Owning a cat may seem like an easy job. After all, they are notorious for being independent. However, if you are a first time cat owner, there are lots of things you need to know. The following article is full of helpful tips and tricks that ensures you and your cat live happily together.

Cats love to play so make sure that you provide them with lots of toys. Cats enjoy batting around a fake mouse or little ball around the room. Some cats even develop a favorite toy. Playing with your cat is not only fun, it helps them to get exercise too.

If your cat is female, you need to get it spayed at the proper age. Even if your cat is an indoor cat, if she escapes while she is in heat you might end up with a lot of kittens on your hands. Spaying your cat is the best way to prevent this from happening.

Your cat might not come running when you call, but most cats enjoy cuddling on their terms and time. Cats love to have their heads and backs pet. Not all cats like their tummies rubbed so be careful. Spending quality time with your cat will make lasting memories to look back on someday.

If you replace an old scratching post, your cat may be unhappy with the new one. Save money on scratching posts. Wrap your old scratching post with some sisal rope to spiff it up. Your cat will be happy not to lose its favorite old post. You will save a little cash.

Feed your cats proper food. Remember that cats must eat meat. Only give your cats cat food to eat. Do not feed them or let them eat dog food. Dogs and cats have different nutritional needs and some of the ingredients in dog food could harm your cat. Feeding your cat dog food for food could also lead to malnourishment, among other issues.

Get a scratching post to keep your cat from tearing up your carpet. If you can, get a post that does not have the same type of carpet that is on the floor of your home, so your cat doesn’t associate the two. Instead, get a post that is covered in cardboard, sisal, or thick rope.

Keep an eye on early warning signs of health issues in cats. Cats usually display warning signs if they are struggling with health issues. Some common signs to look out for include eating habit changes, sleeping habit changes, not being able to groom properly, changes in eating habits, changes in sleeping habits, depression, sneezing, increased thirst, watery eyes, changes in behavior, hiding, and vomiting. If they display these symptoms, take them to a vet right away. The sooner you take, them the better.

Keep the litter box clean. Cats are naturally very clean animals, and a dirty litter box will have your cat looking for alternative places to relieve himself. Cats also value their privacy, so try to locate the box in an area that does not get a lot of foot traffic.

Who says only dogs can do tricks? Cats are very intelligent and have the ability to learn as well, especially as young kittens. Some people train their cats to play fetch just like dogs do. There are even people who have successfully trained their cat to use a regular toilet, instead of a litter box.

Cats have a natural instinct to hunt small prey. This can sometimes be a problem if you have other small animals in your home. Make sure that bird cages are hanging from the ceiling. If you have a gerbil or hamster, make sure their cages are secure and up high out of your cats reach.

Be sure to carrier train your cat. While punishment is a good strategy to train dogs, it is not adapted to cats. Cats learn well when they feel encouraged. Therefore, place your cat’s favorite toy into its career. Leave the carrier open in a location that your cat frequently visits. Soon that cat will walk into the carrier on its own. It will then be easier to transport the cat in the carrier.

Feed a kitten proper food. A developing kitten survives exclusively on their mother’s milk for the first four weeks, a commercial formula if the mother isn’t around. When moving to regular food, feed them specially formulated kitten food until they reach maturity at the age of one. Kittens need plenty of protein while they are developing.

Many people do not realize that it is perfectly normal for you to take cats on walks so they can get exercise and fresh air. There are special harnesses made for you to use with your cat. If you use the type that were made for dogs, there is a chance your cat can get away.

You should keep wet cat food in the refrigerator after it has been opened. Bring it to room temperature before serving it to your cat, because it will smell more enticing to them and be less likely to cause an upset stomach. If you like, place it in the microwave for a bit to warm it up.

If you’re tempted to load up on litter to cut back on cleanings, think again. Some people believe that the more cat litter they use, the longer they can go between emptying the litter box. Actually, this is a waste of your litter! Many cats refuse to use a litter box with more than 2 inches of litter on the bottom. Some prefer to dig to the bottom of the box before doing their business.

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.

As was mentioned earlier in this article, being a cat owner is a lot more work than you might have believed. Be sure and use the information provided if you are considering getting a cat. The advice will benefit both you and your new feline friend for years to come.