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Cats are considered to be ideal pets for people with busy lifestyles, as our feline friends are quite independent animals. However, they still require lots of love, attention and care. From food and grooming to play time and toileting, there are quite a few things to consider. Read on for a brief guide on the ins and outs of caring for your cat…
Cats require a healthy and balanced meat-based diet and cannot be vegetarian. Cats often go back to their dish several times a day, so small portions of a store-bought mix such as Felix cat food are advisable. Access to clean drinking water must always be provided and, along with their food, it should be positioned away from the cat’s litter tray.
Just like humans, cats like to do their business in quiet privacy. While it is sometimes difficult to find the best place for a litter tray, you can provide more than one, to let the cat find a place which makes them feel safe and calm. Empty the litter tray at least once a day, or your cat will go to the toilet elsewhere in the house. Rinse using warm water and clean with cat safe disinfectant once a week.
Even if your cat will spend most of its time outside, it is still necessary to provide a safe and fun environment at home. Cats that feel scared will either want somewhere to hide or somewhere to get up high. A cardboard box on its side works well if you’re on a budget. This can also be used as a bed if you add something soft for it to lie on. Cats tend to sleep around 16 hours throughout the day and do not like to be disturbed!
You may be pondering whether to keep your cat indoors or allow it to come and go as it pleases. There is no right or wrong answer here, although older cats who have come from another home and are used to their freedom must not be kept inside as they can become agitated. If cats are initially trained as house cats, you should have no problems, although you may need to provide extra space and stimulating environment to avert boredom and poor health.
Play and grooming
Playing with your cat is not only fun, it also provides good exercise and will strengthen your relationship. Toys are easy to find and cheap to buy. While outside, cats tend to discover their hunting instincts and often get in the occasional scrap with a fellow feline, but this is to be expected. Although brushing your cat is another good bonding experience and often necessary for long-haired varieties, they are generally very clean animals and like to groom themselves.
Register with a vet as soon as possible, whether you have acquired your cat from a shelter or as a new kitten. They will be able to provide advice about neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, fleas, worms and dental care. You may also consider taking out pet insurance, as healthcare can be a costly surprise if your cat gets ill!
Image by Robert Couse-Baker, used under Creative Comms license: