Cats. Known for being a little too serious in comparison to dogs, they are one of the two most commons pets to have. Although there are different personality traits when it comes to animals, most cats tend to be really independent, and they know how to take care of most of their personal necessities.
Be it cleaning themselves, going to the bathroom, and even playing or the amount of attention they require, most cats won’t need their owners to be constantly attentive to their actions, at least, not after teaching them during the first weeks/months. It doesn’t mean that they are not great pets, though.
As a cat owner myself, I can say that I love my cats, and they love me back as well, but getting to know them and taking the right steps to make things easier for both of us wasn’t as easy as I had expected. There was a lot of research and preparation I had to do.
Being a cat owner is a lifestyle change that might be difficult depending on how experienced you are with pets and how used you are to the responsibilities. Of course, it’s also something great that can definitely make your life a happier experience. If you are like me, someone who enjoys the company of animals, even when they are quiet and independent, you’ll definitely enjoy the process of bonding with them.
But first of all, before even considering getting a cat, you should know some things beforehand. And I’m going to teach them to you so you don’t get caught by surprise…
The Prep Work
In contrast to dogs that you can take out for a walk and let them do their thing while you tend to your business, cats need a space where they can take care of their necessities. So, I think that the first thing you should have prepared is a litter box, as mentioned over here https://www.wikihow.com/Take-Care-of-a-Cat.
The box should be placed in a quiet place free of interruptions, with enough sand (litter) for the cat so you don’t have to worry about him or her making a disaster. You’ll also need a special scoop, which usually comes with the litter box and cat litter. This scoop will allow you to clean out the mess without much effort, and you should do it at least once a day.
The best way to train your cat is by letting him walk on the sand, feeling it with its pawns, to understand that it is the place with such a texture inside your house. They instinctively look for places like that, so hopefully, they’ll understand right away. If not, you can always try to move your kitten towards the litter box when the time comes.
The second thing, although not as necessary and urgent as the first, is having a tool that provides your cat with a scratching place. More common among young cats, they need a place where they can just scratch to their heart’s content. This is something you cannot avoid since that’s the way they maintain their claws.
By having a scratching pole, you will not only provide them with a safe space to work their claws in, but you’ll also avoid the risk of suffering from a cat’s rampage whenever you are not around.
The third important object to have is a spray bottle! Cats do not understand very well when they do something bad and sometimes we just yell at them to try to make them understand that what they did was wrong. Some cats may jump on areas that they shouldn’t be jumping on, or do things that might be considered bad. If they do, the spray bottle becomes your best friend.
Why does it work, though? Well, believe it or not, if you start yelling at your cat, or hit them (I hope you don’t!), your cat will start seeing you as an enemy and holding a grudge against you in the future. If you use a spray, they’ll not only understand it since they dislike sprayed water even more than loud yelling, but they’ll also see the bottle as the enemy, instead of you! This is great to strategy to have with your cat without ruining the bonding process.
Of course, other things you can get include laces, belts, and other stuff. As mentioned on this website, some cats might enjoy going outside, and having a lace or a belt will significantly reduce your stress and the difficulty of an outdoor adventure.
Besides that, you should do research about diets, types of cat food, and how to take care of a cat depending on its age. This is very important, considering that senior cats require a different approach in comparison to kittens.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do
If your cat is too young to eat something solid, for goodness sake please don’t give it just whole milk as a meal! We as animals, and many other animals, are not created to handle whole milk. You should add some water to it to avoid stomach complications. Believe me, I talk from experience. You can add some food to the milk and water combo, and make sure that the food becomes soft enough for them to eat without choking.
Although cats can be very independent, they get easily anxious when they don’t see their owners for a long time, or when they visit unknown places. You should try to give them attention at least once a day, and make sure that they are not acting weird, salivating too much, or not eating. These are signs indicating that something might be wrong.
If you are someone who works on a regular basis, buying a cat some simple toys is one great way to help them cope with loneliness. Another option is purchasing CBD products to help them in case they get too anxious. This is called separation anxiety, and it is much more common than you might think.
There are a lot of best practices when it comes to cats, but generally you should try to make them happy and love them while having a lot of patience and the will to learn. That is, in fact, the secret tip to succeed at the whole adventure of owning a cat for the first time!