Owning a new cat can be difficult, especially if this is your first. You want to give your cat a happy and healthy life, you also want to help them adjust to their new home. These are the things you need to know to give your new feline friend the best life possible.
Make It Comfortable
You have to remember when you bring a cat or kitten into your home, they are going to feel scared. At first, they may even try and hide, they may not eat or drink in the first few days as they adjust. This is an unknown place to them, surrounded by strangers and they may not know what to do. It is a good idea to give your new cat or kitten plenty of space and multiple rooms they can have access to. You do not want them to feel smothered or trapped, as some cats may act out when they believe they are in danger.
In order to get your new cat more comfortable, it is ideal that they have some sort of physical stimulation. Feathers on strings, balls with bells in them, and even just a piece of string they can chase will help them to feel more active. Along with physical stimulants, cats need games, interactive toys, and surprisingly even scratching to help them obtain that normal cat behavior.
Feeding Your Kitten
Cat food and kitten food are of course at the top of the list. While kittens should eat kitten food until they are about at the prime age of adulthood, older cats are a bit different. A rotation of balanced cat food and a premium cat food diet is recommended. If your new cat has a digestive problem or an allergy, it is best to ask your veterinarian what kind of food would be best suited for them. The correct diet, especially in kittens will help your cat prepare for developing allergies as they age.
Why You Should Groom Your Cat
Keeping your cat groomed is a key way to bonding and preventing digestive issues. Felines love the feeling of a brush and will most likely pur when you groom them. The maintenance of grooming helps your cat not to swallow too much of their fur when they are cleaning themselves. Hairballs are uncomfortable and can cause painful digestive issues.
Setting Up a Litter Box
Litter boxes and potty training are something every cat owner should know. While an older cat may already be toilet trained, chances are a kitten is not. Though, do not fret as litter box training a kitten is fairly easy. Kittens prefer to have clean spaces to use the restroom and a litter box is just that. It is recommended to have at least one litter box for each cat you own, plus an extra in a separate room.
Microchipping is highly recommended by veterinarians. Most cats when adopted, already have a microchip. You may not have to worry too much about this in that case. But, if your cat is not already microchipped, it is best to do so as soon as possible. A microchip holds you and your cat’s information in case the cat gets lost or stolen.
See a Vet for Preventative Medications and Vaccinations
Intestinal worms are an issue that kittens and cats both face. They are parasites that latch onto the intestinal wall, causing your cat to lose weight rapidly. You should give kittens de-worming medicine every two weeks until they reach twelve weeks old. After that, monthly de-worming until they are at least six months old. Finally, you will have to de-worm them every three months for the rest of their lives.
When you have a new cat or kitten you want to be sure to prevent heartworms. When heartworms are left untreated in cats, it will cause inactiveness, coughing, and even acute death. Medication is used to prevent heartworms, by placing the medication in between the shoulder blades once a month.
Preventing flea and ticks is also of utmost importance. Especially if you decide your cat is going to be outside more than not, tick prevention is a must. With indoor cats, it is recommended to use a combination prevention medication. You wouldn’t want these parasites taking your cat’s health, that is for certain.
Vaccinations are a must if you want to keep your cat healthy. Kittens require vaccines at six to eight weeks, twelve weeks, and again at 16 weeks of age. Cats will have to have a certain amount of vaccinations every few months over their whole lifetime.
Spaying your cat has several benefits as well. From giving your cat a more kind demeanor, to preventing fights, preventing unwanted kitten litters and it can even help prevent certain diseases. The usual time for cats to get neutered or spayed is around six months, though speak with your veterinarian to be sure of what the best option is.
Consider Getting Pet Insurance
With all of these needs, you want to be sure that you have cat insurance. Cat insurance will help you cover costs of spaying, microchipping, special dietary needs, vaccines, surgeries, medications, and even emergency visits. Guarantee your new cat the love and protection it deserves, it is the key to a long, healthy, and happy life.