If you're thinking about adopting a cat and have thought it through so you know you are making the right decision, it can turn out to be an exciting and very rewarding experience. However, if you are new to owning a cat, there are certain things you need to avoid doing so you don't cause your new pet any extra stress and which may cause you a little concern too!
Below are 5 common mistakes cat owners often make with their pets which can make life difficult for everyone.
If you adopt a cat from a shelter of rescue centre, they will have been spayed or neutered before they are put up for adoption. They will also have been given all their injections against the most common diseases and illnesses that cats are prone to get. These vaccinations only last 12 months after which time, your cat will need their booster shots and this is something you need to keep up making a note on your calendar so you don't forget. Sometimes, the cat rescue centre will send you a reminder – but it's better to make of note of when the boosters are due.
An adopted cat will need time to settle into your routine and your home environment. However, when they are settled in, you need to help them understand what they can do and what is a real “no-no”. Cats are quick learners and love to please, so they will take on board everything you ask them to do. It may take a bit of time to correct certain things, like jumping up onto counter-tops but in the end, your new furry friend will understand and will eventually stop doing it – you just have to be firm but gentle when you tell them not to and remember it won't happen overnight.
You need to be extremely patient and never get annoyed with your new cat – after all everything is very new for them too, and they won't know what's expected of them – but this will come with time.
The majority of cats loathe water – with the exception of certain breeds but they really are in the minority. If you have never had a cat before, then don't even think about giving them a bath because that's a real “no-no” in the cat world. If you watch your cat go outside when it's raining, the chances are they will soon want to come indoors again, out of the wet and back in the dry – which is where they'd much rather be on a cold, wet day!
However, if you've adopted a long haired cat, then you will have to invest in some grooming equipment and regularly brush your new friend. They will love it and regular brushing helps form a stronger bond with them, and it reduces the risk of your cat getting “fur balls”!
When adopting a cat, it has to be as a family pet. It's a nice idea for a child to be given a little bit of the responsibility when it comes to looking after the new pussy cat but they should never be given total responsibility of looking after them. Children tend to be get bored rather quickly, and as soon as the novelty wears off, they move on to newer things – and the same applies when they are given any pet - let alone a cat.
Children need to be taught about responsibility when it comes to looking after a pet which is very important, especially where toddlers are concerned. Very young children can play a little “rough” so be prepared for a couple of scratches until they learn the rules – because some cats might not be as tolerant as others!
Looking after a cat properly means making sure all their dietary needs are met. Buying cheap cat food may save you a few pennies but it's a false economy. Firstly, your cat may refuse to even look at it, let alone eat it but worse still, the food may not contain all the essential nutrients and minerals a cat needs to stay healthy.
However, once your adopted cat has settled in, there is no reason why you can't experiment with different kinds of cat food so you find out which is their favourite. However, when you first bring the cat home, you should to feed them the same sort of food as they've been getting at the rescue centre, otherwise they may get an upset stomach if you suddenly change their diet, this paired up to the fact they are in a new environment could be a recipe for disaster – so it's important to feed a new cat the same food they've been used to until they are settled in.
Cats are lovely creatures, they're independent yet very affectionate at the same time. There's nothing a cat likes more than to curl up next to their owners or on their laps whenever they can, yet they're quite happy to be left on their own during the day – making them the perfect pet for people who lead busy lives. If you have decided the adopt a cat, you will have taken home a friend for life and one that will be eternally grateful for a second chance to find a loving, warm home.