Unsure about having a cat as a pet? Today, we’re giving you a wide view of what it’s like to own a cat and what you can expect in those first few months through the years of cat ownership.
Bringing a New Cat Home
So, you’ve chosen to bring a cat home or you’re considering bringing a new cat home. Whatever the case, here’s what you need to remember about those first few days of bringing a cat home.
First, you should limit their space, especially if there’s another pet in the home. Find a safe room your new cat or kitten can relax in. If possible, make this safe room the room that will serve as their space going forward. This can be your bedroom or another part of the house that isn’t used all day.
Second, be patient. It can take time for your cat to be comfortable venturing around the home. Older adopted cats or households with lots of noise, pets and kids might make your new cat skittish.
How to Cat Proof Your Home
Cat proofing your home is a lot like kid-proofing your home. Uncovered outlets, electrical wires, choking hazards and unsecured televisions and bookcases are just some of the things to keep in mind. Here are more things to think about when cat-proofing your home:
- Houseplants may get chewed. Make sure there are no plants poisonous to cats in your home.
- Open windows or doors may encourage cats to venture outside whether you want them to or not.
- Laundry room detergents and pods may attract cats and lead to poisoning.
- Hanging cords for drapes and blinds are fun for cats to catch and chew.
- Fragile items like vases and knick-knacks that are easily knocked over should be secured.
Next, let’s discuss litter boxes!
The Scoop on Litter Boxes
Besides food and water, your cat needs a place to do the deed. There are many types of cat litter boxes, but you need to find the one your cat likes. Having a cat as a pet means really keeping up with litter box cleaning, too. Even if your cat spends time outdoors, be sure to have a litter box in case.
Not comfortable scooping poop? Then a cat isn’t right for you.
Where Kitties Sleep
Your kitty needs a safe and clean bed to lay in. Although cats sleep everywhere and nap all day, giving them a special space is important. This space could be in a quiet bedroom, an unused bathroom, or even a basement. They need a place to rest quietly or retreat to when they are overwhelmed or need some alone time.
Preparing a Scratching Area
To curb undesirable scratching behaviors, it’s crucial that you prepare a scratching area for your cat. They are going to scratch no matter what. It’s necessary to their species.
First, provide lots of things for your cat to scratch. The ASPCA suggests, “Try giving your cat posts made of cardboard, carpeting, wood, sisal and upholstery. Some cats prefer horizontal posts. Others might like vertical posts or slanted posts. Some prefer a vertical grain for raking, while others favor a horizontal grain for picking. Once you figure out your cat’s preference for scratching, provide additional posts of that kind in various locations. Keep in mind that all cats want a sturdy post that won’t shift or collapse when used. Most cats also like a post that’s tall enough that they can stretch fully.”
Second, cover up or remove items you don’t want your cat to scratch. Worried about your area rug being scratched? Roll it up and put it away. Worried about your couch fabric? Get a couch cover. Once your cat gets used to using their scratching area, they will likely not exhibit bad scratching habits.
Lastly, if you see a cat scratching something they should not, stop the behavior by startling your cat with a hand clap. That will get their attention.
Aloof & Needy All at Once!
Although your cat may seem aloof and uninterested in you or things going on around the house, they need their pet parents for survival and happiness.
Here’s what your cat needs from you:
- Provide food and water daily
- Lots of love and attention
- A clean and cozy bed
- Able to get outside or access to a litter box
- Regular grooming (long-hairs need almost daily grooming)
- Medical attention and vaccinations
- Lots of stimulation and play time
- A good budget to pay for your cat
- Deworming and flea treatments
A cat, like all other pets, need owners to be consistent, responsible, and loving.
Remember, all cats are not the same. Like dogs, there are definite differences in personality. That’s why before you adopt a kitten or adult cat, make sure you get along well.
According to the American Humane, “This is especially important to decide before you get to the shelter. The attraction of tiny meowing kittens is hard to resist, but kittens need a lot of attention and will have to be house-trained. On the plus side, kittens adapt quickly to their surroundings. For many people, an adult cat is a wise choice, especially if they are at work all day or would not enjoy the boisterous antics of a kitten.”
Ready for a Cat?
Do you feel like you now know about having a cat as a pet? Are you ready to bring a cat into your household? We love cats, and if the above information resonates with you and sounds undaunting, a cat may be just right for you!