Basic cat care tips

FEEDING

Kittens should not be taken from their mother until they are seven to eight weeks old. If you acquire a motherless kitten younger than six weeks old, consult a veterinarian about feeding.

Kittens have high caloric requirements because of their high energy level. Feed kittens under six months old canned kitten food three to four times daily, removing any uneaten food after ten minutes. Overfeeding can result in diarrhea and or vomiting.

At about six to eight months of age, reduce canned feeding to two times daily.

Dry kitten food and fresh water should be available at all times for kittens of all ages.

When your kitten reaches one year of age, gradually change to adult food by mixing 1/4 adult food with 3/4 kitten food. Gradually increase the adult food to 100% over a five to ten day period.

Avoid generic cat food and do not feed dog food (cats need more protein and amino acids than dog food provides).

Cats enjoy a variety in their diet. In addition to daily dry food, you may want to feed canned (moist) food periodically.

Feed moist food at room temperature and store uneaten food in a glass container in the refrigerator.

Don’t let table scraps make up more than 50% or your cat’s diet. Avoid uncooked food, and never give your cat bones.

Milk can cause diarrhea and should be avoided in cats and kittens of all ages.

Your cat or kitten requires fresh drinking water in a clean glass bowl at all times.

Feed your cat what he likes. The “best” food will do your cat no good if he will not eat

AGING AND DEATH

Well cared for cats can live 15-20 years. Older cats may require extra attention from your veterinarian. They generally become less active and require less food. Older pets may become seriously ill with diseases such as cancer or crippling arthritis. To keep a suffering pet alive is a temptation, but not a kindness. In fact, having the courage to let a beloved pet go is the greatest last act of kindness you can give. Euthanasia means having your veterinarian put your pet to sleep before he would die naturally. The process is quick and painless for your pet. The pain you will feel , however, will be overpowering sadness and loss. You have lost someone you love very much, but this loss is the last part of being a responsible pet owner.

Although it is hard to lose a beloved pet, his passing is unavoidable since humans can live five times longer. Each cat has his own unique personality, whose memories will always be with you. But remember all the loving little kittens and cats at the animal shelters awaiting adoption! Once you can adopt another friend, you will begin creating new memories and sharing happy times.

NEUTERING

The importance of neutering cannot be over-emphasized. Neutering is a generic term referring to the surgeries performed by your veterinarian so that your cat will not breed or have kittens. The surgery is commonly called “spaying” for a female and “neutering” for a male. By neutering your pet, you are being a responsible pet owner in preventing the birth and resulting death of millions of cats because there are not enough homes for all of them.

In addition, your pet will be healthier and happier once neutered!. Neutering will also reduce a cat’s urge to roam, help eliminate behaviors such as spraying and crying, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, and reduce aggressiveness. Male and females can be neutered as early as four months.

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