10 things every new cat owner should know to keep their pet healthy

10 things every new cat owner should know to keep their pet happy & healthy

June 11th, 2013

catcat2kongwildtailsBy Brittany Anas

June is “National Adopt a Shelter Cat” month and if you’re planning to take in a new pet this month, you’ll want to read our basic cat care guide … right meow.

Here are some tips for caring for you new cat, many courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  • Looking to bring a cat into your family? Consider adopting a homeless pet. Use this shelter finder to find out where you can adopt in your neighborhood. 
  • It’s a misconception that adult cats should be lapping up milk. Cow’s milk actually disrupts a cat’s digestive system and can cause diarrhea.
  • Cats can be notoriously picky eaters. If your kitten isn’t eating enough food or is refusing food, try soaking the food in a kitten milk replacer or warm water.
  • Because treats contain a lot of sugar, they should make up no more than 5 percent of a cat’s daily intake.
  • Your cat needs to scratch. It allows the old outer nail sheath to be pulled off, and sharp, smooth claws underneath are then exposed. You should cut your cat’s nails ever few weeks to keep them blunt. (Shorter nails mean less harm to your furniture.)
  • Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post that is at least 3 feet high to allow her to stretch and one that won’t wobble. It should be covered with a rough material like burlap, sisal or tree bar. (Find cat furniture and scratching posts at Pet Street Mall)
  • Cats are known for cleaning themselves and rarely need a bath. But give Fluffy an assist and brush her regularly. By keeping her coat clean, you reduce shedding, matting and cut down on hairballs. While you’re grooming her, look for ticks and flea dirt.
  • Cats can be spayed and neutered beginning as early as 6 to 8 weeks. Neutering can decrease the urge to escape the house to look for a mate and reduce fighting between males. Spaying greatly reduces breast cancer and uterus infections.
  • Cats don’t like it when their litter box is moved. Place the box in a quiet location — like a utility room or a bathroom. If you absolutely move the litter box, do so gradually, a few inches a day.
  • Pouncing on toys will bring your cat great delight. But make sure the toys you buy her don’t have any strings or pieces that can break off because they can get caught in her intestines and cause major health complications. (Check out Kong Wild Tails cat toy from PetCo).

Adopting a pet this month? Save money with cash-back offers and coupons at 1-800-Pet-Meds.

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Brittany Anas is a newspaper reporter, which she says is basically like going on a professional scavenger hunt every day. She became hooked on fashion in the early 1990s when her mom sewed her a pair of MC Hammer pants and matching headband. Brittany lives in Denver, Colorado and loves spending time with her southern gentleman of a boyfriend and their pot-belly pig-gremlin mix that the rescue organization described as a “Boston Terrier.” She fancies polka dots, Detroit Pistons basketball and brunch. Brittany blogs at LoisLaneLifestyle.blogspot.com and Twitters from @BrittanyAnas. Find her on Pinterest or ping her on Google+.

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