What to Know Before Getting a Cat?

What should I know before owning a cat?

Help Your Cat Feel Safe and Secure. ….Visit the Vet. ….Introduce Your Cat to Other Pets Slowly. ….Try Different Kinds of Litter and Boxes. ….Use High-Quality Food and Keep Your Cat Away from Anything Dangerous. ….Get Creative with Food and Water Bowls.

Do and don'ts of owning a cat?

Don’t Feed Your Cat Table Scraps. ….Do Prioritize Protein. ….Don’t Feed Your Cat Food Meant for Dogs. ….Do Feed Your Cat the Right Amount. ….Do Ask Your Vet About Feeding Habits and Aging.

What should you never do to a cat?

Never force attention on your cat. ….Don’t bring plants into your home before checking that they are safe for cats. ….Don’t let your cat play with yarn or string. ….Owners should not teach their cats to “hand play.” ….Never directly punish your cat, whether you plan on tapping their butt or using a loud sound.

How do I prepare for my first cat?

Prepare a safe room. ….Cat-proof the safe room. ….Give kitty a place to hide. ….Help your new cat get to know you. ….Equip the safe room with cat food, water and litter. ….Give your new cat a new post. ….Feliway saves the day. ….Give your cat some cat toys for entertainment.

From choosing the right cat food to litter box training, there are a wide variety of things that a first time cat owner needs to consider. How much should I feed my feline? Can I leave my cat home alone while I am at work? There are many questions that can run through your mind. Here are the answers and a quick guide on how to best prepare for your first cat.

Food: Dont assume your cat knows what she is or isnt allowed to eat. Chocolate, grapes and raisins or dairy products can cause stomach bleeding and even death.

Make sure youre well informed as to whether your favorite breed is right for you.Do you have the time it takes to tend to a high maintenance cat, like a Persian? Core vaccines are vital for your cats health and protect them against respiratory virus, feline distemper and rabies. If the litter box is fresh and urinating on the floor still occurs, take her to the vet immediately.

While a standard shoe box and an old shoelace are usually enough to satisfy their entertainment needs, dont hesitate to buy them the occasional squeaky toy mouse, feather teaser or catnip toy.Important: Whats a must, however, is a scratching post: Your cats will trim their claws themselves and they wont hesitate to ruin your furniture doing so. Wheat and corn are usually fillers that cats dont need and will have a hard time digesting. Invest in a good food brand thats still within your budget, which might just save you a trip to the vet.

A cat carrier is still the only safe way to transport your kitty when you hit the road together for your next adventure.

Both female and male cats are capable of developing “lower urinary inflammation.” Symptoms include frequent litter box trips, pain or difficulty urinating, and sometimes blood in the urine. Keep an eye on your kitty!

Maryna Terletska / Getty Images
Give him the same brand of litter and feed at the same time each day, so there’s a reliable structure for your kitty. Melissa Ross / Getty Images
In addition, your kitty also needs proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, so make sure you pick a high-quality brand of cat food!

Having a cat can mean different things to different people. Some want a cat to cuddle and sit on their laps; others are happy to live with a very independent cat which spends most of its time outside and doesnt want too much human interaction.

Other cats, however, might thrive on different interactions with lots of people and fit in perfectly well in a busy household. Thats not to say that they dont leave hairs around bear this in mind if youre thinking of getting a white cat but have dark furniture, or vice versa.

Likewise, a cat is quite likely to sharpen its claws indoors, often on the stair carpet, sometimes on the furniture or even on the wallpaper. If you want a vegetarian pet that wont challenge your beliefs, then it would be better to get a rabbit a cat is a carnivore first and foremost, and looks and behaves as it does for just this reason. Likewise, if youre simply getting a cat to keep vermin at bay, you wont want to find yourself with one which isnt especially interested in huntin, shootin and fishin and prefers being a couch potato!

Of course, there are risks outside for cats, but you need to balance these with the very positive aspects of physical and mental stimulation and an outlet for natural behaviour. It is up to parents to teach their children from the very beginning how to approach, stroke and handle cats and to treat them kindly. Many children have fantastic relationships with their cats and learn about respecting other creatures and being gentle it is done successfully all the time, but it is up to parents to lay down the rules.

Perhaps taking on a new kitten when you have a new baby or a toddler might be a lot to handle at once, so ensuring you have time for all the parties is part of a successful relationship. Simple and basic hygiene precautions and common sense management of the cat, while the baby is small, can ensure all cohabit happily and safely. A kitten gives you the opportunity to take on an animal right from the beginning and treat it and care for it so that it gets the best start in life.

You should be able to get a good idea of a cats personality, although if it is being kept in less than ideal circumstances and is stressed or frightened it may act very differently compared to when it is relaxed. A confident adult cat is likely to move in and settle down quite quickly; a nervous one may take more time. It will be much easier to leave an older cat alone in the knowledge that it is not going to get itself into trouble, and it will generally be much less hard work and worry than a kitten.

This means we have no control over the colour, body shape, coat length or anything else that the kittens can inherit from their parents. Good breeders aim to breed healthy, people-friendly cats and avoid (or seek to deal with) inherited disorders which arise. Kittens or cats from friends or neighbours dont usually come neutered or vaccinated, wormed, treated for fleas or anything else and it will be up to you to register with a vet and get these things done.

This dries on the coat and when the cat scratches, moves or brushes past objects the dust or dander and the hairs which contain the allergen are spread about. However, as it is saliva that causes the problem, this is unlikely to help, and although longhaired cats do seem to cause more allergic reactions thats probably only because, having more hair, theyre also covered with more allergen. If you are considering getting a new cat or kitten, choose a time when it is quiet in your house (not in the middle of a family celebration etc) and perhaps when you have a day or two when you can help it to settle in and be there while it finds its way around, not just before you go on holiday etc.

Can I keep a cat indoors?

If you think about the lifestyle of a cat which has access outdoors you will realise that being outdoors brings a huge variety to its life and allows it to use all of its hunting behaviours if it wants to. Of course, there are risks outside for cats, but you need to balance these with the very positive aspects of physical and mental stimulation and an outlet for natural behaviour.

What sex of cat should I get?

The sex of a kitten doesn’t really matter, as long as you neuter your kitten before it reaches puberty (at about four months of age) when the influence of sex hormones kick in. Un-neutered cats may exhibit unwelcome reproductive behaviours. For example, un-neutered male cats will mark their territory with strong smelling urine while un-neutered female cats can come into season every two weeks if they do not become pregnant.If you are getting just one cat or kitten, it doesn’t matter which sex you choose. Equally, if you want two kittens and you are getting two from the same litter, the sex of either cat is probably not important. However, if you have a resident cat and are getting just one kitten or another cat, it may be worth considering going for one of the opposite sex to try and remove some of the competition factor. A kitten may be a better option than another adult cat in such cases as the young cat’s immaturity seems to remove this competition factor – for a while anyway during which time you hope they will get to like each other! Neutering also removes the need for so much competition and makes the choice of sex much less important.

What breed of cat should I choose?

There are many different breeds, some of which will require extra care and attention, for example if they have a very long coat or even no coat at all. (See our A-Z of cat breeds). Some pedigree cats are more people orientated and may not like to be left alone for long periods. If you are out all day at work it may be worth getting two kittens together for company – do your research about the breed you are interested in. Always make sure that health comes first, no matter what the ‘look’.

How many cats can I have together?

It’s very easy to ‘collect’ cats – they’re addictively beautiful, they’re small and they’re quite easy to care for. Even if they don’t get on, they tend to remove themselves from the situation rather than fight. However, there may be a great deal of tension between cats which owners just don’t pick up on. Cats originate from a largely solitary species and although they can live in groups these are usually related individuals or are self-selected so that cats are not sharing space with cats that they don’t get on with. Cats may start to spray or soil in the house because they’re trying to deal with a situation where they feel under stress because of other cats, and this might be all that owners notice.If you have two cats living together very successfully then think very carefully before you add more. If you have three cats living well together then thank your stars and quit while you’re ahead! The trouble with adding more is that it might not be just the relationship between the resident cats and the new one that causes problems; it may upset the whole equilibrium of the resident cats’ relationship and introduce difficulties even between the original cats as tension and stress levels rise. Any new cat needs careful introduction.The best way to have two compatible cats is to choose siblings. These will have grown up together, and this usually bodes well for a good future relationship (although never guaranteed!).

When should I get a new cat?

If you are considering getting a new cat or kitten, choose a time when it is quiet in your house (not in the middle of a family celebration etc) and perhaps when you have a day or two when you can help it to settle in and be there while it finds its way around, not just before you go on holiday etc.

The Kitten Checklist

The Kitten Checklist has been put together by 20 animal and veterinary organisations, to help you make an informed decision when choosing a kitten. It will help you find a healthy, friendly kitten and avoid some of the pitfalls which can occur.View/download The Kitten Checklist