If you’re ready to welcome a new cat into your home, you can keep your feline friend safe and healthy by following a few important tips. Caring for your cat the right way will make it possible for the two of you to enjoy many happy years together. Here are five great tips for the first-time cat owner.
5 Tips for the First-Time Cat Owner
Read Cat Food Labels
Just like it’s important for people to know what they’re putting in their bodies, you should be vigilant when it comes to reading the nutrition labels on cat food. Foods that are ideal for controlling your cat’s weight and preventing obesity are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You may need to spend a little more money on cat food instead of buying cheaper alternatives that are less healthy.
See a Veterinarian
If you want your cat to live a long and happy life, seeing a veterinarian is a must. You can find a vet in your area that has a lot of experience in treating cats. Seeing a vet will ensure that your cat receives all the necessary shots and health screenings. They can prescribe medications and treatment for a wide range of health issues, including surgery if it’s necessary.
Considering the experience of a veterinarian is important when deciding which one to use for your cat’s health needs. Don’t be afraid to shop around and find a veterinarian you feel you can trust with your pet’s well-being. It can also be a great idea to look into medical insurance for your cat to help cover the veterinary bill if something does happen.
Consider Spaying or Neutering
Unless you plan to use your cat for breeding purposes, it’s best to have your kitty spayed or neutered to help control the animal population. According to Petful, cats can get pregnant as early as four to six months of age, and kittens can be spayed or neutered before that point. Cats that are spayed or neutered are also generally better behaved and can avoid certain infections and cancers.
Get a Scratching Post
Cats naturally love to scratch their claws on rough surfaces, and getting a scratching post can save your furniture from being torn to shreds. You’ll want to get a scratching post that’s tall enough for your cat to extend his or her body while scratching. Placing catnip around the scratching post is a clever way to entice your kitty to start using it. Some pet owners are a little wary of giving their pet catnip, but as of the end of 2016 veterinarians were almost unanimously agreed that it’s totally safe for cats to enjoy.
Clean the Little Box Regularly
A dirty litter box can spread germs around your home, and your cat might even refuse to use it if it’s untidy and start defecating in other places. Cat feces should be scooped out every day, and the little box should be changed once a week for the best results. Since cats sometimes refuse to use litter boxes that smell bad, you may want to invest in some kitty-safe air fresheners.
Being a first-time cat owner has its challenges, but you can make things easier on yourself and your kitty by learning the proper care methods. Giving your cat enough time and attention will help you avoid certain problems and make your feline friend much happier. Whatever you do, remember that getting a pet is a lot like adopting a child, so prepare to love them through the good times and bad.
About the Author: Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara works with the Glenvale Veterinary Clinic to raise awareness of good pet health practices