Becoming a cat owner

So you fancy getting a cat. We hear you, we love cats too but we also know that becoming a cat owner isn’t all fun and fur balls. It pays to know what you’re in for when you bring home your new feline friend.

29 Jan 2016 By Sarah Billington Comments

Unlike dogs, cats are (generally) more independent and lower maintenance to look after. They’re happy to chill and do their own thing, and then come and sit on your keyboard when they’re ready for your attention. 

TIP: Modern cats inherently know that sitting on your keyboard, iPhone, iPad or smartphone is a guaranteed method of gaining your attention. Smart huh?

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However, becoming a cat owner isn’t as simple as visiting a pet shop or animal rescue centre, picking out your new best pal and living happily ever after.

Like a baby, there are a lot of preparations to be made before bringing a cat into your home. Cats need stuff, they’re like humans in that way. You need to provide basic amenities like a bed, food, toilet, etc. Unless you want your new friend sleeping on your pillow, licking off your dirty dishes, and peeing all over your new rug, you have some shopping to do before you bring home your new furry bundle of joy.

Here’s a guide on what you’ll need to buy before you bring your cat home:

Diet

Food bowl

Water bowl

Good quality (vet-grade) dry food

Wet food (optional)

 

Amenities

Bed/blanket/somewhere warm to sleep that is their own

Litter box

Cat litter

Cat litter scooper (for scooping out ... you know)

Grooming brush

Collar (and if you know what you're calling him/her already, a fancy name tag as well!)

 

Recreation

Scratching post (if you don't want your furniture or carpet shredded!), preferably a tall one so that the cat can get a full stretch, which they LOVE

Toys. Cats may sleep a lot, but just like us they do need some mental stimulation, especially when left alone for extended periods. Otherwise mischief may ensue!

There’s a lot more to think about than you realised, right?

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Introducing Felix to the family

When Felix arrives in his or her new home it’s going to be overwhelming and pretty frightening, so make sure to give your cat plenty of space and somewhere to hide until they feel confident enough that nothing is going to eat them. It might take a couple of minutes or a couple of hours before they come out, but let them do it in their own time.

Try to keep all introductions between your household members, friends, and family and your new cat calm and quiet. Loud noises such as excited squeals at how adorable and fluffy the cat is will cause poor kitty to retreat into their hiding place again and curse themselves for trusting you.

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Let them meet your family on their terms, not yours. It could take a couple of weeks for a skittish cat to feel comfortable in their new environment and the people in it.

TIP: Slow movements, soft voices and offerings of food are a sure way to speed up the process. Be gentle and back off if your cat becomes agitated, and everyone is sure to become fast friends.

Other pets

Successful introductions to other household animals can be a lengthy process. If you want your four-legged friends getting along rather than terrorising each other, then you need to take it slow.

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If you already have pets in your home, be it dogs, other cats, rats, fish or even a llama, your new cat is going to interact with each animal differently. Felix may find the idea of getting up close and personal with your rats or fish delectable, so monitor your cat’s behaviour and secure cages and tanks from prying paws. Traditional foes that they are, your dog may think your cat looks tasty, and will have a great time shaving lives off your cat’s longevity by chasing it around the house so set aside plenty of time for introductions and keeping a close eye out!  

So now you have the lowdown on becoming a cat owner you’re ready to pick up your purring pal. Enjoy!

 

What tips do you have on becoming a cat owner?

 

29 Jan 2016 By Sarah Billington Comments

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