A cat is a wonderful companion, as long as you have the necessary skills and knowledge to care for it properly. Education on the best way to care for a cat is the most important step in cat ownership. Keep reading for some great tips every cat owner should know about.

Check out the shelter when adopting a cat. Shelters all over the country are crowded with marvelous cats, and most provide veterinarian care with the adoption fee. Adopting a cat this way helps to save their life and cut down on unwanted animal births.

TIP! Move any drape cords out of a cat’s reach. If your cat plays with looped drape cords, they could get caught around its neck, which presents a suffocation hazard.

Check-ups are an absolute must for any pet cat. Not only will a veterinarian give a general physical exam, he or she will also make sure they have necessary vaccinations. Try to stick with one vet during the life of your pet. This person will be more knowledgeable on your cat’s history.

Your cat will want to climb into small spaces. If you keep a collar on your pet, getting stuck in one of these spaces can be very dangerous. A breakaway style collar will literally “break away” if pulled too tight. A collar like this could save your cat’s life.

If your cat is a female, it needs to be spayed when it reaches the appropriate age. Even if you have an indoor female cat, if it escapes when it’s in heat it could get you a bunch of kittens you weren’t planning on having. Spaying a cat can prevent this.

TIP! Heated tiles are great to put under a cat bed, especially for the comfort of aging felines. A terra cotta tile about a foot square is ideal.

Making sure your cat doesn’t jump on the counters is hard to do. They love to be able to look around from up high. One way to nip this problem in the bud is to give your cat a dedicated perch of their own as an alternative to using your space. Your cat will not go on your counters if there’s a cat tower close to the kitchen.

Give your cat lots of attention and love. They want the same level of companionship that they give to you as their owner. Without love, cats may not socialize with your family. They want to feel like a valuable, happy family member, too.

Chances are, your feline spends many hours grooming himself. When your cat has long hair, this can cause hairballs. Special food can help. Look for cat food that is designed to minimize hairballs to keep you and your cat happier.

TIP! If you have an outside cat, you need to give it a collar and some identification tags. Tags can save you a lot of trouble if your cat gets lost.

Male cats sometimes have crystals in their urine, but this can be prevented with the right cat food. If they have to pass the crystals it can cause the cat a lot of pain and paying a vet to help with this can cost you a lot of money. Choose a cat food with low magnesium content. The best way to find out is to read the label. Poultry products are typically lower in magnesium than fish products.

When traveling on the road with your cat, understand that they are sensitive to sounds. You may enjoy it, but it could be hurting your cat’s ears. Turn down the music and let the cat rest.

While cats are good pets for children generally, smaller children may treat them too roughly. Teach your children how to handle a cat. Teach them about appropriate activities and how to gentle pick up the cat. Cat’s bones aren’t quite as strong as dogs, so they must be treated gingerly.

TIP! Your house can really get torn apart by a cat’s claws. If you have problems with a cat that shreds furniture, invest in a durable scratching post.

It would be a good idea for your cat to get used to a pet carrier. While punishment is a good strategy to train dogs, it is not adapted to cats. Encouragement is usually a much better option. Give your cat a treat every time it does something well. Your cat will want to inspect the carrier and probably enjoy hiding inside. Transporting the carrier with your cat inside makes your next trip out much easier.

A battered appearance isn’t a good reason to discard a beloved cat condo or scratching post. It’s in this condition that cats tend to love it the most. When you bring in a new post, the cat may ignore it.

If you wish to add another cat to your home, give it a couple weeks for your old cat and your new cat to grow accustomed to each other. In the early days, you may see a lot of posturing from the cats including hissing and swatting at each other. Over time, though, they will learn to tolerate each other and eventually form a close bond.

Litter Box

Carefully consider where you will locate your cats’ litter box. You are surely tempted to put it where the smell will affect your surroundings the least. However, if you hide it from your pet he might not try very hard to find it when he needs to go to the bathroom. A finicky cat may not use the litter box if the environment is very inconvenient. The area around the litter box should be comfortable and warm to walk on, so make adjustments as needed.

Give the cat a collar with your contact information. Your indoor pet might even get out if you leave a window open. If this occurs, make sure they can return home.

TIP! Location is key when placing a litter box. Don’t put it where the cat can’t reach it or near their food.

Keep products containing phenol away from your cat. This chemical is often found in cleaning products such as Pine-Sol and Lysol. The smell offends them and being exposed to it for several hours can cause liver problems.

If you can, keep your cat inside and close to you. Cats who live indoors live longer and are healthier than outdoor cats. That’s because they are not exposed to harmful diseases that run amok, and they aren’t as prone to dangerous wildlife.

As long as you commit to giving it the proper care, a cat can be a terrific pet. Cat owners should read this article and use all of its great tips. With good, solid practices and lots of love, you can have a truly happy cat that lives a long life.