Cats are fun and funny. Most are quite curious. They have been known to climb up the side of an above-ground swimming pool for a look, and nearly drown after falling in. Cats don’t cost much. Inexpensive kitty food, occasional veterinarian visits for shots and neutering, perhaps a collar and feeding bowls and kitty litter are all you may need. Cats simply exist to be what they are. Some parents have discovered the family cat can help teach children the values of compassion and gentleness. Cat breeds really came about when people wanted breeds for their own liking and taste. You can see these now in the sheer variety of cat breeds with different colors, shape, coat pattern, hair length, head, leg proportions, folded ears, and some cats with no tail like the Munchkin cat. But before this, around a few thousand years ago, cats pretty much took care of their breeding themselves and people kept them only for one thing, hunting and killing rodents.
Adopting the right cat:
Cats are relatively long-lived animals. The kitten that you bring home today could easily be a member of your family for the next 15, even 20 years. So the choice of which cat to bring home is an important one. Get this decision right, and you’ll reap the rewards of a wonderful and fulfilling relationship that will bring years of joy to your household. There are lots of important things to think through before picking your new pal. The first step to starting a long and last friendship with a cat is, of course, choosing the cat—or, more to the point, choosing the cat that’s right for you. Deciding to bring home a new cat or kitten is very exciting, if not a little daunting. Like all big decisions, it’s important to gather as much information as possible. You’ll need to consider how your cat will fit in with your lifestyle.
Purebred or mixed breed:
Pedigree cats: Around 90% of cats in the UK are moggies, or mixed breed cats and you may be unaware of the huge variety of pedigree breeds available. There are over 60 different recognized breeds and color varieties of pedigree domestic cat in 7 basic categories: Persians, British, Semi-Longhair, Burmese, Oriental, Siamese and Foreign.
Crossbreeds: Crossbreeds have two pedigree, but different breed, parents. In crosses, it is usually possible to see some behavioral and physical traits from both breeds.
Mixed breeds: Otherwise known as moggies, these cats come from an entirely non-pedigree background. The most thoroughly mixed of these are categorized as either ‘domestic shorthairs’ or ‘domestic longhairs’. The most significant advantages to choosing a mixed breed cat are health and personality. Mixed-breed kittens and cats are also generally less expensive, while purebred kittens can be very costly.
Kitten or cat: Kittens are adorable, curious, playful, and full of energy. They can also be exasperating at times, demanding lots of supervision to keep them out of trouble and patience when they get into it. And a kitten is an unknown entity..
Personality: Cats, like people, are individuals. No two are exactly alike, whether they’re from the same breed or even the same litter. Some cats are very mellow and will tolerate any kind of handling, including being dressed in clothes. These cats are perfect for young kids or older people who want and appreciate this type of cat. Other cats don’t like being picked up or held and will only come to you for petting when they feel like it. There are cats who live to nap and cats who are perpetual motion machines. Personality can vary widely by breed, too.
Adult cats: Adult cats are also playful, but bear in mind that they have spent their formative years in someone else’s home, outdoors, or even homeless. Whatever influences have shaped them, their personality is better established and may therefore be easier to read. With some luck, you’ll be able to get information from the cat’s previous owner – including litter tray habits, food preferences and personality.
Male or Female cat: Provided they are neutered, both males and females make brilliant pets – and there are actually very few behavioral differences between them. For every person who says females are more loving and males are more independent, there will be someone with a loving mummy’s boy, or a self-reliant female.
Cat food is food intended for consumption by cats. Cats have requirements for their specific dietary nutrients. The important thing to remember about nutrients, particularly vitamins and minerals, is that your cat needs the correct amount-but no more. It is possible to have “too much of a good thing” when it comes to vitamins and minerals; the use of supplements not only is unnecessary but also can be potentially dangerous to your pet’s health. Another important nutrient with respect to overall health is water. Water helps regulate body temperature, digest food, eliminate waste, lubricate tissue, and allow salt and other electrolytes to pass through the body. You should provide your cat with clean, fresh water at all times.
Commercial cat foods are formulated as dry, semi moist, and canned. These products differ in water content, protein level, caloric density, palatability, and digestibility. The differences are primarily attributable to the processing methods used by pet food manufacturers.
Dry Food: Dry food contains 6 to 10 percent moisture. Depending on the specific formulation, meats or meat byproducts, poultry or poultry byproducts, grain, grain byproducts, fish meal, fiber sources, milk products, and vitamin and mineral supplements are combined, extruded, and dried into bite sized pieces. The pieces are then covered with flavor enhancers, such as animal fat, which give them increased palatability. Storing dry cat food in an airtight container can help prevent nutrient deterioration and help maintain palatability.
Semi-Moist Food: Semi-moist food contains approximately 35 percent moisture and often resembles ground- or whole meat tidbits. Meat and meat byproducts are the primary ingredients. They are combined with soybean meal, cereals, grain byproducts, and preservatives. The cost is generally mid-range, and these foods may be more appealing than dry cat food to some cats. Semi-moist food can also be fed free choice. However, after the package is opened, palatability decreases and spoilage increases because of dehydration.
Canned Food: Canned cat food has a moisture content of at least 75 percent, making it a good dietary source of water. It is generally the most expensive type of cat food, but it also is highly palatable to most cats, and different varieties are plentiful, which can be helpful if your cat is a finicky eater. Canned food has the longest shelf life when unopened, but any unused portion of opened canned cat food should be refrigerated to maintain quality and prevent spoilage. Gourmet canned cat foods generally feature meats, such as kidney or liver, and whole meat byproducts as primary food ingredients. Some brands, however, may be nutritionally incomplete, and it is important to read the nutrition labels carefully on such specialty cat-food items to ensure that they have a nutritional guarantee.
It is important to try to control your cat’s food intake and avoid them becoming overweight. In addition to requiring a much higher level of protein in the diet, cats also require a number of specific amino acids to be present – these include taurine, arginine, methionine, tyrosine etc). Without some of these amino acids in the diet, cats will simply die. Fat in the diet is a good source of energy, but also supplies fat soluble vitamins (A, D and E), enhances the palatability of food, and is a source of a type of fat called essential fatty acids (EFAs). These EFAs play key roles in maintaining the health of animals being vital in many metabolic pathways and for the integrity of the skin. Many animals like dogs and humans can convert EFAs found in plants into the EFAs that are needed in the body, but again cats require a source of animal fat with preformed animal-origin EFAs as they cannot meet their needs from plant sources. Offering different foods with different flavors and textures can be good for cats, and feeding small frequent meals along with hiding food in different places provides some fun and challenge for a cat. A cat’s water intake, and where this is needed, feeding a wet or sachet food is better.
Health Problems In Cats:
There are many feline health problems, some more common than others. Some problems are easily preventable, while others are hereditary. But even your fastidious feline can’t prevent some of these more common cat diseases and health issues.
Vomiting: Vomiting is a very common problem with cats. Causes range from eating something poisonous or inedible (like string), to infection, urinary tract disease, or diabetes.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD): About 10% of cats brought to the vet have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is actually a group of feline diseases with multiple causes. Female and male cats can get FLUTD, and it often occurs in cats that are overweight or unfit or who eat dry food. Stress, a multi-cat household, and sudden changes can all raise a cat’s risk of FLUTD, and treatment depends on the type of FLUTD your cat has. It’s always an emergency if your cat can’t urinate. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has a urinary tract problem.
Fleas: Fleas are a very common external feline health problem. But it’s one you can easily treat. Fleas can live for more than a year, and your cat risks anemia if the problem becomes serious, so be sure to treat your cat’s flea problem and prevent future infestations.
Tapeworms: One of the most common feline health problems inside your cat, tapeworms live in kitty’s small intestine and sometimes grow as long as 2 feet.
Diarrhea: Many things can cause diarrhea in cats, including hairballs, spoiled food, allergies, infection, liver disease, cancer, and more.
Eye Problems: Eye problems in cats can be caused by a number of things, including conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, trauma, viruses, inflammation, and retinal disease.
Vaccination of cat:
Feline vaccines are easily the most contentious subject in veterinary medicine Your cat should also get a rabies shot at 16 weeks, one year and then every one to three years after as required by law and determined by vaccine type.
For outdoor cats, our vet recommends two feline leukemia vaccines separated by at least 14 days, administered between eight and 16 weeks. Booster at one year, and every three years thereafter (note: some leukemia vaccines must be Boostered annually)
Two types of cat ‘flu are vaccinated against feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline Calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are very common and vaccination will protect your cat against prolonged illness, but because there are many different strains of cat ‘flu the vaccine will not totally eradicate the threat.
This bacterium, which causes conjunctivitis in cats, can’t survive in the atmosphere and is thus spread by direct contact between cats (affecting multi-cat households and kittens predominantly). Your vet will discuss your situation and advise as to whether this vaccine is necessary.
Train your cat:
Cats simply won’t learn from what some owners would consider “discipline. Remember that training your cat requires patience and positive reinforcement. Before we start training our cats to do something or to stop doing something, we need to look at how cats learn. They don’t understand English, they can’t read books or attend lectures. They learn by experience. If the experience is good, they will try to repeat it. If the experience is unpleasant, your cat will try to avoid it in the future. Cats enjoy raking the furniture with their claws, so they continue to do it. But it’s quite a shock when they stick their nose in a candle flame, so they won’t do that again.
A common complaint is that the cat pounces on the owner at five in the morning, meowing up a storm and generally being a pest. What do the owners do? They get up and feed the cat, play with him or let him outside. You have trained your cat to wake you up! Your cat has learned that his behavior gets him exactly what he wants.
Concentrate on making your relationship fun, rewarding, playful and interesting. Sometimes this change alone will solve your cat training problems. Cats are known to become overly active and destructive when bored. Daily play sessions and relaxing massages help your cat calm down
set up your cat to succeed in performing those behaviors you want her to learn so she can be rewarded. The most effective method of cat training is through rewards. This will give you the opportunity to reward and praise him for good behavior