Owning & Adopting A Cat For The First Time: What You Should Know

cat guide 101

I personally love cats, but as soon as I started thinking about getting my own furry friend, all of a sudden I had tons on my mind! As a new cat owner, you’ve got to think about everything from food to the time you spend at home to the kind of litter. Luckily, I’ve got some simple tips to get you started.

Related: Letting Your Cat Outside For The First Time?

10 Tips: Caring For Your Cat If You’re A First Time Owner

How do you care for a cat? It seems simple up until you’re standing there trying to pick one out!

Lifestyle

How busy you are and how much time you spend at home determines your type of cat. Maybe one requiring lots of grooming and attention isn’t the best choice if you’re really busy.

Circumstances

Consider adopting two cats if you end up working a lot. Just because you have a busy schedule doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice kitty friendship.

Allergies

Make sure you’re not allergic! You can adjust to one cat if you are, but even so, pick a cat with low allergens. The internet or shelter employees can be a huge help on breeds.

Immunizations

Don’t take your cat home without running to the vet to check for immunizations. Schedule kitty for a neutering when they’re old enough too, or you might have an angry cat clawing around or spraying furniture.

Litter Box

All your cat really asks for, besides love, food, and attention, is a good place to do their business. You can consider covered boxes for privacy, or even automatic boxes, but high quality clumping litter is best. Just be sure to clean often.

Playtime

Some cats are a little mellower, but all cats love to play around. Toy mice, string, feathers, and other toys are great, and we all know how much cats love boxes. Toys don’t need to be expensive to keep your cat physically and mentally stimulated.

Scratch Post

It’s as simple as buying a scratching post to avoid shredded sofas and carpets. Trust me: having one makes life easier.

Food and Treats

Get a well-balanced and age-appropriate food that your cat will love. Vets will have tons of suggestions if you’re lost. Catnip, as well as little freeze-dried chicken nuggets, are great for a training

Pet Insurance

No, you are not a crazy cat parent for getting some insurance. It’s better to be prepared just in case something happens.

Grooming

Especially if you’ve got a kitten, be sure to start a grooming routine early. That includes bathing, brushing, and claw trimming. If you start early, your kitty won’t run away every time you’ve got to clip their claws.

Tips for the first 30 days:

Before you even bring your cat home, there are a few things you can do to make their transition easier. It’s a big change, so it’s best to be prepared.

  • Cats may be intimidated by a large new space. Set aside a little area like a bathroom or laundry room with all their things in it to help them adjust
  • Get a feeding station set up away from the litter box
  • Give your cat a small space to hide in. You can leave the carrier out or cut a hole in a box as long as it’s big enough for cat to turn around
  • Be careful when your cat starts climbing; move things around so nothing gets broken
  • Look for small holes your cat can get stuck in and cover them up
  • Help your cat be social with other people or animals

On your cat’s first day, let them move at their own pace and go slowly. Remind family members of ground rules and let your cat adjust. Over the next few weeks, go to the vet and grab those toys to help kitty feel comfortable. You’ll have a long 20 years with your cat to look forward to with the right food and care!

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