Cat Ownership 101: How to Be a Good Cat Owner for Newbies

Cats are joyous creatures to be around. You might see some on the street or at your friend’s place, and now you’re interested in getting one yourself. But how? Do not worry, this article will walk you through the best cat parent you can be.

Things to consider before adopting

So now you’re thinking of getting a cat. You can’t wait to have a lovely feline companion to live with you at home. While that’s exciting, here are a few things you must consider before adopting one.

Lifestyle

Having a cat as a new member of the family might require the owner to make some adjustments in their life. Hence, it’s important to know whether you can take this long-term commitment. When considering adopting a cat, you should ask yourself a few fundamental questions regarding your lifestyle.

Who do you live with, and do they agree to have a cat in the house? If you live by yourself, this would not be an issue. But when you share a place with other people (such as spouses, parents, family members, or roommates), you need to consider their thoughts and needs. Making sure of a safe environment is also important for the new cat’s wellbeing. This might be difficult to achieve when other people living in the house have cat allergies or simply do not like cats.

Do you travel a lot? If you have a condition where you constantly need to go out and spend very little time at home, getting a cat probably isn’t a wise choice. Cats (or any pets) require time and dedication to take care of. This might be doable when you have someone ready as a backup caregiver, but otherwise, think again.

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Are you ready to commit? This can be considered the most important question. You might think you love cats because they seem cute and require low maintenance. However, cats can live up to 20 years and constantly need attention from you. You need to be willing to keep up with all the litter box and feeding duties—that requires commitment.

Maintenance cost

Another important consideration when getting yourself a cat is the cost. Adoption can be free since it depends on where you get the cat. However, taking care of the cat in the long run will take a portion of your monthly budget. Food, litter, toys, and vet visits will be needed, so it would only be manageable if you are financially ready.

Living space

Providing a comfortable environment for the feline is essential. If you’re renting a place such as an apartment or a condo, you need to make sure they allow pets in the building. It is also important to adjust your living space to make it cat-friendly. You may need to rearrange stuff at home and prepare toys like scratching posts to accommodate your new little friend’s need to explore.

Prepping up: Get the essentials

Now you’re sure about having a cat. Great! The next step is to prepare everything they need to adapt and live in their new home. Here are some pet supplies you need to pick up to welcome your new feline friend.

Carrier

Some cats just won’t let you bear them in your arms right away, especially when you’re not a familiar face to them. Picking up the new cat and bringing them home will be easier when you have a carrier ready with you. A carrier will also come in handy for vet visits. Other than that, a good quality carrier will let your cat comfortably breathe and sit while you carry them.

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Littering tools

To avoid your new little friend finishing their business in unwanted places, littering tools are super important to prepare before their arrival. You need to get a litter box, scoop, and the litter itself. Get one box for each cat, even better if you prepare more and put them in different spots. As for the litter, it might be good to choose an unscented or mildly scented one since cats are sensitive to smells. A scoop is self-explanatory: you’ll just need it.

Bed

Choose a cat bed with comfortable yet washable material. Also, make sure that it has the perfect size—not too big or small—for your cat. Cats tend to take naps in different places in the house. Hence it would be great for them if you prepare several beds, although it’s not mandatory. You can move the bed when you notice their favorite spots after a few days.

Cat Toys, Scratchers, and Trees

Toys will help you bond with your cat. Providing some will also let them spend their energy in a better way, rather than knocking off things from your table. A scratching post is also essential since scratching things is a cat’s instinct (and you don’t want your sofa to get ruined). Another thing you can put in your home is a cat tree for the feline to climb on.

Food

Last but definitely not least: cat food is essential. It’s important to pick up a cat’s food according to your cat’s stage of life, since they need different nutrients for each period. You might want to get the same brand of cat food that the cat already had before. It will make it easier for them to adapt to their new home.

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Loving them the right way

It’s the welcoming party–your new friend has arrived! Now what? Worry not, you can follow these tips to make sure the cat feels safe and sound in their new home.

Introduction phase

The first time you bring them home in a carrier, just let it open and let your cat decide when to come out. Next, you need to provide the cat’s essentials in the room on reachable spots. Then just be patient and give the cat some time to adapt to the new environment. It also helps to have some possible hiding spots ready for them; cats love their privacy.

Feeding

A lot of people tend to leave some food on the bowl for the cat to eat anytime. This can lead to obesity due to overfeeding. It might be helpful if you set up a feeding schedule, cats will eventually remember this and demand food at the right time. Don’t forget to feed them healthy and nutritious food for their growth and health.

Grooming

Cats have the instinct to clean and groom themselves. However, sometimes they need our help, especially if they’re long-haired. Get a cat brush and start grooming them daily or once in a few days. It helps stimulate their circulation and build a stronger bond with their owner.

Vet visits

Taking your new cat for a trip to the vet is a good idea. The vet will inform you what your cat needs and treat them accordingly. Vaccines are essential to prevent your cat from having health issues. Regular checkups will also be beneficial for the little feline.

Congratulations, now you’re ready to have the companion of a cat. Remember to love and take care of them dearly—they will eventually give you the same amount of love. It’s no easy task, but surely a gleeful journey to walk on!