Have you been thinking about bringing a new kitty home? Or have you already taken the plunge and have a bundle of fur at home now? Becoming a pet parent is definitely a thrill, but it’s not always easy. Just like with anything, there are some common mistakes that new cat owners can make. Going from new cat parent to super cat parent may not happen overnight. Here are a few actions you can implement to help brush up your cat parenting skills!
Take Your New Cat To The Vet
There can be various reasons for not visiting the vet with your cat very often. It can be stressful for you and your cat to take them to a strange new place. If you brought home a kitten though, it’s easier to train them to get used to the carrier, the car, and the vet. Try leaving their carrier out all the time with the door open. This will get your cat more comfortable with it and they may even like it. Get them used to going into it and then try closing the door. Carry them around for a few minutes and see how they react. You can take it up a notch by even taking them on a short ride around the block. This works for adults too, as long as it doesn’t severely stress your grown cat out.
A vet visit may seem unnecessary for some young indoor cats, but it’s essential they get one when you first bring them home and then a yearly checkup after that. Cats are notorious for hiding illnesses or other issues they may have going on. A vet exam can help you discover these ailments before they progress further. Keep an eye on your cat for any health or behavioral changes. Consider purchasing pet insurance when your cats are still young and it is the cheapest. This will help you ensure that your cat gets the preventative care that it needs.
Introduce Your New Cat Properly
We all know how exciting it is to bring a kitty home! That sometimes translates to opening the carrier door as soon as you walk inside your house. If you brought a kitten home, most young cats probably won’t care, and will adjust to their new home quickly. However, it’s best to start with confining the cat to a small room like a spare bedroom or bathroom. Make sure to add all of the essential items for your cat. Outfit it with a litter box, a cat tree and cat bed, scratching post, food, water, and toys. Let your cat loose in the small room to explore without getting overwhelmed by all of your home’s sights, scents, and noises.
Depending on your new cat’s personality, introduce them to more areas of the home as they get comfortable. This helps them adjust to small areas at a time, making their new home more exciting instead of overwhelming. Some cats may only need a few days before they’re ready for the next section of your home. Shy cats may need a few weeks, months, or longer to feel fully relaxed before moving onto another room. Giving them time may be hard, but it will be worth it as they get comfortable in their new environment. Before you know it, they’ll be out and about in your whole house!
Cat Litter Box Etiquette
Most cat owners may not realize that improper litter box cleanliness may cause issues with your cat. Cat owners make the mistake of not having enough litter boxes or don’t clean them as often as they should. These habits may make your kitty not use the box properly. The ideal situation for any cat home is to have one extra box per cat. For example, with one cat, you should provide two litter boxes. If you have two cats, then you should have three litter boxes and so on. This gives cats plenty of options and clean spaces to do their business. It’s also very important to keep the boxes as clean as you can, ideally scooping once a day or more.
A cat’s sense of smell is fourteen times stronger than ours. This means if their box is a little on the stinky side to you, they may be reluctant to use it. The same can also be said if your litter is overly scented. You may enjoy the ultra-scented litter as it helps disguise odors, but the scent may be overwhelming to your cats. Sticking to an unscented litter is most likely your best bet. You can even use a deodorizing spray or powder as needed after they go. Scooping after they use the box though should keep it pretty fresh and less odorous than simply using a perfumed litter. Some cats can be very picky about their litter boxes while other cats could care less. Providing multiple clean litter boxes will help your cats continue their good habits for years to come. If the look of the litter boxes bothers you, try using cat litter box furniture. The Refined Feline designs modern cat furniture that you wouldn’t even know is for a cat.
Understand That Cats Will Be Cats
It’s all too easy to look at Fluffy and think she is doing something just like a human would. Although we are all animals, cats and humans don’t think the same. Anthropomorphism is the act of attaching human traits to something not human, most commonly animals that we love. It’s far too easy to attach human emotions to our animals. Most of our pets think and feel at a fairly high level, but not in the same way that humans do. Cats can love, dislike, and may even become jealous of other things. This doesn’t mean they will experience the same gambit of emotions that we do though.
Cats are unique in that they are both the prey and the predator in the animal kingdom. They hunt but are also small enough to become prey. This in turn can make them more fearful of new situations or being at floor level. Cats appreciate routine but are also independent creatures that want their own space and to do things on their own terms. They rarely communicate verbally with each other, unless they are fighting. Cats turn to this method with humans though as they can see we use verbal communication within our species. Cats can be just as complex as humans, but not in the same way. Understanding your cat’s body language can make a huge difference in your relationship with your cat.
Avoid These Common Mistakes That New Cat Owners Make
Providing these essential things for your cat will keep them happy and healthy for years to come. With a little TLC, you’ll become a super cat parent in no time!