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Cats are loving, playful pets that will delight any family. Before you purchase or adopt a feline, though, there are few tips that will help you make the right decision. Be sure when getting a cat that you examine it to be sure its general health and disposition are good. Check the animal’s coat to be sure it is sleek and does not have any bare patches. Also, check to be sure the animal is completely clean on the hind legs and under its tail. Hold and pet the animal while observing how it responds. Try to get it to play with a piece of string or some other cat toy to see how playful it is. In most cases, a lack of playfulness and alertness can indicate that the animal is in poor health or has been neglected.

Once you bring your cat home, allow it to explore your home freely but do not allow it to go outside for a few days. Be sure when you purchase or adopt your cat that you also purchase a litter box and litter. The litter box should be partially filled with an even layer of commercial kitty litter and cleaned daily with a slotted spatula. Twice a week, completely empty the box and scrub it with a disinfectant before refilling it with kitty litter. If the cat is young or you have any doubts about it being house trained, be sure to restrict the animal to an area near the litter box for several days. In cases where you plan to leave your cat outside, you should still provide a litter box for at least 10 days while the animal adjusts to its new home. You can provide your cat with well-balanced nutrition with wet and/or dry cat food. If you don't want your cat to become a finicky eater, simply remove any declined meal, refrigerate it and serve it at the next meal time. Be sure when you refrigerate your cat's food that you allow it to return to room temperature before serving it. Although it is fine to occasionally treat your cat to a table scrape, you should avoid feeding it very fatty meats, pork, poultry skin, bones of fish, or fowl too often. It is also wise to keep food off your table when you have a cat because cats love to look for treats.

You cat will need to be groomed with a brush or comb that has round tips to stimulate the skin and remove loose fur. Even so, all cats tend to swallow fur while grooming themselves, which creates hair balls in their stomachs. When this happens, you should add a teaspoon of petroleum jelly to its food twice a week. Be sure when you groom your cat to check for fleas since some cats are allergic to them and can develop eczema after only a few bites. Use only flea products that are marked safe for cats. Any new cat or kitten should be examined by a veterinarian and have shots to protect them against distemper, rhinotracheitis, and calici, which are serious respiratory infections. It is also advisable to make sure your cat gets a rabies shot. After the initial check up and shot, cats should be checked at least once a year and have booster shots. Kittens will need to be checked for worms and if you do not intend to breed your cat, it should be spayed or neutered. Female cats should be spayed at around 6 months of age while males are safely neutered at 8 to 9 months.