Cats are one of many animals that clean themselves. Although this works for the cat in many instances, there is only so much that cat can do. You have to step in and groom the cat to keep it healthy. Here are some useful grooming techniques to use on your cat.
If you have outdoor cats, be sure to discourage pests such as coyotes, possums and raccoons by bringing cat food indoors at night. Feed your cats first thing in the morning, and make sure there is no food left at nightfall. This will keep your cats safe from attack and illness.
If you just got your cat you want to take them to the veterinarian right away, especially if it is a feral cat or kitten. Kittens are born with parasites and need shots and medication to get rid of them. Feral cats can carry diseases. This is why it is important to have them checked out immediately.
Protecting your cat from household chemicals is something that you may already know, but did you know that protecting them from medications is just as important? Common over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen can be toxic to your cat, even in small doses. Keep your medication safely out of the reach of your cat.
If your cat is pregnant, set up a comfortable, safe place for her to have her kittens. A big cardboard box equipped with a pillow and blanket is good. Place it in the back of a closet or other out of the way place. Keep food and water dishes nearby.
Make your own enclosed litter box from a large tote box with a lid. Use a coffee can lid as a pattern to cut a door in one side of the tote. Place the coffee can lid fairly high up on the side of the tote. Trace around it with a permanent marker. Cut out the circle with tin snips or a box cutter. Add litter. Put on the lid.
Cats love to be clean. Hairballs are more common in long-haired cats. There is a special food on the market that does help out with hairball issues. Some foods contain extra oils and nutrients, specifically designed to prevent or diminish hairball concerns.
Consider those expensive cat litter boxes. There are cat litter boxes now that allow you to have minimal interaction with them. This can be great for anyone who is tired of cleaning a litter box. But be careful, as they may not work as easily as they claim to. If you can, make sure there is a return policy and don’t lose the receipt. You may find you prefer the old-fashioned style!
Having a hard time giving your cat a bath? Try this. Take an old window screen and put it in your sink or bathtub. Put your cat in, and he will claw the screen and stay there. Then start washing, but do don’t dilly dally. Use a cup to help you to pour warm water on your cat unless you have a movable shower head.
Be cautious when leaving a kitten with children. If a child is under the age of five, you should not leave the pet alone with them. They are just not mature enough to understand the danger they can pose for the kitten. As your child matures, carefully consider whether a small pet is safe with them.
If your cat relieves itself somewhere other than its litter box, it shouldn’t be punished. Many times this occurs because the box wasn’t well maintained. The cat will be fearful of you if you punish it.
Sometimes you need to give your cat a pill. Some cats are harder than others, but you should trim their nails first. Then hold the head, open the mouth, and put the pill in. Then blow on the cats face. This will likely make the cat lick its nose, and the pill will go down naturally.
If you live in an area that is populated by wild animals, such as coyote and fox, you may need to make you cat an indoor cat. Wild animals pose a real threat to cats, and to avoid the loss of a beloved pet, it is sometimes best to keep them indoors for the course of their lives.
If your cat is bitten by another cat, try to get him to the vet within 24 hours. The vet can put him on antibiotics that will protect him from infection setting in, and causing serious health problems. Cat bites can trap bacteria under your cat’s skin, forming an abscess, or other dangerous infection that can cost you hundreds of dollars to treat later.
Use aversives to deter your feline friend from going places where it is not allowed. An aversive is anything that creates an undesirable environment for your cat. Examples include shelf paper (sticky side facing upward) and tinfoil. Most cats prefer to avoid these textures at all costs. You can also use carpet tape that has adhesive on both sides.
Kittens should never be taken from their mothers before they are eight to ten weeks old. During this time, kittens learn most of their social and instinctive behaviors, and removing them from the mother too soon can cause future behavioral issues the mother cat could have taught them had they not been removed too early.
Encourage your child to play with cats by using toys, not by using their fingers and hands. Choose toys that put distance between the child’s hands and the cat’s teeth and claws. During a vigorous play session, an excited kitten is more likely to accidentally scratch its playmate’s skin. For example, you might use a long wand-type toy with a dangling feather or bell.
A cat that is clean and well groomed will be happy, healthy, and good looking. Remember, the cat can’t do all of the grooming work. It’s up to you to give it a little extra help. Use as many of the provided grooming techniques on your cat and see how good it looks.