Caring for cats

Bathing
Cats by nature are very clean. Most cats spend 5 hours a day grooming and 16 sleeping. But sometimes even the cleanest feline needs a makeover!

Declawing
It has been banned in the United Kingdom and is not recommended for any cat. An alternative is trimming and should be done at least once monthly. Before you make the decision to declaw your cat, there are some important facts you should know. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone.

Dental Care
About 85% of adult pets have some form of dental disease and is the largest single cause of health problems in cats. With regular home examinations, a well-balanced diet, and regular veterinary examinations it can be avoided.

Examinations
All cats should receive wellness exams at least once yearly. The guidelines also allow for the fact that senior and geriatric cats probably need more frequent examinations, as do cats which have medical or behavioral problems.

Exercise
Playing is a good way to show you care for your cat. Cats like chasing things such as cat toys and other things to keep them amused, this also helps to strengthen the bond between you.

Food and Water
Always provide good cat feeding and water bowls that are just for your cat so they will feel more comfortable settling in to your home. Cats also like running water so a fountain is essential for maintained health.

Fleas and Ticks
They can cause a host of problems from Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In large enough numbers, both ticks and fleas can cause dangerous amounts of blood loss, especially in young animals. An effective flea and tick prevention program is essential.

Grooming
Do a weekly brushing to remove dead hair and redistribute skin oils. Ear cleaning rarely needs to be done in cats.

Nutrition
There is no one food that is best for every cat. There is no single food that will give every cat the brightest eyes, the shiniest coat, the most energy, and the best digestion. There are many good cat foods to choose from today, and it is fine to try several to determine which one works best for your cat. Never feed dog food to a cat as it does not contain the essential ingredients.

Safety
Keep your windows screened at all times. Also string should never be left where your cat can find it as it may become entangled in their stomach if swallowed. A good idea is a cat collar with a clear ID tag that contains your name, phone number if the cat is ever found outdoors.

Vaccinations
They are an essential part of preventive health care for cats and kittens. In cats, the suggested vaccines are distemper, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and rabies.

Weight
Sharp changes in weight can indicate a serious medical condition, so your cat should be weighed monthly after reaching the age of ten years. Many veterinarians will perform this service for free, or you could weigh them yourself.

Note:
Don't forget to give your senior cat plenty of petting and gentle massage. It will not only help him relax, but can help in preventing muscle atrophy cause by lack of exercise. Growing older is inevitable, but with loving care and close monitoring of your kitty's condition and his comfort level, you can both enjoy his golden years for many years to come.

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