How to care for a cat
Important to know: The immune system of the cat
Each animal has a natural mechanism of protection against germs and viruses - genetic immunity. But the immune system is also influenced by many external factors - stress, lack of sleep, insufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, air drafts, moving home - all these significantly reduce the ability of the cat’s system resistance and adversely affects its condition.
If a cat is often sick, depressed, behaves unusually, its skin and coat condition worsened – it is most likely, that its immunity is reduced.
Therefore, pay attention - a healthy gastrointestinal tract and full nutrition – is a guarantee of strong immunity of your pet! Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, which are in the stomach, help in the process of digestion and production of vitamins.
But in the intestines of the cat along with useful microorganisms live harmful bacteria - Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
The kitten gets all the necessary useful bacteria along with the mother's milk in the first days of its life. Then their balance should be supported with healthy meals, which have probiotics and prebiotics in them. These substances contribute to better digestion of food and stimulate the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the stomach of a cat.
Dry food: cat’s feeding needs
Dry food is a balanced full-fledged diet, but it should be noted that there are certain rules for its use. The most important thing is that you should not try to save on it - it is better to choose the right quality food that will benefit the pet.
Your cat will remain healthy and vigorous if it consumes dry food in accordance with the feeding regime indicated on the package.
But remember that a cat should have constant access to fresh water in sufficient quantities.
It is important that a balanced dry diet contains everything that your cat needs, and as such food from your table can harm the health of the animal and disrupt metabolism.
Regular veterinarian check-ups are a guarantee of a long and healthy life of the animal. We recommend to conduct check ups with a veterinarian at least once a year, so as not to miss the onset of a disease. Clearly it is easier to treat the disease at an early stage than when it is already in full force.
Some pet owners believe that if a cat does not go to outside, it does not need to be vaccinated because it will not get sick with infectious diseases. But a regular vaccination plan developed by a veterinarian is mandatory for every cat.
Deworming of a cat
Cats have two main types of worms: nematodes (roundworms) and cestodes (tapeworms). For kittens, veterinarians recommend de-worming monthly for the first six months of life, then at the age of 9 and 12 months. Adult cats need to be treated twice a year. More information on the deworming schedule will be given by a specialist during the first vaccination of the kitten.
How to get rid of fleas from a cat?
Unfortunately, fleas are the most common external parasites that harm cats and dogs! If there is a single flea living on your cat, then, most likely, there are hundreds of flees in your apartment, constantly multiplying! You may consult with your veterinarian who will advise the best product for your pet, from the ones that are available in pet stores.
Castration of a male cat and sterilization of a female cat: pros and cons
Pros of castrating a male cat:
• The cat becomes more calm and non-aggressive;
• The cat no longer marks the territory, no unpleasant smells;
• The cat does not try to escape to find a mate;
• The risk of genital diseases decreases.
Cons of castrating a male cat:
• Risk of the operation itself and postoperative lesions;
• The cat may gain weight
Pros of sterilizing a female cat:
• The cat will no longer feel discomfort due to being in heat;
• The risk of tumors of the uterus, ovaries, purulent pyometra, decreases (or completely disappears);
• No more worrying about what to do with kittens, how to get rid of them;
• The cat will become calmer, will no longer ruin the furniture or try to run away from home.
Cons of sterilizing a female cat:
• Female cats are difficult to get out of anesthesia, so they need time for rehabilitation.
• Like every intervention, sterilization has a certain risk, although it is very small.
How to identify health issues
Controlling the weight of a cat:
To control the weight, you must regularly weigh the animal. If you do not have such an opportunity, you can check the weight change by clasping the torso of the cat with your hands. If the weight is normal, you can feel the ribs of the animal under a thin layer of fat, but the ribs do not have to protrude outward.
If your pet is overweight, then it has fat deposits under its belly. You’ll need to consult a veterinarian for a weight loss program, limit the number of treats, and split the cat’s daily diet into 2-4 small meals. In addition, the animal will benefit from physical activity - start with short exercises, and then you may gradually increase their number.
How to check the cat’s fur and skin
To check the fur of the animal, spread the coat around the head, on the back and see if there are wounds, insect bites, peeling. At the base of the tail, in the area of the sacrum and abdomen, check the fur for the presence of black lumps, which indicates fleas. If you find fleas in your pet, you can get rid of them yourself.
If the fur is bundled, with coots and does not shine, maybe the diet of the animal is wrong for it, or the cat has some kind of disease - contact the veterinarian.
How to check the cat's eyes
The lower eyelid should be pink, and the whites of the eyes should be white without redness. Dark discharge is the main sign of infection. Also check the pupils' reaction to light.
How to check the ears of a cat
Cat’s ears should be light pink, clean, free of dirt and strong odor. If the ears contain earwax, especially if its dark, this may indicate infection or ear mites.
How to check the teeth and gums of a cat
To check the gums of the cat, you need to push the cat’s lips and tightly press your finger over the upper teeth to the gums. A white imprint should remain, which gradually becomes pink. If a tooth has a plaque of yellow or dark brown color, it must be removed with the help of a veterinarian - to avoid periodontal diseases.
To prevent the formation of plaque and tartar, you can feed your pet with specially designed diets or between vet visits use special toothbrushes and pastes for cats. Also, the shape and structure of croquettes of superpremium foods promotes effective cleaning of teeth from plaque.
Pay attention to those features that are specific to the normal condition of your pet, so that later you can detect any deviation from the norm.
See if there are unusual cones or bulges on the animal's body. To do this, press both palms up into the cat's head and follow the front paws, along the hips and down the hind legs, under the chin, under the shoulders, down the back. Check the paws from the claws to the pads or there are no sores or cracks.
If you find any unusual bulges, consult a veterinarian.
How to clean the ears of a cat?
Cleaning the ears of the cat should be done infrequently. But if it is necessary, you should remove earwax, dust and moisture before an exhibition, or to conduct medical measures in the fight against ear mites.
During combing of the cat, it is recommended to inspect its ears. If the animal constantly shakes its head, rubs and scratches the ears, it may be a sign of ear inflammation or ingress of a foreign body into the ear canal - therefore it is necessary to consult a specialist for advice.
Beauty of a cat
How to comb the fur of a cat?
Cats lick themselves down to comb themselves and get rid of unnecessary odors. But as a result of licking they can often swallow their own hair. There is a risk that the hair will clog the intestine, if accumulated in the stomach - especially in long-haired breeds. In addition, long hair in pets can become clumped. But if you regularly comb the cat, these problems can be avoided - hence, long-haired breeds need combing every 2-3 days; Short-haired - 1-2 times a week.
Cats of longhaired breeds need to be combed in several stages. Initially, to get rid of excess hair, you may comb the fur with a massage brush or mitt, and then - in the direction of hair growth with a coarse-toothed comb. Then, you can use a comb with thick, but not sharp teeth. Clumped-up hair should be as untangled as much as possible, and if it’s not possible - carefully cut the ball out with manicure scissors. If they are not removed in time, they may spread as far as clumping up cat’s skin and even causing pain to the cat.
Cats of short-haired breeds are much easier to comb: it is enough to remove extra hair once or twice a week with a massage brush. Pay attention that when cats molt - in the autumn and in the spring - they should be combed a bit more often, and very fluffy pets - even every day.
How to bathe a cat?
Cats do not really like bathing; hence they can try to run away and scratch you. Shorthair and dark cats do not need to bathe more than 3-4 times a year, and even then only in cases of severe dirtying. But white and long-haired pets have to bathe more often - although you may use a dry shampoo or special spray, applying them to the fur of animals, and combing thoroughly after the procedure. In addition, the spray has an antistatic effect if the animal's fur is electrified.
So as not to bathe a cat too often, the most contaminated areas of fur should be wiped with a damp cloth. However, 3-4 times a year you can wash the animal with water and a special liquid shampoo, which is sold in pet stores. Remember - you can only bathe completely healthy animals! It is best to use a bath, filling it with water - not very hot, but at least 35 degrees Celsius. First, gently wet cat’s fur, holding the animal firmly (you may need an assistant). Keep water out of its ears! Secondly, apply a shampoo, puff it and rub it on the fur. Third, thoroughly wash off the shampoo and wrap the cat in two or three towels. Calm the animal, take it to another room, hold it tight, and carefully wipe the coat. If the cat is not afraid of a hair dryer - you can use it to speed up drying.
Do you need to brush your cat's teeth?
Domestic cats don’t have the ability to take care of their teeth on their own, but they need dental care. If the animal has problems with teeth, it is fraught with not only toothache, but also damage to the entire digestive system. Therefore, cats need to brush their teeth just like people - quickly and accurately move the brush back and forth and down and up, covering as much of the surface of the teeth as possible. But the cleaning must be short, so as not to irritate the animal. It is better to accustom the pet to brushing its teeth as a kitten, but if you fail, you will have to limit yourself to antibacterial solutions, which are applied by a sprayer after feeding, it cleans the mouth of the cat from germs.