Are you a first-time cat owner, or will you be soon? Take it from me, Milo Fwancis, that you’re in for a wonderful experience! Sure, you might be stressed out or worried now. But we’ve put together ten great tips for cat owners, to make things easier on you humans!
Tips for the First-time Cat Owner
We cats are an independent lot! We don’t depend on our human family members for everything, won’t automatically eat every time you do, and won’t break down emotionally if we are left alone for several hours at a time. We even bury our own poo, so you don’t have to spend hours out of your day scouring your backyard! All-in-all, we are pretty much the superior pet choice when you’re choosing a new fur baby. :-p
New Cat Owner Anxiety
If you’re a first-time cat owner, remember to keep calm! Caring for cats like me will be an amazing experience and can change your life forever!
Below, we’ve listed 10 essential pro tips for first-time cat owners to help you on your way! Believe me, once you familiarize yourself with my future needs, we’ll get along just great!
Prepare ahead of time, don’t become overwhelmed with stress, and don’t procrastinate! The more educated and informed a first-time cat owner is, the smoother this experience will be for both of you!
Cat Adjusting to New Owner
There are several steps you can take to make this process easier, even before you ever take your cat home. First, set up a safe space for your cat where other animals aren’t allowed. Introducing a new cat to a loud house with screaming children or barking dogs may be stressful at first, so try to create a calm environment.
How to Introduce a Cat to a New Home
When it comes down to it, us cats don’t like to be stressed. We don’t particularly enjoy change, although we know it is a fact of life. We like things to remain as calm and normal as possible!
When you bring home one of my brothers or sisters, try to keep things as calm as you can. There are many techniques to help a new cat adapt if you have a family, a newborn baby, loud kids, or other animals, and you can read about them here!
New Cat Owner Checklist for the First-time Cat Owner
Have you researched your kitty needs? Caring for a new cat is a huge change for both of you, and you’ll want to know the best ways to approach it. Not only will this help eliminate stress for both of you, but it will also make future efforts easier!
2). Cat Carrier/Crate
Us cats like to run around, familiarize ourselves with our environment, and find high perches to watch little animals scurry around! This is both deeply instinctual and natural behavior, but it can be extremely dangerous in a city environment.
If you’re a first-time cat owner, make sure you always transport us in a cat carrier! We might not like it, but the crate sure beats being squished by a car!
3). Cat Food
When it comes to my diet, I love animal protein and will never be a vegetarian, unlike my human, Jeff, who loves his veggies! In fact, while dogs can thrive off of a carefully designed vegetarian diet, cats must absolutely have plenty of animal protein in their meals. Too many carbohydrates can lead to diabetes or excess weight gain, so try to limit the starches!
4). Cat Bed
We love to be comfortable and we love our privacy! While the dog might be fine with a simple pillow to lie on, we like enclosed ‘getaways’ that are just the right size. First-time cat owners don’t need to go all out and purchase a fancy enclosure, but we want something to call our own.
Additionally, don’t place the bed too high, in case we fall, and keep our potential for growth in mind.
5). Litter Box
The litter box is always a must, whether you are experienced or a first-time cat owner! We cats instinctually like to ‘bury’ our droppings. This is an urge stemming from a time when we needed to hide our scent from prey, potential predators, and other cats. There are a variety of litter boxes, so it may take some trial and error to find the perfect fit for your little guy.
6). Cat Scratching Post
You don’t want your great-grandmother’s couch torn to pieces, or that new bedding shredded, right? Scratching posts, like the ScratchLadder® (designed by my human, Jeff) can be a great solution! Us felines need to scratch- it’s in our DNA. I wrote about this earlier in this post.
7). Cat Toys
Buy us some fun cat toys! We want to be entertained! As long as you ensure nothing presents any kind of hazard to me or my friends, the more toys the better. In fact, we absolutely love cat toys that mimic the quick, darting movements of natural prey!
8). Collar & ID Tag
This one is especially important for first-time cat owners! You really want to ensure your new fur baby has some form of identification! Cats love the outdoors, just like dogs, but that is where our similarities end. We also like to hide from humans, and it’s far less likely a stray cat will be found, let alone returned home, than a stray dog. If someone does find us, your chances of us returning go up exponentially if we have identification.
9). Expenses & Responsibilities
The first-time cat owner might not consider the monetary toll their new family addition will take. Monthly food, veterinary care, and everything else on this list won’t exactly be cheap, and you should never try to ‘skimp’ the costs of owning a cat!
Don’t skip vet appointments or checkups
Don’t skip vaccinations - Many diseases are simple to prevent but very difficult to treat.
Never let a medical problem go, hoping it will ‘go away!’
10). Vet Checkups, Vaccinations, and Preventatives
Fleas love us cats, just like the family dog. Heartworm is a problem for cats also, and we fear rabies the most! Just because I am not a dog, doesn’t mean I don’t require the same degree of veterinary care!
Be sure to ask your veterinarian about all the medical requirements your kitty will have early on, or any other advice for a first-time cat owner, before they become problems.