You’re thinking of adopting a cat. You’ve looked at your local animal centre to find your perfect match and now you’ve got your eye on a special feline you’d like to bring home. But how do you know you’re ready?
Cats can be mysterious but knowing how to properly care for one shouldn’t be. Here’s what you need to do to help your cat enjoy a smooth transition into its new life.
9 things to know
Find a nearby veterinary clinic where you can take your cat for routine care and health examinations. Take note of the clinic’s hours and find an emergency clinic for after-hours illnesses or injuries.
Place a litter box in a quiet, easily accessible spot that also offers privacy for your feline friend. If you adopted a kitten less than six months old, use only non-clumping cat litter. Litter often sticks to their fur and feet. That could lead to digestive and intestinal problems if your kitten ingests any litter while cleaning themselves.
Invest in quality stainless steel or ceramic food and water dishes. Cats need plenty of fresh water daily, so keep your pet’s water dish full of fresh, clean water.
Nutrition is very important to keep your cat healthy, so selecting a high quality cat or kitten food is a must. Typically, kittens should be fed three to four small meals a day. Most adult cats should be fed once or twice daily. Talk to your veterinarian to determine how often and how much to feed your cat.
Grooming tools, such as a brush or comb, are important to help keep your cat’s coat healthy.
Cats love toys and activities that keep them stimulated and active. If you purchase any toys that contain yarn or string, be sure to supervise your cat at play. Ingestion of these materials can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, intestinal damage.
A scratching post is recommended, as clawing is a natural and normal behaviour for cats. Choose a scratching post that is tall enough that your cat can fully stretch out when scratching. Cats typically have a preference of what substrate they enjoy scratching, so find out if your cat likes carpet vs. rope vs. burlap as a scratching post.
If you plan on letting your cat go outdoors while supervised, get a breakaway collar, harness and leash, identification tag, as well as ensure your cat is microchipped as a permanent form of identification. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many dangers outdoors for cats. Indoors is a safer option; however, if your cat enjoys some outdoor time, consider building a ‘catio’!
Lastly, spay or neuter your furry friend! Spaying or neutering your pet can help reduce the number of unplanned cats and dogs that end up in animal centres. All cats of appropriate age are spayed or neutered at the Ontario SPCA before being adopted.
Being a cat parent is a rewarding experience. We wish you and your new feline friend all the best as you get to know each other!Leave a comment