I'm a FIRST TIME cat parent. SEND HELP!!!
One of the things I get asked about a lot is usually ADVICE on pretty much anything and everything when someone decides on adopting their first cat.
Maybe it’s because I have SEVEN cats that they think I’m an expert. 😉
Okay…well, I have done research on a lot of things, spoke to different vets (most specializing in only cats), other cat parents, and other pros in the biz.
So! You’re a first time kitty parent. Now what?
Well, first and foremost, something very, VERY important:
MAKE SURE YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TIME FOR A KITTY! Don't adopt (or purchase) a cat if you're not going to actually spend time with them. Sure, they aren’t like dogs that you constantly have to take outside to “do their business” or walk them daily, but cats need attention too.
I know...it somehow comes back to money. BUT, it's important. Pets (no matter what breed), cost a lot of money. You need to worry about vet bills, food, toys, bed, cat tree, etc. You need to be at least be able to take care of your new kitty and, of course, take care of yourself. They will rely on you, even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes.
Next thing: make sure you spend time looking for a GOOD veterinarian. Sure, there's places like PETCO or PETSMART that you can go to, and I'm not knocking their vet services, but I recommend getting a vet that is more knowledgeable about cats than your typical "all around" vet. I take mine to a cat specialist. There's quite a few cat-only vets, you just have to find them.
While in your vet's office, make sure you inquire about vaccines. RABIES IS NO JOKE and they are LETHAL TO HUMANS TOO! Get your cat vaccinated! Also, make sure you get them a microchip. Cats sometimes run out the door when you accidentally leave it open. Or, if you have an outdoor cat, a microchip can ensure that they get back to you.
Next thing, it'll sound funny, but BATHS. While they're still small and very manageable, give your kitty a bath. I'm not saying dunk them into the tub, but go to your bathroom sink and give their body a good wash with proper cat/kitten shampoo. Get them used to it by giving them a bath monthly. This is going to ensure that when they get older, they won't give you such a hard time if they're ever in need of a bath.
FIND A GROOMER.
If you don't want to bathe your own kitty, find a professional groomer. Best to find a cat-only groomer, since they know all about cats. Such as CATNIP INN! A groomer can also show you how to properly trim your kitties' nails. Their nails get sharp FAST because they usually love to sharpen them on anything and everything. If you want to avoid getting scratched with long kitty nails, I suggest you learn how to trim your cat's nails.
It's good to balance your kitty's diet with both wet and dry food. RESEARCH. Don't buy them crappy food that have so much fillers and ingredients that you can't even pronounce. Spend the money to get them quality food if you want your kitty to live a quality life.
With every food that I've bought my kitties, I've researched each and every ingredient that I didn't know. It's good to do trials on different cat foods. Cat food nutrition will be my very next blog post, so keep a lookout for it! The most important thing is the ingredients of your cat food; because this will determine your visits to the vet!
GETTING THEM SETTLED:
If you don't want your kitty to go to a certain room in the house, I suggest you don't let them go in there when you first bring them home. Show them where they're allowed to go, have them explore the house/apartment, but shut the door to where you don't want them to go. Make sure you designate a spot for their food and water, and even where you want to give them snacks. Play with them in the area where you'd love for them to stay at and play in so they get used to it.
The most important is where you put the litter box. The litter box is where you need them to realize the location. Put them in the box and make them sniff it. Cats usually can tell where they're allowed to use the bathroom if you put them on it.
You don't necessarily have to designate a time to play, but it'll be great exercise for them if you do so a few times throughout the day. There's lots of toys out there that you can buy for your kitty. One favorite in my household is the laser. Even my lazy fat boy goes absolutely NUTS over it. Another favorite is the feather toy that is attached to something that looks like a fishing pole. One thing I suggest you invest in is....BOXES. Lol. Yeah, kitties love boxes. Though you could probably go get them one of those scratching posts and that corrugated box scratcher.
I believe those are the basics of things you need to consider as a new kitty parent. Obviously, there is probably a lot more things to consider and prepare, but those are my basics.
Well, folks, I hope you learned something today!
As always, be kind to each other, be kind to animals, love your pets!