Choosing to become a fur parent comes with many duties and responsibilities that you should be prepared to face. It may not be as demanding as being a parent to an actual human child, but you’ll still need to feed, bathe, clean, love, and care for your fur baby. Here are some tips that you can follow if you get yourself a feline friend:
1. Get a Litter Box and Scratch Post
When you have a cat, it’s essential to provide a litter box so that it knows where to pee and poop. A general rule of thumb is to have an extra litter box for every cat. That means if you have one cat, you’ll need two litter boxes. If you have two cats, then you’ll need three litter boxes, and so on.
Having enough litter boxes around the house makes it easier for your cat to be house-trained because it knows how to mark its territory. Of course, you would have to regularly clean the litter boxes to encourage a good habit, which means removing the pee or poop as often as needed.
Besides the litter box, another thing that you’ll have to get is a scratching post, unless you want all your furniture to become your cat’s scratching post. Cats tend to scratch on surfaces because this is how they stretch their muscles and remove the old layers from their claws. Unlike dogs, cats don’t need to be walked, which means they don’t get much exercise.
Having a scratching post can help your fur baby keep its claws in a healthy condition, and it can also protect your furniture from sustaining damages. Although scratching posts can be a bit on the expensive side, it can still be considered a win-win situation because you’ll be keeping your cat healthy and your furniture safe at the same time.
2. Provide Enough Food and Water
All pets need adequate sources of food and water, so they can live, just like any human being. But because they won’t be able to get these things themselves, they will rely on you for their daily sustenance. That’s why you have to provide enough food and water for your fur baby in a place that’s accessible to it.
If you don’t know what food to get for your pet, consider asking for help from other fur parents or your vet. So, for instance, if you have a cat, you should find healthy food for cats. It should be nutritious and can provide the cat with what it needs to stay strong. You can also consider canned options for a wider range of choices.
And contrary to what most people believe, most cats are lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest milk or anything made with dairy. Just like dogs can’t eat chocolate, cats can’t drink milk. So, it’s better to stick with clean water for hydration because that’s safer and essential to their nutrition.
3. Make Regular Visits to the Vet
Much like how doctors specialize in different fields and treat various illnesses, veterinarians also have their areas of focus. This means that you can’t just assume that the vet you have is cat-friendly simply because they’re a vet. For that, you’ll need to find a vet that specializes in feline health and anatomy.
Once you’ve found a cat-friendly vet, it will be much easier to make regular visits to the clinic so that you can take a proactive approach to your fur baby’s overall health. Usually, an annual trip to the vet will be sufficient in catching any signs of disease, get vaccine shots, and other vital matters that only a vet can do.
Aside from the regular check-ups, it’s also crucial that you have your cat spayed or neutered because it can reduce its chances of developing a reproductive disease. So if you own a female cat, having it spayed can prevent uterine infections or breast and ovarian cancer from developing.
On the other hand, neutering your male cat will prevent it from developing testicular cancer and prostate problems. The reproductive surgery can also prevent your cat from having the desire to roam around to look for a potential partner because it can no longer reproduce. This way, you can help minimize the overpopulation problem with stray animals.
Compared to most dogs, taking care of a cat is like a piece of cake because they’re relatively self-reliant creatures. Cats can clean themselves by licking their fur, and they don’t have to be walked every day. But despite these facts, your cat will still need you to take care of it for everything else that it can’t do alone. So you should be ready to love your fur baby with all your heart.