What Do You Need to Know Before Adopting a Cat?

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Get Your Home Ready for Your Cat

As any pet owner knows, the first weeks and months with your new pet are critical. During this time, you are enmeshed in an effort to establish a truce between your cat's natural instincts and modern living. Your cat-proofing efforts start with the basics: food, water, litter box, and scratching post. These basics are the underpinnings of a happy home.

Further, effective management of the three essentials is necessary to prevent some common behavioral problems such as inappropriate elimination, chewing, and scratching.

Lastly, these essential management tools should be provided the first week you bring your cat home. If at all possible, put these essentials in place before your cat arrives so that your cat feels more comfortable in her altered environment.

Find a Veterinarian for Your New Kitty

It is essential to find a good veterinarian for your new kitty. Bringing home a new family member should be cause for celebration and not worry about how to afford medical care should the situation arise.

To find a vet, start by looking in the phone book. Most major cities have several listings under veterinary clinics. You can also search online for veterinarians in the area by typing in the name of the city and the name of the specialty you're looking for.

Once you've identified the potential vet, you can call his/her office to get an idea of how quickly the office normally handles incoming animals as well as the type of costs to expect. When calling, try to ask about the cost of common problems and emergencies that your cat may have. This will help you get an idea of the prices you can expect to pay should your new cat need care.

You should also look at the websites of the local veterinary clinics to get a better idea of the services each facility offers and to find out more about the doctors who practice there. You can also get an idea of the cost from these sites.

Purchase the Essentials

When you fall in love with a cute kitty in the shelter, it can be very tempting to rush out to bring her home. But before you become her new owner, there are a few things that you have to do.

Get Her Vaccinated

Before you make her part of your family, ask your vet if your puppy has received all of the proper immunizations and medical checkups before. Especially if she is going to be around children, the puppy might have to get some vaccinations again.

Get Her Contained

When you leave your pet at home during the day, it is vital to get her confined in some way. This may require you getting a couple things, like a cat carrier, so you can ensure that she is safe and cannot get into trouble.

Get Her Collared

Your cat will need a collar and preferably a license. If you do not have a collar for your pet, you will need to go to a pet store and buy one. Your vet will check her to see whether she has an identity tag already. However, you will still need to buy a collar and attach a tag to it.

Spend Time Helping Your New Furbaby Get Used to Home

Cats have a reputation for being standoffish, aloof, and hard to get along with. That is just the nature of their personality – and it is quite different from dogs. Cats are content and relaxed as long as their basic needs are being met. However, when their needs are being ignored or you try, to push them into doing something they don't want to do they can tend to lash out. When you first bring home your new furbaby, it is important to understand these differences and to realize that she won't immediately be as affectionate towards you as a dog would be. Because of this, you need to be patient and understanding as you go along.

It is also important to not push your new kitty too fast into doing things or being around people that scare her. Start out slow and easy with low stimulus environments and people. Gradually build up the time that your cat is able to be around your family and also the pet furniture, pet supplies, etc. Even with kittens, be careful not to over-stimulate them because this could lead to behavior problems later on in life.