Are you looking to become a cat owner? There’s a lot that you’ll want to know to excel in caring for your new cat. It can be a gratifying experience, but you’ll need to learn more first.
Luckily, we’ve gathered all the best practices to excel in cat care and ownership. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Adopting Your New Cat
First, you’ll want to consider adopting your new cat from a rescue shelter. These organizations often have a lot of cats who need loving homes. You might just save the cat’s life.
Plus, adopted cats are low-cost, and they’re likely already spayed or neutered. The shelter works can tell you more about the cat’s personality since each is unique. They’ve spent more time with the cat and will let you know what kind of home environment it prefers, allowing you to find a better match for you and your family.
So, there are many benefits to choosing to adopt a cat from a local shelter.
2. Make Sure Your Home is Ready
Before you bring your cat home, you’ll need to do a few things to ensure their comfort and safety. Remove anything harmful to a small, curious creature.
Cat-proofing your home can include tying blind cords and other loose strings and wires. Then, put candles up high, and don’t leave out essential oils since they can be toxic if your cat drinks them.
Many plants are also toxic to cats, so you’ll want to research any you have first. Some common plants that can hurt cats are lilies, daffodils, and tulips.
If your cat does ingest something dangerous to them, make sure that you reach out to the Animal Poison Control Center. Their phone number is (888) 426 4435, and they may save your cat’s life.
3. Know How To Maintain a Litter Box
Your cat must have a litter box, and you must keep it as clean as possible. You want to also set it up in a place where your cat can have privacy and quiet.
You’ll want to scoop it twice a day and replace the litter once a week. If you let it get too dirty, your cat could get UTIs and worse. Having a dirty litter box also stresses your pet, and they may start going outside the box, which you don’t want.
You must realize how important maintaining a clean cat litter box is.
4. Get Plenty of Toys
Next, you’ll want to have plenty of toys for your cat. Cats need enrichment, or they’ll start to get into trouble. Feather wands, mice with cat nip, crinkly toys, and small balls are all wonderful options.
You should also get your cat scratching posts. Many cat trees come with them built in, and your cat can climb on them for enrichment. You should get a floor scratcher, too, so your cat isn’t tempted to dig up your carpet.
Overall, cats love to play! You’ll have a ton of fun playing with your cat. You don’t need to get expensive toys for them either, but you do want to make sure you have a few small things in the house before bringing your new family member home.
5. Consider Microchipping Your Cat
You’ll want to consider microchipping your cat because there’s always the chance that they get outside. A vet can easily install one in the lower neck area of a cat.
The chip is tiny, about the size of a single grain of rice, and provides information if your cat gets lost. It includes an identification number that a vet can scan and use to contact you. It’s not a GPS tracker, but it’s a way to ensure that your cat gets back home if they escape.
Cats tend to break free from their collars, so getting your pet microchipped is essential.
6. Introduce the Cat Slowly to Other Pets
You must introduce your new cat slowly to your other pets if you have them. Putting them together suddenly causes stress and can lead to your pets fighting.
Here’s how to do it properly:
- Let the new cat live in a single room for a few days. Once they’re comfortable and no longer scared, introduce your pets to the cat’s scent and introduce the cat to their scents. You can do this by swapping their bedding.
- If they’re okay with the scents, you can slowly allow them to explore each other’s areas.
- Introduce the pets with a barrier between them.
- Allow the pets to be together, but only under supervision.
- Take your cat to the cat shows in your area.
If they aren’t fighting and seem to get along alright, you can leave them alone together more and more frequently. However, you must keep in mind that this is a slow process. It can take a cat a long time to accept another animal as its family, and it may lash out at them.
Never introduce your cat to your other pets by leaving it unsupervised with them.
7. Work With Your Cat, Not Against Them
Every cat has a different personality. Some might feel at home with you and your family right away, while others take more time to come out of hiding. You’ll need to practice patience with your cat as it settles in.
You must respect your cat’s boundaries and not force them to do things they don’t want. They’ll come around to snuggling and playing with you more often, but it can take a lot of patience. You’ll have to build trust with the cat, so let them come to you.
Cats also love routines. So, having one for feeding and grooming will help them become more accustomed to you.
Finally, avoid punishing your cat. They’ll lose trust, and you’ll have to start over. Instead, work on positive reinforcement by praising your cat when they’re good.
Purrfect Practices Make You Excel
In short, using these practices can help you excel at cat ownership. You’ll bond stronger with your pet if you follow through on them.