Your Cat's Health Care

Kitty Care

Starting With The Basics

 

Basic Cat Care

Every cat needs a certain level of care. Depending on the breed, they may need specialized care in terms of grooming as well as any special health provisions.

The Stages of Feline Development

When a kitten is born it's hard to imagine them growing into full-grown cats. When kittens are born they are blind and completely dependent on mom. The first stage of their life involves eating and growing. Once their eyes are open, however, they will begin to explore the world around them.

By the time a kitten is four weeks old, they will begin romping around with their siblings. They will begin to learn about the litter box as well as become well socialized. In the wild, the mother will supplement their diet with prey that she has caught and killed. This means you should consider providing a soft cat food or dry food that is softened with a little water.

By six to eight weeks they will begin exploring a little more. They will venture into other rooms and follow their mother around. They will also begin to develop their hunting abilities. At eight weeks old they are usually completely weaned and ready to move to their new home.

For several months after weaning they will continue to grow and will do so rather quickly. They will need series of vaccinations to ensure that they don't catch any diseases. They will also learn how to interact with the family and learn their boundaries. Your kitten should also learn his name and perhaps a few other commands. If you have a longhaired cat, you will also need to begin regularly grooming the cat and get them used to it.

Hold Your Nose

The Litter Box

One of the biggest drawbacks for some cat owners is the litter box. Not only do you have to clean it, but you also have to teach your kitten to use it.

It is usually fairly easy to teach your kitten to use a litter box. The most important thing is that you put it in the place you want it and leave it there. You also need to keep it clean so that they won't decide to use the carpet instead. A litter box should also not be kept near food bowls or water, as cats like to keep these areas clean.

Once you find the right place for the litter box, you will need to teach the cat what the litter box is for. Begin by placing the cat in the box and raking your fingers through the litter. Your cat may quickly decide that they need to use it right away. If they hop out, play with them a few minutes and then place them back in the box. Repeat the process several times, but try not to overdo it.

After your cat eats, you will want to wait for about 10 to 15 minutes and then place them in the litter box. If they use it, then you will want to praise them. If your cat is taking a nap, watch the cat and place him in the litter box when he wakes up.

If your cat has an accident, you don't want to scold them. They will only become frustrated or angry. Instead place the litter box in the area the cat tends to have accidents and encourage the cat to use it. Once they get in the habit, they should start to use it regularly. If the cat stops, try cleaning it. If it is not dirty, have the vet check him out for a bladder infection or other health problem.

There are several litter box designs that make it easier to keep the litter box clean. The hooded type is best for cats that want their privacy. It is also good for those who kick and make a lot of dust. There are also removable lines that help you in cleaning the litter box. Simply lift out the whole liner and discard it. Another popular litter box is the design that is self-cleaning. These are best for multiple family cats. The litter box automatically cleans itself after each use. You then empty the container the soiled litter is discarded in.

Celebrate Your kitty

Just In Case of A Mess

Messes are common when your cat is first learning to use the litter box. If you don't get these messes cleaned up as soon as possible, you may be stalked by lingering odors.

Cat urine is very smelly and it will only get worse the longer that it sits. This is due to bacteria feeding on the organic waste that is in the urine. Those wastes are then converted into gases. The longer the urine sits, the more it will soak through your carpet, pad and even the wood beneath your carpet. This makes it nearly impossible to remove.

Begin cleaning by blotting the urine first. Use an old towel to soak up as much as possible. Follow up with paper towels to remove as much urine as possible and no moisture can be seen. The area should be diluted next by spraying it heavily with water and mild white vinegar. Blot after spraying. Continue this process until the area is clean.

In some cases you may need to neutralize the odor. This is necessary if the cleaned spot has dried, but the odor is still there. There are several chemical odor removers such as Febreeze and OdorEater that will neutralize the smell.

If you have old stains, you will want to neutralize the odors as well. Carpets and padding will often need to be replaced if the odor and urine has sunk all the way through to the underlying floor. If the scent of urine lingers in a room, but you can't find the spot you can use a black light in the room to illuminate it.

If your cat is urinating outside of its litter box and the cat has been using the litter box regularly, take the cat to the vet to see if the cat has a urinary infection.

Cat spray is perhaps the worst smell in the world. It can definitely take your breath away so be prepared when cleaning these messes. A cat that sprays can be a real nuisance. The best way to clean cat spray is to catch it as quickly as you can. It is also best to stop the spray behavior so you don't have to deal with these messes. Many cats will stop spraying if you neuter them. This doesn't always work though. You can also prevent the spray through a pheromone based training product. This product mimics the pheromones that are natural to cats and the cat loses its impulse to mark its territory.

Cats are also notorious for vomiting, whether it is a hairball or just food. Cat vomit can be very difficult to remove, especially if the cat is eating a food that has red dye in it. In this instance, you will probably have to call a steam cleaning company to clean your carpets. For vomiting, and diarrhea as well, you will need paper towels and a small stiff-bristled brush. You will also need a water and detergent mixture and an odor neutralizer. The area will need to be blotted, diluted, blotted, diluted and blotted until it is sufficiently clean. You will then need to use your neutralizing product.

Hairball Prevention

 

Prevention Tip #1

Regularly brush your cat. The more you groom the cat, the less hair it will swallow on its own. Brushing helps to get rid of the dead hair before the cats licks and grooms itself. You can also wipe your cat down with a moist towel to capture stray dead hairs.

Prevention Tip #2

At your local pet shop you should be able to find special hairball treats. These are edible treats that help to breakdown hairballs. Many of these also contain mineral oil. Some cat food has also been developed to aid hairball prone cats.

Prevention Tip #3

If hairballs are a constant problem you can use a special lubricant that is designed to help your cat pass hairballs. Products that contain petroleum are best. These are also available in several flavors so that your cat will readily consume them.

There is no cure for the hairball problem, but these are just a few preventative steps that should make your cat's life a little easier.

Comments 3 comments

adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 8 years ago from Atlanta Author

Hi Patty, I didn't know the hub was entertaining. No I haven't been able to get Missy to flush that handle yet. LOL


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

Thia is a very intersting and entertaining article. :)

Have you ever trained a cat to use the toilet in the bathroom. 3-4 of us have written Hubs on that one. LOL Much fun!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

I must get my carer to buy me some Hairball Prevention...

Purrfect tips!!

ty

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    Your Cat Will Love These

    CAT COOKIES

    1 cup whole wheat flour

    1 tsp catnip

    1/3 cup milk

    1/3 cup powdered milk

    2 tbl butter or vegetable oil

    1/4 cup Soy flour

    1 egg

    2 tbl Wheat germ

    1 tbl Unsulfured molasses

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix dry ingredients together. Add molasses, egg, oil and milk. Roll out flat onto oiled cookie sheet and cut into small, cat bite-sized pieces.

    Bake for 20 minutes and let cool. Store the cookies in a sealed container.

    . BIRTHDAY TREAT FOR KITTY

    1 - 2 poached fish, preferably salmon, with the skin and bones removed

    1 tsp. plain yogurt

    Few drops of fresh lemon juice

    Poach the fish. Then mix the yogurt and lemon juice and serve over the cooked fish.

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