Must-Know Tips for First-Time Cat Owners
This article was contributed by Jessica Brody at ourbestfriends.pet.
If you’ve decided to adopt a cat, congratulations! Bringing a furry friend home for the first time is very exciting. Cats make wonderful household companions and bring so much joy, playfulness, and love to our lives. While caring for a cat may seem pretty straightforward, some essential care requirements and household preparations may not be obvious if you're new to pet ownership. Here are some tips to help you care for your new cat and ensure they feel at home.
Be Prepared with Essential Supplies
Before adopting your first cat, make sure you have all the supplies you need to keep your feline friend happy and healthy. A comfortable spot to rest and sleep is crucial, so start by picking out a nice cat bed. Cat beds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are hooded to provide a den-like environment, while others are elevated to help cats feel secure. You can even get self-warming cat beds! As you search for the perfect bed, look for something that’s durable and machine washable.
Some other pet supplies you’ll need include food and water bowls, a cat carrier, a litter box, and litter. Additionally, cats need to scratch to mark their territory, stretch their legs, and sharpen their nails, so it’s important to provide a scratching post where they can practice this behavior safely—and without destroying your furniture! Cats also need a cat tree so they can follow their instinctive need to climb. Perching up high allows cats to observe their surroundings from a safe and secure vantage point. Plus, a cat tree will help you take advantage of unused vertical space to expand your pet’s living area!
It’s also wise to gather some cleaning supplies, particularly enzyme-based cleaners to help remove odors. To help eliminate odors, consider an air purifier designed especially for cats. The Purrified Air Litter Box Air Filter easily rests on your cat’s litter box and helps to ward off odors, pet dander, hair, and allergens.
Cat-Proof Your Home
Cat-proofing your house is another important step to take before bringing your cat home. To protect your new pet from household hazards, Zoetis Petcare recommends covering electrical cords to prevent chewing, removing poisonous plants from your home, and cutting blind cords and loops to prevent cats from getting caught. In your kitchen and bathroom, consider adding child-proof locks to cupboards, putting secure lids on trash and recycling containers, and storing medications and cleaning chemicals out of reach.
Learn to Read Cat Food Labels
Just like humans, cats rely on a good diet to stay fit and healthy. Make sure you know what you’re feeding your feline friend! Labels on cat food products can be misleading, so it's important to learn how to read ingredient lists and interpret guaranteed analysis sections. Since cats are carnivores, their diets must contain high levels of protein and minimal amounts of carbohydrates. Dry food is the most inexpensive and convenient option, but the ingredients can be difficult to digest and your cat may not like the taste very much. It may be a good idea to offer your cat a blended feeding routine of both dry and wet food. Of course, just like dry food, it’s important to know which wet food is best for your feline. Some feature better ingredients, while others some properly proportioned for individual servings. If you’re still unsure which brand to choose after checking out reviews and online guides, your vet can help you determine which one is better suited to your cat’s individual needs.
Visit the Vet
Another important way to support your cat's health is to visit the vet regularly. Your first vet visit should take place as soon as possible after adopting your cat. At your first vet visit, your veterinarian will create a medical record for your pet, examine your cat for ailments or signs of abnormal development, administer vaccinations, and answer any questions you have about care. This is also a good time to discuss spaying or neutering your cat, which is usually the best option unless you plan on using your cat for breeding. Neutering is especially important for outdoor cats!
Adopting a pet is no small task! Make sure you're ready to share your home with a furry companion and provide the environment they need to live in health and comfort. Taking the time to research care requirements and prepare your home for your feline friend will set you up to become a loving and responsible pet owner.
If you’re preparing to bring home a new feline friend, remember to consider the Purrified Air Litter Box Air Filter to keep smells and allergens at bay. Removing yucky odors is easier when you choose the best air purifier.