Cats are subtle in the ways they train their human owners. Just as we train them to use a scratching post or accept a new baby, there are many ways they train us.Cats want us to ensure that they have a safe, fun home. Keep plenty of cat toys and treats on hand.
Of major importance to a cat is the maintenance of their litter box. You should have one litter box for each cat and it should be placed in a safe, quiet location. Keep the box away from the food and water bowls and also away from any doors. Most litter boxes are too small. Cats need a simple litter box of adequate size. You will learn what type of litter your cat prefers and should stick with that brand. Keep the litter box clean. Mats placed under the box keep the litter in or near the receptacle and keep it from being tracked through your home. Keep matters predictable. Cats love routine and may become skittish with a change in venue.
Cats will beg for someone to play with. Make time for your pet. Scatter some catnip across the floor and marinate your cat’s favorite toy in catnip. Watch your cat get frisky! Have a kitty condo or palace on hand for times when you are away from home. Your cat will learn to entertain himself.
Cats need to be groomed. Groom your cat daily with a brush, comb, or glove to remove excess hair and prevent hairball buildup. Feel for bumps, cuts, tumors, sores, bumps, or a flea infestation. This manner of massage will aid your cat’s circulation and also release oils for your kitty’s coat. Cats that are groomed benefit emotionally, physically, and mentally, as do their owners.
Cats don’t necessarily want their claws trimmed but it is a necessary evil. Trim your cat’s claws every two to six weeks with cat clippers and give treats when your mission is accomplished.
Learn how to brush your cat’s teeth for their sake, their feline friend’s sake, and yours. All parties will appreciate fresh cat breath. Purchase a poultry flavored toothpaste from your pet store and brush one or two teeth and the gumline to start. Once your cat becomes accustomed to the process you can progress to brushing more teeth. Brush your cat’s teeth once or twice a week to prevent tartar buildup and tooth decay.
Your cat will appreciate you learning feline body language. Cat tails are great indicators of a kitty’s mood and intent. Broad swishing of a cat tail indicates annoyance. If your cat’s tail is swishing back and forth, he is agitated. A cat that is afraid will puff up or bristle his tail, or lower it and tuck it between his legs. A raised tail signals a friendly cat. Cats with bent forelegs are ready to defend and fight if the need arises. If your cat’s fur is fluffed up, you are the owner of a confident, aggressive cat. Ears back and a steady posture mean that your cat is considering his next move. However, ears back with a body low to the ground means that your cat is ashamed and remorseful. Pricked ears indicate a very aware cat. When your cat’s head is raised he is displaying an air of confidence. A lowered head indicates a submissive cat who feels inferior. A bored cat leaves his head tucked in. Knowing cat language can help you communicate with each other and better your relationship.
Monitor your cat’s health. Know what to look for when assessing your cat’s eyes, mouth, ears, nose, coat and body, and anus. Consult your veterinarian upon any symptoms of illness. Schedule regular visits with your veterinarian and have your cat’s eyes, ears, and teeth examined as well as blood taken for diabetes testing.
Prepare for emergencies. Keep a two week supply of cat food and water on hand at all times in waterproof containers. Also make sure to have a fresh supply of cat litter, scoop, and pan in your disaster relief kit. Your cat should have a collar and leash with her name and phone number clearly marked. If your kitty takes any medication, you should have a back-up supply of pet meds as well as a cat carrier for emergency evacuations.