How to Care for Your Cat:
Living with a Cat
There are many fun ways to make your cat a happy, loyal friend.
• Let her be with you and your family, as much as possible.
• Spend a lot of time giving her attention, every day. Play with her (including with cat toys), brush her, pet her, and take her for walks. You can try to train the cat! But remember that some cats only want attention at some times.
• Give her toys to keep her busy while you’re away. Be sure that she can’t choke on them.
• Most cats love climbing and being in high places, so give her shelves, furniture, and toys that let her do this.
• If possible, feed her while you’re eating your own meals – she will feel more accepted.
Try to give your cat a regular schedule for exercise, play, feeding, and sleep. Cats feel more comfortable when they have a routine.
When your cat is first getting to know your family, carefully watch children when they are near the cat. Train the cat and the children to be gentle with each other. Teach children not to touch the cat when he is eating or sleeping. Small children should not try to pick up the cat, because the cat may scratch them if he feels afraid.
There are many dangers to letting let your cat go outside of your house and garden alone, such as fighting with other cats, being chased by cats and other animals, being hit by vehicles, and eating poisonous chemicals. Being outdoors at night is especially dangerous. If you keep him inside, he will be healthier, safer, and a more loyal friend to you.
Put a collar around his neck with your name and phone number so someone can call you if he is hurt or runs away from home. Use a collar that is made to break if it is caught on something, so it doesn’t choke him.
When you pick up your cat, pick him up underneath and hold him close to your chest. NEVER pick him up by the scruff of the neck, ears, or legs – this is painful and can cause injury.
Do not de-claw your cat. Declawing can be painful and many veterinarians think it’s cruel. It can cause behavior problems such as biting or not using the litter box. If your cat ever goes outside, he won’t be able to protect himself or climb a tree if he is chased. If your cat likes to scratch, give him a scratching post or other toys for scratching. Whenever he starts to scratch something he shouldn’t, move him to the scratching post.
If you go away on a vacation/holiday and you can’t take your cat with you, be sure a friend or pet-sitter visits her every day to play with her, feed her, and change her litter box. Another option is to bring her to a vet or boarding kennel. Your vet should be able to recommend a kennel.
Put poisons, poisonous plants, and other things that are dangerous for your cat to chew on where he can’t get to them.
If you have the space, time and resources, consider adopting a second cat to keep your cat company! If you do this, learn about the best way for your cat to meet another cat.
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