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Cat supplies that will make both you and your kitty happy

Bringing a cat or kitten into your life immediately changes the dynamic of your home. Although cats can sleep up to 16 or 18 hours, when they are awake, they are a bundle of joy to have around. A properly cared for indoor cat can live for 12 years or longer, but to achieve this means providing them with a proper diet, comfortable places to sleep, necessary medications, grooming tools, litter box, toys and other items to keep their attention and keep them active.

Food

There are two choices when feeding cats and kittens: dry food and wet food. However, the choices don't end there. There are many different brands of dry and wet cat food from which to choose. One thing to keep in mind is that the less-expensive foods are often made with fillers, while high-end cat and kitten food is made of pure ingredients, often organic in nature. The food should also be high in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, Vitamin E and amino acids (specifically taurine, which can help prevent heart disease). Remember that cats need plenty of fresh water daily, especially if they mostly eat dry food for their meals.

Don't forget to include treats as part of their daily regimen, whether as training rewards or just because they make your four-legged friend happy. Treats can be beneficial for health, as many offer extras like tartar control for your cat's teeth, and even hairball control. Some cats also like catnip from time to time, although some are not affected by it. Catnip and freshly grown cat grass help aid a cat's digestion.

Cat beds

If there are multiple cats in the house or a combination of cats and dogs, there will be stiff competition for the pet beds, so it is a good idea to have as many as there are pets in the home, and even a couple more. Cats like to be somewhat confined and often sleep in a semicircle, so beds that are round or oval with sides that are higher than the cat is when lying on its side are good choices. The beds should be only slightly bigger around than the cat is so they can be comfortable, and be made of soft materials like fleece.

Medications and preventative products

Tapeworms, heartworms and fleas can be problems for cats, and a vet should be consulted for times when a cat has intestinal parasites or an infestation. Often, a vet will recommend over-the-counter remedies to cure what is ailing your pet. These include collars, dips and sprays for fleas; ear solutions for ear mites; and pills and dewormers for parasites. There are also a variety of pet medicines that are safe to use for older pets dealing with joint pain, kidney issues, incontinence problems, periodontal disease and urinary tract infections. Always check with a vet before beginning any home treatment on your own.

Grooming tools

Unless they're billed as hypoallergenic, all cats shed, even short-haired ones. Cats usually shed their fur twice a year based on the climate, but shedding often tends to be an all-year-round event. To keep your kitty groomed properly, brushes and dematting tools will keep its fur healthy. There are also gloves that offer deshedding properties and are simple to use. You can put one of these gloves on either hand and pet your cat like normal, and the loose fur will come off into the glove.

It is also necessary to trim your cat's nails from time to time, and there are a variety of styles of nail clippers and trimmers specifically designed for cats that you can use. Cats are typically clean animals that self-clean themselves with regularity (which is why you might find yourself dealing with fur balls). On occasions when your cat has gotten into something or is older and not as avid a self-groomer, there are specific shampoos and wipes that you can use.

Kitty litter and litter boxes

There should be at least one litter box for every cat in the household, and having an extra one or two on hand is a good idea, too. The boxes can be open-style or covered, depending on what your cat prefers and what your needs are. Not everyone likes the idea of seeing an open litter box as part of the home's d cor. Most litters are clumping-style, although non-clumping litter is also available (but tends to be dustier than the non-clumping kind. A litter scoop is necessary to sift through the litter box to keep it clean, although there are some automatic litter boxes that do this for you. Many cat litters are scented, but there are powder deodorizers you can add to mask the smell of used litter. Users of non-clumping litter may need to invest in litter bags to help maintain the litter box.

Toys and cat accessories

Keep a plethora of cat toys around to keep your cat occupied, especially when no one is around to pay attention to it. Small toys (that cannot be swallowed) like mouse- and bird-shaped toys are ideal, as are crinkly foil toys and toys with feathers. Your cat will also love toys that have treats or catnip inside. If you are interacting with your cat, wands with toys on the end will make your pet happy, and a laser light it can chase will both occupy it and keep it active.

To save wear and tear on your furniture, some form of scratching post or pad is a necessity. If you want to spoil your pet, a cat tree, which has areas for a cat to climb and sleep, and poles that cats can scratch, are a nice addition to the home. Other cat-related items you should consider are scratching-deterrent sprays, collars (which you can add an identification tag to in case your cat gets out of the home) and carriers for transporting the cat to and from the home.

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