Kitten season is upon us and it’s a great time to adopt a cat. But, before running out and impulse-adopting a furry family member, it’s important to consider what you’ll need to do before bringing home a new kitty.
Take Your Time
You’ll want to take your time when adopting a new cat, especially if you’re new to cat parenting and if you have young children or other pets. Taking the time to find the right addition and to properly acclimate them to your home is always the best approach. That way, you ensure that you’re bringing home the right cat to live out the rest of its years as part of your loving family.
There are cat experts like Pam Johnson-Bennett of Cat Behavior Associates that will help you choose the right cat for your family, even virtually. Leaning on expert advice to select your new cat can prevent problems in the future and is a great way to start training your cat the moment you get them home.
Stock Up on Basics
As with any new pet, you’ll need cat-specific items to ensure your cat’s needs are met. First, you’ll need one litter box for every cat in the home plus one extra box. Don’t forget the actual litter and plastic scooper. You’ll also want to purchase a cat carrier in which to bring the kitty home. Once home, the cat carrier should be open and accessible to the cat at all times. The more your cat uses the carrier to rest and relax in, the sooner they will embrace it as a safe space. Cats should wear breakaway collars with ID tags at all times unless they are highly uncomfortable wearing them. If they don’t tolerate collars, training is in order, stat!
Cats will also need nail clippers and brushes to keep them looking their best between grooming appointments. When it comes to food, wet food is best for cats, who are requisite carnivores, therefore find the best canned cat food you can afford and start your cat on that. Make an appointment with your veterinarian or a feline nutritionist to discuss your cat’s needs and options. And, keep track of any stomach upset or finicky behaviors around the food bowl so you can report them back to your care team. Consider a lick mat or pet platter instead of a food bowl to prevent whisker fatigue.
Cats love to play, therefore, make sure you purchase a few different toys and accessories like scratching posts and cat trees for your new kitty. Cats will settle into their home with more ease if they have the opportunity to play, exercise, and interact with an enriching home environment.
Find a Professional Pet Sitter
Socialization and interaction with strangers from a very young age will ensure that your kitty is more open to new friends in the future. We recommend finding a Kitty Kindergarten near you and hiring a professional pet sitter from the moment you bring your new addition home.
Establishing a relationship with a professional in-home pet care provider is a great way to introduce your cat(s) to strangers in a positive and constructive way. Pet sitters can come by when you’re home or traveling to help with litter scooping, feeding, and engagement. By being proactive and getting a service established from the start, your cat will develop a relationship with their care provider so that they are most at ease when you and your family travel. If done before 16 weeks of age, it will also help your cat be more social around unfamiliar humans.