Having a cat in the house is a wonderful, rewarding experience. Having a velvety, warm creature cuddle with you everyday is heartwarming. Watching them play and pounce, and seeing the content look of love in their eyes. However, getting a cat for the first time isn’t something that should be done on the spur of the moment. You might wonder what to think about before getting a cat? How do I prepare for a cat?
Here are twelve things you should know before getting a cat.
Where to find your cat A very important thing to consider before getting a cat! Cats bought in pets stores may suffer from genetic disease because of inbreeding, especially Persians, who often suffer from polycystic kidney disease and other diseases. Getting a cat from a reputable cats breeder is safer.
If you consider adopting a kitten, a feral cat taken off the streets might be healthier than a shelter cat, because in large, crowded shelters, cat can infect one another.
Does the cat look healthy? A sick cat has no appetite, doesn’t want to play, and shows no interest in things. Watch for these signs of illness. Especially kittens, who are usually more playful than older cats, and sometimes even hyper. If a kitten is apathetic, it’s suspicious.
If you see a motherless kitten in a shelter, ask the worker if the kitten was abandoned or orphaned. This is a very important question because orphan kittens have a better chance at survival than kitten who were abandoned, because when mother cats abandon their kittens, they usually do it because the kitten is sick, and the mother has given up on it.
A vet I only take my cats to the best vet in town. I’d stopped people walking their dogs in the street and asked their opinions, until I found the most recommended one. There’s also the internet, of course. You need to familiarize yourself with directions to the vet and working hours.
What to buy before getting a cat
A cage is something essential to have before getting a cat because that’s the only way to take your cat home, and for vet’s visits. Cats are pretty good at escaping. I’d once put my cat in a cats’ carriage and lashed his collar to it for extra security. He was out of it within less than five minutes, before I’d left the house, fortunately. I’d taken several sick and wounded feral cats to the vet and had once had a cat get out of a locked cage.
Get a good, solid cage. Lock its door and try to open it, see if it’s loose. Cover it with a towel or blanket, making sure the cat has enough air to breath. Darkness soothes cats, which makes them less likely to try to escape. Pick up the cage from underneath instead of holding it by the handle.
Age That’s another key thing to consider if you’re thinking about getting your first cat. You may not want to get an old cat, because old cats usually need more vet’s visits, and they’ll die and break your heart. If you want to keep your furry friend with you for a long time, get a young cat or a kitten.
Before taking a kitten home, take into consideration that kittens tend to be hyper. You might come home from work to find your house looking like it’d been through a tornado. Also, kittens are needy and may not leave you alone. They also tend to climb on people, digging their nails through your clothes and into your skin, which might hurt. They might scratch and bite a lot, too.
I never take a kitten from the mother unless mother cat rejects it because of its’ age, but that’s me.
Jealousy Ask the breeder if the cat is jealous. This is important if you have other pets. The cat might act aggressively toward other pets if jealous. Some cats are more jealous than others.
Temper A necessary thing to consider before getting your cat. A bad-tempered cat is a difficult patient. You may get attacked when trying to put them in a cage to take to the vet, or when you try to force a pill down your cat’s throat. If you want to get a cat off the streets, watch them and see their personality for yourself before you decide which of the feral cats will be the lucky one. Is the cat quick to hiss? Does it fight with other cats?
Tip: A nervous cat is usually a bad patient. A trusting cat is usually less aggressive and more cooperative. But then a trusting cat can be taken or hurt by strangers if you plan on letting your cat outside.
If you have another pet If your first cat has been in your house awhile, it will become more territorial. If you want two cats, get the second one a short time after, or at the same time you get your first cat in order to avoid territorial dispute. Also, when you bring a kitten into your house, the first cat will usually act protectively and even paternal toward the kitten. Two young kittens are also more likely to get along better with each other and maybe even become best friends even after they’re grown. Getting two kittens, or one cat and a kitten, is less likely to create fights than getting two grown cats.
The cats’ personality must be taken into consideration. A very gentle cat wouldn’t be the best match for a cat who likes to play rough. Two cats that are very territorial can be a disaster. Perhaps two gentle cats will get along together, or two cats who like to rough and tumble playfully.
Don’t take your cat for a walk Most cats will run when you take them out for a walk. That depends on the cat’s personality, but walking your cat like a dog is not an option for the average cat. I’d tried taking mine out with a harness, and he got out of it in less than a minute and ran all around the yard.
Don’t let the cat out for two weeks That’s something everyone considering getting a cat must know. New cats don’t understand this is their new home. If you want to let your cat outside, keep them indoors for at least two weeks. Otherwise, they may get lost and never come back.
Fenced-in yard A fenced-in yard can be very helpful with a cat that is used to going outside. You can fenced you yard. And if you don’t have this option, maybe a cat that is used to outdoor life is better suitable for you.
A cat-proof fence must seven times higher than the cat’s size. They’re powerful jumpers. It has to be made of metal or rock, because cat can dig their nails into a plastic or wooden fence and climb. And it must be far from a roof, a tree, or anything else a cat can leap from.
If you want to read about someone else’s experience, here’s an excellent post I found, funny and with the cutest pictures and videos. https://millyschmidt.com/2019/10/03/the-nine-stages-of-adopting-a-cat/
Tracking device There are tracking devices that can be put in the cat’s collar. Just take the cat’s personality into consideration. Some cats get rid of their collars in less than twenty four hours. But then again, I have experience with tough feral cats.
This tracking device will keep your cat from getting lost. Works without cellular coverage in the wild and mountains. No monthly fees. Rainproof. Click to learn more.