How to Adopt and Care for Your First Pet Cat

How to Adopt and Care for Your First Pet Cat

Cats are great companions that can bring joy to just about any home. While cats are some of the most independent pets, it doesn’t mean they don’t need attention and care. Finding the perfect cat to adopt is just the first step. You’ll also want to prepare your home for your new companion and make a plan for taking care of his health.

Finding a Cat to Adopt

If you’ve never owned a cat before, it’s easy to get the impression that they’re pretty much all the same. However, cats all have different personalities and habits, meaning it can take a little while to find the perfect fit. Some cats love cuddling and will happily sit on your lap all night, while others are fiercely independent and want little to do with you unless there’s food involved.

A cat’s age is important to consider as well. Kittens, as you can imagine, are full of energy and will want to play with anything and everything. Kitten behavior can seem random and frustrating at times, but it’s all part of your kitty’s learning process.

If you don’t want to deal with all that rambunctious (and sometimes destructive) energy in your home, it might be better to adopt an older companion for your first experience with cats. Older cats spend most of the day sleeping, but they still like to explore and play.

As you probably know, there are many different breeds of cats. However, many first-time cat owners don’t realize that breed can influence a cat’s behavior and personality as well. A cat’s breed also affects how much you’ll pay in adoption fees and how much time you need to devote to grooming and other needs. VCA Hospitals explains long haired cats, like Persians, require daily brushing to keep knots and tangles from their fur.

Even if you have your heart set on a specific breed of cat, don’t forget that you can apply to adopt a cat from a shelter or rescue organization as well. You might or might not find a purebred in a shelter, but rescue cats are in desperate need of a forever home and can provide the love and companionship you desire.

Protecting Your Cat’s Health

Before you bring your new cat home, make sure you can provide a safe environment for him. International Cat Care says there are many hidden cat hazards lurking in the average home, such as cleaning products, electrical cords and string that can be swallowed. Even something as innocuous as a houseplant can present a danger if you have any of these toxic varieties.

It’s important to pet proof your home to reduce the chance of danger to your new cat. This can include hiding cords, putting hazardous materials away and even tucking fragile items away where they can’t be knocked off a shelf.

To keep your cat healthy, you’ll also want to find a local vet. Veterinary care is expensive, but it’s not something you can skip. To make it more affordable, you might consider getting pet insurance from a company such as Trupanion, which can help cover everything from prescribed medications to preventative care and even surgery. Make sure you compare different plans to find one that offers everything you need at a price you can afford.

Stocking Up On Essentials

Cats can get by without a lot of things, but there are a few items you have to buy, such as a litter box, food and something to scratch on. Check reviews or talk with your vet for different types of food and treats before making a purchase, as they are not all the same.

Cats get bored just like people do, and if you don’t have enough toys around the house, your cat is far more likely to get into the things you don’t want him to mess with. Playing with your cat helps him stay fit, but it’s also the perfect way to bond.

There’s a bit of work involved with adopting a cat, but it’s worth it. Research available animals, prepare your home, and stock up on the things your new friend will need. Overall, cats are relatively low-maintenance and they make some of the best pets if you want a true companion who’s always there for you.

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