I know, you’re probably thinking: cats are supposed to be easy, this might be too much. Trust me, they are and it’s not, especially with my Cat Owner’s Guide to Raising a Happy Cat. I’ll give you an easy to follow checklist of all the essentials you need, along with buying tips and advice that will have your cat purring and you smiling.
How to raise a happy and healthy cat: The Basics
- 1 How to raise a happy and healthy cat: The Basics
- 1.1 Take the Time to Bond
- 1.2 Cats are People Too: Playtime, Feeding & Discipline
- 1.3 Give Your New Friend Something to Do
- 1.4 Make Sure You’re Cleaning Up
- 1.5 Enjoy the Little Things
- 1.6 It’s Rewarding!
- 2 Happy Cat Owners Buying Guide
Take the Time to Bond
Pets are, in essence, your children, minus the diapers; So treat them just like a child. Take time out of your day to hold, pet, love and play with your new feline friend. Despite their reputation for being aloof, cats thrive off of loving interactions, just like any other pet. Of course, every cat has a different personality, but all of them have something that makes them special, unique, and lovable.
While some are extremely laid back and easy to hold and carry, others disdain being held, especially if they aren’t comfortable with you just yet. Getting to know your kitten or cat helps establish trust as your furry new friend determines its’ rightful place in your new family.
The best thing you can do is show affection and teach them right and wrong as you get to understand their personality. Cats are, by nature, sassy and free-spirited (quite different from being snobby). More independent than dogs, they have a curious and reserved nature that can turn frisky in a heartbeat. Expect your cat to make itself cozy on its’ own schedule- like when you’re typing something important, reading a good book, or trying to spend some quality time with your smartphone.
As your cat ages, or if you adopt an older cat, they tend to need less fussing. Always pestering your adult cat can cause it to become easily agitated and it will likely scratch, hiss, and try to avoid you.
Here are some helpful tips to consider when bonding with your cat:
✔ If you want to teach a behavior to your cat, like staying off the sofa, start young and be consistent. You can also consider buying motion sensor products that dispel air or noise to keep them off of your furniture. These products are safe and efficient.
✔ Be patient. Bringing home a new pet is an adjustment for them and you. Make sure that you’re patient as your new pet adjusts to your home.
✔ Food and treats are VERY helpful in making your pet feel at home or training them but don’t overdo it.
✔ Understand that every cat is different.
✔ Keep your cool. Your new friend WILL knock stuff over, make messes, and probably destroy something you love. Such is life.
Cats are People Too: Playtime, Feeding & Discipline
Obviously, they aren’t literally “people,” but they do have feelings. Which is why you must pay attention to how you feed, play and discipline them.
Small interactions, affection, and general friendship are the easiest way to your feline’s heart and are lots of fun. But they also need fun, interesting things to do when you’re not around- or too busy to play. That’s why it is important to invest in toys to keep your cat’s attention when you’re at work or school.
Cats will eat all day long as you let them, which is a bad thing. They can easily become overweight and end up with health issues, like diabetes. That’s why you should never leave dry food sitting out all day.
Set a feeding schedule and stick with it, so they get enough nutrition without going overboard. If you work long hours or travel frequently, consider a feeder with a timer so they can eat when you’re not there.
Also, try to give them wet and dry food. Both have similar nutritional value, but wet food can go bad if left out, so be careful of when you give it to your cat.
Just remember to leave fresh water out at all times.
As for training, make sure to use positive reinforcement, not punishment, to get the behavior you’re looking for; Here are simple, useful rules and guidelines for properly punishing your feline:
– Never slap, throw, kick, or hit your pet. Cats are small and defenseless and should never be physically hit; It is cruel and doesn’t work.
– Give your cat, or kitty, time to acclimate to its litter box. If it goes outside the box, make sure they are not sick and is the right size. Also, make sure the litter you use is one they like. Place the box in a quiet area and be patient.[alert-note]Your pet may refuse to use its’ box if it’s dirty.[/alert-note]
Don’t get down on yourself during this process. It takes time and patience for both of you to figure each other out and get into a routine.
Give Your New Friend Something to Do
Okay, repeat after me: a bored kitty is a destructive kitty. Say these words until they are burned into your brain because they are the key to a peaceful, blissful coexistence. Cats don’t rip or shred on purpose; they simply get bored, frustrated or resentful. This is why it’s so important to give your new pet an outlet for its energy. Here are some ways to keep your cat busy and your belongings intact:
✔ A Scratching post prevents your kitten from scratching your tables or wood floors while giving them a safe, fun way to keep their nails short. Plus, many posts come with a perch or have multiple levels so they can scratch, jump, and relax on them.
And if your cat doesn’t seem interested you can draw them there with a scented incentive or a little catnip.
✔ Shelving, or cubby holes, built specifically for your cat to sit on. Or a designated relaxation area in a quiet area ensures that your cat has plenty of privacy, excitement, and stimulation.
✔ Toys with feathers, infused with catnip, or loaded with bells or jingles, focuses your feline friend’s killer instincts in a constructive, playful manner.
Just like a person or any other type of pet, your new friend will need outlets to expel negative energy. Providing your cat or new kitten with these kinds of products ensures that when your cat is feeling frisky, playful, or solitary, they have what they need. As the saying goes: happy kitty, happy life.
Make Sure You’re Cleaning Up
If you have a mess lying around, your cat will find it. If you’ve got trash on the floor, expect your cat to play with it. Take it from us, your cat or kitten will find a way to make a toy out of nearly anything- and we really do mean anything. This means that you should always go the extra mile to do the following tasks daily:
- Remove any trash, wrappers, edibles and breakables from your table
- Close all bags, especially those with zipper mechanisms
- Clear food, dirty dishes, open beverages, and trash from your cabinets and countertops.
- Sweep trash off of the floor and vacuum
- Eliminate your cat’s waste daily
Most of the chores are ones you do daily already, but they become more important when you’ve got a ninja-like feline tearing through your home.
Enjoy the Little Things
Just like little children, your kitten has life stages that are precious and very temporary. For instance, the baby kitten stage only lasts for about 6-8 weeks. After that, your kitten becomes more active, and travels through various stages of life rapidly, much more quickly than humans.
While there are a wide variety of things to keep in mind, remember to have the best time with your forever friend. Live happy, integrated lives with your fuzzy friends and enjoy their periods of growth as you become their best friends over their short lives.
When it comes down to it, the things you’re going to remember about your cat aren’t the problems that you had or the things that you bought, or how much you spent; It’s going to be the memories of the companionship, the love, and affection that stays with you. The times you played with your cat, how it slept in your bed and kept your feet warm- all of the littlest details are the ones you’ll keep.
Which is why you shouldn’t waste time being overly upset or agitated; Instead understand and accept that they are feisty, sassy, ridiculous creatures and enjoy the time you have with them.
Make sure that you take good care of your pet, and they’ll return the favor. You’ll find that these furry companions can turn your day around, making you smile and feel all warm inside. Plus, they’re adorable and are a perfect companion.
Happy Cat Owners Buying Guide
There are several factors that play into your cat’s overall experience, health, temperament, and attitude. If you aren’t buying the best brands or looking at the ingredients and materials of their foods and toys, it can hurt them in the long run and your bank account. Food that is poorly made can cause illness, which can lead to medical bills and costly treatments.
If you don’t provide your kitty with cool toys, then you’re just going to have a sad, sassy, bored feline. If your cat’s litter isn’t up to par, it can cause disease for you and your kitty, leading to more treatments and vet bills. And inferior toys can cause them to snag a nail or get a cut, once again leading to medical attention.
Which leads us to our next section: what to buy for your cat. There’s a long list of items that you should consider purchasing when you’re looking to get a new cat or kitten. You have to figure out things like: What flavors of food will my cat like best? What kind of scratching posts gives you the most bang for your buck? Will your cat enjoy catnip? What variety of toys might suit your new feline the most?
Don’t get overwhelmed, we’re here to help you find what you need to help you be the best owner ever for your cat. Here are some of the most important things to consider purchasing:
High-Quality Cat Food
The differences between high-quality and low-quality foods is enormous, which is why it is crucial to get the right brand. You may spend a little bit more, but you’ll be glad you did in the long run. Just like people, cats need a specific amount of nutrition to keep them going, and the right foods will give them what they need.
Quality foods are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients, keeping their coat shiny, teeth sharp, and intestinal tract healthy.
A Box, Scoop, and Litter
This is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your cat. Cats are notoriously picky when it comes to where they do their business; Get a box that is too small or difficult to get into, and they won’t use it. It’s important to get a
Also, some cats like privacy, so you may need to get one with a cover. And if you have more than one cat you may need a bigger box, or separate ones depending on how they get along. My number one rule is bigger is better; a bigger box means less litter scattered all over the floor. You have to have a scoop to help you regulate the mess and keep the box fresh and clean.
Also, you’ll need a good scoop to keep it fresh and litter that won’t irritate your cat. Clumping litters are great, but not for kittens because it can get stuck to your pet’s paws or butt create a choking/swallowing hazard.
Scratching posts can be a lifesaver if you’re worried about your belongings. An excellent, well-made Scratching post will last for years, while a cheap cardboard replacement might not last as long. Without a Scratching post, your tables and furniture are fair game- you have been warned. Sometimes it takes time and patience to get them to use it to, but it is worth it.
After they realize that it exists, your chairs, couches and dining room tables will reap the benefits. We recommend NEVER de -clawing your cats unless it’s completely unavoidable. Declawing leaves them nearly defenseless and devoid of one of their most essential, natural tools. They use their nails to clean, scratch, and more. Plus, it is painful and unnecessary. With a little work, you can discourage a cat from scratching where you don’t want them to.
Cats LOVE toys it really just depends on what kind. Additionally, cats are mischievous. If you don’t have toys for them to play with, they’re more likely to destroy your things, scratch up your property, and make a mess. They have large quantities of pent up energy– so look for bright, loud cat toys that rattle and make noise to get their attention.
Cats and kittens can’t actually enjoy catnip until they reach about six months, so if your kitten doesn’t have a strong reaction to catnip yet, never fear.
It’s not all about having the fanciest bowls out there these days. While An excellent, elegant set of bowls looks nice, sometimes the best dishes to have for your pet are the ones with feeders built-in to help you establish regular meal sizes and times.
Also, improper feeding habits can foster bacteria growth and lead to smells and unnecessary waste. If you decide to feed wet food, have a conscious plan to either clean out your cat’s bowl or store the excess somehow.
Carriers for your Pet
No matter what happens, you need to have a vessel to carry your new pet. Obviously, you can’t take them in your arms everywhere, so you’ll need a pet carrier for vet trips, car rides, and other excursions. Plus, many of these outings can be scary to a cat, so you want a crate that is comfortable and secure.
A pet crate ensures that you and your pet have a safe, scratch-free experience.
Vet Visits and Illness Prevention
Despite your best efforts, your new pet will get sick. How you handle this sickness will determine the longevity and quality of your cat’s life. You don’t need to rush out to the vet over every little snafu, but if your cat is constantly sneezing, coughing, acting funny, or absent, you’re going to want to take them in to make sure that they’re okay.
Another good indicator of illness is if they refuse to eat or they spend the vast majority of their time hiding uncharacteristically. Sometimes, sickness strikes a cat out of the blue, and if your cat is an indoor cat, rarely exposed to the outside, contamination can spell disaster with an underdeveloped immune system.
I hope this guide helps you and your furry little one! We strive to bring you the latest, best information from the World Wide Web and from our own personal experiences when it comes to caring for your cat. We love cats, and we love sharing our knowledge and stories with you!
Feel free to comment with any questions, comments or experiences you might have on the information above! We’d love to hear from you.