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Kitten Care

Ideally, kittens should not be separated from their mothers for at least five or six weeks after birth. A new-born kitten must be fed every two hours, day and night. A kitten can begin to be weaned once he or she is four weeks old. At this time, the kitten should be fed canned food mixed with evaporated milk.

Once a kitten has started eating solid food, he or she must have fresh water available to drink at all times. Usually, a kitten can be fed canned food without evaporated milk added to it once he or she is two months old.

At six months, a cat is considered to have reached adulthood. At this point, one or two meals per day should be enough for your cat. Alternatively, you can leave dry food next to your cat’s water dish for him or her to munch on throughout the day.

Caring for Cats

Never give your cat chicken or turkey bones. A piece could splinter off and block the cat’s airway or intestinal tract. Avoid giving your cat fresh-water fish as well; they contain an enzyme that neutralizes certain vitamins. Do not leave uneaten canned food in your cat’s dish for so long that it dries out. You can serve your cat cooked vegetables from time to time as a treat; he or she will enjoy them!

Although cats can adapt to almost any environment, please remember that your cat is a house pet. Don’t expect your cat to live outside, or to live in a humid or cold environment. It would be best if you did not let your cat go out at night: he or she is sure to annoy the birds, small wild animals, and your neighbours. Your cat could also be exposed to accidents and illness. You should find a veterinarian for your cat without delay. It is recommended that all cats be sterilized; please have yours sterilized as soon as possible. By establishing a relationship with a veterinarian, you will be able to get help for your cat right away when he or she is ill. If your cat should become ill, do not wait until the cat’s condition deteriorates before contacting your vet. Among other illnesses, cats can suffer from typhoid. Cats can also contract feline leukopenia, an infection that is often fatal. However, cats can be vaccinated against this infectious disease once they are seven or eight weeks old.

Your cat could also suffer from gastro-enteritis, pneumonia, diarrhea, constipation, or coryza, an illness that produces symptoms similar to those of the common cold in humans.

People who have cats will probably notice that cats vomit fairly often. This constitutes normal behaviour for cats. They vomit in order to clear out fur that they have swallowed or grass that they have eaten but have not been able to digest. Don’t worry too much about this unless the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms of illness, or occurs persistently and frequently.

Cats can sometimes fall prey to parasites such as fleas, mites, ticks, intestinal worms. They can also suffer from earaches caused by parasites. Even though cats who are well-fed and cared for are far less likely to fall prey to parasites, if this should happen to your cat, it is best to seek the advice of your veterinarian.

Although it is sometimes easy to forget, a cat is not a toy but a living being and a companion. Contrary to popular belief, you should never pick a cat up by the scruff of the neck because you might hurt the cat by doing so. Instead, you should pick a cat up by putting one hand behind the cat’s front legs and lifting the cat’s rear half with your other hand. If you want to give your cat a collar, you should give him or her the new, stretchable type of collar: these are less dangerous than ribbon, string, or the more conventional style of collar.

In the same line of thinking, it is important not to confuse the demeanour of cats with the demeanour of dogs. The word “obedience” has never been part of the feline vocabulary, and this is not about to change any time soon. Therefore, punishing a cat is a waste of time. Saying “No!” in a loud, authoritative voice is a much more effective way of controlling a cat’s behaviour than giving the cat a smack. If you see cats fighting with each other, throwing a bucket of water on the combatants is a good way to get them to stop.

If you follow these basic care measures, you can look forward to having the company of the same cat for, on average, a dozen years. A well-cared-for cat can even live for 15 years in some cases.