Welcoming a new furry friend into your life can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But if you’ve never been a parent to a cat before, the thought of adopting one might seem a bit nerve-wracking, too. You’ve probably asked a few friends or family members who happen to be cat parents for advice, but most of what you’ve gotten was recommendations to reputable brands of cat food in Dubai or the best vet clinics for your feline friend. While this information is definitely helpful, there’s still a lot you need to know about being a cat parent.
5 Must-Knows Before Getting Your First Cat
Whether you’re still thinking about getting a feline friend or have just adopted your first one, here are five tips to help you smooth out the transition and slip into your new role as a cat parent effortlessly.
1. Give Them Time To Adjust
When you bring your cat home, they’ll need time to settle into their new environment, which can be a big and scary change for them. Each cat adjusts at their own pace—confident cats may take a few hours, while more scaredy ones may take a few weeks.
So, don’t be surprised if they hide or avoid interacting with you for a while. Give them the space they need, and let them come to you when they feel ready. And if you must take them out of their hiding place, make sure you carry them to a quiet area where they’ll feel secure and keep plenty of water, food and a litter box nearby.
Also, avoid bringing visitors over to meet them right away. Even brave cats may be easily spooked by new sounds, sights and smells, so be patient and don’t rush them.
2. Keep Them Inside for a Few Weeks
Even if you have a regular outdoor trapeze artist for a cat, keep them indoors for the first three to four weeks after you bring them home. This will give them time to feel safe and familiarize themselves with their new home.
During this first month, think of all the possible escape routes your cat could take, like windows and doors, and ensure they’re always kept closed.
3. Experiment With Different Cat Food Brands
Some cats will happily eat whatever you put in front of them, while others might be pickier with their meals. A good place to start is by finding out what type of cat food they’re already used to from their previous home or foster family and give them that.
If you decide to switch them to a different brand later on, PetMD recommends doing so gradually over one to two weeks by mixing small amounts of the new food with their current one. This will stave off any potential stomach issues that come with sudden diet changes.
Remember to put their litter tray, food and water bowls in areas of your home to minimize cross-contamination.
You might also want to have a stash of cat treats on hand to reward your furbaby for good behavior. Use it during training and build a stronger bond with them. However, carefully consider which brands of cat treats in Dubai are best for your feline friend’s age and dietary needs, and feed them only in moderation.
4. Schedule a Vet Appointment
Your new cat’s first vet visit is incredibly important. This is where they’ll have a complete check-up and get all the vaccinations and treatments they need to stay healthy. It’ll also be an excellent opportunity to ask a professional any questions about your new cat’s care.
While there, you should inquire about microchipping your furry companion so you can easily track them if they ever get lost.
5. Buy a Scratching Post
Scratching is an instinctive, normal and healthy cat behavior. Cats need to scratch. They do it to express emotions like stress or excitement, remove old claw husks, stretch their bodies and mark their objects with pheromones from their paws.
An outdoor cat may find fence posts or trees to scratch; however, for an indoor cat, your sofa, carpets, table legs and likely, wallpaper, will have to do. To get ahead of this, get them a sturdy scratching post made from durable materials like sisal.
Additionally, you can try a few techniques to make your furniture less appealing for them, such as:
- Wrapping a sheet tightly around the scratched area of the couch so they can’t get under it.
- Placing double-sided tape or foil on your furniture.
- Applying citrus-scented spray to your furniture because cats naturally dislike this smell.
Remember never to punish your cat or tell them off for scratching; they can’t help it.
Purr-fect Friendship Awaits
Cats may seem aloof and independent, but in that heart of theirs is a cuddly and affectionate friend just waiting to bond with you. So, before bringing your new furry companion home, ensure you’re prepared for their arrival by following these five simple tips.
Start slow, give them time to adjust and lots of love and patience, and soon enough, you’ll be absolutely smitten with your new kitty and wonder how you ever lived without them.