Complete Cat Care

Complete cat care is something many new cat owners do not consider when they take one home for the first time. Owning a cat involves a lot more than feeding and scooping a litter box.

The Cat Body

A cat, even as a kitten, already has a keen sense of smell, sight and hearing. These senses can become impaired if an infection, parasite or infection invades the body. 

A cat's tongue has barbs on it that help him lick meat off bones, groom his fur and draw water into the mouth. The tongue is also a cooling system; a cat will pant when he feels hot.  
A cat's whiskers are very important because they're his measuring tools. Being the same width as a cat, the whiskers can help him determine if he will fit into a smaller space. Whiskers can also detect nearby movement and the direction of the wind. Cutting a cat's whiskers is never recommended, since this is a vital part of a cat's body. Experts say that cats may even feel pain when the whiskers are cut, because they're so sensitive. 
The paws of a cat are very powerful and are unique, in that they are able to retract. Cats will favor one paw more than the other. Most cats are left-pawed or ambidextrous.  
A cat's tail serves as a balancing tool when he's climbing and walking on thin ledges. The tail can also indicate a cat's mood.

Cat Grooming

Cats don't need much help with grooming until they are in their senior years. Owners should pay special attention to eyes, ears and coat for any abnormalities. Some cats benefit from regular brushing, especially long-haired breeds. Brushing can help prevent excessive shedding, knots, matted hair and hairballs.   

Feeding a Cat

A cat's diet can help or hinder his quality of life. Water is very important and a cat should get fresh water on a daily basis. The amount of food a cat eats should be based on his weight and activity level. A vet may recommend a lazy cat eat 10% less than the recommended amount, while more active cats should receive 20% or more food.

There are certain foods that are toxic to cats or cause allergies. Ask a vet for a list of foods and plants that are toxic to cats.  

Cat Health 

Cats can get sick. Many times the illness could be minor, but there are times when his condition may be more serious. If a cat begins to act strangely, not eat as much, have low energy or appears to be sick to his stomach for more than a day or two, take him to see a veterinarian.

Some illnesses can be prevented with vaccines, so it's important that a kitten receive his shots and boosters.

A cat requires attention that involves more than sitting on his owner's lap. A cat owner is a feline's advocate when it comes to his care and well-being.