Although your cat may act independent and be
litter-trained, he still counts on you to
provide him with food, water, safe shelter,
regular veterinary care, companionship, and
more. Take care of these ten essentials, and
you'll be guaranteed to develop a rewarding
relationship with your feline
- Outfit your cat with a collar and
ID tag that includes your name, address,
and telephone number. No matter how
careful you are, there's a chance your
companion may slip out the door�an ID
tag greatly increases the chance that
your cat will be returned home safely.
- Follow local cat registration
laws. Licensing, a registration and
identification system administered by
some local governments, protects both
cats and people in the community.
- Keep your cat indoors.
Keeping your cat safely confined at all
times is best for you, your pet, and
- Take your cat to the veterinarian
for regular check-ups. If you do not
have a veterinarian, ask your local
animal shelter or a pet-owning friend
for a referral.
- Spay or neuter your pet. This
will keep her healthier and will reduce
the problem of cat overpopulation.
- Give your cat a nutritionally
balanced diet, including constant access
to fresh water. Ask your
veterinarian for advice on what and how
often to feed your pet.
- Train your cat to refrain from
undesirable behaviors such as scratching
furniture and jumping on countertops.
Contrary to popular belief, cats can be
trained with a bit of patience, effort,
and understanding on your part.
- Groom your cat often to keep her
coat healthy, soft, and shiny.
Although it is especially important to
brush long-haired cats to prevent their
hair from matting, even short-haired
felines need to be groomed to remove as
much loose hair as possible. When cats
groom themselves, they ingest a great
deal of hair, which often leads to
- Set aside time to play with your
cat. While cats do not need the same
level of exercise that dogs do, enjoying
regular play sessions with your pet will
provide him with the physical exercise
and mental stimulation he needs, as well
as strengthen the bond you share.
- Be loyal to and patient with your
cat. Make sure the expectations you
have of your companion are reasonable
and remember that the vast majority of
behavior problems can be solved. If you
are struggling with your pet's behavior,
contact your veterinarian or local
animal shelter for advice, and check out
the HSUS's Pets for Life campaign