Bringing your first cat home is an exciting time for everyone. But it can be scary too – for both you and the cat. You want to ensure everything is in place to make your cat feel at home as soon as possible, from training and toys to health care and food. Here are some pointers to help you enjoy life with a healthy, happy cat from the start.
Know what to expect
Before bringing a cat home, you need to have a clear picture of what being a responsible cat owner means. That means thinking about your lifestyle and ensuring you can provide the care and attention your new family member needs. It also means considering the cost of owning a cat and ensuring you can provide for it.
Find a good vet
Whether you bring home a kitten or an adult cat, you’ll need the support of a trusted and qualified vet. It’s also a good idea to schedule an examination soon after bringing kitty home. You can then also ask any questions you may have: What’s the best food? What immunizations are required? When should my kitten be spayed or neutered?
Food for thought
Cats, like people, need a healthy, consistent and regulated diet. As well as asking your vet for advice, the best way to ensure this is to carefully read the labels of cat foods.Check that the food is suitable for your cat’s life stage and has been approved by the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Get a routine
Getting the right food is one thing, feeding the right amount at the right times is another. Ask your vet for advice on establishing a schedule. It’s generally recommended that 3 to 6 month-old kittens are fed three times a day; scaling down to two times a day when they reach 6 months. Hydration is also essential – make sure your cat always has access to fresh water. Cats in warmer climates may need extra hydration.
Use the right cat litter
No one knows better than us that finding the right cat litter is crucial to a happy cat and home. Take a look at our Litter Tips for everything you need to know about finding the right litter for you and your cat.
Home sweet home
Create a special space where your new cat will feel safe and comfortable. Here, you should have somewhere cozy to sleep, the cat litter box, food and water dishes, and lots of things to play with – toy mice, string, feathers and, if you don’t want your furniture ruined, a scratching post.
Of course, every cat is different, so the above is just meant as a guide. Speak to your vet and local pet store to ensure you’re doing everything you can to have a happy, healthy cat. But, above all else, enjoy your fabulous feline. Forming a bond with your cat is a very special thing, and you can both bring so much joy to each other’s lives.