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Caring for your pet cat

There are many folks who have domestic cats as pets. They can provide hours of fun and entertainment for the kids and adults alike. I love toying with my ginger cat by shining a torch on the curtain then watching my cat’s reaction as she tries to sneak up on the spot of light and pounce on it! They’re also good at keeping away any rodents who might plan on turning your home into their breeding grounds! Cats are loveable creatures and extremely clean. You’ll always see a cat licking itself, this is grooming taking place. You get so many different breeds out there but the most common breeds are shorthair, Siamese, Persian and bobtail. There are many, many other breeds as well but I will concentrate on the most common domestic cats. This short article will give some basic caring tips which you can use to keep your pet cat healthy and happy! Some issues your pet cat will most likely face in its lifetime are: hairballs, worms, ear mites, fleas, vaccinations and neutering.

Hairballs

Hair is not digestible and since your cat spends a good amount of time licking and grooming itself, it also spends a lot of time throwing up hairballs. The hair does not pass through the digestive system, so the cat has to throw up to get it out. Here are some prevention tips.

Tip #1: Regularly brush your cat. The more you groom the cat, the less hair it will swallow on its own. Brushing helps to get rid of the dead hair before the cats licks and grooms itself. You can also wipe your cat down with a moist towel to capture stray dead hairs. Tip #2: At your local pet shop you should be able to find special hairball treats. These are edible treats that help to breakdown hairballs. Many of these also contain mineral oil. Some cat food has also been developed to aid hairball prone cats. Tip #3: If hairballs are a constant problem you can use a special lubricant that is designed to help your cat pass hairballs. Products that contain petroleum are best. These are also available in several flavors so that your cat will readily consume them.

De-worming

Almost all kittens are born with some type of worm infection. These worms are often transmitted through the mother’s milk while the kittens are still in the womb. It takes a lot to keep all cats worm free, so you will definitely need to work with your cat to keep worms down. If your cat prowls outside and is prone to hunting, they are more susceptible to worms. Even if your cat is predominantly an indoor cat, they will still be able to develop worms. If your cat has a heaving or retching problem that does not end in a hairball, there is a good chance that the cat has worms. They may also vomit up worms or they may also be present in feces. If your cat’s appetite changes or if the cat develops diarrhea, you should have the cat de-wormed. Some cats will also have dull fur or a potbelly. These are typically signs of worms. There are a variety of different worms and they affect the body in different ways. There are several over the counter worm medications that you can give to your cat in its food or as a pill.

Ear mites

Ear mites affect many household pets. Ear mites are like little crabs that infest the ears. Those cats that are outdoors are more prone to these. Cats that are affected by ear mites tend to become uncomfortable and itchy. A cat that has ear mites will have a black, dirt-like substance in their ears. The parasites live on the surface of the ear canal and feed on the tissue in the ear. If you notice that your cat is scratching its ears or shaking its head then there is a good chance that the cat has ear mites. It is very important that your cat is treated for these right away. If they are left untreated, the ear will become infected and the eardrum may rupture. They also cause bacteria and yeast infections as well. The best prevention for ear mites is to keep your cat indoors and keep the cat treated for fleas. There are several flea treatments that will also aid in the prevention of ear mites. These treatments are usually given to your cat once a month. You may also need to treat your home and, in particular, your cat’s bedding.

Fleas

If your cat is allowed outside, chances are it’s going to bring fleas into your home. Most indoor cats will not have this problem. Your first course of action should be to treat your yard. Bring in all pets and spray the yard with an insecticide to kill fleas, flea larvae and ticks. Next, you will need to treat your carpet and your furniture. Fleas will burrow into carpet as well as your seat cushions, slipcovers and bedding. Begin by vacuuming your carpet and your furniture. Be sure to get all cracks, crevices and corners of the room. You will also want to use a powder, spray or fogger in your home as well. Powders are used on carpet and you simply shake and vacuum them back up. They can penetrate down into the matting to kill the fleas. Preventing further infestations: Use flea collars, flea baths and dips, flea powder and sprays, flea medications like pills (which interrupt the flea’s life-cycle) and flea drops (applied to the cat’s skin) and flea combs.

Vaccinations

One of the most important things for you to do is ensure that your cat receives all of the necessary vaccinations. These will protect your cat from several common ailments. Kittens should be vaccinated when they are six to eight weeks old. Before this time the kitten has been protected by the antibodies they receive from their mother’s milk. Once the kitten is weaned, they need vaccinations to protect them from diseases and to allow it to build their own antibodies. Your kitten should visit your veterinarian again in another two to four weeks and again at eight to twelve weeks.

Neutering

There are a large number of homeless cats in the world. Some homeless cats were never handled by people so they are wild and can be aggressive. Untamed cats can spread diseases to other pets because they will raid trash cans, fight and can become infected with diseases and parasites easily. Another good reason to have your cat sterilized is because of the racket that occurs when a cat is in heat. When females are in heat they attract males who will sit outside, yowl and fight with other males all night. She will literally attract every tomcat in the neighborhood. Tomcats will also mark their territory inside and outside your house. To prevent unwanted litters it’s advisable to neuter your cat. Cats can be sterilized at a young age. Most humane societies will do this at eight weeks. Veterinarians agree that is best to do this at five to six months.

Last but not least….play with your pet to keep it happy and show it love! Follow these simple tips to keep your cat healthy and happy!

Recreation | Pets


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