The decision to adopt a cat is a good one. Not only are cats very independent, they are excellent companions. Most cats like to snuggle up to their owners when they are watching television or when they are reading a book. Your cat will be happy when they see you walk in the door, even if they don’t show it. If you have never owned a domestic short hair cat before, there are a few things that you should know when it comes to their care. The more you know about the newest addition to your family, the happier and healthier he will be.
He’s Independent. But He Still Needs Attention
Even though it is in a cat’s nature to be independent, he still needs love and attention. He can amuse himself while you are at work all day, however, if you travel often for work or for pleasure, you may want to reconsider adopting a cat. Many cats are high energy and need to be played with. They also need snuggle time with you. If you are going to adopt, make sure that you have the time to make your cat happy.
He Needs to Visit the Vet
Before you bring your cat home, you should make an appointment for him at the vet. You want to make sure that you cat is healthy before you bring him into your home and allow him to spend time with your family. Also, he will need his immunizations. You also need to have your cat fixed. Not only does it help to control the pet population, but it will make him much easier to deal with. Cats who are fixed are healthier and happier. They won’t spray the furniture when they are in heat and they won’t try to break out of the house. As long as your cat is at least 2 months old and he weighs at least 2 pounds, you can have him fixed. The sooner you get it done the better. Your cat’s health depends greatly on regular visits to the vet.
His Litter Box
Your cat is going to need a litter box before you bring him home. Most kittens are already trained by the time they are old enough to take them home, therefore, you only need to show them where the litter box is. You should keep the litter box in an area that your cat can easily get to. If you keep it too far from the main living area, the cat might have an accident before he makes it to the box. You can purchase a covered litter box, which many cats like. They want privacy when they are relieving themselves. The best type of litter to buy is the kind that clumps. It is important that you keep your cat’s litter box clean. You should scoop it at least once each day. If the litter box is dirty, your cat might find a cleaner spot somewhere around your home to relieve himself. If you have the money to spend, you can purchase a self-cleaning litter box that attaches right to your toilet.
He Needs Toys
Cats are very intelligent animals. Because of this, they can become bored easily. As most people know, a bored cat is a mischievous cat. Your cat needs toys to keep him busy. Toy mice with bells are great for him to push around the house. If you want to be involved in playtime, a feather on a string or a laser pointer will keep him very entertained. Even an empty box can keep you cat busy for hours. If you are willing to spend the money, there are expensive interactive toys on the market with built-in cameras so that you can keep an eye on your furry friend while you are at work. If you want your knick knacks and curtains to still be intact when you get home, give him some toys.
Buy Him a Scratching Post
Cats have an instinctive desire to scratch. If you don’t give your cat a scratching post, he will use your walls, your furniture, and anything else that is in front of him. When you give him a designated place to scratch, your furniture will be saved and he will be able to scratch when he needs to.
Feeding Your Cat
When you first bring your kitten home, he will need more food per pound of his body weight than an adult cat would. You should look at the label on the bag to determine how much your kitten should be eating. As he gets older, his food requirements will change. It is important to pay attention to the recommended amounts. If you feed him too much, he will gain too much weight, which can result in health problems. There are some cats who can have food in their bowl and only eat when they are hungry. There are others who will eat just because there is food in the bowl. All cats are different.
He Needs to Stay Hydrated
It is important that you cat has fresh water at all times. If you are home all day, a simple bowl will do. If you are at work all day, you should consider buying a water dispense. It is a large jug that sits on top of the water dish. You can put up to a gallon of water into the jug, and it will be dispensed as necessary. This is also a great option during the summer when the water will evaporate faster and you cat’s need for water increases.
Get Him Some Treats
Like humans, cats love to have a treat every once in a while. There are many types of cat treats that you cat can enjoy. You can give him a treat when he behaves, as a reward for performing tricks, or as a way to bond with him. Cats also love catnip. It makes some cats hyper, but if you want to make him happy, you should let him have some occasionally.
Most short-haired cats don’t require much grooming. If he sheds, you can brush him occasionally to get the dead hair off. Grooming also helps to keep his coat shiny and healthy. Many cats don’t like to be brushed, therefore, you should get him used to being brushed regularly when he is a kitten. If you start young, he should give you no problem when you brush him.
Protect Him From Fleas and Ticks
Even if your cat doesn’t go outside, he still needs to be protected against fleas and ticks. When you are walking outside, fleas and ticks can jump on your socks or in your pant cuff to find a way into your home. When they get inside, they will seek out your cat because they make for a hearty meal. It is a good idea to purchase monthly flea treatments designed for cats to protect him from a flea infestation. These medications also keep the ticks away.
Domestic short haired cats make excellent pets. As long as you know how to care for yours, he should lead a long and happy life.