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Tips for New Cat Owners

tips for new cat ownersHere are a few tips for new cat owners.  Cats are indeed, cute, furry and so much fun when they are small.  The most important thing to remember, when you decide to get a cute little kitty, is that one day it will be a less active cat that may live until he is 20 years old.  Are you prepared to take care of a pet for that long?  Here are a few things to consider:

Tips for New Cat Owners – Before You Decide

Think about how much time you have to devote to a cat.  Some breeds require less work than others.  Cats that require grooming or who shed more may not work the best in your home.  If you’re gone long hours, maybe a companion cat will work in your house.

Is the cat you’re considering healthy?  You don’t want to invest in a cat or kitten that has been in a situation that has exposed it to disease or a complicated start in life.  Unless you are willing to work with a special needs cat, choose a cat with less complications to begin with.  We once brought a cat home that had been in a small cage for 6 months.  It took quite a long time to re-acclimate her to a more normal living situation.  Not everyone who considers owning a cat has time to work through behavior problems.  It makes sense to do research and be choosy.

Do You Have Allergies?

If you are considering getting a cat or kitten and allergies is a problem, you may want to get tested for cat allergies before you get a pet. Finding out you or your kids are allergic to a pet you have fallen in love with is hard on you and your pet.

Pick the Right Litter

One of the top tips for new cat owners is to choose the best cat litter.  Cat litter comes in many different varieties.  You need to pick a variety that is right for you.  Not every litter absorbs both feces and urine odors, so make sure what you buy is what you wanted.   Besides types of litter, there are also different types of litter boxes to help you accommodate your new cat.

Choose Quality Food

Make sure you choose food your cat likes but also that is healthy for your cat.  Your veterinarian can help advice you what will be the best choice for your cat.  Be careful when you switch food that you do it slowly; feeding a little of the old with the new.  This will keep your cat from getting constipation, diarrhea, vomit and other digestion issues.  The best tip for new cat owners regarding food is that not every cat is the same or has the same needs.  Your veterinarian can help you determine the correct amount to feed your pet and which food is best.

Have Your Cat Spayed or Neutered

Your veterinarian can tell you when it’s time to spay or neuter your cat.  Usually a female will be spayed before her first heat.  A male should be neutered when he is around 6 months old.  It is important to keep your pet from other cats prior to being fixed to prevent unwanted kittens.

Make sure you bring your new cat in for a check-up as soon as possible.  Providing your cat with all the proper parasite control and vaccinations can help ensure your pet is safe and lives a long happy life.  If you have any questions about your cat or you need more tips for  new cat owners, please call your veterinarian at Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic.  We will be happy to help you.