Cat Ownership Tips
SEAACA encourages all pet owners to review the following tips when considering adopting a new kitten or cat:
Supplies you will need for your new kitten/cat:
- Cat food and water dishes (one for water and one for dry/wet food)
- Cat litter, litter box and litter scoop
- Cat food - a good dry food
- Interactive toys
- Scratching post (you can make your own)
- Nail clipper
- Break away collar with name tag (have your cat micro-chipped)
- Brush and comb
If you adopted your kitten/cat from a shelter, make sure you separate your new pet from your other pets for 2 weeks in case of any sickness. If your kitten/cat was not adopted at a shelter, be sure to have the pet spayed or neutered. This will help keep your pet healthy and help stop pet overpopulation.
- Try to use stainless steel or ceramic food and water bowls. Plastic bowls can retain bacteria even when cleaned.
Your kitten/cat should have a large enough litter box for the size of the cat. You should scoop the box at least once a day to remove any solids. Clumping litter works well – not as much litter all over. About twice a month completely clean out the litter box and use new litter.
Dry cat food is better for your cat's teeth and stool. Soft food can be given as a treat, but should not be given as the only food.
You should have some play time with your kitten/cat. Your pet will find toys on its own – bottle caps, pens, straws, crumpled paper, etc. Make sure you don't have anything really small they can swallow – cats like to find really small items, such as jewelry, buttons, etc.
Your scratching post should be tall (around three feet tall). Posts covered with rough material such as sisal, wood or Berber carpet work well. Cats need to scratch their nails to get the dead nail off and they also scratch to leave a scent. You can clip your kitten's/cat's claws with a nail clipper. Nails can be clipped once or twice a month to keep the sharp point from scratching you.
It is best if you can have your kitten/cat inside only. They will be healthier than living outside, or being an indoor/outdoor pet. Outdoor cats can get hit by cars, attacked by dogs, trapped, poisoned, hurt in fights and can be exposed to diseases. Your pet should have a break away collar with their name and your phone number just in case of emergencies and the cat gets out. Microchip your pet as well, as collars can come off and the microchip stays with your pet for life.
- Your kitten/cat should have yearly health shots. Your veterinarian can provide a quick check-up of your cat at this time, or if you have any concerns they can be discussed before they become a problem.
Have a bed for your kitten/cat. They will usually find some other place to sleep, but they will use the bed.
Your kitten/cat can get fleas any time during the year, even if your pet does not go outside. Fleas can jump onto you and then jump onto your pet. Fleas carry unwanted parasites, so using a good flea control product is important.
If your kitten/cat has medium or long hair, you should brush and or comb your pet weekly to keep mats and tangles from building up. Most cats like to be brushed if started early. Make it a pleasant experience so the cat enjoys the brushing/combing.
Give your kitten/cat lots of love and attention. Give your cat a name to fit its personality.
Bringing a New Cat Home: Preventing Problems
Remember a pet is a fur member of your family giving unconditional love, joy and companionship.