Cat care, what does that actually mean. Basically it's all those every day things you need to provide for your pet to make sure that they stay healthy and happy.
I cover basic everyday care issues such as feeding and grooming elsewhere on this site. This page is all about the long term care needs for your pet including their emotional needs as well as their physical requirements.
Before I start, if you are a new cat owner or are thinking of getting a pet, I would like you to ask yourself a question. "can I afford the costs involved in caring for a pet"?
I know all too well just how expensive it can be at times, it can be more than you think and if you can't meet these financial costs then you do have to ask yourself if it is fair to have a pet at this time. To help you find out about the financial costs involved I have a article about pet ownership.
If you are sure you can then I hope my following every day care tips will help you to look after your cat as best as possible.
When you first get your pet there are 3 main things you will need to do for your cat to ensure that your cat remains healthy. These are:
By taking your feline to the vet and getting these treatments done early on you will be avoiding any Initial worries you may have about your cats health (I'm sure the vet will give your cat a full health check whilst providing the above service) and can get on with getting to know your new feline friend.
I had no idea just how much extra time and care a kitten needs when i first got ours all those years ago. I was completely green and wish i had someone around who could have given me the advice I can now pass on to you.
Kittens nots only require a special diet to help them grow and stay healthy but they also need lots of attention to help them fit into family life and to ensure they are confident and friendly towards humans and other animals. My kitten pages cover all aspects of looking after kittens of all ages, from early weaning lessons to potty training.
Older felines need extra care from their owners too. All of my cats have lived to a ripe old age and all have needed some extra care during the last few years.
Old cats can suffer from many of the same conditions older people can, such as stiff joints, loss of appetite and serious conditions such as dementia and heart conditions. My page about looking after an elderly cat will I hope help you to make their twilight years as comfortable and secure as possible.
Caring for your feline should also include your cats emotional health too. Cats can get stressed too and this can lead to issues like inappropriate urination around the home and scratching of furniture. So making sure that your cats home environment is not causing them any stress or upset is important.
One area worth thinking about is the relationship between children and cats. Sometimes having young children in the home can prove very upsetting for some cats. Children can be unpredictable and this can make some cats feel nervous.
Getting to know your cat
All of my cats have been rescue cats and all have had previous experience i have no knowledge of. They may have been mistreated or spent a lot of time as a stray. I do know that in all cases I had to spend quite some time with the cat, helping them to feel comfortable in their new home and getting used to me.
I am asked quite a lot about how best to do this and so i have put a page together giving some tips on how best to bond with your pet.
Holding and Picking Up Your Cat
Knowing how to hold and pick up your cat correctly is important when bonding with your cat. It also helps when visiting the vet.
The seasons bring their own problems for our kitties and its up to us to be aware of the dangers and to provide them with the best care for their needs.
Winter can be a harsh time for stray and feral cats, many do not survive. But there are things we can do to help them through the cold winter months.
With just a little time and effort we can provide some valuable shelter and extra food for homeless cats.
There are also dangers for our own cats, so please read my page about providing winter cat care for our feline friends.
I have found some great and practical outside cat cabins which may give you some ideas as to what you can provide for your cats.
Christmas Cat Care - Tis the season to be jolly. Yes but if you don't pay special cat care to certain seasonal dangers then it may turn out not to be so jolly for you or your cat.
Unfortunately there are many Seasonal favourite around as Christmas time which are not so good for our cats health. My article highlights these hidden dangers.
Cat fleas - During the warm weather fleas become more of a problem than usual and so making sure your cat is protected from them at this time of year is essential.
The secret to flea cat care is to understand the flea life cycle enabling yo to target them in and around your home. My pages about fleas are designed to not only protect your cat but also you and your home too.
Ticks - Although ticks are around all year, your cat is more likely to pick one up during the summer months when the grass is long and they are out and about more.
It is important to check your cats fur often especially during the warmer months for these little grey blood sucking bumps. The sooner they can be removed or better still prevented, the less likely your cat will be vulnerable to illness.
Footpads - Check the paws for sticky tar or grit, which may have been picked up from the hot pavements. Never use chemicals on your cat, instead use warm water to gently wipe their feet and then perhaps use a little petroleum jelly to provide some protection.
Heatstroke - Watch out for symptoms like panting, high temperature, dehydration and a rapid heartbeat. Heat stroke can develop very quickly, so keep an eye on your cat on very hot days and make sure they have plenty of cold water available and shady places to rest. Making sure your cat drink enough water is vital and a cat water fountain can help with this.
If heatstroke does occur, cool your cat down by either using a fan or putting them in a bath of cool water and then seek advice from a vet as soon as possible. Remember heatstroke can kill. Making sure your garden is safe for your cat to explore especially during the summer months will help to prevent dangers such as heatstroke.
Sunburn - Felines can get sunburn too. Most cats are sun worshippers and on hot sunny days they can be found sleeping in the sunniest parts of the garden.
But beware, you must protect your cat, especially if they have white ears. I have had personal experience of a cat with white ears developing a cancerous lump due to sunburn and I so I take protecting my cats from the sun now very seriously.
Vacations - Going away on vacation is great fun for us but if we don't provide proper cat care for our cats while we are away, your pet may suffer.
Choosing a pet sitter who you can trust can be a tricky business but it is something worth taking your time on to provide peace of mind.
Cats are naturally very curious animals and like to explore the most unusual places. This does mean of course that they can get themselves into some dangerous situations.
So it is important to try and keep their home environment as safe as possible. The best thing to do is try to put yourself in your cats place, remember of course they are much lower to the ground than us, and try imagine what would get their attention.
Windows And Balconies - There are many accidents every year where cats have fallen from high places such as open windows. Always supervise your pet when they are near to anywhere they may fall from and if this is not possible then make sure that windows and doors are closed or that the cat is unable to get to them. Injuries from such falls can be awful and can often be fatal
Household chemicals - remember to keep household cleaning, chemical products and any poisonous substances like gardening weed killer or rat poison in a locked cupboard. Some cats don't have any problem getting a paw around a cupboard door.
Plants - It may not occur to you but that some plants are poisonous to eat, mainly because we wouldn't dream of eating them ourselves. But our furry friends are not always so choosy and may find the juicy leaves well worth a nibble.
So before buying plants either for your garden or your house, make sure they are non-toxic. As you can see cat care is very much like the care you would give to a young child at home. Before planting any new plants in your cat garden, always check that the plants will not harm your cat if they are chewed or eaten.
Micro Chipping - Unfortunately from time to time our cats may get lost or worse stolen.
It can be heartbreaking knowing that your cat may have wandered off too far and for whatever reason can't get back and no one knows where they live. Identification tags are useful but also have their drawbacks, they can fall off or the collar can get caught and trap the cat.
The sure fire way to make sure that your cat can be identified is to have them Micro chipped. This is a quick procedure, which is carried out at your vet’s surgery. A small electronic chip is inserted under the skin that carries all your cats’ details, which can be read by a special reader, passed over the skin.
First Aid Kit - Make sure that you keep a cat first aid kit in your home, using items that are cat friendly and that cope with the every day scrapes your cat may get into.
This may sound a little odd but I have found that this is one of my essential cat care items.
You never know if one day you have an injured cat on hands or even a emergency and it is vital that you know how to handle the situation until the vet is able to see the cat.
Giving Tablets and Nursing - Find out how to give cat tablets without causing stress to either yourself or your cat.
Indoor Cats - Even cats that are kept inside all the time have to have special attention paid to their needs. Boredom and inactivity can lead to behaviour problems and a unhappy cat.
Moving Home with your pet - This can be a very stressful time for your pet and a lot of the moving day trauma can be avoided with just a little forward planning.
As well as keeping your pet fit and healthy, part of good cat care is to make your cat feels happy and comfortable living as part of your family. So a little pampering may be required, well what's wrong with having a pampered pet anyway? Here are my tips on pampering your cat.
I love to give our cats catnip as a special treat. i don't give it to them often as it does make them go a little crazy for awhile. see this short video of some other cats enjoying catnip and find out more about this much loved cat plant.
We've had felines for many years and know just how essential it is to a cats happiness to get as much attention as possible from their human friends. So it's down to you to give as much cat care as possible, to hear that gentle rumbling of a purrrrrr.