Taking Care of Your Cat

Your cat brings you joy as she curls up on your lap and purrs herself to sleep. She provides you with endless entertainment as she chases her feather wand with enthusiasm. But from time to time, she might also drive you crazy as she scratches your favorite chair, executes sneak attacks to your ankles, or stops using the litter-box.  Whatever “issues” you or your cat may have, the Humane Society of the United States has Cat Behavior Tip Sheets with information that can help you address them. These tip sheets are designed to empower pet caregivers to solve the problems that threaten their relationships with their companion animals.


Premium-quality dry or canned cat food provides a healthy diet for your pet. Fresh, clean water must be available at all times. All water bowls should be washed and refilled daily.


1. An adult cat should be fed one large meal or two smaller meals each day. Kittens 6 to 12 weeks old need to be fed four times a day, and kittens 12 to 24 weeks old need to be fed three times a day.
2. Always keep food bowl and utensils dean,
3. Do not give a cat food that is even slightly spoiled.
4. Carefully remove small bones from fish and chicken.
5. Serve food at room temperature.
6. Dispose of uneaten food once the cat walks away.
7. Monitor your cat’s weight, and do not let your cat overeat.
8. Consult a vet if your cat has refused food for 24 hours.
9. Do not put reheated food back in the refrigerator.


Cats should have a warm, dry place of their own in the house, line the bed with something warm and soft, such as a towel or blanket. Be sure to wash the bedding often, It’s safer to keep your cat Indoors. Outdoor cats can get poisoned, hit by cars and hurt in fights. They are also more apt to pick up diseases and parasites.


Your cat should see a veterinarian at least once a year for an examination and shots. Also, take your feline to a vet if he becomes sick or injured. Carefully go over your cat’s body at least once a week and check for fleas, ear mites, bumps or cuts. Whenever you contact your veterinarian, it is helpful to supply some details about the condition of your cat. Here is a list of questions you may be asked:

1. Is it alert and active?
2. Is it eating and drinking?
3. Is it vomiting?
4. Is it passing urine and feces normally?
5. Is it coughing or sneezing?
6. Is it pawing its eyes or ears?
7. Is it showing any signs of pain?

Litter Box:

All cats need a litter box. The bathroom, utility room or screened porch are all good places to put the box. Always keep it in the same place, since moving it will probably upset your cat. Scoop solids out at least once a day. Dump everything, was the box with mild detergent and refill it at least once a week. Cats won’t use a smelly, dirty litter box.


Cats keep themselves relatively clean. Most cats rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent grooming helps keep your feline’s coat clean and reduces both shedding and hairballs.


If allowed outdoors (we do not recommend this!), a cat should always wear a collar and an identification tag. A safety collar or “breakaway collar” has an elastic panel that will allow your cat to free himself if the collar becomes caught on something. Please remember that I.D. tags are essential for cat safety! It makes it possible for someone to return your pet to you if he or she should become lost.


All cats need to scratch to loosen old nail sheathes and allow new nails to grow. Cutting your cat’s nails every 10 to 14 days will keep them relatively blunt and make them less likely to scratch people and furniture. Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post covered with rough material such as sisal or tree bark to prevent further destruction.