PetSavers - Pet Care: Cats
Your first days home
- Spend time in the same room as your cat and let him slowly come to you.
- Speak in soft, kind, gentle tones.
- Don’t overwhelm your new cat with a lot of family and friends until he is adjusted to your household.
- Always supervise small children with the cat.
Follow up vet care
Kittens: Establish a vet within four weeks. Depending on the kitten’s age, you may need follow up vaccinations. Spay or neuter the cat as soon as it is old enough and consult your veterinarian on when that should be.
Adult cats: You will need to bring your cat to a veterinarian once a year. If the cat is allowed outside it should be vaccinated for feline leukemia, and flea/tick repellents should be applied as recommended by your veterianarian.
Always see a veterinarian if the cat is sick, especially if it is experiencing severe diarrhea.
Cat owning essentials
Food: Keep your cat on the same food it has been receiving at the Cat Shelter for a few weeks and keep him on the same feeding schedule. If you want to use another brand, make the change very gradually. Food changes often cause diarrhea.
Litter pan: Make sure you have a litter pan for each cat and keep it clean. It is very important to empty the pans regularly. Also make sure the litter pan is easily accessible to your cat and. to keep the litter pan in the same place all the time so the cat knows where to go.
Scratching posts: It’s a good idea to get one or two cat scratching posts for your new pet. Catnip in an aerosol can can be sprayed on these posts to make them even more attractive to your cat. Even rough back logs and sisal mats work well.
Toys: Kittens and playful cats need toys for entertainment!
- For the first month, try to keep the new cat confined to a small room (bathroom laundry room) when no on is home. Then when you’re home and can correct problems.
- If your cat is going to be an inside/outside pet, keep him indoors for at least two weeks when you first adopt him so he knows you are his family. Kittens should not go outside until they are over four months old.
- When you first take the cat outside use a halter and leash (collars slip off too easily). Take the cat outdoors twice a day. Let him eat some food outdoors near the house. You might also sprinkle used litter around the house to provide a familiar scent. Walk the cat around the yard so he learns his boundaries and let him sniff the house foundation and shrubs. You should continue this routine for two weeks before letting him out alone.
- If your cat is an inside/outside cat be sure to bring him in from dusk to dawn. Coyotes are most active during this time and they prey on cats.
Behavior: Give your cat the run of the house.
Most cats scratch. It’s a normal characteristic of a healthy cat. It exercises the foot muscles to remove dead tissue from his nails. It also has a soothing, comforting effect on the cat.
Ways to correct furniture scratching:
If a kitten starts to scratch your furniture gently pull it off and place its front paws on the scratching post.
- Yell “NO!” in a loud voice
- Shake an empty soda containing 3 or 4 pennies.
- Use water in a spray bottle to spray the cat (but never spray on his face).
- Put double edged tape (“sticky paws”) or aluminum foil on the furniture.
- There are also odorless and colorless repellants on the market.
- You can purchase little cat “booties” to slip over the cat’s nails.
- And something as simple as hitting the piece of furniture above where the cat is scratching with a rolled up newspaper is an effective deterrent.