Beginner’s guide to Owning a cat: You’ve decided to get a cat, now what do you do?
Buying Vs. Adopting
Once you’ve decided to get a cat next comes how? There are two ways to acquire your new fur baby; Buy or Adopt.
First what you need to ask yourself is what kind of cat do you want?
If you are looking for a specific breed or a show-quality cat it’s best to go with a Breeder and purchase your new fur baby. Breeders come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable Breeder. A good place to start is the Canadian Cat Association. From their website, you can search for specific breeds. Another good website is The International Cat Association. this website has photos of different breeds as well as a listing of Cat Clubs. You could also check out Kitty Sites. This website breaks down breeders by location, it also has a list of the most popular breeds.
If you are just looking for a cat to be your fur baby, adopting good be a good option. There are many different cat rescue agencies, just like with a breeder you want to make sure the rescue is reputable. When adopting check out the rescues policies and procedures so you know what to expect. some rescues spay or neuter kitties before sending them to their forever home, others offer a coupon to have it done at a later date depending on the age/health of the cat. Rescues have all ages of pets available from kitten to senior. Kittens by nature are the most popular choice, however, it can be equally rewarding to adopt an older cat.
Unfortunately, some cats with special needs are surrendered to rescues because the owners can no longer afford their care. If you feel like a special needs cat is right for you, contact the rescue agency you plan to use and let them know. Caring for a special needs cat is a truly fulfilling experience Not sure which rescue to use, use google and search cat rescue near me. A few good ones in the GTA are
Now that you have your cat (or will have it soon) what do they need?
Most kitties whether purchased from a breeder or adopted will come to you having been checked out by a Vet. Does this mean you don’t need one? Wrong! Cats like any pet require regular checkups with the Vet. Regular checkups give a good baseline should something happen. also, cats do require regular vaccinations. Don’t know how to choose a vet check out the College of Veterinarians. their website is chalked full of great information.
It’s important to know what food your cat is eating before they come home so you can purchase the same kind. If you need to switch brands do so gradually so that your fur baby adjusts to the new food, doing so quickly could result in some digestive upset which is no fun for you or your cat. Your cat will need a food bowl and a designated space in the home for this. check with local pet stores to find the right dish for your cat, with so many patterns, shapes and sizes available, you can really personalize it.
Although most cats are not fond of water, it is something they do need. you can use a regular water dish, if your cat is showing little interest in it there are a few things you can try. Automatic water fountains have a continuous flow of water and for some cats, this entices them to drink. It is also recommended that the water dish be located away from their food dish
Cats shed fur, there’s no way around it. sometimes they need a little help. Brushing is an excellent way to bond with your cat. Be sure to select brushes that are geared to your cat’s fur type for the most effective experience. Trimming nails is another important grooming step. When trimming nails it is important to only get the tip of the nails and not the “Quik”. The Quik is where the blood vessels extend into the nail, if you snip this there will be some bleeding and it might make the next time harder as cats remember. If you are unsure how you can watch youtube videos or ask your vet to show you how it’s done.
These come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. finding your cat’s preference will take a bit of trial and error but once found your cat will love you for it (and so will your furniture). when a cat scratches they are releasing pheromones and essentially they are marking their territory which helps them feel safe and secure in the home. so scratching is important.
Cats of all ages need to be stimulated. toys are an excellent way to keep their minds working. As natural hunters, cats will instinctively chase strings, feathers, essentially anything that moves. You can purchase toys from the pet store or if you are a DIYer you can create many different types to keep your cat happy and engaged.
If you are a traveller you need to decide if Kitty will be coming with you or will you hire a company/ask a friend to care for them while you are away. Check out Cat Sitter Toronto Inc.’s Ebook on choosing the right sitter
I hope you found this beginner’s guide to owning a cat helpful. Now that you have the basics down you get to enjoy the companionship of a Cat. Check out our blog for more great info on all things cat.
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