If you decided to get a cat for the first time, you would find yourself wondering, every first time cat owner asks himself many questions. Some of these questions are: should I get a cat or a kitten? What food should I feed my cat? Which litter box suits my cat best? Moreover, how can I prepare the right environment for my cat? Here is a new cat owner guide, which could answer your questions, and provide tips for first time cat owners.
NOTE: We want to inform our blog readers that before we publish any article, the team “Proudcatowners” Do deep research based on experience and knowledge about cats and everything related to them, to guarantees reliable and precise information, satisfy the readers is our first priority.
What You Need Before bringing your new cat home:
If you decide to get a new cat, you must carefully study your decision before going through with it. Being dedicated means, you accept whatever comes along with your new cat. Cats require a lot of care and companionship. Therefore, you must be dedicated enough to look after your cat and dedicate some time to it.
Getting a new cat and having a newborn baby have something in common, they both come with great responsibility. Some of the responsibilities that come with a cat are providing with companionship when they want it, giving them space when they ask for it, and preparing a suitable environment for your cat at home.
Choosing the right food, monitoring their diet, training them to use the litter box, providing with daily freshwater, letting them having little “accidents” on your favorite carpet. Moreover, you must keep it safe from some animals, and make sure you provide it with proper medical care.
You should also consider your daily life responsibilities, such as your work and holiday schedules, and make sure it is compatible with your cat. Cats come with many responsibilities, and you should consider all of them, and make sure you are ready to be engaged in being a first time cat owner.
Many children beg their parents for a new cat to play with, and most of them care for it and give it everything it needs. However, not all children are compatible with cats. That can be due to health issues or behavioral ones.
Cat allergies can be common among children and even babies. If your child has asthma, it has a 40 % chance of developing an allergy due to cats. You cat notice your kid’s allergic reaction if he/she is having itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, hives, and a scratchy throat.
Some kids will have asthma symptoms in addition to those allergic reactions, such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
In addition to possible health issues in your kids because of cats, you should monitor the kid’s behavior and how their feelings concerning getting a cat. Their treatment to the cat when you bring it home should be a factor on your priority list.
You might be a first time cat owner, but not necessarily a first time pet owner. Many people have experience in raising a dog, a parrot, or any other pet, but they decide to get a cat for the first time.
If you are one of these new cat parents, you should consider what kinds of pets you already have and if they would go along well with cats or not.
Some of the pets you already have can be dangerous for a cat, and vice versa. Some pets do not accept new pets in the household, so if you are getting a cat for the first time, you should check with a veterinarian behaviorist on how to prepare your pets to receive a new cat among them.
After you get a new cat, keep watching the cat’s behavior with other pets and how their treatment towards it. There are also methods you can use to help them adapt and get familiar with each other.
Should I get a cat or a kitten?
Many people tend to choose kittens instead of older cats because they find kittens to be the cutest and most adorable creatures ever. However, some people prefer getting older cats instead. Here are tips for new cat owners on choosing between a kitten and a cat.
Cuteness is a crucial factor in choosing a pet, which is why many people tend to adopt kittens. In addition to that, getting a kitten will allow you to form a strong bond with it from a very young age. This bond would last for many years since cats live up to their 20’s.
Another reason to choose a kitten is their health and wellbeing. Kittens are still young, and they have not been through a lot yet. When you adopt a kitten, you can guarantee it will be treated well and taken care of.
You will able to supervise any health conditions it might have and provide it with the proper medical attention as soon as possible.
on top of that, you know that your cat would not suffer psychologically because you are giving it all the love and affection it needs from a very young age.
When you get a kitten, you will need to take care of it more than an adult cat, especially during the first weeks. Think of it as a new baby, your kitten needs more feeding time and more attention than senior cats need, and you also have to train it to use the litter box from scratch. It also needs time to bond with you and adapt to its new home.
Another aspect to consider when it comes to kittens is their playtime. Kittens are usually fans of biting, scratching, chasing, and wrestling. These activities require time and some effort as well if you plan to play chase with your kitten.
Sometimes, getting your kitten another paw friend to play with could take some of that burden away. Your two kittens would be each other’s playmates, but they would still require your playtime.
Getting an adult cat also has its pros and cons. Many people find it more convenient to get an older cat than a kitten. Many people believe that older cats still have plenty of love, affection, and cuteness to give.
Adult cats do not take as much from your time as kittens would. If you are a busy person who is not home that much, getting an older cat is better. When you are absent, older cats can take better care of themselves than kittens, and they do not require as many feeding times as kittens do. In addition to that, adopting an adult cat would be giving it a chance at having a home.
Many cats find themselves in animal shelters by no fault of their own, and you can save one or more of them. Senior cats are usually potty trained already, so you do not need to worry too much about that aspect.
Moreover, senior cats will settle and adapt to their new home than kittens would, and they are calmer, wiser, and less likely to injure themselves when playing. Senior cats are also more compatible with children when it comes to treatment.
You can teach your kids to be gentle with pets, but you cannot always guarantee that. Older cats would handle the kid’s treatment better than kittens would.
Note: If you have other pets in your household, senior cats are more likely to get along. They will have an easier time integrating and adapting to an established organization.
Older cats are also better for senior people since they are calmer and less aggressive.
Older cats tend to get more in fights with other cats than kittens do, so you should know whether your cat is playing or fighting, to take the correct decision, and intervene at the right time.
If you prefer active cats who play a lot, then probably older cats are not for you. Senior cats tend to be less productive and energetic, and they spend a lot of time sleeping or resting. In addition to that, the sad truth is that you have less time with your older cat.
Cats live up to their twenties, so if you get a cat that is already old enough, you would have 5 to 10 years to spend with them instead of 15 to 20 years together.
Both kittens and cats are excellent options as pets and as companions. The choice comes down to your preference and your lifestyle. Some cat parents who decide to get a cat for the first time choose a senior cat because they are easier to manage and take care of than kittens and because that person is busy as well.
Others prefer to get a kitten for the first time because they want to take the time to take care of it, train it, and spend time with it. Your preference, sense of responsibility, and lifestyle will help you decide which one to get, a cat, or a kitten.
What is the ideal age to get a kitten?
Many cat parents agree that the ideal age to get a kitten is 12 weeks old.
What kind of cat should I get?
Once you decide on getting a cat or a kitten, you might wonder what kind of cat you would get. As a first time cat owner, you hesitate between getting a male or female cat, a purebred cat, or a mixed breed cat. Moreover, you can wonder if you should get one or more than one cat.
Female Vs. Male cats:
Choosing a male or a female cat can be challenging, especially for first time cat owners. Here is a list of treats of both female and male cats that could make your choice easier:
- They tend to become much larger than female cats.
- They tend to spray around the household to mark their territory.
- They usually howl for females.
- They are friendlier and more affectionate than female cats.
- Their body mass is usually less than male cats.
- They are less likely to spray less than male cats.
- They are more reserved than male cats.
- They howl when they get into heat.
- They could get pregnant before their first year.
Note: we call unsprayed cats (males and females) whole cats. Once you get your cat sprayed, its behavior will usually improve, and it will spray less as well.
Many cat owners want to get a purebred cat when they are getting a cat for the first time. However, that can be risky. If the breeders are experts in the field and know what they are doing, when mating cats (taking into consideration genes and diseases), you are in luck.
Unfortunately, it is very common for mistakes to occur when trying to do this process, and cats end up with chronic genetic diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease in Persian cats.
As for mixed breeds, their medical and genetic history is unknown, because they are true orphans, and usually, from unknown parents. These cats can have different health conditions, which is why shelters must test them for specific diseases and provide them with immunizations and vaccines before allowing anyone to adopt them.
One or more kittens?
Whenever a new cat parent tries to get a new cat or a new kitten, they usually go back home with two of them. Kittens are adorable, and they are irresistible.
When you get a kitten, you are likely to find it has a littermate, and as we discussed before, how active kittens are, two kittens are better than one, because they will entertain and stimulate each other.
In addition to that, it makes training easier for you, because they will imitate each other, for example, when grooming or when using the litter box.
Getting one or more kitten (or cat) depends on your household space, readiness, and dedication to these cats. Getting one more cat means saving another life and providing it with a home for the rest of its life.
Nevertheless, if you think you are not ready for more than one cat yet, you should stick to getting only one for now. You can ask experienced cat parents for advice and guidance when it comes to choosing.
Preparing the right environment for your cat:
Before bringing a new cat home, you should create a suitable environment for it. You should buy the proper litter box, food, and water bowls, and you can get some cat furniture as well. Here is a checklist that can help you determine what you need as a first time cat owner:
- Food and water bowls
- Litter box (es) and other litter accessories
- Cat guidebook for tips for new cat owners
- Grooming brushes and other tools
- Bathing and cleaning supplies
- Carriers for your cat’s transportation
- Scratching posts
- ID tags or safety collars
How do I choose the right food and water bowls?
There are key elements you should consider when choosing your new cat’s food and water bowls:
It is best to choose dishes or bowls that are made of stainless steel. This type of bowls will help prevent any bacteria growing in your cat’s dish because they are easy to clean and dry.
In addition to that, it is long-lasting because it is usually unbreakable. Make sure you get good quality because some cat parents advised against getting stainless steel bowls that were made in China.
Stoneware, ceramics, or glass:
Although stainless steel dishes are the best option for your cat, stoneware, ceramics, and glass bowls are also a great option. These kinds are easy to clean, which prevents the growth of bacteria inside the dish.
In case you choose to use these bowls, make sure that the glaze on them is safe and not toxic for cats. Some cat owners advise against using “made in China” ceramic bowls due to this reason.
Although these types of bowls are breakable, unlike the stainless steel ones, they are still durable and can last for a long time. However, throw them immediately if they become chippered or cracked. Ensure that the ones you buy are safe for the dishwasher.
Cheap does not mean healthy:
Plastic bowls are cheap to get, and they come in different shapes and colors. However, it is best to avoid. plastic dishes are easily ruined and scratched, which could encourage the growth of bacteria inside them.
These bacteria can cause some health conditions in your cat, such as chin acne, some plastic materials could be harmful to your cat’s health because they could release some toxic chemicals into your cat’s food.
If you want to dispose of them, do it right:
Some cat owners prefer using disposable food and water bowls for their cats because they want to make sure there are no bacteria in their cat’s dish or food. In case you decide to go with this option, make sure you get the eco-friendly and recyclable ones. Protecting your cat from harm should also encourage you to protect our mother earth.
Shape and design:
The food or water bowl you choose for your cat should be tall enough to align their mouth with their stomach. This would help your cat maintain a natural position when eating, instead of leaning down, which causes neck and back pains. This kind of dishes also helps with your cat’s digestion and prevents indigestions and an upset stomach.
In case you cannot find the appropriate dish, use support to lift the cat’s bowl to the right level, such as elevated feeders. Elevated feeders have two spots, one for the food bowl and one for the water bowl. In case you have more than one cat, you can use both spots for food bowls.
Spacious and non-slippery:
Choose wide and shallow dishes, narrow bowls can irritate your cat because it causes their whiskers to bend whenever they eat or drink. Big enough dishes allows your cat to eat and drink comfortably.
Choose bowls that have non-slippery bottoms. Your cat would not enjoy chasing its dish whenever it moves when the cat tries to eat or drink.
Look for ones with non-skid materials on the bottom that help it stick in place when your cat eats, if you cannot find it in stores, you can fix your slippery bowl by yourself by sticking some non-skid materials on the bottom of it.
Maintaining the bowls:
When choosing a place to place your cat’s dishes, make sure it is in an open area. Avoid corners and tight spaces, because it does not mimic nature, and it can make your cat uncomfortable. Remember to wash the bowls daily with hot water and soap or baking soda.
You can also place them in the dishwasher. To ensure that no bacteria are growing inside the bowls, soak these bowls once a week in a vinegar solution for about 10 minutes, then washes them thoroughly before serving in them again.
Note: avoid refilling the food or the water bowl before washing them. Always clean them after each use.
How can I choose the right litter box for my cat?
Choosing a litter box in a priority when getting a new cat. Your cat’s litter box should be suitable and appropriate to use. If it is not, your cat will be having many “accidents” on your new carpet. Here are some key points to take into consideration when choosing a litter box for your cat:
Your cat’s litter box has to be large enough for them to fit and move comfortably in it. It should be at least as long as your cat, from the tip of its tiny nose to the last point of their extended tail. As for the width, it should be at least as wide as your cat’s length without their tail extended.
The cat’s litter box should have sides that could contain the litter and spraying inside. The sides of the litter box (three sides, without the front one, which is the entrance) should be high enough to keep the cat’s business inside the litter box and make the cat comfortable when eliminating.
The sides of the litter box depend on the personality of your cat. There are sprayers and kickers, which tend to kick the litter outside their litter box. These would need a litter box with higher sides than a litter box of a cat that is not a sprayer nor a kicker.
Covered Vs. Uncovered:
There is no clear answer when choosing between a covered and an uncovered litter box for your cat, and it depends on the cat’s preference.
However, if you decide to buy a covered litter box, make sure it has enough ventilation. If the litter box does not get enough air, your cat can develop asthma or arthritis.
Self-cleaning Vs. Scooping:
As a first time cat owner, you might get tempted to invest some extra cash in buying a self-cleaning litter box. However, it is not the best option for your cat. Although you want to avoid the burden of constant scooping, it is not worth making your cat uncomfortable.
Many cats get startled from the self-cleaning litter box, and they become scared of it, which leads to avoid using it. Another inconvenience is the expensive litter you must get for such litter boxes.
If you are getting a cat instead of a kitten, consider buying a large litter box that suits it. Some cat parents opt for disposable litter boxes as well, depending on personal preferences.
The first rule you must remember when buying a litter box is that your cat’s comfort comes first. If your cat avoids using its litter box for some reason, it will cause a hassle even to you, because you will end cleaning its mess around the house.
Here is a list of some of the best litter boxes you can buy:
- Van Ness Cat Litter Pan
- Petmate Booda Dome Clean Step Cat Litter Box
- Petmate Giant Litter Pan with Microban, Bleached Linen
- Petphabet Covered Litter Box, Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Box
- Frisco High Sided Cat Litter Box
- Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Pan
- AmazonBasics No Mess Hooded Cat Litter Box
Note: when buying a litter box, do not forget to buy the needed litter accessories as well, such as litter, a scoop, a cat litter mat, and plastic bags. In addition to that, many cat parents recommend the (N+1) rule when buying a litter box. Which means, buy as many litter boxes as you have cats, and add another one. So if you have two cats, for example, you would buy three litter boxes.
Getting your cat home:
When you go to the shelter or the animal store to get your cat, make sure you figure out how to transport your cat before arriving there.
For example, take a cat box or a basket to avoid any inconveniences when bringing your cat home. Now that you set the basic elements for your cat’s arrival to its new home, it is time to go deeper.
Choosing the right food for your cat:
As a first time cat owner, you must be confused about which food to get for your cat. There are many options and verities.
We have dry cat food, wet cat food, canned food, raw diet, cooked food, and so on. Here is a brief new cat owner guide to help you decide which food to get for your cat:
Wet Vs. Dry cat food:
Every cat requires a complete diet for it to grow and mature healthily. Many cat parents get confused between choosing dry or wet cat food for their cats. Here are some pros and cons of both kinds and tips on choosing food for your cat:
Dry cat food:
Dry cat food is very practical when it comes to use and storage. You can store it in different places, instead of always making room for it in the fridge. It also prevents creating a mess when feeding your cat, and it is easy to clean up once the cat has finished eating.
You can easily measure the quantity you want to serve your cat and leave it all day out for your cat to eat whenever it wants, dry cat food takes longer than wet food before getting bad. Moreover, dry cat food boosts your cat’s energy more and helps with the cat’s dental health.
Note: As the name suggests, dry cat food is not humid enough, it contains very low levels of moisture (less than 14 %), which can cause dehydration in cats. If you do not give your cat sufficient quantities of freshwater when feeding dry cat food, your cat can develop health issues such as kidney disease and urinary tract infection.
Dry cat food is extremely high in carbs and low in proteins, which is why it gives your cat more energy. However, these high levels of carb make digestion harder for your cat, and it can lead to diabetes and obesity as well.
Wet cat food:
Wet cat food contains more than 60 % moisture, and producers cook it at a very high temperature to sterilize it. This makes its life span on the shelf before opening longer.
Feeding your cat wet cat food would be similar to its wildlife. Studies have shown that wild cats that hunt their prey get more than 60 % moisture from it, which helps concentrate the cat’s urine instead of relying solely on drinking water.
There is a comparison between feeding your cat dry and wet cat food, and the results on the cat’s health showed that wet cat food helps in urinary health, weight management, and constipation.
Some of the disadvantages of wet cat food are that it goes bad fast after opening. Unlike dry cat food, you cannot leave wet cat food all day long for your cat because it can go bad and cause health problems. Wet cat food is also less practical and more expensive than dry cat food.
As a new cat owner, you should consult a veterinary nutritionist or a vet about your cat’s new diet. Both wet and dry cat food have their pros and cons, and you can include both of them in your cat’s diet.
You can serve your cat wet cat food for basic meals, and give it dry cat food as treats. Make sure you provide your cat with a complete and nutritious diet to avoid any health issues.
You should also consider your cat’s food preferences. An assessment at the vet would help you decide which one to use or to include more in your cat’s diet.
Should I consider a raw diet for my cat?
Cats are obligate carnivores, and they get their nutrition from meat, which is the essential protein source for them. Some cat parents prefer sticking to the traditional cat food options, while others choose to explore more options and opt for raw diets.
Raw food diets include dehydrated raw food, commercial raw food (fresh or frozen), freeze-dried raw food, and homemade raw food. Here are some of the pros and cons of raw food diets for your cat:
Advantage of using a raw diet:
Raw food diet improves your cat’s digestion because their digestive system is acidic, which suitable for processing meat-based meals. If you adopt a particular diet for your new cat and discover it has food sensitivities, switching to a raw diet would help you deal with those sensitivities.
Cat owners who opted for a raw cat diet noticed that their cat’s skin became healthier, and its coat became shinier. A raw diet also helped in controlling shedding and reducing hairballs.
In addition to healing the cat’s fur, it also improves its dental health. The constant chewing of meat and bones function as a natural toothbrush for your cat’s teeth. That will also strengthen their gums and jaws.
Raw diets provide your cat with the needed high-quality protein to pump up its energy. This protein is better than the one a cat gets from commercial cat food diets. Cats who follow a raw diet become more active and enjoy playing more often.
On top of energy, raw diets also improve your cat’s feces smell and amount, many cat owners said that the most critical change they noticed after switching to raw food diets was their cat’s feces.
Since this diet provides essential nutrients that the body needs, the cat’s body uses most of it. Therefore, your cat would defecate less, and its feces are less smelly than before.
Certain human foods are safe for your cat’s consumption, such as vegetables. However, other foods are toxic to your cat. Here is a list of foods to avoid when dealing with cats:
- Onions, garlic, and spices
- Milk, chocolate, and dairy products
- Grapes and raisins
- Alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated drinks
- Raw dough
Your cat’s hygiene:
How to clean your cat:
Cats are naturally very hygienic, so they will be taking care of their hygiene. However, as a cat parent, you should bathe and groom your cat as well.
Bathing your cat:
You can bathe your cat using water alone, cat shampoo, and other products. Here are some of the products you can use to wash your cat:
- Dry shampoo or foam, and bathing powder
- Johnson’s baby tear-free shampoo
- Dawn ultra dishwashing liquid
- Cat wipes
- Vinegar bath
When you bring a cat home for the first time, be careful of what you leave lying around in the open. The proverb “curiosity killed the cat” is here for a reason. Your cat is curious about its surroundings, and it would like to discover the new household.
Put away any cleaning products that are toxic for it, such as flea control products, bleach, mothballs, and lawn fertilizers, keeping them away from your cat’s reach, avoid using them around your cat. Although they clean our household and kill germs, they can still cause health problems for our cats.
Grooming your cat:
When you groom your cat, it should be fun and enjoyable for both of you. It would allow you to strengthen your bond, as well.
For the first few times, you groom your cat, try to keep it short, only 5 to 10 to minutes long, then you can lengthen the period of grooming with time.
You should prepare your cat for the grooming session by petting every part of its body, such as its ears and head.
This would help your cat get used to being handled, and it will not give you a hard time when it is grooming session time.
Remember to be patient with your cat, if you lose your temper, you could scare your cat away, and make it hate grooming sessions. Use a soft and a practical brush when grooming your cat to maintain its fur as is it, and trim it from time to time when it gets too long.
Discover while you groom:
While grooming your cat, make sure you check its coat thoroughly. Grooming can help you discover if your cat is having skin problems, such as allergies or fleas.
Try to remove visible ticks in case you notice them, but do so gently without disturbing your cat. When grooming your cat, you should check all parts of your cat’s body, including its belly, feet, and ears.
In case you notice something similar to ground coffee beans, make sure you clean it out and remove it. They are ear mites, and they can cause other health problems if you do not remove them.
Here is a list of some of the best cat grooming supplies:
- Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
- Pet Grooming Brush Effectively Reduces Shedding by Up to 95% Professional Deshedding Tool for Dogs and Cats.
- Pet Grooming Glove – Gentle Deshedding Brush Glove – Efficient Pet Hair Remover Mitt – Enhanced Five Finger Design – Perfect for Dog & Cat with Long & Short Fur
- Solid Self Cleaning Slicker Brush Shedding Grooming Tool for Dog Cat and Pets
- BV Dog Brush and Cat Brush, Pet Grooming Comb, 2 Sided Bristle and Pin for Long and Short Hair, Removing Shedding Hair
Trimming your cat’s nails:
Sometimes when playing with your cat he scratches you by mistake, which would draw your attention to its long nails. You should always trim your cat’s nails from time to time because it helps maintain its hygiene.
Before doing so, wrap your cat in a towel and push on the paws to show the nails. Avoid forcing the cat to undergo this process if it does not want to. Always use cat nail clippers only, and be careful and gentle when trimming its nails.
Since you are a first time cat owner, you might be scared of doing this alone for the first time. You can consult a veterinarian, another cat parent, or a cat owner friend.
Trim the nails slowly, and by following a particular method. If you accidentally cut through the pink area and it bleeds, apply cloth and styptic powder to stop it.
Your cat’s oral health:
As mentioned before, dry cat food and raw food can help with your cat’s dental health. However, you still need to look after its oral hygiene and check it from time to time. Checking your cat’s mouth and brushing its teeth regularly and regular visits to the vet would help you prevent dental disease in your cat.
When checking your cat’s mouth, push the gums gently and make sure they are pink and not swollen. Brush its teeth often with cotton swabs or cat toothbrush and toothpaste.
You can use salt water to clean your cat’s mouth and be careful with it. Every cat needs strong gums and sharp, clean teeth, and we have to make sure they maintain those.
Playtime is a sign of love:
When you get your cat to your household, you should neglect it and let play alone with the toys you bought for it. Cats appreciate playtime with you, especially kittens.
Playing with your cat for about 20 minutes or more and spending time with it will show your cat that you love it and care about it. This quality time will get rid of boredom, build a bond between you, allow your cat to exercise, and relieve some stress.
Many specialists advise cat parents to have some playtime sessions with your cat once or twice a day. Some say each session should be 15 minutes long, while others believe these sessions should last from 20 to 60 minutes. This mostly depends on your cat, you should listen to what it wants.
Cat furniture to help with the playtime:
Some chewing toys, scratch posts, and cat tree houses can help entertain your cat when you are not around. Here is a list of the best ones you can choose from:
- AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock
- SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post
- PAWZ Road Cat Scratching Post and Pad, Sisal-Covered Scratch Posts and Pads with Play Ball Great for Kittens and Cats
- OurPets Far and Wide Cat Scratcher Cat Toys
- Downtown Pet Supply Deluxe Interactive Cat Scratching Sisal Posts Tree and Exerciser for Kitty, Interactive Cat Toys
- Go Pet Club 72″ Cat Tree
- Go Pet Club Cat Tree Condo House Furniture
- AmazonBasics Cat Tree with Platform, Scratching Posts
- Furhaven Pet Cat Tree | Tiger Tough Cat Tree House Condo Perch Entertainment Playground Furniture for Cats & Kittens
- AmazonBasics Cat Tree with Condo, Scratching Posts
- Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel – Collapsible 3 Way Play Toy – Tube Fun for Rabbits, Kittens, and Dogs
- Petstages Cat Tracks Cat Toy – Fun Levels of Interactive Play – Circle Track with Moving Balls Satisfies Kitty’s Hunting, Chasing & Exercising Needs
- Cat Dancer Products Rainbow Cat Charmer
- SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys
- LECHON Cat Toys Interactive for Indoor Cats 7 in 1 Cats Chaser Toys Wand USB Rechargeable Kitten Toys for Indoor Playing Training Exercising 2 Pack
Training your cat:
Many people think that cats are hard or even impossible to train. However, unlike this popular belief, cats are trainable. When training your cat, be gentle, and generous. Whenever it does something desirable, treat it with a little kibble or its favorite treat.
Never punish your cat or yell at it, doing that will only repel it and scare it. Here are five things you can train your cat to do, which will help you greatly in your cat parenthood.
Training your cat to use the litter box:
This is among the first things you need to do when you first bring your cat home. It is not a difficult task to do, but it takes time and patience. When you bring the cat home, show it the location of the litter boxes, examine them, stiff them, and test them.
Once you show her certain areas of the litter boxes, avoid moving them around. Keep them in the places that your cat has already memorized.
Set your cat inside a litter box right after a meal, and move the litter with its paws gently to get it familiar with the litter. Reward your cat whenever it uses the litter box for the first few times, and never punish it if it has accidents outside the litter box.
Scoop the litter daily and clean your cat’s litter box. Cats are extremely hygienic, if you leave their litter box dirty, they would not use it and start eliminating them in other places.
Training your cat to use the toilet:
Sometimes using the litter box gets a bit tiring, especially when you are not home often or you are too busy to clean up daily. Many cat parents tend to train their cats to use the toilet and the litter box, this method would take more time than litter box training, but it is worth it.
Place your cat’s litter box near the toilet, and then slowly bring it on top of the toilet, once your cat adapts to using the litter box on top of the toilet, gradually switch to a litter box that fits within the toilet. Once your cat is accustomed to that, remove the litter gradually until your cat gets used to defecating or eliminating without it. Then, remove the box entirely.
Let the cat use the toilet by itself, training your cat to use the toilet can be challenging and requires some effort and patience. However, it will save you from buying litter each time and save you money and energy eventually.
Training your cat to come over:
According to the ASPCA, cats react to vocal hint. This is an asset that will help you train your cat to come over at on commend, whenever you call it. Start by a short distance and distinguished noises.
When it is feeding time, make the sound you choose before serving it the food. Your cat will gradually link that sound with food time, and it will expect food each time it hears it and comes to eat. With time, start linking this sound to more than food.
You can call your cat outside its feeding times using the same sound and reward it with a treat when it responds. It is better to have two training sessions with your cat every day until it gets used. Avoid changing the sound you use to call your cat.
Training your cat not to scratch furniture:
Whenever your cat scratches your furniture, avoid punishing it and scaring it away. Instead, do not show any positive reactions to its actions. Buy a scratching post for your cat, and use deterrents on your furniture to keep your cat away.
There are smells that your cat hates, and it would avoid them wherever they are. You can make these harmless cat repellents at home, such as using citrus juice and water. Moreover, remember to trim your cat’s nails from time to time as well.
Training your cat to play nice:
Rough play is usually common among kittens. Sometimes, your cat can unintentionally hurt you or make you bleed if it goes too far. Here is how to train your cat to play nice.
Do not allow your cat to play with your hands and feet. If you let it do that, it will think your fingers and toes are toys she can chew on and scratch.
Instead of that, use toys to play with your cat and encourage it to play with a wrestling toy, reward it whenever it displays any positive behavior, and avoid yelling at it or punishing it when it plays rough with you.
How to train a cat to shake hands:
Who does not love an adorable cat shaking their hands? How many times have you experienced this and you felt great joy?
Well, it is a simple task. It is similar to training your cat to come when you call it.
Get ready by aligning your body with your cat, tap its paw, and make a distinct sound, or say the word “shake.” Each time your cat moves its paw, reward it with a treat until it gets used to responding to that sound, or the word “shake,” by shaking your hand.
Yes! that it, you see how much easy is this!
Indoor Vs. Outdoor cat:
As a first time cat owner, you must have heard cat parents talk about keeping their cat indoors or allowing it to go out. Here are some of the pros and cons of having an indoor or an outdoor cat.
Many vets think that it is wiser to keep your cat inside your household. Indoor cats have lower risks of getting hurt, getting lost, or being attacked by other animals.
Statistics have shown that indoor cats have a longer life span than outdoor cats because they are safer from any hazards of the outer world.
Indoor cats live up to 17 years and more, while outdoor cats live much less than that.
In addition to that, when you keep your cat indoors, it is easier to notice any changes in its behavior or any health issue it might experience. Identifying these problems early would make the diagnosis and the treatment easier.
Although many people do not recommend this option, some would rather let their cats roam freely outside. Some cat parents said that allowing their cats to be an outdoor cat helped it lose weight and become healthier.
If you decide to have an outdoor cat, you must take all the necessary precautions. You should monitor your cat and take care of its health and hygiene.
Moreover, remember that the outer world is filled with other animals that can endanger your cat. Whether your cat is an indoor or an outdoor cat, you should always take it to the veterinarian for regular check-ups.
Animals that could endanger your cat:
Some animals are dangerous, and we are already careful when it comes to them. However, other animals, which you might think, are harmless, but they can cause severe injuries to your cat:
Most vets and cat owners would recommend keeping your cat inside your household, instead of allowing roaming outside freely. However, the decision is still up to you.
As a first time cat owner, you should study your options and carefully weigh your decision since you are not experienced yet. Moreover, remember that the transition from an indoor to an outdoor cat is much easier than from an outdoor to an indoor cat. Once they are out, it is hard to convince them to stay inside again.
Health issues that could face your cat:
Some cats, whether indoor or outdoor cats, experience certain health issues. Here is a list of the most common health conditions to look for in your cat:
- Excessive drinking (it can indicate an underlying illness)
- Fleas, mites, and ticks
- Skin conditions and allergies
- Urinary problems and kidney disease
Frequently Asked Question:
My cat relies much on dry food, how do I ensure it is getting enough moisture?
If your cat’s diet is 100 % dry or depends mostly on dry food, you must focus on the cat’s water intake, and ensure your cat had easy access to fresh water at all times.
Provide your cat with large water bowls, and place them in multiple locations. Some cat owners opt for a water fountain for cats, depending on their cat’s choice.
Can I add water to my cat’s dry food?
Yes. Adding water to your cat’s dry food is one of the multiple ways to include moisture in your cat’s dry diet.
Is cooked food safe for my cat?
You must carefully choose what kind of food you are serving for your cat. If you are giving it some chicken breasts, there is no harm in cooking before serving it. However, avoid adding too much salt or any spices to the chicken. The best way to cook it is to boil it and then let it cool down a bit before serving it.
Can my cat have peanut butter?
Many cat parents and vets advise against feeding your cat peanut butter. Although allowing your cat to have a taste from time to time will not hurt it, it will not add any nutritional value to your cat either.
You must be careful with how much peanut butter you give to your cat. Too much of anything is never a good thing.
Can my cat eat coconut?
Yes, coconut is generally safe for your cat, as long as you serve it moderately. However, consult your veterinarian before feeding your cat coconut-based products.
Avoid feeding your cat anything you would not feed to a baby. French fries are okay to share with your cat rarely, but they are not healthy and could lead to many health conditions.
Is it okay for my cat to sleep with me in bed?
Unless you have an allergy, it should be okay for your cat to share your bed. Avoid locking your cat in a specific room. Allow the cat to roam freely and choose its sleeping spot, as long as it is an approved one by you. For more ensuring, groom your cat regularly.
Can I use human bathing products on my cat?
Avoid using any products that are not made specifically for cats. Human products fit with our body’s pH levels, which are different from cat’s levels. There are also essential oils in human products that can be toxic to cats.
How often should I wash my cat?
If you have an indoor cat, bathing twice or three times a year should be okay. You might think that is too little, but cats are very hygienic creatures, and they clean themselves regularly.
Can I wash my cat with dog shampoo?
Avoid using dog products on your cat. It might contain some toxic materials for your cat. Not all pets have the same hormone levels and sensitivities. One element that is beneficial for a dog can do extreme harm to your cat.
How often should I feed my cat?
If your cat is older than six months old, you can feed it twice a day. Remember to measure the right amount of food you serve your cat.
If your cat gets hungry often during the day after its meal, it means you need to add more to the serving. However, if you have a kitten, you should feed it three or more times a day. Always consult a veterinarian or an expert since you are owning a cat for the first time.
Which method should I follow when feeding my cat?
It is best to use a mixed-method between a scheduled mealtime and free feeding. You can serve essential meals at a specific time only, and allow your cat to have treats from time to time between meals.
My cat is shedding a lot of hair, is that normal?
If your cat seems in good health and is shedding a lot of hair, it is perfectly normal. There are seasons in which shedding is heavier than in other seasons. Just make sure you groom your cat and brush its fur regularly.
My cat does not like it when I groom it. Is that normal?
Yes, it is. Each cat is different when it comes to human interactions. Some cats would love it when you groom them, while others cannot stand it. Sometimes, your cat could be showing signs that it does not like the way you are grooming it, instead of hating grooming in general.
How do I choose my cat’s veterinarian?
You should ask cat parents who already tried different vets for advice about choosing the right one. Choose a vet that is close to where you live, and that has enough experience and a good reputation in dealing with cats.
As a first time cat owner, you must be confused about several things when it comes to adopting a cat. You can choose either a cat or a kitten for the first time, they both have plenty of love. However, kittens are more active, requiring more attention, more care, and more time.
Once you bring your cat home, make sure you choose the right water and food bowls, and the suitable litter box. When it comes to cat food, you have a variety of options, such as dry or wet cat food, raw diets, and cooked food.
Check your cat’s preferences and consult with your veterinarian before opting for any diet. Even though cats are naturally hygienic, you should bathe your cat from time to time, groom it regularly, and look after its oral and dental hygiene.
If you are looking for tips for new cat owners when it comes to keeping your cat indoor or not, the majority have agreed that indoor cats are the best option. Some animals can endanger your cats, such as raccoons and squirrels.
When you follow a new cat owner guide, make sure you consult a veterinarian and people with experience.