Getting a cat might be one of the most exciting days of your life! For people who grew up with pet cats, getting one of their own is the moment their own house finally starts to feel like a home. For those who didn’t, it’s a much dreamed of development, when you finally get to fulfil your ambitions of pet ownership.
Owning a cat is a heavy responsibility, though. For all their supposed independence, your pet will rely on you for food, for its health, for a home that lets it rest safe and secure. Before you take the plunge, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can prepare for your pet cat.
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Cats can be prey to all sorts of health issues, from injuries, to upset stomachs, to eye infections and dental problems! They can also suffer from less immediately obvious issues like diabetes or even cancer. Before you commit to getting a pet cat, it’s worth doing your research, so you can recognise the early signs of the most serious problems, as well as what to do when you’re faced with the most common ones. Cat vomiting and diarrhea is never pleasant, but if you can tell when it’s serious and when it’s not, you’ll be a better, safer cat owner!
It’s also worth researching vets in your area and online services. Registering your new cat with a vet is a must, as is getting them microchipped, so they can be identified if they ever wander off or get lost.
Getting Your Home Ready
It’s especially important for a new cat to have a part of your home that feels like theirs. Over time, they’ll relax more and come to regard your whole house as a safe environment they can feel at home in, but in the early stages they need a space to retreat. If you can, convert a whole room into your cat’s personal home. If that’s impractical – and of course for many people it will be – try to fence off a corner of a larger room. The idea is to provide all the things your cat needs while it acclimatises, in an environment where it won’t be disturbed by unexpected visitors and loud sounds, like other pets and children too young to understand how gentle they have to be with a new cat.
Provide a spot for food and water, a litter tray as far away from that possible, cushions, blankets and boxes scattered around so your cat can choose a place to sleep, and places to climb. Cats often like to explore multiple levels, and the ability to climb and look down on their environment will help them feel safe in it!
As time goes by, you will notice your cat becomes less withdrawn, less nervous and more excited for company and exploring the rest of the house beyond their corner of it!