If you are looking for a pet to share your days with, a cat is a wonderful choice. While these animals are very independent, they are also great companions. However, there are a few things that you need to be aware of when it comes to their care and how to help them have a happy life.
If your cat is an outdoor cat or a cat that has a habit of getting outside, they need proper identification. The cat should have a safety collar and an ID tag. Safety collars that have elastic bands allow cats to get out of the collar if they get it caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help your cat get returned if they’re lost.
Lessen the chances of your cat becoming harmed or killed by spraying all electric cords with something to keep them from chewing it. Bitter apple is a good choice and can be found at most pet stores. Most office stores sell a tube that you can stick all of your wires and cords through if the spray doesn’t work. You can do this by bundling them and tucking them in the cardboard rolls that are used for paper towels. The cords on electronics should be hidden as well.
Never have your cat declawed. Many people misunderstand declawing, thinking it is the simple removal of a cat’s nail. This is not true. In fact, the veterinarian must remove the top knuckle along with the claw during the procedure. This can result in arthritis pain later in life and many behavior problems, such as biting. There are many alternatives from scratching posts to glue-on claw caps that can protect your belongings from a cat’s claws without resorting to such a harsh surgical solution.
Keep your cat indoors. Unlike dogs, it is nearly impossible to confine a cat to a yard. This can lead to many dangers for your cat, from cars, dogs, diseases from feral cats, and simply disappearing to parts unknown. Loose cats also be a nuisance to others, often killing songbirds and leaving unwelcome ‘deposits’ in neighbor’s gardens. If your cat really enjoys the outdoors, they can be trained to wear a harness and leash or you can invest in a specialty cat fence or screened-in porch.
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.
You can’t go wrong by selecting a cat as your animal companion. They are smart, they generally don’t require as much care as dogs and they can provide you with the affection that you are craving. However, remember that cats still require a number of things from their owner. Use the tips above to help you carve out a good life for your pet.