HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A CAT
You need to take care of cats from the moment you bring your pet home for the first time and even earlier. Both small and adult cats need to be made to live comfortably.
Cat care includes:
A properly chosen diet;
A proper hygienic procedure;
Making sure the cat has a comfortable place to rest;
the equipment of a comfortable litter box;
Routine examinations by a veterinarian.
When planning pet care, you need to be clear about who lives in the house - a cat, an adult cat, or small kittens.
CAT CARE NUTRITION
One of the most important tasks of every owner is to choose the right food for his or her pet. It is the choice of diet that determines how many nutrients a cat will get. The choice of nutrition is extremely important for cats: an unbalanced diet leads to digestive disorders and the development of many diseases:
Diabetes mellitus in cats can be both a genetic disease inherited from the parents, and an acquired disease, arising from errors in nutrition. When tablets are ineffective, cats require hourly administration of insulin. To prevent such consequences, as soon as a cat comes into the house, it is necessary to plan its diet.
There are two fundamentally different ways of eating for cats:
Natural food or straight food.
The pet's body adapts to one of them. Therefore, you can not mix natural food with food.
When choosing natural food, you need to remember that cats need a separate, carefully planned diet. Cats should not be fed the same food that people cook for themselves. When choosing a natural diet for a cat, you need to remember its basic principles:
The basis of the diet is meat. Chicken, beef, turkey, veal, lamb, rabbit. In addition to whole meat, sub-products such as liver, hearts, stomachs, necks, minced meat, tongue should be present in the animal's diet. Meat is given raw or boiled. To exclude helminths from raw meat and preserve all nutrients in the products, meat and by-products are pre-frozen for 8 days. The exceptions are lungs, stomachs and liver - they are always boiled and not given raw, so that the animal will not catch helminth infections.
Young cats and kittens are given a boiled egg once a week.
Fish in the cat's diet is a very controversial product. On the one hand, it is rich in trace elements, on the other hand, it contains substances that regular consumption leads to digestive disorders in animals. Therefore, fish is not given more than once a week.
One third of the cat's diet consists of herbs and vegetables and cereals. From these, the animal gets the necessary vitamins and trace elements. Kashi for cats is a source of carbohydrates. It is best to give buckwheat groats, millet porridge, and unrefined rice.
Cats should not be given fatty, fried or spicy food. Baked goods and sweets are also forbidden. They are digestible in animals, but cause digestive problems.
Cats that are on a natural diet require additional supplements in the diet. These are vitamin complexes and trace elements - calcium, zinc. Supplements are given once every 2-3 months, in consultation with the veterinarian.
The second food option is feed. There are two types of feed:
They should not be mixed. If you choose wet food, the animal's body adjusts to this food. Introducing dry food into the diet requires the elimination of natural or wet food.
Pre-prepared foods have some advantages over natural food:
Balanced diet - owners do not need to calculate how many nutrients the animal will get in a day and each meal. Manufacturers have already calculated everything and indicated it on the package.
Vitamins and minerals are already added to the food, so you don't have to give them separately.
There is no need to constantly look for and buy fresh meat, boil it or freeze it for a week.
Prepared foods take into account the needs of different cats - pregnant cats, spayed animals, older cats, active small kittens.
Of course, we are only talking about quality food that contains more than 60% meat. Cheap packets of wet food are chopped up by-products with flavorings that may be tasty for the pet, but have no nutritional value. Cheap dry feeds are also made from scraps or offal, and the percentage of meat residue in them does not exceed 30%. Such food is not only unhealthy for cats, but also harmful to their gastrointestinal tract.
It is believed that natural food is more physiological for the digestion of the animal. But, if the owners do not have the opportunity or desire to calculate the daily ration for the cat, it is best to switch to a balanced food.
CAT CARE ITEMS
In addition to food, you need to take care of the necessary accessories for the cat. Choose those items that will fit in with your interior and give the cat pleasure:
a litter box; - a cat bed;
It is best to take care of the necessary accessories before the cat comes home. So that when the cat arrives, he will immediately see where his bowl is, where the water bowl is, and where the litter box is prepared.
WHICH LITTER BOX IS BEST FOR A CAT?
There are several types of cat toilets:
The first are the classic litter trays, which are filled with filler. To avoid unpleasant odor in the apartment, you need to remove solid particles from the tray every day, and the filler itself should be changed every few days.
Closed tray is a construction with a closed top that has a special door. Through it the cat gets in and out of the tray. The main advantage of these models is the reduction of odor. But closed litter trays have serious disadvantages:
it is difficult to accustom the cat;
not suitable for small kittens;
folding design quickly fails;
inconvenient to clean.
An alternative to open and closed litter trays is an automatic cat litter box. It is connected to the water system of the house or apartment. Externally, the automatic toilet resembles an ordinary or designer tray, sometimes - a toilet in miniature. Its tasks are extremely simple:
completely eliminate the need for humans to clean the tray;
quickly eliminate unpleasant odors;
get rid of waste products of the cat.
As the filler in the automatic toilet uses special washable granules. After the animal has gone to the toilet, its contents are moved into a special closed compartment and fresh pellets appear on the surface. In the closed compartment the pellets are completely rinsed, and the waste products are removed.
The two main disadvantages of automatic toilets - high cost and the need for installation. Such a toilet cannot simply be put in a bag and transferred like a regular litter box.
WHAT IS THE BEST CAT LITTER BOX FILLER FOR THE CAT LITTER BOX?
If you choose an automatic cat litter box, a special filler comes with it. It does not need to be changed or bought again all the time.
If there is no possibility to put an automatic cat litter box, the classic litter box is used. There are several kinds of filler for it:
Sawdust. Simple and environmentally friendly filler swells with liquid. Convenient compacted granules are completely environmentally friendly, do not contain unpleasant odors. The main advantages of such a filler - wide availability and low price. Minuses - low absorption of unpleasant odors and the need to change the filler every 2-3 days.
Clay. The quality of such a filler depends on the quality of clay - a good filler absorbs odors, effectively eliminates liquid secretions All that is needed for care is to remove solid particles every day and to change the filler every week. If, however, residual clay is used for the filler, which is excessively crumbly, such a filler will not be able to effectively eliminate unpleasant odors.
Silica gel. Popular silica gel fillers should absorb moisture well and quickly eliminate odors. But as with clay, it all depends on the quality of the product. Cheap silica gel fillers are not able to retain odor for more than two days, after which they are completely ineffective. A quality filler completely absorbs liquid and retains solid particles. It is enough to change such a filler once every 5-7 days.
Mineral. Betonite and zeolite are part of the clumping and ultra clumping fillers. When liquids and solid waste come into contact with the filler, lumps are formed. This type of filler retains odors well and requires replacement once a week. But solids need to be removed daily.
Which toilet is better for the cat depends not only on the properties of the filler. The animal may immediately get used to the new filler, or it may stubbornly refuse to go to the tray with the new filler.
HOW CATS CHOOSE A PLACE TO SLEEP
Cats need a comfortable cot to rest comfortably. This is their main place to sleep. Cats always choose a place to sleep where they are warmer. In the cold season, a cat can lie down on the radiator to get warm. But cats should not sleep on the radiator - they can overheat. At the same time, cats do not feel the heat of the internal organs, which makes such sleep dangerous for the animal.
On sunny days you should put a hammock in front of your window or a small house in front of a closed window where the warm rays of the sun are shining.
If the cat is warm or even hot, it can sleep on the floor during the warm season. Make sure that the cat does not lie under the air conditioner, where it may get wet.
The care of cats includes constant hygiene procedures. The cat's ears, teeth, fur, eyes, and regular claw trimming should be monitored. Cats do not like hygienic procedures very much, so the animal should gradually get used to them from childhood. All procedures should be done as gently as possible so that the cat does not feel pain or discomfort.
CAT DENTAL CARE
In the nature of cats that hunt and eat exclusively raw meat with bones, their teeth are self-cleaning. Pets have a different lifestyle and diet. Keeping an eye on a cat's teeth is a constant necessity:
Introduce solid food particles into the diet - carrots, raw bones, meat;
Gnaw on special cleaning bones available at pet stores;
Cats need to have their teeth cleaned every week. Dental care for healthy cats suggests brushing once a week. If a cat has initial cavities, teeth should be cleaned twice a week.
Cats with moderate decay have their teeth cleaned every other day and have them examined by a dentist. Special brushes and toothpastes for animals make this procedure easy and as comfortable as possible for the cat. It is strictly forbidden to use human products - the hard bristles of brushes traumatize the gums of the animal, and human toothpaste is not suitable in terms of acidity.
CAT HAIR CARE
Regardless of the breed, cats need regular combing. Cats with long hair combed out 1-2 times a day, otherwise the hair will become tangled and accumulate in tangles, which are very difficult to comb out and have to be trimmed. Short-haired and medium-length cats should be combed out once in 2 days.
In addition to combing, you should also remember about bathing the cat. So that cats are not afraid of water and bathing, kittens are accustomed to hygienic procedures from early childhood. A cat should be bathed five times a year or once every two or three months.
CAT NAIL CARE
Cats that live in houses or walk on the street don't require special care for claws - they sharpen them during walks. But every week it is still necessary to inspect the paws - if some claws are longer than others, they are trimmed.
Claws grow fast in domestic cats. So that the cat won't chip on the wallpaper or furniture, he should get a scratching post. If the cat doesn't like the object, he may ignore the scratching post. In this case, you should buy another one, which will be convenient for the cat.
Claw care includes claw trimming. The procedure should be performed every 10-14 days.
CAT EAR CARE
Inspect a cat's ears daily. If they are clean, the ears are wiped once a week. If the ears are dirty, they are treated once every 2-3 days. If your cat's ears become red or if large amounts of discharge accumulate in them, you should take your cat to the veterinarian - there may be an infection in his ears that needs treatment.
To clean the ears you need cotton pads and a special lotion. The simple instructions will help you perform the procedure quickly:
Open the lotion and moisten a few cotton pads, lay them out one by one on the surface.
Lay out a few dry cotton disks.
Secure the cat in your hands or place the animal on its side.
Gently use one hand to push back the ear piece.
With the other hand wipe the ear from the inside with a cotton pad soaked in lotion, removing the dirt.
Repeat the procedure with another wet swab.
Wipe the inside of the ear with a dry cotton pad.
Repeat the procedure with the other ear.
After cleaning, pet the animal and give it a treat so the cat is not stressed.
CAT EYE CARE
A small, clear discharge from a cat's eyes and brown crusts in the morning are normal. In the corners of cats' eyes fluid accumulates, which washes around the eye and exudes out. These crusts are most often removed by the cats themselves with their paws during the daily washing. So that they do not interfere with the animal and do not irritate the eye, owners can remove them with a cotton pad and a special liquid for the eye. To do this, it is necessary to:
Take the cat in your arms so as to limit the movement of the front paws.
Take a moistened cotton pad and gently swipe it on the outside of the eye, wetting the crust.
Take a second cotton pad and gently run it over the crust, removing it.
Repeat with the second eye.
Do not use warm water or tea for this procedure as these liquids upset the acid-alkaline balance of the eyeball. Keeping a furry cat requires performing the procedure once or twice a day. Otherwise, the hair near the eyes will crumple.
SPECIFICS OF CAT CARE
Every cat needs attention, no matter what color or length of hair, breed, number of teeth, or puffiness of the tail. To make the life of a pet as comfortable as possible, you need to know all the tips on the care of animals and use them.
LONG-HAIRED CATS CARE
Increased attention to the coat in such breeds is absolutely justified. Smooth and silky coat of a cat is the result of proper nutrition and care of the animal. Velvet coat provides prizes for cats at shows, attracts attention and is an indicator of the animal's health.
A checklist for caring for a long-haired cat includes:
bathing with special shampoo and conditioner;
haircut every 6 months;
Regular care with lotions.
It is necessary to comb out long-haired cats regularly. To do this, use a comb and brushes made of natural materials. Such brushes thin the hair well and do not allow lumps to appear.
CARE OF A PREGNANT CAT
During pregnancy, cats sleep more, eat more, and require special care. First of all, it is necessary to isolate the cat from other, too active or aggressive animals and small children.
As soon as the cat becomes pregnant, it is necessary to show the animal to the veterinarian. The doctor will examine the cat and make sure it is healthy. It is the veterinarian who will help you make the cat's diet for the period of pregnancy and tell you how to correctly recognize the first, beginning contractions.
A pregnant cat sleeps longer, eats more and needs more care and affection.
In some cases, cats give birth on their own, but in some breeds and in cats with large numbers of kittens, a caesarean section is performed. The operation is performed only by a qualified doctor under conditions of complete sterility. It is very important for owners to recognize contractions and take the cat to the veterinarian in time.
CARING FOR KITTENS WITHOUT A CAT
If kittens are weaned immediately after birth, they are left completely defenseless. Blind and toothless kittens cannot take care of themselves. The first thing to do with newborns is to keep them safe. Kittens should be moved to a warm place where other animals can't get to them.
Rules for caring for kittens without a cat include:
Effective thermoregulation. In the first few days of life, kittens cannot retain heat. Any hypothermia, any overheating can lead to health problems and even death of the animal. Therefore, babies are equipped with a cot, on the bottom of which is placed a heating pad, wrapped in a towel and a thick cloth. To prevent burns, the animal can not contact with the surface of the heating pad, so its edges are carefully wrapped in cloth. All kittens are placed in one cot - so they are warmed against each other and don't lose heat.
Proper nutrition. During the first weeks of life kittens eat milk. If the mother is absent, you need to find a cat-feeder or buy a special cat's milk substitute. If you find kittens and there is no substitute in the house, the first feeding can be done with warm water and the next with a milk substitute.
Taking care of stools and urination. In the first days of life, kittens are not able to fully perform their little chores. Usually the cat helps them in this, but when she is not present, before and after each feeding, kittens need to wipe the crotch area with a cotton pad soaked in warm water.
First hygiene procedures. After 14 days of life, kittens are first wiped their ears, teeth inspected and claws trimmed.
In the first month of life, kittens should be shown to the veterinarian, who will tell how the animals are developing and perform their first vaccinations.
HOW TO CARE FOR AN ADULT CAT
Adult cat care includes:
a nutritious diet;
Regular hygienic procedures;
Playing actively with the cat;
Care of the cat's fur;
regular examinations by a veterinarian.
A cat needs attention every day. Adult cat care includes control of the amount of sleep the animal gets - a healthy cat sleeps about 11-12 hours a day, some breeds sleep longer.
CAT CARE PRODUCTS
In addition to the attention and care of owners, special cat care items and products must be taken care of. These include:
toothpastes and brushes;
Lotions, shampoos, conditioners and coat oils;
combs and brushes;
lotions and eye drops;
Don't forget necessities like litter fillers, cots, new balls, rope and scratching post.
CAT HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
Cat hair care products will be needed for bathing and combing. These include:
metal combs with straight teeth;
small clippers for cutting off lint;
brushes with natural hair;
lotions and conditioners;
When choosing a line for bath care, you should pay attention to the length, color of the coat and the breed of cat.
CAT EYE CARE PRODUCTS
To effectively wipe the cat's eyes, you need to take care of a special lotion and cotton pads. Using absorbent cotton, bandages or paper instead of cotton pads should not be used - they scratch the eyeball and lead to inflammation or visual impairment.
An eye wash for cats can be purchased at any drugstore. Chlorhexidine can be used instead of lotion and is even available in human drugstores.
Eye drops or ointments are only needed when the cat is sick. They are used as prescribed by the doctor.