General Cat Care

by catfood

So you’re bringing home a cat? You are extremely lucky! You will undoubtedly have many happy years together. Many new cat owners have questions about how to keep their cats happy and comfortable. Here are some pointers on how to care for your new feline companion.

What Supplies Do I Need For My Cat?

Of course, each cat has different preferences for toys, bedding, perches, litter boxes, and other items, but the ASPCA suggests starting with the essentials:

  • High-quality cat food
  • a food dish
  • a glass of water
  • Toys with interactivity
  • Brush and comb your hair
  • Cat ID tag safety collar
  • Is it a scratching pad or a scratching post?
  • Bins for litter
  • Litter
  • Transporter for cats
  • On the cat bed or box, place a warm blanket or towel.

You’ll quickly figure out what your cat likes and dislikes, and you’ll be able to adjust accordingly.


What Should I Feed My Cat?

There are so many different types of food to choose from – canned, dry, shredded, pate, grain free, and more – that a new cat parent may feel overwhelmed. Visit’s cat nutrition section for more information on food and nutrition. Meanwhile, the ASPCA has some general recommendations:

Adult cats should be fed one large or two smaller meals per day of high-quality food.

Kittens (6-12 weeks): Feed four times per day with high-quality kitten food.

Feed high-quality kitten food three times per day to kittens (3-6 months).

You can either feed all cats and kittens specific meals, discarding any leftover canned food after 30 minutes, or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Of course, fresh, clean water should always be available. Wash and refill water bowls on a daily basis.

Does My Cat Need a Scratching Post?

Scratching is a natural and necessary behavior for cats, according to Dr. Tony Buffington of the Ohio State University Veterinary School’s Indoor Pet Initiative. Cats scratch to shed old nail cuticles, sharpen claws, stretch, and leave scent marks, according to Dr. Buffington. “Cats prefer to scratch on coarse, shredable materials,” he says.


Do I Need to Groom My Cat?

Cats are meticulous groomers who do a great job of keeping themselves clean, but they still need to be groomed. A consistent grooming schedule, according to Adrienne Kawamura, owner of cat grooming franchise City Kitty, helps remove the dead undercoat of your cat’s fur and keeps your cat’s topcoat in good condition. “You will notice less shedding, dander, and hairball throwing up,” Kawamura says.

What’s the Best Way to Hold My Cat?

The best way to pick up your cat, according to the ASPCA’s Cat Care article, is to put one hand behind his front legs and the other hand under his behind. Flea excrement may also appear as black “flea dirt” on your cat’s comb.

Should My Cat Be Indoors or Outdoors?

“Outdoor cats face increased risk of injury and illness. Many meet untimely ends under the wheels of cars or from animal attacks,” writes Arden Moore, author of “The Cat Behavior Answer Book.” Dr. Buffington of the Indoor Cat Initiative recommends making your cat’s home environment one that allows them to express their true nature, which includes private spaces, places to hide, window perches, toys, scratching posts, and more.

Does My Cat Need a Collar And ID?

The ASPCA concurs with the experts and advises cat guardians to confine their cats to their homes; however, even indoor cats should wear a collar and an ID tag. A microchip implanted in your cat can also help ensure that she is returned if she gets lost; however, keep your microchip information up to date so that whoever finds your cat can contact you right away.


Where Should I Put the Litter Box?

Dr. Buffington suggests that a litter box be placed on each floor of a multi-level home, and that the litter box be placed in a private area away from interruption and noise. Make sure to scoop the litter box on a regular basis. Dr. Buffington suggests scooping once a day and thoroughly cleaning the litter box with hot water once a week.

What’s the Best Way to Play With My Cat?

According to Dr. Buffington’s book “Your Home, Their Territory,” toys should resemble a cat’s prey. Some cats prefer to hunt rodents, while others prefer to hunt birds or bugs. “You’ll want to offer different types of toys to see which ones your cat prefers,” Dr. Buffington suggests. Playing with your cat is a great way to bond, and it keeps your cat active and keeps him from becoming bored…and destructive.

How Often Should My Cat Visit the Vet?

According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, cats should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year (AAFP). Regular care can aid in the early detection of serious problems, when treatment is more effective. Senior cats over the age of seven, as well as cats suffering from chronic illnesses, should see the vet on a regular basis. If you have a new kitten or cat, take him to the vet as soon as possible to discuss any concerns and determine whether he needs any vaccinations.

How Can I Control Fleas?

Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on your cat, irritate the skin, and can transmit tapeworm, according to the ASPCA. Inspect your cat’s fur once a week for fast moving brown spots (fleas) or white specks (flea eggs). Picking up a cat by the scruff of the neck or front legs without first supporting his hindquarters is never a good idea.

If your cat has fleas, you will have fleas in your house, according to the ASPCA, so you may need to use flea bombs or premise-control sprays and treat all animals in your home. As a result, the ASPCA recommends consulting with your veterinarian before treating your cat for fleas to ensure that you have a treatment plan that will not harm your cat.

Should I Spay or Neuter My Cat?

Spaying female cats (removing the ovaries and uterus) and neutering male cats (removing the testicles) have numerous advantages, according to the ASPCA. Males should be neutered and females spayed by six months of age. Neutering a male can reduce urine spraying, the desire to go outside and find a mate, and male fighting. Spaying a woman helps to prevent breast cancer and other medical issues.

Do I Need to Trim My Cat’s Nails?

According to Dr. Buffington’s book, yes. “Regular nail trims can also reduce the intensity of scratching and the possibility of accidentally grazing someone,” says your vet or groomer.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll notice that cats have a wide range of opinions that they’re not afraid to express! Dr.) and you’ll have a lifelong friend in his book “Your Home, Their Territory.”

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