Wednesday, February 1, 2023

What To Know Before Getting A Cat

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Where Should I Get A Cat From

Many of us simply become cat owners because the cat chooses us it turns up on the doorstep or in the garden and gradually works its way into the bedroom! Other people get a kitten from neighbours or friends whose own cat has had an accidental litter. This can easily happen if owners dont realise that their own kitten was grown up enough to have kittens of its own of course, the local tom cat has noticed! . Because these accidental kittens are often born into a busy household and they are the only cats there, they are often well handled and involved in all the day-to-day activity which prepares the kittens to be good pets.

You can also go to a breeder for a pedigree kitten or visit a homing/rescue organisation for a kitten or cat which needs a new home. There are good breeders and there are excellent homing/rescue organisations; however, there are also those of poor quality which produce or keep cats in a way that is not conducive to health or to making good pets. If you understand what can influence the health and welfare of a cat or kitten and how its environment and its care can also influence this, you can at least make an informed judgement hopefully, this new cat or kitten will be with you and your family for a long time.

Maybe Consider Getting Two Cats

If youre planning on becoming a first-time kitten owner, get two, Kruger says. They dont have to be from the same litter, but a pair of the relative same age will do. 

While everybody wants to be a cat, humans arent always equipped to teach kittens how to play and use the litter box. Humans using their hands to play with kittens can inadvertently teach them that its OK for them to bite and swat. 

Its easy to adopt two kittens or cats. Shelters often keep pairs together, and theyre adopted out together if they get along. 

Cats Like Company Some Of The Time

Cats have a reputation as loners that hate company. This is not true at all. Cats can grow lonely and depressed if left alone for too long.

How you provide this company is a challenge. Many cats enjoy companionship, but time in solitude is equally important.

If you are away for long periods of time, ask somebody else to visit your cat. This short interruption in the cats isolation will be welcomed.

You could also consider adopting two cats, providing each other with company. Unless the two felines are littermates that grew up together, this can be difficult. Introducing cats to each other is a long, arduous process with no guarantee of success.

Do not attempt this unless you have the time and inclination to take on the challenge. The cats are likelier to fight than bond in the early stages. If youre a novice cat owner, dedicate yourself to caring for one animal at a time.

Cats Can Be Fussy Eaters

Feeding a cat is not as simple as bulk-buying tinned food from the supermarket. Cats can be notably picky and stubborn eaters. A cat will wait for something better over settling for a substandard meal.

It may take a little trial and error to find the perfect meal for a cat. If adopting from a shelter of existing home, stick with an established food. Sudden and unexpected changes in diet can upset feline digestion.

Also be aware that a cat may still change its mind about food. A favored treat or meal may be rejected for seemingly no reason. Always have an alternative flavor on hand for such instances. Cats know their own mind, and they know what they want.

Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser

10 Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Cat

Moving into a new home with a new family is a very stressful event for most cats. They often need a lot of help adjusting to their new homes. The Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser for Cats & Kittens provides a sense of calm for the cat by releasing an odorless vapor that mimics a cat’s calming pheromones. These pheromones help communicate to your cat that the area is safe. Providing your cat with this sense of calm can help prevent stress-related issues such as urine marking on the walls or even destructive scratching, which can be signs that your cat is stressed. If your kitty needs more round-the-clock soothing, try the Comfort Zone Calming Collar.

Things To Know Before Adopting A Cat

Youre thinking of adopting a cat. Youve done the Meet Your Match® quiz at your local animal centre to find your perfect match and now youve got your eye on a special feline youd like to adopt. Before you bring Fluffy home, make sure youre ready!

Cats can be mysterious, but knowing how to properly care for one shouldnt be. Heres what you need to do to help your cat enjoy a smooth transition into its new life.

Before you adopt 9 things to know

  • photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar Orion looking at me and licking his nose while looking at me via

    Find a nearby veterinary clinic where you can take your cat for routine care and health checks. Note the clinics hours and find an emergency clinic for after-hours illnesses or injuries.

  • Place a litter box in an easily accessible spot that also offers privacy for your feline friend. If you adopted a kitten less than six months old, use only non-clumping cat litter. Kittens are cute, but theyre also messy. Litter often sticks to their fur and feet. That could lead to digestive and intestinal problems if your kitten ingests any litter while cleaning itself.
  • Invest in quality stainless steel or ceramic food and water dishes. Cats need plenty of fresh water daily, so keep your pets water dish full of fresh, clean water.
  • Grooming tools, such as a brush or comb, are also important to help keep your cats coat healthy.
  • What Other Care Will The Kitten Need Both Now And As An Adult

    Some breeds, such as Persians and Exotics, have very flat faces. In making the face this flat the natural drainage of tears from the eye may be blocked and the tears overflow over the face. This must be very uncomfortable for the cats and can cause staining or skin problems. Owners must be able to clean the eyes and face on a regular basis. Other breeds with more pointed skulls may have more inset eyes which may also need care.

    Ask about vaccination most pedigree kittens will have had their vaccinations before they can be homed, but it is worth checking. Many kittens from rescue may also have had at least one vaccination, depending on the age at which they are homed. Make sure you get the vaccination certificate if you take on the kitten.

    Have the kittens has been wormed and treated for fleas? If so, what with?

    Have any of the kittens got ongoing health issues requiring medication?

    If the kitten is a pedigree, ask about any tests for inherited diseases .

    All About Kittens: What To Expect

    Raising a kitten is an entirely different experience from having an adult cat. Kittens have boundless energy and curiosity, which means they require a lot of your time and energy. Your new kitten needs not only lots of affection and playtime in order to be properly socialized, but also a ton of supervision to keep her out of trouble. The truth is that kittens, while charming and lovable, can be exhausting. Keep in mind that the kitten stage doesn’t last forever, and your cat will never be this small or cute again. Enjoy this stage, and remember, the bond you form with your kitten will last her entire life.

    My Cat Was Raised With Its Littermate From An Early Age But Has Now Been Left On Its Own Due To The Death Of Its Sibling Should I Get Another Cat As A Replacement Companion

    The bond between feline littermates is very special and when one of a pair dies before the other, the surviving cat may show signs of feline grief.

    Behavior changes after losing a sibling might include:

    • Searching for the other cat
    • Vocalizing
    • Changes in eating
    • Changes in grooming
    • Changes in social behavior and seeking attention from owners
    • or you may see no signs at all.

    If you truly want to add another cat to the household as a companion for your family, waiting until your surviving cats behavior returns to baseline is a good idea. If the only reason you would be bringing home another cat would be as a companion to your existing cat, please reconsider. This may cause more stress rather than reducing it.

    Lifestyle Considerations For First Time Cat Owners

    Owners should consider whether theyre willing to adjust their daily lives before living with a cat for the first time. People may think they live laid-back lives, but having children in the house, for instance, can stress out a new cat. 

    Its alway good to really think about your familys activity level and how thats going to affect the animal, Kruger says. 

    Cats also crave routine, she says, so people should ask themselves if theyre willing to take part in that routine, which might include being woken up at 6 a.m. each day. 

    With that in mind, potential cat moms and dads should find a cat with a personality that will fit in their new home. 

    Ask About Your Particular Requirements

    If you have a dog at home, it is a lot easier to integrate the kitten if it has already met a dog or dogs and is not frightened. Likewise, if you have children, ask if the kitten has met children those that have will take the high pitched voices and somewhat erratic or sudden movements of children in their stride. If the kitten has just been around women and not met men it may be fearful of loud deep voices, so again ask the question.

    The answers to these questions will give you an idea of the quality of care the kittens are receiving. The next step is to visit and view the kittens.

    How Do I Choose A Breeder To Buy A Pedigree Kitten From

    If you decide you want a pedigree cat there are again a couple of different routes to go down, depending on whether you want an adult or a kitten. As mentioned above, many of the breed clubs have welfare groups that take in and rehome cats of that particular breed. Theyll have knowledge of the breeds particular needs so that they can find owners wholl be able to care for them properly.

    If you do want a pedigree kitten then you have to choose not only the breed you want , but also a breeder who can provide a kitten thats in the best of health and, equally importantly, that will make a good pet. Most people dont just want a cat that has a certain shape, coat length or colour, they also want one thats confident and well balanced. Although people tend to take it for granted that this comes automatically, that isnt always the case. Kittens that dont get the right exposure to people and the human environment in their first few weeks wont make good pets, or at least, not in the way we expect them to be confident, gentle and interactive.

    Enjoy A Little Outdoor Fun

    39 Things You Should Know Before Getting A Cat

    Even if you’re not comfortable letting your cat roam outside, you can still have safe outdoor adventures together. Set up an enclosed outdoor space for your kitty to play in, like a catio or a cat tent that’s staked to the ground. You can also put your cat on a secure harness and take him outside for a short walk in the backyard on a leash.

    Your kitty will need to get used to the harness indoors first. Some will “belly crawl” on the ground for a bit before they feel comfortable with the harness, and some might not move at all for a few minutes while they get used to the feel of it. But most will learn to love it with time, especially once they realize that putting on the harness means they’re going outside.

    Prepare A Safe Room For Your Cat

    A “Safe Room” doesn’t need to be a separate room but could be an empty closet, a corner of your bedroom with a protective screen, or a seldom-used bathroom. The important thing is that your new cat has a place it can call “home,” where it can retreat and rest. It may voluntarily choose to socialize with you and other family members, but for now, let it decide whether to hide or mingle. It may take several days to a week or more, depending on its history, but your patience at this point will yield exponential results in a happier relationship with your cat in later days.

    The Litter Box And Sleeping Arrangements

    Cats instinctively know the use of a litter box. No need to housetrain. Just plonk it in the box and it will go about its business without any fuss. The litter absorbs all smells and needs to be replenished once in a while.

    Another big consideration is where will the cat sleep. Make a cozy bed out of a box or if you choose it can sleep in your bed. Once the cat is used and satisfied with the arrangement, it is for life.

    Can I Have A Cat If I Have A Dog

    If you have other pets there should not be a problem in getting a cat, but you just need to make sure that you take everything into consideration.  If you have a dog you just need to make sure that you make introductions carefully so that your new cat is not chased or injured while the dog gets used to it. Not all dog types make good companions for cats.How to introduce a new cat or kitten to a resident dog

    Phase 3 Cat Sees Cat

    • Organize a carrier meeting. Place your new cat in a carrier and put the carrier in a location of your home outside of the safe room . Allow the cats to look at each other and sniff through the carrier door.
    • Any signs of aggression? Keep the visit short and return the new cat to its safe room.
    • Repeat this phase 2 to 3 times daily , until cats appear to be more comfortable with each other.

    A Comfortable Bed To Snuggle In

    Kittens spend a lot of time sleeping, up to 16 hours a day on average. All this rest helps with growth and development. Starting from their very first night, your kitten will need a lot of rest in order to grow into a healthy cat, so before bringing your kitten home its essential that you choose a comfortable bed they can snuggle in thats warm, cosy, and safe.

    Cats Need Regular Veterinary Check

    Everything about taking a cat to the vet will be traumatic. Just getting a cat into a carrier to transport it can be hard work. Your cat will also be a nervous wreck while at the veterinary surgery.

    All the same, regular appointments are a necessary evil. Do not only see a vet in the event of a medical emergency. Take your cat for an annual check-up, especially if it is older.

    Cats will rarely let on if they are sick or in pain. This means that serious conditions can go undiagnosed unless professional tests are run. This is why check-ups are so important. If your cat needs medication, it will be prescribed in a timely manner.

    Of course, this does all have a financial impact, though. If youre considering a cat, ensure you budget for regular veterinary appointments. An insurance policy is not compulsory but will keep bills down if something untoward occurs.

    Cats Need To Be Comfortable

    Take care in introducing your new cat into your household, especially if youre introducing the cat to a new baby. Cats thrive on the comfort, security and familiarity of their environment. Let the cat explore every nook and cranny of the house or apartment. This allows your cat to feel secure in its new surroundings. If there are children, teach them how to properly hold and pet the cat. Children should also be taught some basic cat body language so that they will know to leave the cat alone when its ears are back, its tail is twitching, or it is growling or hissing.

    Phase 3 Cat Meets Dog

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    • Bring the dog in on a leash. Once the cat is used to your home, let the cat roam loose in one room. Keep the dog on a leash and have dog treats ready in your pocket. If possible, have another person the cat is familiar with on the other side of the room to reassure and distract the cat from the dog.
    • Sit and meet. Keep the dog seated and focused on you as the leader. Try offering the dog a toy. If the dog focuses on or accepts the toy, reward the dog with a treat. If the dog tries to stand and move towards the cat, correct the dog slightly with the leash and reward him or her with a treat. If at any point the dog is not responding to your commands or the cats stress level appears elevated, remove the dog from the room. Keep repeating this process until the dog is responding to you and either ignoring or accepting the cat. This process helps teach the dog that cats are not prey, toys to be chased, or threats.
    • Watch. Never leave the dog and cat unsupervised until you are absolutely sure they have built up a mutual, trusting and respectful relationship.
    • Make sure kitty has some space for alone time. Even once the cat and dog are comfortable with each other, cats still like having the option to retreat to a space away from the dog. Place a baby gate across the doorway of a room in the house where the cat or cats like to hang out, or buy or build a tall cat tower so they can retreat when needed.

    Get A Litter Box And Take Care Of Sleeping Arrangements

    Next, to food and water, a litter box is critical for your new cat’s comfort and health. With scrupulous maintenance of your cat’s litter box, you’ll never have to worry about odor or “out-of-box accidents.”

    “But the cat goes outdoors,” you say? You’ll want to rethink that decision in one of the later steps.

    Another big consideration with your first cat is “where will it sleep?” Will you share your own bed with it, get it his own cozy bed, or a combination of both? Don’t forget, you are establishing habits that will most likely last a lifetime.

    Training And Socializing Your Kitten

    Litter box training should be near the top of your priority list on your kitten’s first day home. Kittens that stay with their mothers until they are fully weaned usually learn a litter box’s purpose by watching their mothers. Typically, your kitten will already know what to do, and your only job will be to show her the box. You may need to remind her where the box is and use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, until she gets used to using it on her own without any prompting. At this stage, it might be helpful to have a couple of litter boxes around the house, just to make sure she has easy access to one while she’s figuring things out.

    Beyond potty-training, training a kitten is usually about establishing and reinforcing boundaries and household rules. Again, rely on positive reinforcement to train your kitten, and avoid punishing her or speaking to her harshly. Never, ever hit or shake your kitten. Instead, ignore her when she’s behaving badly and give her affection, treats and praise to reward her good behavior. If ignoring isn’t an option, redirect her attention to something else. For example, if your kitten bites or scratches your hand, give her a toy to play with instead. If she scratches the furniture, patiently redirect her to a scratching post or pad. If all else fails, give her a time out by confining her to base camp until she calms down.

    Get Ready A Safe Room For The Cat

    This doesnt have to be a separate room. A closet, a bedroom corner screened off or an unused bathroom will all do. It is important that the cat has its own space. Leave it alone for the first few days to give it time to get used to its new surroundings. It will automatically start socializing once it is in a relaxed frame of mind. Your patience initially will pay rich dividends.

    I Am Considering Adopting A Cat But Was Told I Should Adopt Two Cats Why

    Cats are family-oriented and usually live with their relatives. Cats will sleep together, share common feeding areas, and groom one another within family groups. For this reason, cats often do well adopted in pairs.

    However, there is a caveat to this statement. Studies have shown families who adopt two kittens from the same litter are far more likely to keep those cats in their home long-term than families adopting a single kitten.

    Most adult cats, in contrast, are not very tolerant of other adult cats outside their family group. When adopting an adult cat, it may be best to add only one cat to the family.

    Can I Have A Cat With A Baby Or Young Children

    There is no reason not to have a cat or kitten if you have children.  It is up to parents to teach their children from the very beginning how to approach, stroke and handle cats and to treat them kindly.  Many children have fantastic relationships with their cats and learn about respecting other creatures and being gentle it is done successfully all the time, but it is up to parents to lay down the rules. Perhaps taking on a new kitten when you have a new baby or a toddler might be a lot to handle at once, so ensuring you have time for all the parties is part of a successful relationship. Likewise, if you are pregnant there is no need to get rid of the cat. Simple and basic hygiene precautions and common sense management of the cat, while the baby is small, can ensure all cohabit happily and safely.

    To Provide Your New Kitten With A Safe Happy And Healthy Home There Are Things You Should Prepare In Advance Heres Our Guide To The 10 Things You Must Do Before The Arrival Of Your New Kitten

    Bringing a kitten home can be a wonderful and joyous experience, but if youre unprepared, it can be overwhelming. A kitten can be just like a baby, as they need lots of attention and consideration of their every need. Your kitten depends on you so heres how you should prepare your home for a new pet.

    Spaying And Neutering Is Advisable

    A cat adopted from a shelter has likely already been spayed or neutered. If you are purchasing a kitten, schedule the procedure as early as possible.

    Clinical Techniques in Small Animal Practice explains that kittens can be fixed as young as 6 weeks. Some vets prefer to wait until six months, but this thinking is being increasingly unpopular. The sooner a cat is spayed or neutered, the calmer it will be.

    This will make the cat more attentive while training. Unfixed male cats become increasingly territorial and dominant as they age. Unspayed females can experience health issues in middle age and beyond, including mammary cancer.

    There is already a surplus cat population in the world, with countless cats looking for homes. Adding more kittens is part of the problem, not the solution. Consider the health benefits too and youll see that spaying and neutering is the best choice.

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