The New Cat Owner Guide: Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Adopting a Cat

By Jessica Brody

Image via Unsplash

Whether your new cat is Siamese or another breed, there's a lot to learn about caring for your first feline! From what kind of cat to adopt to what to feed your new pet, these are the top tips every new cat owner should know.

What cat supplies should you buy?

Before bringing your first cat home, make sure your house is a welcoming place for a pet. These are the must-have supplies every cat owner needs.

● Cat carrier: A cat carrier keeps your new pet safe on the ride home and on trips to the veterinarian.

● Food and water bowls: Wide, shallow dishes are best for cats. Cat owners can also use feeding toys and water fountains to make mealtimes more stimulating.

● Litter boxes and litter: As a general rule, supply one litter box per cat plus one extra and use dust-free cat litter.

● Cat tree: A sunny place to perch lets cats experience the outdoors safely. Some cat trees also double as scratching posts.

● Scratching post: These come in several styles and materials, so experiment to learn what your cat likes best.

● Grooming items: Nail clippers, a brush, a toothbrush, and feline toothpaste keep your cat's hygiene in order. (Yes, cats need their teeth brushed too!)

● Toys: Don't forget toys for playing with your new pet! Toy mice, balls, laser pointers, and teaser toys are popular types of cat toys.

What to feed your new cat

There's one more thing you need to buy before introducing your new cat to the family: food and treats! The best food for cats is low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein. Most veterinarians recommend feeding wet food to ensure plenty of moisture in your cat's diet. However, if a wet food diet is too costly or inconvenient, supplement kibble with commercial or homemade wet food.

Treats shouldn't be a major part of your cat's diet. However, many owners find treats useful for training or, in the case of CBD treats, easing anxiety and pain in our feline companions. If adding treats to your cat's diet, opt for brands that use high-quality ingredients. CBD treats should also be third-party lab tested for safety.

Adopting a kitten vs. an adult cat

Should you adopt an adult cat or a kitten? While kittens are irresistibly cute, they're also a lot more work than a mature cat. Kittens are full of energy and need lots of toys and attention to keep them busy. Adult cats, on the other hand, are calmer and more self-sufficient. If you do adopt a kitten, consider getting two so your new pet always has a friend.

Should you let your cat outdoors?

Indoor, outdoor, or indoor/outdoor is another big question cat owners must consider. However, the answer may be clearer than you think. Outdoor cats are at risk of dangerous illnesses, injuries, and parasites, resulting in a lifespan far shorter than their indoor counterparts'. Keeping your cat indoors is the safest option for everyone. If your cat longs to explore the great outdoors, leash-train your cat or build a catio where your pet can safely take in the sights, sounds, and smells.

What about declawing?

As a first-time cat owner, you might think declawing is a quick fix for troublesome scratching behavior. However, declawing can lead to long-term problems including pain, aggression, and litter box problems. It also leaves your cat defenseless if it gets lost.

Training your cat is a better solution to inappropriate scratching. Supply your cat with plenty of scratching posts and gently redirect your pet any time it scratches somewhere it shouldn't. Some cat owners also use nail caps to prevent scratching.

As you get to know your new cat's personality, you'll discover more about the best ways to play and bond with your new pet. However, these tips are sure to get your journey off on the right paw! When you step into cat ownership armed with this helpful information, you'll know that you're prepared to give your cat the good home it deserves.

Have questions about cat ownership? Use our Siamese Cat Answers page to ask questions about Siamese cats or any cat!

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