Cats make great additions to any family, but before you take the plunge and bring your fur baby home learn how to prepare your home for a cat. Having everything ready for your new cat to join the family will ensure that they are successfully integrated into the family.
Learning how to prepare your home for a cat makes it easy to worry less and enjoy the time with your cat. In a few simple steps, your home will be ready for your new addition.
What Makes Cats Such Great Pets?
If you have never had a cat as part of your family before, you are about to fall totally in love. Cats bring so much joy to your life. They are a natural form of mice control. More importantly, they are full of personality, and can even help as an anxiety treatment.
Studies have shown that cats can help to provide a natural approach to treating anxiety. Petting a cat delivers a sense of calm and well-being. They can provide companionship, entertainment, and enrich your life.
Cats are highly self-sufficient animals but there are some steps you need to take to make sure that they can live safely in your home. You are going to love being a cat parent.
How To Prepare Your Home For a Cat to Keep Them Healthy
Like other animals cats will taste things to get a feel for them. Unfortunately, the pet health clinic gets bogged down with poisonings every year. Cats will taste things that are not good for them, and sometimes they will eat things that are not good for them.
The first thing you want to do when you are learning how to prepare your home for a cat is to become familiar with which houseplants can be poisonous to cats. Starting with plants is a great place to start because many of them can be dangerous to household pets. Here is a brief list of plants you should remove from your home:
- Aloe, Asian Lillty, Asparagus ferns, Begonias, Birds of Paradise, Branching Ivy
- Caladium, Phylodendrum, Fig trees
- Pothos, Jade Plant, Lemon tree, Octopus tree
The above by no means is a complete list of poisonous plants that can be a threat to your cat. Educate yourself about plant safety. Cats love to chew on leaves, bark, and flowers, moving them to higher ground may not be enough.
Keeping your home safe for your kitty means potentially having to give up some of your house plants. There are plenty of house plants that cats can munch on safely. Do your research. It is far better to be safe than sorry.
There are plenty of myths about cats that are not necessarily true and more importantly can result in them getting seriously hurt. Cats are great climbers and it is not unusual for a cat to climb partway up the curtains in pursuit of an insect, but that does not mean they cannot get hurt on a fall.
Cats do not always land on their feet. This myth can put your cat in danger. It is best to provide safe climbing activities for your cat like towers and platforms that are made especially with cat safety in mind.
How To Prepare Your Home for a Cat that Is Young and Curious
There are a lot of dangers in the home for a young curious kitten. Young cats love to explore. They can wind up in some tight spots in the name of learning more about their environment. It is your job to remove any potential dangers to ensure your kitty does not get stuck in a small space that they cannot navigate.
Simple steps like pushing appliances closer together to remove and gap in the space and adding some child safety locks to cabinets can help to keep your cat safe. You also want to look around for wires that are hanging.
A curious kitty may decide to chew on wires or swat at them to the point where they knock your lamp down on top of themselves. Getting on all fours and crawling around can help you to see the things that your cat will see.
Making sure small toys and other parts are not left on the floor is also a precaution that you should take. Small toys and other small parts can be a choking hazard to your cat.
A kitty tower is a great investment for cats of all ages. It can help them to explore, keep them engaged and give them a place to rest when they need to. Placing a kitty tower near a closed window will also help to keep them interested as they watch birds and other animals outside.
How To Prepare Your Home for a Cat When You Have Kids
Adult cats can do a pretty good job of defending themselves against over-aggressive kids. A swipe or two usually will help a child to understand why you should not pull a cat by the tail but kittens do not have the capacity to defend themselves and make themselves understood when they are being hurt.
Children typically do not intend on hurting the new family member, but kittens are fragile, so you do want to talk about proper handling instructions to your children. You also want to be sure that at least for the first month you supervise your children with the new cat.
Kittens can get seriously hurt when they are dropped or squeezed to tight when they are held. Gentle guidance to show your child how to handle the kitten properly will ensure the cat’s safety.
To keep your cats anxiety down arrange for the cat to have a “safe space” where they can go and be left alone. Unlike dogs, cats do not necessarily crave human attention all day every day. Sometimes they just need alone time. A cat box, or a cat bed, can be set off-limits to the kids.
Make sure your children understand that kitty cannot eat the same food that they do. Children love to share their food, and unfortunately, some of the foods they eat can make your new cat sick.
How To Prepare Your Home for a Cat To Help Avoid Some of the Pitfalls of Cat Ownership
Cats have a natural instinct to claw at furniture, walls, and other items. This annoying and sometimes destructive activity can cause relationship problems between you and your cat. One of the things you can do to prepare your home for a cat, is to give them other options.
Cats claw at furniture to:
- Mark their territory
- Shed the old skin off their claws
- To stretch their bodies, flex their claws and feet
Just like cats in the wild, leave visual marks to mark their territory so will your cat. You can help them to learn that while scratching at your couch is a no-no, they do have other options, like a scratching post. Place a scratching post near their bed so they can scratch until their heart’s content without causing any damage.
Scratching is a natural behavior that can be directed toward appropriate areas with a little diligence. Most cat advocacy groups do not recommend having your cat declawed. Their claws are there only true defense against predators like dogs.
You want your cat to be both physically and mentally well. Providing a safe place where they can carry out their natural instincts can help to keep them healthy.
Connect With a Good Vet
Part of how to prepare your home for a cat is making sure that your cat is going to get the right healthcare. Animal wellness like human wellness depends on preventative measures like vaccines and well kitty checks. You do not want to wait until there is a health issue to find a vet.
In some areas you can find vets that make pet house calls. It can be a lot easier on your cat to be seen at home instead of having to go to a vets office that is crowded with other animals that may make them nervous.
Whether you choose to find a vet that comes to the house or you choose to see a vet at the office there are a few things that you want to make sure are a part of your cat care plan
- Get vaccines done. Cats should start getting their shots as kittens. A good rule of thumb is the week that you get your kitten is the week you should bring him or her to the vet for an assessment and to get their first set of shots
- Speak to the vet about your cats diet. Nutrition is key to animal wellness. Talk to your vet about what you should be feeding your cat and what not to feed your cat. Remember we talked about how sosme cat myths can be dangerous to your cat. Giving your cat milk is one of those myths, it can cause stomach upset. The vet is the right place to get nutrition information.
- Consider spaying or neutering your cat a must. Cats are prolific breeders. Male cats that are not neutered will spray their territory which can damage everything from furnishings to walls and floors, the smell can be atrocious. Spaying and neutering is also good for their health
Another issue your veterinarian can help with is fleas. Cats are constantly licking and cleaning themselves which means that you have to be very careful with flea treatments. Your vet can recommend flea products that are safe for your cat and safe for your home.
How To Prepare Your Home for a Cat and Cat Grooming
Another long-held myth is that cats do not need to be groomed. While it is true that some cats need to be groomed less than others, your cat will need occasional grooming at the least. Long-haired varieties like Persian cats need to be groomed more often.
Set up a grooming station in your home in an area that is safe for your cat. It may take a little while to get your cat used to the idea of being groomed, but if you make it a habit early on in their life than it will just be a normal part of their routine.
Here are some cat grooming tips:
- Use the right tools. Cats skin is very sensitive which means you should use tools that are made especially for cat grooming.
- Invest in cat wipes. Cat wipes are easy to use and can help to clean up your cat quickly.
- If grooming your cat is something that is not on your list of favorite things to do, there are professional services that will do it for you. Call around an make an appointment for cat grooming.
Grooming your cat will help to strengthen the bond between you and your cat. Cats that live together spend a lot of time preening and grooming each other. Grooming activities can help your cat to feel closer to you.
How To Prepare Your Home for A Cat that Will Live Both Indoors and Outdoors
There are two camps when it comes to whether a cat should stay inside all the time or whether they should be let out sometimes. If you have decided that you want your cat to get out for a while once in a while, installing a kitty door can be a great solution.
Kitty doors allow your cat to come and go as they please. There are models that are safe and secure and prevent other animals other than your kitty from getting in. The cat can wear a collar that has a unique identification chip installed that will allow passage through the door.
If letting kitty out is not part of your plan then you want to make sure you take the steps to keep them from getting out. An open window, even one with a screen, can be an invitation to your cat to get outside.
Anytime you decide to take your cat out with you, they should be on a harness to ensure they cannot run off. Cats are natural wanderers and there is a risk in letting them out alone that they may not come back.