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.
Take your cat in for regular vet exams. Your cat should have regular well visits, as well as all the recommended vaccinations for his age. Try using one veterinarian consistently. You won’t have to worry that the vet won’t have all of your cat’s medical records.
Get a pet water fountain. Cats can be prone to dehydration, and running water entices them to drink. It is an evolutionary habit that developed because in the wild, running water is less likely to be contaminated than a stagnant pool. Your pet will enjoy the water more, and will drink more often.
Have your kids help you take care of the cat. Assign daily jobs such as feeding the cat and cleaning the litter box. Not only will taking care of the cat teach them responsibility, it also gives you a break from these tasks. This means that you can spend more time cuddling with your cat.
An indoor cat who gets a taste of the outdoors will forever want to go outside. If you know your cat will always be an indoor cat, do your best to keep them from sneaking out. You can try to train your cat to stay in your yard when you are outside.
Make sure your cat is properly hydrated. Like humans, cats need to drink lots of water. If they don’t get enough water, they can get dehydrated, develop various health problems, or die. Make sure they always have a bowl of fresh and clean water. The bowl itself also needs to be cleaned and refilled every day. You should also keep this bowl in one location.
Do not assume that because a medication is okay for you to take, that it is safe for your cat as well. Many medications made for humans are lethal to cats, such as acetaminophen containing drugs and aspirin. Always check with your veterinarian before you give your cat anything.
Refrain from giving your cat any food that is spoiled. This can lead to indigestion and food poisoning, which can cost you a trip to the veterinarian. Always buy your food fresh from the store and be sure to check the expiration date before you feed it to your cat.
Do not use medicine meant for a dog on a cat. This is especially important for topical medicines. Cats do their own cleaning, and if a dog medicine is used on a cat, your pet can ingest it. There are some medicines that work for both cats and dogs, but only use them if the vet says it is okay.
While usually cats make great pets for kids, younger kids may be too rough with them. Make sure your child knows how to treat a cat. Help them learn how to pick up a cat and care for it. Cats don’t have strong bones like dogs do, so they need to be treated gently.
Seek the advice of others if you have a cat that’s giving you problems. You can often get great advice from friends and family. Your vet is a great source of advice, or you can find forums on the Internet to connect with other cat owners.
If your cat dirties the space near his litter box, don’t punish them. When this occurs, it is probably just a sign that the litter box wasn’t properly taken care of. If you get mad, they’ll never use the box again.
When you are washing a cat litter box, it is a good idea to use basic soap and water. You may think that it would be more sanitary to use a harsh cleaner like bleach or ammonia, but all that will do is create a smell that the cat will find offensive.
Keep track of your feline friend by having the animal microchipped. This small device is implanted beneath the skin between your cat’s shoulder blades. Microchip implantation may sting for a few seconds, but the implant is otherwise unnoticeable and will not cause your pet any discomfort. This chip makes it easier for animal control to locate your cat if it goes missing.
Ensure that your new cat is spayed or neutered. This is important even if your cat will not be outdoors or around cats of the opposite gender. Studies show that spayed cats are less vulnerable to uterine, mammary, and ovarian cancer. Neutering your male cat decreases his risk of developing prostate cancer. Another benefit of neutering is that your cat will not feel compelled to mark his territory by spraying.
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.
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.