A Guide to Cats for Beginners
When first getting a cat most people assume all they do is lounge around the house and catch bugs and mice all day but this is not true. Depending on how u take care of them they can be just as fulfilling as a dog. They have few basic needs such as:
Disclaimer: Some of these needs can and will work against you but it is your responsibility to take care of them and figure out how to make them work to your and the cats advantage. All behavior problems can be fixed with little effort. If you get a cat and they are a terror to you and your house then it is not the cat who is doing anything wrong. It's you.
What do you feed your furry friend?
Important Information About Your Cat's Diet
One of the main goals of owning a cat is keeping him or her safe and healthy so it is important to note that all cats need to eat a wet diet. They are not like dogs and in the wild they don't drink a lot of water. Their main source of water comes from the meat that they would eat in the wild such as in birds and mice. If they are on a dry diet it can cause their urine to become undiluted and in turn can lead to a urinary block which can be fatal. You can help prevent this, simply, by feeding them wet or a mixture of both wet and dry foods. Feeding your cat a wet diet will greatly reduce their health risks but it doesn't prevent them in all cases.
Which behavioral problems have you encountered with your pet?
Behavior Problems and What You Can Do About Them
Scratching- if you get a cat and they scratch up all of your furnishings then there is a simple solution. You should buy them scratching posts, pads and cat condos. This will clear up the problem right away. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch and that is what they are going to do. You can get mad, yell, or even punish them but this will not help. Your cat has no choice but to scratch so it is your responsibility to give them something to scratch on or they will use your home for this need instead. On the plus side, this helps to keep their nails trimmed, helps them exercise, and gives them more to do so they are not sitting around bored all day.
Hunting- Cats have an instinct to hunt. They will catch bugs and mice around your house and even eat them. This is perfectly normal and harmless. Along with that you should play with your cat on a daily basis. The best toys to fulfill this need are laser pointers, toys on a stick and crinkle tunnels. If your cat is causing problems such as keeping you up at night, causing too much chaos, or even so much as attacking you and members of your household it is likely due to their very high energy levels. Playing with them will ensure you a happy, relaxed, and calm cat.
Escaping- If you have a cat that keeps trying to run outside and it is not spayed or neutered then that is most likely the cause. He or she is just trying to find themselves a mating partner. This can be prevented by taking them to a vet and having them spayed or neutered for under $100. The price will vary depending where you go so be sure to look around for a place that suits your own budget and needs. If they are already spayed or neutered and you're still having this problem then it would be a good idea to invest in a cat leash since they enjoy the outdoors. You can let your cat outside without a leash but it's not a great idea if the cat is declawed as they can't protect themselves from predators. If you prefer you can allow your cat to live outside but he or she will most likely have a shortened lifespan because of this. Another important tip is to never leave a collar on an outside cat due to the fact that they can easily catch on fences and can strangle your pet. If you must put a collar on the cat, please consider keeping them inside.
Cats can be entertaining, intelligent, friendly, and loving all at the same time. They are very timid creatures but as long as you keep them safe, happy, and show them they can trust you it will pay off greatly in the end. Some advice when adopting a cat is to pick one that really clicks with you. If you want a smart pet that will love you back, pick one that's out going and responsive. If the cat doesn't seem into you when going to pick it out then it is just that particular cats personality. Do not bring him or her home thinking they will change because it's highly likely they will not. What you see is almost always what you get with cats so be sure to pay attention and pick a good one. You will be much happier if you take the time to find one that fits in with your needs and wants then if you just pick out any cat you see.