A cat can complete your family. They can offer loads of love, cuddles, and unwavering affection. Having an animal can also teach you or your children about responsibility. Nonetheless, there are many benefits to owning a cat as a pet. But how does one prepare for their new family member? If you are planning on bringing home a kitten or an adult cat, here are some first time cat owner essentials you must know about!
Why First Time Cat Owner Essentials Are Important
Animals are a huge responsibility. First time cat owner essentials can improve your pet’s quality of life, so don’t wait until the last second to give them everything they need. Don’t put off these essentials and act now!
Tips on Caring for Your Animal
You can buy your cat all of the newest toys. But if you have no idea how to actually care for them, they won’t feel happy or comfortable in your home! Avoid these mistakes.
Avoid Flushing Cat Litter Down the Toilet
For staters, you want to dispose of cat litter properly. Flushing it down the toilet can cause issues in your plumbing system. You will have to contact emergency plumbing services immediately. To save you from all this trouble, simply scoop out the droppings and place them into a sealable bag.
Next, dispose of this bag outdoors. You can throw it out in your garbage can. Wash the litter scooper thoroughly, using hot water and soap. You don’t want to skip this step! Next, place the scooper in another sealable bag. Finally, you will clean the edge of the litter box with water and soap and add in fresh litter for your cat.
Ensure Your Heater is Working Properly
Cats love curling up in the warmth. Before bringing your kitten home, ensure that your HVAC is running normally. You may be able to survive in the cold, but your cat will have a hard time adjusting!
Don’t Leave Medicine Around Your Home
Cats are quite curious creatures. Ensure you don’t leave anything poisonous lying around. This can include doctor prescribed medicine, herbs, and certain plants.
Cleaning Up Messes
If your cat is learning how to adapt to their new environment, they may have a few accidents. If they have an accident on your rug, here’s how to go about cleaning up the mess.
- Do not get angry at your cat. It may be tempting to yell, but this will frighten them.
- Next, put on a pair of gloves to deal with the mess.
- Blot the mess with paper towels.
- Don’t use anything with ammonia, as this may lure the cat to spray again!
- Saturate the area with soap and water and let it soak the stain for three hours.
- After this, rinse the area with a wet sponge.
- Use an odor eliminator the next day and keep you cat away from the area. They may feel inclined to mark their territory and spray the area again.
- Lastly, take your rug to an oriental rug restoration if they destroyed it. You may be surprised and leave with a totally new-looking rug!
Know Which Foods Are Safe for Your Cat
As a good rule of thumb and a first time cat owner essentials tip, you don’t want to feed your cat human foods. These can mess with their sensitive stomachs and digestive tracks. Avoid giving them Margherita broccoli crust pizza, for instance.
Additionally, avoid these other foods.
- chocolate or chocolate milk
- yeast dough
- fat trimmings
First time cat owner essentials are significant, but you also must know what you can and cannot feed your feline friend.
Learn About The Illnesses and Skin Conditions That May Plague Your Cat
Your pet is bound to get sick multiple times within their lifetime. Therefore, it’s important that you learn about cat ear, oral, and skin care. Recognizing when something is wrong can save their life.
Ringworm is common. It can cause the cat’s hair to fall off their bodies. It leads to patchy and imflammed rings on their bodies. It can even spread to humans, so take your cat to the vet immediately.
Cats are also prone to diabetes. You may notice that they aren’t eating as much as usual. They may be excessively thirsty. Cats may also lose or gain a noticeable amount of weight.
Cancer also poses a risk to your feline friend. Therefore, ensure they are getting screened for this disease at their vet checkups. Catching it early can help prevent the disease from spreading.
Watch What You Plant in Your Garden
Plants are harmless to humans. But certain sprouts can be lethal to your cat. If you have a garden either indoors or outdoors, ensure all the plants are non-toxic.
Dangerous plants and flowers to cats can include:
- sago palm
- castor bean
- African wonder tree
- American holly
- American bittersweet
- American mandrake
- arrow head vine
Ready Your Home by Booking an Exterminator
Certain pests can be deadly to your cat! Hire an exterminator before your cat’s arrival. Ask them to spray for pests like ticks and fleas.
Keep Your Trash Out of Reach
As previously stated, cats are known for being notoriously curious. They will get into your trash unless you have the bin sealed properly. Get a new trashcan if you have to. You can also place it in your garage so it’s out of your cat’s reach. If they get into your trash, they can make a mess! But they can also harm themselves by eating spoiled food. They may also accidentally cut themselves if you have thrown out a broken bottle or an aluminum can with a sharp edge.
Talk Through This New Change With Your Family
If you have children, make sure to sit them down and explain this new life change with them. If they are younger, they will have to learn how to be gentle and when to give the cat its space.
Keep Your Windows Closed
Cats love to perch on the window sill. They also love the light and radiating warmth coming from the window. While this is safe while your windows are closed, it can pose a hazard when your windows are left wide open! Therefore, avoid leaving them open when you can. You don’t want to risk your cat falling out the window. This can cause a broken jaw, broken hips, and even death.
Find a Great Vet
You don’t want to wait until your pet is sick to find a great doctor for your animal. Take charge now and look into the vets in your area before they arrive. If you are adopting a kitten, you’ll also need to find a vet to administer their vaccines.
You can ask another animal-loving friend if they have any vet recommendations. You can typically get a better list of doctors through word of mouth reviews. However, looking at online reviews is a close second.
If you are a part of an animal Facebook group, reach out to the members. Perhaps they also have some 5-star doctors in mind to look after your feline friend.
First time cat owner essentials are important, but this may be the most significant thing you will do before your cat comes to live with you.
Ensure you have all the best first time cat owner essentials.
You need the right supplies to guarantee a happy life for your cat. Here are the main things you will need to buy before bringing your cat home.
Food and Water Bowls
This should be at the top of your list of things to buy for your new cat. Buy something that is easy to clean too.
If you work odd hours, buy a water dish that can refill itself, so your cat never has to go thirsty. Buying an automatic feeder is also a great idea!
Buy plenty of food before you bring your cat home, as this is another first time cat owner essentials tip. You can buy wet or dry food and experiment to see what they prefer. If you are adopting your cat, check with the shelter and see if your cat has any allergies that restrict them from eating certain foods. Some cats may actually be allergic to fish!
If you want to switch their food, it’s important to do so gradually; switching to another brand or flavor of pet food overnight can cause digestional stress for the animal. Mix their food, and add less of their old brand over time until they have transitioned.
Next, you want to buy a sturdy litter box for your cat. Also, purchase litter and a scooper. When selecting the litter for your cat, choose one that is unscented, dust-free, and absorbent.
Litters with dust in them can cause respiratory problems for the animal. They like to dig when they use their litter box, which can cause these particles to fly into the air, affecting their lungs as well as yours!
Collar With Tags
These two things are first time cat owner essentials. If your cat gets out of the house, how can they find their way back to you? A collar with your name and address and number printed on the ID badge can save you a lot of heartbreak!
A Cat Carrier
Here are some first time cat owner essentials you’ll need while traveling.
Cats need a solid carrier for transport. This prevents them from running off, but it can also make the ordeal of traveling less stressful.
Cats groom themselves, so don’t worry about bathing them often. You will, however, need to clip their nails when they get too long. Invest in a sturdy pair of nail clippers for your cat.
Toys and catnip will keep your cat entertained while you’re out of the house! They will also help your cat transition to living in your home, so make sure to spoil them with a variety of gadgets.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Cats will also need their teeth brushed daily. Make sure to use a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for feline oral health. Using human toothpaste can be detrimental to their health.
First Aid Supplies
If your kitty gets scratched and burned, you’ll need gauze to wrap up the wound until you can see a vet. Therefore, purchase a simple first aid kit before your cat comes home to be a part of the family.
Cats can make marvelous additions to your family!
However, you will have to go through a prep period before bringing them home. Therefore, if you want your cat to be happy and comfortable in their new home, do not neglect any of these tips — these first time cat owner essentials will give your pet the quality of life he or she deserves!