Your cat is one of the most special relationships you have. You can’t wait to get home at the end of the day to cuddle up next to them on the couch and have them purr on you while you give them endless pets. You depend on your cat for comfort and companionship, and your cat depends on you for survival and safety.
Many people think a cat is easier to care for than a dog since they need less exercise and less space to roam. However, there are still plenty of considerations when caring for your feline friend. Here, let’s go over 20 of the most important cat care tips to ensure you give your buddy a thriving existence.
20 Most Important Care Tips For Your Cat
Take Them to the Vet
Cats need veterinary care just like larger animals. Regular visits ensure your kitten is growing properly and that no issues arise as your cat carries on in years. Your vet is also an excellent resource for accurate, scientific information, so create a relationship and ask plenty of questions.
Prioritize Regular Grooming
Cats do well at grooming themselves, but there are things you can do to ensure they stay their healthiest. If your cat has very long hair, you can brush it to keep mats and tangles away. Keep an eye on their claws, too, so they don’t get too long.
Give them a Teeth Cleaning
Your feline might not like it, but teeth cleaning is important! This prevents gum disease, which could cause heart problems later on. Brush their teeth weekly to prevent tartar, plaque, and tooth decay. The vet could also do this if your cat gives you an attitude about it.
Prevent Fleas and Ticks
No one wants an itchy, flea-ridden cat! And your cat doesn’t want to deal with biting bugs, either. Keep them safe with regular flea and tick treatment, whether it’s a spot treatment, a flea collar, shampoo, or pills.
Deep Clean if You See Fleas Present
Flea treatment on your cat isn’t the only necessary preventive treatment, especially if the fleas were left to fester. You might need to bomb your home or do a deep vacuum after treating carpets and furniture to ensure that all the eggs are killed.
Feed a Healthy Diet
Cats are fairly good at monitoring their food intake. You could provide their food in a container that just pours out more when they’ve eaten it all, or you could feed them each day. Talk to your vet about what’s best for your cat, but ensure you’re providing them with high-quality, nutritious food.
Provide Ample Fresh Water
Your kitty can’t go down to the nearest stream for a drink! Make sure that the water you’re providing is fresh and clean and that there is always plenty for them to stay hydrated and cool, especially when the weather is hot.
Clean their Litter Box Often
Cats want to urinate and defecate in a clean area. If you don’t clean their litter box, it increases the likelihood that they’ll go to other areas! Keep their litter box clean and put it in a place where they feel they have privacy. More than one litter box in a house is also a good idea, especially if you have multiple cats.
Clean Up Their Hair
Of course, litter boxes aren’t the only thing that needs cleaning. Your cat is going to shed, which means that you have to vacuum it up. This keeps your home clean and helps keep your space free of allergens and dander.
Cats have the instinct to spray their urine as a way to mark their territory. Both male and female felines do this—one of the best ways to prevent it is by spaying or neutering them. A calm cat is less likely to spray, too. Feed or play with them in places they’ve sprayed, so they’re less prone to mark there.
Pay Attention to Accidents
If you find that your kitty is urinating or defecating in other areas, it might be a sign of something amiss. Take them to the vet to rule out a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or digestive issues that could be causing incontinence.
Keep Human Food and Liquids Safe
Dogs are the pets more prone to getting into food, medications, and cleaners, but cats have been known to do so, too. Keep trash cans secure and all liquids, cleaners, medications, and other toxic substances far out of reach. This will keep your kitty safe and give you peace of mind that they won’t get into anything that could hurt them.
Enroll in Pet Insurance
Speaking of vet visits, you never know when something might happen that costs a pretty penny. Enroll in an accident & illness cat insurance policy so that you have help to pay for eligible vet bills for your pet’s unexpected accidents & illnesses.
Provide Scratching Posts
Scratching is in a cat’s instinctual nature. Giving them a specific spot to scratch helps ensure they won’t do so on your nice furniture or curtains! This also helps keep your cat healthy by giving them a way to stretch its muscles. Carpet squares, sisal, and cardboard are great surfaces to have around if you don’t have a place for a large post.
Get a Cat Door
Cats want freedom, so if you have a fenced-in backyard where your cat is safe, get a cat flap door so they can go in and out as they please. This keeps them from feeling cooped up and gives them more of a chance to stretch their legs and explore.
Place a Mat Outside for Mud
If your cat is an outside cat or shares their time indoors and out, place a mat inside and outside the door so that mud and dirt are wiped off as they go about. This keeps your home clean and keeps their paws clean, too.
Keep a Cat Carrier in the Car
Even if it’s just to the vet, the car will have to be a mode of transportation here and there. A cat carrier keeps them from getting hurt crawling around the car and also helps them feel safe in a new situation.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Cats are very intelligent creatures. Give them plenty of toys that you rotate so they can play and stay mentally stimulated throughout the day, especially if you aren’t home for long stretches. This keeps them from getting into mischief, too!
Cats are notorious for breeding and creating an abundance of strays if left to their own devices. Spaying and neutering also help prevent reproductive diseases, uterine infections, and cancers.
ID and Microchip
Especially if your cat has outside access, identification is important. Give them a tag with their name, your name, your phone number, and your address. Getting a microchip is an extra precaution in case your cat gets out and can’t find its way back.
You love your kitty so much. Caring for your cat in the best way possible shows your kitty that you prioritize them. It also ensures that they’ll be there to wander through your legs and nuzzle your hands for years to come.