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Cat Essentials

 

  Prevent inappropriate elimination issues by making your cat’s litter box appealing to your cat. Manufacturers that produce litter boxes and litter products place human needs above cat preferences. Cats prefer unscented, scoopable litter that is cleaned daily. They prefer large litter boxes that allow them plenty of room to reach and bury. A 30-inch or larger under-bed-storage-box works well.  Allow one more box than the number of cats at home. Avoid placing boxes in areas near furnaces or appliances that turn on or make noise suddenly as this may startle your cat and lead to avoidance in the future. If possible, distribute multiple litter boxes on different levels of your home.

 

Cats prefer scratching posts that allow them to stand upright, stretch, and scratch. An adult cat needs a scratching post 3-4 feet tall.

 

Lilies are extremely toxic and deadly to cats if they chew on any part of the plant. Do not bring Easter, Stargazer, Asiatic, Oriental, Day, or Tiger Lilies into your house where your cats may have access to them. Do not plant lilies in your garden if you allow your cats outside.

 

Canned food is good for cats.  The nutritional composition of the cat’s natural diet (mouse) is 45% protein, 45 % fat, 10% carbohydrate and minerals. Canned food best correlates with this nutritional composition. If dry food is offered, a large kibble dental diet is the best choice. These choices include Hill’s Science Diet Dental Diet and Hill’s  Prescription T/D. The dental diet may be offered as treats or mixed with a good quality meat protein dry food such as Iam’s, Sensible Choice, or Purina One.

 

Cats hate change. Change is a threat to your cat’s survival in a very real, instinctual sense. Diet changes, introduction of new pets, home improvement/remodel, moving to a new home, changes in human relationships… all can drastically affect your cat’s behavior and quality of life. Gradual change may help some cats adapt easier. Some cats require a short course of anti-anxiety medications to help them make adjustments.

 

Do not allow your cat to play with yarn, ribbon, anything synthetic and thread-like. If your cat ingests these materials, they will not digest, and may cause the intestines to tear (perforate), leading to a costly surgery or a fatal outcome.

 

Cats love warm places. Pay special attention to restarting your clothes dryer if the door is open and warm clothes are in it. Bang on the hood over the engine before you start your car if you have any reason to suspect an outside cat may be seeking warmth during winter months. Fan-belt injuries are not uncommon.

 

Do not give your cats over the counter pain medications such as aspirin (Bayer), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Motrin). Cat’s do not have the liver enzymes necessary to metabolize these medications. Safer pain medications are available.