Basic cat care tips – Part 4

If you have never owned a cat before and are thinking of getting one, you may find yourself with many questions. Hopefully, this article will answer most, if not all of them.

First there was the question of food. I recommend any premium quality cat food, either wet, dry or both. Your best pet foods will be found at the natural food stores, natural pet care stores and feed stores.

A premium quality food will have no by-products, no artificial anything – including colors, flavors and preservatives. It will list a meat-based protein source first, and probably will have more than one source. Grains should be kept to a minimum, and should be whole grains, not fractions such as corn gluten meal or rice bran. Or feed a premium, grain-free mix. Cats and kittens require a high protein, high fat diet.

Feed kittens two to four times a day, less often as they get older. Pick up any leftover food after thirty minutes. Don’t be alarmed if it looks like the kitten isn’t eating well. Even adult cats eat a small amount at a time, and kittens are very small animals. Cats also won’t eat if upset or nervous, as your new kitten will probably be. Be sure to have water available at all times.

For food dishes, any small, shallow container will work. They seem to have the easiest time getting every last bit out of dishes with rounded bottoms. You can offer treats if you like, but don’toverdo it. or the cat will wait for them and not eat his regular diet. You also run the risk of overfeeding. Be sure to use a premium brand, and never feed the soft treats they contain harmful chemicals.

Many cats like certain fruits and vegetables. Experiment to see what your kitten likes and use tiny bits of these for treats. Some foods they often like include cantaloupe, broccoli, green beans, asparagus and squash. Treats can be used to train a cat, and can be useful in getting them used to brushing and nail trimming.

The next item you will need for a cat is a litter box or two. The type of litter you choose depends more on your preference than the cat’s, although as a rule I would avoid any scented litters.

Keep the boxes clean by removing solid waste several times a day. Clumping litters allow you to remove the urine as well, but these types may not be good for your cat’s health. The properties that allow the litter to clump together also cause it to clump in the cats intestine if they ingest too much of it. (They will often have a grain or two stuck to a paw, which they

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