cat playing with a toyCats need:

Shelter:  Outdoor cats need a small house to keep warm in winter. Carpet is a good liner for a wooden cat house. Dry straw provides good bedding…..change straw if it becomes wet. Blankets are not best for bedding because they hold water. If the temperature goes below freezing, it is best to bring your cat indoors!!

Food:  Nutritious food is needed for health. A teaspoon of oil on dry food can help cats have fewer hair balls. Feed cats twice each day, but do not leave food out all day (becomes moldy or stale).

Water:  Change water regularly in summer and winter. If a dog and cat share water, make sure the cat can reach the water and replenish it if the dog drinks all the water!

Companionship:  Most cats love people and enjoy being patted just like dogs. Cats are less needy than dogs, however.

Sharpening claws:  Cats have claws to protect them. They need to sharpen those claws each day and need objects for that purpose. Trees are effective, as are carpeted boxes or cylinders (which can be purchased). Removing cat claws is not recommended, because it harms cats both mentally and physically. Removing the claws actually amputates the first knuckle of each toe.

Toys:  Cats need enriching activities and thrive when given toys. Simple items like a paper bag, a cardboard box, a ball of yarn, or a paper towel tube keeps cats engaged and content. Catnip stuffed “mice” are enticing too. Swap out toys every few days.

Spay or neuter:  This is important for ALL pets! (see spay/neuter benefits on home page)

Worm medicine:  Cats get parasites, like dogs, and need vet check-ups to detect and kill worms.

Rabies Vaccination:  Cats need a yearly rabies vaccination to protect them from rabies, which is a deadly disease.

Fleas and ticks:  Cats don’t get many ticks, but fleas can cause misery to a cat. Ask your vet for flea treatment options. NOTE: cat fleas are different from dog fleas!

Feline Leukemia:  Kittens and young cats can get leukemia, a potentially deadly disease. To prevent leukemia, have your vet vaccinate your cat.