Maybe you’re a first-time cat owner, or you’re considering adding a feline friend to your family. Either way, it’s important to learn about what goes into taking care of a cat. Here we’ll cover the basics of providing food, shelter, and love for your new kitty. So whether you’re just getting started or you could use a refresher course, read on for everything you need to know about cats!
Choose the right food and litter.
One of the most important things you’ll need to do when taking care of your cat is to choose the right food and litter. Cats are carnivores, so they should be fed a high-protein diet. Look for a food that lists meat as the first ingredient, such as chicken or beef. Many high-quality cat foods are specifically designed for kittens, seniors, or those with health problems. Humid food can help with dental health and always have fresh water available.
As for the litter, you’ll want to choose one that is absorbent and controls odors. Choose a brand that is dust-free and unscented. Clay litters are generally the most popular type, but there are also several types of biodegradable litters available. Clumping litter is a popular choice because it makes cleanup easy, but some cats don’t like the texture. Non-clumping litter is another option, but it can be more difficult to keep the box clean. Gel litter is a newer type of litter that is becoming popular because it doesn’t track and is easy to scoop.
The box should be large enough for your cat to move around in and deep enough to cover their waste. It’s also a good idea to have more than one box so that your cat always has a clean place to go.
Location, location, location.
When choosing the perfect spot for your cat’s litter box, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- It should be quiet, away from noise and foot traffic.
- The litter box should be in an easy place for your cat to get to.
- The box should be in an area with good ventilation to control odors.
Once you’ve found the perfect spot, it’s important to keep the litter box clean. Scoop out the waste at least once a day and completely change the litter every week or two.
Provide a scratching post.
Cats love to scratch! It’s their natural way of sharpening their claws and marking their territory. But those sharp claws can wreak havoc on your furniture, so you’ll need to provide a scratching post for your cat. Choose a tall post for your cat to stretch up and scratch, make sure it’s made from a material that your cat likes, such as sisal rope or wood, and make sure it’s big enough for your cat to stretch out on.
Place the scratching post in a spot where your cat spends a lot of time so they can easily access it. You may need to experiment with a few different locations before finding the perfect spot. You can also entice your cat to use the post by sprinkling some catnip on it.
Give your cat plenty of love and attention.
Cats are social animals and need plenty of love and attention. Be sure to pet and scratch your cat’s back often, and give them plenty of toys to play with. Cats need plenty of toys to keep them amused, and there are many different types available. Interactive toys, such as a feather wand or laser pointer, are a great way to entertain your cat. From simple mice toys and scratching posts that come with a toy attached to elaborate cat trees, there is a toy to suit every cat’s personality. It’s important to rotate your cat’s toys often to keep them entertained.
Cats need exercise just like people do, and you can help by playing with them for at least 10 minutes a day. Not only will this help keep your cat healthy, but it will also help strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Give your cat a clean and comfortable place to sleep.
Cats like to have their own space to sleep, so be sure to provide them with a comfortable bed or cat tree. Cats also like to climb, so a cat tree with multiple levels is a great way to give them some exercise and keep them entertained. There are many types of cat beds available, from simple foam mats to elaborate cat trees. You can also make your bed by using a soft blanket or towel.
A big part of taking care of your cat is keeping their environment clean. This means scooping the litter box daily and washing it out every week or two. It’s also important to keep your cat’s bedding and toys clean by washing them regularly.
Schedule regular vet checkups.
It’s important to take your cat for regular vet checkups, especially if they are elderly or have any health problems. Cats should be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year, but more often if they are sick or have any medical conditions.
Be sure to keep up with your cat’s prescribed vaccinations and provide them with monthly preventative care.
All cats are prone to occasional health problems, and it’s important to be prepared for when they occur. Common issues include hairballs, worms, fleas and ticks, and urinary tract infections. If you notice your cat exhibiting any unusual symptoms, take them to the vet right away.
Spay or neuter your cat to help reduce aggressive behavior and roaming.
All cats should be spayed or neutered, and this can be done as early as eight weeks old. This simple surgery will help reduce your cat’s aggressive behavior and roaming instincts. It will also help keep the population of homeless cats under control.
While spaying and neutering are not required, it is highly recommended by veterinarians and animal welfare organizations. There are many low-cost spay and neuter clinics available, so there is no excuse not to do it. Your cat will be healthier and happier for it.
Make sure your cat has access to a sunny spot where they can nap.
All cats need access to a sunny spot where they can nap, preferably one with a view. A sunny window is a perfect spot for your cat, and they will likely spend a lot of time there soaking up the warmth. If you don’t have a sunny window, you can provide your cat with a sun lamp. A cat tree or window sill is a great place for your cat to soak up some rays. Sun is important for cats because it is good for their health for different reasons.
Adopt, don’t shop.
Many animal shelters are full of wonderful cats looking for a forever home. When you adopt a cat, you give them a second chance at life. Not only that, but you will also be helping to reduce the number of homeless animals on the streets.
When you’re ready to add a feline friend to your family, be sure to adopt from a local animal shelter or rescue organization. You can also check online for listings of cats who need homes, there are millions of cats in shelters across the country waiting for a loving home, so there’s no need to buy one from a breeder or pet store.
Get your cat microchipped in case they ever get lost.
A microchip is a small chip that is implanted under your cat’s skin and contains your contact information. If your cat ever gets lost, a vet or animal shelter can scan the microchip and contact you. Microchipping is a quick and painless procedure that can be done at your vet’s
As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to have your cat microchipped because many risks come with owning a cat. Cats are prone to get lost, and they can also be stolen. A microchip will help ensure that you are reunited with your cat if they ever go missing.
If you’re a beginner cat owner, remember to take it slow. Cats need time to adjust and trust their new human. Start by providing your kitty with food, water, and a litter box. Once they feel comfortable in their new home, start petting them and playing with them. With patience and love, you and your cat will form a bond that will last for years. Thanks for reading our guide on how to care for cats! Do you have any questions or tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!
Brenda Tillman is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a dedicated mom blogger, and a life enthusiast. She also has completed courses on Parenting Skills, Learning, and Education. She is married and is the proud mother of a boy and two girls. She loves being with her family and pets. She has been blogging for over five years now and enjoys sharing her thoughts on parenting, relationships, health & fitness as well as other topics that come up in life.