Cat Care Tips for First-Time Cat Guardians

So, you’re thinking about adopting your very first cat. They make great pets — they’re fantastic companions, don’t need to be walked and tend to adapt to a new home quite quickly. However, they are a big responsibility, and you need to be prepared before you pick yours up from the shelter. Here are our best cat care tips that will help you to prepare for your new arrival.

Get everything you’ll need

It’s important that you’re well-prepared for your cat’s arrival, and there are some things you’ll have to buy for them. Here’s our checklist of essentials:

  • A warm and comfortable bed
  • A litter tray and litter
  • A scratching post
  • Stainless steel, glass or ceramic food and water bowls
  • A range of cat toys
  • A collar
  • A carrier
  • Food that suits their needs

Helping them to settle in

Although we’re sure your new cat or kitten will love their new home, the change is likely to unsettle them to begin with. They’ll need time to adjust and, according to Cats Protection, this could take anything from a couple of hours to a few weeks, so patience is key. You’ll also benefit from taking these steps to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible and isn’t too uncomfortable for your new pet.

  • Before you pick your chosen cat up, visit the adoption centre and leave an item of clothing or piece of bedding from your home. This will allow your cat to familiarise itself with your scent before the big move.
  • If possible, set aside some space — or even a room — where you can keep everything your cat will need, such as its litter tray, food and bed.
  • When you pick them up, take their litter home with you, as this will help to keep them comfortable and should make it easier to house train them.
  • Give them plenty of time to adjust. They might not be as sociable or playful as you would like to begin with. But, as long as they’re eating and using their litter tray, there’s no need to worry.

cats-on-blanket

Consider whether they’re going to be a house cat

Before you commit to adopting a cat or kitten, you need to decide whether they’re going to be a house cat, or whether you’re willing to let them out.

It can be tempting to keep your cat indoors if you live on a busy road or are worried they might get lost. This is understandable, but means you need to put more thought into ensuring your cat’s living space is as interesting as possible. A predictable or boring indoor space can cause stress, inactivity and obesity, according to the RSPCA.

Fortunately, there are a range of things you can do to ensure your cat is happy indoors. You should ensure that their litter tray is cleaned regularly and placed in a quiet spot, otherwise they may be reluctant to use it. You should also provide them with scratching posts in a number of locations so they’re able to strengthen their muscles and sharpen their claws.

Cats can become frustrated if they don’t get to exercise both their bodies and minds. So, devote some time to playing with them each day, as this will keep them fit and healthy. Millbry Hill has an extensive range of cat toys and accessories that will help to keep your pet entertained, and they offer free delivery on orders over £49.

cat-in-grass

Letting them outside

If you live in a relatively safe area (away from heavy traffic and the like), you might want to let your cat explore the great outdoors. This can be daunting for both you and your pet to begin with but, as long as you take things slowly, you shouldn’t run into any big problems. Although, they need to be kept indoors until at least a week after they’ve finished their first course of vaccines, and should be spayed or neutered before spending any time outside unsupervised. You should also ensure that they’ve been microchipped and are wearing a collar with a tag that has your phone number on it before letting them out.

Once you’re adequately prepared, you can start allowing your cat some time outdoors. It’s a good idea to stay with them the first few times. But, once you’re confident that they’re comfortable and know where they should be returning home to, you’ll be able to leave them to their own devices.

Insure your cat

When you first get your cat, the last thing you’ll want to think about is expensive vet bills and the possibility of them going missing. But, if you want to be a responsible owner, you need to give these things some consideration.

Put your mind at ease by taking out a comprehensive insurance policy. Pet Plan for example offers cat insurance that will cover vet bills for up to £12,000 per year, as well as the cost of complementary treatments such as acupuncture for up to £2,000 per year. They will help to pay for advertising and offer a reward if your cat does go missing, and even contribute to the cost of boarding your cat at a licensed cattery if you have to spend any time in hospital unexpectedly. These are things you might not even think about when you first get your cat, but it pays to be prepared!

So, there you have it: all our best tips for first-time cat owners. We wish you the best of luck and hope you and your feline friend have a wonderful time living together!

So, you’re thinking about adopting your very first cat. They make great pets — they’re fantastic companions, don’t need to be walked and tend to adapt to a new home quite quickly. However, they are a big responsibility, and you need to be prepared before you pick yours up from the shelter. Here are our best cat care tips that will help you to prepare for your new arrival.

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31 thoughts on “Cat Care Tips for First-Time Cat Guardians

  1. Great advice! As for toys, I found that the more expensive the toy, the less likely they are to like it 😜 My kitties preferred brown paper grocery bags and the little plastic rings from the lid off the gallon of milk jugs – both items were free! 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What do you think about catnip toys? I have a six/seven month old kitten and she loves playing with her catnip mice. I adopted from an animal shelter before Christmas. It took her about three weeks to settle in but now she a really cuddly and affectionate cat.
    (Murrli, my other cat, does not live with me but is a stray cat in my garden across town.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Catnip toys are good though I personally prefer valerian toys. Not because I like their smell tho LOL but because the valerian is more beneficial for cats and other mammals as it has a calming effect on top of the catnip style craziness. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great tips for first time cat parents! I now have two kittens and they are always getting into mischief, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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