Bringing Your New Cat Home
Are you adopting a new cat? Well, let me share a few things you might need before you bring your new, furry friend home.
What you need to buy:
- Litter: Clumping, unscented litter is best. This is best for keeping the box clean and odorless.
- Litter Box: There are several different types of pans you can use. These include hooded pans, open pans, self-cleaning pans.
- Food Dish and Water Bowl: You can also find a wide variety of these. Regular bowls come in plastic, clay, and stainless steel. You can also get automatic feeders and fountains for your cat. They like the fountains in particular because they keep the water flowing.
- Scratching Post: Cats need to scratch. If your cat is keeping her claws, you should provide her with a scratch post on every floor of your house.
- Cat Carrier: You'll need this to bring your cat home. It is also useful for taking your cat to and from the vet.
- Toys: Cats love to play. Some toys you may consider are mouse toys, interactive toys, crinkle toys (they love the sound), and catnip toys. If you don't want to spend money on toys, cats also love playing with stuff from around the house, such as paper bags and milk rings.My cat, Casey, LOVES to play fetch with milk rings.
- Cat Bed: There are many types of beds for cats. They come in different shapes: round, square, or cube. If you want to save money, you can just put a blanket in a cardboard box.
- Cat Food: It is good to get a high quality brand of food for your cat. A higher quality food helps to reduce bowel movements as well as how much you need to feed your cat. A lesser quality food is often less filling, so your cat will eat more of it. Also, make sure to select food that is age appropriate.
- Brush or Comb: Brush your cat at least a few times a week to prevent shedding and matting
Cat-proofing your home
Get down on the ground and take a look around. This is what your cat can see. What can she get into; wires and cords can be very dangerous to chew on, so hide them from your cat as much as you can.
Take care of plants, too. It is possible that some of your houseplants can be toxic to your cat. Check out this list at the ASPCA to find out if your house contains any of these toxic plants. These plants will need to be removed for your cat's safety.
Settling into her new home
For the first week, you should keep your new cat away from other pets and children. This will give your cat a chance to get used to the strange new noises, sights and smells of her new home. Introduce any other pets to the new comer by separating them, and allowing them to sniff each other from under the door for a few days. Set up rules for your children so that they may learn how to properly and safely interact with their new cat.
After the first week it will be time to let your cat start exploring the rest of the house. Keep these new explorations short and supervised, increasing her exploration time a little more each day.
When your cat meets your current pets for first time, expect hissing, paw smacking and raised hackles. Don't worry, this is all normal and they will all adjust in time. Do NOT force or rush these introductions. Let them figure it out under your supervision.
Spaying/Neutering and Vaccinations
If you haven't spayed/neutered your cat or given it its vaccinations, you should visit a veterinarian immediately. Ask your vet about what time would be best for getting your cat spayed or neutered. This is one of the healthiest things you can do for your pets as it prevents any unwanted pregnancies later. Your kitten should also be vaccinated so as to prevent a number of infections and diseases. Finally, make sure to take care of your cat's other medical needs, such as giving her heartworm medicine and checking her for fleas and ticks.
I hope these tips help make the adoption of your new kitten or cat fun, safe and healthy for your family!
Cat Fancy Magazine, 2011