How To Take Care Of a Cat. Bringing a New Cat Home.

how to take care of a new cat

It is no surprise that cats continue to be one of the most popular pets all around the world, they really do add a little something special to every household.

When you get a new cat it can feel so exciting! The whole world just seems more fun and brighter somehow, and our little cat already seems to be adding some joy and flair into our lives.

But, having a pet is a big responsibility, and you may just start to wonder… “woah, am I sure I know what I am doing?”

Don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to feel a bit nervous when getting a new cat, and it is actually a bit of a good thing in healthy amounts, because it shows that you care and want to do a good job.

But there is no need to worry, and this guide provides some simple tips to help you care for a new cat.

One of the major reasons why cats are so popular is that they really make an ideal pet for people living a busy lifestyle, as they are very comfortable on their own and more independent than many other pets.

Despite this level of independence, there are though a few things you need to understand if you want to look after them right.

They are still social animals and need you as a companion, and knowing this in advance will prepare you to groom and play with them enough.

So, if you follow the advice below, it should help you, and keep your cat healthy and happy for years to come.

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taking care of a new cat…

Feeding Your Cat Right

If you want your cat to stay healthy, it must be fed a high quality, balanced diet at all times.

Now, remember that cats are carnivores, so most of their diet will be meat rich in protein.

The market is full of fantastic cat food you can buy, and quality brands that specialize in making food for cats that they will actually like.

You will have to choose between two types, either dry or wet. If you want to feed your cat a wet food diet this will need to be replaced at least twice a day, and a diet of dry food should be replaced around once a day.

Pet food manufacturers are going to provide you with everything you must know and some good instructions in most cases when it comes to their particular brand.

You should keep in mind that as cats get older, they will be less active in general so you may want to consider reducing the amount of food you are going to give them so that they won’t become overweight.

A new cat should have some private space to eat in, somewhere quiet where they can feel safe. It should be away from the litter box and water bowl.

If your cat spends a lot of time alone and you feed him dry food mostly, you may want to consider investing in some feeding balls, as cats tend to like those.

It is a special ball shaped cat toy, and a food dispenser at the same time that rolls around like a fun toy making your cat play around with it.

It can be so much fun to watch and makes meal times so much more interesting for both you and your cat, and it works great if your cat tends to be more on the heavier side…

They also give our kitties extra exercise, reduce boredom and can ration the food, making things easier.

Despite what you may have seen on TV or on the internet, you should never give your cat cow’s milk as the vast majority of them are actually lactose intolerant and it is not good for them.

Water is better instead.


Most cats drink very little during the day, however you should always have fresh drinking water available for them. (1.)

Cats don’t like to eat and drink in the same place, so keep their water and food areas separate.

In the wild cats go to great lengths to make sure their water gets not contaminated by their food so it kind of makes sense when you think about it from that perspective.

Also, if you have ever had one of these peculiar animals before, you may have noticed them shaking or moving their bowl of water around with their paw before drinking it.

They prefer their drinking water to be moving around and flowing like it would in nature, so it is definitely a great idea to get a cat fountain, or a pet drinking fountain type of bowl for them to drink out of.

My cat loves it and many felines out right despise having to use regular water bowls with still water as it makes them more anxious.

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cats should drink water…

Cats Need Playtime

If you can give your cat access to the outside world, you will often see it playing with some grass or dead leaves, free of worries and running around like a little bolt of energy.

Seemingly simple things such as a pile of dry leaves can seem like the most amazing thing in the universe through a cat’s eyes. It is heart warming to watch and the little animal can entertain itself pretending to hunt, even though there is no prey available or close by.

Cats have a natural tendency to hunt, and them being hungry does not alone trigger this deep instinct within them.

Playing, hunting, stalking, and pretending to kill small prey helps them release endorphins that simply just make them feel good and they enjoy the game of it.

This is why it is essential that you give your cat as many opportunities to run around free and play as possible.

Make sure to have plenty of diverse and fun cat toys in your house that it can get to with ease.

A quick online search or a short visit to your local pet shop will show you all the toys available, they will both help to strengthen your bond with your cat and provide them with the much needed excercise.

It is also important to remember that you don’t have to pay a ton of money for expensive cat toys, you can simply make them yourself even!

Your cat will enjoy a cardboard box with a few holes cut out of it, or a ball of tinfoil just as much as it would like any expensive toy from the pet store.

Things don’t have to be complicated when it comes to entertaining your cat…

New cats will appreciate it even more if you can take part in the game and play with them.

One of the nicest things you can do with your new house tiger is to make them a homemade fishing pole and you can attach something to it, such as a string that will allow them to imitate hunting.

It is so simple and so much fun to do, I highly recommend it!

Spending time with your cat pretending to catch and “kill” is a lot of fun. With any new arrival you have to be prepared to provide endless hours of entertainment for them.

Younger cats have more energy than older ones and may need to play a lot more as a result, as can be expected. But even if you can only handle a few minutes at a time this is more than enough.

Even if it does depend on each kitten of course.

Whether you make your own cat toys or buy them, check them every few months to make sure your pet hasn’t crushed them or eaten them away, and change it up occasionally just to keep things interesting.

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Cats Need to Feel Safe

Some cats can be highly strung, so it is important to provide them with a secure place to hide in, somewhere to call their own.

Many external factors can cause anxiety in cats and fears such as other cats in the area, construction work, unknown visitors and even fireworks.

The safe spot you provide doesn’t have to be too fancy, your cat won’t demand it to be made out of gold or something like that I promise.

You can buy an igloo style cat bed or just put a regular box on one side for your cat to hide in.

All your new cat needs is a place where they can be left undisturbed. Just pick some place quiet that seems like a perfect hiding spot for them to retreat into when the world gets overwhelming.

Also read: Why do cats love boxes so much?

Somewhere to Get up High

Your new cat will be more comfortable climbing up to a higher position.

The ability to see it’s new surroundings will help him cope with any fear or anxiety.

I put at least one warm and soft blanket on one of my wardrobes, and placed two inside a box on a tall chair nearby. That way my tabby can safely escape to his happy place whenever he feels like it.

Even a windowsill or a shelf can offer your new feline friend a perfect point of view. Remember that as it ages, your cat still wants to climb up, so you may need to find him a position that is easier to access in that case.

Sleeping Arrangements

Don’t be alarmed when your new cat is resting or sleeping for 16 or more hours in a day.

All you need to do is provide a safe, comfortable, and a warm place for it to rest.

If you’d like, you can put a fluffy blanket in a cardboard box or you can purchase one of the abundant cat beds that are available online, such as hammocks that can be hung from radiators.

Yes, that is a thing!

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Cats have a Scratching Habit…

After purchasing your cat a comfy bed, the next thing you have to get is a scratching post.

You can skip out on buying many things when it comes to your kitty, but if you love your furniture in one piece, this is not one of those things to put on hold…

You really should get a scratching post.

It will give your cat a focal point for exercise and claw maintenance, something that is perfectly natural behavior for all cats.

It is a crucial item in your fight to protect all of your furniture from your new wild arrival.

Stretching and scratching in the morning is something most cats will do. So, if you place the scratching post near to where they will sleep, it will make it safer for the rest of your home.

Remember, your furniture is precious, and so are your cats claws.

Don’t Worry About Them Eating Grass

This common behavior can sometimes alarm new cat owners.

When you see your feline friend starting to eat grass, it is not because they are hungry, but to help them get rid of hairballs. It is perfectly normal.

The best grass for cats are the ones with wide leaves that they can easily bite into and are intended for them.

You can even grow some indoors and most garden pet stores have them if you are interested in getting some for your home.

It looks nice as well I think, if you put it in a pretty flower pot that adds some character.

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Get a Good Litter Box

Your new cat needs a safe and private place to deal with their waste.

A large litter box is one of the best investments you can make for your new arrival. You should always keep them in a place where they won’t be disturbed by noise or other cats.

Cats are very hygienic creatures, and unless you keep the tray clean, you will find them looking for other areas of your home to use instead…

So that is some motivation for you to keep it clean!

The best advice is to clean any soiled or dirty waste at least once a day.

The litter tray itself should be washed once a week with disinfectants safe for cats.

Talk to your vet or walk into a pet store and make sure you pick up a good disinfectant that does not contain phenol as it is toxic to these animals.

Once you have finished washing the tray, be sure to rinse it carefully and dry it thoroughly before replacing the litter.

It may seem like a hazzle at first, but it gets easier.

You must provide your cat with at least 3 cm of kitty litter. They like to comfortably bury their mess when they are done, like most of us are aware of.

You also need to be very careful when changing the litter or the tray itself.

Even switching it’s location as this can easily lead to some toilet accidents. If you plan to take your cat outdoors, do provide them with a safe space.

Also read: How to litter train a kitten?

Grooming a New Cat

As mentioned earlier, cats are hygienic animals and can take care of themselves mostly, but from time to time they may need a little extra help.

If your new cat has a long fur coat, it will most likely need to be brushed daily to keep it from tangling or shedding.

Longhair cats that are not brushed enough can easily develop uncomfortable matting which we don’t want to happen.

In extreme cases it may even be necessary to bring them to the vet to have these mats removed under anesthesia.

Short hair types are much easier to manage as they don’t shed as much and don’t need as much brushing and grooming. As the cat ages it may need more care though and even some help from you to keep it’s skin and fur in good condition with the occasional grooming.

Remember to show tender care and understanding with your cat, as it may take time for them to learn to trust you before they are happy to be groomed and brushed comfortably. So be patient.

how to take care of a cat. bringing a new cat home. getting a new cat.
bringing a new cat home…

An Indoor or Outdoor Pet?

If your cat won’t have access to the outdoors, you will need to put in a little more effort to keep them physically and mentally healthy and happy.

Any cat that is free to roam outside in nature should be micro-chipped for safety and in case they get lost or can’t find their way home again.

Deciding if your cat is an indoors or an outdoors cat is a decision every cat owner must make for themselves.

There are both pros and cons to each, but cats that live indoors do tend to live much longer than outdoor ones. This is for many reasons, such as them getting into accidents or fights with other animals outside.

If you are in a built up area, it is recommended that you keep your cat indoors, and at night especially as this reduces the changes of them getting themselves into any trouble or accidents.

Now, if you want to let your cat enjoy the outside world and nature but are afraid of the dangers they might be exposed to, you can set up a safe area in your backyard with good fences.

If you do this, you can relax knowing that they won’t leave the safe zone of your backyard as the fences will prevent them from entering into any dangerous places and getting injured or hurt.

It is the best of both worlds really, and there are many fantastic cat enclosures or fences you can get online or even just build yourself.

Taking Your Cat to the Vet

I recommend that all new cat owners take their cat to the veterinarian at least once when they have just gotten it, and also to do the following:

  • Get them neutered or sprayed
  • Fully vaccinated against diseases
  • Chipped
  • Regular parasite treatments
  • Also get regular health checks if they get injured or sick
  • Dental checks

Why You Should Consider Microchipping

Micro chipping of cats is gaining popularity as people become more aware of the benefits of having it done.

It allows them to be easily tracked and identified which makes things a whole lot easier for many reasons.

You don’t have to worry about any discomfort during the process, as the chip itself is only about the size of a grain of rice.

Your vet can cleverly insert it between your cats shoulder blades without it feeling pain.

The microchip will hold a unique ID and this can identify the cat itself and the owner too.

A database containing your contact details is held by the chipping company, meaning you can quickly be contacted should your cat become lost.

bringing a new cat home. how to take care of a cat. what do cats need? cat care guide.
getting a new kitten can be fun…

Dealing With Fleas

Unfortunately, fleas don’t discriminate between animals and it is likely that your new cat will develop a problem with them at some point in their lives.

But, you can prevent this by providing them with a regular flea treatment.

Prevention will always be a much better idea than trying to actually fix the problem when it is already there.

Remember also that flea treatments for dogs is not suitable for cats, and they can easily become fatal.

You have to keep your cats needs in mind specifically, as the two animals are very different indeed.

Dental Care for your Cat

As with all pets and most living things, your new cat may develop some dental problems, especially with age.

It is advisable to have their teeth checked regularly and especially if they have any of these symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to eat food
  • Pawing at it’s mouth area
  • Increased hostility and aggressiveness while eating
  • Facial swelling, runny nose and sneezing
  • They groom themselves less often

As you can see, there are many things to keep in mind when getting a new cat into your home.

You have to make it feel welcome, make sure it has enough good food to eat and stays healthy and happy.

It is a wonderful journey and there are so many interesting things to learn during the process, and you should never stop trying to learn more about your new kitty.

If you understand it better, you will understand it’s needs more and how to make your cat happy.

Congratulations on your new cat and I hope you will have many happy and healthy years together!

Also read: How to understand your cat.

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Author: Cathour

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