Owning a cat is a great experience. These furry balls of fun can melt a person’s stress away when they get home. Whether your cat likes to cuddle, run around or simply sleep in a sunbeam, it needs to be taken care of to keep it happy.
Proper cat care starts with the owner. Every owner should identify their cats needs. From there, they need to attempt to provide for those needs. Not every attempt will be successful. Cats can be picky. If they don’t like the feel of a cat bed you bought, they aren’t going to use it to make you happy. They may turn their noses up and walk away from a new food that you bought just for them. Learning a cat’s preferences and personality will allow you to provide better care for them!
1 - Dietary Needs
The first thing you need to look after with your cat is their diet. Cats are carnivores and need animal protein to live. Plant protein does not work as a substitute. Cats can be much pickier than dogs when it comes to food. A mix of a dry kibble with some moist food at times will often be the right choice. Also, cats like different flavors instead of the same one every single time. If kibble is just left out, then some cats will binge and become obese. Cats should be eating several meals per day. An automatic dispenser can ensure that your cat gets fresh food when it wants it.
2 - Provide a Sleeping Location
Lots of cats feel comfortable sleeping with their owner, however, a cat also needs a place of their own where they can feel safe and sleep. This can be during the day or at night. Find them a comfortable bed. It can be premade, or simply a folded blanket that they love the feel of. Try to make sure that the middle is lower than the outside edge. This plays into cat instincts and their feelings of being protected as they sleep. It doesn’t hurt to have multiple beds. Cats also appreciate when their beds are placed in elevated areas. This again plays on their instincts for safety.
3 - Sanitation
Cats are clean pets. They do what they can to dispose of their waste. However, most homes aren’t naturally built with a garden or loose dirt on the inside. Therefore a litter box is necessary. Litter boxes should be kept clean as often as they are used. Also, if you have multiple cats, you will often want to get a box for each. They do not like to share litter boxes. Ensure that food and water are not placed near the litter boxes. Cats don’t enjoy that.
4 - Entertainment
Cats don’t just sleep all day. When they are awake, they love to entertain themselves in various ways. Cats love to explore. That’s part of why they seem to jump in every box nearby. Providing cats with an exploratory castle/cave setup made from boxes or crates can allow them to have fun exploring and stalking around every corner. Cats are very vertical, so save space by making sure it mostly moves upwards. Cats also enjoy toys, though each cat is different. Some like toys with bells or noises, some prefer a simple shoelace they can chase and carry with them. It’s best to play with your cat and figure out what they love.
5 - Forming a Bond
Cats can grow to love their owners just as much as dogs do. The difference is that sometimes it takes a bit longer for a cat. They build bonds with humans more like humans do with others, over time. When you get a cat, make sure you set aside some time each day to spend time with the cat. Even if it’s not active play or cuddle time, just being near your cat will help to build a bond of trust.
6 - Vet Care
Many cats don’t particularly love travelling to the vet. It’s not surprising. Cats like their spaces and they like their routines. Try to get your cat accustomed to a cat carrier from a young age. This way they will feel more comfortable going to the vet. Trips to the vet for socializing, even if they don’t need any treatment can help too. Obviously, getting proper vaccines and yearly checkups can only help with health. Make sure your cat gets appropriate flea and tick prevention from your vet.