A new cat is very similar to a new child. One of the hardest parts of raising a new kitten is keeping them entertained whenever they want to play. A young kitten isn’t afraid to wake you up while tangling themselves in your hair. Still, there are better ways to keep these little felines entertained.
Make sure to keep your cat’s litter box clean at all times. Most cats do not like to use a dirty litter box, much like you would not want to use a dirty toilet. Scoop it at least once a day. Empty and give it a good cleaning once a week or more if needed.
If your dog and cat are best friends, be sure to keep them separate after flea treatment. Your dog’s flea products are very hazardous for cats. Cats that come in contact with dog flea products often die. Be sure to use only cat products on your cat and only dog products on your dog.
As your cat gets older, changes in behavior may signal pain. If your cat doesn’t like to jump or climb any more, it may be in pain. If your cat stops taking care of grooming or stops using its litter box, pain may be the cause. Be sure to have your older cat checked out by your vet if you notice behavior changes.
Check your cats ears frequently for ear mites. You may notice your cat shaking their head or scratching their ears a lot if they have them. They are tiny parasites that look like coffee grounds in your cat’s ears. If you have more than one cat, they can also travel from cat to cat. See a vet before using any medication on them since their ears need properly cleaned first.
Cats and electrical cords don’t mix. If you notice your cat has a habit of chewing on electric cords, try to bundle them up and hide them out of the cat’s reach. If that’s not possible, spray a little bit of bitter apple onto the cords. Not only is bitter apple non-toxic, cats absolutely hate the taste.
Make sure you have a good pet carrier or basket for transporting your cats from one location to the next. A proper carrier or basket should have enough room for them to turn around in comfortably. It should also be easy to clean. Make sure that it is lined with a blanket, cushion, or towel to help it stay comfortable and cozy for them when traveling.
Make your own enclosed litter box from a large tote box with a lid. Use a coffee can lid as a pattern to cut a door in one side of the tote. Place the coffee can lid fairly high up on the side of the tote. Trace around it with a permanent marker. Cut out the circle with tin snips or a box cutter. Add litter. Put on the lid.
Keep the litter box clean. Cats are naturally very clean animals, and a dirty litter box will have your cat looking for alternative places to relieve himself. Cats also value their privacy, so try to locate the box in an area that does not get a lot of foot traffic.
While children should help with the care and responsibilities of a cat, leave the litterbox duties to the grownups or older children. A cat’s litterbox can carry diseases and parasites. Since younger children may not follow proper handwashing procedures, this job is better left to those older and more responsible.
Never try to teach a cat how to work a litter box. This is natural to them and does not need to be taught. You may have heard that rubbing your cat;s paws in litter will help them learn, but that may have a traumatizing effect.
Most veterinarians recommend that you feed your cat food that is in the can as opposed to the dry varieties in the box or bag. This is because the canned food contains more water, fat and protein than the dry variety. It is also easier to consume for cats with dental issues.
Cats love to climb trees. This is a natural tendency, that can be hard for some indoor cats to control. If you find that your cat is literally climbing up your curtains, it is time to invest in a cat tower. This will provide your cat a place to climb, in a safer and less destructive way.
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.
Understand the difference between cat play and real aggression. Both activities can look the same to an untrained eye, but there are differences. When two cats are playing, they will bat each other around with claws retracted. They will “bite” with their jaws loose. Real aggression will involve hisses, squeals and hard biting.
When your cat has kittens, it can be tempting to get rid of them as soon as possible, but you should wait a reasonable amount of time. A kitten needs to learn a few things from mom before going off into the world alone, so give him six weeks to learn all he can.
Use aversives to deter your feline friend from going places where it is not allowed. An aversive is anything that creates an undesirable environment for your cat. Examples include shelf paper (sticky side facing upward) and tinfoil. Most cats prefer to avoid these textures at all costs. You can also use carpet tape that has adhesive on both sides.
The key to entertaining kittens is simplicity. Most cats love some of the same little games and gestures, while other cats are incredibly unique with their own ideas for fun. If you don’t want your kitty to grow into a grumpy, old furball, then let it have fun and play around like a kitten should.