10 Cat Care Tips Every New Cat Parent Must Know
Congratulations! So you’ve brought home an adorable little purrball and can’t wait to get started with your life with a new family member. If you’re a first-time cat parent, here are ten tips on how you can take care of your new feline friend.
Provide Fresh Food and Water Daily
It is recommended that you feed your cat fresh home-made meals every day. You can give them boiled chicken/fish without any bones, with boiled pumpkin. Other than that, you will need to combine home food with a high-quality brand of cat food such as Royal Canin, or Whiskas. An essential nutrient that your cat needs is Taurine, which is a kind of protein. A well-balanced meal will contain Taurine.
Make sure you provide fresh water for your cat, rinse their water bowls and refill them every day. In the summer months, it is recommended that you fill several bowls of water and leave them around the house, making sure your cat is well hydrated.
Grooming Your Cat
Cats by nature are very clean animals and groom themselves several times a day, despite that it is recommended that you groom your cat on a regular basis using a soft brush or comb. Continual grooming helps keep your cats coat clean, which in turn reduces the case of hairballs, and also cuts down on fur shedding.
Provide Enough Litter Boxes
Have enough litter boxes for your cat. If you have one cat, you should ideally have two litter boxes so your cat can rotate. Encourage good litter box habits by keeping the litter boxes clean, and if need be, clean them twice a day. Cleaning the litter boxes everyday will also help you notice any changes in your cat’s urine/stool which could indicate a health condition.
Provide Your Cat With a Scratching Post
A scratching post is important because firstly it will save your furniture/carpets from being scratched and damaged by your cat. Apart from that a scratching post will help keep your cat’s claws in good condition and will also help the cat to stretch its muscles. Using a scratching post regularly will help remove old layers of its claws and keep them healthy.
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Maintain Good Dental Hygiene
Just like humans, cats too are prone to dental problems, tartar developing on their teeth being one of the main ones. If left unchecked this can further lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which in the long term may also result in other serious feline diseases. Your cat may not let you brush its teeth, so your best option is to schedule a cleaning with your vet at least once a year.
Choose a Cat Friendly Vet
Cats are very different to dogs and have different health requirements, which makes it imperative that you find a vet who is an expert in cat health and well-being. Search for vets in your neighbourhood who are known to be good with cats, or you can also reach out to friends who have cats and check which vet they take their cat to.
Use a Cat Carrier When Transporting You Cat in a Car
In case you need to take your cat with you in the car, make sure you place it in a cat carrier which will ensure the safety of your cat. Don’t allow your cat to roam freely in the car while you are driving. This can be a source of distraction and may cause harm to you, or your cat.
Keep an Eye on Your Cats Litter Box Habits
In case you notice your cat has starting urinating outside the litter box, first check to see if the litter box is clean. Cats are very clean animals and will never use an unclean litter box. In case the litter box is clean and your cat continues to urinate outside this could be an indicator of a health condition such as a Urinary Tract Infection, or other medical conditions. Schedule a visit to your vet if this behaviour persists.
Spay/Neuter Your Cat
Spaying/neutering prevents reproductive diseases in cats of both genders. Spaying prevents ovarian cancer, breast tumours, and urinary tract infections in female cats, while neutering may avert prostrate and testicular cancers in males. Sterilising your male cat will also prevent him from the urge to spray urine and mark his territory. One of the most important benefits of doing this is that your cat will not contribute to the already over-populated pet situation, as there are currently more cats than there are homes for them.
Schedule Regular Visits to your Vet
Make sure you schedule annual visits to your vet with your cat. A general health check-up, including bloodwork, may help detect any diseases in the early stages. Ask your vet to weigh your cat since overweight cats tend to develop health complications later in their lives. Also make sure your cat is vaccinated against Rabies, even if yours is an indoors only cat.