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Cat and Dog, forever friends
As you might know, Benfica is one of the main pet characters of the children’s story Cat and Dog, forever friends that my boss published in the French book LE THÉÂTRE DES ANIMAUX. Benfica is a cat, so he is the right guy to give you tips and advice on


Keeping your kitten clean: When you caress your kitten, you are not only helping keep him clean and happy, you also establish a strong friendly bond with him. Unless you kitten got into something stinky, those gentle strokes and the hours he spends licking his coat are usually the only grooming he needs to stay clean. Cats have a high sense of cleanliness.

Vaccination: Just as with dogs, cats must have their first vaccination when they are about two months old. They must be in good health and have been administered a vermifuge (a medicine against internal parasites) before vaccination. Talk to your family vet and find out what other vaccines your cat requires. In some countries, cats also receive vaccination against rabies. While still a kitten, your pet must see the vet every six months; for an adult cat, one yearly visit is usually enough.

Your kitten’s education training: I guess you know that cats also need to be trained, though we do not like to be told orders. We are rather independent fellows. But we are clever and learn quickly how to be clean. Training a kitten to use a litter box is generally easy. Place the kitten in the litter box and gently guide the kitten's paw through the litter. This will teach the kitten what it is suppose to be doing. The kitten will instinctively know what to do next! Using the garden is obviously much nicer!

Exercise and play: Kittens have unique and wonderfully playful personalities. Our favourite toys are rubber balls and... guess what else? Toy mice! You know why, don’t you? Wool balls – though it’s fun playing with them – are not good for cats because we can easily swallow the loose threads, and they form balls in our stomach that are difficult to digest and become very dangerous for us.

Cats need exercise, and playing is a fun way of getting it!

Useful tips It’s not only dogs that hate the smell of pepper and vinegar. Cats, too. So, whenever there is a place you’d like to keep out of reach of your cat, sprinkle pepper around or spray vinegar on it. This little trick is a sure way for him to avoid that place. On the other hand, if you feel like treating your cat to something he likes, wash his eating bowl with water and household bleach. Cats love that smell, and bleach also acts as a disinfecting and sterilizing agent.

Would you like to please your mother for letting you have a kitten around the house? Then brush and clean regularly the sofas with a wet sponge or a brush inside a (woman’s) stocking. Your little friend leaves a lot of hair on the sofas and other pieces of furniture that your mother has to remove again and again. Helping her to this task will play in your favour and that of your kitten...

Good to know: your cat’s long, thick, flexible “whiskers” are very sensitive and help the cat feel his way around, and also communicate with other cats. At night, for example, this helps him slink its way through a room and not bump into anything. Whiskers should never be cut or trimmed; like hair and nails they will grow again, but while they grow your kitten would experience some difficulties in his daily life.

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    All Texts and Illustrations © Dulce Rodrigues, 2009. All rights reserved