Welcoming a feline as a new member of your family can be as exciting as it is stressful, especially for pet owners who are not familiar with raising cats. Surely, you might have heard of cats as more aloof pets that may not provide you with the same attention as their canine counterparts, but in most cases, this is farthest from the truth.
If you’re thinking about adopting a cat as a new member of your family, here’s what you need to know.
Adopt don’t buy
Presuming you still haven’t adopted your fur baby, never purchase a cat from a pet store! Pet stores encourage breeding animals for profit, which can be a very inhumane and cruel process. You don’t need a majestic-looking Persian from your local pet store when there are so many rescues in the shelter waiting for a home.
Whether you have adopted a cat or a kitten, you’ll have to ensure that your feline friend is getting the nutrition it needs as it grows up. If you have adopted a senior or a special-needs cat, always check with your vet before you buy any cat food. On the other hand, you will want to invest in the right kind of food to reduce your cat's smelly poop; unsurprisingly, the most nutritious food for your cat is also the kind that keeps your cat’s litter box smelling fresh. Always pay attention to your cat’s litter, and keep an eye out for runny feces, which may be a sign of an upset stomach.
As a new feline owner, you may be tempted to opt for the cheapest kind of litter you find, which is usually clay litter. The good news is, the best kind of litter for your cat is very cheap, but it’s probably not in your local pet store. Ditch the clay brands, and order wood pellets from online stores, which come very cheap for a large amount that goes a long way. Wood-pellet cat litter traps in foul smells and is generally much healthier for cats than other options.
Even if your cat is not showing any signs of illness, you still need to take it for regular check-ups every three months. That said, you’ll need to ask your vet about what vaccinations that your cat needs, which range from vaccines for respiratory diseases to those that protect your cat from rabies. Your cat needs to retake the shots on an annual basis, and most vets offer them for affordable prices, seeing as they are essential for your cat’s health. You’ll also need to deworm your cat every three months, which you can do yourself with a pill that you purchase from the vet, or during the cat’s regular check-up.
Being a first-time cat owner may seem like a stressful experience when you don’t know where to start, but you’ll quickly pick up on the do's and don’ts as your cat grows up. Be sure to check with your vet on what your cat can eat, and what may be toxic to your fur baby, to keep your new friend safe.