Over 43 million American households have cats, which shows that we’re besotted with our feline friends.
Raising a cat is different from having other animals, so it’s important to know what to expect. You’ve adopted your first kitten, and you have no idea how to prepare for his/her arrival.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. Here’s everything you should know about raising a cat.
Shop for Essentials
You’ll need to get a litter tray, a bed, and bowls from the pet store before getting a pet. You’ll also need food, toys, and a scratcher so your cat can remove the dead outer layer of its claws.
If you prepare this beforehand, then you can focus on bonding with your kitten when they arrive.
Cat-Proof Your Home
When you’re adopting a cat, it’s important to cat-proof your home to avoid any accidents. Start by bundling electrical cords and store them away, so they’re out of your cat’s reach. And close cabinet doors or drawers as kittens can slip inside them.
You should also remove any poisonous plants in or outside your home. But this doesn’t mean you should deprive your furry friend of cat grass as it helps with digestion and reduces the number of hairballs. It’s easy to start growing cat grass indoors, and it only takes 10 days to grow!
Dedicate a Safe Space for Your Cat
Homeowners getting a cat must create a safe space for them. This is where your feline friend can retreat and rest after a long day of playing. If you’re adopting a kitten, create an environment that reminds them of being around their mother and siblings.
Further, it would be best if you didn’t give your kitten complete freedom over the house as it may overwhelm them.
So set up a comfortable sleeping area and place a litter box nearby. To house train your kitten, place them in the tray after meals, so they’re encouraged to use it. But never punish your cat when you’re house training them; instead, praise them when they’re using the litter box.
Bring Your Cat Home
Give your new pet a grand tour of your home. Either hold or keep your cat in their traveling carrier, so they don’t hide underneath the furniture as you walk through each room in you’re home. You should also discourage climbing by placing your kitten back on the floor if they start to climb the furniture.
Next, bring your cat into their safe space and wait for him/her to get comfortable. Introduce your kitten to the household and ask kids to stay calm around them.
If you’ve already got furry friends, make sure they’re healthy before meeting your kitten. Supervise your current pet as they approach the cat on a leash so that they can sniff each other. And if either show signs of hostility, separate them and try again in a few days.
Get the First Check-Up
Besides training your cat, you must take them to the vets for a check-up several days after you’ve brought them home. You want to make sure your kitten is healthy, vaccinated, and tested for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia Virus if they haven’t been already.
The vet will also give your kitten a thorough check-up to ensure their eyes, ears, and teeth are in good condition. Plus, vets will look out for fleas, any abnormalities, and that their heart is healthy.
And before you leave, schedule an appointment so your cat can get spayed or neutered.
Decide Whether Your Cat Prefers Indoors or Outdoors
Many homeowners worry about letting their cats out, but there are safe ways to do this. For instance, only let your kitten out if they’re at least four months old, have been neutered, and have had all their vaccinations. And make sure your kitten is fully settled into their home, so they don’t run away.
It would help if you also considered leash-training, so your kitten gets used to the smells and surrounding area. It’s also possible to train your cat to come back inside by rattling a treat box as they’ll associate a tasty snack with the sound.
Consider Your Cat’s Diet
An important part of raising a cat is providing them with a healthy diet. The type of food will depend on your cat’s age because, for example, kittens need extra nutrients to grow.
So when you’re browsing brands, check the ingredients and make sure it’s high in moisture and protein but low in carbohydrates. You must also provide clean water, which should be kept in a shallow bowl because cats like to be aware of their whereabouts.
Play With Your Cat
Teach kittens to play with toys so they don’t attack your hands.
Show your cat that there’s a zero-tolerance policy when they nip or scratch; otherwise, they’ll think this behavior is acceptable. If your kitten is 10 to 12 weeks, handle them to become less nervous and get along with people.
Kittens love wrestling, so give yours a toy to play with when they’re feeling boisterous. You should also give your cat a fishing pole-type toy so they can chase it while staying away from your hands and body.
That’s Everything About Raising a Cat
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re confident about raising a cat.
Be prepared by stocking up with nutritious food, dedicating a space where your cat can rest, and make sure they can safely enjoy the outdoors. It would help if you slowly introduce your new pet to the family and cat-proof your home, so there are no accidents. Good luck!
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