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A First-Timers Guide to Adopting a Feline Friend

Adopting a new cat

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Animal experts will tell you that more than 25% of American households own a cat. It's no wonder why. They're low maintenance, independent, and live up to two decades. Perhaps you've been mulling over bringing a whiskered buddy into your life. If so, there's much you should do and learn so the re-homing process goes as smoothly as possible. Observation of the following advice should make everything more pleasant.

Buying Supplies

Head to the pet store and grab a crate. You'll need one for bringing your pet home. Coat the interior with a calming spray to make transportation less frightening. Ask the shelter what your new pal has been eating and serve the same brand. After your cat adjusts, discuss diet with your veterinarian; a change may be appropriate depending on factors such as age. Don't forget the litter box. At the very least, two should be in every cat parent's home. The general litter box rule is one litter box for each cat plus one. So for one cat: two litter boxes, two cats: three litter boxes, and so on.

Shopping online may be more convenient than driving to a pet specialty shop. Cat-focused sites offer many items that'll make your kitty feel welcome. Search for fluffy beds, scratching posts, and cat tunnels. Customer reviews can be helpful, yet they're best when they come from professionals. Veterinarian endorsements leave customers feeling certain they're buying products that are safe and conducive to good health, so focus on sites that offer their opinions.

Readying Homes

Prepare your house by eliminating dangers. Search for anything a curious feline might swallow, such as carpet threads. Snip or tape them down. Loose wires present particular peril; therefore, take pains to prevent curious paws from playing with them. Some houseplants are toxic to cats, so check that yours are safe. Close vents and crawl spaces that might pose a risk.


Boosting Health

Responsible cat ownership means focusing on your creature's health. Grooming is essential. Regular combing eliminates dead hair that might otherwise get ingested. Fresh water is equally vital. Make sure the bowl is always full and free of debris. As with humans, cats need dental care. Always brush your feline's teeth. If your furry dependent resists, schedule cleanings with your vet. Annual checkups are critical. Your cat's vet can detect health conditions early on and give vaccines that ward off preventable diseases.

Bonding Daily and Reducing Stress

The more time you spend with your meowing buddy, the closer you'll grow. Be mindful that cats need spaces to call their own, especially when adjusting to a new family. A cardboard box with a makeshift door is all you need. Let your new cat initiate intimate contact. The warming-up process could be immediate or take several weeks. Purring, sitting near you, and forehead rubbing are positive signs.


Acclimating to new environments is harder for rescue cats. Past experiences may be a source of skittishness. If you feel stressed during work and bring that home, expect a negative response. Your sweetie might run away, be combative, or go to the bathroom outside their litter box. Reduce unwanted behaviors by limiting hours on the job or working from home while your cat adjusts. Otherwise, have a friend come by while you're absent. Prioritize spending time with your kitten during these delicate days.


Adopting a cat is a beautiful experience. That said, owners and animals alike usually experience growing pains. Reduce the struggle by purchasing the right supplies, pet-proofing your home, keeping your cat healthy, and finding ways to bond and reduce stress.

bonding with your cat, bonding with your newly adopted cat

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