Basic Cat Care
Cats are relatively easy to care for. They are more independent than dogs, keeping themselves and their potty places clean. But don’t be fooled that they require no time or effort on your part. They are still active pets that need time to play and cuddle.
Here are our top cat care tips:
Keep feeding times the same. Even when you have a set schedule, your cats will probably still demand food. It’s part of the fun. Keep the water bowl clean. This easily develops mold and mildew, especially if you leave it out for a while.
If you change food, transition the new food in slowly. Changing food too fast could cause diarrhea. Make the switch from one food to another over a week to keep your cat feeling good.
Keep the litter box clean! You wouldn’t want to use a toilet that has never been flushed. Likewise, clean the litter box at least once a day.
If your cat is having a hard time using a litterbox, check with your vet first to make sure it’s not a health issue causing the unwanted accidents. If they come back healthy, you can do a few things to encourage correct potty placements:
- Sometimes it’s too smelly. Clean out the litterbox more often. If the litterbox has a lid, that keeps the smell in too. Try removing the lid and see if your cat starts to use it more.
- Sometimes they don’t like the sand. There are many kinds of litter, from unscented to apple perfume. If your cat is avoiding the box, try switching cat sand to see if that helps.
- Sometimes they don’t like where it is located. Try to find a private space for them to feel safe enough to do their business.
- If they are still having problems, keep them in a small area at first (sometimes a crate if they aren’t getting it). When they pee and poo, they get more freedom.
Cats need to scratch – it is their way of keeping their claws trimmed and releasing stress. Scratching is a normal part of cat behavior. There is no way you can train it out of them. But sometimes it leads to unwanted scratching on your furniture or curtains. Buy or build a scratching post to protect your furniture and give your cat an approved scratching outlet.
Cats love to play! Not only that, but they need the exercise and mental stimulation. Play with you cat for at least 15 minutes a day. Get a toy, tie feathers to a string, or use a laser pointer to get your cat’s energy out. Some cats even love to play hide and seek with their owners!
Keep an eye on your cat’s play level and how much they eat. Them being lethargic and not wanting to eat is usually the first sign of some kind of health problem. Consult your vet when you feel like there might be an issue. We go into greater detail about what to look out for in our Cat Health article.
That’s it for the basics! They are easy to care for and their love is so rewarding. Good luck!