If you have finally decided to get a cat or have just adopted one, you are in for a wonderful time! This is because cats make amazing house pets and are universally adored. After all, we all have shared numerous cute cat videos and have had our hearts melt as we fawn over these adorable furry creatures.
In fact, there are many benefits of owning a cat which includes companionship and lowering of everyday stress levels. Additionally, if you have kids, getting a cat is an excellent way to teach them responsibility from an early age.
As a first-time cat owner, it is natural to have loads of questions and to be confused about how to start caring for your cat. This is why we have included a comprehensive guide of the top tips you need to know so that you can shower your cat with all the love and care they deserve.
Basic Vet and Health Care
To protect and maintain the health and well-being of your cat, it is very important to do thorough research on the best veterinarians in your area as well as the best pet insurance to help you with the cost. Many people tend to opt for comprehensive cat health insurance because it can save you from unexpected medical expenses and ongoing issues, ensuring your feline pet gets the best possible care at all times.
As soon as you get a cat, make sure you take them to the vet so that they can get comfortable during an initial meet-up. This is also a good time to discuss vaccinating your cat. Cat vaccinations include core vaccines, which are essential for their health and well-being, and non-core vaccines, which are decided by the vet and are dependent on whether your cat faces a genuine risk or exposure to a particular illness or disease. You may have to do follow-up sessions and ensure that your cat’s vaccinations are always up to date.
Additionally, you may also consider microchipping your cat for safety reasons. If you don’t plan on breeding your cat, you can get them neutered when they are around eight weeks old. Generally, it is good practice to schedule annual check-ups for your cat.
Get The Basic Supplies
Prior to bringing your cat home, it is best to shop for some essential items. Following is a detailed description of all the things you will need to purchase.
A comfortable bed
When buying a cat bed, opt for natural fibers such as wool or cotton to avoid your cat feeling allergic. We highly suggest getting a bed that is washable as beds are breeding grounds for fleas and bacteria. As a general rule, place the bed in an area of the house that gets ample sunlight.
It is ideal to get both canned food and kibble for your cat to ensure that they get sufficient nutrients. Our top tip for choosing cat food is to read the ingredients list and the label so that you avoid food items with chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, and propyl gallate.
Some people foods that cats can eat include meat, whole grains, and cooked eggs. However, strictly keep your cat away from chocolates, bread dough, raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts.
Invest in a food and water bowl, and always set a time for when to give food to your cat. Usually, it is best to discuss meal portions and timings with your vet because this will differ for every car depending on their age, weight, size, and overall health.
A litter box or tray will serve as your cat’s bathroom. Be mindful of avoiding placing it in noisy or high traffic areas. You will need to scoop it out daily and dispose of the waste in a sealed bag. Generally, you should clean the litter box on a weekly basis with soap and water and fill the tray with fresh litter. Always remember to avoid using soaps with ammonia or strong scents.
Cat carrier and collar
Invest in a spacious cat carrier and make sure that you line the bottom with a towel so that your cat is comfortable and cozy during travel. Always ensure that the carrier has appropriate ventilation so that your cat doesn’t feel claustrophobic or hot.
Also, consider getting a personalized cat collar that can help to ID your cat if the need should arise.
While cats are very clean and tend to naturally groom themselves, you will need to put in a little effort. First, purchase a brush depending on your cat’s hair type and length and brush their coat regularly. Next, get a cat shampoo with a suitable pH and bathe them in warm water every two to three weeks. You will also need to get nail clippers and trim your cat’s nails every one and a half to two weeks.
Make Your Home Cat Friendly
Getting a cat means introducing a new family member. This is why you need to make sure that your home is a place that allows your cat to feel comfortable and safe.
First things first, before bringing your cat home, make sure that you don’t have any loose wires exposed in any area of the house and store away cleaning products and medicines so that they are out of your cat’s reach. Generally, your kitchen and other counter or tabletops should be kept free of any sharp objects or harsh chemicals that can potentially harm your cat.
We highly recommended setting up cat scratchers in every room in your house so that they don’t end up ruining your furniture. Cat scratchers can be either horizontal or vertical, and it may take you a few days to see which your cat prefers.
You may also want to consider investing in a diffuser that emits and mimics odorless vapor containing feline pheromones to help your cat adjust to its new home during the first few weeks. This can help to create a relaxing, calming, and stress-free environment for your cat.
Spend Time Training And Getting To Know Them
Now that everything is sorted, you will need to train your cat. Always inculcate positive reinforcements during cat training by giving them treats for good behavior. Generally, you will need to train your cat to use the litter box and not to scratch furniture or to bite. You may also want to teach them general gestures such as sitting, standing, and coming when called.
Give your cat all the tender love, and care they need by playing with them daily and getting a few cat toys, such as feather teasers, to keep them busy and entertained. This will help develop a bond with your cat and make them feel more at home.
Adopting a cat into your household is like taking a new family member in. The important thing to do is to make them feel like one and don’t stop showing them all the love and affection they deserve. We recommend that you refer to this guide regularly in order to give your cat the best possible care.