Cat care guidlines

catFoodHave you recently added a feline friend to your family? Here are some guidelines to help you through the beginning stages as a new fur parent.

Feeding

We recommend purchasing high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your new cat or kitten and determine the best diet. Factors such as age, activity level and health make a difference in what and how much a cat should eat.

Groominggrooming_and_coat_care_for_your_dog1

Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but you should brush or comb your cat regularly. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs.

 

Handling

To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck or by the front legs.

Housingheated_cat_bed_house

Your pet should have her own clean, dry place in your home to sleep and rest. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. Outdoor cats are at risk of trauma from cars, fights with other cats and free-roaming dogs. Outdoor cats are more likely to become infested with fleas or ticks, as well as contract infectious diseases.

Identification

If allowed outdoors, your cat must wear a safety collar with an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. And for both indoor and outdoor cats, an ID tag or an implanted microchip can help ensure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.

Litter Box

All indoor cats need a litter box, whcat-in-litter-boxich should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary, but if you must do so, move the box just a few inches per day. Keep in mind that cats won’t use a messy, smelly litter box, so scoop solid wastes out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent and refill at least once a week. If your cat will not use a litterbox, please consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes refusal to use a litter box is based on a medical condition that required treatment.

Scratching

Cats need to scratch! When a cat scratches, the old outer nail sheath is pulled off and the sharp, smooth claws underneath are exposed. Cutting your cat’s nails every two to three weeks will keep them relatively blunt and less likely to harm the arms of both humans and furniture. Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post, at least three feet high. The post should also be stable enough that it won’t wobble during use, and should be covered with rough material such as burlap or tree bark. Many cats also like scratching pads.

Health

Your cat should see the veterinarian at least once a year for an examination and annual shots, and immediately if she is sick or injured.

Fleas and Ticks

Dfleaaily inspections of your dog for fleas and ticks during the warm seasons are important. Use a flea comb to find and remove fleas. There are several new methods of flea and tick control. Speak to your veterinarian about these and other options.

 

Medicines and Poisons

Never give your cat medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. If you suspect that your animal has ingested a poisonous substance, call immediately at our 24/7 hospital 021 919 1191.

Spaying and Neutering

Female cats should be spayed and male cats neutered by five months checkof age. Sterilizing your cat not only has health benefits but behavioural benefits too.

Vaccinations

Your kitten should be vaccinated at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age. There after your cat should see your veterinarian annually.

Cat Supply Checklist

  • Premium-brand cat food
  • Food dish
  • Water bowl
  • Interactive toys
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Safety cat collar with ID tag
  • Scratching post or scratching pad
  • Litter box and litter
  • Cat carrier
  • Cat bed or box with warm blanket or towel

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