Cats are cute and cuddly, but they can be challenging to take care of, especially if these cats are indoors all the time. Felines get bored easily and are natural hunters who tend to get curious. This may cause some problems for you, like they may scratch your furniture or decide to scale your curtains to see your living room better. To help your furry friend remain happy and healthy, here are some tips:
Do Plenty Of Research
When you own a cat, it can involve a lifetime of learning. You can find plenty of books that discuss things like diet, exercise, and health for cats. Your nearby library could be a great place to start. They’ll no doubt have books and other resources you can consult to gain more knowledge. You’ll also find lots of helpful articles in specialist magazines.
Additionally, you can view blogs, specialist websites (e.g. PetMD), and YouTube tutorials on cat care. The internet’s a great online resource for your cat’s health, discussing things like diet, behavior, and specific breeds. You can learn about bow-legged cats and ones with small heads, whether they can eat meatballs and how to rescue mice.
Maintain a healthy diet and weight
Like humans, dogs, and other animals, cats may experience health issues if they are overweight. You have to feed them the right diet and provide them with opportunities to exercise to stay healthy. A healthy diet will help improve their coat condition, increase their energy, strengthen their bones and teeth, reduce their risk of disease, and prevent obesity.
To maintain a healthy diet, talk to your vet about the food that’s best for your cat. For many cats, it’s a great idea to make a feeding schedule – usually two meals a day – about 8-12 hours apart. Your vet can instruct you about how much your cat should eat daily based on their size and activity level. Though you may worry about your cat getting hungry, it’s best not to leave a bowl of food sitting out all day to prevent them from overeating.
If your cat begs for food when you sit down to eat, resist the urge to feed them food from your plate. Some human foods, like onions, garlic, nuts, raisins, and chocolate, are not good for cats. Other foods like milk are difficult for many cats to digest.
Avoid feeding them too much dry food
Cats rely on meat as the foundation of their diets, and the main meal of their day must always be meat. Exclusively feeding cats with dry food diets means they consume too much carbs, which can be bad for them in large amounts. Cats may develop obesity and Type 2 diabetes from eating too much dry food.
If you won both cats and dogs, it might be tempting to treat them the same, but dog food is not safe for cats, nor can the cat’s system tolerate carbs in a way a dog’s system will.
Provide fresh water all the time
Proper hydration can help keep your cat happy and comfortable. It also helps prevent common cat issues like kidney disease and urinary tract infections. Unlike dogs, cats can be picky about the water they drink. If you catch your cat sipping from the sink or pawing at her water bowl, she probably prefers fresh, flowing water. You can give it to them by providing a pet fountain.
Groom your cat every day
You may think, “Don’t cats know how to groom themselves?” While cats are known for their cleanliness, they still need help so you can take care of their health and hygiene well. This is about more than just ensuring their coat looks good – it helps them stay healthy and happy.
Start by brushing or combing your cat every day to reduce hairballs and mats and even remove dirt and debris. Since cats spend so much time grooming themselves, they may usually end up swallowing some of their loose hairs. Also, brushing your cat provides a great opportunity to bond together.
To keep your pet looking beautiful and feeling great:
- Brush your cat’s fur with a soft bristle brush or comb at least once weekly.
- Trim the nails when needed (gently use special pet nail clippers).
- Give them baths every 2-4 weeks if necessary, only using shampoo specifically designed for cats.
- Check their ears for any dirt, wax, or debris.
If you can’t do some of these yourself, take them to a groomer or veterinarian for professional grooming services.
Provide a designated space
Cats love having their own space and hiding away, so setting up a special spot is important to preserving their well-being. It doesn’t mean that you have to give them a whole room, but try to make sure your feline friend has a special area in your house that they can call their own, with a bed, food, water, a scratching post, and a litter box.
Give your cat an area with comfortable bedding (like mats and blankets) where they can relax. This area could also include fun cat toys, such as fake mice or balls that roll around the room. Then, avoid loud noises and provide a quiet environment when possible to promote an overall sense of calm.
Make sure the cat always has a place to potty
As far as potty places go, a good rule of thumb is to have a litter box per cat plus an additional one. So if you have four cats, you should set up five boxes. This way, there’s an alternative place to potty when your cat doesn’t feel like using her usual box for some reason.
Think carefully about where you place them. You’ll want to keep it in a secluded area so you can avoid the smell, but if it’s too secluded, your cat may stop using it. Keep a large litter box in a quiet, well-lit part of the home. Make sure it’s convenient – avoid out-of-the-way places like a dark corner or a basement because cats may not be willing to use them there. Remember, cats are in a vulnerable position while performing those functions, so they want to be able to see around them.
Keep their litter box clean
No one likes doing their business in a dirty restroom, and the same goes for cats. If their litter box hasn’t been cleaned for a while, many cats will find another place to go, like the carpet, the couch, or your pillow. With a traditional litter box, try to scoop at least once daily and clean the entire box at least once a week. If you want to avoid scooping poop, you can opt for a self-cleaning litter box to save yourself from doing that stinky chore.
Know the reason why a cat is peeing outside the litter box
If you notice that your cat is suddenly peeing outside the litter box, especially if it’s clean, check with your vet. This can signify medical issues, and you want to rule out illness first. Let your vet check for a urinary tract infection or other sicknesses that cause this new behavior. Once the illness is ruled out, make sure that your litter boxes are catered to your pet’s liking. Try to experiment with different types to find out if there’s a type or brand that your pet prefers.
Train your cat to use a scratch post or pad
Scratching is a healthy and natural behavior for cats, as they use it to mark their territory, stretch their muscles, keep their claws strong, and de-stress. Unfortunately, if your cat is trapped indoors, this behavior can come at a cost to our furniture and décor. Provide your cats with a safe place to scratch.
Most owners do not know that they have to give the scratching post appeal, so the cats won’t claw valuable furniture. Place it at the center of the room to start because if it’s far from the social action of the household, it will be easy for your cats to ignore it. Once you introduce your cat to a scratching post or pad, you can move it gradually to a less-trafficked spot.
When choosing a scratch post or pad, make sure it’s stable and tall enough that your cat can fully stretch out when using it. Many pet stores offer a variety of different types, from simple cardboard varieties all the way up to tall, carpeted posts.
Get a cat-friendly vet
Many veterinary practices are dominated by a canine clientele, and it can be scary for cats who have to spend a lot of time in the vet’s waiting room with dogs all around. It’s best to look for a vet with a separate waiting room for dogs and cats or those who exclusively cater to feline patients.
Also, cats have different veterinary requirements than dogs, so a vet specializing in feline care, health, and behavior can help you take care of your cat and keep them healthy and happy. If your favorite vet doesn’t have two waiting rooms, at least ask to be called in quickly.
Make Regular Visits To The Vet
On these occasions, the vet will check for parasites and perform a physical examination. They’ll also discuss any medical issues or concerns you have about your cat’s health. Your vet will recommend vaccinations or other treatments that may be needed.
Regular vet examinations can help detect illnesses early so that they can be treated quickly before becoming more serious. This is especially important because cats are very adept at hiding signs of illness until they reach a critical point. This is why many veterinarians recommend annual wellness exams for cats, in order to ensure their continued health.
Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
This refers to the process of surgically removing a cat’s reproductive organs. Spaying is the removal of a female cat’s uterus and ovaries, while neutering is the removal of a male cat’s testicles. Both procedures have health and behavioral benefits for cats. They help reduce their risk of developing certain illnesses such as uterine infections, mammary cancer, prostate cancer, and other life-threatening cancers.
Additionally, spayed/neutered cats are less likely to wander away from home or fight with other animals. The process will help prevent unwanted litter. It’ll also decrease their urge to spray urine around the house in order to mark territory. If you have multiple cats, it’s important to spay or neuter them all. This will help reduce aggressive behavior among cats in the same household.
Protect them from fleas and worms
Fleas can cause skin irritation for cats and create pest infestations in your home. This can result in nasty bites for your household and visitors. You’d also need to spend money on removing the pests from your home. Worms can interfere with your cat’s digestion. To protect your pet from these parasites, you should use flea control products such as topical treatments or collars. Additionally, make sure to keep up with regular deworming treatments prescribed by a vet.
Keep them entertained
Cats need to be entertained just like dogs do. Our misunderstanding of cats as “low-maintenance” pets has led them to become stressed and bored, resulting in feline obesity and stress-related diseases. Cats need to play to satisfy their hunting instincts and keep them active. This means giving them a variety of toys and one-on-one time to help ward off a chubby cat.
Spend time with them
Regarding cat care, it’s really the connection between the owner and pets that helps keep them happy. Giving your pet some love and attention is great for keeping them happy and content. Your pet will show you their love by purring, head bumping, or kneading you with his or her paws. Enjoy those moments.
No matter how aloof a cat may seem, they rely on you for a relationship, companionship, and security – not just food and shelter. Spend time with them and watch your bond grow.
Like most pets, cats need love, care, and protection. Ensure their well-being is cared for by keeping them happy and healthy.