meat by products Ė they are also heavy in preservatives. These foods contain 25 Ė 30% water and are high in proteins. While not recommended as the primary source of nutrition in a diet, semi-moist foods are a great supplement to a catís diet.
Canned cat foods are expensive, are not nutritionally well balanced and are mostly water (almost 80%). Cats that are fed canned foods tend to overeat and can experience weight problems. Additionally, these types of foods do not clean the catís gums and teeth.
Grooming your cat can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for you and your cat. Additionally, regular grooming and handling will better adapt the cat if the need arises for it to see a veterinarian. Although cats do an excellent job of keeping themselves clean, additional grooming can improve the health of the catís skin, prevent stomach hairballs and remove dangerous parasites and sticker weeds.
To groom your cat, choose a time when the cat is ready to rest and not in a playful mood. Begin by cuddling the cat in your lap and petting it gently. Once your cat is subdued, use a soft cat hair brush to stroke the cat from head to tail following the direction of the catís fur. As you brush, use firm pressure to remove excess hair and other items hiding next to the catís fur. Pay particular attention to the ears and between the toes, as these are common places where ticks, mites, thorns and sticker weeds may hide. These areas are generally tender and should be handled carefully. Keep a pair of tweezers close to remove any fur and skin irritations.
Brush the legs and tail, gently stroking out mats and other foreign entities. If you should encounter wounds, use ointments and antibiotics as directed by the catís veterinarian.
Before you attempt to bathe your cat, be sure to take time to cut its nails. Cat nails grow quickly and can become very sharp. To clip the catís nails, use a set of cat specific clippers or pet nail clippers Ė using normal human nail clippers is not recommended. Hold the catís paw with your off hand and the clippers in your strong hand. Before you begin clipping, locate the vein that runs through your catís paws and cut just above the vein. Cutting too closely too the vein may cause the nails to bleed and cause the cat unnecessary discomfort. Clip off the end of each nail on both the front and back paws.
Once the catís nails are cut, you are ready to get your cat near the bathing water. Cats generally do not like water and become especially agitated with the sloshing and splashing sound of water. Begin bathing your cat away from the tub or wash basin by using a warm wash rag and some baby shampoo to wash the catís head, eyes and ears. If you choose to wash your cat with an anti-flea shampoo, be sure to treat your catís eyes with mineral oil prior to applying the harsh shampoo Ė this will protect the catís eyes from the stinging irritation that will occur if the medicated shampoo gets in the catís eyes. Use a cotton swab to wash your catís ears and be sure look for any black discharge that signals the presence of mites. If you do find that your cats ears do have a black discharge, be sure to take your cat into the veterinarian.
Once the head is clean, you can now place the cat into the tub or wash basin Ė be sure to use water that is right around room temperature or slightly warmer. If your cat struggles with being placed in the tub, and to further prevent soap from getting into your catís eyes, you can place the hind end of the cat in the tub and let the forepaws hang out over the edge of the tub. Soak your cat using a cup or hose and then apply a cat specific or pet shampoo. Massage the shampoo into your cat and then rinse the cat thoroughly using the cup or hose.
To dry the cat by removing the cat from the tub or wash basin and placing it on the floor on a towel. Gently cover the cat with a towel and blot the cat dry Ė do not rub the cat as this will cause the fur to tangle and mat. Use a blow dryer, on medium heat, to gently blow dry the catís fur. Be sure to keep the blow dryer in constant motion, about 12 inches away from the fur - never blow the cat directly in the eyes and ears. As you blow dry your cat, use a broad toothed comb to gently move the fur away from the catís skin. Be sure to keep your cat away from cold weather for the next 24 hours as the catís fur continues to dry.
Cats require a padded box or basket to call their home - choose an out of the way location that is cool and well ventilated.
Outdoor cats should be sheltered in a shelter that will prevent wind and rain from getting inside. The house should be big enough to allow the cat to enter completely, and turn in a full circle before lying down. During the winter months, a heavy cloth should be hung over the door to keep in heat and prevent wind and moisture from entering. Make sure to clean the shelter regularly to keep the cat healthy and comfortable.
Outdoor cats get plenty of exercise just doing their normal routine, but indoor cats can be encouraged to exercise by providing them with toys. Scratching posts, balls and other toys will encourage indoor cats to move around and be active. Indoor cats can also get lots of exercise by having a playmate such as another cat.