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.
If your cat suddenly goes off its feed for no apparent reason, try tempting treats such as jack mackerel, tuna, or cream of chicken soup in small amounts. These are not complete foods and shouldn’t be fed long term, but they are extremely tasty to cats. A finicky cat may start eating again and keep on when given one of these treats.
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.
Cats love to play so make sure that you provide them with lots of toys. Cats enjoy batting around a fake mouse or little ball around the room. Some cats even develop a favorite toy. Playing with your cat is not only fun, it helps them to get exercise too.
Although depicted in countless movies and cartoons, milk is not the best source of nutrition for your cat. Once cats have grown, they do not need milk as a regular part of their diet. Milk can cause stomach distress and bloating. Instead of giving your cat milk, always have fresh, clean water available to them instead.
If you absolutely must bathe a cat, set everything up in advance. Set up two tubs large enough to dunk a cat. Fill them with comfortably warm water. Set your open bottle of cat shampoo, a heavy towel, and a secure pet carrier close by. Wear heavy rubber gloves. Grasp your cat by the scruff of the neck. Dunk, shampoo and scrub quickly in one tub. Dunk to rinse in the second tub. Wrap the cat securely in the towel and place in the carrier to dry.
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.
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.