Cats may be cute and cuddly, but they can also be a challenge, especially when they are indoors all the time. Cats are natural hunters and get bored easily, so they tend to be curious. This can lead to problems such as: B. when scaling your curtains to get a better view of your living room.
Understanding a cat’s basic needs can help you raise and live in harmony with a healthy pet.
Keep life interesting
For most domestic cats, life is humble and monotonous. So you need to keep them busy as much as possible.
“Our misunderstanding of cats as easy-care pets has resulted in cats that are bored and stressed out. This has led to an epidemic of obesity in cats, as well as stress-related illnesses like urinary tract infections, says Ariel Mosenco, DVM of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Cats need an interactive playtime that satisfies their hunting instinct and keeps them active.
For you as the owner, this means a variety of toys and lots of one-on-one calls to fend off a chubby pussycat.
“Some cats play fetch, so throwing a toy down the stairs to make the cat run up and down works well,” said Arlene Gardsbane, DVM, veterinarian in Silver Spring, MD. “Laser pointer toys are great for making a cat chase. As well as toys at the end of the bars. “
For cat owner Colette Bennett, having more than one kitten has been a blessing. Bennett shares her Atlanta apartment with her boyfriend and three cats; Ender who is 9 years old, Noodle, a 3 year old female, and Ichi, a 1 year old male. She thinks the cats take time out for each other.
“The younger two also hunt each other and wrestle a lot,” says Bennett.
Litter box locale
Cats also need their own space. You may not have an entire room to give them something, but try to make sure your kitten has a dedicated area of your home that is self-sufficient with food and water, a scratching post, bed, and litter box.
“The location of the litter box is critical,” says Chris Miller, DVM, co-owner of the Atlas District Veterinary Hospital in Washington, DC. You may want to keep it in a secluded place to avoid the smell. However, if it’s too difficult to get to, your cat may no longer use it.
Keep a large litter box in a well-lit, quiet part of your home. “If the area is too dark and scary like a basement or noisy like a laundry room, they might avoid using the box,” Miller says.
And keep a cat’s food and water in a different area. Cats like you don’t want to eat wherever they go to the bathroom.
Be careful when scooping. Miller says using (or not using) a litter box can help you identify when something is wrong with them. Some signs that warrant a trip to the vet are blood in the litter box if your cat travels a lot but only pees and meows a little or makes other noises when she walks.
Feed your cat
For many cats, it is a good idea to establish a feeding schedule, usually two meals a day, 8 to 12 hours apart. Your veterinarian can tell you how much your pet should eat each day based on their size and how active they are. And while you may fear your cat will get hungry, it’s best not to leave a bowl of food outside all day. This can mean that your cat may choose to eat as much as possible, which could result in her gaining too much weight.
If your cat begs when you sit down to eat, resist the urge to feed it from your plate. Some human foods are bad for cats, such as onions, garlic, raisins, some nuts, and chocolate. Other foods like milk are difficult to digest for many kittens and can make them sick.
And always make sure your cat has access to fresh water 24/7.
Collar and claws
Even if you only keep your kitten indoors, cats are excellent escape artists. Always wear a collar with your name and phone number in case you take a break. Many humane societies say microchips are the best way to get your pet back to you safely.
And should your cat get out, they will be at a disadvantage if they are scratched. So many vets say it’s best to keep your cat’s claws, if at all possible.
“In my opinion [declawing] should be a last resort as it is a painful procedure for the cat, ”says Gardsbane. “It should only be considered if the cat is living with someone with an immune system that is fatal to be scratched by a cat.”
Are you worried about your furniture? Bennett says she found other ways to ward off potential harm from her cats.
“We have a large scratching post that they love (we rub it with catnip every few weeks) and several smaller cardboard scratches in other rooms. They are more likely to use this than our furniture, although before I got it, Noodle ripped open the leg of a table that I really liked. “
Most cat experts will tell you that keeping a house cat healthy is easier than one that is going outside because you know what it’s up to and can get medical help quickly if it is sick.
But Bennett says when it comes down to it, it’s really the owner-pet bond that helps their cats stay healthy. She says love and attention are the best things to do for your house cat’s contents.
“No matter how distant a cat may be, it relies on its relationship with you, not just on food. Spend time with them and you will see the bond grow. It’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever known, and to me they are family. “
Ohio State University Veterinary College: “A Perfect Start,” “The Indoor Cat Initiative.”
Ariel Mosenco DVM, DACVIM, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
Arlene Gardsbane, DVM, Owner, The Animal Place, Silver Spring, MD.
Colette Bennett, Atlanta.
Chris Miller, DVM, Co-Owner, Atlas District Veterinary Hospital, Washington DC.
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