Cats are often beloved members of the home, but most people have a few questions when they first become a first time cat owner. They’re not a complicated animal, but for when you’re not intimately aware of the details of their lives you don’t want to make guesses. Read on for some tips that’ll help prevent confusion for the first time pet owner.
1. Research Your New Pet
That phone in your pocket is your best weapon when it comes to finding out things about your cat. There are a ton of little quirks that cats have which people want to know about.
If you’re going with a purebred cat of some sort, you’ll also want to research the breed extensively. While cat breed doesn’t affect their temperament as much as it does with dogs, it can give you some vital clues on what kind of new friend you’re bringing home.
Unless something is obviously disastrous, you should always be willing to set aside some time to figure it out. The modern advantage of smartphones when it comes to pet care is hard to overstate: you have access to a ton of cat owner information at all times and you should take advantage of that fact.
2. Set-up Their Bathroom before they’re Home
Fortunately, cats pretty come litterbox trained. It’s natural for cats to do their business in sand or light gravel, so they’ll gravitate towards the box instinctively.
That’s not to say the occasional accident won’t occur, but it’s not as involved of a task as housebreaking a dog.
That said: your cat should have the litterbox ready when they get home. It’s not hard, all you need to do is put some litter in a box and make sure that your new cat knows where it’s at. After that, you should sift the litter every day if possible.
Even in a box, the smell can still be overwhelming. In the past, people had many ways of getting rid of the scent, but these days your best option is always going to be an enzymatic cleaner. Get one with your litterbox supplies, cat urine can smell very strong if it builds up.
3. Scratching Posts Are Essential
Chances are that you know someone whose cats have destroyed their furniture. Equally, chances are that a scratching post wasn’t available for their pet.
Scratching posts serve a dual purpose for your feline. They give a pleasing texture when scratched and they allow a cat to wear down their claws. In the wild, a feline’s claws will naturally be worn down from walking and generally being a tiny apex predator. In captivity, they lack these opportunities.
A good scratching post will save you a lot of headaches as time goes on. Make sure that you pick one up when you welcome your new pet home.
4. Use Pheromone Sprays
Calming pheromone sprays are one of the few truly new things in the feline world. Calming sprays find a lot of use by vets. For whatever reason, these scented chemicals make sure that a cat remains calm and feels secure during examinations. The effects are often dramatic.
If your new cat is a bit nervous, buy a spray and use it on their bedding, toys, and scratching posts. Your cat will remain much calmer and less prone to erratic behavior when they have it available.
They can be pricey, but they’re an excellent control measure for your cat.
5. Set Up for Vet Visits
Your cat will need to visit the vet regularly. It’s important to take time to see the vet on a regular basis, since they’ll be able to tell when something is wrong with your feline.
Some breeds are more prone to health problems than others as well. Himalayans, for instance, often have problems with their eyes and nose due to shortened face.
You’ll also need a cat carrier and a plan to get your cat into it. Our animals aren’t generally fond of taking the trip, but you can make the whole process easier by using some bedding sprayed with pheromone spray in their cat carrier.
If you set everything up the night before a vet visit, it’ll also make things go more smoothly the next day.
6. Make Time for Play
Cats need to play. It’s partially a predator’s need where it mimics hunting. It’s also a good bonding time for you and your cat, as well as an excellent way for them to get exercise.
Two or three sessions of vigorous play a day is often enough. Set aside a bit of time here and there, you don’t have to spend a whole hour entertaining them but a good fifteen minutes here and there will make a huge difference in how you and your cat interact.
And, let’s face it, it’s also a ton of fun!
Relax and Welcome Them Home
Getting a cat is life-changing but it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. You just need to spend some time making sure that you’re both ready and from there you’ll be able to build a relationship with them. Use the above tips to get ready and remember to love the process. Both of you will be just fine!