I have a number of cats in my household. I consider them to be small furry members of the family; so naturally, I want the very best for them. Even though each one has a personality all his own, the method of caring for them all is basically the same. Below, I’ve listed 10 tips on taking care of a cat. There are at least a couple of my cats that have extra needs as well, but the tips mentioned below cover all the general requirements of most cats.
Cats have a tendency to be fairly thorough about their cleaning, but this can work against them as well. Due to all the licking involved with a daily cat bath, there is a lot of fur ingested. Cats with long hair have more trouble than short-haired cats with the occurrence of hairballs. A remedy can be purchased for eliminating hairballs from your cat’s system or butter can be provided from time to time. The cat will lick the butter or the store bought hairball eliminator with no problem at all. Brushing cats will also keep the hair down to a minimum, for both you and your cat.
Most people know that you can lead a cat to a bed, but you can’t make him sleep in it. I’ve provided tons of bedding options for my cats and they always seem to prefer the same old places; the laundry basket, the chair I was just sitting in, on the couch, or under the bed ruffle. I do have one cat that uses the furry cat bed regularly. For the most part, all you can do is offer bedding options and hope they decide to use one.
Just like with people, cats have food preferences as well. It took a few tries, but I finally found some food that they all will eat. The food should have the right amount of nutrients already in the bag, so there’s usually no need for any type of kitty diet supplement. I have a self-feeder that works great for the large number of cats I have. Some people find that the food goes down to quickly and they have to schedule regular feeding times. Whichever method you prefer to use, be sure to check the food supply often.
Fresh water is very important for proper kidney function. I have one cat that runs to the tub and wants me to turn on the faucet. I’ve remedied this by purchasing a cat fountain. For some reason, cats are immediately drawn towards the sound of running water. I’ve caught a couple of them sitting and staring at the gentle water fall going into the bowl of water. I guess even animals are soothed by the sound of flowing water!
6. Litter Box
There are many types of litter to choose from and I’ve heard pros and cons of both. You might have to see which kind your cat will use. Some are very picky and won’t use certain types of litter. I have one cat that didn’t like the clumping litter at all. It would stick in the long hairs between his toes and irritate him. Any type you use should be cleaned out on a regular basis. The number of times the box is cleaned will be determined by the number of cats using the littler box. They don’t like smelly litter boxes any more than we do. If you don’t clean it out on time, some cats will let you know with a little surprise of their own, where you least expect it.
High-priced toys are always fun, but even cats lose interest in the most expensive kind of entertainment. I find that mine like the rings off of the milk jug, pip cleaners twisted into a circle, and pom-poms for making crafts with. Having some dried catnip on hand is great for the older cats too. Sprinkle this on an old towel and it will make it easier to clean up when they are finished rolling in it.
Cats don’t all perform tricks for treats like dogs do, but they still enjoy getting them. These are usually very rich and shouldn’t be given in place of actual cat food. Try not to give human food as treats. Some people will hide a few treats around the house before they leave for the day. This turns into a game of hide and seek for kitty, providing entertainment while their human is away.
3. A Place to Hide
Having a place to hide is important for a cat to feel safe. This is especially necessary for an indoor cat. Usually, cats will find their own hiding place and sometimes you won’t ever know where this spot is located. Mine have individual places to get away from everyone, but sometimes like to be given something new to hide in. A paper sack or empty cardboard box can make excellent hiding places. These can also be very entertaining in homes with multiple cats. There’s nothing like a good game of ‘Gotcha’ between cats.
Keeping shots current is important, even more so for households with many cats or when cats are outside a lot. There are so many illnesses that are easily passed from one feline to the next. If you aren’t squeamish with needles, giving your cats their shots is another option. You’ll have to check with a vet to see which ones are needed.
Lots of love is necessary for any animal. Cats will usually let you know if they want to be petted. There are a few that can be truly aggressive about their request for attention. However they ask for it, make sure to provide the right amount and let them know they are adored.
I think these 10 tips pretty much cover the realm of caring for a cat. There might be some additional ones for cats with needs, such as my white cat that has to have sunblock applied to her ears each day. Do you have some other tips that might be helpful to cat owners? I’d love to hear about special things you do for your cats to make them happy.