So, you’ve just got your first cat, but you’re not sure where to start. When it comes to looking after a pet of this nature, there are a few things that you need to remember. Cats can vary a great deal in their temperament, size and care needs. There is not just one set of rules for how to look after a cat. Much of what you need to know, you will learn when you first get one. Having said that, there are some core things you need to know. Once you get this pet, you will never look back. This little bundle of joy will be an absolute pleasure to care for if you get things right from the start.
A Cat’s Primary Needs
As is the case with most animals, cats have a set of fundamental needs that you will need to address. Of course, in the most simple sense, cats need food, water and a home from you. What you give them, though, is much more than just that. You also need to give your cat the right level of attention, care and, believe it or not, respect. When you make the decision to get a pet like this one, you have to be sure that you have what it takes to look after it. After all, your cat will be reliant on you for everything they need in their daily life.
Medical Issues & Vets
One of the main things you need to know about how to look after a cat is that their medical needs come first. If you get a kitten, they will need a lot of treatments within the first year of you having them. People often suggest that you find a vet within the first couple of weeks of getting your cat. Registering with a surgery is easy – you usually just have to call up and ask to become a member. Your cat will need two sets of vaccine injections when it is a kitten. It will also need flea and worming treatments on a regular basis. Some vets have pet clubs that you pay for on a monthly basis. If this option is available to you, you might find that it saves you money when you first get your pet.
If your cat has a severe injury, the cost of the vet’s bills could be quite extreme. You should consider getting pet insurance for your cat so that you can always cover the cost of their treatment. Usually, you will find that there are terms of the insurance policy. You might find that a certain insurer only covers treatments over a particular cost. You must read the small print before you choose a policy for your pet.
Cats are territorial creatures by nature. In the wild, this fact means that they would claim an area as theirs and reign over it. If another cat came to their realms, they would likely fight. Since your cat will live with you, your home will be their territory. Sometimes, you will find that their territorial behaviour causes them to be naughty. If you have a male cat, for example, they might start ‘spraying’ their scent around your house or flat. It is advisable to have your vet neuter your cat if this problem occurs.
If you find that your kitty starts to become aggressive or angry around people, you need to do something about it. Young kittens (0-6 months) are still in the developmental stage of their life. Anything they learn now is likely to stick with them. You will need to train your cat to behave itself at this early stage. That way, you will save yourself trouble later. There are many guides online about how to teach your cat to be good.
Also, if you find that your cat scratches things, such as your sofa, you need to deter them. You can use lemon spray on your furniture to keep your cats away since they hate the smell of citrus fruit.
Nutrition & Diet
Despite what you may have heard, most cats are lactose intolerant. That means that they can’t eat or drink any dairy products. You should not give your cats cream or milk. Instead, you can buy special ‘cat milk’ that has less lactose in it than the milk we use. You can feed your cat either wet or dry food. When you want to treat your kitty, something simple like a piece of chicken or salmon will do the job!
Nature & Personality
Finally, you need to consider your cat’s nature. When you first get your pet, you will notice that it is quite playful. It will likely want to run around your home and explore right away. You should play with your cat as much as possible. Felines tend to learn as they play, and so this part of their care plan is essential. You can get loads of cat toys that will enthrall and entertain your kitty.
If you follow this advice piece, you should have no problem with your new pet. When you treat them well, cats are loving and devoted creatures.