When contemplating getting a cat for your home you should consider carefully whether you and your family are really cat-minded.
If you really like cats, select a kitten at least 7 weeks old for it can feed itself.
Watch it move about. It should be alert and clear-eyed. Don’t be alarmed, however, if after scampering across the floor it topples when it slows to a walk.
For kittens reverse the human rule – they run first.
A kitten’s coat should look alive and soft.
Feel its stomach. If it is hard and inelastic or too flabby, the kitten may be wormy and rickety. See the ears are clean and wholesome.
And seriously consider the sex of the kitten. If you have a male cat as a pet, the vet should neuter it at about 12 weeks. Such a cat makes a splendid companion and is clean and gentle.
Cats can be divided into three classes: the common, the Persian, and the Siamese.
Primary classification of all cats, however, is long-haired and short-haired. The common and the Siamese are short haired and the Persians long.
Common cats, including tabbies, come in many colors, including familiar black, tortoiseshell, and white, with mixtures in between.
Persians, by careful breeding, come in blacks, blues, blue-creams, smoke, reds, silver, chinchilla, tortoiseshell, and some mixtures.
The ideal Persian should have a broad head, well-set ears, a broad nose, a strong chin, and large round eyes.
Its body should be stocky, with short, well-tufted, strong legs.
Coat should be long and fine in texture, tail short and bushy with no tip showing, color even from head to tail.
Prospective owners of Persians should remember that a long-haired cat must receive constant grooming.
The Siamese cat did originate in Siam. At least, the first specimens in the West were brought from there.
Unlike other cats, the head of the Siamese is definitely wedge-shaped.
Kittens are born white, and the distinctive mask and points do not appear till full growth.
The Siamese is a strong, tough cat, despite earlier rumors to the contrary.
It is a tremendous talker and makes a splendid “watch dog,” giving loud warning of the approach of strangers.
Three main colors are cream, blue point, and chocolate point. All possess dark stockings, mask, and tail, and brilliant blue eyes which are almost oriental in slanting.
A Siamese should have a long, spare, elegant body and a thin, long, tapering tail.
The coat, apart from the distinctive markings, should be short and glossy.
To protect your cat’s health you should carefully watch its eyes and keep them clean. Examine ears regularly for signs of canker.
A dull coat, listlessness, lack of interest in cleanliness and in food are signs of bad health. A healthy cat is a good eater.
How many meals should a cat have?
Assuming a kitten has left its mother at about 7 weeks, its first solid meals should consist of a little fresh fish mashed in the juice of the cooking, a little very-well cooked rabbit flesh, or some scraped lean mutton or raw steak.
It should be given 2 fairly solid meals each day up to 10 weeks, with milk at 4-hour intervals between.
As the kitten reaches 4 months, increase the solid meals and reduce the milk to one saucer a day.
Give the kitten just as much food as it will eat with eagerness. Never give it too much, for this can cause indigestion.
At 6 months, give it 3 solid meals a day, reducing them at adulthood (9 months) to one meal in the morning and one at night.
A nursing mother cat needs more food – at least 3 meals a day.
Always keep water available, but make sure it is fresh and clean every day.
If cats will eat such things as chopped cooked carrot or greens in their food, well and good, but do not give starchy things and avoid potatoes.
Do not give your cats rabbit or chicken bones that splinter.
It doesn’t matter whether meat is raw or cooked, but it must be fresh.
If your cat eats grass in large quantities it may be a sign that its diet is faulty.
It is normal for cats to eat some grass, so don’t rush to the conclusion it is ill if it nibbles at a few shoots.
If your cat is sick, get your vet to fix its diet. Different ailments require different treatment.