If you’re anything like me, your life is dull without an animal in it – more specifically, a cat. So, as you can imagine, once my boyfriend and I moved away from home together, it started to feel like our apartment was missing something really quickly.
I am a crazy cat lady. To be honest if I don’t end up getting married, I’ve accepted that becoming a die hard crazy cat lady is probably how my life is going to pan out.
Originally, I wanted to wait before we brought a furry friend into our home for a couple of reasons. First of all, this was our first time living together so I wanted to give ourselves a chance to settle into a life together under the same roof. Secondly, because I wanted to be able to provide the best life I could for our new pet so I wanted to wait until the initial shock of having to pay rent had settled and I felt comfortable with money.
Well… he saw a cat on the humane society website and he couldn’t stop talking about it so I humoured him and agreed to go see it. She had been adopted but seeing as we were there I obviously couldn’t resist going to have a cheeky little peek at the other babes in there.
Needless to say we ended up adopting a cat on the spot. Meet, Henry:
Choosing the right one for you
If you know that you want to adopt a cat, you also probably know what kinda of cat you’re wanting. I don’t mean in terms of breed, I mean in terms of personality, and what you’re able to look after.
If you’re looking at kittens, please take into consideration how much work they are. They will likely need house training, potty training, and much more. Not only that, but adopting a kitten means you’re signing up for potentially 15 years of looking after that cat. Can you commit to that? Kittens are cute but are you aware of how much energy they have? How many vaccinations they’ll need? Your new kitten won’t be so cute when it’s peeing on your bed and scratching the carpet on your stairs.
My advice, if you’re a first time cat owner, is to get an older cat, at least 1+ years. By this time, their personality has formed and you can see right off the bat what they’re like. Do you want a chilled out, lazy cat? Do you want one that’s full of energy? A lap cat? A mouse catcher? Many of the humane society websites have the animals that are up for adoption with a description of their personalities, this is a good way to start!
What are you going to need?
If this is your first time owning a cat on your own, you’re going to need… well, everything. So, instead of rambling on in a long winded paragraph, here is a checklist and some pointers:
- Cat carry cage – This is especially important as you will need to bring this with you when you go and pick your new furry friend up. Take into account how big your new kitty is, and ensure that it has an easy to open gate (for yourself), but that is well secured once your cat is inside. Something that is also handy is a door that is on the bigger side – if you’ve seen a cat being put into a pet carrier before you will know why!
- Blanket/Bed – To put in the cat carrier because I’m sure your new cat would appreciate sitting on something soft, rather than hard plastic.
- Food – Please please PLEASE don’t just go for the cheapest cat food you can find. Please. Much like you look after yourself (I hope), and pick foods that are wholesome and nutritious – the same should go for the food you’re feeding your pet. Go for foods that list an actual meat or vegetable as the first ingredient. Whiskas is a good option if you’re on a budget. I say this because feeding your pets cheap food full of fillers can lead to stomach and kidney problems for them which in the end will lead to a far more expensive vet bill.
- Litter box – If you don’t want your cat spreading kitty litter everywhere, I would suggest getting one of those litter boxes that has a dome over the top of it.
- Cat Litter – This is tricky because some cats are really picky about their cat litter, so I would suggest buying a small bag of it at first just in case your little friend doesn’t like it. That, and there are some cat litters that are terrible at clumping together so the litter tray just ends up being a load of pee pebbles – gross. Try and find something that has baking soda in it, I find those ones clump a lot better than ones without.
- Pooper Scooper – Pretty self explanatory unless you want to pick your cats poo up with your bare hands…
- Scratch mat/post – These are good for a few reasons. Mainly because it keeps your cats claws healthy by allowing them to get rid of the dead outer layers of their nails flex their feet and stretch their bodies. It also saves your nice new couch from being destroyed…
- Bowls (food and water) – Again, pretty self explanatory unless you expect it to be eating off the ground. If you’re going to be feeding your cat wet and dry food, consider buying a bowl for each, plus a water bowl.
- Grooming – You’ll definitely need a brush, one with lots of bristles that are closely positioned to get maximum hair collecting power. You’ll also need some nail clippers.
- Toys – If you only have one cat, getting a few toys is a good idea as they may get lonely or bored with just themselves and that’s when they get up to no good.
So, you bought a cat… now what?
Start things off slowly – Let him/her explore their new surroundings without you harassing them constantly. It usually takes a couple of days for them to get comfortable in their new home, so don’t be alarmed or offended if they’re not coming to you often or eating much of their food! If you’ve ever started a new school or job before, you’ll know how it feels to be in an unfamiliar environment.
Book an appointment at the vet – this is essential, your kitty may need his/her shots updated, or they might have picked something up from the shelter that needs nipping in the butt. Plus, it’s always good to have them registered with a vet and have the office have some records of your cat just incase anything happens in the future!
Now all that’s left to do is give your new little friend a loving and safe home for the rest of their short life!