By Bruce Walls
Although your cat may act independent, he still counts on you to provide him with food, water, safe shelter, veterinary care, companionship, and more. Take care of these ten cat care essentials, and you’ll have a rewarding relationship with your feline friend.
1. Provide your cat with a collar and ID tag that includes your name, address, and telephone number. No matter how careful you are, your cat could get lost or injured whilst outside. An ID tag greatly increases the chance that your cat will be returned home safely.
2. Keep the litter tray clean and topped up to the required level. This is good for both you and your cat.
3. Keep your cat indoors at night. Keeping your cat safely confined at night is best for you, your pet, and your community. Some owners keep their cat confined at all times.
4. Take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups. If you do not have a vet, ask your local animal shelter or look in the yellow pages.
5. Treat your cat with flee and tick treatment. This is easy to apply, but if you feel that you cannot do it then have it applied during your regular visit to the vet. Use a flee collar as in item 1.
6. Spay or neuter your pet. This will keep it healthier, less inclined to wander and will reduce the problem of too many cats.
7. Groom your cat often to keep its coat healthy, soft, and shiny. Although it is especially important to brush long-haired cats to prevent their hair from matting, even short-haired cats need to be groomed to remove as much loose hair as possible. When cats groom themselves, they ingest a great deal of hair, which often leads to hairballs. It will also mean less hair on your cushions.
8. Give your cat a nutritionally balanced diet, including constant access to fresh water. If unsure ask your vet for advice on what and how often to feed your pet.
9. Train your cat to refrain from undesirable behaviors such as scratching furniture and jumping on tables and worktops. Cats can be trained with a bit of patience, effort, and understanding on your part. Provide a ready made ‘scratching post.’
10. Play with your cat. While cats do not need the same level of exercise that dogs do, enjoying regular play sessions with your pet will provide it with the physical exercise and mental stimulation it needs, as well as strengthening the bond you share.
Bruce Walls is an author and webmaster at www.catcarefacts.com
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