Tips for First Time Cat Owners
Choosing to take on a pet is a big decision, particularly if you haven’t been a pet parent to that particular type of animal before. Perhaps this is your first pet whatsoever. If so, don’t fret! Cats are a great addition to any home and family, and you will adapt to caring for them in no time at all. To help you get started, here are our top tips for welcoming your new cat into your home.
Choose your cat wisely
Not all cats are alike, and it is important to think carefully about which type is the right sort to fit in with your home and lifestyle. For example, Persian cats are very gentle creatures that don’t like rowdy playing or loud noises. They prefer a calm, quiet household where they are among people who will give them the affection that they crave. As long-haired cats, they also require a lot of grooming attention to keep them looking and feeling great. Meanwhile, Max cats are a breed that is often compared to dogs since they love playing games and being as active as possible. As short-haired felines, they need less grooming than their longer-haired cousins. Do your research before choosing which cat breed will suit you best!
Decide what you will feed them and stick to it
What your pet eats is very important to their overall health and wellbeing, so choosing a balanced and nutritious diet is essential. You should also be aware that your cat’s dietary requirements will change with age, so they will need to be reviewed on a semi-regular basis. If you aren’t sure what to feed your cat, ask your breeder what food they have been providing or speak to your vet. You should also bear in mind that changing your cat’s food over to a new variety too quickly can upset their digestive system, so any new feeds should be introduced slowly and carefully.
Choose the right location for their litter tray
If your cat hasn’t yet been toilet-trained then this will be something that you will need to make a priority when you bring them home for the first time. Even if they have had prior training, it is normal to experience a few accidents when you first bring them home. One of the most important things you will need to think about in this respect is choosing the right location for their litter tray. It doesn’t matter how great the tray is that you choose if it isn’t in a place where your feline friend is happy to do her business. Choose a quiet area that doesn’t see much foot traffic, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. A utility room, office, or downstairs bathroom is ideal. You should also be prepared to try several different litterboxes before you find one that your cat is happy to use. Some prefer an open-tray so that they can see around them while they do their business, while others like to use an enclosed box with a single access point. Cats also like their litter boxes to be extremely clean, so be prepared to empty it daily.
Invest in a scratching post
Cats have a natural need to scratch, and the action helps them to release tension and keep their claws sharp and a reasonable length. If you want to protect your furniture and carpets/flooring from damage, we strongly suggest you invest in at least one scratching post that you can train your cat to use. It may take a few days for them to get used to it, but it will get a great deal of use over time so invest in one that is sturdy and strong so that it lasts as long as possible.
Arrange for microchipping
If your cat isn’t coming to you already microchipped, it is important that you arrange for this to be done as soon as possible. Microchipping your pet is the best way to ensure that they are safely returned to you in the event that you become separated – and if you are planning on letting your cat outdoors this is particularly important. Unlike collars and tags, microchips cannot fall off, become lost, or be tampered with. When your pet is recovered, they will be scanned to obtain the unique reference number that links to your personal details – which are stored on a secure database. This allows you to be contacted and your cat returned to you.
Schedule an appointment with your vet
An appointment with your vet should be one of your first priorities when you bring your cat home. Your vet is trained and experienced in caring for animals and will be just as invested in the wellbeing of your feline friend as you are. Not only will they be able to check your pet over to ensure that they have come to you healthy and with no underlying issues, but they will be able to advise you on crucial preventative care that could keep them safe from a serious illness.
For more top tips on being a first-time cat owner, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert veterinary team.