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First Cat? Tips and Things to Know

That’s exciting! First-time pet parents of a kitten or cat should be aware of a few things before the new family member home. One important decision should be made right from the start, and the answer may depend on your accommodation: Is this an indoor or an outdoor cat? If you cannot provide the cat with safe outdoor access, you will need to empty and clean a litter tray on a daily basis.

Secondly, line up a cat care facility near home for overnight boarding needs. It’s important to think ahead about this so you’re ready when the need arises.

(photo: David Martyn, flickr 2.0)

The Cat Care Basics

  • Provide regular meals of dry and/or wet food
  • Provide fresh water throughout the day
  • Groom regularly
  • Have the cat spayed or neutered between 4 and 6 months of age
  • Vaccinate against major feline diseases on a best-practice schedule
  • De-worm as required; provide treatment for fleas as required
  • Safety breakaway cat collar with identification tag
  • Separate water and feeding bowls, litter tray, good brush, nail clippers, scratching post, toys
  • A comfortable cat bed (at least sometimes, the cat will go there…)
  • Consider having cat microchipped
  • Consider medical insurance for your cat
  • Get a crate or pet carrier
  • Choose a pet care facility for cats

    Related: What Vaccination Does My Cat Need for Overnight Boarding?

    Related: Taking a Trip? Overnight Pet Boarding is the Solution For Your Cat

Save Your Paperwork

(photo: Karen Maraj, flickr 2.0)

It’s a good idea to make a file for or find a place specifically for important paperwork related to your cat. In addition to the records a vet keeps, it’s handy to have such things at your fingertips at home. Note that vaccination records and dates will be required by a cat care and boarding facility.

When You’re Away

Do you have a plan for your cat during vacations or work travel situations? Because there will be times when you and/or family members must leave the home for 24 hours or longer, it’s important to have selected a cat boarding facility nearby. Plan ahead by contacting one or more and making a visit if you can. When the need arises, you’ll be all set to give the facility a call and book your cat’s short or extended stay.

Be prepared for your new cat’s arrival and you’ll be ready to enjoy years of companionship to follow.

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