Bringing Your New Cat Home

Posted on October 18, 2016

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Congratulations on the addition of your new furry family member! Cats always make great companions but please remember that there’s a lot more to think about than a seemingly harmless, cute, soft and purring ball of fur. Here are some basic cat care tips that are essential to abide by for your new cat.

1)      Many new cat owners have the misconception that cats are independent animals and are low maintenance; therefore require much lesser attention unlike dogs. On the contrary, though cats are indeed independent by nature, being able to defend themselves, some cats require a lot of grooming and attention especially the highly intelligent and active ones. It is always good to ensure that your schedule accommodates time for the cat. Otherwise, you can consider getting another cat to keep your cat companied.

2)      As soon as possible after bringing your cat home, you are advised to schedule it to be neutered/ spayed. This process essentially removes its reproductive organs and hormones, making a vast difference between a happy cat and one that is always spraying and attempting to escape from the house during heat.

3)      It is crucial to purchase a good cat litter. Clumping litter is easier to maintain. If upon consultation it is discovered that your cat might have certain illnesses, the veterinarian may prescribe a colour changing cat litter which is able to identify the possible conditions plaguing your cat.

4)      Along with good cat litter, a good litter box for your furry family member can also contribute to a happy cat! Covered litter boxes provide both you and your cat with privacy. Do remember to keep the box clean for it.

5)      Cats love playing in nature. Toys such as toy mice, balls of string and even empty carton boxes. Toys need not be specially bought from stores; they can be homemade like discarded boxes. However, do ensure that it is sufficient to keep your cat happily preoccupied.

6)      It is also wise to purchase a scratching post for your cat to trim and shed its claws. Cats shed their claws to keep them sharp for natural hunting instincts and make themselves feel safe. Ensure that the scratching post is high enough to accommodate the full length of the cat’s body. Declawing should only be the final alternative, under very special circumstances that is necessary for the welfare of the animal.

7)      You may also want to get a variety of cat treats in order to train your cat with habits such as toileting in the litter pan and going into pet carriers willingly.

8)      If you have gotten a new kitten, ensure that you commence a grooming routine as soon as possible. Bathing, brushing and trimming of claws could be trained as something to look forward to than something to dread.

Declawing in a cat

This procedure essentially removes the claws of the cat, and as the claw is attached closely to a small section of the bone, the piece of bone has to be removed as well to prevent the chance of the claw growing back. The procedure is not carried out by many veterinary surgeons as it is considered inhumane. Removal of the bone is equivalent to removing the tip of your finger. It will bring the cat a great deal of pain and they would not be able to walk comfortably from the trauma of the soft tissue.

Some owners may see declawing as a long-term solution of resolving a cat’s scratching problems. However, the removal of the claw and bone is equivalent to stripping the cat of its first line of defence. When that happens, cats may have a possibility of turning to other defences such as biting. After declawing a cat, it is cruel for owners to let it be a free roam cat outdoors. This is because the cat would be defenceless and would be unable to defend itself from other resident cats.

 Alternative to declawing can be the usage of vinyl nail caps. These can be carefully put on with surgical adhesive. The nail caps can last about a month and are usually used as short term solutions. However, if done properly, nail caps can be a long-term solution.