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Taking Care of Your Cats the Right Way (Cat Care Tips & Guide)

Updated on July 15, 2013
Cuteness overflowing...
Cuteness overflowing...

Intro...

"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat." -Ellen Perry Berkeley

If you're lucky enough to be owned by a cat, then you know all about how delightful and entertaining it can be. Waking up in the middle of the night with a cat on your chest, breathing in your face and demanding food is one of the many joys experienced when sharing your home with one of these furry critters. As we all know, cats are very demanding and expect a lot from us. So let's go over a list of essentials to keep our cats healthy and happy.

Note:

Food is everything for cats. They love to nibble at food from time to time (rather than eat it all at once). Some cats are very particular about their food. They will stay hungry rather than eat what they don't like. So it's very important you get them what they love.

Cat Food...

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast." -Unknown

All cats will agree, food is top on the list when it comes to their care. There are many different brands and flavors to choose from and selecting the right kind is very important. Talk with your vet about your cat's health and what foods would benefit him/her the most. There are brands that are specifically targeted for overweight cats and can help get them back to a healthy weight, and even foods that are made especially for kittens that will provide them with the right nutrients to help them grow into strong, healthy cats. The most popular brands of cat food are Purina, Meow Mix and Fancy Feast.

Purina One cat food has a special blend of protein, carbs, and fat and is considered one of the healthiest brands for your cat. There are no artificial food coloring in the blend and it is great for cats with sensitive stomachs. Veterinarians highly recommend this brand.

Meow Mix is a big favorite for cats. With essential nutrients, antioxidants and a wonderful assortment of flavors, cats are crazy about it!

Fancy Feast cat food includes natural flavors and is complete with balanced nutrition. Cats who are big fans of gravy really enjoy the "Gravy Lovers" canned foods that include real chicken, beef, and turkey.

Kitty Litter

The type of litter we choose for our cats means little to them, but is important for us since we are the ones having to clean it out. Not all litter is the same. The most important things to look for when choosing litter are odor control and clumping. The smell from a cat's litter box has the power to burn our eyes and temporary blind us, so it is essential that the litter provides a way of masking that odor. Baking soda is the best ingredient for litter and works great at fighting odors.

The litter should also be great at clumping together your kitty's "waste". Cheap litter will just break it into little pieces and make it a hassle to clean up. Good litter will keep it all together and make it easy to scoop up and throw away.

The best litter for this job is "Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Clumping Litter". It provides the absolute best in clumping and odor control.

Brushing your cat
Brushing your cat

Best for your little fur-ball....

Cat Grooming...

It is important to help your cat maintain a clean, shiny coat. For your own safety, please do not attempt to bathe your cat. At least not without proper protection: a helmet, gloves, goggles, armor, etc.

Cats can typically keep their own coats clean and should only need bathing if they have been sprayed by a skunk, have fleas, or are covered in dirt and mud. However, by licking their own coats clean, they tend to swallow a lot of their fur. The hair does not digest in the stomach, so it becomes a clump of fur that needs to be coughed up. In worst case scenarios, the hair can even become blocked in the cat's intestines, resulting in surgery to save the cat's life. Getting a good brush for your cat is a great idea and can help keep the hacked up furballs at a minimum.

IMPORTANT:

Cat law should be done with extreme caution. Only the tip of a cat's claw should and can be trimmed. Towards the paw claws have nerve endings and if these are damaged it will be extremely painful for the cat and severe bleeding could occur. So if you are unsure how to do it, seek professional advice.

Trimming Kitty Nails

You can also keep your cat properly groomed by trimming his/her nails every few weeks. Trimming your cat's nails is a very delicate procedure and must be done with caution. First, you must find a way to gently restrain your cat. the prevents any sudden movements that may harm him/her during the trimming. Take the paw and gently squeeze the toe until the claw is extracted. You will notice that there are two areas of the claw. The clear section and the pinkish-reddish section called the "quick". It is VERY important that you avoid the quick because your cat's nerve endings and blood vessels are located there. Using special kitty clippers, clip the nail only in the clear section. When in doubt, have your veterinarian show you how it's done.

The area named 'quick' should NOT be harmed. Only the part beyond 'here' can and should be clipped.
The area named 'quick' should NOT be harmed. Only the part beyond 'here' can and should be clipped.

MUST WATCH BEFORE ATTEMPTING CLIPPING

Don't direct the laser towards your kitten's eyes or yours.

Cat Toys...

Cats are very energetic and love to play with just about anything. There are no wrong choices when it comes to cat toys, but there are definitely some favorites. The laser pointer is guaranteed to keep your cat (and yourself) occupied for quite a while!


More favorites include squeaky mice, feather wands, and the occasional random paper bag. Catnip is a necessity if you don't think your cat is hyper enough. It can be added (in small doses) to any toy to provide even more entertainment!

Taking your cat to the vet...

"Everything I know, I learned from my cat: When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner." -Gary Smith

No cat likes the vet, but it is very important to make sure your cat stays up-to-date on his/her shots and makes regular visits.
By following these tips to proper cat care, you will have a happy and healthy cat who will hopefully reward you with a dead mouse and expect praise for it.

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    • profile image

      Marija 

      3 years ago

      The cat food should be a brand that has a good repotatiun and been around awhile.. also do the research on what should be in the food and what should not be. As a cat gets older the food needs to change to a better food. Some cats can handle dry and wet other cats only dry. The best combination is a tsp or two with a quality of dry food twice a day depending on your pets size. There are cats that will eat just dry food, but those sometimes end up with more hairballs which is not a problem for the cat, they throw them up easily enough but then you have to clean them up.. so that is a factor for you to consider.As for cat litter.. again make sure it is a good brand. There are ones out there that are just down right weird. But the clumping litter is good but again you want a good brand that has been around awhile and doesn't have a lot of dust when you use it. I have several brands that I like and let price make the final decision. Unlike food you can change the litter without problems. With food it isn't a good idea to change the food a lot.Hope this helps.

    • Nimesh De Silva profile imageAUTHOR

      Nimesh De Silva 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback :)

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 

      4 years ago

      Great tips. Purina catfood is popular with my two cats.

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