Adoption Information For Cats

GENERAL CARE FOR CATS

Are you adding a feline friend to your family? Congratulations! These are useful tips for new cat parents and for those looking to brush up on their cat care skills.

Cat Supply Checklist:

  • Premium-brand cat food
  • Food dish
  • Water bowl
  • Interactive toys
  • Brush
  • Safety cat collar with ID tag
  • Scratching post or pad
  • Litter box and litter
  • Cat carrier
  • Cat bed or box with warm blanket

Health:

Make an appointment with a veterinarian. Routine veterinary care will help your pet live a long, healthy, happy life. Your veterinarian will also give you important recommendations for vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, and heartworm prevention.

Feeding:

Purchase high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your new cat or kitten and determine the best diet. Factors such as age, activity level and health make a difference in what and how much a cat should eat. Treats should be no more than 5-10% of the diet.

Provide fresh, clean water at all times, and wash and refill your cat’s water bowls often (either change out fresh water daily or use a filtered water fountain).

Many people feed baby food to a cat or kitten who is refusing food or not feeling well. Please read labels carefully: If the baby food contains onion or garlic powder, your pet could be poisoned.

Take your pet to your veterinarian if signs of anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting or lethargy continue for more than two days.

Avoid these items as they are poisonous to cats and dogs: Alcohol, Avocado, Chocolate, Coffee, caffeine, Citrus, Coconut and Coco-nut oil, Grapes and Raisins, Nuts, Milk and Dairy, Onions, Garlic, Chives, Undercooked Meat or Eggs, Bones, Salty Foods, Xylitol, Yeast Dough. Many household plants are poisonous to cats.

Grooming:

Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but you should gently brush or comb your cat regularly. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat's coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs.

Handling:

To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hind quarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a  cat by the scruff of the neck or by the front legs.

Housing:

Your cat should have a clean, dry place in your home to sleep and rest. Line your cat's bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often.

We recommend keeping your cat indoors. Outdoor cats are at risk of trauma from cars, or from fights with other cats, raccoons, and free-roaming dogs. Outdoor cats often fall prey to coyotes. Outdoor pets are more likely to become infested with fleas or ticks, as well as contract infectious diseases.

Identification:

If allowed outdoors, your cat must wear a collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. And, for both indoor and outdoor cats, an ID tag or an implanted microchip can help ensure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.

Litter Box:

All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. If you have multiple cats, it is recommended that you have at least one litter box per cat plus one extra litter box in the house to help ensure everyone is comfortable using them (cats can be picky about their potty territory). Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary, but if you must do so, move the box just a few inches per day. Keep in mind that cats won't use a messy, smelly litter box, so scoop solid wastes out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild deter-gent and refill at least once a week; you can do this less frequently if using clumping litter. Don't use ammonia, deodorants or scents, especially lemon, when cleaning the litter box. If your cat will not use a litterbox, please consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes, refusal to use a litter box is based on a medical condition that required treatment.

Scratching:

Cats need to scratch! When a cat scratches, the old outer nail sheath is pulled off and the sharp, smooth claws underneath are ex-posed. Cutting your cat’s nails every two to three weeks will keep them relatively blunt and less likely to harm the arms of both hu-mans and furniture. Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post, at least three feet high. The post should also be stable enough that it won't wobble during use, and should be covered with rough material such as sisal, burlap or tree bark. Many cats also like scratching pads.