Owning a Cat

Things to Consider Before Getting a Cat

sized-cats-2.2Before bringing a feline pet home, you have to know what you want. Do you like an old cat or do you want to raise a kitten? Take time to research the breeds attributes and personality. Consider how well it will interact with your other pets and children based on it’s breed, sex, and age. If this is your first cat, learn what will be expected of you for care and training.  Talk to a cat breeder, vet and cat owners to help you decide what cat you would like to own.  Some breeds are smarter, some more social, some larger, and some smaller. Some shed more than others which can contribute to allergies.

 

playful-kitten-yarn1.2Age and type

You can opt to get a kitten, juvenile, or adult cat. Kittens can be curious, energetic and playful. Getting young pets gives you the opportunity to see them grow and mature. You can influence their personality and behavior based on how you raise them. Other pets that you have at home can accept a kitten with ease compared to an adult pet.

cat.reading.2.2If you want adult cats, you can often gage how they will behave at home. They are independent pets. They need minimal supervision. They do not need intensive care and training like juveniles or kittens. If it is a mixed breed, you will know how large it will grow and whether it has any serious health issues.

 

cat-composite-breeds1.2Category

When choosing a cat, you can either have a pedigreed or mixed-breed animal. Both of these types of cats are good companions at home. Domestic shorthairs or longhairs cats belong to the mixed-breed category. With a pedigreed cat you can expect certain personality traits and health issues. With a mixed-breed kitten, it will take some time to identify its real size and appearance. Your personal preference is what matters most. The most significant element in choosing a cat is to know its health status. It should be fit and free from any health conditions.

 

turkish-van-catWell-being and personality

Consider good health and grooming as indicators when choosing your cat. Healthy pets have bright, clear eyes. Tearing should only be minimal. Nostrils should always be clean. Some sneezing, nasal discharges or runny eyes show that the pet has an infection. The ears should not have any discharges. If the ear has blackish, tar-like discharges, the cat has an ear-mite infestation. A bacterial or yeast infection shows pus-like discharges in the ear canal. These are indicators for poor health.

burmese-catInspect the cat’s mouth and gums. They should be pinkish with no traces of ulcers or sores. A cat with glossy coat indicates it is well groomed. Dry skin, dandruff, bare spots or body parasites show your selected cat in unhealthy. Do not choose a thin cat. It should not have any protruding belly. This visible attribute shows a digestive disorder or intestinal parasites. Ask the breeder if the pet’s feces are normal and well formed.

boy.girl.playing.cat1.2A happy cat should be comfortable with meeting new people. It should also be friendly when someone approaches it. A generally sound kitten is playful, active, bright and responsive. Avoid getting a cat that runs away or hides. If the cat is a shelter or rescue cat it may need some time to adjust.  In general,  a cat with a  nervous personality may be hard to live with. Although cats do sleep alot, if the cat you want to take in sleeps all the time, ask a vet if there is anything causing this.  Many minor health issues can be treated and should not discourage you from adopting a pet that you like.

cat.hiding.basket.2.2Pet house and food

Prepare the basic provisions for your house pet before you bring your cat at home. Select the most suitable litter box for your feline.  A simple litter box is fine. It should be free from any possible obstacle for your cat’s easy access. Kittens need a low box that they can get into without help.  Most cats like odorless and clean litter box. Make sure to clean the box regularly, including the surrounding litter. Cats do not like eating if the litter box area is untidy. Have a spare litter box for your pet. If you have many cats at home, you should have options for litter boxes. If you have a couple of cats, you should have three boxes.

Training-Your-Cat-to-Use-the-Litter-BoxYour new pet needs clean food and water. Keep water and food bowls away from the litter box to prevent possible contamination. Make sure your cat’s food is fresh and water is clean.  Cats have a great sense of smell and will not eat old food or water.

 

Scratching habit

cat-scratching-poleScratching is a normal activity among cats. It is best to not declaw a cat. You can keep it’s claws trimmed but if they have something to scratch they will keep them filed down on their own.  What you can do as a pet owner is to teach them to scratch something acceptable. There are different kinds of scratching posts that you can train your cat to use.  Try rubbing it with catnip to attract the cat.  Indoor-outdoor cats often enjoy scratching tree trunks.

Javanese_cat2.2To avoid having your cat destroy your furniture, you need to find a suitable substitute. Observe what your cat likes to scratch and then get a scratching post that is similar. Some cats like a rough surface, some like a carpeted surface, and some like to scratch wood. Reward your pet for using a scratching post.  Give you pet treats, praises or friendly strokes for using the designated scratching post.

 

wet-cat-food-3.2Feeding plan

For first-time owners, be aware of your cat’s feeding preference. Identify the quantity of food it eats and the frequency of feeding your pet needs. Before switching to a new diet, mix  the old food with the new.  Gradually move the cat over to the new diet. Cat’s are finicky and don’t like all flavors or varieties.

kitten.eating.big.bowl.1.2You will need to decide if a wet cat food or dry cat food fits best into your lifestyle. Not home much? Ask the vet if you can use a dry cat food where the cat can eat on demand.  Some cats are already used to wet food or need to eat that for nutritional or health purposes. Some cat foods are better than others so do your research.  Feeding a cat better food may be a little more expensive up front but may save you thousands on vet care later.

 

shutterstock_161732939-basics-of-caring-for-your-catGrooming

Grooming is easier for kittens or young cats. Raising a young pet accepts grooming as part of its growing up. A cat owner should have a good steel comb or brush for his cat. Regular combing will keep your cat’s coat clean, glossy and healthy. Good grooming keeps your home cleaner. It also decreases hairball formation in the   gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, grooming enables you to examine whether your cat has parasites or skin disease.

trim-cat-claws3.2Most cats hate getting their claws trimmed but if started early, a kitten will get used to it. This helps avoid household damage and accidental scratching of family members. Many cats will use a scratching post to file claws and do not need them clipped at all.

shutterstock_74899270-problems-with-having-cats-around-new-born-babiesThere are so many things to consider before deciding on a pet. Remember, you are taking in a new family member.  Hopefully this pet will be your companion for a long time.  Choose carefully.

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