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10 Tips for New Cat Owners

10 Tips for New Cat Owners


By PetMD

Cats make great companions. Not only do they look good, they also keep mice away and have built-in motors. That’s pretty cool.

But there’s more to owning a cat than having a cute, soft, purring companion. Before you get one, there are a few things you should think about, and a few things that are just plain good to know.

PetMD shares 10 tips for cat owners:

1. Cats are indeed independent by nature, but they’re not quite able to take care of themselves. Before you adopt, make sure that your lifestyle can make room for a feline. How busy you are and the amount of time you spend at home will dictate the kind of cat you should get — very busy people may find it difficult to find the time for a cat that needs a lot of grooming and attention, especially the highly intelligent and active cats. But, there are cats that are ideal for the working lifestyle. Do your research.

2. What if your circumstances change after the adoption? Or if you work long hours and still want a friendly face to greet you at the door at the end of the day? Adopting a buddy for the cat to play with can be an excellent solution.

3. Do you have any allergies? If you do suffer from severe allergic reactions, consider testing yourself for feline allergies before bringing a cat home. Then again, some people with allergies might adapt to their own pet but still be allergic to other cats. A safe bet is to choose a cat with low allergens. Consult your vet, books, or animal shelter employees for suggestions.

4. Before you bring your cat home, take it for a checkup and immunizations. Also, schedule it in to be neutered as soon as age permits. This can mean the difference between a healthy and happy cat, and a miserable cat trying to claw its way through the windows or spraying your furniture.

5. Get a good litter box and quality litter. Covered boxes can allow you and your cat more privacy, and clumping litter is easier to maintain. Keep the box clean, for the comfort of your cat and your nose. Also, make sure you buy well-balanced, age-appropriate food for your cat. Ask your vet, the representatives at your local pet store, or take a look at “Smart Shopping for Cat Food” for some advice.

For ideas on alternatives to litter boxes, click here.

6. Cats love to play. Toy mice, string, feathers, and even empty boxes make for great amusement. Playthings needn’t be expensive (they can even be homemade), just make sure there’s enough to keep your cat happy, active, and mentally occupied.

7. If you don’t want your sofa shredded, or your new Louis Vuitton bag ruined, invest in a scratching post.

8. Catnip, and those little freeze-dried chicken nuggets are excellent tools for cat bribery and training.

9. Get pet insurance. We hope you won’t need it, but like they always say, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

10. If it’s a kitten you’re bringing home, make sure you start a grooming routine early. Bathing, brushing and trimming claws will be an event to look forward to, rather than something to dread.

And there you have it. These are just a few of the things to keep in mind when you get yourself a new companion. Another important consideration: Cats often live for around 20 years, so you and your furry feline friend will be together for a long time.

Related:
How to Stop Your Cat From Peeing in the House
Top 10 Cat Health Questions
6 Health Benefits of Having Pets

10 Tips for New Cat Owners originally appeared on petMD.com


Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Pet Health, Pets

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Nicolas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit petMD.com.

258 comments

+ add your own
7:10AM PDT on Jul 2, 2013

Good tips!

10:28AM PDT on May 20, 2013

We recently purchased a cat genie, which is basically a toilet for cats. It connects to your toilet and contains washable litter. Our cats love it! As do we. I don't know how we lived without it. No one can tell we have three cats in the hourse because there is absolutely no litterbox odor. It is *definitely* well worth the price. Two of our cats had been toilet trained, but when we brought a 3rd cat home (a male) territory became an issue and 2 of the cats refused to use the toilet. This was the ideal solution Check it out: catgenie.com. It keeps the litterbox so clean, our cats have been know to take naps in it after the litter has been washed and dried.

4:38AM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

Very good tips for new cat ownwers.Thanks for sharing

3:28PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

TY

3:55AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

"If it’s a kitten you’re bringing home, make sure you start a grooming routine early."

Very good advice. I adopted my kitties when they were older, they weren't used to grooming and now we constantly "fight" when it's brushing time:) I have to admit, I don't always win:)

4:10AM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

Very good tips.

6:20AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

7:17PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

I also recommend getting to know people that have had a few different cats in their life. I volunteered for a humane society so I have dealt with cats with a lot of different issues. But I also help people who just look confused in pet aisles

11:34AM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

Thank you, love those kitty cats!

12:16AM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

Over the wonderful years of owning cats I have
learned how important it is to pay for excellent
pet food. I keep my kitties away from "people"
food and am gratefull they stay healthy and happy.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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