Cat Guide: Tips for New Cat Owners
Before you bring home a new cat, make sure that your lifestyle accommodates. If you are a very busy person, do not get a cat that needs a lot of grooming and attention. If you have a busy lifestyle, make sure there are plenty of toys to play with. Adopting a second cat is also a great solution. Here are some tips for new and existing cat owners:
- Cats are territorial by nature. Adjusting to a new home may be difficult at first. Provide your cat with a small area to call their own. A bathroom or laundry room usually does the job. Furnish the room with cat amenities, such as food, water and a litter box to make them feel comfortable. Give them time to adjust. At first, provide your cat with the same food as the shelter or foster home you got it from. Keeping some things familiar will make your cat feel more at home.
- Don’t force your cat to come to you. Let them get acquainted to you on their own time. Cat nip is a great ice breaker.
- Get a good litter box and quality litter. Fill a litter box with one or two inches of litter and place it in his room where he can use it undisturbed. Covered litter boxes are great for privacy. Cats, just like humans enjoy their privacy and a clean litter box. Be sure to check the litter box at least once per day. If you want litter that is easy to maintain, use clumping litter. It is more expensive, but easier to maintain. If you switch to a new litter, try to introduce it gradually as your cat gets adjusted to the new texture and odor. Don’t assume all cats know how to use a litter box. You must train them. Catnip is great for training.
- Test yourself for feline allergies before bringing a cat home. Balinese-Javanese, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Siberian, and Sphynx are all examples of cats with low allergens. You could also ask your local vet, or animal shelter for their suggestions.
- Schedule your cat to be neutered as soon as age permits. This will help keep your cat happy and healthy.
- Make sure you buy nutritional, age-appropriate food for your cat. If you are unsure on what to buy, ask your local vet, or pet store representatives. Set up your cats feeding station away from the litter box. Don’t overfeed your cat. If you fill your cats bowl every time it’s empty, it can cause Cats to become overweight and develop health problems. Make sure you read the labels and check with your vet to determine the right amount of food to provide for your cat. Automatic food dispensers are highly recommended. You will never have to worry about feeding the cat, or if your giving too much.
- Cats love to play. Toy mice, string, feathers, and even empty boxes are great for entertaining.
- Invest in a scratching post. No one wants their furniture or prized belongings destroyed. Encourage your cat to use the scratching post by sprinkling it with some catnip or dangling a toy at the top. If you have a lot of furniture, stick a scratching post in each room that has furniture.
- Cats like to explore. Make sure there’s nothing fragile displaying on high shelves that can be damaged or knocked off. Patch up small holes that your cat can squeeze into.
- Pests such as tapeworms, mites, hookworms, roundworms, ticks and even heart-worms can harm your cats. Talk with your veterinarian about preventive care. Take your cat for annual checkups to avoid any health issues.
- Spend time at least once per week checking and cleaning the cat’s ears and teeth, and brushing the coat. Some cats may even need a bath at times.
- Don’t chance your cat being lost outside. Always have a collar and tag on your cat for easy identification.