Aside from dogs, many pet owners believe cats to be the ideal companions. Cats are low-maintenance, relatively clean, and independent creatures and can be the perfect snuggle partners. Nonetheless, it’s essential to learn the fundamentals of cat ownership before diving in headfirst. Essentials such as food, regular veterinary care, and a caring atmosphere are all that your new best friend needs from you when you’re away.
Factors to Consider Before Owning a Cat
- Before adopting, make sure you can care for a cat. Cats are naturally independent, yet they aren’t quite able to care for themselves independently. Regarding what kind of cat you should get, your schedule and the amount of time you spend at home will be determining factors.
- Make sure you are financially ready to own a cat. Your financial situation may change due to the adoption.
- Consider testing for feline allergies if you have severe allergies before getting a cat. Some allergic persons may adjust to their cat but not others. Choose a low-allergen cat. Consult a vet, book, or animal shelter for ideas.
- Get your cat examined and immunized before bringing it home. Also, neuter it as soon as possible.
- Get a nice litter box and high-quality litter for your pet. Clumping litter is easy to keep and gives you and your cat more privacy. Keep the box clean so that your cat and your nose are happy. Also, be sure to feed your cat food that is well-balanced and appropriate for their age. Consult your vet and pet store employees for cat food advice.
- Provide them with toy mice, twine, feathers, and empty boxes. You don’t need expensive; even homemade toys can keep your cat happy, active, and cognitively occupied.
- Get a scratching post to protect your sofa and Louis Vuitton bag.
- Teach your cats new behavior by using catnip and those freeze-dried cat snacks.
- Purchase pet insurance. Like they often say, “Being prepared is better than being sorry.”
- If you’re taking home a kitten, establish a grooming routine as soon as possible. Bathing, brushing, and clipping claws will be an occasion to look forward to.
Helpful Tips in Taking Care of Cats
1. Choose the right cat for you. Kittens can be appealing and delightful but may not fit your lifestyle. Make sure you have the time, energy, and money to raise one of these rascals. In their first few months, kittens need lots of care and immunizations. Nevertheless, full-grown cats are calmer and quieter than kittens, but they have a more extended medical history. If you choose an older cat, be prepared for frequent veterinary visits. Remember that you’re responsible for their health and happiness. Additionally, certain cat breeds shed more than others. If this bothers you, consider Bengal, Bombay, and Russian Blue.
2. Keep your cat safe. Set up a secure hangout for him while he learns to know you and his surroundings. If you don’t have a cat condo, you may use a tiny space like an additional bedroom or the laundry room. If you have kids or other pets, he’ll appreciate a safe, quiet area to go. It is best to keep your feline friend indoors. While it’s socially acceptable to let your cat roam the neighborhood, it’s not a good idea. Outdoor cats face dangers like dangerous animals and rushing autos. Keep your cat inside and provide it a collar with your contact data if it escapes. Consider microchipping your cat along with the collar.
3. Feed your cat healthy food. Choosing the proper diet for your cat can significantly impact its general health, so you need to be sure you’re feeding it a nutritious one. Switching your cat’s food can cause gastrointestinal distress. Cheaper options often contain odd components you don’t want your cat to eat.
4. Training your cats. Cats are low-maintenance and require little training. Mother cats usually teach kittens how to use a litter box when they’re only weeks old. However, if your cat is young or has always lived outside, it may require aid. The process of training a cat differs significantly from that of training a dog because cats aren’t miniature canines. Cat training is more difficult for people used to teaching dogs or other animals because kittens are more independent and less interested in human ideas. But a well-trained kitten is one that is content and generally well-behaved, but this is not always the case.
5. Regular grooming and maintenance. Regular grooming is vital. Cats’ claws must be clipped periodically to prevent paw damage. Visit a pet store for a nail trimmer and ask a worker how to clip your cat’s nails. Because too-short nails can be highly unpleasant for your cat, purchase a scratching post if you’re taking too long between trims so it won’t destroy your furnishings. Moreover, regularly brushing your cat benefits you, your home, and your cat’s health. Regular brushing keeps your cat’s fur and skin healthy and reduces matting.
6. Play with your cats and provide them with toys to play with. To keep your cat or kitten entertained, purchase a few toys. Cats are a lot of fun to play with. Cats love to play with balls and mice, so it’s a good idea for you to indulge your new feline friend a little. Introducing your new cat to some fun cat toys is a wonderful way to foster a strong bond.
7. Find a Veterinarian You Can Trust. As soon as you decide to adopt, ask cat-owning friends for references. You may want to meet your vet first to ensure they are well-certified, competent, and charge a fair amount. Find someone nearby for emergency access. The same is valid for pet sitters. If you’re a first-time cat owner, the last thing you need is to be called away from town and forced to hire a sitter you don’t know anything about.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Cat
The advantages of owning a cat can be overwhelming that one cannot resist owning one. According to studies, cat ownership reduces stress, because cats can provide emotional support without human connection. The cat’s comfort and affection are vital to its owner’s mental wellness. Studies also proved that sharing a bed with your cat can improve sleep which minimizes heart disease risk. Another good thing about having a cat is they are usually low-maintenance pets. Whether they eat canned or dry food, most cats need their plates replaced once or twice daily. Cats are also helpful in deterring mice and other creatures from moving in. Some cats hunt well and simply being there can deter mice. Rats and mice know that a cat’s scent means danger, so they’ll think twice before infesting your homes.
However, owning a cat can be a long-term commitment, for they can live as past as 20 years. Twenty years of life changes might make owning a cat challenging. While cats are cheap pets, vet care may mount up. Most vets prescribe numerous immunizations in their first year. And as your cat ages, it will require additional vet visits. Annual vet exams are recommended.
Moreover, due to their reputation for ruining carpets and scratching habits, landlords may not accept cats, and if they do, pet-friendly landlords may charge extra, which can be a problem for renters’ cat owners. A lousy cat will scratch furniture, floors, and walls. You must determine what your cat likes to claw and how to prevent damage.
Another drawback of owning a cat is that they urinate inappropriately. This is usually due to health or behavioral issues, but it can also be as simple as your cat rejecting a particular cat litter. Also, your home will smell if you don’t clean the litterbox often. Furthermore, most cat owners will face difficult decisions as their four-legged buddy decreases health. There is no proper answer to whether to treat a sick cat or euthanize it. Everyone who adopts a cat knows that losing their companion is inevitable, but it’s still painful. Getting a cat is a big decision. If you’re undecided, assess the risks and advantages. You will be a huge part of your cat’s life, so make sure you’re ready to commit, for better or worse.