How To Take Care of a Pet Cat

by crocodiletears

Truly caring for a kitten and raising it into a gorgeous domestic cat is harder than it may appear. Here are some of the essentials I learnt from first hand experience

When my mom rescued a 1 day old orphan kitten during her evening walk little did we understand the challenges we would face for the next few years to come in raising it into the plump cuddly and enviably gorgeous pet cat she is today.

If you are finding yourself in a similar position then this article should guide you through the initial challenges of raising a kitten and also help you to better understand her needs in the later years.

How to Care for the Newborn Kitten?

Most Important : Keep it Warm

The greatest enemy of the newborn kitten is cold. They are very susceptible to cold and it is nearly always fatal. So be sure to keep it quite warm. In particular, if like me you live in a tropical country never keep it in an air conditioned room.

 

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Feeding the Kitten

For the first few days the kitten should only get water and toned milk (assuming of course that it has not been suckled by its mother). The feeding should be performed with utmost care and with infinite patience to ensure the little fellow doesn't choke. I would strongly advise purchasing one of the several pet feeding syringes available today for this purpose. 

 In particular I would suggest a soft silicone pet feeding syringe as it will ensure that you do not injure its delicate gums in case you have to force the syringe into its mouth during feeding.

Some More Pet feeding Syringes from Amazon
Hand Feeding Syringe 60cc

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As the Kitten Grows

Keep it from Harm's Way

Kittens, as soon as they are strong enough, develop a natural inquisitiveness to investigate their surroundings and this can potentially put them in harm's way. They might try to jump out of open windows, or somehow manage to get themselves locked up in cupboards or get themselves buried under a heavy blanket.

So it is imperative that during the first few weeks you closely monitor its movements and restrain its mobility when you are not there to keep an eye on it. Of course, it is impossible to restrain a kitten but you can contain it by placing it in a box.

Just about any large enough cardboard box made comfortable with tissue paper (which will require regular changing) should suffice. Or else you can choose to pamper your kitten with the SmartCat Bootsie's Bunk Bed and Playroom for Cats

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What to Feed the Growing Kitten?

The best thing to feed your kitten is packaged cat food. Though very few people in India (where I live) actually do this, there is no denying that feeding your kitten packaged cat food from the start has two-fold benefits:

  1. It provides wholesome nutrition to the kitten and so you need not worry about its diet. So it is much simpler to manage than specially boiling rice and fish or milk for your pet cat.
  2. The kitten will not develop a taste for human food (fish, milk etc) and this saves you the trouble of keeping your food safe from the growing kitten.

I have only ever fed my cat Whiskas Cat Food and she absolutely loves those crunchy chunks and they also give her a great health and really soft, thick coat. Whiskas Cat Food comes in different variations to offer your pet a change in taste every now and then.

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WHISKAS SAVORY PATE Roasted Chicken Dinner Wet Cat Food Trays 3.5 Ounces (Pack of 24)

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Toilet Training

Toilet training is of course very important for keeping a domestic cat. The method I used for this purpose was to simply rub her nose where I wanted her to do her thing and it worked within just a few short weeks. 

Further, cats probably value cleanliness above everything else and instinctively dig the ground before relieving themselves and kick back dirt to cover up once they are done. Obviously this doesn't work so well on a concrete floor. So what you need is a hygienic litter  box.

Probably the best litter box available today is the ScoopFree self cleaning litter box designed by MIT grads.

ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Litter Box

ScoopFree Ultra Automatic Self Cleaning Litter Box.

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ScoopFree Self-Cleaning Litter Box

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How to Take Care of Your Full Grown Cat

A Good Brushing

Every cat loves a good brushing from time to time but ordinary combs are not at all suitable for this purpose and you must buy a special pet grooming brush which can effectively remove the loose fur from its coat and tidy it up.

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Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Cats, Green

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A Blanket

Cats love to cover themselves with or sit on something warm and soft and so a light blanket makes an excellent addition to your cat's accessories. There are some self heating pads available in the market but I have never been comfortable with the idea of my pet getting too friendly with an electric powered and potentially accident prone device. So I would always suggest a nice old fashioned blanket or thermal mat.

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... and Other Things You Should Know About Your Pet Cat

And finally here are a few extra points that will help you understand your cat better:

  1. Domestic cats tend to sleep a lot especially during the day. This is normal. But still you might try to entice it into some action and exercise by playing with it with toys that catch its fancy.
  2. If your cat is a female then she might go crazy during period but this mood swing is very natural and nothing to get alarmed about.
  3. Never punish your cat. They can never be tamed or trained by the whip.
  4. Give your cat a ready supply of food as they seldom eat their fill at one go but rather continue to eat small amounts through out the day...and night 

And Last but Not the Least

Subscribe to a good pet's magazine and take your cat to the vet for vaccines and regular check ups.

Here's wishing your cat a long and happy life with you! Have fun!

Updated: 12/18/2012, crocodiletears
 
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