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Getting to Know Your Cat - 9 Things to Consider

1. Spay or Neuter a New Cat

Millions of cats are euthanized each year in shelters due to the overcrowding of animals. Cats can easily have over 10 kittens in a given pregnancy leaving owners with problem of trying to find homes for these kittens. There is an easy remedy to this problem and that is spaying or neutering your cat. Not only is this the responsible thing to do but it is better for your cat. If unspayed female are more at risk of developing the following conditions: breast cancer, pyometra, tumors of the uterus & ovaries. While unneutered male cats run a risk of developing testicular cancer. 

2. The Price of Having a Cat
When people see a cute kitten they immediately decide to adopt it. Once home they realize they have made a mistake. They are not prepared for the responsibility of a cat, not all members of the family are happy to have a cat, resident pets don't adapt well to the new addition or it just doesn't fit into your lifestyle. The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, vaccinations, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly.
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3. Checking the Health of your New Cat

When a household decides to adopt a cat, be it from the shelter or a breeder, a great deal of time should go into selecting the right animal. Have questions about where the pet came from, how they have interacted with the staff, and whether the cat has a behavior issue, etc. If you are buying from a breeder, ensure they are registered with an appropriate cat council. When visiting the cattery check out the overall health of the animals. Always have everything in writing, including the final cost of the cat, health guarantees etc.

4. Buying Purebreeds from Pet Shops or Backyard Breeders

If you are buying a cat from a pet shop or a backyard breeder, there is probably little chance that a proper screening of genetic problems has taken place. Pet shops generally charge more for purebred kittens than a registered breeder would. Not only this, but they most likely won't have certified paper to ensure their authenticity and health. As a result, you may be buying a cat that could have substantial medical bills in the future or even pass away suddenly. 

5. Seek Veterinary Help

People don't realize the seriousness of a medical condition & fail to take appropriate action & get the cat to a vet. This may be due to the lack of knowledge they possess or funds. Cat owners should look into the cost of having pet health insurance or a special Cat Fund prepared in case of emergencies.

6. Flea Control Products
Unless recommended by your veterinarian, cats should be treated with a cat flea treatment only such as Frontline. Pet owners think they will save money by sharing their dog's flea control product with their cats. This can prove fatal as cats are extremely sensitive to pyrethrins & pyrethroids which are often in dog flea products. The use of these on cats can result in death.

Protect your cat from fleas and ticks with Frontline Plus.
7. An appropriate diet
Cats have very specific dietary needs and as such need a balanced diet. There are many commercially available brands of cat food available which will fulfill your cat's dietary requirements. Don't attempt to feed your cat a home-made diet or other human consumed foods, unless you have spent a great deal of time researching, as certain food s can do more harm than good.

Science Diet
cat food helps ensure your cat gets all the nutrients they need.
8. Your Roaming Cat

Some owners feel that having your cat roam outside the home is beneficial for them. In actuality it may do more harm as free roaming cats & their lifespan is considerably shorter than that of indoor only cats, or cats with limited/supervised access outside. Outdoor cats run the risk of being highly stressed by oncoming traffic, being attacked by another cat or dog, and many other dangers they may encounter.

9. Litter Box Maintenance
Cats will use a litter box only if it is kept clean, and if the litter is not scented or pleasant to the cat's feet. Carefully maintaining your cat's litter box will almost guarantee that you will not be faced with litter box avoidance problems. Don't try to over clean the box with disinfectant or bleach as cats are very sensitive to these and other chemicals. It is also recommended to have an automatic litter box to help in reducing the maintenance. If your cat suddenly starts urinating outside the box despite your careful maintenance, you should immediately suspect a urinary tract problem and call your veterinarian.
Litter Maid has a line of self cleaning litter boxes designed to make cleaning less of a chore.

Fore more information on adopting or caring for a cat check out our other articles:

Foods and Plants that are TOXIC to your Cat
Cat Spraying

Getting to Know Your Cat - 9 Things to Consider