Thinking of Getting Your First Cat?
Deciding to welcome a cat into your life is one of the most rewarding decisions you can make. Cats are such wonderful companions. They are loving, funny, and full of personality. You just can’t help but fall in love with them.
If you have never in your life owned a cat, it would be smart to learn about the care of cats and what to expect when bringing them home.
Here is a list of things to consider before making a commitment to become a cat owner and what you need to get before you bring your new feline friend home.
What you need to think about before bringing home a new cat
- Decide where you are getting your cat from
Deciding where to get your new friend from is a task all on its own.
Do you want to adopt from a local shelter?
Look online for a kitten?
Do you want a specific breed, color, or gender?
Once you figure out where you want to get your cat from, it’s time to reach out to those places to start the process.
- Get everything you need before bringing your cat home
Once you have decided to welcome a cat or kitten into your life, you should figure out what you need to buy. Create a shopping list and have everything purchased before you bring your new companion home.
You don’t want to bring your new pet home and have no food dishes or a safe space for them to hide.
Some things to consider when buying for your new cat are:
- Food dishes and food
- Litter boxes, litter, mat for the box to sit on, scope, and liners if you want to use them.
- Grooming supplies. Brush, nail clippers, etc.
- Scratching post
This list may vary depending on the cat you are getting. If you are getting an older cat with special needs, then you will need to accommodate those special needs. Whereas if you are getting a kitten, lots of toys are a good idea.
- Cat proof everything
Before you bring your cat home, it’s a good idea to get down on the floor and look at your house at a cat’s eye level. Look for anything that might be harmful to your cat. Plants, electrical cords, unsteady furniture, and move it to a spot your cat won’t be able to access.
You may also want to cover your furniture to save it from being used as a scratch post,
- Prepare a spot for your cat
You can dedicate a corner to your cat or a whole room if you have the space. Your new cat will need somewhere it feels safe while it adjusts to your home. Especially if you are getting your cat from a shelter, it might be a bit nervous. Setting up a corner in a room away from where you spend a lot of time will give the cat a feeling of security while adjusting to its new surroundings.
You don’t want to rush your new cat to warm up to you. While good-intentioned, that may do more harm than good. Give it time and space, and you will forever have a furry little friend once the initial nervousness disappears.
Another thing to consider is where you will put the litter box. Ideally, it would be a spot away from the common living areas, away from your cat’s personal space you set up, and away from your cat’s food.
- Bringing your new furry friend home
The day has come that you can bring your new cat home. After all that you have prepared and all your research, your new cat is finally coming home.
It would be ideal to bring your new cat home on a day you don’t have people over or anything big going on. You want it to be a calm day, so your already stressed-out kitty isn’t stressed out even more.
If you adopted a cat from your local shelter, it might be a bit more scared and timid. So don’t be surprised if you don’t see the cat for a while, like a day or two. Put its food and water out in an obvious spot. The cat will likely come out and explore while you’re sleeping or not home.
On the other hand, a kitten who has come right from its mom might not be so shy and will play and make itself right at home.
- Take your new cat to the vet
It doesn’t matter where you get your kitty from; it is always a good idea to take it to see a vet for a health check. If you adopt from a shelter or rescue, that may be a requirement for adoption that you take your new cat to see a vet within a few weeks of bringing it home, taking your new kitty in to get a clean bill of health and vaccinations if needed.
You may want to consider getting your cat spayed or neutered while you’re at it. How often do you hear about a cat getting outside and coming home pregnant? Being proactive and getting your cat fixed when it is a kitten is ideal, so you don’t end up with kittens who need a home.
- Enjoy your new family member
As your cat settles in and some time passes, it will be easy for you to consider that purring fur ball of love a family member. Getting a cat is a great way to create a bond with another sentient being and enjoy the years of happiness a cat will bring to your life.
Creating a bond with your new cat will take time, but the rewards will last a lifetime. Starting out on the right foot when becoming a first-time cat owner will set the stage for a great relationship with your new kitty.
Enjoy your new family member.
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