Cats make wonderful companions, however, they can be somewhat of a mystery. Knowing and understanding your feline companions is the way to keep them happy. Even though cats have the reputation for being independent and aloof, they actually thrive on affection.

If you are getting a cat or kitten for the first time you might want to make sure that no one in your family is allergic to cats. You should take your family to a rescue center or have them play with a friend’s cat to see if they show any signs of an allergic reaction. Some symptoms to look for are; eye irritations, sneezing, and watery eyes. This way you will know beforehand instead of after you bring home the new cat or kitten and have become attached to them.

When it comes to the nutritional requirements of cats they are clearly different from dogs. Cats are strict carnivores and have to eat meat to remain healthy. Cats need protein in their daily diet to provide amino acids which turn into protein. Proteins are required for tissue growth and repair and to help with metabolism.

Fat and oils contain fatty acids which perform several functions and are a form of energy. If your cat’s diet is lacking fatty acids it could result in a dry coat and dandruff.

Vitamins and minerals are also important to a cat’s diet. There are 4 vitamins and 2 minerals that your cat needs to live a long healthy life. Vitamin A helps stimulate growth in kittens and renewal in adult cats, Vitamin B is important for growth, the nervous system and for the heart. Vitamin D helps in the bone development and Vitamin E is for shiny coats. Water is the most important element in a cat’s diet. It transports nutrients, vital to temperature regulation, and essential for digestion. Most active cats will drink around 85ml of water daily.

To make sure your cat stays in good health you need to pay attention to them and notice any changes in their behavior. At least once a week you should do a “check-up” on your cat. This can be done just by holding and petting your cat while you look for signs of fleas, skin problems, ear mites or for overly long claws. Some signs to watch for are; if their coats start looking rough instead of sleek and shiny and they stop grooming themselves properly. If you notice any of these signs you should take your pet to the vet for a check-up.

Depending on the breed of cat you have will determine how much grooming you will have to do. If you have a long-haired cat, such a Persian they need daily brushing and combing. If you have a short hair they can be groomed occasionally. Most cats will try to keep themselves groomed.

Another thing to remember is to have an out of the way place for their litter box. It is important to make sure you clean it often, especially if you have a multi-cat home. Cats are easy animals to care for. They like to play so make sure you have plenty of things for them to chase and bat around. If you have an inside cat make sure you also provide them with a scratching post of some sort. This way they won’t be using the furniture for that purpose. Cats make great companions and if kept healthy and happy they will give you enjoyment and comfort for a long time.

To protect your feline companions you might want to consider buying pet insurance for your cats. Not only will this give you peace of mind; it will help you to afford expensive medical costs if your pet becomes ill or has an accident. Cat insurance can help ease the strain on your budget if you were faced with high veterinary bills.

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Source by Karen Corey