Cats have become popular pets in the U.S., with many households acquiring one or more felines to join their family. While cats are typically independent and self-reliant, they still require some maintenance in order to stay healthy and happy. If you’re considering bringing home a cat of your own, or if you already own one, check out these 10 ways to take care of your feline friend.
1) Feed them
Cats are carnivores, so feeding them a diet consisting primarily of wet or dry commercial cat food is best. Canned food is not recommended as a primary diet for cats, as it does not provide sufficient water or other nutrients. The right amount of food is important—too little and they will look underweight and too much can lead to obesity. Feeding schedules vary depending on the age, size, weight and activity level of the cat.
2) Give them clean water
Cats need clean, fresh water available at all times. The best way to ensure this is to buy a water dish that is made specifically for cats. You can find these dishes in your local pet store or online. As part of the cat’s daily grooming routine, you should also change the water every day.
3) Let them exercise
Cats love to play, and it’s important for them to get out of the house and run around. A great way for your cat to stay fit is by providing it with a scratching post. If you’re worried about having your furniture destroyed, try placing a cardboard box full of crinkly paper on the ground as well. You can also take your cat out on leash walks!
4) Brush them
Brushing your cat’s fur will help keep it clean and remove mats. This is especially important for long-haired cats, which can develop matts and hairballs if not brushed regularly. There are two types of brushes you can use: a slicker brush, which has short bristles that spread apart as they get closer to the head; and a pin brush, which has longer bristles that taper at the tips. Brush in direction of hair growth with gentle strokes.
5) Play with them
Cats are natural hunters and need the time and space to roam and play. Allowing your cat to play outside unsupervised is not advisable. But, there are many safe ways to interact with your feline friend indoors that can be just as fun as chasing a mouse. One way is by using catnip toys or string so they can chase it around the room.
6) Pet them
Cats are playful and affectionate animals who crave attention. There is no better way to show your cat some love than by petting them. Give your feline friend a quick rub or two on the head, behind the ears, or along the back – it will make both of you happy!
7) Keep their claws short
One way to keep your cat’s claws short is by taking them for a walk outdoors. If you want your cat to be more active, then this is a good way to get them moving. Plus, it will give them a chance to explore the outdoors and use their natural hunting skills if they are feeling restless.
You can also buy clipper blades that are designed for cats from pet stores or online shops.
8) Keep their litter box clean
Cats have a natural instinct to use sand or dirt as litter in the wild. If you keep your cat’s litter box clean, it will be less likely for them to use the bathroom elsewhere in your home. Cleaning the litter box can take a few minutes, but it is well worth the time you’ll save from having to vacuum every day. Plus, when you clean out the litter, don’t forget to empty out their food and water dishes too!
9) Watch out for diseases or parasites
Cats are susceptible to a variety of diseases, including parasites such as fleas and ticks. It is important that you regularly check your cat for these threats, as well as any other potential dangers. Schedule an annual veterinary visit with your vet to monitor their health status.
10) Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to
- Don’t force your cat to do anything they don’t want to do. Cats are individuals and should be treated as such!
- Always remember that cats need their space, so give them a room with a closed door where they can go when they want privacy.
- Make sure your kitty has plenty of toys around the house, and if they get bored, try hiding treats in the toy box or on top of furniture for them to find later.