Understanding Your Cat’s Needs
It is a common misconception that cats are a “feed them and forget about them” pet. While cats aren’t necessarily difficult creatures to look after, you might be better suited to take a fish as a pet if you want a little to no attention pet. We’re going to talk about the basic physical and psychological needs of a cat to help you better understand the responsibilities that caring for a cat entails.
The dietary needs of a cat are fairly simple to satisfy. The three basic types of cat food available are dry (kibble), moist (usually bought in pouches), and wet (canned). If you are considering a kitten, it’s best to carry on feeding him the same brand and type of food that his breeder is feeding him. It’s up to you what kind of food you want your cat to eat. Many people encourage feeding a cat dry food as it helps to keep your cat’s teeth clean and strong. Cats that have a solitary diet of soft foods usually end up having far more dental issues than cats on a kibble diet. Always make sure that you have clean water available to your cat at all times of the day and do not feed your cat cow’s milk, as it has very little nutritional value for your cat and often results in digestive problems and diarrhea.
Setting up and maintaining a litter box is pretty basic. We recommend purchasing litter box liners (similar to trash bag material) to make changing out the litter an easier and more sanitary process. Using a litter scoop, you should remove clumps of poo regularly from the litter, completely changing out the litter about once a week. If you have more than one cat, you will likely need to change the litter more often to keep the smell down.
The grooming responsibilities for your cat will depend a great deal on the breed that you have. Cats with longer or thicker fur will require you to brush them once, sometimes twice a day. As a general rule, cats do not require baths. Cats spend a huge portion of their day cleaning themselves and they’re very good at it! If your cat has a mishap that leaves them too dirty to clean themselves, a quick bath with soap designed for cats is okay. You may find that if your cat is a very long-haired breed, his fur might become excessively oily. This is another case in which you may need to bathe your cat.
The emotional needs of a cat are harder to predict. Cats are affectionate creatures, but the affection is usually given and received on their terms. You may find your cat is a fairly solitary creature and only comes around for a snuggle once in a while. This is quite normal behaviour for a cat, so don’t feel bad if your cat doesn’t spend a great deal of time around you. That being said, all cats have different personalities, just like us. Some cats enjoy being around people and others don’t-it’s simply a case of figuring out what your cat likes. It’s best to let your cat approach you for attention rather than seeking him out.
Exercise is also important for your cat, but they can get plenty of that indoors. Try investing in a kitty gym, scratching post, or pet steps to encourage your cat to be active.
For more information about raising cats and dogs, visit the Help Your Pets website.