Cats are adorable and funny beings, who doesn’t want to have one? If you have thought about adopting a kitten or have already brought one into your home, you are probably excited to start this new stage of your life with your furry friend.
Surely you are thinking that you will have a companion to snuggle with on the sofa, and in the hours of play that you will spend with your cat …
However, adopting a kitten has its demands, a new cat at home requires a lot of care and planning. You will have to make sure that you have everything your kitten will need, establish his first visit to the vet, prepare your house for your cat, have the necessary supplies, etc.
If you are adopting or buying a cat for the first time, you may not be sure what things you need. Here, I provide you with a fairly complete list of what is necessary and essential to take care of your kitten.
#1. Name your kitten
The first thing you should do when your kitten walks through the door of your house is that it comes with the name given by you. My cat arrived with the name of Nina, which was put by the people who gave it to me, that was the problem, today we call her by many names, do not make the same mistake.
This is probably obvious, but it is very important that you put the best name for your cat and always use it. Cats benefit from this personalized communication.
Giving your cat a name and calling it by him creates constant communication between you and the kitten, which in turn helps strengthen your bond, especially if you have created a positive association with that name.
But, very importantly, you must choose a name that you like, is easy to pronounce, and that your cat understands and attends to it naturally.
#2. An ideal bed for sleeping
Although your kitty will probably spend most of her time sleeping on your furniture, it is crucial that she has a quiet place to rest and sleep. Cats need their own “kingdom”: a basket, a cardboard box transformed into a cave-dwelling, a sofa and above all what I advise you is that you have the best bed for cats from the beginning .
Very important, I do not advise you to share your bed with the new kitten, you will be establishing a habit that will probably last a lifetime that you will surely regret.
Therefore, choose to buy a good bed that is the right size for your cat . This is important if your cat likes to stretch when she sleeps. Measure from nose to tail and use that as a guide along with your weight. If your cat prefers to snuggle, consider having a smaller bed.
There are many types of cat beds. If you live in a cold climate, you can buy a bed that automatically regulates the temperature . If your cat prefers to be alone, try a cave-type bed , which will provide a sense of security and control. If he is not picky, you can opt for an open cat bed.
#3. Prepare a safe room for your kitten
It is possible that your new kitten, upon arriving at your house, will immediately look for a hiding place. Under no circumstances should you force your kitten out of its hiding place by pulling on its legs or other parts of its body. Encourage him out by luring him out with food or toys.
If the kitten starts to come out of hiding, allow him to initiate any contact. If he retreats back to his hiding place, be patient and wait for him to come out again. For some cats this could be a matter of hours, others may take days before confidently coming out. Patience is the key here .
Therefore, it is important that you provide a “safe room” . It doesn’t need to be a separate room, it can be an empty closet, a corner of your room with a protective screen, or a rarely used bathroom. The important thing is that your new cat has a place that he can feel like “home”, where he can retire and rest.
Once your cat is completely relaxed in the “safe room,” you can slowly begin to introduce him to other areas of the house and to family members.
#4. First visit to the vet
After your kitten arrives home, it is advisable that you take him to his first veterinary visit to check his health. Often times, this appointment may be used to administer the necessary vaccinations in the ninth or twelfth week.
In this first visit, the vet will check its nutritional status and coat, teeth, possible parasites in the ears and will listen to the heart and lungs. The vet will administer the relevant vaccinations or even test for feline leukemia . In any case, it is necessary to deworm frequently until week twelve.
With this visit, the veterinarian will establish an overview of the kitten’s health, which will help him when he becomes ill in the future. In addition, you will avoid your kitten stress in future visits.
Finally, the vet will advise you on feeding and when to sterilize the kitten .
#5. Cat food
Because cats are carnivores, it is essential that their diet is rich in animal protein. Try to avoid foods that contain too much grain or fillers, check the ingredient list of the food you buy.
Cats, in the wild, get most of their water needs from the prey they hunt. For that reason, wet canned foods are closer to a natural diet for your cat due to their higher water content.
Faced with the above, dry feed or food is sold , which is usually cheaper. It is not scientifically proven, but if it is stated that cats fed only feed tend to suffer more health problems, especially as they get older
What you can do is feed your cat a high-quality feed, alternating it with wet canned food.
Lastly, you may need to try different brands and flavors of cat food, to see what they like and to see if they have allergies to anything.
# 6. His litter box
Furries are very scrupulous when it comes to cleanliness. The litter box for the excrement must be clean and odor-free, and it must be placed where no one can see it while it “performs its business”, and also avoid placing it in a place where the cat can get scared (such as next to a washing machine).
Don’t buy one that is too small, as the kitten needs room to turn and dig. It should also be deep enough to hold several inches of binder. In general, the higher the sides, the less trash will be thrown out.
The binder to cover the bottom of the box must be of quality, so that it neutralizes odors and absorbs as much as possible. Many varieties are sold, from synthetic clays, sands, to more natural materials, such as wood.
Some are fragranced, some are not. As a recommendation, it is best to use a clumping litter without fragrance, and without clay if possible, because artificial odors can discourage your cat.
# 7. Feeder and drinker
A plate or bowl of food and water is another essential item for your new kitten. These should be made of lead-free stainless steel, glass, or ceramic that are dishwasher safe.
It is advisable to use a shallow bowl or plate, but large enough so that your cat can put his face in without feeling uncomfortable. If the bowl is too deep or narrow, if your whiskers touch the edges of the plate it could make you uncomfortable.
Try to place the food and water bowl separately, so the food and water don’t spill on each other. It is also convenient that they are not too close, because cats instinctively do not like to drink water where their food is.
Change the water every day, and try to make the food as recent as possible, do not let the remains of days accumulate in the bottom of the container.
# 8. Cat toys
Cat toys are essential. Not only do they allow your cat to have fun, but they also help him exercise and satisfy his natural instinct to hunt for prey. Besides that, playing with your cat using these toys is one of the best ways to bond with your kitty .
Try to set aside some of your time every day for a gaming session. As for what type of toy to buy, there are many toys that your cat would like to play with. .
You must take into account their individual personality and preferences. Cats like novelty, so buy various types of toys and give them a try.
Play with the toys and your cat, don’t leave them there and expect him to play only with them. If he’s not interested in them for the first few days, give him time to try out different toys.
Important! Do not play with your cat with your hands. If you use your hands as a toy, you teach your cat that it is okay to bite or scratch you.
# 9. Scratching post
The kitten will use it to sharpen the nails and remove the outer sheath when it comes off, it is also a way to perform fitness exercises, coordination and to mark its territory.
Again, there are different types of scrapers: corrugated cardboard, carpet, wood, sisal rope, etc. There are also various shapes, upright posts, some as rugs or hanging posts, others in the shape of cat beds.
Make sure it has a wide, stable base to prevent your cat from pulling it. Put it in a visible place, so you will check that the kitten uses it.
With the scratching post, you will largely avoid scratches on furniture, rugs and sofas.
# 10. Cat tree
Cats see their territory in three dimensions, and you can maximize your cat’s territory, even in a small space, by purchasing a cat tree and placing it near a window so your cat can see what is going on outside.
Buy a tree that is the right height, and strong and heavy enough that it won’t topple over if your cat jumps up and plays with it.
#eleven. Cat carrier
A cat carrier is the first thing you need to bring your cat home and later to transport him to the vet. They come in different materials, but the plastic ones are much safer and easier to get your cat out and about when he’s not excited for a walk.
It is a good idea to place a small towel inside the carrier to help your cat feel comfortable without taking up too much space.
Keep in mind that, if you carry it in the car, never let your cat be free inside. This is a danger for both you and the cat, since most cats get very nervous inside cars, and it can cause you some confusion in driving.
# 12. Cleaning tools
Grooming tools such as brushes, shampoo, and nail clippers are recommended, although not all cats need them. Short-haired breeds can generally groom themselves well enough, while long-haired breeds need your help and a brush to avoid knotting their hair.
If your cat goes outside, she probably needs shampooing from time to time, while a cat that spends all the time at home may not need any kind of shampooing.
Nail clipping also depends on the cat and the owner, some do not feel the need to trim their cat’s nails, while others keep them trimmed for the safety of children in the house. You can do all the grooming yourself, or you can take your kitten to a professional groomer.
After this, are you ready to have a cat?
This may seem like an unnecessary question, but you need to review the requirements of having a kitten before bringing it into your home.
- A cat requires certain maintenance costs
Although having a cat is not going to cost as much as having a child, the amount that your maintenance will require will surprise you: vaccinations, sterilization, food, emergencies and veterinary visits.
If you go on a trip and have no one to take care of it, you will also have to pay for a cat residence or a pet sitter.
- Do you have time to take care of your cat?
A cat does not require as much maintenance as a dog, but it is not enough to feed it and collect the litter box, that is not enough.
Cats need time to interact with each other to build a relationship and meet their social needs. Cats need social interaction, which is why they often get in the way of the things you are focusing on, like the papers or the computer you are using.
They also need playtime, especially indoor cats, both to exercise their bodies and to satisfy their primary hunting urges.
- Does your lifestyle suit your cat, or can you accommodate it?
If you travel a lot, perhaps you shouldn’t have a cat, unless someone is willing to take care of your cat. You should not move your kitten from one place to another, cats are territorial creatures and they get stressed by it.
I also do not advise you to leave it alone for long periods of time, it can become stressed and eventually develop behavior problems.
You should also think about your possessions. Even with well-behaved cats that have scratching posts and toys, you should expect that some of your things are likely to be damaged. It will scratch you sofas, furniture, dirty clothes. If this bothers you, you better not have a cat.
Cats can live for a long time, up to 20 years. Take some time to think seriously and decide if you are willing to take on this responsibility.
- Are you ready to clean?
The litter box must be cleaned every day. You will probably have to sweep up the trash that comes out of the box.
You may need to clean up the remains of hair that will leave you all over the house, especially the long-haired breeds of cats, I know from my experience.
If you are thinking of having a kitten that goes outside, be prepared to get rid of the small corpses of rodents that will take you home as a “gift”.
Your cat may also have some behavioral or medical problems and urinate outside the litter box or vomit on your carpet, sheets, or clothing.
After the above, do you still want a cat?
Finally, if you pass the previous questions with a high pass and you are looking for a companion for life, a cat would be an ideal option.
However, if the reason is not that, you need to reconsider.
Do you have the time, money and commitment to take care of your cat throughout its life? Don’t acquire an adorable kitten only to abandon him when he grows up.
You are responsible for all the members of your household, and your cat is. You can not neglect the veterinary checks of your cat, even if it is not sick.
With all this I do not mean to discourage you from bringing a cat into your life. I’m just trying to give you a realistic view of what it’s like to have a cat.
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