‘I adopted a cat. What do I do now?’: An Essential Guide to Cat-Care for Beginners in India

By Akriti Niti Guha

Have you recently adopted a feline companion? Congratulations on bringing home such a bundle of joy! There will never be a dull moment from now on in your household. Since cats are mostly self-reliant creatures, there’s really not much that you need to do in order for them to lead healthy and happy lives. Cats are the ideal combination of affectionate and independent. However, as cat parents, we have a responsibility to be aware and informed on what’s good for our cat’s well-being.

 

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Just adopted a cat? Congratulations on your new feline companion! (Photo by Pixabay)

What should I feed my cat?

Cats are essentially meat eaters and denying them a non-vegetarian diet would be bad for their health and growth. There is also high quality cat/kitten food available in the market. If you do plan on feeding your cats cooked meat, make sure you remove the bones since they tend to splinter and can cause damage to your cat’s digestive tract.

Cats require taurine, an essential amino acid, for heart and eye health. The food you choose should be balanced for the life stage of your cat or kitten. Properly balanced foods will contain taurine.

You will need to provide fresh, clean water at all times, and wash and refill your cat’s water bowls daily.

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Do enough research on your cat’s dietary needs as per the stage of life. Cats require taurine, an essential amino acid, for heart and eye health.   (Photo by Pixabay)

A Litter Box is Essential for an Indoor or Indoor-Outdoor Cat

All indoor and indoor-outdoor cats need a litter box and keep in mind that cats will not use a dirty, smelly litter box. Therefore, you must scoop the waste daily.

If your cat will not use a litter box, please consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes refusal to use a litter box is based on a medical condition that requires treatment.

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A litter box is essential for the health and hygiene of your cat. (Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons)

How can I groom my cat?

Most cats stay very clean and don’t need frequent baths but you should brush your cat regularly. Brushing regularly keeps your cat’s coat clean and helps in reducing shedding and hairballs.

A flea comb is also a great grooming supply to have to check for any fleas in their coat.

Cats need to scratch: Give them a proper outlet to do so

Cats need to scratch. When a cat scratches, the old outer nail sheath is pulled off and the sharp, smooth claws underneath are exposed. Provide your cat with a sturdy scratch post or pad. There are many options available online or you can make your own DIY scratch posts using cardboard, jute. etc.

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Cats need to scratch. Give them the proper outlet to do so, such as a scratching post. (Photo: ‘Embrace’ by Mel B. from Flickr)

It is very important to spay or neuter your cat

There are various health and behavioral benefits of spaying/neutering your cat apart from helping to keep the overpopulation issue of cats in check.

Female cats will live a longer, healthier life and neutering your male cats prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems. Apart from this, the behavioral benefits are that females stop going into heat and neutered male cats are less likely to spray urine  to mark their territory.

Spaying/neutering your cat is the best thing for both you and your cat!

New Cat Parent Workshop: Learn all the tricks of the trade here!

If you’d like to learn more on the feline ways and to get an insight on cat nutrition and care you can register for the Kitling & Co. New Cat Parent Workshop which is being held in New Delhi on 3 September 2017, 3 – 6 pm at ATM Bistro.

For more information, write to kitlingandco@gmail.com or follow them on their Facebook and Instagram.


About the Author

Akriti Niti Guha is a cat slave whose mission is to help foster, rescue, spay and/or neuter every cat in need, across the world. Her efforts are limited to New Delhi/NCR for now, but everything is possible when the feline force is with you. Akriti also runs a mad cap Cat Boarding and foster home and most cats leave her with five-paw ratings. Feel free to check out Purrfection India on Facebook  and  Instagram or write to Akriti at akriti.n.guha@gmail.com.

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