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Cat Maintenance Schedule

Adoption

  • Spay/neuter—do not declaw
  • Leukemia test
  • Examination by veterinarian
  • Distemper shot
  • Rabies shot (ask your veterinarian about rabies shots that are less likely to cause cancer)
  • Trim claws
  • Give vitamins
  • Microchip and tattoo cat (www.tattoo-a-pet.com)
  • Post sign in window for firemen; specify how many cats are inside
  • Make provisions in will for cats

Daily

  • Talk to / say name / praise
  • Encourage use of scratching post
  • Feed wet food
  • Provide fresh water
  • Play and/or walk outside
  • Touch/pet
  • Brush daily if needed
  • Lift solids/wet spots and shake litter box—more frequently for a declawed cat
  • Massage cat; especially declawed, very young, sick, elderly, or foster cats

Weekly

  • Dump and fill box with new litter (or as directed by cat litter manufacturer)—more frequently for old or sick cats, declawed cats, or multiple-cat households
  • Wash box—more often for a declawed cat
  • Check condition of litter box area and condition of cat beds
  • Feed organic catnip—once a week; twice or more weekly for a declawed cat
  • Brush weekly during shedding season or if the cat is elderly
  • Administer hairball remedy

Monthly

  • Trim nails
  • Brush
  • Buy cat food and litter
  • Wash water bowl with soapy water; rinse well
  • Wash/clean cat beds
  • Rotate cat toys (hide toys that your cat is currently bored with; retrieve old cat toys from storage)

Yearly

  • Examination by veterinarian
  • Inspect feet of declawed cat
  • Inspect and clean ears—more often for double-declawed cat
  • Inspect teeth for brown tartar
  • Note sleeping, eating, drinking, and litter box habits
  • New cat toys
  • New cat bed
  • Inspect scratching posts for usage, replacement
  • Update will/instructions to friends/lawyer (what to do with your cat)
  • Take a vacation away from your cat

As Needed (these things usually last for years)

  • Vaccinations (see note below)
  • Re-cover old tree or buy new cat tree and scratching post
  • Cat door replacement (swinging door for outside access)
  • Litter box replacement

A Note about Vaccines
Many holistic veterinarians and pet professionals feel that pets are being over-vaccinated. Without definitive research, however, it’s difficult to tell. Decide what you think is best for your cat, keeping in mind your local laws and community responsibilities. It’s a good idea to follow these suggestions as well:

  • Ask your veterinarian about vaccines that are suspected of causing cancer or other serious side effects.
  • Search the libraries and internet for more information on pet vaccines.
  • Don’t vaccinate a sick or nursing cat.
  • A cat should be healthy and fully recovered from surgery before getting vaccinated.
  • If at all possible, don’t vaccinate a cat that’s over the age of twelve.

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