How To Be A Good Cat Owner | New Cat Owner Checklist
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How To Be A Good Cat Owner
Learning How To Be A Good Cat Owner is a great responsibility. Not only do you have to care for your cats hygiene and food, but you also need to make sure they are stimulated, happy and as active as possible.
Before we go into How To Be A Good Cat Owner let's first highlight the most popular cat breeds.
Breed Profile: Siamese Cat
Though there are many different breeds of cats, they are really unimportant to a great number of cat owners. Most of the time, owners look for personality and appearance over a specific breed. However, one breed of cat, the Siamese, has remained a very popular and much sought after breed of cat for many feline lovers.
The Siamese Cat is known as being a very regal cat throughout history. Even today, it maintains an elegant and sleek form, and remains the most popular of all pedigreed cats. The Siamese Cat comes in a variety of different colors. Most of the time, the body is one color while the outer “points” are another color. Because of this variation, the colors of a Siamese Cat are commonly referred to as Red Point, Blue Point, and so on. The Siamese Cat is most commonly a light color, often just a few shades darker than white, with darker points.
Siamese Cats have a very distinct head, with unique features. Traditionally, the head was very angular, and triangle in shape. The breed maintains that head shape even today. Additionally, the ears are very large, and also pointed like a triangle. In the past, Siamese Cats were known for their crossed eyes. Luckily, selective breeding has essentially prevented that trait from affecting today’s Siamese Cats. Nevertheless, the Siamese Cat still has very distinct eyes, always in a bright shade of blue.
Today, the Siamese Cat is loved as being one of the more social breeds of cats. While many cats are quite content to spend a great deal of their time in solitude, the Siamese Cat typically appreciates spending time with its family, as well as other people. The Siamese Cat also has a very distinct meow, and they are more vocal than many cats. The meow of a Siamese Cat becomes very intense if it is distressed, or desires attention. Additionally, the Siamese Cat often lives for over twenty years, truly becoming a valued member of any family.
Breed Profile: Persian Cat
The Persian cat is thought to be the oldest breed of cat in the world. You might sometimes hear it referred to as the longhair cat, due to its appearance and popularity. As the name suggests, the Persian cat originated in the country of Persia. However many people thought it to great of a cat to be contained in one country. Today the Persian cat is known for being the mascot figure of a popular brand of cat food, and is one of the most commonly sought after pet cats in the world.
Some people also believe that these cats originated from Turkey, as well as England. The Persian Cat held a very special spot within the hearts of England’s royal families as well as to the king of Persia. Persian Cats were considered to be a valued possession.
Persian cats are known for their beautiful coats. The coats are very long, and come in any cat color. Because of the long coat, owners must ensure that they stay on top of their Persian cat’s grooming. Otherwise, the Persian cat’s coat will become matted and tangled. Owners may also wish to bathe their Persian cat more often than the average short haired cat.
The Persian cat has a shorter, almost stubby body and a very round head. Additionally it is known for its flat face and muzzle. Most Persian cats live to be at least ten years old, but many end up living much, much longer. A healthy Persian cat may live to be twenty years old, so they are definitely a commitment.
Along with their physical beauty, the Persian cat is known for its inner beauty. You will often find that owners praise the cat for its easy going nature. The British are especially known for their love of the Persian cat. They are social and laid back, perfect for lounging around their home with their owners. With all of their gorgeous qualities, it makes sense that they are one of the most admired cats in the world. Persian cats have set the standard for long haired cats everywhere.
Persian Cat Care
Persian cats require the same kind of care that you would give to any other species of domesticated cat. Such as providing your cat with the best kind of food and making sure that fresh water is always available to them. Remember to not let your cat’s food spoil because if they eat this they can become quite ill.
Always keep your cat’s litter box clean and well maintained. Persian cats require a special type of litter due to their long hair.
Persian cats also have a very short face and are prone to breathing problems. So be sure to have your Persian cat checked regularly by your vet. Also take your Persian in to see the vet as soon as you notice something out of the ordinary with your cat. Only you will be able to spot when something’s not right.
Also make sure that you keep up to date with your Persian cat’s vaccinations and dental cleanings as well. You should try to spend as much quality time with your cat as possible.
Caring for a Persian Cat is a unique and rewarding experience. And as soon as you get the hang of it you and your Persian will be able to become used to the care routine.
Breed Profile: Snowshoe
The Snowshoe cat is a medium sized cat with a distinct coat pattern. It is the coat pattern that gives this cat its name. Along with its breed specific coat, the Snowshoe cat has a great personailty that has won it many fans within the cat world. Nevertheless, the Snowshoe cat is one of the more rare cats around today.
As mentioned above, the Snowshoe cat gets his name from a pattern on his coat. By looking at the name of this breed of cat, it would make sense that the pattern occurs on the feet, which is exactly the case. The Snowshoe cat has four white paws, exactly symmetrical in size and shape, as though he has just walked through snow.
Despite the uniform paws, the Snowshoe cat can actually come in a variety of different colors. He has short hair, which eliminates the need for frequent grooming. Excluding the paw pattern, the Snowshoe cats are varied in terms of coat pattern as well. They are also known for their blue eyes.
The Snowshoe cat tends to be quite vocal. Nevertheless, most owners agree that they have a quiet and even pleasant meow. The Snowshoe cat is known for being very loyal to his owner. Due to his loyalty and love of people, he needs more attention than many other breeds of cat. However his social personality makes him quite the lovable and fun cat.
Despite all of his great attributes, the Snowshoe cat is not one of the most common cats. He traces his ancestry back to the Siamese. However due to difficulty in achieving the coat pattern through breeding, the Snowshoe cat is rather rare compared to most pet cats.
The lucky cat owners who do have a Snowshoe cat to call their own are usually quite pleased with their cat. The low maintenance coat, physical uniqueness, and great personality make the Snowshoe cat a fantastic pet to own and love.
Breed Profile: Russian Blue Cat
The Russian Blue cat is arguably one of the most beautiful and coveted cats in the world. One of its biggest selling points is its impeccable appearance. Few cats rival the Russian Blue in beauty. However, it is not all beauty and no brains. The Russian Blue is loved equally for its pleasant personality, making it a much adored pet world wide.
As the name implies, the Russian Blue cat originated in the country of Russia. In fact, the Russian Blue is sometimes referred to as the Archangel Cat, in a nod to its presumed origin in the Archangel Isles. It is thought to have moved out of Russia and into other European countries like England by boat in the 19th century. Upon moving around the continent of Europe, the Russian Blue cat began to travel with their owners to other corners of the world as well.
In appearance Russian Blue cat is lean and finely proportioned. However despite its slender physique, the Russian Blue cat is actually quite strong and muscular. A gorgeous coat covers its body. The Russian Blue cat has a double coat that is short and quite soft to the touch. The coat is primarily a rich and dusky blue, however it is silver at the tips, giving the Russian Blue cat a very regal appearance. In addition to the striking coat, the cat has intensely large, green eyes that add further mystique to its appearance.
In personality, the Russian Blue is thought to be very pleasant and friendly. They are shy in the beginning but warm up to their owners and become loving companions. Additionally, they are known for being very intelligent, and easily get along with kids and pets.
The Russian Blue cat’s personality should not be taken for granted however. It does not take kindly to loud environments or a lack of stability. But in a kind and loving household, the Russian Blue cat makes a great pet.
Breed Profile: Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is the oldest North American-based cat. Because of its heritage and distinct characteristics, it is also one of the most popular cats in the world. In fact, it has garnered so much respect in the New England area that it was named the state cat of Maine. Find out what makes the Maine Coon so special worldwide, not just in America.
The Maine Coon is known for being a very large cat. The cats typically weigh anywhere from 13 to 18 pounds, with the females significantly smaller than the males. Despite the females smaller size, she is often the most demanding of respect, and male Maine Coons tend to be the more playful gender. Both the male and female Maine Coon cats have a very muscular frame, and are large not only in weight but also overall structure.
Due to their New England origin, the Maine Coon has developed a great number of characteristics ideal for braving cold conditions. For example, they have very large paws, perfect for traversing through snowy conditions. Maine Coons also have long coats that keep them warm and dry in wet conditions. Despite the long coats, the Maine Coon requires little coat maintenance, but do best with weekly brushing . Their tails are particularly bushy, and serve as an extra means of warmth in the winter months. Though the most common coat is tabby, either all brown or brown and white, the Maine Coon can be found in almost any color.
The Maine Coon cat is very adaptable, which makes it an excellent pet cat. They are known for being intelligent, and thus easy to train. The Maine Coons are also of a pretty relaxed disposition, lending them well to households with children and even other pets. Additionally, you can expect the Maine Coon to remain playful throughout most of its life. Though they are not clingy, they are friendly and generally appreciative of attention from their owners.
Breed Profile: American Bobtail
Though relatively new on the purebred cat scene, the American Bobtail is quickly growing in popularity. Its distinct physical characteristics combined with its affectionate personality make the American Bobtail a favorite among many cat lovers.
The breed of the American Bobtail began in the 1960’s in America, making it a relatively new breed of feline. In the 1980’s the American Bobtail was finally recognized as a breed worldwide, not just exclusively in the United States. Though many people may believe that it is related to the Japanese Bobtail, in truth there is no relation between the two breeds of cat.
The American Bobtail resembles a tabby in color. Its coat is usually slightly spotted or marbled. The American Bobtail also has a non-matting coat, which makes it a great, low-maintenance house pet. The defining characteristic of the American Bobtail is its short tail. This breed of cat has its trademark tail due to genetics, not through owners docking the tail. In the American Bobtail’s genes, mutant genes cause the tail to remain short instead of growing to the typical cat tail length. The American Bobtail’s tail is typically one to four inches in length. The body of the American Bobtail is of a medium sized frame.
The American Bobtail is known for being a sensitive cat, very attuned to people and other animals. This sensitivity lends it well to animal therapy programs, as the American Bobtail naturally seeks out people in need. It also does extremely well in family homes and around children. The American Bobtail should even fit into households with other pets, provided that the other pets are friendly and accepting. The American Bobtail is becoming more and more favored due to its friendly and easy-going nature.
Breed Profile: Scottish Fold Cat
This unusual breed of cat originated in Scotland in the 1960’s. The first known Scottish Fold cat was named Susie. She was a white barn cat whose ears were not upright like a normal cat. Instead they were tucked down and forward on her head. Susie also had big wide eyes and soft plush fur, and so become the first cat to be bred to create the Scottish Fold breed.
When these cats are bred properly, they should have a rounded head with tightly folded ears, large wide eyes and a constant look of either surprise or terror. They are usually seen as quite stocky and with a definite muscular pattern showing in their front legs and chest area. However, it is interesting to note the larger the cat’s jowls are, the tighter their ears are, as well as the wider their eyes are. This all amounts to a beautiful cat that proves to be a champion in the show ring.
However, Scottish Fold cats that are born with straight ears instead of folded ears are not allowed to be shown. These cats usually have a coat that is not as dense as a regular Scottish Fold; their legs are also a bit longer, and they have very large, straight ears. But, they do have the same wonderful disposition as a regular Scottish Fold cat does and they make excellent pets.
The Scottish Fold is not a vocal cat, unless they are a female cat in heat! The temperament of a Scottish Fold cat is extremely mellow and laid back. They also love to be held and cuddled close to their owner’s chest. This is not a bad thing, considering that their coat is so soft, almost like a rabbit’s fur in both density and silkiness, that every Scottish Fold owner will want to constantly cuddle with their cat..
Most Scottish Fold cats that have been properly bred have an average lifespan of approximately 15 years. However, they can live much longer than that as long as they are given good health care.
No matter what cat breed you decide on, make sure to have some fun toys when they arrive in their new home!
How To Be A Good Cat Owner - How to Take Care of a Kitten
Learning how to be a good cat owner means understanding the wants and needs of your cat. If you are a new kitten owner or are considering adopting it is important to understand how to take of a kitty. Proper care at this young age is crucial for a kitten's future development and health as they grow and transition into a happy adult.
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Getting Your Kitten Vaccinated
More than likely, if you have bought a pedigreed kitten from a reputable breeder, it will already have all of its vaccinations before you take your kitten home with you. If this is the case, be sure that you get any and all paperwork proving that the vaccinations have been given to your new kitten and that they are all up-to-date. However, if the kitten you are buying is not a pedigree, then you will need to consider the issues surrounding each vaccination yourself.
Vaccinating your kitten is very important, especially if you are thinking about allowing your kitten to be an outside cat, because the vaccinations help to build up their immune systems. Generally, kittens start to receive their first vaccinations between 6 to 8 weeks of age, so it’s possible that if you take kitty home at 8 weeks, he’s already had his first shot.
Usually the vaccinations are given 2 to 3 weeks apart, and there are usually 3 vaccinations in total. However, rabies inoculations are usually not included in the initial kitten shots, so if your kitten will be going outside, then this is an additional vaccination that you should discuss with your veterinarian once your kitten is at least 4 months old.
Vaccinations are an important part of figuring out how to be a good cat owner. The vaccinations that kittens usually receive when they are quite young, will help to cover them against the following diseases:
- Rhinotracheitis – This disease has symptoms such as sneezing, fever, ocular discharge, and coughing.
- Calicivirus – This disease affects the respiratory system with symptoms such as pneumonia, diarrhea and arthritis.
- Feline Distemper – This disease has symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) – This disease attacks a kittens immune system and is responsible for many feline deaths as it leads to fatal infections.
- Feline AIDS – This disease also attacks the immune system, leaving it open to fatal infections.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) – This disease is incurable and attacks a cat’s abdominal area.
- Chlamydia – This common and highly contagious disease affects the eyes and respiratory area of kittens and cats.
Most of these vaccines will need to be given to your cat on a yearly basis, this helps to ensure that your cat remains immune against the aforementioned diseases.
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Taking Your Kitten to a Veterinarian
As soon after bringing your new kitten home, you should make an appointment to have your new kitten visit with your veterinarian. Sometimes it is even a good idea to take your kitten straight to the vet’s office immediately after you have picked him or her up.
During this visit, your vet will be able to assess your new kitten and will also be able to determine whether or not your new kitten has any medical conditions that you should be aware of. Your vet will also be able to advise you on the kind of kitten food and how much he or she should be eating. Your vet will most probably also give your kitten any shots that he or she is due to have, as well checking for fleas, tick and treating your kitten for any worms.
During this first vet visit, it is a great opportunity for you to see how your vet handles your new kitten, as well as to ask any questions that you might have about your kitten’s health in general. This is important if you truly want to learn how to be a good cat owner. You should even ask your vet if they can recommend any good kitten and cat care books for you to read so that you can become the best kitten owner possible. You should ask your vet such questions as:
- At what age will it be safe for my kitten to go outside?
- How do I litter training my kitten?
- How do I stop my kitten from scratching my furniture?
- Does my kitten need any vitamins added to her food?
Before leaving the veterinarians office, be sure to find out when you should bring your kitten back for a checkup. Usually, your veterinarian will want to see your kitten every other month or so, or they may recommend a series of weekly inoculations in order to boost your kitten’s immune system. However, as soon as your kitten is old enough, your veterinarian will probably advise you to bring your cat into the vet’s office at least once a year for an annual shot and general health check-up.
Giving Your Kitten an at-Home Weekly Health Checkup
In order to make that your kitten remains in good health; you should perform a weekly health check up at home, between visit visits.
You should start be setting aside 5 to 10 minutes per week and use these few minutes to examine the various parts of your kitten that may highlight the start of any health issue:
- Call your kitten over to you and as she walks over, be observant of how she moves. Is her weight being evenly distributed on all four legs or is she trying to avoid putting weight on any of them?
- Pick up your kitten and look directly into her eyes. They should be clear and not clouded and there should also be no discharge around the eyes. If there is, you should consult with your veterinarian.
- Check your kitten’s nose. It should be moist without any discharge.
- Your kitten’s ears should be clean and without any discharge.
- Look inside your kitten’s mouth to see if she hasn’t lost any teeth since the week before and that her teeth are white without looking as if she’s got any problems there.
- Rub your hands down your kitten’s tummy and back. Feel if there are any lumps or bumps. If there are, then you should call your vet.
- Finally, take a good look at your kitten’s fur. It should be sleek, shiny and healthy looking with no bald patches of fur as this could be a grooming or nutritional issue. Your kitten’s fur falling out could also be a result of an allergy or flea infestation. Regular brushing should help your kitten’s fur it is greasy or dull. If it doesn’t improve after a couple of weeks, then it will time to call your vet.
This weekly checkup will only take a few minutes and your kitten will quickly become used to it and will let you do whatever you need to do. Because you are able to do this weekly checkup, you’ll soon know when something is not right and when to call the vet.
Training Your Kitten to Use a Litter Box
You should always train your kitten to use a litter box. This is a main part of figuring out how to be a good cat owner. Even if you are planning to allow your kitten to be an outside cat and come and go whenever it pleases, you will need to be sure that if ever there was a time when your kitten is not able to go outside for whatever reason, then your cat is already litter boxed trained and will be able to use the litter box whenever necessary. Your kitten may not seem too happy about having to use the litter tray but they will get used to it.
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There might come a time when you have to be out of town for a few days and you do not want your kitten to come in and out as she pleases, nor do you want to leave the cat door unlocked for security reasons, and so your kitten will have to be content with staying inside. Or perhaps it is the middle of winter and the temperature is freezing outside – too cold for your kitten to be outside at all.
You will then need to keep your kitten inside to avoid the cold and she will have to then use the litter box. Or, your kitten might have to undergo a medical treatment that will require him to be kept indoors for a while. If you have trained your kitten to use a little box, then the cat that she grows into won’t have a problem if she finds herself locked inside with no means of getting outside to go potty.
When you first bring your kitten home, have a litter box ready for her to use. You won’t be letting her outside for those first days when she is so small anyway, so use this time to train her to use the litter box. Start by using a shallow tray that she can easily jump into and put a layer of kitty litter on top. As your kitten grows, always have a clean litter tray available, even if she doesn’t always use it, she will learn where it is and when the day comes that she finds herself locked inside, she will know where the litter box as well as how to use it.
Kittens and Milk
Most people believe that all cats and kittens enjoy drinking milk; usually these are the people who have never owned a cat or a kitten. However, the truth of the matter is that some cats and kittens like milk whilst others cannot tolerate milk at all. There is a large percentage of the cat and kitten population that are lactose intolerant.
If, after you have offered a bowl of milk to your kitten, find that your kitten does not like milk, or perhaps your veterinarian has advised you that your kitten is lactose intolerant, then you will need to ensure that your kitten has plenty of fresh water available to drink. If your kitten is quite young, then you should ask your veterinarian to suggest some alternatives to make sure that your kitten gets the right amount of calcium to ensure that his bones and his teeth grow healthily.
Older cats do not need as much calcium as kittens do, however, if you already know that your cat does not like milk or is lactose intolerant, it would then be best if you chose a cat food brand that has calcium among the added vitamins and minerals that it lists on its packaging.
Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to determine what the appropriate amount of calcium is for your kitten’s age and size. This is what someone who knows how to be a good cat owner will do.
This should also be discussed with your veterinarian whenever you take your cat in for his or her annual checkups and vaccinations. If your cat is pregnant, nursing a litter, or if your veterinarian has determined that your kitten should now be considered a senior cat, you should discuss with your veterinarian as to whether you might need to give a calcium supplement to your cat.
Although all kittens do need calcium, they will need different amounts throughout their various life stages. Most kittens do not need to drink milk to remain healthy. Never force your kitten to drink milk if he or she has an aversion to it. Remember, that it could be quite possible that your kitten is lactose intolerant and forcing it to drink milk could make your kitten very sick. Always discuss this possibility with your veterinarian.
Grooming Your Kitten
Just as most cats are, by nature, clean animals and do not like being dirty, the same is true about kittens. Even the youngest kitten out of a litter can be seen trying to wash itself. However, there will be times during your kitten’s life when he or she will be unable to groom itself, or it could be that the kind of cat you choose has high maintenance fur and will then need extra help to keep its fur in good condition.
Keep in mind though that some cats do not like being groomed and so it is therefore best to start grooming and bathing your cat when he or she is still a kitten. If you and your kitten get into a the habit of combing and brushing your kitten a few times a week, then if the day comes when he’s just in too much mess, or too sick to manage himself, then he will not mind your intervention to get him clean.
Whilst your kitten is still quite young, you should try to get him or her used to having a bath. First start by introducing the concept of water and bathing to your kitten by using a damp face cloth and wiping your kittens paws and face with it.
Eventually, your kitten will become more and more used to the water and may even tell you when they want to have a bath! There are some breeds of cats, such as the Turkish Van, that loves the water and will happily jump into the bathtub with you! Kittens and cats should be bathed at least once a month.
Brushing your kitten should be done on a daily basis if possible. The perfect time for this is at night when you are watching the TV and your kitten crawls up onto your lap. Make sure to have a brush handy and gently brush your kitten in the direction that his or her fur grows. Your kitten will quickly get used to how this feels. If your kitten has long fur then try to set aside half an hour at least twice a week to thoroughly comb through his or her coat, as this helps to ensure that tangles do not build up and that your kittens’ coat remains healthy state.
Remember that the time you invest in grooming your kitten now will pay off once your kitten becomes a cat that needs help with cleaning his or her fur. A cat that is used to being groomed is far easier to maintain than one who turns every grooming session into a battle of wills! Remember, once you figure out how to be a good cat owner the rest will take care of itself!
Letting Your Kitten Wear an ID Tag
Before getting an ID tag for your new kitten, you should first consider where and how your kitten will wear it. If your kitten is younger than 8 weeks old, then he or she will probably be too young to wear a collar and therefore and ID tag would be useless. The reason to have an ID tag is to help to identify your cat in case it goes outside and does not come back, and since your new kitten shouldn’t be going outside just yet, it doesn’t need an ID tag.
If your kitten is older than 8 weeks though, he or she is big enough to wear a collar and you can then place an ID tag onto their collar. There are many different types of ID tags that are available, and they range from being classy and fun to quotes and engravings. Whatever type of ID tag you choose, you should make sure that it is able to hold all of the necessary identification information.
Do keep in mind though that if the tag is engraved, then your information is there permanently, but an ID tag that you have to write the information on to it needs three things: a permanent marker or pen so that the information doesn’t wear off or fade; your information should be easy to read; and it must have some form of waterproof covering so that snow and rain can not fade the information away.
Another thing you could consider is having your vet implant an ID chip into your kitten. He could do this when undertaking a routine examination or perhaps taking out stitches after your kitten has been neutered. ID chipping means that there’s no possibility of your cat losing its collar and becoming ID-less, all anyone needs to do is take the kitten to the nearest authorities and they’ll be able to scan him and have you traced in the least possible time.
There are those who love the ID chip implant idea, and those who hate it, and there’s no right and wrong decision, it’s very much up to you. The only thing to remember is that cats, especially kittens, sometimes need a little help getting back home, and so once your kitten is mobile enough to be outdoors, he really should have an ID tag that speaks for him.
How to Choose the Best Cat Food
Giving your cat the right food is one of the most important responsibilities as their owner. This is where you can really figure out how to be a good cat owner. It can mean the difference between hundreds of dollars in vet bills versus never going to the vet at all. Remember, cats work the same way as we do, the healthier they are the happier they are.
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After reading this article you will be an expert in reading cat food labels, making it easy to choose the right food for your cat. First, it is important to understand some of the basics of cat food selection.
However if you don't have time to take in all this information feel free to check out our list of the Best Dry Cat Foods that meet all nutritional requirements for a cat's diet.
Basic Nutrition In Cat Food:
- Meat/Poultry- This should be the main ingredient in your cat’s food(great source of protein)
- Taurine- An amino acid essential for basic muscle function, vision, and digestion
- Other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that aid in health
Surprisingly, carbohydrates are not necessary for a cats diet. Carbs are mainly present in fillers found in cheaper cat foods. (Corn, Soy, Rice, etc.)
It is best to choose a cat food, whether it be dry or canned, that is high in protein and has little to no carbs. Most well-known brands such as Blue Buffalo make sure these requirements are met in every type of their food. Buying from them is always a easy option.
Why Cheaper Food Doesn’t Save Money
When you first get your cat you may think you are saving money by buying the cheapest food available. This is actually very counterproductive as you wouldn’t feed yourself the cheapest food available for every meal. Health is a concern for yourself and it should be one for your cat too.
Understanding your cat's dietary needs is fundamental to learning how to be a good cat owner.
Cats have certain nutritional needs that must be met, so although your bag of cat food may cost half the price your cat will likely be eating much more food per meal. This is because cat foods packed with carbs and fillers do not satisfy your cat as much as protein-rich formulas.
Consuming cheap food over a long period of time leads to health issues that require medical attention. And no one wants to be forced into spending hundreds of dollars to save their pet.
If you stick to the quality brands of cat food you will get your money’s worth.
Dry vs Canned Food:
If you are wondering if kibble or canned food is better for your cat there is no straight answer. The best choice would be using a mix of the two. Here are some of the main reasons why you should feed your cat both dry and canned food.
- Dry food is cheap and convenient
- Canned food is usually more nutritious
- Cats can snack on dry food throughout the day
- Canned food contains the same water saturation as a wild cats diet(Only dry food can lead to dehydration)
- Using both can provide the right amount of nutrients that one may have been lacking
- Brings variety into your cat’s diet
Cats should still stick to a consistent meal plan. For the best results, we recommend using canned for lunch and dinner along with dry food left out all day. Make sure that both are quality, protein-based formulas.
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How to Interpret Cat Food Labels
Whether you are shopping at PetSmart or reading descriptions on Amazon, it is important to be able to distinguish the foods that will either accommodate or fail your cat’s nutritional needs. Listed below are some of the most important things to look for and to avoid when choosing a quality food formula. You now have everything you need to know in order to choose the right cat food.
Things To Look For
- Protein source as the first ingredient(chicken, lamb, salmon, etc. Should not just say “meat”)
- Vitamins C and E
- Is the brand well known for its quality
- AAFCO Complete and balanced label
Things To Avoid
- Chemicals that you cannot pronounce such as ethoyquin, BHA, or BHT.
- Any type of carbohydrate filler, especially cornmeal
- Food Dyes
Why is my Cat Peeing Everywhere?
Inappropriate feline urination can be a frustrating problem for cat owners. Instead of using their litter box, your cat does goes just about everywhere else: outside the litter box, the carpet, the backyard.
After the annoyance of trying to clean and get rid of urine smells one might wonder what can be done to prevent this from happening.You should try and figure out theroot cause for it and then try to change the behaviour. This is a smart advice for someone who is learning how to be a good cat owner.
Here are the most common causes of cat urinary problems.
Health problems may cause your cat to urinate outside the litter box. Diabetes, kidney disease, or a urinary tract infection could be the culprit. Bladder stones, bacterial infections, or other inflammatory diseases could cause pain and increased urgency to urinate.
Be sure to contact your veterinarian if your cat has other symptoms of these health issues. Simple blood and urine tests can help exclude these issues.
Something that could cause a cat to associate a litter box with pain could lead them to go elsewhere. As cats age their mobility and sensory function begin to decline. Nerve, muscle and joint pain could lead to discomfort preventing your cat from getting to the litter box very easily.
For example if your cat has trouble moving around the house and their litter box is up a flight of stairs, they may just choose to go behind the couch. A litter box with sides that are too high may also cause a cat with arthritis pain.
Frustration, stress, or anxiety could cause a change in urination habits. This could be due to a change in routine such as a leaving family member or movement of homes. It could also be in retaliation to a smaller issue such as dislike towards the flavor of their food or if you were too harsh about your cat scratching your furniture.
Marking- When invoked, cats(especially male) sometime mark spots in the house with urine in order to establish their territory. While this is a normal behavior it might occur due to the presence of another feline or pet.
Marking allows a cat to be surrounded by its own comforting odor. Usually, cats will back into a corner or vertical surface, raise their tail, and urinate backwards.
If another cat has placed its own odor onto items or areas that conflict with a different cat, cleaning where the touched and ventured may help ease your cat.
Stress/Anxiety- Similar to marking, a stressed cat may pee elsewhere in order to relieve their anxiety from a safe odor smell. The more stressed a cat is the more it will urinate outside the litter box.
A multi cat owner should especially be aware of their cats relationships with each other. Certain cats(usually female) who dominate over the other may prevent a cat from getting to the box. A scary dog could also make a feline afraid to leave the room. If this is the case be sure to have multiple litter boxes throughout the house.
If your cat is extra shy, be sure to give them a room to themselves to urinate in private. Also, try to avoid covered litter boxes as your cat may feel uneasy that they can't see if a threat is approaching.
Unclean litter box- Be sure to scoop your litter box at least once a day or even more often if you have multiple cats. Also change out the entire litter each month and be sure there is no stuck feces on the walls. Remember that a cats sense of smell is much more acute than us human's.
Certain cat litters can emit an odor that is too strong. If your cat is sensitive to smells be sure to buy an unscented, dust-free litter. Cheaper litters can also cause irritating allergic reactions each time your cat visits.
Even certain litter types may be unfit for your cat. Some litters made from wood pellets or recycled newspapers may feel unpleasing on the foot.
If you can, use the same litter your cat had as a kitty. If this is not possible you should experiment with different litters to find the most preferred. We recommend clumping cat litter.
How to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff|
Dandruff, the condition of dry, flaky skin, may be something you come across as a cat owner. Not only is cat dandruff unpleasing to the eye, but contain proteins that can be extremely irritating to those with allergies. Healthy cats should be dandruff free, with a smooth, full coat.Remember, if you really want to know how to be a good cat owner, you need to take care of what goes in your cat and the condition of their fur / skin.
Why Do Cats Get Dandruff?
Dandruff in cats is usually caused by one of the following: diet, hydration, stress, external parasites, or health issues.
Diet- Most of the time, dandruff is usually the result of a poor diet. Make sure the formula you give to your cat has enough omega 3 fatty acid. Fats are essential for maintaining a shiny coat and healthy skin. You can find some of the best dry foods that contain omega 3 here.
Hydration- Dehydration can result in dry skin. Be sure your cat is drinking an adequate amount of water each day(4 ounces per 5 pounds of body weight). Sometimes cats don't feel inclined to drink water throughout the day as their bowl is unattractive. If you think this applies to your cat, try encouraging them to drink more with treats, toys, or a water fountain.
Stress- Stress due to a cats environment can also effect their skin health. Changes in routine, introduction of pets, or other factors can weaken your cats immune system.
External parasites- Another common cause of dandruff or skin irritation are parasites such as fleas, mites, and worms. Bites from fleas can lead to excessive itching of the skin, irritating it the more they scratch. Check your cats fur for fleas the same way you would for a human. The most common areas of fleas on cats are near the tail and neck.
Health issues- If you have cleared though everything above and your cat still has dandruff, it could be a health issue. Dandruff can be one of the symptoms of feline diabetes. If your cat has dandruff along with other symptoms of feline diabetes you should contact your veterinarian.
Although diet is usually the main factor when it comes to cat dandruff, there are some other methods that help prevent and rid your cat of the condition.
How to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff
Get the right brush and use it regularly. Not only does frequent brushing keep a cats coat smooth and shiny, but it is also a great bonding experience most cats love.
Research suggests brushing long haired cats 1-2 times each day, and brushing shorter haired cats 1-3 times per week. It is important to buy the right type of brush for your cat depending on their type of coat and tolerance of brushing.
Consider that overweight cats have a harder time grooming themselves. Their awkward size may keep them from reaching their lower back. Pay extra attention to this area for overweight cats; it might also help to look into a weight loss plan.
Bathing along with moisturizing cat shampoos and conditioners can help with dandruff issues. You shouldn't bathe your cat more than once every 2 weeks(we recommend once a month) as this will cause a change in the Ph of the skin and dry it out.
Specially formulated cat dandruff shampoos are available for this specific problem, human dandruff shampoo won't help. Add this shampoo to your cats baths if their dandruff stays persistent.
Another unique way to help eliminate dandruff is giving your cat fish oil supplements. These usually come in tablet, powder, or liquid form. They contain the essential fatty acids(omega 3) necessary in a cats diet for skin health. They also support immune system health, joint health, heart health, and brain development.
How To Clean a Cat’s Ears
Every cat wants to be independent. They can control how much they eat, can open doors, and even groom themselves on a regular basis.
However, even the most attentive feline occasionally needs their pet parent to give them a safe, thorough cleaning of their ears. While vets are trained to do a great at job at this, cat ear cleaning is something you can easily do if yourself when properly shown how.
This is a more advanced tip for people who want to know how to be a good cat owner and is very important.
Why Should You Clean your Cat's Ears
Cats are constantly licking their fur, paws, and pretty much anywhere they can easily reach. But what about their ears?
Luckily, cat ears come with a built in mechanism that pushes unwanted particles out of the ear. However, this mechanism doesn't work all the time; sometimes your cat will need help with this cleaning.
Being an independent entity, cats love to explore anything that sparks their curiosity. This can cause them to venture into places such as the backyard where large, tough particles can get into their ear canals.
Certain particles are far too stubborn to be removed by your cats built in removal system. This is when it is a good time to clean your cats ears.
The anatomy of most cats ears makes them fairly easy to clean. The are short, and give a nice view of inside regions. Some breeds of cats have an excess amount of hair in the ear canals which can making cleaning difficult. If this is the case, leave the ear cleaning up to a local groomer or veterinarian.
Preparing Your Cat to be Cleaned
It may not be a surprise to you that certain cats don't like having their ears cleaned. The majority of cats become very anxious as you get close to their ears with a "foreign" object. Cats who have never experienced the feeling of their ears being cleaned may become squirmy, and begin to dig their claws into the nearest surface. This is why precautions should be made to make your cat feel as calm and comfortable as possible.
Before cleaning your cats ears, have all necessary materials ready and in reach. You want to process to take as little time as possible.
Designate an enclosed, secure area where you will clean your cat's ears. This will help prevent your cat from running away and hiding. If you have any other pets, keep them in a separate room; the more peaceful the environment the more calm your cat will be.
If your cat is extremely resistant to the process, you may want to have another person hold them while giving them pets and comfort. Wrapping your cat in a blanket can also help constrain and comfort them.
You are now ready to clean your cat's ears.
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3 Steps to Cleaning a Cats Ears
Cleaning a cats ears can be difficult the first time. Learning a how to be a good cat owner can sometimes take a bit of time. Luckily, it is a very simple 3 step process. As long as you adhere to this process your cat will clean and happy in no time.
- Gently pull back the top of your cat's ear(the pinna), opening up access to the ear canal. Slowly pour a veterinarian approved cat ear cleaning solution into the canal. There are tons of different options for ear cleaners on the market. Make sure the one you choose is specifically made for cats.
- Gently massage the junction between the cats ear and head for 10 seconds. Massaging allows the cleaner to work effectively on the inside of your cats ear.
- Allow your cat to shake its head in order to get rid of the cleaning solution. This can get messy, so be sure to protect your face from incoming fluid. Now it's time to clean out any excess particles. Wrap your finger in gauze, and insert it into the ear canal as far as possible. Quickly give a little twirl wipe, then remove. Don't be afraid of damaging your cats ear, as your finger is not small enough to reach any fragile parts. Repeat this process for the other ear.
You are now done cleaning your cat's ears. How easy was that? When done effectively, this can just take a couple of minutes. Remember, the faster you can clean your cat's ears the less time they have to become irritated and retaliate. This should keep the experience from becoming traumatic.
How Often Should you Clean your Cat's Ears
There is no exact rule that states how often you should be cleaning your cats ears. Your cat may not even need an ear cleaning. We recommend inspecting your cat's ears monthly to check for anything out of the ordinary. If you come across a problem, be sure to contact your vet or do some research. For example, cats that have ear inflammation need to have their ears cleaned on a weekly basis.
Home Remedies for Ear Cleaning in Cats
If you don't want to buy a special ear cleaning solution, you could alternatively use an inexpensive solution made from products in your home.
Before we get into these three, easily made cleaning solutions. It is important to know some things not to do. For starters, never use cotton buds or Q-tips to clean your felines ears.
The small size of the Q-tip can damage your cat's eardrum. If you are going to use Q-tips, only use them for the visible parts of the ear. Never insert a Q-tip into your cats ear canal.
- Water- Using simple house water can help clean your cat's ears. Just make sure it is warm. If the water you use is too cold, it will contract the skin tissues in their ears and startle them. If the water is too hot, it will burn your kitty.
- Olive/Coconut Oil- Both of these oils are a better alternative to water. Coconut oil is known to have antimicrobial properties and olive oil is infused with antioxidants. Be sure to remove any excess oil from the ear when done as they tend to attract dirt.
- Hydrogen Peroxide- Hydrogen peroxide helps neutralize bacteria and particles in your cats ears. You can easily tell the solution is working when it starts to bubble.
Why Does My Cat Scratch My Furniture?
Out of all of the pet owners in the world, the biggest complaint they may have pertains to their cats. Figuring out how to be a good cat owner means understanding your cats wants and needs. Cats scratch, and it leads many cat owners to declaw their cats. However, for cats that go outdoors at all, declawing is not an option.
Nevertheless, scratching cats can do a great deal of damage to your furniture. Here are some of the motivations behind your cat’s scratching habits along with how to stop them. Remember, they are not trying to misbehave; the scratching is simply an innate behavior left over from the feline’s wild ancestors.
Why Does a Cat Scratch?
Sometimes your cat scratches to keep his claws in shape. It is an instinctual way to maintain the condition of the claws, an act of grooming in a way. Cats really feel the need to scratch because their claws are an essential part of their survival. Keeping their claws in top condition is important in the wild, so in your cat’s mind, the claws are still an essential element of themselves even in the domestic setting.
Other times cats scratch when they stretch their bodies and legs. This scratching is not at all malicious, but instead, an automatic maneuver. Your cat simply wants to feel good, and so flexes his paws, legs, back, and may end up scratching a surface in the process.
Cats tend to scratch out in anger and frustration as well. It is a way for them to mark their place in the world, thus signaling their territory. Cats under a great deal of stress will usually scratch more than calm and content cats.
The most interesting reason for a cat scratching is territorial and instinctual. This is similar to their unwanted behavior of bringing dead animals home. Cats actually have scent glands on the pads of their paws. When they scratch things, they release that scent onto the item, thus marking their territory. Additionally, the scratches also leave visible signs of the cat’s presence, and further marks their territory. The territorial urges are a very natural part of your cat’s being, and cannot really be suppressed. But remember that your cat is not trying to misbehave, rather he is doing what he thinks is right for his survival.
How To Prevent Cat Scratching
- Set up Scratch Posts In Areas They Like to Claw- If your cat has a specific place in your home they like to scratch then place a scratching post or cat tree in that area. Providing a scratching post as an alternative may get rid of this bad habit all together. This is due a scratching posts satisfying feeling when compared to furniture. Also, pay attention to whether your cat scratches vertical or horizontal surfaces; Then buy a post or scratch surface to match their preference.
- Make Furniture Less Attractive- Another thing you can do is make your furniture less attractive, especially when you aren't home. Tin foil can be used on horizontal surfaces to rid the pleasure of scratching the surface. You can also use double sided sticky tape for the sides of couches and chairs. Its hard to scratch a surface when your paws are getting stuck. If you don't want to use either of these items you can also place an item of fear on their desired surface. For example, putting your vacuum on your couch when you leave will surely deter your cat from going near it.
- Trim Your Cats Nails- Although it is still in a cats genes to scratch, you can reduce the urge by keeping your cats nails trimmed. Here is a really good article by ASPCA explaining how to safely clip your cats nails.
- Use Negative Reinforcement- Another method that usually works better in younger cats is training them to not scratch furniture. When ever they scratch furniture, make sure you use a strong voice to let them know this behavior is not okay. Another effective method is to use a squirt bottle to spray them whenever they begin to scratch. They will eventually associate scratching furniture with the negative spray bottle and will keep their scratching to their posts.
More on Cat Aggression
The first time that you see your cat become aggressive, you might become fearful of your cat. Knowing what to do and what not to do is important if you want to learn how to be a good cat owner.
Many cat owners have questions when they witness their cats attack. Many owners want to know if something is wrong with their cat or if it is a danger to those around him or her. Before deciding if you should contact your veterinarian, there are a number of important points you will first want to take into consideration.
Firstly, you should realize that all cats are considered predators and this is neither a trait nor a characteristic that disappears. Your cat will also have hunting instincts as well. This is one of the many reasons why cats occasionally display aggressive behavior.
When it comes to aggressive hunting behavior, many cat owners become concerned, as they feel that they provide their cat with plenty of food and do not understand why their cat feels the need to hunt prey. However, your cat hunting prey has nothing to do with how much food he is given. Rather, your cat will sometimes feel the need to hunt. Oftentimes, a cat will not eat what it has killed. A cat only lives for the hunt.
As for how you can determine whether your pet cat is just exercising his need to hunt, look at the attack in question. Did your cat try to attack your foot as you walked by? If so, this is a normal occurrence and not a sign of something serious.
Jumping at your feet as you walk by was cited as an example above. This can lead to another cause of aggression in cats; over excitement. Some popular cat toys on the market are those where balls are attached to a string and your catch chases it. These toys are nice, but they can also lead to some confusion, as your foot may appear similar in nature to your cat’s favorite toy. It is also important to know that cats are sensitive and their mood easily changes. Is this why playtime with your cat can end with you having a scratch or a bite mark.
Cats, as with many other pets, are territorial. This is another leading cause of aggression in cats. Is your cat the only pet in your home? If so, they may react with aggression when another pet enters into their territory. The same can be said for children. Do you have children? If not, when a child visits your home, your cat may be frustrated, fearful, or angry with the change, especially inside their territory. The quick movements of small children can also cause a cat to act out. As an important note, cats are typically safe around children. With that in mind, all small children should be watched carefully when around any kind of pet.
Remember Not to Declaw Your Cat!
Though a relatively common practice in America, the act of declawing cats is actually against the law in many regions of the world. (It's important you know your countries rules if you want to know how to be a good cat owner)
Most people around the world find it to be a very inhumane procedure. There is much evidence to support the theory that it is very unkind and even harmful to the cats. Over time and with increased education, American needs to follow the lead of others and ban the declawing of cats.
Many people declaw their cats for their own personal comfort. But they do not take their cat’s comfort into consideration. Instead they are simply worried about getting scratched, or having their cat hurt their home by scratching surfaces within their house.
The act of declawing cats is a surgical procedure. It is not as simple as trimming the nails down, it requires actually removing an essential part of a cat’s physical form. The process itself can be very stressful and painful to the cat. And the recovery time can be even more painful. Additionally, the claws serve a purpose to the cat’s survival. Removing them puts your cat in grave danger whenever he gets outdoors, and also leaves your cat with a lack of security which leads to emotional issues.
Any way you look at it, declawing a cat is an unnecessary and cruel procedure. If you are afraid of scratches on yourself, your family, or your furniture, then obviously a cat is not the right pet for you. It is really important to maintain the integrity of an animal like a cat by leaving its essential parts in tact. Even considering removing a cat’s claws displays a laziness and lack of humanity on the part of the owner. Hopefully in the not so distant future, America and all other countries currently promoting the act of declawing will see the error of their ways and ban the inhumane procedure.
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Why Do Cats Bring Dead Animals Home?
Have you ever came home after a long day work only to find a nasty surprise waiting for you. Unfortunately, some cats bring home dead animals on a weekly basis.
Cats are highly active, cute and outgoing. However, it is quite frustrating to receive a half dead animal as a gift from your cat. You might ask yourself why the cat brings a dead, twitching little creature for you instead of a flower.
If you think that everything about your cat is picture worthy and adorable, you might change your mind after getting a rodent from your cat as a gift for the first time. It is always puzzling to see an otherwise well-behaved cat as a wild and untamed hunter outside.
Experts say that house cats are not fully domesticated. They have a natural instinct to prey and hunt. They also like to share it with their loved ones.
People often observe this strange activity in their cats have a lot of questions: are they still hungry? Are we feeding them enough? In order to understand this behavior note that habits can be changed but instinct cannot. Cats bring dead animals home for the following reasons:
- It’s their instinct
- They bring the prey as a gift to their owner
- They bring some injured animals home to teach younger ones to prey
- The urge to eat raw meat
- It’s entertainment for them
Cats bring dead animals home due to instinct
Every animal is born with some instinct. For example, lions have the instinct to mark their territory. Cats happen to be born hunters.
A family who kept two female cats reported that their cats often watch birds from the window and make a chattering jaw noise. They were completely domesticated and have never been socialized with the outdoor environment, but still they had the instinct to hunt.
When cats observe anything moving and shaking they follow it and try to catch them. It’s not about hunger but instead instinct.
When you let your kitty outside once or twice in a day, they explore their surroundings and wildlife. With every creepy insect, flying bird, or scurrying lizard they are attracted to hunt them down.
Cats bring dead animals home in order to show love
Cats carry dead animals to show love. As owners we provide food, cats in return take dead animals to you as a way of saying thanks. Perhaps it is strange, but it is the only gift your cat can give you.
We as humans offer gifts to our loved ones; a dead animal (food in sense of cats) is the most precious gift they can give their loved ones. Cuddling, purring, and bringing gifts is a cats way of saying "we love you" and you mean a lot to us.
Cats bring dead animals home to teach their young
Some domesticated cats are spayed and can’t produce babies, but still, they practice their skills and want to transfer prey to someone else as a normal cat would transfer to its kitten.
Usually, cats take their kitten out to teach them how to hunt and gather food for their survival. If we observe how they prey, it becomes easier for us to understand why they seem like a cold-blooded killer.
In this case, domesticated cats bring injured or half dead animals to teach their younger ones the right way to prey. They aren’t killers, but hunters in fact. Female cats especially have this instinct to bring their prey home.
Cats bring dead animals home because they like raw meat
Cat foods are the main meal for domesticated cats. Sometimes they are offered boiled chicken or fish that is canned. But cats like raw meat better. When they don’t get it by their food providers, cats try to obtain raw food by hunting and bringing dead prey to home.
cCats bring dead animals home as entertainment
Chasing mice is just real life version of playing with a mouse toy. A couple that owned a Persian cat reported the presence of a mouse in their kitchen cabinet area. Their cat would sit far away gazing at this mouse for hours and observe its movements.
One day they saw their cat was holding this dead mouse in its mouth. After putting it in front of the owner, the cat started playing with it by batting at it like a mini football. It is clear cats find live animals entertaining.
Research has also indicated that playing with a dead animal is sometimes entertainment for cats. They enjoy using their killing instinct.
How to stop your cat from bringing home dead animals
Introducing your cat to toys, especially feathery toys, give their hunting instinct some satisfaction. Occupying their daily routine with different games and offering them a fun size mouse may stop them using their hunting skills to kill other animals.
Although hunting is completely fine for cats some cat owners still want their pet to be nice and peaceful. Keeping their brain busy with games like giving them an old piece of cloth helps soothe them.play
Another option can be keeping the animal indoors. Some cats might not tolerate the restriction as they enjoy their outdoor lifestyle. Make the cat wear a collar with a bell, this will help alert the animals they are hunting. They will run away as soon as the hunter approaches.
Conclusively, a cat’s instinct along with their cuteness are what makes them lovable with every different activity. Cats never forget their natural instincts, so dead animals will unfortunately keep showing up at your door. The methods listed above can help reduce the frequency in which this happens.
Remember understanding your cat is independent but still needs your help and assistance is the most important part of being a pet owner and will go along way proving you know how to be a good cat owner.
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.