Cat Beds, Litter Boxes, and Scratching Posts
Your Cat's Other Needs
Your cat requires a special place to call his own. It may be a box or basket lined with clean cloth and a cushion. Cats want privacy and seclusion during their sleep, so this must be placed away from the center of activity in your home. The cat would sleep in his bed occasionally, but there are other places he will prefer as well. A favored spot is invariably an unmade bed. The unmade bed is magnetic to cats since they love to nest in blankets.
In the wintertime, cats love to stretch out or curl up in the sun. In the summer, if they're outdoor cats, they find cool, secret places under shrubs where they could sleep undisturbed for hours. Whether your cat is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, he shouldn't be kept in the basement at night as this brings on respiratory diseases and rheumatism. Apart from that, a cat can have sweet dreams just about anywhere he happens to be.
One of the most significant points in cat care is the litter box. The litter box must be big enough to admit the whole cat. It must be lined with wood shavings, sawdust, sand, shredded paper, or commercial, deodorized kitty litter, which is perhaps the easiest and best means. The litter must be almost two inches deep inside an enamel or shallow plastic pan. Cat excrement ought to be removed every day using a sieve. Once a week the litter box must be emptied and washed clean, and new litter put in. At times, your cat might miss its mark, so a layer of newspaper around the floor out of the box is a great idea. As your cat matures, he may be trained to the outside, but it is still a good idea to maintain a litter box in the house for emergencies or inclement weather.
The young kitten would have to be directed where the litter box is, but will not require any extended explanations as to its function. Cats are instinctively clean, and not only want to go to the bathroom away from their living quarters, but bury it too. Once kitty knows where the box is, he would use it.
Your cat would also demand a place to stretch and trim his claws. Your house is full of possibilities for this, like furniture and rugs, but the idea is to steer his attention elsewhere. For this intention, he needs a scratching post. The best scratching post is a split log laid horizontally on the floor so the cat can get on it to scratch and stretch; or it could be vertically attached to a base much like an indoor tree. A little catnip sprinkled on it might entice him away from the furniture. Many people create or purchase scratching poles covered with carpeting, but some cat authorities don't recommend this. They maintain that the cat cannot tell apart your carpeting on the pole and that on the floor. Using a split log is highly recommended. The cat who goes outside won't necessarily limit his scratching to nature. It must be stressed again that not all cats are wrongdoers, but if you want your house to be pristine, keep in mind that your cat comes with no guarantee that he will help himself on the scratching post.
Your cat, whether it's a longhair or a shorthair, must be brushed each day to remove dead hair from its coat. Special combs and brushes for every type of cat are available at pet shops. The long-haired cat requires more attention than the shorthair, and must be carefully combed and brushed once or twice a day. The cat would take care of his own cleaning, but in so doing, if the old hair hasn't been removed from his coat, he will swallow it and build up hair balls, which are harmful to digestion and typically uncomfortable.
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