Cats are dependent on people for almost everything they need. The list includes food, clean water, a litter box, trips to the vet, and, most importantly, love and affection. Here are some essentials to keep your feline friend happy and safe. Last February 23, 2019, active rescuers in Cebu, Sveta of SvetRescue and Penelope of Cats and Dogs Matter led a seminar that provided us, their fellow rescuers, important information regarding how to achieve and maintain good health of our cats. This seminar is ideal for people who are into raising, fostering, adopting and rescuing cats, especially the strays and abandoned. The learning I got this day which want to emphasize is that love is never really enough to make a rescued pet survive. It should be equipped with the right knowledge and proper applications as reinforcement. Below is a summary of the Cat Care Mini Workshop: Cat Care Basics.
Basic Cat Grooming and Care
1. Importance of Play
A lot of cats are quite content to just sit facing the windows all day long, or just taking naps. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t enjoy playing. Of course, they love playing and they need it. Cats should be mentally and physically stimulated. According to Sveta, there are a lot of ways to stimulate play. If you can’t afford to buy toys, you can always be innovative.
2. Eye Cleaning
Next to the cat care basics is the eye cleaning. The eyes of our cats are usually clear and bright. It’s no longer surprising when a rescued cat has an eye discharge as it is oftentimes a result of underlying sickness. If not treated properly, it can lead to serious consequences. Of course, a trip to vet is still the best that you can do. However, you can always clean the eyes of your cat while waiting for that trip.
This bottle can be bought from pharmacies. It is a saline solution, a mixture of sodium chloride (salt) and water. It is not advisable to make your own solution at home because it might be too concentrated which can cause more irritation. According also to Sveta, it is preferable to use gauze pad instead of cotton balls because gauze pads don’t stick to the skin. Before cleaning the eyes, make sure that the cat is firmly restrained to avoid unnecessary movements which might harm him/her. Clean the eyes using the gauze pad soaked in the solution with gentle pressure.
3. Ear Cleaning
After cleaning the eyes, part of cat care basics is ear cleaning. But, you might ask, do cats really need ear cleaning? Well, most cats are excellent self-groomers. They rarely requiring ear cleaning. However, if you notice wax or dirt just like in the picture, then it is probably time for an ear cleaning. It is a good habit to check it regularly.
4. Minor Wound Cleaning
Cats fight! It is inevitable. That’s why as an owner, you should always be prepared for cat fights. You should also need to know how to clean a cat wound, and when it is time to call a vet. Before anything else, assess first if the cat needs immediate vet attention. If he is bleeding excessively, don’t wait anymore to bring him to the vet because if not, it might lead to infections which you might not like. However, if the bleeding is minimal and you think it is minor, you can always treat his wound at home.
First, get a syringe. Then, using a saline solution, flush out the debris around the wound. Saline solution is better compared to clean water because it can also kill the bacteria. Release it using the syringe across the wound several times. Iodine can also be used in the cleaning process. After the wound has been cleaned, you can add ointment to speed up healing. Put a thin layer on the cleaned wound. Make sure that you use an elizabethan collar on your cat to prevent him from licking his treated wound.
Make sure that your cat is in comfortable solution while you are cleaning the wound. Ask for assistance if it can’t be done all by yourself. Again, if you are not sure of what you are doing, please pay a visit to the vet.
5. The Must-have Essentials
Below, you will see the must-have in cat care basics mentioned above: from flea spray, ear and eye cleaning solution, dewormer to vitamins. It will give you a look of what the essentials to have in hand when you have kitties at home.
When we take care of beloved cats, they surely return our love. I know you would agree that their affection improves both our physical and mental well-being. That’s why having this workshop on cat care basics give us the knowledge on how we can give the right love to our cats which they truly deserve.
Everyday is a new day of learning. I hope that more like this will come soon to give great advice on how to take care of cats especially for the first timers. All cat owners have to do something like this at some point, and this kind of seminar led by the active rescuers, Sveta of SvetRescue and Penelope of Cats and Dogs Matter is really informative that will instruct us the best way to do so.
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littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, M.S. student in Structural Engineering and a fur mom of four-legged babies. She writes about her experiences to inspire and educate.