10 Tips For New Cat Owners

  1. 1. Create A Safe Space For Your Cat

When planning to introduce a new cat to your home, one of the most important things you need to do is create a safe and comfortable setting.

As cats generally dislike change, it will take some time for them to become familiar with your home’s scents, sights, and sounds.

In the meantime, we recommend setting up an area that your cat can feel comfortable retreating to, such as a corner with cat food, a bed, and a scratching post/ some toys.

Certain cats may choose spaces of their own, such as under a bed, on top of an appliance, or in a spot with a good view.

If your cat is particularly aggressive or territorial, introducing a pheromone diffuser into your living space can be a great way to help your cat relax and begin acclimating to its new environment.

2. Ensure Your Cat’s Vaccinations Are Up-To-Date

It is always important to double-check your cat’s medical history and ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

This is especially critical when receiving a rescue or newborn kitten, as they could experience preventable health issues later in life.

If you plan on allowing your cat outdoors, we also recommend equipping it with a microchip, as this will substantially increase the odds of finding your cat if it is ever lost, stolen, or injured. 

3. Take Your Time When Introducing New Pets

As we mentioned earlier, cats are not fans of change, especially when introducing a new roommate.

Depending on the disposition of your cat and the pet you are introducing it to, you can approach socialization in a few different ways:

If your pets are both friendly, you may not need to spend time socializing them at all. For the first few weeks, observe how they interact with one another, taking note of any signs of aggression or irritation.

 Your pets officially get along if you notice few/no issues over several supervised socialization sessions.

If your cat is territorial, we recommend keeping the animals separate until they demonstrate friendly or neutral body language towards one another. 

Pro Tip: Occasionally swapping objects with your pet’s scent into your cat’s room (and vice versa) will speed up the socialization process.

If either pet is aggressive towards unfamiliar animals, we recommend similar instructions to the second method, however, with the addition of incrementally-increasing supervised play sessions. 

If your pet fails to become more comfortable with your cat over several months, there is a chance the two simply don’t get along. 

While rare, just like in the case of two people mutually disliking one another, it happens. 

If this occurs, you will need to keep the animals separate from one another at all times.

4. Explore Different Litter Box Accommodations For Your Cat

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend one litter box, one food bowl, and one water bowl per cat.

Similar to the way we value our privacy in the bathroom, cats are often territorial about their litter boxes, usually preferring to have their own when possible.

If your cats are sharing a litter box, it is crucial that they get along, or that neither are particularly aggressive.

When choosing the best litter brand for your cat, remember, not all brands are made equal. 

While shorter-haired cats may prefer fine litter, long-haired cats often prefer litter that is less likely to stick to their coat, so don’t be afraid to go through a little trial-and-error to find the best litter for your cat.

5. Choose High-Quality Food For Your Cat

Nutrition is just as important for your cat as it is for yourself, so be sure to choose the right cat food based on your pet’s age, breed, and activity level.

It is also important to understand the drinking habits of cats, as they behave slightly different than most other pets. 

While most animals don’t have the luxury of having a “preference” for their water, cats have evolved to favor running water sources over standing water.

In addition, most cats will not overdrink or overeat, so you won’t have to worry about removing your cat’s food/water bowls once they are finished. 

6. Place Toxic Consumables Out Of Reach 

When preparing your home for a new feline friend, it is important to either remove or relocate anything that could be harmful to your cat, such as toxic plants, human food that can’t be digested by their stomachs, or dangerous cleaning and automobile chemicals.

Also, ensure you completely close any containers or lids when storing food or anything that may look like a tasty treat to your cat, otherwise, they may attempt to knock it over and eat whatever is inside, which can be dangerous if those consumables are toxic.

7. Make The Indoors Interesting

It is no secret that cats can get bored indoors, which is why setting up an enticing environment for your kitty is so important, especially if you want to avoid your couch becoming a scratching post. 

Cat condos and other play structures are great ways to turn a boring old room into an inviting play space for your pet.

Cats enjoy looking out the window as well, so try setting up an area where they can relax and observe the interesting world from the comfort of your windowsill. 

8. Place Scratching Posts In Your Home

Cats don’t scratch things without reason, they use it to remove dead claws, stretch after long periods of inactivity, and mark their territory as well.

No matter how hard you try, if you don’t provide scratchers, your cat will find one of their own, whether it’s your couch, bed, chair, or perhaps all three! 

This is exactly why having at least one cat scratcher in your house is important. 

We recommend having at least one scratching post per cat, but you can never have too many!

9. Outdoor Fun Isn’t Just For Outdoor Cats 

If you are keeping your cat indoors, regardless of whether it is due to weather or for its own safety, you’ll be surprised to know that you can still have a good time with your cat outside.

For owners that are worried about the dangers of walking their cat, you can set up an enclosed play space, such as a cat tent, which will allow your pet to enjoy the outdoors without risking their safety. 

While this may not work in every case, certain cats are comfortable with being “walked” using a harness and leash, which can provide an array of opportunities for outdoor fun.

Please note that you should test your cat’s reaction to the harness indoors, as they may attempt to squirm out of the harness or otherwise remove it.

10. Spend Time With Your Cat

Playing with your cat is crucial to developing a bond that will last their lifetime.

Studies show playing with your cat keeps their brain engaged and strengthens their socialization skills, so aside from being fun, it’s beneficial for your cat’s long-term health too!

Clicker training is a great way to socialize your cat and deepen the bond between you two, all while teaching your furry friend some cool new tricks.