This is an exciting time. You’re about to bring home your very first cat. To get started on the right foot, here’s a list of seven things you should do BEFORE you even bring the cat into the house. You are about to enter into a relationship that will hopefully last for many, many years and this new feline family member needs you to be prepared for his physical, mental and emotional needs.
1. Be Sure Everyone in the Family is Ready for the Responsibility of a Cat
Everyone in the family needs to be on the same page in terms of actually even wanting a cat. If responsibilities and specific cat-related duties are going to be assigned to certain family members, make sure they are in agreement and will comply. Don’t give a young child the duty of feeding the cat, for example. Make sure assigned duties are age-appropriate.
2. Make a Good Cat Match
Don’t be impulsive when it comes to choosing the cat because you may get in over your head. If you want to adopt a fearful cat who will require lots of TLC due to his history but you have family members at home who want the perfect lap cat, it will disappoint everyone and make things harder for the cat. Sit down with your family and make sure you are all in agreement on what to expect.
3. Get the Supplies You’ll Need for the Cat
Do your homework and get the supplies needed for when you bring your cat home, such as:
- An uncovered litter box
- A litter scoop and a receptacle to place soiled litter
- Litter substrate (initially start with the litter the cat is currently used to)
- Food and water bowls (get separate bowls and not the double-dish kind)
- Food (start with the food he’s used to for now unless your veterinarian tells you otherwise)
- A few hideways (these can be open paper bags, A-frame beds, donut beds, open boxes)
- A scratching post (a sturdy sisal-covered post)
- Interactive toys (fishing pole design toys for supervised playtime that you’ll do with him)
- Solo toys (the toys you can safely leave out for his solo playtime)
- Brushes (the type will depend on the cat’s coat)
- Nail trimmers (the kind meant for cat nails. Don’t use human nail trimmers)
- A sturdy cat carrier (make sure it’s the right size for your cat – not too big and not too small)
- Identification tag (you may also decide later to have your cat microchipped as well)