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If you’re a cat owner or you want to get a cat in the near future, you’re probably wondering how you can care for it properly. Cats make great pets but they can take a little work to take care of. Read through this article for some solid advice, and this will be something you can do.

Before acquiring a cat, be sure that you have the wherewithal to take care of all necessary vet care. Cats reproduce at an alarming rate, and spaying or neutering is essential to keeping cat population under control. Check spay, neuter and vaccination costs and packages with local vets and clinics and be sure you can afford to give your cat proper medical care.

If you have outdoor cats, be sure to discourage pests such as coyotes, possums and raccoons by bringing cat food indoors at night. Feed your cats first thing in the morning, and make sure there is no food left at nightfall. This will keep your cats safe from attack and illness.

Avoid being kept awake by your cat romping through the house at night. When you first get your kitten, establish a habit of putting it to bed in a comfortable crate with a nice bed, litter box, food and water at night. If you start this early, your cat will appreciate having its own safe, cozy room.

Avoid eye contact to make friends with a cat. Ever wonder why cats seem drawn to the person who likes cats the least? The answer lies in cat body language. To cats, staring is “rude” and can be considered a challenge. Looking away shows that you respect their space and are not going to be a threat. So next time you are looking to meet a new feline friend, look away and let them approach you.

Cats can really be so much more than pets, they can be lifelong companions. It has been proven that cats can decrease your blood pressure, lessen the symptoms of depression and help you to live a longer happier life. If you feel like something is missing in your life, you might just need a cat.

Do not try to bathe a kitten that is less than four weeks old. It is not very easy for a young kitten to regulate the temperature of their body. This may result in the kitten getting a chill. To be on the safe side you should wait between 12 and 16 weeks after they are born to bathe them for the first time.

Consider getting your cat a fountain to drink from. Your cat will prefer drinking from running water since this is a natural behavior. Cats react better to a moving water stream. Really, there are many cats that would much prefer to drink from a running sink faucet as opposed to their own bowl. A fountain will allow your cat to have the happiness of drinking from running water.

Understand your cat’s sounds. Meowing is a form of communication, often for food or to get your attention. There are other sounds, though. Hissing usually indicates fear or anger, so you should stay away. Cats also make certain sounds when they see prey. This often sounds like a chirp. Purring may indicate contentment, but sometimes it means nervousness.

If your cat is bitten by another cat, try to get him to the vet within 24 hours. The vet can put him on antibiotics that will protect him from infection setting in, and causing serious health problems. Cat bites can trap bacteria under your cat’s skin, forming an abscess, or other dangerous infection that can cost you hundreds of dollars to treat later.

Make sure that you change your cat’s food and water on a regular basis. Just like humans, cats want to eat fresh food and drink water that is clean. Feed them at the same time each and every day if you want them to get into a regular feeding routine.

You do not have to spend a bunch of cash on fancy toys for your cat to play with. Simple things like feathers and string are great for them to play with, and they are very economical. While you can still buy fancy toys if you like, you may get more benefit from them than your cat does.

Use sticky tape on your furniture. Whenever your cat scratches any upholstery, sticky tape is a great way to dissuade them from doing it again. There is specific tape for this purpose. By protecting your furniture and providing a scratching post, you can break this type of habit.

Feed your kitten a variety of cat foods to avoid a finicky cat later. Pick different textures and different brands on a regular basis and your kitten will learn to enjoy new tastes. This can also avoid feeding problems if your usual brand is no longer available in your area.

Watch your pet carefully for signs of illness. If you see your cat suddenly eating less, drinking more, seeming increasingly lazy or hiding from people that she normally loves, this could be a sign that something is medically wrong. In such cases, visit your veterinarian to get your kitty checked out as soon as possible.

When fur starts to fly, your cat is at risk for more than scratches and bites. Fights are one of the most common means of transmitting feline immunodeficiency viruses and others. If not identified early on, these conditions can lead to rapid deterioration of your pet’s health. This could very well mean death. Protect your pet by keeping it outdoors. Do not allow it to roam the neighborhood.

If you are thinking about owning a second cat, you need to gradually introduce the cats to each other. Cats are territorial. They need time to learn to trust newcomers to their territory. This could only take a couple of days, but usually it takes at least two weeks for cats to adjust to newcomers.

As you can see now, it’s not terribly difficult to care for a cat. You just have to be patient and everything will fall into place for you. Take the things that you have learned here and you’ll be well equipped to deal with cats. Enjoy your feline friends and good luck!