How To Care For Your Cat
How To Care For Your Cat
With the advice of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London, VideoJug presents a film on caring for cats. This film covers the basics of caring for your cat, which require a lot of time, money and attention.
Step 1: Housing and Bedding
When bringing a cat or kitten home for the first time, put it in a quiet, escape-proof room for a few days. Your cat will need time to get used to you and the room. Sit still and give it space to approach you. Your cat will need bedding which is warm, dry, comfortable and away from draughts. It will also need a food and water bowl and a litter tray which should be kept away from the cat's food. Introduce your cat to other rooms after a few days, and finally the garden after 3 weeks. If you put a collar on your cat make sure it is a safety collar that will pull off easily if it becomes entangled. Provide your cat with a scratching post to protect your furniture.
Step 2: Handling
Pick your cat up carefully with one hand underneath the chest and the other around the hind legs to support the rear end. It shouldn't be picked up by the scruff of the neck as this can hurt it because of its weight.
Step 3: Diet
Adult cats usually eat 2 meals a day, and can get the right nutrients from pre-prepared cat food. Cats that are kept indoors need less food. Don't give your cat bones as they may stick in its throat. Cats like milk but don't need it in their diet and it can cause diarrhea. They need a constant supply of fresh water every day.
Step 4: Exercise and Play
Cats should be able to go outside for exercise and stimulation, but if you have to keep your pet indoors, play is even more important to keep it's mind and body active. Play with your cat every day. Put some food in a treat ball which your cat can chase until the treats fall out. Toys such as ping pong balls and feathers on sticks are popular for chasing. Never leave it alone with string or toys that it could get entangled with.
Step 5: Cleaning
The cat litter should be changed every day. Use gloves as contact with the faeces can cause serious illness. Clean the tray with detergent rather than disinfectant which can be toxic to cats. Your cat's bedding should be shaken out daily and changed whenever it is dirty.
Step 6: Grooming
Different breeds will need different levels of grooming, for example long haired cats should be groomed everyday. Ask a vet or groomer about how often and what sort of brush you should use. If your cat is not used to being groomed, keep the sessions short and start with areas of the body where it enjoys being stroked, and give food rewards for good behavior.
Step 7: Neutering
Thousands of cats are abandoned or destroyed every year so it is important to get your cat neutered. Male cats can be castrated when they are about 5 months old. This will stop them from spraying indoors and marking their territory, roaming and fighting. Female cats should be spayed between 5 to 6 months of age to prevent unwanted litters.
Step 8: Health
Healthy cats have bright, clear eyes and clean, glossy coats without bald patches. Brown specks in the fur could be a sign of fleas. An overly rounded stomach may be a sign of worms. Your cat should be able to breathe easily and have no fluid around its nose or mouth. The ears should be clean and pricked up. It should walk easily and have no evidence of diarrhea around the tail. Cats need regular check ups at the vet and yearly vaccinations which can be expensive but are vital to your cat's wellbeing. They also need regular treatment for fleas and worms. Microchipping is recommended by vets to help identify your pet if it goes missing.