Checklist: What to consider before getting a cat and how to best prepare for it

These 10 tips will help you be a happy first time cat owner! Do you know how to cat-proof your house before kitty arrives?

31 October 2018

Sanda

From choosing the right cat food to litter box training, there are a wide variety of things that a first time cat owner needs to consider. How much should I feed my feline? Can I leave my cat home alone while I am at work? There are many questions that can run through your mind. Here are the answers and a quick guide on how to best prepare for your first cat.

4 things to consider before you get a cat

So you’ve finally made the decision to get a cat. Then you must know that there are still some things to consider before introducing a kitty to her new home.

When you start living with a cat, you might have to make some adjustments to your everyday life.

For example, it’s important to consider cat-proofing your home. This includes being diligent about not leaving things lying around that can be poisonous to cats, such as:

Food:
Don’t assume your cat knows what she is or isn’t allowed to eat. Chocolate, grapes and raisins or dairy products can cause stomach bleeding and even death.
Plants:
You should prevent your cat from nibbling on both potted and outdoor plants, since they can be dangerous to your kitty’s health. Some common plants include, among others, lilies, oleander, and tulips.
Meds and cleaning products:
Neither of these should ever be left lying around. This includes dietary supplements and non-chemical cleaning products.
Electronics:
As we know, our feline friends are happiest where it’s warm. Due to this, be careful about any electronic devices that easily heat up, like laptops. You can avoid dangers by providing your kitty with a heating pad for pets.

first time cat owner checklist

Your 10 point checklist for getting a cat

Checklist for getting a new cat
1. ShelterIf you can, take a look at your local shelter. Consider making a cat happy by giving her a new home; your shelter will thank you too.

Good to know: Cats who come from shelter might be easily scared, since they might have experienced various negative past situations. Due to this reason, when moved to unfamiliar environments, they could even run away from home. Here are some immediate actions and tips to undertake, in case your kitty runs away.

2. BreedYou want a certain breed? Make sure you’re well informed as to whether your favorite breed is right for you.

Do you have the time it takes to tend to a high maintenance cat, like a Persian?
Can you provide dedicated outdoor cats, like the Norwegian Forest cat, with a garden or backyard?
Don’t worry! Various online cat breed selectors can help you figure out which one is right for you.

3. NeuteringNeutering refers to the castration of the male cat and spaying of the female cat.

Good to know: Should be done as soon as your cat is old enough, usually after eight weeks.
There are already a great number of cats looking for homes and if you don’t plan to breed your cat, take care to get them neutered in time.

4. VaccinesFurthermore, your vet will also inform you of necessary vaccines. These can be categorized in core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are vital for your cat’s health and protect them against respiratory virus, feline distemper and rabies.
5. Parasite controlWhereas fleas, ticks and worms are commonly known, there are many more parasites to look out for, like ear mites or parasites which can cause toxoplasmosis.

Noteworthy: Plan yearly check-ups with your local vet to avoid unpleasant surprises.

6. Litter boxPlace the litter box in a quiet place that’s free of frequent activity and invest in a good, fragrance-free cat litter. If your cat urinates outside the litter box after having been trained, it’s usually either a sign of a dirty litter box or urinary tract infections. If the litter box is fresh and urinating on the floor still occurs, take her to the vet immediately.
7. Toys, toys, toysMost cats are playful, curious and need stimulation. While a standard shoe box and an old shoelace are usually enough to satisfy their entertainment needs, don’t hesitate to buy them the occasional squeaky toy mouse, feather teaser or catnip toy.

Important: What’s a must, however, is a scratching post: Your cats will ‘trim’ their claws themselves and they won’t hesitate to ruin your furniture doing so.

8. FoodCats are obligate carnivores and get their protein from various meats. Wheat and corn are usually fillers that cats don’t need and will have a hard time digesting. Invest in a good food brand that’s still within your budget, which might just save you a trip to the vet.
9. Collar and carriersWhile we mostly don’t walk cats on a leash, getting a tagged collar might still be very helpful, mostly when the kitty is not familiar with her new surroundings yet.

Here is where the Tractive GPS CAT Tracker can definitely help you. Keep track of your favourite feline and her daily adventures!
A cat carrier is still the only safe way to transport your kitty when you hit the road together for your next adventure. Letting your cat loose while you drive is definitely not an option!

10. InsuranceConsider getting pet insurance. If worse comes to worst, you won’t be sorry.

All in all, nothing will help you care for your cat better than paying attention to her behavior and needs. Make sure her new home is comfortable and many years of purrfect happiness will be awaiting both of you!

Avoid the 7 most common mistakes for first-time cat owners

Ready to get your first cat? Make sure you avoid the most common mistakes that first-time cat owners make:


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