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Cat Care Tips: Preparing for Your Newly Adopted Kitty

By Susan M. Ewing


There’s nothing like adding a loving feline to the family. Whether you’re adopting a kitten or an adult, bringing home your new cat will go more smoothly if you prepare beforehand. Follow these cat care tips to help your kitty make a happy and safe transition.

Check in with the Vet

First, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to make any necessary vaccinations and conduct a physical exam. This is also a good time to have your cat microchipped so that if they ever get lost, there’s a better chance they’ll be returned to you. 

Prepare the Litter Box

A litter box will probably be at the top of your shopping list, along with litter. If you can find out what kind of litter the cat or kitten is used to, you’ll be a step ahead. Otherwise, don’t buy an economy-sized bag until you know if your cat will use it. The same goes for the litter box; just get a basic design until you know for sure that your cat prefers one that is covered or that they’re comfortable with self-cleaning models.

If you already have a cat, get another litter box anyway. A standard rule is to have one litter box per cat. Cats can take a while to get used to each other, and the resident cat may chase the newcomer away from the litter box. Giving them each their own box can make introductions a little less stressful. In fact, if you already have a cat, be prepared to keep the new arrival in a separate room so that the cats can meet gradually.

Buy Food and Dishes

Food should also be near the top of the list. Most cats prefer wet food, but again, don’t buy caseloads until you determine which flavor your cat likes best. Many cats also enjoy crunchy dry food for snacking, so add that to your shopping list as well.

Food and water dishes are essential, of course, and stainless steel is an excellent choice because it’s non-breakable and easy to wash. Ceramic dishes are also a good choice. Plastic is at the bottom of the list because it may retain odors and bacteria. Plus, it can stain. Whatever dishes you choose, keep in mind that many cats don’t like it when their whiskers touch the sides of the bowl—that’s why many people put cat food on a plate or saucer. This way, there’s plenty of room for your cat’s whiskers to spread out.

Get a Scratching Post and Catnip

Another “must have” is a scratching post, like Four Paws Super Catnip® Carpet and Sisal Scratching Post. Cats need to scratch, so protect your furniture by purchasing one or more scratching posts. Just remember to secure any scratching post so that it doesn’t tip over. This could frighten your cat, and they might decide that your favorite armchair is much better for scratching! 

If your cat seems hesitant to use a scratching post, try rubbing it with catnip. Teaching your cat to use the post can also encourage them to ignore your furniture and drapes.
 

Start Grooming Your New Cat

Even if your cat is still a kitten, you should start grooming them as early as possible. Purchase grooming supplies like nail clippers, wipes, and cat slicker brushes. When you welcome your cat home, establish a routine and comb your cat’s fur regularly to remove mats and tangles. Many cats love the feeling of a soft brush running through their fur, and it’s an excellent opportunity for the two of you to spend time with each other! 

Once you get the ball rolling on these cat care tips, you’ll be ready to make memories! From playing together to treating your furry friend, there are plenty of ways to celebrate your special bond and build a strong, healthy relationship.
 

Four Paws®, Magic Coat®, and Wee-Wee® products are available at major pet stores everywhere in the U.S. Please check with your local retailer for product availability near you.