Tips for New Cat Owners

If you are a brand new cat owner, there are some things you need to take into consideration if you want your cat to be happy and healthy.

As a new cat owner, you will want to make sure that your lifestyle will be suitable for a cat. This means being able to devote enough time for loving and bonding. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that you have enough money for veterinary visits and to purchase quality food and other necessities that your cat will need, such as proper grooming materials, toys and furniture, and even kitty litter. 

While you are learning how to be a good cat parent, your cat is also learning how to get used to their new home. Be understanding and kind with them, as adjustment can take time. Read below and find some tips you need to know as a new cat owner.

tips for new cat owners raleigh nc

What Are Some Tips for New Cat Owners?

It can be a challenge for new cat owners to navigate being good cat parents. Remember to be patient while your cat gets to know you and your family. The following includes some tips that new cat owners should know:

Make Sure Your Lifestyle is Suitable for a Cat

Cats may be independent creatures, but they still need someone to care for them. Before committing, make sure you have time to devote to a new pet. Cats need attention and love. If you are adopting a kitten, it is essential that they feel safe and cared for.

You will need to make sure that you spend enough time playing and bonding with your new cat. Furthermore, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough money for necessities such as food, kitty litter, and toys, as well as regular veterinary visits. Remember that having a new family member is a commitment, and you need to take it seriously.

Find the Right Veterinarian

Ensure you can take the appropriate steps to protect your cat’s health. This situation means finding the right veterinarian for them and ensuring they receive all their shots and vaccinations.

Vaccines can protect your new fur baby from infectious diseases. Kittens should start getting vaccines at eight weeks old until they are about 16 weeks old.

After 16 weeks, they will need exams and boosters annually. Also, you should schedule for your cat to be neutered or spayed, which will cut down on overpopulation and safeguard their health. This typically occurs around 6 to 8 months of age unless you are adopting an adult cat. If this is the case, spaying or neutering can occur once they are determined to be in good health and are fully vaccinated.

Adult cats do not need vaccines as often, but it is still essential you get them to see the veterinarian at least once per year

Nutrition is Imperative

Cats are meat-eaters, which means they need a diet high in protein, with some fat and minimal carbohydrates. Kitten food should be higher in fat because they expend a lot of energy. Your new kitten is still growing, and they need more fat in their diet than adult cats do.

Additionally, cats necessitate many other nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. They also need to get some water from their food to keep them hydrated. Being a new cat owner, you will need to learn a thing or two about cat food.

It is best to take the time to learn what is the best food for your cat – both in terms of nutrition and what they enjoy. If you have any questions, reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.

Cats Require Proper Grooming

Bathing, brushing, and trimming claws are all part of the job description of a cat parent. A good brush will eliminate excess hair, which is especially important if your cat has long hair.

Brushing also effectively removes dirt from your cat’s coat, prevents mats before they become unmanageable, and cuts down on shedding. This means less fur on you, your clothes, and your furniture! The best part about brushing is that it can serve as a bonding experience between you and your cat!

Trimming your cat’s nails helps your cat to feel more comfortable. Failure to trim your cat’s claws may lead to your cat developing ingrown nails, which can be painful and trigger health problems.

Bathing may not be necessary unless your cat is an outdoor cat. However, it is perfectly normal to bathe an inside cat a couple of times per year. It is important to remember to not bathe too often, as bathing will strip the cat’s fur of natural oils that it needs to keep its coat healthy.

Purchase Quality Cat Litter

You can choose the right litterbox by looking at the size of your cat. The box should be one and one-half times the length of your cat from their nose to the base of their tail. Be consistent about making sure your cat’s litterbox is clean because many cats will not go into a dirty litterbox.

You should scoop the litter box at least twice daily. If you choose to use the scoopable litter, the box should be emptied, scrubbed, and the litter replaced at least once a month. If you use non-clumping litter, you should wash and refill the box at least once a week.

Buy Good Cat Furniture

Being a new cat owner, you most likely do not have any cat furniture in your house. You will need to purchase a couple of cat-friendly items for your new feline companion. Investing in a quality scratcher is crucial for your cat’s paw and nail health.

A proper vertical post should measure at least 30 inches high, which is tall enough for your cat to stretch and scratch while standing on their hind legs with their front legs extended. All cat furniture needs to be stable and have a broad base because there will be a lot of running and jumping.

A good cat tree or two is also a wise investment. Scratching posts are usually attached to cat trees, and can serve as your cat’s space to feel safe and secure. It is also a place for them to sleep, play, and exercise.

When it comes to your feline, you want to make sure you get a top-quality piece of furniture.

In Conclusion

Keep in mind a few things when you are a new cat owner. Being a cat parent is a responsibility, and you need to be prepared to take care of your new fur baby properly.

The good news is that cats are independent and do not require as much maintenance as they get older. Your main concern should be to enjoy your new cat or kitten and treat them with the love and care they deserve.

If you have any questions about getting a new cat, feel free to reach out to Bowman Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic in Raleigh, NC with any questions or concerns! The clinic can be reached at 919-847-6216.

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About Bowman Animal Hospital & Cat Clinic

Established in 1986 by Dr. Gale Bowman, Bowman Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic is dedicated solely to the health and well-being of our pet community. We are a team of compassionate veterinarians and pet lovers who invest our time and resources into providing the very best medical care to your pet.