How to handle your cat
To pick up your cat, place one
hand behind the front legs and another under the
hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by
the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the
front legs without supporting the rear end.
All indoor cats need a litter box,
which should be placed in a quiet, accessible
location. A bathroom or utility room is a good
place for your cat's box. In a multi-level home,
one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the
box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so
slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won't use a
messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the
box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash
with a mild detergent (don't use ammonia) and
refill at least once a week, less frequently if
using clumping litter. Don't use deodorants or
scents in the litter or litter box (especially
avoid lemon scent).
Cats delight in stalking imaginary
prey. The best toys are those that can be made to
jump and dance around and look alive. Your cat
will act out her predator role by pouncing on toys
instead of people's ankles. Don't use your hands
or fingers as play objects with kittens. This type
of play may cause a biting and scratching problem
to develop as your kitten matures.
Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post, at
least 3 feet high, which allows the cat to stretch
completely when scratching, and stable enough that
it won't wobble when being used. It should be
covered with rough material such as sisal, burlap
or tree bark to further prevent household
destruction. Cats also like scratching pads. To
train a cat to use a post or pad, rub your hands
on the scratching surface and then gently rub the
kitty's paws on the surface. When the cat starts
to scratch furniture or rugs, gently say no and
lure her over to the scratching post. Praise your
cat for using the scratching post or pad. A
sprinkle of catnip once or twice a month will keep
your cat interested in it.
Article courtesy: The American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Printed with permission.
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