Raising a pet is a big commitment and investment. Besides loving, nurturing, and playing with your little furball, you also have to ensure its health and safety. Even though cats are easier to care for compared to dogs, they still have needs, and it’s your job to meet them.
To help you become the best pet owner you can be, we have gathered some of the most essential things you need to know when raising a cat, so let’s jump right in.
1. Don’t Feed Your Cat Too Much Dry Food
Unlike dogs, cats can’t survive only on dry food. You see, dry food contains a large percentage of carbs, which can be bad for cats, in the long run, putting them at a higher risk for obesity and type two diabetes. Because they’re carnivores by nature, they rely on meat as the foundation of their diets, so make sure your kitty’s main meal of the day is primarily composed of meat, chicken, or fish.
2. Ask Your Vet About Supplements
There’s nothing worse than watching your beloved cat suffer due to old age or a medical condition. Certain supplements can help ease your furry friend’s pain by correcting any nutritional deficiencies it may have. For example, if your cat suffers from lack of mobility due to joint pain or stiffness, a glucosamine supplement for cats can reduce the symptoms of common ailments that may be hindering your cat’s movement, like arthritis and osteoarthritis, and get it moving again. Glucosamine is a naturally-produced substance that helps keep cartilages healthy in both animals and humans. But as your cat grows older or suffers from joint damage, its body may not be able to produce enough of it. By making sure your cat is getting all the nutrients it needs, you can effectively help it live a longer, healthier life. Consult your vet before giving your little furball any supplements, they will direct you to the appropriate products depending on your kitty’s needs.
3. Make Sure Your Feline Friend Is Properly Hydrated
Cats get most of their water from food, so you need to be aware of the percentage of water in your kitty’s food. On average, wet or canned food is about 78% water, while dry food has only about 5-10%. Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times, especially if it feeds mostly on dry food. If your car is old or nursing, it will be more prone to dehydration, so monitor its water consumption, and watch out for symptoms, such as lethargy, sunken eyes, and panting.
4. Get Your Kitty a Scratching Post
A bored kitty is a destructive kitty. Because cats are quite independent and nonchalant, first-time cat owners think that their new feline friend can entertain itself; that is how you end up with ripped furniture, scratched tables, and pee-covered carpets. The key to keeping your belongings intact and maintaining a peaceful coexistence with your furry companion is to give it an outlet for its energy. A scratching post will keep your cat busy and prevent it from clawing at your wooden tables and floors. Furthermore, it will give it a safe and fun way to trim its nails. When you first bring it home, place the scratching post in the center of the room that sees the most traffic in the household to entice your cat to use it. If your cat still doesn’t seem interested, try sprinkling a little catnip on the post.
5. Spay Your Cat
Having your cat spayed or neutered is one of the best things you can do for it in the long run. Female cats, in particular, become very uncomfortable when they’re in heat. Many cat owners believe that it’s cruel to deprive female kitties of the chance to have a litter before they’re fixed, but that is merely a projection of human values onto an animal who will be just as content without offsprings. If you want your cat to have a fellow feline companion, you can simply adopt another cat. Hundreds of thousands of unwanted cats are euthanized every year, so don’t add to the population.
Every proud cat owner will want to give their feline friend the love and care it deserves, and then more. If this is your first pet, it’s crucial to get off on the right foot. Good daily habits will make the adjustment and training periods much easier for both of you. Without consistency or commitment, you and your cat will likely struggle to bond, which is every cat owner’s worst nightmare. From the food and toys to the litter boxes and scratch posts, when buying anything for your beloved furball, you have to consider details like the price, quality, effectiveness, durability, and usefulness. With these tips in mind, you will come home to a happy, purring cat and earn yourself a loving, lifelong companion.