Owning a cat for the first time can be both an exciting and overwhelming experience. Unlike dogs or other animals, cats have their own ways of doing things, and they don’t really care what you think of them. It goes without saying that cats are amazing creatures that make wonderful pets and companions, but you have to work with them so they become easy to manage.
Of course, some cats are easier to work with than others. It all depends on the individual and their personality, as well as temperament. In other words, cats are not for everyone as they are self-sufficient animals that often need space and a bit of solitude but at the same time crave affection.
Basically, cats do what cats feel like doing and their owners usually adapt to it. Cats are difficult to train but you can get them used to a certain routine that suits you the most. Therefore, you and your cat can coexist in peace with a bit of effort. So with that in mind, here are some useful tips for first-time cat owners.
Choosing purebred cats or gutter shrimps
Choosing between a purebred cat and a gutter shrimp A.K.A. the street cat is a difficult choice to make for some first-time owners. Purebreds are more elegant but expensive and often have various health issues due to over-breeding.
On the other hand, street cats are more rugged but also more resilient and they easily adapt to various conditions and circumstances. Adopting a gutter shrimp is free and often considered a noble decision to help save a cat’s life and give it a nice home to enjoy.
However, there are other factors to be considered. If you or someone in your family is allergic to cats, then a purebred might be a better choice for you. As a matter of fact, there are many cat breeds that are hypoallergenic, such as Russian Blue, Bengal, Balinese, Siberians and others that won’t cause an allergic reaction.
Also, if you have issues with cat shedding, there are cat breeds like the Sphinx that don’t have any hair but they look like goblins or gremlins. In any case, if you want a companion that will bother you and make you happy at the same time, any cat breed will do.
Understanding cat behaviour
Cats are complex creatures and understanding their behaviour can be a challenge. That’s why it’s important to recognize that cats have different personalities and temperaments, just like humans do. Some cats may be more outgoing and social while others may be more shy or aloof.
They use body language to express themselves, such as tail twitching, ear flattening and eye blinking. They also use vocalizations such as meowing, purring and hissing to communicate with other cats or people.
Understanding these behaviours can help you better interpret what your cat is trying to tell you. So don’t feel surprised when your kitty bites you in the middle of the cuddling session. Cats get overstimulated easily and will react to show you they’ve had enough. The fact that their mostly being jerks about it is just part of their nature.
Keeping your cat healthy
Cats are generally healthy creatures. Even some life-threatening diseases aren’t enough to keep them down for long so it’s difficult to actually notice if your cat is sick or suffering. They are moody critters by nature so you can’t say for sure if your cat is just brooding or if it’s in any kind of pain.
Therefore, keeping your cat healthy comes down to taking it to the local veterinarian like the vet in Cedar Park TX, for example, for a checkup. Regular vaccinations and deworming are often more than enough to keep your cat healthy. However, if you suspect something is wrong, taking your cat to the vet clinic for examination is the best way to make sure everything is in order.
Even vets have difficulty telling what’s wrong with a cat without a thorough exam and blood work. All in all, regular checkups, a healthy and balanced diet, as well as regular exercise will keep your companion alive and well for the next 20 or even 30 years, provided you keep it indoors.
How to entertain your cat?
Cats are naturally curious and playful creatures, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of opportunities to explore and have fun. In most cases, providing your cat with a cat tree and some interesting toys will be enough to entertain your cat. Cats will play when they feel like it so having toys at their disposal means they can have tons of fun by themselves.
If you want to be part of the play, remember that cats are predatory creatures so they like to hunt things. A colourful bait on a stick and they’ll be chasing it around for as long as they possibly can. Also, some cats love chasing laser dots while others get freaked out by it so there’s only one way to find out which group your cat belongs to.
Cats also play by praying on their owners or other home inhabitants so expect an ambush and watch your feet. If you’re really feeling like giving your cat the best you possibly can, consider creating a catio, placing tunnels, obstacles and, of course, empty cardboard boxes at strategic locations so your cat can go crazy whenever it wants. Also Read – Do Cats Really Need Gluten-Free Food?
Cat diet considerations
Cats are peculiar creatures, to say the least. Some cats will eat anything and everything, while others will be quite picky about their food. Whatever you do, don’t let them get obese as that can lead to a number of issues down the line.
The best way to teach cats when and what to eat is to start when they are kittens. A mix of dry and wet food works best but consult with your vet about what type of food is best suited for your grumpy companion.
Moreover, be careful with the treats as cats love them and have various ways into forcing you to give them more. Whatever you do, stand your ground and don’t give in to furry demands until your cat accepts the feeding regime and eventually stops hating you for not indulging its demands.