My first Cat



Getting your first cat or kitten can be a huge step for a “Cat Newbie.” These helpful articles and resources will help you in making that all-important decision of committing to a lifetime relationship. Whether you’ve just adopted your first cat, or are just thinking about getting one, this is the place to start.

Before adopting a cat for the first time, do your homework to avoid these top mistakes made by new cat owners. By avoiding these mistakes, you and your cat will have a much better chance at a happy long-term relationship.

Adopting your first cat is a huge step, not to be taken lightly. Although cats have a reputation for taking care of themselves, that fact does not equal “no care is necessary.” Before rushing in to buy that darling kitten in the pet store window (which is a mistake in itself), take the time to do your homework, so you can avoid these common mistakes made first by new cat owners. Forewarned, you will also be able to avoid mistakes made by experienced cat owners. The result will be a happier and healthier cat and a long-term companionship with another living being, the like of which you never dreamed.

Adopting in Haste

If you “impulse-buy” a new purse or a new t-shirt, you can almost always return it if it turns out to be the wrong color or the fit isn’t right. No harm, no foul; the purse certainly doesn’t suffer from its rejection. But adopting a living, sentient creature such as a cat and kitten, to become a family member, is entirely a different matter.

Adopting a new cat should be for keeps, so consider carefully before you make that decision.

Money saved by buying cheap cat food will be spent hundreds of times over on veterinary care. Cats are obligate carnivores, and need a good source of meat protein. They do not need large amounts of grain fillers, especially corn, which is a cheap source of protein used by many cat food manufacturers. Learn how to choose cat food and select the best brands you can afford. You’ll find your cat may eat less of the high quality food because they don’t have to gorge to get the nutrients they need.

Many an innocent new cat owner has been led down the declaw path when a veterinarian asks, “Do you want your kitten declawed when we spay her?” Some veterinarians consider declawing a “routine” surgery, while cat advocates consider it cruel, inhumane, and unnecessary in almost every case. Learn the facts so that you can make an informed decision.

Cat lovers who want their cats to enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and the ambiance of trees, bushes, and plants, often feel guilt by confining their cats to the indoors. This was the mindset in my generation: those cats are free and independent creatures, and should not be confined. That they cannot be healthy, happy, and active, if not allowed experiencing all the glories of the outdoors.

Today, we understand the hazards of allowing cats to roam freely, either by personal experience, hearsay, or through the media, including the Internet. Here are just a few of the outdoors dangers, although not an exhaustive list.

•The risk of contracting killer diseases, including FIV, FeLV, and FIP

•Injury and/or death from attacks by dogs, other cats, or predators

•Injury or death from vehicles

•”Cat-napping” for profit, or personal gain

•Trapping and disposal by cat-hating neighbors

•Torture and/or killing by psychopaths

•Confiscation by animal control authorities

On the other hand, there are some safe compromises to offer your indoor cat the best of both worlds, without the potential hazards of free roaming outdoors.