5 Tips for First-Time Cat Owners

Guest Author: Melissa Thompson | Reviewed by: Nancy George | September 01, 2022 | Updated May 29, 2023
cat health, cat owner, cat tips, cat travel
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Cats are curious creatures that are cute, fluffy and intelligent—so intelligent, in fact, that a lot of pet owners get intimidated by them. Their naturally cautious personalities only add to their charm, as any true animal lover will agree. However, if you are still struggling with how to deal with the feline in your life, here are some tips for first-time cat owners that you’ll be thankful to learn. 

#1 Safely transport your cat  

Should the need arise that you need to move your cat, you are going to need to make sure that they are given the best experience possible. This can be done through a cat taxi, that offers specialized cat transportation that can help keep your feline happy and comfortable on longer journeys where they might not be safe in a car. 

#2 A cat is not a loner

There’s a lot of nonsense in popular culture that dogs are sociable animals while cats are happiest on their own. This obviously various from animal to animal, but you will find that your cat is highly sociable, just on their terms. Cats are naturally both prey and predator animals, which means they like to observe and “read” a room carefully before they get involved to protect themselves. Their body language is very different than a dog’s as well—a wagging tail on a cat means that they’re annoyed. However, if they sniff your fingers then rub their mouths against your hand, it’s the equivalent of a face lick from a dog. They need to build up a trusting relationship with their family—so your behavior needs to be as predictable as possible for your cat, otherwise they cannot predict what you are going to do and will just steer clear. 

#3 Cats have boundaries

This sounds silly, but cats have boundaries. They are intelligent enough to understand their boundaries, not out of fear, but out of personal choice. To gain any sort of trust and long-standing relationship with a cat, you are going to have to understand their boundaries and what body language they use to signal you’re crossing them. 

#4 Cats’ preferred food might not be the healthiest choice 

Cats are master manipulators. Some will only eat the food that they enjoy and will go on a hunger strike until they get what they want or constantly ask or nag for extra portions of foods that they like even when they aren’t hungry. These foods are often bad for them. Before getting your cat, you are going to need to make sure that you are aware of what foods are best for them and try to stick to these when feeding them. 

#5 Be aware of cats’ health issues

Health issues are unfortunately very common in cats, and generally, these are problems with the kidneys, teeth and eyes. Each breed has its benefits and setbacks, and a lot of that comes down to the cat’s genes and their lifestyle. Some health issues are very difficult to avoid, such as eye and breathing problems with Persians. 

Allergies might also be quite common in cats and you should also be aware of what foods are dangerous to them. Cats have a tendency to get distant when they are feeling unwell, so knowing your cat’s behavior inside and out can be a very good starting point to know how to catch these issues early. 

About the Author

Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson is a freelance producer and has worked at CNN, USA Today, and is currently the Editor in Chief of Harcourt Health. She writes about small business, social media, marketing, and productivity and is passionate about promoting a healthy lifestyle.[...] Author Details

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