Exciting news! I’m about to adopt a cat–specifically an adult cat. What sort of supplies does an adult cat in an apartment need?
Apartment dweller in The Heights
Dear Apartment Dweller,
Adult cats are oftentimes looked over at shelters for the “Ms. Congeniality” of the shelter world: the kittens. But, adult cats can easily assimilate into a household with little to no adjustment period. They don’t have the bad habits that kittens can have (middle of the night “zoomies” and other crazy kitten antics), and are a wonderful companion–perfectly suited for apartment-living. June just so happens to be “Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat” month, so you’ve picked a great time to meet the feline love of your life!
So, what do you need to make an adult cat happy in your home? Actually, very little. But, here’s a quick rundown of the basics.
Good-Quality Cat Food
Ideally, you shouldn’t switch your cat’s food often as this can cause stomach upset. So, try out the food of your choice and, if it makes everyone happy, then stick with it. Unlike humans, cats can be perfectly content eating the same food every day for the rest of their lives.
A Scratching Post or Cat Tree
There’s a small chance that your new kitty is already declawed and won’t need a scratching post (and if he’s not declawed, PLEASE don’t even consider doing that to him) but if he’s not, a scratching post offers kitty an opportunity to stretch and care for his claws. A cat tree typically has a scratching post incorporated into it and offers the additional appeal of giving kitty a high place to hang out and climb. Cats love high places and, if you give him an acceptable high place to hang out in your apartment, this might keep him off of your kitchen counters.
A Few Toys
An adult cat doesn’t need as much stimulation as a kitten does but–make no mistake–adult cats love to play, too! Playtime is important for adult cats as it offers them opportunities to exercise and entertainment that keeps them happy and out of trouble. It also serves as great bonding time for you and your cat.
A Litter Box
For most cats, a simple litter box does the trick. Especially in the early days of having a cat, you’ll find that you don’t need the fancy, robotic, self-cleaning litter boxes or the other high-tech gadgets. Take into consideration the size of your cat and make sure that the litter box that you get for him is roomy enough so that he won’t hang over the edge when using it. Also, pick a spot to keep the litter box and stick with it. If you move the litter box around, trying to find the perfect spot, you might confuse kitty and this could lead to accidents in the apartment.
After a trip to the vet, you can get a prescription for topical flea medications that will keep your pet and your apartment free from fleas. These are typically applied once a month and treat, not only fleas, but often ticks, heartworms and intestinal parasites as well. Well worth the expense to keep your apartment free from pests.
Lastly, please know that you don’t have to spend much money on stuff to make your new cat happy. The fact that you’re rescuing him from a shelter and giving him a safe, secure place to live is going to be truly enough to make him happy. Thank you so much for adopting an adult cat!
Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at: dear firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet of the Week
Meet January. January is a friendly cat who found herself living in a feral colony. This out-of-place social kitty was finally rescued when she injured her leg–an injury that ultimately required amputation of one leg. The good news is that now January is an indoor-only, thriving tripod cat, living the life she’s always dreamed of. January is a lap-loving, purr-machine who would make an ideal companion cat for most any household. To find out more, go to www.saveacatrescue.org.