Early spaying or neutering prevents unwanted litters,
reduces a cats urge to wander and diminishes a male
cats tendency to spray urine. Millions of unwanted
kittens are euthanized in shelters across the country.
You dont want to contribute to this problem, so
spay or neuter your cat before s/he can reproduce.
great indoors Indoor-only cats are healthy
cats. Cats that live outdoors (even those that live indoors
but are allowed to go outdoors) are far more likely to
develop inappropriate elimination problems. Their territorial
nature often results in fights, causing nasty abscesses
that require expensive and painful veterinary care. Outdoor
cats are prone to parasites and can catch FIV
or Feline AIDS. An indoor-only neutered cat has an average
lifespan of 12-18 years. An intact male tomcat has an
average lifespan of less than two years.
boxes are important You should have one
box per cat in the household plus one extra.
PLACEMENT and MAINTENANCE
of your cats litter box are key to the development
of proper elimination habits.
those claws Cats claws have a well-defined
quick. It is pink. Clip only the tip and stay clear of
the quick. You should trim your cats claws about
every two weeks; sharp untrimmed claws can result in household
damage. In older cats, claws can even grow into the pads.
physical exam Take your cat to the vet for
a complete physical exam annually. Cats often do not show
physical signs of illness until it is advanced, so the
importance of regular well-cat check-ups cannot be overstated
There are differing opinions on the need and advisability
of vaccinations for indoor-only cats. Speak to your vet
about the pros and cons. If your cat spends any time at
all outdoors, up-to-date vaccinations are essential
Prevention Even your indoor cat needs protection
against fleas, which you can unknowingly bring into your
house on your clothes. Your vet or local pet store sells
highly effective topical flea preventatives, which work
better than flea collars. Only use flea products specifically
designed for cats. Many of the products designed for dogs
can be toxic to cats.
Preventative Cats, especially longhaired
varieties, can develop hairballs as they groom themselves.
Hairball preventatives are available in many forms, such
as topical gels and ingestible tablets and treats.
Shorthaired cats are usually self-grooming. Longhaired
cats require daily brushing in order to maintain their
Cats naturally eat 9-12 small meals a day. Free-feeding
allows your cat to regulate its own food intake. If obesity
becomes a problem, you should feed your cat 2-3 small
meals a day instead.
with your cat Cats require mental and physical
stimulation every day. It is especially important for
kittens, who can become severely depressed if left on
their own for too long. Try to spend a minimum of twenty
minutes a day actively playing with your cat. Boredom
is the leading cause of destructive behavior and obesity
in cats. These can be avoided through interactive play
and by providing active toys the cat can enjoy by her/himself.