Common Mistakes That New Cat Parents Make
You’ve just brought your adorable new kitten or cat home! YAY! Now what? If you’re a new cat parent, chances are you’re starting with the basics of cat care and working your way up. To make the learning process a bit easier, The Refined Feline has put together a list of the most common mistakes that new cat parents make and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Taking A New Cat To The Vet Right Away
One common mistake new cat parents make is not taking their cat to the vet right after adoption. You may feel like they don’t need it or want to give them time to settle in. However, it’s a good idea to ensure their overall health before introducing them to any other pets that you may have. It can be easy to shy away from vet visits as it can be stressful for cats but it’s a necessity any time you bring a new pet home. It can also be wise as many cats are very good at hiding illnesses. When you and your feline friend are just getting to know each other, you may not pick up on slight changes in their behavior that you would eventually recognize down the road.
Budgeting for veterinary costs can be tough but a pet parent should be prepared to take their cat to the vet once every year for a wellness exam, preventative medication, and any vaccines needed. It’s also a good idea to keep a savings account or set aside money each month for regular or emergency services for your furry friend. You can also explore different pet health insurance plans to help you offset some of those costs.
Mistake #2: Not Following Recommended Litter Box Guidelines
It can be easy to assume that one cat only needs one litter box, right? Well, it’s not as simple as that. To ensure that your cat will use the box easily and comfortably, it’s recommended to provide one litter box per cat plus an extra one. So, for one cat, you would need two litter boxes. For two cats, you would need three litter boxes, etc. Also, the locations should be in different places if possible. This gives your cat more options in case they are particular about where the box is or they like constantly clean boxes.
You also should be scooping the litter box at least once a day and adding more litter every time you scoop. When it comes to the type of litter, most cats prefer the unscented kind. Strong scents can be overpowering to your cat’s sense of smell and deter them from wanting to use it.
Mistake #3: New Cat Parents May Think Cats Don’t Need Cat Toys & Cat Furniture
All cats need toys and a variety of them at that! Cats under a year old will most likely need at least an hour, if not more, of playtime throughout the day. It’s best to split that time up into 15 or 20-minute intervals to avoid overexertion. Most healthy adult cats still enjoy playtime but it will usually decrease as they age or if health issues arise. If you’re unsure of how much time you should spend playing with your cat, consult with your veterinarian, especially if there are medical conditions involved. Often, if you follow your cat’s lead, you’ll know how much playtime they desire.
A decent scratching post is one piece of cat furniture that absolutely every cat needs. Without a proper scratching surface, cats will inevitably turn to your furniture, carpet, or any other scratchable item. You may want to look into getting both a vertical and horizontal scratching post to give your cat some options. It’s important to pay attention to the size and material of the scratching post so that your cat won’t knock it over or rip it apart in a day.
Cat towers are another necessity that can fall by the wayside with new cat parents since cats look pretty content curled up on the couch most of the day. However, they benefit from having their own space that’s designed just for them. Most cat trees provide more than just a space to lounge. Many modern cat trees have hidden cubbies, built-in scratching posts, and dangling toys to provide enrichment! Cats can climb, scratch, and exert some energy with a taller cat tree, which can help save your furniture as well. Be sure to do some research and find durable, reliable cat furniture that will last for at least a few years.
Mistake #4: Not Understanding That Cats Don’t Think Like Humans
Although it’s sometimes hard to avoid, another common mistake of new cat parents is anthropomorphizing cats (aka acting like your cat is a human). Yes, there are human emotions that cats feel such as happiness, sadness, fear, and more. However, they also experience these emotions in ways that are different from humans. Cats have different desires and needs than humans and it can be easy to forget this since we treat our cats like our children.
Just like trust is important to humans, it’s important to cats too. So, it is important to avoid breaking your cat’s trust. Many cats love attention and want to spend time with you, but it has to be done on their terms. Just remember to always let your cat come to you when they want something, and this will build some trust.
Avoid These Common Mistakes That New Cat Parents Make
There you have it – the easiest ways to avoid some common pitfalls among new cat parents. Now that you know the basics of welcoming your new feline home, it’s time to get ready to enjoy getting to know your new furry friend!