- Cat Care for New Cat Parents
The first thing to consider when bringing a cat into the home is how it will fit into your lifestyle. If you're active, you may want an independent breed like a Russian Blue or British Shorthair. If you're looking for a more social breed, Abyssinians or Main Coons may be the right choice. You also want to think about your household. For instance, if you have kids, a more child-friendly breed like the American Shorthair might be a good fit.
And remember, while there's nothing wrong with shopping around for the perfect breed, it's always an excellent choice to adopt. If you're looking to help a cat in need, consider adopting an adult rather than a kitten, as older cats have a more challenging time finding their forever homes. Of course, you can't go wrong with adopting a cute little kitten, either.
Choosing a Vet
Before you bring your new feline home, find a good veterinarian in your area. Do your research beforehand to find a vet with a good reputation for caring for cats. Then schedule an appointment for a few days after your cat comes home.
Kittens will need a few appointments when they first arrive to get caught up on vaccines and check-ups. Once they reach adult age, though, cats only need to visit the vet once a year to stay up to date on vaccinations. Your veterinarian will also be a valuable resource for any questions as you adjust to having a cat in your home.
There are several items you'll need to get to be fully prepared for your new furry friend. You'll need the obvious things like food and water bowls, a litter box, a travel cat carrier, and some toys. But you'll also want to invest in a scratch pad and a cat tree to give your kitty a safe place to sharpen their claws, climb, and explore. Some final items to add to your shopping list include a cat bed, a collar, and a brush for grooming.
Preparing Your Home
Moving to a new home is a stressful event for anyone, and cats are no exception. When bringing your cat home, you'll want to give them a small, quiet space to let them adjust without feeling overwhelmed. This space should be small without a lot of hiding spaces, and it should be separate from most of the household commotion. A bathroom is typically a good choice. When setting up this space, ensure it has all the necessary supplies to help your cat feel comfortable – food, water, litter, toys, and a bed.
It's important not to rush your cat into the home. Be patient while they adjust, and expect it to take a few days for them to start feeling comfortable. When they're finally ready to venture out of their safe room and into the home, make sure they can't get into any valuables, breakables, or loose wires.
Basics of Cat Care
There's a stereotype that cats are easier to care for than dogs. And while this may be true in terms of not having to go for walks or invest in expensive training, caring for a cat isn't an absolute hands-off job. A few routine tasks you'll have to add to your chore list include cleaning the litter box, grooming, and helping them get their exercise.
The litter box should be cleaned at least once a day, and the litter should be replaced every 3-4 weeks. Additionally, litter should be about 2-3 inches deep – enough to absorb urine and cover odors but not so much that it makes an unsteady foundation for your cat. For grooming, the frequency of brushing will depend on the length of your cat's coat and how prone it is to tangling. The longer their fur, the more often they'll need brushing. Finally, it's recommended that cats get around 10-15 minutes of exercise a day to keep them healthy and active.
Finding a Cat Sitter
Cats may have a reputation for being independent, but that doesn't mean they can be left alone for extended periods. If you're going out of town, you'll want a trusted pet sitter for feeding, company, and some playtime. If you need to figure out who to ask, we can help! Check out our services page to see our pet-sitting options.
Welcome to the wondrous world of cat ownership! These tips will help you prepare to add a feline friend to your home. Remember to do your research and preparation before your cat comes home. And with a little bit of patience, love, and care, you'll have a dedicated cat companion in no time.