Cats are, for the most part, simple creatures that don’t need a lot of high maintenance. If, as a cat owner, you take care of the basics, you’ll have a healthy, happy and loving pet that will be your companion for life. So, it’s really quite simple, all you need to do is make sure your cat is groomed properly, fed on time, given lots of love and attention and that you take care of their health needs.
Here’s the formula for maintaining a healthy and happy cat:
Take Care of Your Cat’s Health
First and foremost, it’s your responsibility to make sure your cat is healthy and free from diseases. So it never hurts to visit your veterinarian if you notice any sudden changes in your cat’s behavior.
One thing to watch out for is if your cat becomes a bit lethargic or less active than normal. I know, this may be difficult to determine since cats spend so much of their time sleeping, but it’s important that you do pay attention as this can often be a sign that something’s wrong. If in doubt, regular checkups with your vet should catch anything that might be troubling your feline friend.
Another sign there could be a problem is if you notice your cat is ‘shedding’ excessively or has something unusual on their coat. It’s quite possible your cat might have developed a skin disease, or it could be a symptom of a sickness that you don’t know about.
The bottom line is to pay attention to anything that seems out of their normal routine. Cats are very much creatures of habit and if a habit is suddenly broken, then have it checked out by a professional.
Groom Your Cat Regularly
Cats are excellent at grooming themselves, regularly using their tongue to clean their coat. However, despite this, you should also do your part in grooming your cat if you want to keep them really clean by brushing her fur regularly.
Most short-haired cats need only minimal brushing, which can be accomplished using a comb with soft bristles. Long-haired breeds with long, silky furs will, of course, need much longer grooming time.
You can accomplish this by using a wide-toothed comb initially, then brush up with a fine toothed comb afterwards. You can also use talcum powder in order to separate the hair strands. Be sure to brush with gentle strokes so that their skin will not be hurt or scratched.
The real fun task in grooming your cat is giving them a bath. Cats just don’t take kindly to want, but there are times when your cat will need bathing. This is when they’ve accumulated a lot of dirt on the skin and coat. Bathing will also help eliminate ticks and lice.
Make sure you use a shampoo that is specially made for cats and prepare the following before bathing:
* a small tub or sink
* slip-proof mat
* water spray attachment
* clean, dry towels
Adjust the water temperature, and then place your cat in the small tub or sink before filling it with water. It’s better to attach a sprayer in the faucet rather than pouring water directly onto its body. Once that’s accomplished, apply a generous amount of shampoo all over her body, but avoid her face and especially her eyes and ears.
Thoroughly rinse out all the soap and then towel her dry and comb her coat.
Over time, you’ll discover that bathing time helps to build trust with your cat and it also creates some quality time between the two of you. Eventually, this should prevent her from making a fuss the next time she needs a bath. In fact, some cats actually become quite tranquil when bath time comes around once they get used to the water, and start to appreciate the extra attention you’re giving them.
Another part of grooming includes keeping her eyes, teeth, ears and paws clean as well as her nails trimmed. Your local pet store will have products specially made to clean these parts. You’ll also find nail trimmers specifically designed to for trimming a cat’s claws.
Consult a professional groomer or a veterinarian for detail instructions on how to properly clean your cat’s eyes, ears, teeth and nails.
Feed You Cat On Time
As I mentioned, cats are creatures of habit and so it’s very important that you feed them well and on time if you want to have a really happy cat. Once you’ve determined what time of day you’ll feed them, they quickly learn to “stick” to that schedule.
There are many varieties of cat foods out there, so you’ll need to experiment with different ones until you find the food they prefer. A combination of wet and dry food is a good idea to give them a bit of variety, although most cats don’t really require variety. Once you find a brand they like, stick with it.
Of course, along with cat food, you should give them plenty of clean water to drink. Change their water dish several times throughout the day to keep it fresh.
If you have more than one cat, it’s always better to give them individual feeding dishes. If there’s just one dish, some might not be fed as well as they should because the dominant feline will grab most the food served.
Shower Your Cat With Love and Attention
Finally, by giving your cat your loving attention while grooming and feeding, you’re already showering them with love and attention. But it’s also important to take the time to play with them whenever you can. In a large household, this isn’t usually a problem, but if it’s just you and your cat, she can get mighty lonely when you’re off to work all day, so make sure you greet her with affection when you get home and spend some quality time together in the evening.
Happy cats are a fun thing to behold. So raise yourself up a happy cat and you’ll have a friend for life who will return the favor and make you a happy cat as well.
Glenn Cutforth is a writer, eBook publisher and graphic designer.
Get your free eBook, Pamper Your Cat, a collection of 100 gourmet cat recipes your cat will love at The Complete Cat.com