How to Care for a Brand New Cat
When you own a cat you get used to having that cat behave a certain way. When that cat dies you realize even then that eventually you will get a new cat, possibly because you have children that really want it, because your older and have an affinity for felines or some other reason. Either way, how one cat behaves and acts is not necessarily how the next cat will. If you were used to your cat listening and understanding its boundaries and giving it specific things this will undoubtedly change. The new cat may have different needs and wants and of course will have to be trained to understand where it's boundaries begin.
What A Cat Needs
Simple needs that are going to be pretty much the same are food, water a place to sleep. These things any cat you get is going to need. Depending on the age of the cat deviations can occur such as the cat not liking his or her bed. You may often find then laying on the rug or around the house, cats can be very specific about what they prefer but sooner or later if you put them in the bed they will realize that spot is for them.
In terms of food we may see some differences as well.
- One cat may prefer dry cat food all of the time whereas another cat may enjoy the wet cat food. Keep in mind for the cat and your household that wet cat food seems to effect the odor of cat fecal matter, it can become quite overpowering.
- Cat treats may appeal to some but not others as well.
- Try different types of food and brands to see which your cat likes the most and weigh that against what is healthy for them. As in humans moderation is best.
- For indoor cats keep a little box of grass in your home, while cats are carnivores they will chew on the grass as you may see dogs do sometimes. This is because the grass aids in digestion.
Beyond the basics there are toys and other objects that entertain cats. This too may be specific to age. Kittens will be very energetic and can get into or wreck things if not kept occupied so a lot of toys is key. Cats that are at least a few years old or more will not be so difficult to pacify but exercise and entertainment are still great for them. Simple ideas for toys are things like:
- Catnip pillows.
- Wind-up mice.
- Stuffed animals if your cat isn't very destructive
- You may also want to include a scratching post as cats with claws need to scratch something throughout their lives to keep their claws from growing longer than they should.
Cat behavior can differ, some cats may be very independent while others will seek out your attention and affection. This can be a trait of age or gender. From experience living in the country throughout my life I have found that male cats have a tendency to roam and often disappear sometimes for weeks. "Tom cats," seem to be driven by an urge to hunt or travel. In contrast many of the females will never leave the home area and often these seem to be the ones that seek out affection from us. They enjoy brushing, petting, playing with their owners. But this isn't always the case, just from what we've observed, it usually depends on the cat.