Cats make great pets for those that aren’t interested in having pets that require a lot of maintenance. Aside from making sure your feline companion is fed, watered and provided with clean litter, there’s not much else required to care for a cat. Some love and attention is absolutely necessary, but cat owners find that most cats aren’t interested in too much of this (don’t worry, though; they’ll let you know when it’s time to give them some attention). Despite the low maintenance lifestyle of cats, they do need a few things around the house. Here are 10 you should always keep on hand.
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It should go without saying, but some cat owners forget that food is one of those items they should have on hand at all times for their cat. Some pet owners forget to restock and end up leaving their cats hungry for a few hours – some as long as a day – until they have the opportunity to run to the pet store for more food. It’s a good idea to always have an extra bag of dry cat food or several containers of moist cat food on hand so you can avoid those little emergencies.
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Cats with claws must absolutely have a sharpener. This is a scratching post that gives your cat the freedom to do what he or she needs to do and enjoys doing; sharpening and scratching their nails. The last thing you want is a cat that finds a place at the corner of your couch to sharpen his or her nails. You’d prefer to have a cat post so that your cat damages nothing but his or her own belongings. Something that’s tall enough or wide enough for them to comfortable scratch is necessary; otherwise, your cat might look for something more suitable – probably the edge of your leather couch.
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Cats aren’t like dogs in that you have to attach them to a leash and take them on a walk. In fact, if you did this, I’m willing to bet your cat would give you a look that all but screams, “What is wrong with you?” With that in mind, it’s easy for cat owners to forget that their cats do need a collar. This collar should be equipped with your cat’s name, your name and your contact information. In case your cat escapes the house or yard, this information is imperative.
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Cats have to see the vet just like kids have to see the pediatrician. It might happen all the time, but there are few things in life as dangerous as driving a car with a cat running around like a crazy animal (pun intended). Cats are not known for their calm and happy demeanor when it comes to car rides. They are scared – they’re smart so they probably know what’s coming and that accounts for their skittish behavior. A carrier is necessary anytime the cat needs to spend time in the car. Not only for your safety, but for the condition of your vehicle as well.
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It’s often surprising just how many people do not have a litter box on hand. People who go to adopt a cat or kitten will stop on their way home and pick up food and other cat items, but often forget to pick up a litter box. Even if you think you have a box that will suffice, a litter box is your best bet. The reason a litter box is your best bet is because it has a door that swings. This door – attached to a lid – helps keep odor locked in; something an open container does not do.
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This is probably the most important thing you can keep on hand for your cat. If you run out of litter, your cat might decide he or she isn’t going to bother with the litter box once it becomes too full or too dirty. Since you have nothing with which to refill it, your cat might decide a new place is perfect for using the bathroom. And as much as we hate to admit it, cats will often find a nice, soft pillow, blanket or bed on which to turn into a personal litter box.
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Even though dogs are the animals known to sleep in doggie beds, cats do like their own space. They prefer somewhere they can call their own (not that they won’t hesitate to make anything they sit fit in your home their own). A cat bed is a place you can help teach your cat to stay. If you really want to keep your cat off the furniture (good luck with that) a cat bed is a great start because it allows you to show the cat the appropriate place on which to lie down and relax.
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Cats need entertainment just like people. Cat toys are a great source of entertainment because they can play when they choose and ignore them when they choose. They’re also a good idea because designated cat toys will help prevent your cat from looking for items with which to play. This may even help keep your cat off bathroom counters where there are always small objects (think hair ties) and off furniture where they will go on the prowl to find something small and easily batted around the floor. Cat toys are an absolutely necessity.
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Unless you have a sphynx, you will need a brush for your cat. It’s most important to have a brush when you have a cat with long hair, but even short hair cats need a good brushing from time to time. This helps to clean their coat, keep them from becoming tangled and messy and it helps you to dislodge anything that might end up stuck in their fur. At the very least, brushing a cat is a great way to massage his or her body and make your cat feel good. We all like to be pampered, and cats are no exception to this rule.
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Feline Nail Clippers
Even though your cat will occasionally spend time at the groomer and the vet, you have to be conscious of clipping their nails/claws on a regular basis. Not clipping a cats nails can cause infection and pain. Your cat’s nails could become so long that they begin to curl under and become ingrown. They can also cause damage to your household items such as furniture. The last thing you want is a cat with killer claws sharpening them on your furniture. It’s a bad situation that’s going to upset everyone involved.
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