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Caring for your cat or kitten

Caring for Your Cat or Kitten

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Supplies Needed
  • Balanced, brand name food. Not generic! Make sure it’s for the right age. Dry food is better for your pet’s teeth. Canned food is more similar to a natural diet for cats, so some of both is probably best.
  • Food and water bowls. Ceramic and metal are best. Some pets are sensitive to plastic.
  • Cat toys – make sure there aren’t any small parts or string that can fall off and be swallowed
  • A cat brush
  • Cat toothpaste and toothbrush
  • “Breakaway” collar and ID tag
  • Microchip both indoor and outdoor cats
  • Scratching post or scratching pad
  • Litter box – 1 per cat, plus 1 extra
  • Litter – scoopable litter is best. Don’t use dusty or perfumed litter.
  • Cat carrier
  • Optional: Cat condo, cat leash and harness, cat bed, cat “plants”
Feeding Your Cat/Kitten
  • Kittens (under 6 months): 3-4 times a day
  • Over 6 months: Feed twice a day (amount depends on food type and how active your cat is)
  • Training your cat to eat twice a day: When your kitten turns 6 months old, offer food to him/her twice a day only. Leave the food out for ½ hour only. Your cat will quickly learn to eat all of his/her food during the half hour.
  • Avoid giving your pet too many treats since cats can become overweight as they age
  • Limit milk, as cats and kittens don’t need it and it could cause diarrhea.
Chores
Daily
Clean litter box, feed (see above), clean water/food bowls, change water, play with your cat, brush teeth once, walk (optional)

Weekly
Thoroughly clean the litter box using a mild soap and replace litter

2 Times a Week

Brush hair (gently)

Yearly
Have your parent or guardian take your cat to veterinarian for a check-up

Training Your Cat to Walk on Leash
  • Use a leash and harness for cats
  • Start in a fenced-in yard
  • Reward good behavior with treats
Dangers -- Never Feed Your Cat/Kitten:
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Moldy or spoiled food
  • Onions, garlic and chives
  • Bones
  • Tomato plants
  • Unripe fruit
  • Yeast dough
  • Any houseplants – some are poisonous
Scratching Post
Cats love to scratch! Train your cat to use a scratching post by:
  • Placing catnip around the base of the post
  • Rewarding your pet when he/she uses the scratching post

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth
It is not easy, but cats are healthier if your brush their teeth. Use cat toothpaste and brush. Start when they are kittens, so they get used to it.

Spaying and Neutering
Female cats should be spayed and male cats neutered by 6 months old. This reduces bad behavior and some diseases later in life.

When you get your pet, have your parents or guardian take your cat to a veterinarian for an examination as soon as you can. Don’t wait until your pet is sick.

Information on taking caring of your cat or kitten provided by Link Welborn, DVM DABVP