How To Succeed As A First-Time Cat Owner

Cats are just cute. You already know that, which is probably why you’re thinking about picking up a furry friend for the first time in your life. Is a cat right for you? Chances are, the answer is a big yes!

But what kind of cat would be best? There are many different breeds, each with its own trends and personalities. Then there is the question of age — should you get a kitten or an adult cat? And how can you help your feline buddy feel welcome when you finally bring her home?

Picking a cat as a first-time pet owner is a big responsibility, but there are ways to help make the right decision.

Picking The Right Cat For You

There are many different breeds of cat to choose from. Some might not be available in your area, but whether you’re going to the rescue shelter or a reputable store, you should have some idea of what you want from a cat.

For example, take the Persian cat. These are known for having a long coat, being quiet even for a cat, and having quite the affectionate personality. Persian cats may be less independent since they’re sweet and affectionate. But a Siamese cat looks very different with a very short coat. They’re also more vocal and insistent, which may not match your needs.

As for the age of your new pet cat, kittens are adorable but they’re full of energy and very curious. That means she will need plenty of attention and supervision. Adult cats are typically more calm and independent.

However, know that none of this is a guarantee. Every cat is unique just like every human, so you could end up with an energetic, vocal adult Persian cat. Your best bet is to play with the cat before you take her home.

Acclimating To Your Home

Speaking of that, you will need to work with your feline friend a lot more during the first few days. She will be a bit confused and worried about her new home, so you have to help her acclimate and adjust.

Before you even bring her home, start by making sure there’s a litter box, food, and water (just make sure the litter box is not next to the food or water). Check your home at “cat level” for any holes or tight places a cat can slip through. Talk to anyone else at home about any rules. And make sure there’s nothing on tables or counters that your pet can knock off and break accidentally.

On the first day home, introduce the cat to each room individually. Give her some time in one room, blocking her exit. Then move on to the next room, and so on. Try not to play with her yet, as she needs time to adjust to the new surroundings.

If work or school obligations will keep your family away from home for long periods, consider hiring a cat sitter to check in at least once a day. With time she’ll get used to being on her own during the day, but while she’s acclimating it’s important that she doesn’t feel abandoned — especially if she’s a rescue. Make sure you arrange an introduction between cat and caregiver prior to leaving the house so she’ll recognize them later and won’t feel stressed over a stranger’s unexplained presence in her new home.

Bonding With Your Cat

You picked the right breed and brought her home. Now it’s time to bond with your new friend!

First, know that this bonding process takes time. Your new cat may not be super into you at first. You need to build up some trust. Start by giving them some space and making sure they have food and water. Then start playing with them slowly and gently. It may take some trial and error to find out how your cat wants to play. Only then can you start petting and cuddling with them.

Your New Best Friend Awaits

Although this decision is important, there really is no wrong way to make it. Just think about what kind of cat would best fit your lifestyle, make a few changes around your home, and you have a recipe for success with your new cat.

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