Cat Care: What Do You Need to Know About Raising a Cat?

Some people describe them as the devil’s spawn, and others find them to be such cute, little furry friends. Wherever you stand, you must have fallen in love with cats to decide you’re going to adopt one to be your newest family member.

While it is fun most of the time, there are a lot of things you should know about raising a cat. After all, cats won’t be able to communicate with you about what they need, so you should be well-prepared in advance. Cats need a lot of care when it comes to providing them with suitable food, training them to use litter boxes, and checking up on their health and preventing infection with diseases. You’ll gradually become an expert when it comes to taking care of your cat and providing it with the best home, so don’t feel overwhelmed!

Out of the list of things you’ll need to know when raising a cat for the first time, here are the top 8 items:

Food

Your cat’s requirements will largely depend on its age. Are you adopting a kitten? In this case, you’ll be the one to set its eating habits and the quality of its food. If you’re choosing to feed your cat dry food, make sure you choose age-appropriate dry food, also check for fortified food that will aid its growth and immunity. If your cat is older, find out what it prefers to eat. Cat lovers can learn about healthy food options from these experts, including how a change in your cat’s diet can result in different side effects depending on the breed and age. You can always offer a mixture of soft and dry food while keeping a close watch on how it reacts. In all cases, always make sure to provide your cat with clean and fresh water to keep it hydrated.

Sleeping Habits

Kittens normally spend a lot of time sleeping; they can sleep well into 20 hours a day. Sometimes they’ll wake up in the middle of the night and start meowing for no apparent reason. To avoid unnecessary night visits from your cat, prepare a comfy sleeping area for it to nap, preferably away from your room. Make sure it’s away from cold and rain when the weather starts to shift.

Litter Box

You’ll need to invest in a litter box and cat litter of high quality. High-quality cat litter will make sure that the litter clumps when the cat is done, and that will make it so much easier for you to clean up. Some litter will even be scented, which will give you and your cat a better experience in your home. Needless to say, always clean up the litter box regularly. Otherwise, your cat will never stop meowing, and you’ll suffer from its odor.

Playtime

Exercise is important to keep your cat well and healthy, and cats love to play. Whenever you visit any pet shops, you’ll find a wide variety of activities that your cat is bound to love. Cats love toys that produce sudden noises, and they also love running after small balls (although they won’t bring it back to you as dogs do). Find time to play with your cat; that way your bond will become even stronger.

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Medical Checkups

In order for your cat to enjoy a healthy life, make sure to stay committed to periodical medical checkups with your vet. Kittens need to be vaccinated early on in their lives, and even adult cats need regular checkups to evaluate their health and possible infections. A medical checkup is also vital if you’re adopting an adult cat, you’ll need to make sure of its history and health before learning how to take the best care of it.

Mating Needs

The first thing you should ask yourself is whether you want to spay your cat or not. Many people choose to spay their cats, and for a good reason. If you decide to go with it, it should be done on your first medical check-up with your vet, as early on as possible. If you decide against it, prepare yourself to care for the newly born kittens or put them up for adoption (in the case that your cat is a female). If your cat is a male, you should expect a change in their behavior starting from six to seven months of age, that’s when he’ll verbalize his need to mate.

Scratching Needs

One of the most annoying behaviors you’ll find your cat doing is scratching. You might find it scratching your expensive sofa, your carpet, your beddings, or even your skin. This makes many cat-owners consider declawing their cats, but it is not recommended! Cats need to scratch for many essential reasons, so the best option is to give them an alternative to claw their way into. Scratch toys are available at any pet store.

Proofing Your House

A big part of preparing to raise your first cat will be creating the perfect environment for it to grow well and healthy. You’ll get to discover that cats are curious creatures that love trouble. If there are any places in your house that you don’t want them into, that’s where they’ll be most tempted to enter. To prepare for welcoming your cat, you should think of all the places in your home where it might be dangerous for the cat to get into, such as over the stove or under the sink. Over the years, their jumping ability will also multiply, so take care to block their way from jumping onto any high structures, and finding their way into your fancy ceiling light.

Adopting a cat into your family can bring you a lot of happiness and affection, but you need to make sure you’re well-prepared to take good care of it. The kind and quality of food will vary depending on the age and background of your cat, as will their medical needs. To provide a homey and loving experience for your cat, take care of its sleeping arrangements, its litter box, and cat litter quality, and give it enough attention at playtime to exercise and bond.

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