Cats have always been a favourite pet across the world and from the ancient Egyptians to modern times they have been held in high regard. They say that these animals are easier to look after, have extremely sharp senses, and are great survivors. Any pet is a responsibility and cats are too, especially based on the type of cat you want to bring home.
Choosing a cat
There are different varieties of cats and choosing the right one will be one of the most important decisions that you make as a pet owner. Many people like the look of certain breeds and even the fluffy kittens that they see on TV and the internet. Do not let these images affect your decision. You should find a breed that will suit your house, lifestyle, and routine. With cats, such as the Persian cat, you need to have time at hand to groom them and look after their coat.
The easiest way to decide what kind of cat that you would like is to meet people that have cats. See their house, look at how the pet has settled in, ask about the breed and if there are any health concerns associated with the breed. You can also visit an animal shelter or taking in kittens and cats to foster for a few days before you make your decision.
Even though they might not want as much attention as dogs, cats also need to be given attention, especially if you are buying kittens. They need to be kept active, taught how to use the litter box, and be fed at regular intervals. If you are up for the responsibility, then you will enjoy welcoming a kitten into your home. If you are seeking a cat with a bit more independence, then older cats are an option.
Older cats need a little getting used to, as they may take time to bond with you, but they do adjust quickly to their new surroundings, and they will become a part of the family. You can adopt an older cat from an animal shelter, but before you do, spend some time with it at the shelter itself. Understand the cat’s behavior and make arrangements to bring it home.
Sometimes you may end up picking up a stray pet that comes in off the street. Any stray animal should be first taken to a vet. The vet will tell you what breed it is and will check the cat for any infections and fleas. If the cat needs spayed or neutered, it is best to arrange this at the same time.
Bringing your cat home
Before you choose your cat from the shelter, from a breeder or a friend, you need to set up a few things at home.
If your house already has pets, you need to ensure that you create a separate area for the cat and also consider a secure cat enclosure and how the cat will react if you have other pets. Existing cats can take a while to get used to the new addition to the household, so be aware that it can end up in territorial fights with other cats in the neighbourhood as well. If you have a goldfish or tropical fish, put a lid on the fish tank, and try to keep it as far away from your pet as possible. Remember that cats can climb and jump, so height is not much of a problem for them.
After setting up a corner with a bed or a crate, create a kitty litter box for your feline. With kittens, it is always more difficult to train and ensure they only do their business in this box. It is slightly easier with adult cats. The litter box should be cleaned out every alternate day, and if you have more than one cat at home, then clean out the tray every day before it emits a bad smell.
Cats do not always sleep on the bed that you have made for them. Do not worry too much about this, but make sure you close doors and prevent them from sleeping on the bed. They have fine hairs that can irritate your skin or create sneezing.
Taking care of your cat
A yearly checkup is necessary to ensure your pet is healthy. Most vets will work with cats, so it should not be difficult to find professional help regarding your pet’s health. As cats groom themselves, they generally do not need extensive grooming, but you will have to check their ears for any infection. Do not give the cat a bath unnecessarily, as they do not really like water and a bath will always cause havoc in the house.
Cats love going out; well, who does not! Many houses have cat-flaps from where your feline friend can enter and exit the house whenever it likes. Use a call or a whistle to call your pet. If it does not come in after a while, you might need to go out and look for it. Sometimes, cats get into fights, get caught in bushes or up trees, or are injured in other ways, or sometimes they have been closed in a shed or visited a neighbour’s house. This is why it is very important to watch where your pett is going.
Cats are carnivorous and enjoy their fill of protein. That does not mean they only eat meat. Many cats eat fruit and vegetables as well. From when you bring your pet home, give it various nutrients and choices in its food. There are thousands of food options available in the market with different varieties of proteins that are used. Some are slightly more expensive than others are, but they are made to cater to every aspect of your pet’s nutrition.
Treats are always enjoyed, and they can be used as bribes to teach your pet new tricks or commands. The pet store has many treats to choose from, so buy softer treats when training a kitten and make sure each piece is not too big as well.
Toys for your cat
A ball of yarn is always the toy that comes to mind when you think of cats. As odd as it may sound, cats can make anything toys, such as yarn, a ball, their shadow, a pillow, and even your clothes. Do not ignore the need to buy your cat its own toys. They need to be active and there are various toys designed for doing so. Some of these toys cater for sharpening their senses as well.
These animals are extremely quick learners and will always find new ways to get up to mischief. They might or might not take orders in the same way as dogs, but make sure you teach them how to stay away from anything fragile in the house.
Cats make great pets and need attention. If you are ready to give your cat the attention it deserves, love it, care for it, and keep it entertained, then they will make your life bright and happy.