Dig this… a portion of this post is sponsored, but opinions are my own and 110% “pawthentic”!
There’s nothing crazy about being a cat lady (or a cat guy). As the parent of two sweet kitty girls, I can purr-sonally vouch for how much love and laughter they can add to your life. What would be crazy is sharing your life with one of these fabulous felines without doing everything you can to be the cat parent they deserve.
If you’re a new cat parent, you’ve probably got lots of questions, and finding the answers can take some time. Even if you’ve been caring for cats for years, there’s always more to learn. I recently found out about a super cool (and convenient) resource to eduCATe kitty parents – Walmart’s One Stop Cat Shop.
Normally when you think of Walmart, you probably picture yourself stocking up on cat supplies more than getting tips on cat care. But they’ve also teamed up with Purina to give you the scoop on important topics like keeping your cat hydrated and changing the litter box.
Here are a few common cat care questions and some tidbits I picked up with help from the One Stop Cat Shop:
Wet Food vs. Dry Food: Which is Right for Your Cat?
Your favorite feline can get all the nutrients she needs from a good quality cat food, whether it’s wet or dry. The big difference is the moisture content. According to the experts at Purina, wet food is often a good choice for kitties who have trouble chewing, struggle to stay hydrated, or have certain health conditions that make it a better option. Some parents of cats without any of these conditions choose wet food as an added assurance that their kitty is getting all the water she needs.
Dry food has some advantages too. Paws down it’s much more convenient. If your kitty prefers to pick at her food rather than eat a whole meal at one sitting, dry food can be measured and left out all day without fear of nasty bacteria making her sick. Dry food also reduces plaque and tartar buildup on kitty’s teeth.
The good news is that, when it comes to your cat’s diet, you can mix it up. Many cat parents find that a little of each is the purr-fect combination for their kitty.
What Should You Feed Your Kitten?
Kittens have different nutritional needs than grown up kitties. They’re growing and playing like crazy, so their food needs to support all that activity. It’s important to choose a food specially formulated for them. Look for a food that’s specifically labeled for kittens to make sure you’re getting something that will keep them healthy as they grow up.
Very young kittens should start out with wet food since their teeth are too tiny to chew dry kibble. As their teeth develop, they can begin eating dry food that has been softened a bit with water.
It’s also important to avoid giving them table scraps. As much as you might be tempted to sneak your little bundle of joy a morsel or two, resist the urge! You’ll only be encouraging kitty to develop finicky eating habits and could even be putting her on the path to unwanted weight gain. A much better option would be to “treat” her with a little extra playtime. She’ll love it just as much, and it will help the two of you form a stronger bond.
For more helpful tidbits on feeding your kitten, click here to visit the Cat Care Corner on Walmart’s online One Stop Cat Shop.
When Should You Switch From Kitten Food to Cat Food?
Most breeds are considered “kittens” until they are one year old and can switch to adult food at that point. Some larger breeds, such as Maine Coons, need to continue eating kitten food until they are between 18 months and two years old. It’s always a good idea to follow your vet’s recommendation on feeding, so make sure to ask about making the switch at one of your routine kitten checkups.
When it’s time to transition your kitty to her new food, it’s a good idea to do it gradually. Start by introducing a little bit of cat food with her regular kitten food. Over the next 7 to 10 days, slowly increase the amount of cat food you give her.
How Often Should You Change Your Cat Litter?
There’s really no one answer to this question, since how quickly your litter box gets dirty depends on a number of factors. The number of kitties in your family and the number of litter boxes in your home.
The most important thing is that you keep the box clean, so scooping it out regularly (daily is best). If you let the box get dirty, there’s a good chance kitty will decide to do his business somewhere you’d rather she didn’t.
We scoop daily and each cat has their own box. As a result, I only have to empty and clean the entire box monthly. Make sure you also clean the box itself with soap and water. This will keep your kitty happy and your house smelling fresh.
Thanks to our friends at Walmart and Purina, you can find answers to your cat care questions, plus you can stock up on whatever your furry family member “kneads” to stay happy and healthy at the One Stop Cat Shop – either online or right in the aisle of your local Walmart store. And you can spend all that time you save lavishing your favorite feline with lots of love!
This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen