Congratulations! You have added a furry member to your family. Bringing a cat into your home involves a lot of learning in terms of their personality and needs. No doubt, every journey of learning something new is special and exciting, and the same applies here.
Getting a cat just because your kids want them or you want to give a surprise gift to your little one is not enough. There are several things that must be prepared to keep your cat happy, healthy, and well-adjusted to the life of your new family member.
There are certain things that you must know before owning a new cat. This first time cat owner guide will help you get all the information that every new cat owner must know.
Cats are prone to certain activities that the new owner may describe as weird behavior, like playing in boxes, running wild in the night, scratching on sofas and leather chairs. So, it becomes your responsibility to make her happiest in an environment where cats can do whatever they want.
Follow these tips for first time cat owners that help make your cat adjusted and comfortable in a short time. It will also help in making you and your cat’s life easier and more fun.
Things You Should Keep In Mind
- What To Consider Before Getting A Cat
- How To Prepare Your Home For a New Cat
- How Will You Prepare Yourself For Your Cat?
What To Consider Before Getting A Cat
Before getting a cat in your home, you must ask yourself, “Am I able to get a cat?”. In case you are not sure about these answers, you must get answers to some questions that can help you to figure out if you are capable of becoming a new cat owner.
- Is my home ready for a cat? If you are living in an apartment or a rented house, you must require checking with management before getting a cat. In some cases, the homeowner asks for pet rent.
- Will my other animals adjust with a new cat? If you have a dog in your home, then getting a cat can bring problems in your home.
- Am I able to afford cat expenses? From buying cat food and toys to visiting the vet can be expensive for many people. One of the important tips for new cat owners is to ensure that they are financially stable to bear these expenses.
No matter whether you are going to get a kitten or cat, it is important to know the difference between behaviors of cats of different ages. Always keep in mind that kittens are more energetic than adult cats. Also, kittens require more attention and playtime.
When it comes to personality, kittens are more unpredictable than cats of more than one year of age. A kitten grown in front of you behaves totally differently than an adult cat. Getting an older cat means they are used to the environment and foods that they were getting in their previous home. So, you have to treat them accordingly, or they take too much time to get adjusted to the environment in your home.
If we talk about adaptability, kittens get adjusted quickly. But cats more than 2-3 years of age find it tough to get adapted to the new environment. So, you must be very clear about the selection of cats or kittens.
Purchase The Needed Supplies
Before you get your cat at home for the first time, it is important to ensure that you have all the essential supplies. The first time cat owner must be aware of these supplies and nearby local pet stores.
- Basket and a cat bed for sleeping
- High-quality cat food, for this, the best way is to ask the breeder or pet shop owner to know the best food for the cat. If you are going to give your cat a different food, make sure to give it gradually to avoid an upset stomach.
- Food and water bowls
- A cat litter and litter box
In addition to these essential supplies, you may consider purchasing other items as well. These include:
- A carrying basket for transporting your cat
- Toys to play with your cat and encourage her mental stimulation
- Nail clippers
- Grooming brush
- Scratching box or post
- A cat collar with a tag having your contact details
- Health and immune-boosting supplements formulated specially for cats. It is required if you have an older cat.
Also Read: Top 10 Cat Breeds.
How To Prepare Your Home For a New Cat
Before becoming a new cat owner, you must ensure that your home is prepared for welcoming a new cat. One of the best tips for first time cat owners is to start with making a cat room. It is a place where your cat will get used to the new surroundings. It is the place where your new cat will spend most of her time for the first few days. Make sure to have these essentials in your cat’s room.
- Cat toys
- Scratching post
- Litter box
- Food and water bowls
- Cat bed
You must ensure that the food and water bowls should be kept away from the litter box. It is one of the important tips for new cat owners that they must follow. You can also place a tracking mat under the litter box as it will help in reducing litter tracking and cleanup.
Introducing New Cat To Your Home
One of the best tips for first time cat owners is that allows your cat to inspect each area of your home. Always keep in mind that your home is a new environment for a new cat. Your home is full of foreign areas and smells. Most cats may show fear of entering the new space for the first time. Due to this, your cat can hide in some inaccessible places, such as under the couch or bed.
Being a new cat owner, it is your responsibility to make your cat as comfortable as possible. The best idea is to keep your cat in her cat room when you enter the home. Also, make sure that other animals are unable to access the cat room for some time. Let your cat be familiar with the room, and then she will automatically get used to it.
The first time cat owner must have patience and give your cat her own time to be comfortable enough to come to you. Give her time to enjoy the safe places in your home for the first few days. You can also do this by giving your cat short visits to other areas of your home.
Once your cat becomes comfortable with your home, you gradually start spending some time with her outside until you are confident that the cat will not leave your home when you are not with her.
Cat Must Have Several Hiding & Safe Places
If you are a new cat owner, you must know that cats need places where they can hide and spend some time alone. These places can be under the furniture and couch, inside the cardboard boxes, and in the cat bed. You can buy a cat tower, or you can choose to spread a blanket or sheet over a chair to give some private space to your cat.
Make Your Home Cat-Proof
Remember you can’t imagine the next activity of your cat. She can jump on kitchen counters, chew electric wires, tear plastic covers and also play with clips or any object as toys. If you want to avoid these things, it is best to keep these things away from the cat. Make sure to pick up small/tiny items that your cat can swallow accidentally.
You must also know that cats have a habit of chewing leafy plants. So, if you have plants in your home that are easily reachable to your cat, make sure to remove them immediately as they can be toxic to the cat.
Build Your Own Home Rules & Routines
Becoming a first time cat owner is not an easy job. You need to consider several things to give your cat as safe and comfortable a place to live as possible. The new cat needs food and water, a clean litter box, and playtime every day. It would be good if you give these duties to someone who can handle these jobs properly. If you establish a consistent routine for all these jobs, it can help your new cat to adjust more quickly.
How Will You Prepare Yourself For Your Cat?
When you are a first time cat owner, there are lots of things you need to learn, which sometimes many cat owners usually forget. Luckily, here you will find more tips for new cat owners that can help in keeping your cat healthy and happy always.
Feeding Your Cat
If your cat is healthy, you can buy any food. But, make sure it should be FDA approved. Before buying food for your cat, it is best to consider any preference if your cat has any and you can also check with the vet for the suitable recommendation.
Do you know that there are different foods available depending on your cat’s size and breed? So, make sure to check with the vet for the amount of food to feed and how often. Also, there are feeding recommendations on the back of each food bag based on the age and weight of the cat.
Handle Litter Box
You can find different types of litter in the market. Though all are great, the most popular option is clumping clay litter. When a cat pees on this litter, it makes clumps around urine and makes it easy for you to pick up.
When you fill the litter box, make sure that it should be about 2-3inches deep. Too much litter in the box can spread it outside when the cat enters and jumps out of the litter box. Too little litter may also create a problem as it may not absorb the urine and cause awful odors. It may also result in the rejection of using a litter box by your cat.
One of the important tips for first time cat owners is to clean the litter box at least once a day. If you have several cats in your home, it is recommended to have one litter box for each cat. This way, your cats will never be prevented from using the litter box, and they will never be forced to use a dirty litter box.
If you are a new cat owner, you must know that cats are brilliant at self-grooming. Therefore, there is no need to bathe your cat as you do with your dog. You must brush regularly, at least once a day, as it helps in preventing tangles and shedding. The brushing time also depends on the breed of your cat and your tolerance for cat hair.
Another part of how to groom a cat is nail care. Scratching is the best way that helps cats keep their nails in good condition. Never allow your cat to scratch your couch or curtains, while using a scratching post is a great way. Make sure to keep your cat’s nails at a reasonable length as it will help in protecting your furniture and other items from holes due to scratches.
Exercise For Cats
No doubt cats are super energetic and love to play. The vets recommend playing with your cat for 15-20 minutes as many times as you can in a day. The best game with your cat is to make her chase her favorite toy around the house. You can also take your cat for a walk as the most popular exercise for cats.
Take Your Cat To The Vet
Taking your cat to the vet regularly is another one of the important tips for new cat owners. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when taking your cat to the vet for the first time.
- Bring the papers of your cat if you have any, like health records, vaccination history, and others.
- The pet will perform a routine physical examination of your cat. If you have a vaccination history, the vet will inform you regarding her another vaccination time.
- You must discuss scheduling another appointment to neuter your cat if it is not done earlier.
- Never afraid of asking any question you want. Remember that your vet is the main source of information for your cat’s health. You must feel free to ask anything about diet, vaccination, grooming, training, etc.
- You must also ask the vet about a routine parasite prevention plan. Also you can also talk about parasite prevention products for your cat.
Read More: An Easy Guide For How To Groom A Cat At Home
After going through this first time cat owner guide, now it’s time to celebrate getting a new cat in your home. If you have any doubt regarding anything for your cat, simply make a list of your concerns and ask your vet for the best advice.
Whether you have an attention-seeking lap cat or a reserved soul, your cat will find various ways to show you her cat. You will have a happy companionship that will be enjoyed for years.