5 Tips for New Cat Owners

If you’ve ever owned a cat (or several), you know that they can be complicated to take care of sometimes, and even harder to understand, especially when it’s your first experience with one. It’s true that cats aren’t for everyone, but they’re often misunderstood and given a bad rep. Here are some tips to help you get accustomed to your pet and them to you.

 

1. It’s not a dog

Yes, I know, it seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Lots of people get a cat thinking it’ll be the same as owning a dog when it’s not. Cats don’t behave like dogs—they don’t wag their tails when they’re happy and droop their heads when they’re sad. They’re more subtle, so, in a way, they’re harder to figure out, but not impossible. They show their love differently too. They can weave in and out between your legs, nudge you with their heads, or simply sit near (or on top of) you.

 

2. Invest in toys

Contrary to popular opinion, cats are very playful and energetic. They’re extremely curious, so they’re easily entertained. You don’t even need to buy toys at the pet store. Get creative and make homemade toys! Cut a length of ribbon or yarn, crumple a sheet of tin foil into a ball, or set up empty cardboard boxes around the house for them to play with. For some extra fun, sprinkle some catnip around and get your camera ready to record their crazy antics.

 

3. Baking soda is a must

Litter boxes can get messy sometimes, and no matter how well the brand of cat litter claims to mask bad odors, it’s going to smell. To minimize it, mix in some baking soda along with the cat litter—trust me, it works. But don’t rely on it! It’s not a magical remedy, so remember to clean the box daily.

 

4. Groom your cat

Cats are known for being (relatively) clean pets, but that doesn’t mean you should never bathe or groom them. On average, they should be bathed once every three months using a shampoo specifically for cats and groomed weekly. If your cat is long-haired, groom them daily. That’ll keep their coats shiny and healthy.

 

5. Spend some quality time together

Just because they don’t get overly excited when you walk through the door doesn’t mean your cat doesn’t love you. That’s why lots of people dismiss cats as bipolar and cruel animals because they need to get used to you before showing you love. A cat will take longer to warm up to you, so dedicate your time and patience to them. There’s nothing more rewarding than being finally cuddled by a cat that you worked hard to earn their trust.

 

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3