Being a new cat owner is very exciting. You surely want the very best for your new fur friend. Similarly to getting a new dog though, becoming a cat owner brings in a huge responsibility. You are now responsible for a new soul in your home. You have to make the cat feel happy, safe, and it is up to you to keep her safe.
Obviously, you will get all the items you need, like a litter box, a water bowl, and toys. But, having items for the cat to play with is just the beginning. Here are some other very important things to remember at all costs when you are a new cat owner.
Help The Cat Feel Secure And Safe
Cats are very picky when it comes to what is theirs and are territorial. They feel a lot better in a place after some time. They are shy when they first come into a home. As a result, it is up to you to make the home welcoming since everything will be new for the cat.
Remember that the cat will maybe hide from you and will look for a safe place. This is where you come in and you give the cat a space that is hers. This is her getaway space. Add a bed and seriously considered an enclosed one since it is often preferred by felines due to being able to hide. Then, add a blanket and some catnip toys.
Go To The Vet
It is very important to find a great vet before you get the cat. Look for one that is highly respected and very skilled close to where you live. Then, as soon as you get the cat, schedule the first checkup. This is where you have to make sure vaccines are fully up-to-date and you should seriously consider a microchip. The microchip number should be saved and kept on you at all times, together with a recent photograph, just in case the cat gets away. If something bad happens, you can react fast.
If You Have Other Pets, Be Slow With The Introduction
Do you have a dog at home? If so, introducing the new cat should be done with extreme care. Start by keeping the cat in a separate area. Feed pets with the closed door and the animals on both sides. Then, it is time to get the pets used to the new smell.
Take the blanket of each pet and place it in the room of the other pet. Then, swap rooms from time to time. This does wonders in helping the pets get used to the new smells. Then, you can graduate to the sides of closed gates. Supervised visits are next. Always pay close attention to the pets’ body language as you might need to separate the pets if things go wrong.
NEVER put the pets in the same room from the start, especially without a leash.
Find The Right Litter And Box
Every cat should have one litter box and it is a great idea to have an extra at hand. Remember that cats are territorial. They care a lot about their boxes. The new cat in your home should have enough available space.
Try several styles of boxes and litter. There are cats that will prefer the use of softer litter. Long-haired cats often prefer to use crystal litter since it will not stick to the fur. There are cats that love uncovered boxes, low edges, covered boxes, and so on.
Litter boxes should be put away from the areas with loud noises and heavy foot traffic. Spot clean the litter every single day and make sure you go through a deep clean one time per week.
Only Buy High-Quality Food
A cat will always thrive when you offer really good food. Buying cheap cat food is a very bad idea. Also, cats tend to be picky eaters. You might have to buy better food and even then, you might need to look for something else. Finding food the cat loves is often a trial and error thing.
Do your research and learn what human food will be toxic for the cat. Then, learn about plants that might be toxic for them so you can remove them from your home. Cats will explore and can get into trouble. Just as you would babyproof your home, you have to make sure every room where the cat has access is completely safe.
Make The Indoor Environment Enticing For The Cat
Cats are safer when they are indoors but they can get bored pretty fast. This is why it is up to you to make the indoor environment enticing. You can easily set up some cat trees and condos so climbing is available when the cat wants to. Some window perches can offer much entertainment and for some extra fun, you can place a good bird feeder right outside your window. For the indoors, also get many toys (add some with catnip). Interactive toys are particularly good if you often are away from home, like for work.
Get Some Cat Scratchers
The claw of the cat has an outer layer that has to be removed. This is done naturally as cats use their claws. To help the cat do this, you have to set up some cat scratchers. These are used to “sharpen” claws, stretch, and even mark the territory. If you do not have these scratchers, do not be surprised to see the cat create one, like your couch or carpet.
Remember that it is always better to have more scratchers than not having enough. They can be placed in various parts of the home or room, where the cat likes to spend some time. There are horizontal and vertical scratchers to buy right now. Your cat might prefer one of them and not the other.
Play With The Cat
Last but not least, you have a new cat and you need to spend time with her. You have to keep her engaged and help her develop great socialization skills. If you get a cat and you just ignore her or leave her at home for hours, especially during the first few weeks, you might end up with a very antisocial cat. Try clicker training and just run around with the cat by making her chase a treat.