Cats bring joy and happiness to millions of families all over the world. Cats do have unique personalities, though, and special challenges other pets may not. You should learn everything you can about your cat, and give it the care it deserves. Read these tips to have a happy, healthy feline for years.

Make a free toy for your cat by placing a little dry rice or a few dry beans inside an empty pill bottle. Close the lid and roll the rattly toy across the floor. Most cats can’t resist the sound and motion. You can also tie a length of twine around the neck of the bottle to make a pull toy or a dangly toy.

Spay your female cat. Even though your cat stays indoors all the time, there might be that one time she slips through the door when she goes into heat, which results in a litter of unexpected kittens. The best method of preventing your cat from pregnancy is to get her spayed.

As your cat gets older, changes in behavior may signal pain. If your cat doesn’t like to jump or climb any more, it may be in pain. If your cat stops taking care of grooming or stops using its litter box, pain may be the cause. Be sure to have your older cat checked out by your vet if you notice behavior changes.

When you move your cat from one house to another, be sure to move the cat last. Set up a quiet room with familiar items for the cat. Keep your cat in the room and quiet for a day or two. Visit and feed the cat in the room. After a couple of days, the cat can explore the rest of the house.

If you cat is pregnant is with babies, you can expect to have a lot of kittens on your hands. Create a comfortable place for the cat to deliver her babies somewhere in your home. Make sure the spot is big enough for the kittens to move around as they grow.

If your cat seems to want to avoid his food bowl, try getting a different kind of bowl. Plastic can sometimes turn a cat off if it isn’t cleaned constantly, and can hold on to certain scents. Try glass or a metal bowl for best results, so your cat will keep eating.

While children should help with the care and responsibilities of a cat, leave the litterbox duties to the grownups or older children. A cat’s litterbox can carry diseases and parasites. Since younger children may not follow proper handwashing procedures, this job is better left to those older and more responsible.

Is there a dog in your home, as well as a cat? Dogs will eat a cat’s food any time they’re given the chance. Therefore, your cat’s food bowl should be placed in a high location that is out of your dog’s reach. This also has the effect of stopping fights over the water before they start.

When the cat’s litter box starts to become rough and worn at the bottom, it is time to replace it. If you leave it this way, it will cause waste to accumulate in damaged areas. Your cat may be very offended by the odor and decide to use the bathroom somewhere else in the house.

If you have more than one cat, you should have as many litter boxes as you have cats. If too many cats have to share the same litter box, it can mean disaster! The cats may choose not to share their eliminating space, instead, using other areas, such as clean laundry or hidden corners of the home to do their business.

Entertain your cat with simple “toys” made from household objects. Many cats enjoy exploring boxes, such as those that hold 12-packs, small appliances, or other products. Before allowing your pet to play with a box, you should be sure that the animal cannot get stuck in small openings or tight spaces. This would be dangerous and very frightening to your pet!

Understand the difference between cat play and real aggression. Both activities can look the same to an untrained eye, but there are differences. When two cats are playing, they will bat each other around with claws retracted. They will “bite” with their jaws loose. Real aggression will involve hisses, squeals and hard biting.

When your cat has kittens, it can be tempting to get rid of them as soon as possible, but you should wait a reasonable amount of time. A kitten needs to learn a few things from mom before going off into the world alone, so give him six weeks to learn all he can.

Playtime is important for kittens as well as older cats. The best games are those that involve hunting and chasing. Try to think like your cat, choosing toys like feathers on string. The cat is attracted to the movement of the toy, so he will love to chase it if you pull it along without him seeing you. It is important to let your pet win occasionally, to keep him interested.

Dogs let you know when they are excited and/or happy when they wag their tails. When a cat wags its tail, it means something very different. A cat that is flicking its tail is either feeling threatened or predatory and is considering his next move. If while being held by you your cat’s tail begins to wag, you may want to put him down so that you are not scratched or hit.

Your cat needs to get regular checkups and vaccinations. This is the only way to make sure that they stay healthy and don’t pick up any illnesses or parasites. A veterinarian can provide these services for you. Animal shelters can be used as well if there isn’t a vet near you.

Make your years of cat ownership enjoyable with proper care. Cats can be an easy pet to care for at times, while at other times they have special needs specific to their species. Use the advice here to keep your cat bouncing for years. There is no pet quite like a cat, and the memories will last a lifetime.