Getting your first cat is a truly exciting development, but it can also be overwhelming. You’re taking responsibility for another being’s life, and there will be real, heartbreaking consequences for getting it wrong. Today we’re looking at some tips that help you approach your first days with your pet cat with confidence.
Bringing a Cat Home
Kitten or adult cat, bought from a breeder, adopted or taken on from a friend: the day you bring your new cat home is one of the most important days in your relationship.
Scent is an important way to help them feel comfortable. If you can, bring toys, blankets or cushions from their previous home that will smell familiar and help them to settle. You could also try bringing some cushions or fabric to the cat’s previous home in the days before you collect it to allow them to pick up those familiar scents, and then bring them back with the cat in its carrier.
Set up a quiet, safe space for your cat – ideally a whole room, but if necessary a corner of a larger room you can protect to give your cat a piece of territory it can feel safe in. Make sure it has space for food and water, a litter tray – removed from the food as much as possible, a high place to climb and a private place with blankets for hiding and sleep.
It may take a long time for your cat to feel comfortable so don’t rush things – you have to let your new cat come to you. If you have the patience to do this, you’ll build a much better relationship with your new pet that will last for years!
Your new pet is dependent on you for its health and happiness – so you need to be able to do some basic healthcare for your kitten and also spot when the symptoms are serious enough to call for a vet.
Unfortunately our cat is likely to suffer from an upset stomach sometimes – it’s rarely a sign of a serious condition, but if you’re asking ‘why does my cat have diarrhea?’ regularly it’s worth seeking your vet’s advice. Cats at different life stages need different foods, so you might need to adjust their diet, or it could be a symptom of a parasite infection. Either way, knowing enough to spot the problem and solve it will make life better for you and your new pet!