Learning how to take care of a cat is something many of us learn growing up. However, many people don’t have the luxury of learning how to care for a pet as they grow up. This often means starting out with the basics as an adult. Whether you’re younger and your parents finally said yes to a kitty or you’re 30 and finally getting your own pet, these basic tips are for you.
The Cat Picks Up on Your Emotions
One of the most important aspects of learning how to take care of a cat is learning what their various responses and behaviors mean. Cats (and most pets) will pick up on their owner’s emotions. This means that if you’re stressed, the cat can get stressed. If you have a tendency to get grumpy, your cat may end up being a grumpy bumpkin. Overall, whatever your personality, the cat will pick up on this and portray it. If you begin to cry or get upset, your cat may pick up on this and try to comfort you. This means they may rub on your legs, come clean you with their tongue, meow at you frantically, etc. If they do this, they may get a little pushy about it but, don’t get upset. This is how they’re trying to make you feel better and let you know they sense the change in your emotions.
Have Plenty of Toys
Cats, especially if they don’t have a buddy, can get bored. Sometimes, this can lead to depression in cats. Make sure they have toys, a scratching tree, something at all to play with. Also, most cats enjoy an empty box, a plastic bottle cap or even a hair tie! Toys don’t have to be expensive. We often stock up right after a holiday when themed toys are drastically reduced. Your cat doesn’t know that Halloween has passed and happily plays with candy corn shaped toys. Cats don’t need as much interaction as dogs do but, they definitely still need play and activity to ensure they’re happy and healthy. Remember that toys are not a replacement for interacting with your kitty, they need your love.
Pay Attention to Their Habits
If your cat is acting funny, it will be easy enough to tell because they won’t be acting like they normally do. Pay attention to your cat’s habits. This way, if they start to change, you’ll know something is wrong. Often times, this allows you to catch issues before they become too bad. Cats are notorious for hiding sickness because it’s seen as a sign of weakness in the animal world. This means, if you see anything off at all, it’s ok to call a vet or search for answers to make sure your kitty is ok. When watching habits, their bathroom habits are often a great indicator of something being off. Things like parasites or blood can show up in their poop which will indicate they need a vet visit. If they have consistent diarrhea for more than a day, they may need a visit as well.
Keep All Their Dishes and Boxes Clean
Cats are usually very clean animals. However, they need help when it comes to their dishes and cat boxes to keep them clean. If food and water dishes aren’t clean, cats can get feline acne which pops up as a black, flaky spot on their chin. They can also get sick because of bacteria building up on their bowls. A dirty cat box can cause a cat to start having poor litter box habits which can cause them to start pottying in other areas of the house. This results in a stinky house and a gross mess to clean up. If a cat has a sickness or had an issue with parasites, keeping their litter box clean can help eradicate the issue. If it’s kept dirty, the sickness or parasite can keep popping up because it’s hiding in the junk left in the box.
Try Various Foods
Cats can be picky when it comes to their food. Cats can also throw up often although this can be a sign their food isn’t right for them. It may take going through a dozen different types of foods before you find the right one for your cat.
If they have stinky farts, they’re throwing up too often, or they seem disinterested in their food but still act hungry, it’s time to change their food. It’s best to stick to wet or raw cat food. These two options give cats the best hydration versus feeding dry food. In the wild cats get the majority of their water from their prey. This makes them instinctively less inclined to drink water.
Learning how to take care of a cat truly isn’t a difficult process. The biggest tip is just be aware that cats can be similar to humans in their basic needs and wants. They’re hungry and thirsty, can have mood swings, get sick, and long for love just like we do. Overall, if you love them they will absolutely adore you back.