12 Things To Remember If You’re A New Pet Cat Owner (Cat Parenting 101)

It’s beyond a doubt, one of the most memorable days of your life. The day you bring little Kitty to her forever home and give her a cozy territory in not just your home but your heart as well. But before bringing her home, there’s some planning and preparation needed. Here are a few things to be prepared with and think of, before Kitty comes home.

1. All Set For The New Arrival?

Advertisements

Before you bring Kitty home, you will need a litter box with the right kind of litter, a carrier, kitten food, food and water bowls, a collar and a tag, a scratching post and some toys. Kittens can be extremely curious and are capable of getting into a lot of trouble. They can get into the teeniest holes in the wall and get stuck. Which is why, kitty proofing your home before her arrival is a must.

Kitty proofing your home should include checking your house for holes, fitting a grate on the fireplace and fitting screens on doors and windows. Also, items like scissors, razors, pens, needles and thread and household cleaners will need to be put away. House plants need to be moved away from kitty’s reach, as many can be poisonous for her. Foods like chocolate, tea, coffee, onions etc. will need to be kept out of her reach.

Advertisements

Cords and wires will need to be made out of reach too, and so will all the breakables. Last but not the least, the trash bin will need to be made tamper proof.

2. Is Kitty Going To Be Restricted Indoors?

Advertisements

You will need to make this decision when kitty arrives. Indoor cats usually live longer and are healthier. If you decide that Kitty will stay indoors, you will need to give her perches and runs to keep her active and happy.

3. Which Cat Food To Get?

Advertisements

Getting the right food for your kitten is vital, as she needs up to three times the calories than adult cats. You may need to mix dry kibble with canned kitten food, depending on what she likes. Your kitten’s vet will be the best person to guide you on the right food in the right quantity for her.

4. Keep A Number Of Water Bowls

Advertisements

Your kitty needs lots of fresh, clean water in a number of places around the house. Invest in several good water bowls. They’ll need to be a little flatter during her babyhood days so that they don’t cover her face. Your kitten may prefer moving water, and you may need to get her a water fountain too.

5. The Litter Box

Advertisements

Your kitty will need a litter box right away as cats instinctively have a need to relieve themselves in soil or a sandy substrate. You will need to place the litter box in a quiet area of the house and ensure that in the beginning it is low sided, so that your little kitty finds it easy to get in and out of it.

6. A Soft, Comfy Bed For Kitty

Advertisements

Your kitty needs a lot of sleep. Cats sleep for more than 15 hours a day. Kittens need even more sleep than that. Get her a soft and comfy bed to call her own. A few good ideas for cat beds can be a soft perch on a window ledge, a bed on a cat tree or a fuzzy cushion on a chair.

7. Playing And Establishing Rules

Gentle play every day is essential for your kitty to be able to develop people skills. Playing with her also sharpens her coordination and keeps her fit. She also finds an outlet for her instinctive behaviors like chasing and pouncing. It’s important to not let the kitty think that your hand is a toy. It’s similar to the ‘bite inhibition’ that puppies are trained to understand.

You will also need to get her to understand and follow the rules around the house. If you don’t want her climbing on the curtains, for instance, discourage that behavior and give her a safer alternative like a sisal-covered pole. To stop her from scratching furniture, give her a scratching post. To get her to use these, you will need to pretend to be using them and kitty will soon follow your lead and begin using them.

8. To Declaw Or Not To Declaw

Claws form a part of a cat’s defense mechanism. Declawing your kitty will depend on how you feel about it. People who support declawing argue that it makes the cat a good pet and prevents the pet from ending up in a shelter due to behavioral issues. Those against it find it inhumane.

If you do choose to declaw your kitty, it will need to be done before kitty is 6 months of age. A declawed cat cannot be sent outdoors as it won’t be able to defend itself against other animals and will not be able to climb trees etc. to protect herself from a threat.

9. When To Get Kitty Spayed

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that you have your kitty spayed at as early as eight weeks. Spaying a cat also has health benefits for your kitty and helps keep her out of trouble if she is to go outdoors.

10. Vaccinate And Deworm Your Kitten

It’s important that you get your kitty vaccinated to prevent common illnesses like rabies, feline leukemia, and upper respiratory tract infections. Your kitty will also need to be dewormed regularly to decrease infestations of intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Kitty will also need to be checked regularly and treated for fleas.

11. Is Kitty Sick?

There are symptoms to watch out for, that tell you that all isn’t well with Kitty’s health. A change in litter box habit, reduced intake of food and water, wanting to be left alone, coughing, sneezing, panting are a few of them. Take kitty to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms. Resist the urge to give them human medicines as they can be deadly for cats.

12. Cherish These Memories

Last but not the least, cherish and preserve all the cute and cuddly memories before your tiny kitty grows up to be your cat companion and is ready to face life on her own.