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The Hidden Benefits of Playing With Your Cat

Playing with your cat probably is not something you think about very often. We all enjoy playing with kittens. But once those little bundles of energy grow up, cat owners tend to stop playing with them. Maybe that’s because they think cats are independent and prefer being left alone. And to a certain extent that is true about a cat.

But playing with your cat is actually an important part of responsible cat care. Besides being fun, playing with your cat is an excellent way to give your pampered pet some exercise. And the cat will not even realize it!

Playing with your cat helps keep your cat from becoming bored, too. That is really important because a bored cat is more likely to develop behavioral problems. Chewing or scratching furniture, aggressiveness, and a tendency to shy away from others are just a few of the problems bored cats develop. A well-established cat care routine can keep this from happening.

Believe it or not, playing with your cat benefits you, too. It is a great way to relieve stress. Throwing a small ball or fuzzy mouse around or dangling some string to see how high your cat will jump is all it takes to start relaxing. Give it a try tonight and you’ll see.

Don’t be surprised if one result of playing with your cat is a closer bond between the two of you. Cats might be independent, but they need love and attention.

How much time should you spend playing with your cat? A few minutes a day, a couple times each day is sufficient. Even if you are busy, it should not be hard to work that amount of time into your daily cat care routine. And don’t worry. When your cat is ready to stop, it will let you know by simply walking away.

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Top 8 Must Haves For The New Kitten In The House

Bringing home a new kitten is exciting. Be sure that you prepare your home with the essentials before picking up your new arrival. Here are the top 8 must haves.

1) Bed

Kittens are happy just about with anything soft and cushy. You can get a fancy bed, but even a soft pillow in a box will suffice. Small beds aren’t that much, but make sure it’s one that you can wash if you do choose to buy one.

2) Food & Water Dishes

If you only have one kitten at home a couple small, shallow bowls will work fine. Be sure the water bowl is sturdy enough that it won’t tip over. Clean them regularly. Water bowls tend to start building up residue around the sides. Make sure they have fresh water to drink at all times.

3) Brush and Comb

For a long haired kitten you can use a long toothed metal comb and a brush. They should be brushed at least once a day to help keep their fur free of mats. For short haired kittens a bristle brush will work. You don’t have to brush them as often, but it’s good to keep brushed regularly. Be sure to start this while they are young so they get used to it.

4) Carrier

A carrier is important to have right away since you will be taking your new kitten in to the vet for check ups and shots. Any kind is fine as long as it is ventalated and large enough for them to move around. Throw something soft in it for them to lay down in. Don’t let your kitten loose in the car because they can climb all over the place, under your feet, around your neck, or even up on the dashboard which is unsafe.

5) Litter Box, Litter, Scooper & Mat

The litter box needs to be kept clean and fresh litter should be added regularly. A mat or piece of carpet placed outside the box is recommended to catch the loose litter they may have in their paws while exiting their box. If you have dogs keep the litter box out of their reach since some dogs will eat the kittens fecies.

6) Collar with Name Tag

Even if your kitten is strictly indoors it is still good to have a collar with their name and your phone number on a tag. You never know when it might sneak out the door and get outside. Get them used to wearing one while they are young.

7) Scratching Post

A kitten uses the scratching post more for exercise than it does to sharpen it’s claws. They like to stretch out while clawing down their post so make sure that it is tall enough for them to do so. They come in all shapes and sizes. You can get one that they can climb up or one that is simply a post with carpet or rope wrapped around it.

8) Toys

Toys are a must as kittens as they love to play. Just be sure they are strong toys and can’t be torn apart or swallowed. Kittens love mice, catnip, boxes to climb in, balls, etc. A ball or a soft mouse hanging from a string off a door is always a favorite.

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Kitten and Cat Care - Toys to Entertain Your Kitten

Many cat owners throw away a decent amount of money trying to find toys for their cat. Many toys are just not interesting enough to grab and maintain the attention of a kitten. So, how are we supposed to know what kind of toys we should buy for them?

For the most part, there are a few basic things you will need to keep in mind when you are looking for a toy for your kitten. First and most importantly, safety. Your cat should only play with toys that are safe for them. Be sure you stay away from a toy that can be quickly chewed and destroyed by your cat. If your cat chews a toy to get the little bell inside, he or she is risking the possibility of choking on the small pieces or on the plastic chewed up pieces.

Toys that will get your kitten up and moving around the house are ideal toys. Your cat will be able to get some needed exercise and constructive play at the same time. You actually, do not have to go and spend a lot of money on toys to entertain your cat. When you are putting up a new shower curtain and rings, recycle the rings. Your cat will love playing for hours with the rings. They are thick enough to not pose a threat to your cat is they are chewed. Although, you should sterilize them first. Wash them as you would your dishes and then boil them for a couple minutes. Once they are cool give them to your furry friend.

Old stuffed animals are great play toys for cats. If the stuffed animal has small eyes or anything else that can come off and possibly choke your cat, take it off before giving the toy to your cat. If the small stuffed animal has a tail, you cat will surely love it. Be sure to keep the size of the stuffed animal relatively close to the size of the cat playing with it.

hide-and-seek-timeA great way to keep your kitten stimulated with his or her toys is to only offer a select few each day. Continue to rotate the different toys. Each day will be a different set of toys for your fur ball to enjoy. Any toys that are not being left out for that particular day should be kept completely out of the cats sight. Although, if your furry family member has one particular toy that you know he or she is quite fond of, you can leave it out at all times for him or her.

You know your kitten better than anyone else. You will be able to decide what types of toys he or she is going to get the most enjoyment from. However, remember cats are very similar to children. They often get the most enjoyment from the box the gift came in. Therefore, there is no need to spend a lot of money on toys. Use your imagination and safe household items for toys.

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