Although their aloof nature sometimes gives them a bad rap, I adore cats. Watching them pounce and tumble around as kittens is adorable, and when they mature they’re pretty low-maintenance compared to dogs. Although they take care of themselves to some degree, there are still certain things you need to have if you’re going to bring a new kitten home. Here are just a few.
Firstly, a range of cat and kitten food. If you own a dog, you’ll know that it can be a challenge to keep them from eating anything and everything. With cats, you’re going to have the opposite problem. These animals are notoriously fussy, and may turn their noses up at the first thing you put in their food bowl. For this reason, you should buy a selection of samples, and try different brands or meats until you find one that works. In the interest of your cat’s health, avoid food that has any artificial preservatives. Remember that cats don’t enjoy the high trading standards we have with our meat! Make sure to get both wet and dry food. Your new kitten will be very nervous to start with, so some treats can come in handy too.
You should have a scratching post for your cat from day one, too. All felines love scratching at rough surfaces. If you don’t offer a better alternative, your cat will set to work destroying your carpet and upholstery! To wean your kitten onto the scratching post, hold it up to it, and gently scrape its paw along the surface. They should get the idea soon enough, and save you a lot of money in new carpets! If you don’t want to buy a scratching post, then a sheet of corrugated cardboard will usually do just fine. Other owners like to hang a thick rope from a door handle, or leave a small log in one corner. Whatever you use, give your cat something to scratch! Love That Pet has a great feature on building your own cat tree.
Finally, a collar with a bell. You’re going to be keeping your new kitten indoors for about a month. Eventually though, you’re going to want to let it out in your garden to explore the big wide world. You should remember that cats, especially young ones, are predators. Seen as you’re on this blog, I assume you love animals, so do the birds in your garden a favour by getting a collar with a bell. This will give off a warning to any birds or rodents which might look appetising. Just remember to get one that the cat will be able to struggle out of if it gets caught on something. While you’re at it, you can protect your cat from fleas by getting a repellent collar, like the ones from Seresto. This will save you some gross encounters, and keep the kids happy!
Make sure you have these three essentials before bringing your cat home. Prepare your house well, and both you and your pet will adjust wonderfully.