Advice for 'first time' cat owner…..

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
2305 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

When you first bring him/her home, have a room prepared with all the basic necessities, and keep him/her confined to the room for a few days.

As I’m sure you are aware, cats are instinctively territorial and it can be really stressful to change environments so quickly. Controlling the amount of space the cat has access to at first can help keep him/her from getting too overwhelmed and stressed out.

So start with one room, and slowly introduce your new furry friend to the rest of the house a little bit at the time.

I’d also recommend going to visit the cat in person first. Each cat has its own unique personality, and it would be a bit difficult to get a feel for whether or not a cat will be a good fit for you guys just over the internet.

EDIT: I also wouldn’t go overboard spending money on the toys. Get a good cat wand, but other than that nothing else is really a “necessity.” My cat has more toys than I think I had as a child, but his favorite things in the world ended up being crumpled up balls of paper, ping-pong balls, and twisted up pipe-cleaners (the fuzzy craft kind.) When you figure out what kind of stuff the cat LOVES to play with, then I’d consider actually shelling out the cash on (overpriced) cat toys.

Post # 5
Hostess
24457 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Rachelmichelle has great advice. I would make sure to get the cat to a vet for a full check up if the shelter doesn’t provide it and also find out about spaying or neutering.

I wouldn’t get too many toys at once because cats have different toy preferences and they might never use some that you buy. You will probably need a brush and nail clippers. Both of those are best to start when they are young so they adjust to them.

Post # 7
Member
6017 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

Get a scratching post!! Unless you completely hate your furniture…then let ’em at it. I’ve always had cats and the ones that have claws that are inside cats have distroyed the furniture.

Definitely visit the cats in person. Heads up, I’ve never known a single tortoise shell to be nice. Main Coons are awesome and Tabby are cool too. Other than that, I don’t know much about the different breeds.

As far as toys, my cats favorite toy was aluminum foil balled up…so I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on toys right away.

Post # 8
Member
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

Another thing – if you can, get an adult cat. They tend to have trouble getting adopted, more so than kittens, and they will probably already know how to hunt (unlike kittens). You could also see if the shelter can recommend former barn cats, etc, but emphasize that you’ll keep it inside all the time.

I’d also check out the shelters you look at for reputation – it’s best if you can adopt from (and therefore give your adoption fees to) a good, no-kill organization like Friends for Life.

Good luck on getting a cat!

Post # 9
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

My cats both adjusted very well to travelling and moving, they had free run of my parents house and beach house when we went to visit from the time they got out of the car and they were fine.  If you are adopting a younger kitten giving them a smaller space first until they get used to everything would be a good idea.

Try to keep things out of the cats reach.  If you get a wand type cat toy (which I really recommend, my cats love Da Bird) when not using it put it up somewhere they can’t get to so they can’t swallow the feathers or string.  Another big thing some cats try to eat is hair elastics, so if you use them make sure you always keep them in a drawer.  I just took 12 elastics out of a 6 month old kitten during surgery yesterday!

And if you have a mouse problem and are getting a cat, please do not use any of the rodent baits that are meant to be eaten.  If your cat eats any of it, best case scenario you have a moderately expensive vet bill but you could also end up with a very expensive vet bill or a dead cat.  I don’t think anyone with pets should use those products just in case your animals get into them.

Post # 10
Member
1619 posts
Bumble bee

You mention allergies.  Is that known allergy to cats or other things?  If it turns out  that one of you is allergic to the cat what is the plan? 

I’m happy that you are going to become a ‘pet’ household, but given your husband’s previous stance that has changed so suddenly, It’s worth thinking through the potential issues.

Hope that you and future kitty soften your hubby’s heart and there are more animals in your future!

 

 

Post # 11
Member
1327 posts
Bumble bee

Lucky you!!! I want a cat so badly but SO has also said no cats ever, except maybe dogs – but I want a cat.  Or two.  His rationale is that they’re not friendly (which is not true!) and I have allergies, which means our kids could very likely have allergies. >.<  I wish you a happy adoption! 😀

Post # 14
Member
6017 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@PoppyH:  yeah, I didn’t want to scare you away from tortoise shells but we had one and she was the meanest cat I’ve ever seen. We have one now but she’s a barn cat so she’s friendly until she’s had enough and then she just hids out in the barn out of reach.

Post # 15
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

My cats were fierce mousers! And bird killers, squierrel killers, baby rabbit killers…

Anyway.

Most shelters seperate cats by temperment–indoor cats and outdoor cats, kittens, elderly, indoor, outdoor. And don’t forget the ones in their own cages! “Only pet” cats.

I think paying attention to the temperment of the cat is the most important thing! And making sure the cat is “kid friendly”.

So I’d look for an indoor-only (and you can’t make an outdoor cat an indoor cat. It will destory everything you have ever owned), kid-friendly cat. And if you can swing an only-pet cat (which are harder to adopt out), that’s great, too!

Post # 16
Member
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Scratching posts are great – my advice is to buy one that’s made with sisal rope instead of carpet, because then your kitty won’t get used to carpet being an acceptable material to scratch 🙂  

Of course that advice goes right out the window if you’ve got a sisal rug (which WHY would you want that in the first place… it’s sooooo scratchy!).

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