How do you take care of a cat?


Quick Answer

Cats should be given a healthy diet, fresh water and a litter box that is cleaned daily. Cats also need regular grooming and veterinary checkups as well as exercise and affection.

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Full Answer

Cats need a carefully balanced diet, so foods that meet Association of American Feed Control Officials are best. This information is usually on the bag or the manufacturer's website. They also need clean, fresh water that is available at all times. Cats naturally like to use litter boxes for elimination, but if the litter box gets messy, they may avoid it.

Regular brushing is essential for long-haired cats to prevent painful mats and tangles, and it helps reduce shedding in short-haired cats. Cats also need their claws clipped periodically to keep them at a safe length.

Cats should be spayed or neutered and receive appropriate vaccinations for their area. The rabies vaccine is required by law in many states. Yearly veterinary checkups are recommended, and if the cat becomes sick or injured, it needs an emergency vet visit.

Cats have a natural urge to scratch, so they need an appropriate outlet. There are scratching posts made from a variety of materials to help entice cats. Most cats also enjoy cuddling and playing with their owners, and enjoy climbing on high places like bookshelves and cat trees. This gives them mental stimulation and physical exercise to help keep them healthy and content.

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