21 May Cat Care Information!
Once you have made the decision to bring a kitten home, you next have to set her up with everything she needs. You will probably already have the basics, such as cat food, a food bowl and water bowl, a litter box and some kitty litter. Now you have some of the more puzzling aspects of cat care to think about. You are worried about shedding. You are thinking about declawing. And there are many more things to think about too.
First of all, dont worry. They key to cat ownership is to love your cat. It doesnt matter if you dont know everything about cat care yet. You will definitely learn more along the way. Here is some information to get you started.
All cats shed, although a long-haired cat is going to have more noticeable shedding than a shorter-haired variety. If you have dark-colored furniture, you will notice white cat hairs more easily than black ones, for example. You might expect that your cat will only shed when the seasons change but that is not the case. An indoor cat is exposed to artificial light and a constant temperature all year, meaning she will shed all year. This is not, however, as bad as it sounds.
Something important to be know is that cats take care of much of their shedding alone. They are extremely clean animals and clean themselves frequently with the rough, sandpaper-like tongues. This might help with the shedding but it does encourage hairballs, which is another potential problem.
Hairballs can threaten your cats digestion because they can block the digested food already traveling through the intestines, which will cause an impaction and might have to be surgically removed. In lesser cases, hairballs might lead to constipation, which no cat-lover would wish for their kitty.
How do you know whether your cat has hairballs? You will recognize a hairball if your cat coughs them up. A hairball resembles a cigar-shaped mass of matter. Sometimes cats eliminate hairballs with feces in the litter box, instead of coughing them up. If your cats droppings have hair on, this means she has hairballs.
A hacking or coughing can also indicate that your cat has hairballs. This usually happens after eating. If your cat has a sudden loss of appetite, a hairball is likely to be the cause of it. Most cats will experience hairballs at some time or another.
How do you prevent hairballs? You need to take matters into your own hands and brush your cat often. Most cats love to be groomed and will enjoy the experience. It also builds a great bond between you and your kitty. Long-haired cats especially need daily grooming to remove loose hair which is about to shed. Cats swallow hairs when they groom themselves and this is what leads to hairballs.
If grooming does not seem to be enough to prevent hairballs, you might need to buy a hairball remedy. There are plenty to choose from, everything from gels to granules that you sprinkle on your cats food.
Declawing your cat to stop him ruining the furniture or scratching people is actually a very controversial topic. A few decades ago, this was a routine operation, often performed at the same time as the cat being neutered or spayed.
People today are more knowledgeable about what declawing actually entails. It doesn’t just mean pulling the claws out. It actually means the veterinarian has to amputate the cats paws at the first joint. This is the equivalent to you getting your knuckles amputated just below your fingernails! Sounds painful, doesn’t it?
To perform this surgery, the veterinarian will anaesthetise your cat and give her pain medication. He will cut the first section of the cats paw off, since the claws are intertwined within this first knuckle. After surgery, your cats paws will be bandaged and she will spend the night at the surgery. The next day you will be able to bring her home.
Your cat will be in a lot of pain for a few days after the surgery and will be distinctly uncomfortable and not want to move much. Considering what the surgery involves, your cat will heal quite quickly.
To prevent infection, you will need to replace her litter with shredded paper, so she doesn’t get litter granules in her already tender paws.
Declawing your cat does more than just get rid of the scratching problem. Her claws and top part of her toes which have been removed are vital to her in another way. Removing a cats claws can throw her whole natural balance off. Not only this, but your cat will be unable to protect herself from other animals if she gets outside.
WE DO NOT SUGGEST OR RECOMMEND DE-CLAWING YOUR CAT. WE BELIEVE IT IT IS CRUEL AND INHUMANE
A cat is what is known as a digitigrade. It might sound like a strange word but it just means she walks on her toes. The entire balance and form of a cat are based on her digits. The whole cats body, including her shoulders, back, leg joints, paws, muscles, tendons, ligaments and even nerves, are based on walking on her toes. Her weight is therefore distributed across her toes when she walks, climbs or runs.
This means that her claws are necessary for her balance as well as for effective exercise. Your cats toes, and especially her claws, are necessary for stretching. When a cat scratches at a scratching post (or your couch!) you might think she is just sharpening her claws, but the truth is she is stretching her whole body. If you declaw her, you will throw off her entire body alignment.
Hairballs and declawing might be topics that don’t usually come up in everyday conversation but they are vital to know about in order to give your cat the very best care you can. Knowing about such topics, and giving her lots of love, will help to ensure that she has a long, healthy, enjoyable life.