Having a cat might imply many things to different people. Some people want a cat to cuddle and sit on their laps, while others are content to live with a highly independent cat who spends most of its time outside and does not require a lot of human connection.
What matters is that you look for a cat that will interact with you if you want it to. All cats are not the same, and how each cat interacts with you can be influenced by its intrinsic personality and early experiences (or lack thereof), which can cause it to be afraid or confident with people and life in general.
The environment in which you maintain a cat is also quite important – for example, if it lives with a lot of other cats that don’t get along, it will be anxious and will react differently than if it was alone.
While there is no guarantee that you will find the perfect cat for you and your lifestyle, understanding your expectations as well as what makes cats tick will help you bring home a cat that will be able to cope with its new environment and be the pet that you desire.
1. Make a Purchase List for Your New Cat
If you have a cat, you will be looking for a litter box rather than a changing table.
Before you bring your new cat or kitten home, there are a few things you should gather or purchase so that your cat feels like a family member rather than a visitor. Do this a few days ahead of time to reduce stress for both you and your cat on “homecoming day.”
2. Create a Cat-Friendly Environment
It is not necessary to have a separate room for a safe room. instead, it may be an empty closet, a corner of your bedroom with a protective screen, or a rarely used bathroom. The main thing is that your new cat has a place to withdraw and relax that it can call “home.” It may opt to socialize with you and other family members voluntarily, but for the time being, let it decide whether to hide or mingle. Depending on its background, it may take several days to a week or more, but your patience at this point will produce exponential rewards in a healthier connection with your cat in the future.
3. Make Your Home Cat-Proof
You’ve selected where you’ll go to adopt your new kitty; perhaps you’ve already reduced your options down to one cat you simply must-have. You’ve loaded up on necessities from the shopping list and set up kitty’s “safe chamber.” There’s only one thing left to do before Homecoming Day: cat-proof your home to save wear and tear on both the household and the new newcomer.
Although it will take some effort, cat-proofing your home is not difficult. It simply takes a willingness to get down on a cat’s level to spot dangerous temptations, as well as the capacity to think like a cat.
4. Welcome Your New Cat Into Your Home
You’ve finished all of your preparations, and the big day for bringing your new kitty home has finally arrived. Despite everyone’s enthusiasm, it’s probably best not to make this a major family affair. Your new infant will most likely be agitated enough without a slew of strangers vying for its attention, especially if you have small children at home.
5. Take Your Cat to the Vet for the First Time
The initial veterinarian appointment for your new cat is critical. You’ll want to ensure its health by having it vaccinated and tested for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) if this hasn’t already been done by the adopting agency. You should also schedule a spay or neuter appointment for your new cat unless it has already been done.
6. Understand Your Cat’s Diet
A cat’s food early in life sets the tone for its long-term health and well-being. Your understanding of cat food ingredients will aid in ensuring not only the lifespan but also the quality of life you desire for your new family member.
Although cats are descended from desert creatures, they require freshwater as well, especially if they follow a dry food diet.
Read cat food labels to ensure you know what you’re feeding your new family member. You should study for several weeks or months until you are confident in your abilities. Reading cat food labels will become a lifelong habit once you’ve mastered it.
A source of clean, freshwater is also essential for your cat’s health. Even though cats are descended from desert animals, they nonetheless require adequate hydration.
7. Purchase a litter box and make sleeping arrangements.
A litter box, in addition to food and water, is essential for your new cat’s comfort and health. You’ll never have to worry about odor or out-of-box accidents if you keep your cat’s litter box clean.
But, you say, the cat goes outside? You’ll want to reconsider that decision in one of the following phases.
Another important factor to consider when getting your first cat is where it will sleep. Will you share your bed with it, get him his nice bed, or do both? Remember that you are forming habits that will most likely last a lifetime.
8. Attend to Your Cat’s Scratching Needs
The unwanted scratching behavior is the second most common reason for shelter surrenders, after litter box avoidance. Scratching is just as important to cats as eating and breathing. For a variety of reasons, cats’ claws are their most important tools.
When you finish this session, you’ll have all the tools you need to provide your cat with the scratching and stretching activity it needs without compromising your hard-earned carpet and furniture.
9. Have Fun With Your Cat
Playing with your cat is a wonderful way to bond with him or her. Cats enjoy playing and are experts at creating their games. Experiment with items available around the house before investing in pricey cat toys. Paper bags and cardboard boxes are both wonderful fun.
10. Determine whether your cat prefers to spend time indoors or outside.
If you believe that your cat requires fresh air and sunlight, there are safe options for the outdoor experience. That is an option if you have an enclosed deck. You can also attempt leash-training your cat so that you don’t have to worry about it running into other animals outside.
Can I have a cat if I have a baby or small children?
There is no reason why you should not have a cat or kitten if you have children. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children from an early age how to approach, stroke, and handle cats, as well as how to treat them humanely. Many children have wonderful connections with their cats and learn about respecting other animals and being nice — it happens all the time, but it is up to parents to set the limits. Taking on a new cat when you have a new baby or a toddler may be too much to handle at once, so making time for all parties is an important component of a healthy relationship.
Similarly, if you are pregnant, there is no reason to get rid of the cat. Simple and basic hygienic precautions, as well as common sense cat management, can ensure that everyone coexists happily and safely while the infant is young.
The Final Word
Make your cat a lifelong family member.
Your attachment with your new cat will become stronger than ever as time passes, and you and your family will regard your cat as a beloved family member rather than a pet.
Congratulations on being concerned enough about your kitty. Today is your graduation day, and you can now call yourself an ailurophile, or even a mad cat lover. You are about to join a community of the most amazing, compassionate people on the planet: those who cherish their cat children.