Cat Questions for New Cat Owners

catHave you recently come into the possession of a fuzzy little animal with an attitude all its own? Such creatures are commonly known as cats, but they have also been known to be called little terrors, fuzzballs, and furry wonders.

As a new cat owner, you probably have dozens of questions. Here are some basic questions to get you started on creating a happy home for you and your new fuzzball. Get some more tips on cat ownership with an online course.

What do I feed my new furry friend?

The age of your pet will decide what you will feed him or her. If you adopted a kitten, purchase kitten food. These different foods will not only be smaller in size compared to adult food, but kitten foods also have specific nutrients for growing kittens compared to adult foods. If you’ve adopted an adult, you will want to feed it adult food. Feeding it kitten food will only make it really fat really quickly.

To acclimate your new cat quickly to his new home, consider feeding him the same food he was getting before. If you don’t know what food it was being given, just pick a good dry food to start with. Depending on how your cat reacts to the food, you might be changing it so consider starting with a small bag just in case it makes your furry wonder’s tummy upset.

One way to avoid causing tummy upset with your furry friend is to learn how to read cat food labels. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need to eat meat to survive. Commercial foods usually include a lot of carbohydrates, so it might cost you a bit more to purchase a good food that has enough protein for your furry friend. However, cats usually eat less of food that’s nutritionally packed for them. Learn first aid for pets with an online class, and always be prepared for small kitty injuries.

How do I take care of my cat’s litter box?

Your cat needs somewhere to take care of its business, and that place is the litter box. There are only a few suggestions for purchasing a litter box. First, you’re going to want to make sure it’s a large box. A small box might not give your cat enough room to do his business making it difficult for him to take care of business. This could result in more accidents. If you adopted a kitten, make sure the box is not too tall for him or her to climb into.

The litter box is less important than the litter itself. Cats are creatures that require a lot of maintenance, and they will ignore your cat box if the litter is too tough on their little paws. Be sure to try different kinds until you find the one that suits you and your  cat. The most important litter box element that needs to be taken care of is the maintenance of your box. Be sure to clean it every days so that your cat will access it properly. Once a week, you should consider hosing out the box and filling it with completely new litter.

What do I do for my cat’s scratching desires?

Cats need to scratch. It is a need that is just as essential to cats as eating or breathing. If you don’t want your new furry friend digging his claws into your beautiful sofa, you’re going to have to get him something to claw on instead. Most pet stores offer scratching posts, but when you purchase it, make certain it fulfills a few basic qualifications. It must be taller than the pet and be wrapped in a rough fabric like carpet or twined rope. Take great black and white photos of your new family member with an online course.

To teach your cat that the scratching post is their thing and the sofa is yours, try using a product called Sticky Paws. It will give them a sticky feeling on their paws that they hate, and it will eventually deter them from scratching on your items. When thinking about your cat’s scratching needs, you might be thinking it would just be easier declawing the animal. However, before you take your cat into a surgery that cannot be undone, you should read up on what it entails.

Veterinarians rarely suggest declawing as cats continue to be in pain for the rest of their lives. Some cats might even have the claws grow back, and they will have to have the surgery again because the new claws only bring them greater pain. If your cat is already declawed, you’re going to need to help your cat be even more comfortable by purchasing soft litter for their litter box.

Should I let my cat outside, or should he stay inside only?

Keep in mind that cats are creatures of the wild that have been domesticated. This means that while they some of them can be content to just lie on your lap and waste the day away chasing after fluffy jingle balls, other cats may need the freedom and wild nature of the outdoors. It doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy the indoors as well, but they could end up preferring the outdoors.

If you plan to allow your cat to be both inside and outside, the first thing you should do is get it spayed or neutered if it isn’t already. Female cats can’t exactly say no to a male cat, and you might find yourself with more cats than you intended to have when they give birth to a litter. Male cats have a tendency to mark their territory, and it’s believed that getting them neutered before they start is a great deterrent for it. Read up on cat quotes in this online article, and find out just how mysterious your new pet is.

What kind of toys should I get for my little terror?

Most cats enjoy being active, and staying active helps them burn off extra calories. You rarely have to encourage your cat to be active. Usually, something as simply as a paper bag can give your cat hours of fun. If you want to be a part of their activities, purchase a laser pen or some other kind of laser toy that you can control, or purchase a toy on a string or stick that you tease them with.

As your cat gets older, they’ll become less active, but many of them will still enjoy small amounts of play. The amount of play and the number of toys required varies from cat to cat so find out exactly what your cat prefers by purchasing toys and trying them out. Just make sure he has enough to smack around your house.

How do I stop my cat from knocking things off of shelves or counter tops or tables?

Just like a human infant and toddler, your cat is going to get into everything. Trying to stop it is a lot like trying to stop your own breathing. There are ways that you can train cats to avoid certain areas like counter tops and tables. Again, that product sticky paws can help deter cats from areas you don’t want them to be exploring, but it might be difficult to cook with sticky counters. Consider scolding them by making a loud noise, or even a bit of water sprayed from a water bottle can be enough to train them that sitting on the counters or tables is a bad experience.

Trying to get your cat off of shelves is a different matter. If you don’t have a cat tree for them to climb on, they’re gong to climb on your shelves. Again, cats are wild creatures that humans have simply domesticated. Just as humans have instincts and behaviors that still remain from the days of the cave men, cats will still have instincts and behaviors from their days as wild animals in the open jungles. Purchase a cat tree, and teach your cat that the cat tree is his own special shelf. This will deter him from climbing on your shelves.

Until then, try to keep the breakable items out of common cat-climbing areas. If you’ve noticed your cat tends to prefer the shelves by the window the most, consider making them into cat-friendly shelves by removing your items. Your four-legged friend is just as much a part of your family as the humans that make it up, and you can show him that by giving him his space just as you have yours.

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