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A lot of people think that cats are not as affectionate as dogs, but that is simply not true. Your cat can be a wonderful friend to you, and any cat owner knows that. You just need to know how to properly care for this wonderful animal. Here are some effective ways to care for your cat.

Be sure to have your pet cat spayed or neutered by the time it is six months old. A spayed or neutered cat is a more satisfactory pet because it is calmer, quieter and more likely to stay home. Neutered male cats do not spray urine to mark their territory. This is definitely a plus when it comes to cat ownership.

If you have a male cat, it is important to have him neutered before he goes into heat. When male cats start maturing, they will begin to spray around the house. It smells like ammonia and is hard to remove. Having your male cat neutered can help to prevent this from happening.

Choose a high quality food. The key to a healthy cat starts with nutrition. Take a look at the ingredients label. If you look at most “popular” commercial cat foods, you may be surprised to see the top ingredient listed is corn. Cats are carnivores, so look for a food with a real meat as the top ingredient. You may pay more up front, but these foods are often more nutritionally dense, meaning your cat eats less and the bag lasts longer.

Check your cat for ticks and fleas every week. If your cat does have fleas, there is a good chance that you also have fleas in your home. You might need some flea bombs or premise-control sprays, along with treating the cat, to get rid of the issue. If you don’t know what products to use for controlling ticks and fleas, talk to your vet for some safe options.

Cats and electrical cords don’t mix. If you notice your cat has a habit of chewing on electric cords, try to bundle them up and hide them out of the cat’s reach. If that’s not possible, spray a little bit of bitter apple onto the cords. Not only is bitter apple non-toxic, cats absolutely hate the taste.

Feed your cat a proper diet. Cats are carnivores and have specific dietary needs. Feed them quality cat food that has been approved by AAFCO or the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If you wish to make your cat’s food yourself, make sure you speak with a vet about necessary supplements or specific recipes that your cat needs to eat.

The litter box for your cat needs to be positioned in the right place. Never put the box near your cat’s food, and pick a quiet place away from areas that are heavily used. Put it in a ventilated area to reduce odors. Your cat and your nose will thank you for the effort.

Cats are generally great with kids, though small kids may be too rough. Teach your kids the right way to hold a cat. You should show them everything from how to properly carry the cat to the best ways to play with it. Cats have more fragile bones than dogs so it is important to treat them with care.

While children should help with the care and responsibilities of a cat, leave the litterbox duties to the grownups or older children. A cat’s litterbox can carry diseases and parasites. Since younger children may not follow proper handwashing procedures, this job is better left to those older and more responsible.

Do you have a cat and a dog? Dogs take every opportunity they can get to eat the cat’s food. Consider placing the cat food on a location away from where the dog can reach. Doing this will also help you avoid fights over the water bowl.

A cat’s nails can grow really quickly. They sharpen their nails by scratching on different surfaces like a scratching post. You can help avoid your cat destroying your furniture by clipping their nails often. This will help to discourage your cat from scratching at different things around your house.

Anytime you get a new pet, you must introduce them to your cat slowly to help to avoid problems and let the cat get used to it. Keep them separated for at least two weeks, but let them sniff at each other under a closed door. They may hide from one another, hiss, or even swat each other. Eventually they are going to get used to each other, and they may even end up becoming best friends.

Help keep your cat’s fur soft and healthy with regular cleaning. While your pet might object violently to a dunk in the bathtub, there are other options. Many pet stores sell feline cleaning wipes. These convenient disposable wipes reduce allergens and remove oils and dirt. Some are scented with chamomile, which helps to calm your cat. These are especially useful if you have an older or injured pet that cannot groom itself properly.

Think about extra care before you take home a cat with long hair. While long, silky hair is beautiful on a cat, the same fur appears far less beautiful covering your floor, dark clothing, and furniture. Don’t get such a cat unless you are prepared for the extra commitment they take over regular cats. There will be hairball issues as well.

Use a cat collar that gives name, address, and phone number info. Cats who stay indoors could still get out. If this happens, ensure there’s a way they can find home again.

If you have a problem with your cats scratching furniture and doors, here is a natural way to curb this destructive behavior. Take a cloth, or soft brush, and apply a thin coating of citrus juice or hot sauce to the areas your cat is scratching. Try to find something that will not discolor the wood. Cats hate citrus and anything spicy, and should eventually learn to avoid these areas.

Caring for a cat can take some time and patience, as cats will typically express pleasure and displeasure about the way things are going. However, the information here can help you to care for your cat in an effective way that keeps you both happy. Your friendship can last for years to come.