Veterinarians’ 11-Step Guide for Cat Owners

It’s easy to claim to be a pet lover. People could love petting dogs or cats and be amused by watching them play and assume that they are already animal lovers. However, taking actual care of the animal, checking kitty litter reviews before buying and keeping it healthy, safe and most of all tamed is a whole different story.

Cats are one of the most common domestic animals other than dogs, and although it might seem as though they are of low maintenance, given they can clean themselves and such, caring for a cat actually takes way more effort than simply feeding them daily and placing a cat litter on one corner.

Luckily, veterinarians have shared with us an 11-step guide in caring for your felines.

Vaccine on Time

Don’t rely on a cat’s nine lives.

As soon as your kittens hit nine-weeks, have them vaccinated, and on their 12th week, give them their second round. In the following years, your cats will only need boosters to keep them going. This is to ensure your cat a long and healthy life to enjoy according to Amanda Landis-Hanna, veterinarian and senior manager of veterinary outrace at PetSmart Charities.

Keep your cats indoors

Safety First.

Keeping your cats indoors will keep them safe from accidents, infectious diseases, unwanted altercations with other animals, and keep them domesticated. This is according to veterinarian Matthew McCarthy, owner of Juniper Valley Animal Hospital in New York.

Cats are predators, and if given the chance, they will hunt and kill even if they aren’t hungry and we wouldn’t want to breed some little demons in the house that might end up killing our other pets.

Give them Designated Scratching Areas

Scratching is a necessity.

The last thing you would want to happen is to have your couch destroyed by your precious cats. So it is best to make sure that they have a lot of designated scratching areas like scratching posts to keep furniture safe and your cat healthy.

McCarthy says that scratching helps your cats relieve stress, remove dead nails, mark territory, and stretch muscles. This is necessary for your cats and must be met with understanding.

Mimic how Cats Feed in the Wild

Cats are solitary hunters.

McCarthy suggests making use of food toys, hiding kibbles, and other stimulants to mimic the solitary way cats feed in the wild. Keep their bowls away from other cats to prevent violent behavior and to allow them to eat in peace since cats naturally prefer to eat far from other animals.

Unlimited Access to Water

Never dehydrate your cats.

Also, mimic the way cats drink water in the wild by keeping their water bowls away from their food in different locations. Kitty fountains are a good choice for cats who prefer running water, and some canned food already has water to keep them hydrated.

More Litter boxes than Cats

One litter box for two cats is insufficient.

Landis-Hanna recommends having two litter boxes per cat, and cat litters should be placed in smart and far-off locations at home with at least one per floor since cats prefer their boxes away from other felines.

Spacious and Isolated Litter Boxes

Make sure that the boxes are big enough for your cats to move around and dig in.

The size of the box might be the reason why your cat is not using it, it might be too small or too exposed. McCarthy specifies that the box must be 1.5 times bigger than your cats, and must be placed in quiet and isolated locations to keep their privacy.

Spay or Neuter your Cats

This will keep away the unwanted litter.

According to Sara Ochoa, veterinarian, and consultant of DogLab, unwanted litter can be prevented by spaying or neutering your cats, plus, keeps control of the pet population and will help shelters and rescue groups a lot from dealing with too many animals needing adoption and help.

Spoil them with Toys

Keep your cats occupied with toys that stimulate their brains.

Your cats may not be as active as your dogs but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get bored. Ochoa says that it is also necessary to spoil your cats with toys that will stimulate their natural hunting instinct such as puzzles and moving toys.

Microchip Your Cats

Lessen the risk of losing your cats.

This is recommended for cats allowed to roam outside and is a form of permanent identification in the size of a rice grain. Since cats are very adventurous creatures, there are high risks of losing them especially if they are allowed outside without a microchip.

By doing so, you can keep your cats on track in case they roam too far, make sure they’re safe, and contribute to lessening the rate of lost cats.

Screen for Feline Leukemia

Watch out for contagious diseases such as Feline Leukemia.

This is a virus that causes immune problems and even cancer in cats and is highly contagious and deadly. Vaccination is still no assurance of safety especially when exposed to other cats that were not examined for it.

Keep your cats safe by having them checked and by taking note of the symptoms which are weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, and skin infections.

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