Caring For Cats

 

This resource was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Cary Teller


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Caring for Cats: Veterinary Care, Nutrition, and Training

Bringing a cat into your home is a lifetime commitment. Pet ownership requires a great deal of
time and effort to give a cat the care it needs. People should consider the financial cost of food
and veterinary care before making a final decision. Cats are social animals that require attention  from their owners. Discover more about pet ownership to learn how you can raise a happy and healthy cat.

Adopt or Shop

The decision to adopt a cat or purchase one from a pet store will depend on your financial
budget and personal preferences. You might consider fostering a cat to see if pet ownership is right for you. Adopting from a shelter is less expensive than buying one from a pet store. Cats can be adopted for less than $100 dollars. Some shelters have free adoption events to make room for more animals. Adoption fees include the cost of shots, sterilization, and microchip.
However, someone looking for a specific breed might need to visit a pet store to find their ideal
cat.

The Cost of Veterinary Care

People should consider the cost of veterinary care before they adopt or purchase a cat. Pet owners are required by law to vaccinate their cats every year. The average cost for annual vaccinations is around $60 dollars. Cat owners should expect to pay at least $150 dollars to spay or neuter their pet. Most cats will need routine dental cleanings, which could cost as much as $300 dollars. It’s important for cats to have an annual exam every year, which will cost around $50 dollars. Your cat might need additional vet visits for illnesses and injuries. Veterinary care will be more expensive as your cat grows older.

Many veterinary offices offer monthly plans to cover the cost of routine medical care. There are
also a variety of pet insurance companies that provide coverage for illness and injury. Pet
owners are required to pay an annual deductible and monthly premium to receive coverage.
People must pay for vet services in advance and submit a claim for reimbursement. Pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions.

Cat Nutrition

Proper nutrition can prolong the life of your cat. Felines can benefit from a combination diet of
wet and dry food. Dry food is less expensive and promotes healthy teeth. Wet food helps cats
develop strong bones and muscles.

It’s not necessary to purchase the most expensive pet food to give your cat the nutrition it
needs. Many veterinarians recommend a Non-GMO or grain-free diet. Pet owners should avoid
foods with large amounts of chemicals, preservatives, and food dyes.

Litter Box Training

Most cats don’t require training to use a litter box. Cats often urinate outside their litter box if it’s not kept clean. Litter boxes need to be cleaned at least once a day. A cat might refuse to use their box if they don’t like the smell of the litter. Pet owners can purchase self-cleaning litter boxes that don’t require scooping. It’s important to alert your veterinarian if your cat continues to urinate outside their litter box. Frequent accidents might indicate a medical problem such as a urinary tract infection.

Keep Cats Indoors

Cats live longer when they are kept indoors. It’s common for outdoor cats to get hit by cars and
catch diseases. They are also vulnerable to attacks from other animals. Outdoor cats should be
spayed or neutered to prevent overpopulation.

It’s not necessary to declaw your cat to prevent destructive behavior. Cat declawing is a painful procedure that can cause behavioral problems. Cats can easily be trained to use a scratching post to mark their territory instead of your furniture.

Cats are wonderful companions that will change your life forever. These animals need routine
veterinary care and proper nutrition. It’s also important to keep your cat indoors to ensure their
safety.

“Cary Teller is an Oregon native who loves exploring the outdoors with his trusty sidekick Milo, a 2-year old gorgeous and cuddly mastiff.”