Answers For YOUR Health

      Using Mother Nature's Gifts
Common Sense and Modern Medicine

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The Proper Care for Cats

What do cats need?

• Cat food

When cats are younger than 12 weeks, they need to have 4 small meals each day. After that you can trim the meals to 2 a day. Water must also be provided but milk is not encouraged for it would only cause diarrhea. Feeding them with grass from time to time also helps in their digestion of food.

Some cats like to have a dry kibble available along with their bowl of water. Soft food should only be given in the amount the cat will eat and that bowl removed for washing as soon as the cat has eaten. Check with your local pet store or online for grass in containers for indoor pet.

• Cat Necessities

The first thing you need to provide for your cat is a litter box. Choose the location carefully. Your cat will appreciate privacy. There is a large selection of really cute screens to put in front of the box.

There is a big variety of boxes to choose from as well as types of litter. Not all litter is created equal. You need to choose a safe for your cat litter even if it is more expensive. Remember, cats lick their paws.

There are perfumed litters - not good. If you must use something, try baking soda, just sprinkle in the box daily. There are also disposable litter trays.

A post to scratch is another thing that must be provided by the pet owner. You can tack a small piece of carpet low on the wall or door if you prefer. If you train your cat to use a scratching post or pad you will save considerable damage to furniture, curtains and carpets.

You can sprinkle dried catnip on the scratching area to encourage your cat to use this instead of the furniture.

An alternative to the scratching post is to trim your cats claws on a regular basis. However since cat will try to claw and stretch even if they have been declawed, I still recommend a post or pad.

You will need a travel cage. It is much easier to take your cat to the vet or groomer when you have a sturdy travel cage.

• Cat grooming

Proper grooming must be given to cats. With a long-haired cat, daily brushing is a must to avoid those mats that must be cut out. Even short hair cat need a regular brushing just not as often as the long hair.

If you allow your cat to go outside, he or she will pick up fleas and possibly ticks. When the cat comes back in the house, fleas take up residence in your rugs, furniture and beds. Regular flea treatments must be given a cat that goes outside.

If you start a kitten off with water baths, you should have no problems as they grow up continuing that bathing routine. You will have to do this at least twice a month. If someone in your house is allergic to cats, you will have to bathe them weekly. Be sure and use a gentle shampoo that is not harmful to the animal. Dish soap is not safe.

You may choose to use a professional cat groomer if you are not comfortable with the bathing routine or if your cat fights the bath.

Tooth brushing is also very hygienic. Again, if you start when your cat is a kitten, you will not have problems with the older cat.

The only other things you need for your cat are toys, love, time to cuddle and patience when your cat is a cat and decides to ignore you for a while. Or praise when he or she brings you a dead ---- because bringing you his kill is a great compliment.



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