Taking Care of a New Cat or Kitten

You’ve decided to take the plunge and bring home a new cat or kitten. You think you already know everything that you may need to know in order to provide a great life and environment for your new pet, but not everything about taking care of a feline is intuitive. Here are ten things you should definitely know when you bring your new furry companion cat home for the first time.

1 – Cats Need Grooming

Establish a grooming routine – bathing, nail trimming, and brushing – your cat regularly. If you do it early and often, it will be something you both look forward to, not something you both dread but have to get through.

2 – Cats Need to Play

Cats are hunters by nature; in the wild, hunting prey is an absolutely essential part of daily life for a cat. In your home, presumably, hunting will be less of a focus for your cat. Make sure though that you provide them with the tools they need (toys) to engage in hunt-like play.

3 – Cats Need Activity

Cats’ need for play goes beyond satisfying their hunting instincts. Engaging in activity also helps to keep your cat physically healthy, providing them with the exercise they need to stay fit and trim. If getting enough activity to keep in shape seems to become an issue, talk to their vet about how much they should be eating.

4 – Cats Need Regular Checkups

Cats most definitely need regular checkups from the vet, and your visits to the vet shouldn’t only be weight-related. All cats need regular attention from the vet so they can stay healthy. The negative impact of many diseases and conditions that affect cats can be lessened if they are caught and treated early.

5 – Cats Crave Consistency

Cats need a certain level of consistency in their daily life. They need to be fed at regular times, to have their litter changed consistently, and to be groomed and played with regularly. Most of all, they need consistency in their discipline. If you expect your cat to respond to training, you must be consistent.

6 – Cats Can Be Trained

Cat training is not only possible, but it is also beneficial for both cat and owner. Invest some time reading up on cat training techniques and possibilities online or in books, and consider speaking with a professional trainer. Remember, though, to be consistent and patient if you want results.

7 – Cats Have Their Reasons

Cats have strong instinctive reasons for their behaviors. So, before you either curse or accept behaviors that are driving you crazy, investigate why the cat is behaving in that manner, and take steps to offer them an alternative behavior (one that won’t drive you crazy) to satisfy that same need.

8 – Cats Need to Scratch

One major behavioral need that can be challenging for cat owners is the cat’s need to scratch. Scratching isn’t an optional activity for cats, and their need for it goes well beyond sharpening their claws. Provide a scratching post or other device, or suffer the consequences.

9 – Cats Get Bored

It may seem at times like all they want to do is lay around and sleep all the time, but cats are actually quite active. If they don’t have an engaging enough environment, one rich with toys and activity, they will get bored. And more importantly, a bored cat will act out in a variety of ways.

10 – Cats Are Social by Nature

Cats may seem like solitary animals and they do present as independent, but your cat is a social creature and needs social interaction. If you don’t have enough time at home to spend being social with your cat, then consider getting another cat for them to interact with. Read up on introducing your cat to another one in the home first, though.

Providing a Great Home for Your New Cat

Providing an excellent home for your new cat or kitten is simple, and yet the process entails a great many things. If you can be consistent, engaging, and provide for their behavioral, medical, and other needs, however, you’ll be rewarded with excellent companionship and a little entertainment, as well.

Author: Giano Panzarella