You’ve just walked inside your home with an adorable new kitten or cat of your very own! Congratulations! Now what? If you’re new to the cat owner scene, chances are you’re leading with the basics of cat care and working your way up. To streamline the learning process for you, The Refined Feline has compiled a rundown of the most common mistakes new cat owners make and how to avoid them.
Not Seeing The Vet With Your New Kitty Soon Enough
One often seen misconception with new cat owners is not taking their cat to the vet right after adoption. Maybe you want to give them time to settle in, or you feel like it’s unnecessary at this point. However, it’s best to visit the vet and ensure their overall health and simply to establish a relationship with a vet. Many cat owners continue to put it off until something arises, but an early vet visit is a necessity. It is mostly a necessity as many cats can hide any illnesses they may have going on. And since you and your feline friend are just getting to know each other, you may not realize something is off with your cat.
Every pet parent should be prepared to take their cat to the vet once every year just for a wellness exam. You should also be prepared for additional veterinary costs that can come up. It’s best to set aside money each month, potentially in a savings account if you can, for regular or emergency services for your furry friend. There are also different pet health insurance plans you can explore to help you offset some of those costs.
Not Following Suggested Litter Box Guidelines
It can be easy to infer that one cat needs just one litter box, right? Well, it’s not as simple as you may think. To truly ensure the use of the litter box easily and comfortably by your cat, it’s recommended to supply one litter box per cat plus one extra one. For example: one cat would require two litter boxes and for two cats, they would require three litter boxes, etc. Also, if your household can support it, you should place the litter boxes in different locations throughout. This gives your cat more options in case they prefer different locations or they like constantly clean boxes. The litter box should be scooped at least once a day and more litter added every time you scoop. Most cats prefer the unscented litter compared to the scented litter varieties available. The strong scents used to block odors can also be too overpowering to your cat’s sense of smell and actually deter them from using it regularly.
Not Providing Enough Fun Diversions!
New cat owners may not realize how much entertainment cats actually need. Cats are not as self sufficient as they appear, and can get bored easily. Every cat will have a varying energy level depending on their age and sassiness, but there are a few items that should be in every home. A sturdy scratching post is one vital piece of cat furniture that absolutely every cat needs. Not having a proper scratching surface will inevitably have your cat turning to your furniture or any other scratchable item. Consider getting both a horizontal and vertical scratching post to give your cat some options and turn less to your furniture. It’s also important to research the size and material used on the scratching post so that your cat won’t make short work of it overnight.
Cats also need an assortment of toys! Be prepared to give your young cat or kitten at least an hour, if not more, of playtime throughout the day. Splitting it up into 15 or 20 minute intervals will ensure your feline doesn’t wear themselves out. Healthy adult cats will still play and get the zoomies, but it will usually decrease if health issues arise or as they age. If you’re unsure of how much playing your cat needs, consult with your veterinarian, especially if there’s medical conditions involved. After time, though, you will notice your cat’s pace for playtime and you’ll know how much exercise they require.
Large cat towers are essential for cats, but oftentimes fall by the wayside with new cat owners. Your cat may appear to only use the same furniture as you, like the couch and chairs. However, they benefit from having something designed just for them, and only used by them too. Cat trees provide multiple opportunities for cats to do whatever they want! Many modern cat trees have dangling toys for play, hidden cubbies, and built in scratching posts for added enrichment. Your furniture will be saved since cats can climb, scratch, and exert some energy with a taller cat tree. Make sure to research potential cat furniture to find something more sturdy and suitable for your cat that will last for a few years. Selecting cat furniture from The Refined Feline gives you beautiful cat trees with replaceable parts to keep them fresh and new.
Not Understanding That Cats & Humans Don’t Think The Same
Anthropomorphizing your cat is hard not to do, but another common mistake of new cat owners. Yes, human emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, peacefulness, and more are experienced by cats. But cats also experience these emotions in ways that are not the same as humans either. It’s easy to forget that cats have different desires and needs than humans, especially when you look at your cat and see your baby.
One of the important emotions for cats is trust, just like trust is important to humans. It is key to avoid breaking this trust, as your relationship with your cat can get hurt by it. Your cat loves spending time with you and getting attention , but it has to be done on their terms. They have a pretty big personal space barrier and they won’t appreciate it when that barrier is breached. Just remember to always let your cat approach you first and this will build further trust with your feline.
There you have it – the easiest ways to avoid the biggest pitfalls among new cat parents. Now that you know the best way of welcoming your new furry feline home, it’s time to spend that time getting kitty snuggles!