How to get ready for a new cat / kitten
I just got my kitty Koloa from the animal shelter! There she is, looking cute, just like her owner. :)
Which reminds me...
There are a few things to make sure you have before you pick up your new cat or kitten:
Before you get a cat, make sure that you have a good vet to go to. Use family and friend recommendations... those are usually the best. In my case, my mother works at a vet, so that made the decision easy.
Feeding dish and water bowl
Plastic or aluminum are best. If you already have pets, it's ok to share the water bowl, but not feeding dishes. And make sure that they have a non-tip design because cats love to use their paw to scoop food out onto the floor; this usually can cause a mess with the wrong dish.
Name tag and collar
Even though it's best to keep cats indoors at all times, it's still safer to get a collar (try to get a stretchy one so if it gets caught on something, the cat can escape safely). And have fun with the tag... you can get lots of colors and shapes! These can be made at pet stores, like PetSmart, or some shelters.
Plastic ones are good; cardboard is less good (some shelters will provide these to you when you adopt a kitty). There are some made with cloth and cushions on the inside. Just make sure they're nice and sturdy.
Places to sleep
Cats like to sleep in corners. These are good places to put cat beds or boxes. You don't need super-expensive beds because cats just might snub them anyway and go for your bed instead. This usually happens with our cats.
Koloa was declawed by her previous owners (which is BAD to do... it hurts them!), so I didn't really need this. But getting one of these will save your furniture! If not, there are specialty scratching items and furniture covers to get instead.
Obviously a must, it's good to get as big of one as possible.Get one with higher sides for older cats and fill it up with 3-4 inches of litter. If you have a kitten, use a small aluminum or plastic pan and put it in a bigger box once they get older to train them to use it more. Put the box/pan in a place where there is less traffic in the house, away from food and water.
We have an apartment, so we didn't need a cat door. If you get one, keep it locked the first few days until the cat has adapted to the home.
You should get interactive ones, ones that move on their own like wind-up toys. Also get ones that they have to move themselves to play with. My personal favorites are the long sticks with feathers and bells on the end. :)
Make sure that everyone in the home expects a kitty. Old cats might hiss at the new cat and dogs might be mad at you the owner. Kids might want to play right away, but make sure the kitty has plenty of time to adjust to the new home. Koloa ran under the bed right away, but in about half an hour she was stuffing her face with cat food. Like pet like owner.
Additional info and locations
- Before You Get Your First Cat - Index of Articles
Getting a cat for the first time involves a lot more than just picking out a cat. Here is the help you'll need, including how to know if you're ready, where to go to get a cat, what kind of cat to get, kitten vs adult, and more.
- Cat Health Care Questions & Feline Breed Info. Online Vets Give Medical & Cat Care Advice ASAP! - Ju
Need Cat advice now? Vet Hospital closed? Vets are online now to help with Feline Medical Problems & answer Health Information Questions about cats, cat illness & behavioral problems in under 24 hrs. JustAnswer.com - Ask a question, name your price &
PetSmart.com - Shop for all of your pet supplies for dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles or small pets. Get answers & expert advice for the care of your pet. (The place I buy my pet items.)