What You Should Know Before You Get a Cat
Maybe you are like me; I grew up with birds, dogs, other animals around the house, but not cats. There came a day, though, when I decided to get a cat for some reasons that were decisive for me at the time: a cat was low maintenance, needed less attention than other pets, and it didn't need walking.
But I had never before come in close contact with a cat, so to be honest, I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
Here are some tips for you that I have learned from experience:
1. If you plan to get a kitten that is under 8 weeks, it will need special attention. The young kitten will eat milk from it's mother (not cow's milk), or you can get milk for kittens at your pet store; young kitties also need a very warm place to sleep in, like special beds;
2. The cat you got is older than 8-10 weeks? Than it will be a little bit easier. A young cat (under a year), needs to eat more than adult cats. So make sure you buy enough canned food to feed the cat several times a day; also buy dry food and alternate, or you can make the dry food available all the time; my cat loves canned meat, it will also eat dry food, but doesn't enjoy it as much;
3. Now that you bought enough food (buy around 25-30 cans to make sure it will last a week), buy a nice bowl for food and water. Also buy a litter box (there are many of them in stores, according to your budget you can buy a plain one, or even one that cleans itself, and traps the smells). Get liners for your litter box. and a big bag of litter (also a wide array of choices, from the regular litter, to the more expensive one that clumps and traps smells). My cat started using the litter box from day one (I was very happy about that), but if they are too young and don't know, don't worry, cats learn very fast how to use it. Clean the litter box every day by picking up the big dirty parts and change the litter and liners every 3 days or so;
4. OK, so now you have food, litter box, what else you need? You will need to keep your kitty clean. Buy a special kitty shampoo and a between bathing spray (it deodorizes and cleans the cat by spraying it on the coat, no need for bath). It's said you don't need to wash the cat if it's not dirty or if it's an indoor cat, but I like to wash mine approx. every two weeks. She doesn't like water, but got used to it now and takes it rather well. To keep my house clean, I bought a solid deodorizer for the litter box, an odor eliminator spray for fabrics, and also a carpet powder (or foam) to freshen it.
5. Keep your kitty happy! I bought mine a scratching post that she can climb, and tied at the top of it a toy and a bunch of strings. She enjoys jumping and playing with them. I also got her a nice, warm crib (that she doesn't use at all, she prefers a shoe box to sleep in); I had a few toys that were about her size, that she loves to wrestle; every time I go to the store to buy her food, I can't help buying her a new toy: she has toy mice, balls, feathered toys, toys that squeak, make noises, she has it all; she loves it when I throw her toys around and she runs after them; I also bought her a leash, a collar and a harness to walk her outside;
That is about all that a cat needs to be happy. Take it to the vet from time to time, and you too are in for a lot of fun!
So relax, it will be very easy to take care of your kitty, all you need is a little bit of preparation before you get a pet.