Kitties Downunder - Cat Care

Cat Care


Vaccinate Yearly


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Arrival Home

On arriving home let your kitten take its own time to come out of the carry cage. Just set the crate down and open the door. In its own time it will venture out to explore its new surroundings. Try to keep it confined to one room for the time being until he/she feels comfortable. Never try to drag the kitten out of the crate. This will only instill fear and will not be a good start to your relationship.

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The Outside World

The kitten will need to feel very at home in the house before you allow it to venture outside if you are going to let it. Allow the kitten outside for a little time each day. Giving it the chance to explore and get to know its surroundings more. Make sure to leave the door open so that should something scare it, it will make a beeline for its safe haven inside.

If your cat is intelligent you can teach it to stay in its own yard. Be aware though, allowing your cat this freedom is fraught with danger. Especially during mating season. Cats are not paricularly clever when it comes to cars and they are not as quick as they should be sometimes.

A much safer way to allow your cat exercise and the chance to explore is to teach it to walk on a leash. Cat harnesses are quite inexpensive and the cats adapt very quickly. Get your kitten use to wearing it as soon as possible. Its also a handy thing for trips to the vet.

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What your Cat Needs

An inside cat is a happy cat providing you supply companionship and entertainment.

  • Toys - Make sure they have an adequate supply of toys to amuse themselves with while your not around. You can purchase toys or make use of things around the house. Cats are quite content playing with a tennis ball or some crumpled newspaper.

  • Bed - You will need to supply a place to sleep, ie a basket or box. Make sure you choose an area that is draft free and warm to put the basket. A cardboard box is adequate if lined with some form of soft bedding.

  • A scratching post or tree - Cats have an inbuilt desire to sharpen their claws. So if you dont want that antique sofa shredded then you will need to supply an alternative. These can be obtained commercially or you can make one yourself using an old piece of carpet.

  • Food dishes - Cats should always have supply of fresh water available. Use bowls that are reasonable heavy and not easily pushed around or knocked over.

  • Litter tray - Your cat will need somewhere to relieve itself. That means a litter tray and litter. This should be cleaned at least once a day. The clumping litter is the easiest as you can just sieve out the unwanted without having to throw all the litter away. The tray can be lined with a plastic liner making it easier to remove when time comes to change the litter. The tray should be washed once a week with hot water.

  • Most importantly you cat needs time with you.

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Grooming

It is most important that you brush your cat at least once a week. If your cat has long hair then it will take much more time to brush thoroughly and should be brushed and combed every day. The coats needs this brushing to remove loose hair, also giving you the opportunity to check for ticks and fleas. In Spring, when the coat begins to shed in preparation for summer you will need to brush on a daily basis. Any matts encountered should be removed slowly and carefully. They can be pulled apart with your fingers and if necessary use blunt or round nose scissors to cut the hair. Brushing regularly will ensure your cat's coat retains its glossy sheen.

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Eye and Ear Care

Even healthy cats can have discharge in the corners of their eyes at times. This can be easily removed by using a tissue damnpened with warm water but always wipe away from the eye. Some breeds of cats suffer from tearing which leaves ugly yellow stains on the fur. In these instances it needs to be wiped off several times a day.

You need to check your cats ears regularly. If you find dark clumps of matter, or your cat shakes or scratches at its head it may be suffering from ear mites. This can be treated by you will need to consult your vet for drops. If the ears just appear a little dirty they can be cleaned easily with a dampened q-tip.

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Bathing

Most cats don't require bathing unless they are extremely dirty or as part of the treatment for some medical problem. In these cases your vet will be able to recommend something suitable to use. However, should it become necessary then it should be done in a warm area. Water should be lukewarm. Do not spray the cat pour the water over it keeping the head dry at all times. Towel the coat dry then leave the cat in a warm area to finish drying.

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Claw Care

Claws will need trimming on a regular basis. This can be done with normal nail clippers taking care not to cut the blood vessles. You only need to cut off the tip. Even young kittens dont seem to mind having the done.

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Mouth and Teeth

If you feed your cat a healthy diet then you should not have to worry about cleaning its teeth. However, you should check them on a regular basis for any inflamed gums or calculus. Your vet should be consulted if any problems arise.



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Travelling With Your Cat.

Your cat should be restrained in some way when travelling in the car. Either by use of a carry cage or a pet harness. If they are not restrained they could get hurt should you have to stop suddenly. Also you dont want them crawling under the pedals just when you need to use them.



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Vaccinations

All kittens/cats should be vaccinated. Some diseases are airborn where others can be walked into your home on someones shoes or carried in on clothing. Even if your cat is strictly an indoor cat there is always the risk that they may get outside at some time.

Some of the disease they should be vaccinated against are:

  • Feline Distemper
  • Upper Respiratory Diseases
  • Feline Leukemia Virus
  • Feline Peritonitis
  • Rabies
You should find out from the vet what vaccinatons are required for your particular area/country.

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Spaying/NeuteringVaccinations

Unless you have purchased a pedigree cat and intend to breed it is advisable to have your cat spayed/neutered. This is the best way to prevent unwanted litters and may also assist in preventing some undesirable behaviours. Since a female may come into season as early as 5 months it is advisable to discuss spaying with your vet prior to this time. It can also reduce the risk of uterine infectons, tumors of the reproductive system and conditions that are related to hormonal imbalances

Having a male cat neutered can help inhibit his uncontrollable urge to roam. An unneutered cat can develop a really bad habit of spraying walls and furniture with urine. It is generally considered that this makes them better pets, more relaxed and less prone to fighting.



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