If you have decided that the family pet should be a cat, there is much to learn before his arrival. Cats are very independent creatures, far more so than dogs, as canines have been domesticated over the centuries, while felines are still natural hunters and can fend for themselves if they have no source of food. Prior to the kitten’s arrival, there are some things you should prepare, and here is an outline of basic cat care to help make your new pet feel at home.
There must be a place that is set aside for kitty to do his business and cats are pretty clean about this, unlike their canine relatives who just poop wherever they please. If you already have one cat, the new kitten will simply follow his lead and that makes everything much easier. In a multi-levelled home, you should have a litter box on every floor, and try not to move it, as location is important. Make sure you remove the solid waste daily, as cats will not use a dirty litter box, and avoid using disinfectant or any type of scent when cleaning, as this might put the cat off.
Indoor or Outdoor Cat
While some owners like their cats to sleep outside, it isn’t a good idea. Outdoor cats do not live as long as those that sleep inside, and with the dangers of traffic and predatory animals, it is much safer to have the cat sleep inside. They will be free of ticks and fleas if they live indoors, and most cats actually prefer a nice dry and warm bed for the night.
Spaying and Neutering
Cats breed prolifically so it is best to have females spayed and males neutered. This can happen at the age of five months, and while you are at the vets, you might want to think about some kind of insurance for your cat. There is affordable pet insurance in Australia, and with a range of different policies, you can choose one that is suitable. If your cat is female, this will eliminate the risk of having a litter of kittens every year, and male cats will change their behaviour when neutered, and they tend to be less aggressive and are more likely to sleep around the home.
You want to give your cat a balanced diet and there are many good brands of cat food that contain all the essential nutrients for a healthy life. Water bowls should be cleaned daily and the water replaced, and providing the food and water bowls are always in the same location, your cat will soon understand this. Treats are OK, but should not make up more than 10% of the cat’s diet.
You should either give your cat a collar with your address and telephone number, or perhaps have the cat micro-chipped for easy identification. Cats can travel great distances when they are out, and it is always possible for the cat to get lost, and if someone finds him, they can contact you easily.