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10 Things You Need to Know About Owning a Cat

Cats are charming, sassy, and intelligent animals everyone wants to have. If you are a first-time cat owner there are a few things you need to know about owning a cat.

Apart from companionship and unconditional love, caring for a cat offers tons of health benefits.

They help reduce stress, prevent allergies, and improve heart health.

These animals are even used in pet therapy as the sound of their purr can calm people down.

Cuddling with them is relaxing and therapeutic, too.

Cats are super independent and just love to sleep the entire day, but that doesn’t mean that they require no care at all.

Here are some of the things you need to know about caring for your new feline friend before bringing them home.

10 Things You Need to Know About Owning a Cat

1.   Owning a cat is a long-term commitment

Cats can live for up to two decades.

You will need to provide your pet with food, shelter, and quality veterinary care for several years. 

If you want a cat but are not ready to commit for a long time period, consider adopting a senior cat.

Older cats may find it hard to adapt to a new environment at first, but they are a lot calmer and more relaxed compared to kittens.

2.   Be prepared to spend, spend, spend when owning a cat

Depending on the type of cat food and supplies you want to provide, costs may vary.

On average, cat ownership can have an annual cost between $800 and $1,000 a year.

When pet owners are faced with health emergencies and medical costs, that can go up to $2,000.

It’s highly recommended to get pet insurance to reduce veterinary costs just in case something unexpected happens.  

3.   Cats don’t follow rules

One thing you need to know about owning a cat is cats go wherever they want anytime. They don’t understand boundaries and limits.

If you are planning to care for a cat indoors, make sure to pet-proof your home first.

Remove any fragile items that may hurt them.

Cats often try to get into closed drawers or jump on high furniture.

A balcony is another dangerous spot for cats, so put up a fence to avoid any accidents.

4.   Cats are predators

Don’t be surprised to find dead animals and insects in every corner of your home.

Despite being domesticated, cats still have strong hunting instincts.

They will chase whatever moves, kill it, and offer it as a gift to you.

Never get mad at your feline friend, as hunting is a natural behavior for a cat.

Just keep her preoccupied with lots of fun toys that provide mental stimulation, especially if you are not around.

5.   Cats need to be spayed or neutered

If you don’t want your pet cat to have kittens, have your kitty neutered or spayed.

Cat spay and neuter not only prevent unwanted litters but also contribute to a longer, healthier life, reducing the chances of testicular cancer, uterine infections, and breast cancer.

You also avoid heat cycles and negative behavioral cycles.

Your cat is sure to have a well-adjusted temperament, too.

Gray cat wearing a red collar with his scratching post

6.   Cats need a scratching post

In addition to a food bowl and fresh water, cats need a scratching post.

In nature, felines scratch their claws on trees and any material they believe can keep their claws healthy and sharp.

Although it doesn’t seem like an essential cat supply at first, a scratching post is a crucial accessory for cat owners.

Cats love to scratch even when they don’t have a scratching post, so they may use your sofa or other furniture pieces if they don’t find anything else.

You wouldn’t want your cat to ruin your furniture!

Once you get the scratching post, put a treat or catnip on it to encourage your cat to use it, and correct some behavior problems.

7.   Cats need a litter box

If you are keeping your cat indoors most of the time, give her a cat litter box.

Pet stores offer a wide range of choices, from closed containers to automated cleaning systems.

Clean the litter box as cats hate dirty litter, and be sure that your cat hasn’t chosen another location in your house as their personal litter box.

If there are multiple cats in the household, one litter box is not enough. It’s best to have one litter box per cat.

8.   Owning a cat means you will have hair everywhere

Be prepared for any breed of cat to shed heavily.

Owning a cat makes wearing dark-colored shirts almost impossible.

Don’t forget to invest in pastels and lint rollers before adopting a feline friend!

The best way to reduce hair shedding is to brush your cat’s fur regularly. You may also like to check out these cleaning tips for cat owners.

White cat eating from a stainless steel bowl

9.   Cats need a fixed feeding schedule

Set a daily routine and try your best to follow it 100% of the time.

When you’re not at home, find someone else who can look after your cat.

Make sure that the cat’s feeding schedule is followed.

10.  Cats need a safe space

Arrange a special place your cat can call their own within your home.

Some cats prefer sunny areas, while others want to hide somewhere dark and isolated.

This special spot should have a soft, warm blanket and other supplies that will make your cat feel happy and comfortable.

Beautiful gray cat being held by its owner

Owning a cat is one of the most rewarding experiences in life.

However, before you decide on the impulse to adopt a cat, be sure to think through this long-term commitment of owning a cat fully.

Anne Perry

Thursday 21st of September 2023

thank you

Bea LaRocca

Thursday 31st of August 2023

Thank you for sharing these helpful tips on cat ownership and the proper care of our feline friends

Elizabeth

Sunday 13th of August 2023

There’s definitely a lot to keep in mind!

Beth

Monday 26th of June 2023

love it! Thank you!

Antoinette M

Wednesday 14th of June 2023

All very good points. I love cats!

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