We’ve decided to adopt a cat! My family is very excited, but we’ve never had a cat and have no idea what kind of cat supplies we’ll need for it. Can you help?
New Cat People in Shepherd Park Plaza
Dear New Cat People,
Congratulations on your soon-to-be new addition! Cats are really great pets and can be easier than dogs in many respects. Contrary to popular belief, cats aren’t always aloof and can be just as cuddly and loving as a dog.
So, what do you need to make a 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
First things first: don’t even consider declawing your new cat. It’s a cruel and unnecessary procedure that can cause behavior problems in cats. Instead, opt for a nice scratching post that 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 home, this might keep him off of your kitchen counters and from jumping up onto your wobbly entertainment center.
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 home.
After a trip to the vet, you can get a prescription for topical flea medications that will keep your pet and your home free from fleas. These are typically applied once a month and treat not only fleas, but often ticks, heartworms and intestinal parasites as well. It’s well worth the expense to keep your home 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.
Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet of the Week
Meet Katniss! Need a little mothering? Then Katniss is the cat for you! She was found with a litter of kittens, and when they were adopted, she began mothering any small cats that came into her foster’s home. Katniss is caring and loving with her human friends, too, so if caring and comfort are what you’re after, come visit. This mom is ready to make your house a home. Go to www.saveacatrescue.org.