If you’ve never had a cat before, or if you just don’t know where to start when it comes to adopting one as a pet, then this article is for you. A new addition to your home not only changes the dynamic of your family but also offers you an opportunity to learn something new and gain some experience on how to take care of a cat. When thinking about getting a new cat, there are many things that you should consider. You need to ask yourself some questions first: Do I really want another pet? What type of household do I live in? Do I have the time and patience to help train a kitten? In this article, we will discuss the basics of getting a cat and what you need to know before making the final decision.
Is your new kitten microchipped?
This is an essential first step in ensuring your kitten is returned to you if it escapes. Microchipping is an outpatient procedure that involves just a few drops of an anesthetic into your kitten’s skin. A tiny microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. It contains a unique 15-digit microchip number of your kitten, which can be read easily with a scanner. Should your kitten ever get lost, they can be scanned and information sent to your phone, email, or wherever you choose. There is also a new, even more advanced microchip that prevents the chip from being removed, so the cat can only find their way home when it is scanned. Microchipping is now a standard procedure for kittens at most animal shelters and veterinary clinics. But it is often not done until a cat becomes pregnant. So never adopt a pregnant cat unless you know she is already chipped.
Is your new kitten up to date on vaccines?
Vaccines are chemicals that help protect your cat from a number of diseases, including feline panleukosis, or fpl, or feline leukemia, feline rhinotracheitis (feline rhinotracheitis or ftr), feline caliciis, feline pneumonias and feline infectious peritonitis, fpl. Fpl is a fatal disease that affects the blood systems in your cat’s body, causing severe anemia and dehydration. It is spread through the blood system and can be prevented by vaccinating your kitten. Vaccines usually start at 1-2 weeks of age and must be repeated every two to three months for your cat to stay healthy. Some vaccines are combined into a single shot, and others, such as rabies and feline leukemia, must be given separately. Some vaccines can be given as young as six weeks old, but most start at eight weeks of age. If your kitten is not up to date on all of its vaccines, it can still be adopted; the shelter will remove this from your kitten’s record. Vaccines are dangerous to kittens, and they can actually die from the process. That is why you must vaccinate your kitten as soon as it becomes old enough.
Are there any other health conditions requiring care before you bring him home?
If your new kitten is diabetic, it should be given insulin before being adopted. If he is deaf, he should be screened for deafness before adoption. If he is blind or has eye problems, these should be addressed before adoption. If he has any other hereditary health problems (such as heart disease or an allergy to cats), you should find out how he is going to be cared for. Always visit the shelter where you are getting your kitten to find out the details about his care, including cost. Make sure you are completely in the know about what is required of you as his new owner. You should also ask if the shelter offers any low-cost services, such as low-cost vaccines or low-cost spay/neuter.
Home base essentials: a place for everything, and everything in its place
Depending on your living situation, you may need to store some of these supplies at your new kitten’s new home. If this is the case, make sure they are easily accessible.
Bag of kitten bedding: You may not think it is useful, but a bag of this will come in handy when you need to transport your new kitten somewhere. It doesn’t have to be new — it can be used as a cat bed.
Towel: This is used to wipe off your new kitten’s feet before they enter the house. - A litter box: Depending on your living situation, you may need to buy a new one or transport an old one from your current home.
A food and water bowl: You may need to buy a new one or transport an old one from your current home.
A collar and leash: If you live in a small apartment where you cannot walk your new kitten, you can use a cone to keep her safely contained.
A carrier: This can be used to transport your new kitten to the vet or to someone’s house.
A bed: This can be used as a temporary bed for your new kitten if he is not allowed on the couch.
Toys, games, and equipment for your new kitten
A cat tree: A cat tree provides your new kitten with a safe place to explore and play. The best ones are covered in perches and have at least two places to hide.
Catnip: This is an essential part of your new kitten’s introduction to the world. It must be fresh and free from pesticides.
Fortune cookie toys: These are a cheap (and tasty!) way for your kitten to fatten up its food.
Scratching post: This is a must for your new kitten. It gives him something to do while also helping him to keep his claws short.
Feather teaser: This is a cheap and effective way to keep your new kitten entertained while also helping to keep him entertained while he is practicing his hunting skills.
Help! My kitten is stalling out. What now?
If your new kitten is not interested in exploring the new things in its life, such as exploring its surroundings and meeting the other cats at the shelter, give him a few minutes to psyche himself out. Perhaps he is still feeling the effects of the anesthesia. If he is stalling out, and it seems like a lack of interest is keeping him from playing, you can try a few things to get him going again.
You can try using treats on his favourite toy and/or scratching post to entice him to play with them.
You can try getting him used to being picked up for short periods of time. This can be accomplished by sitting on the floor with him and holding him in your lap for a few minutes at a time.
You can try playing with him while walking on the floor with him. This can be done by holding him in a front carry position while holding one hand at shoulder height with your thumb against your palm.
While you wait for your new kitten to arrive, you can prepare yourself for his arrival with a few helpful tips. Your new kitten will be happy and healthy if you stick to the checklist above and if you are ready to care for him properly. Once your new kitten comes home, you can make his new home as comfortable as possible by following the home base essentials. He will love the toys, bedding, and playthings you have prepared for him, and he will feel safe and secure in his new home.