76 Things You Should Know About Cats Before You Get One

76 Things You Should Know about Cats Before You Get One

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When it comes to choosing a pet for your home, you can’t deny that cats are an alluring option. Their inclination towards independence makes them a perfect options for those who won’t be at home during the work day or for those who like going out often during the evenings. Their quiet natures and easy litter box care makes them great options for those in condos or apartments without yards as well.

Cats aren’t completely easy though. There are some things you need to learn to keep your cat healthy and energetic. Knowing the below things can be a great overview for getting to know cats and to ensure that you’re making the right decision for you and your family.

A fun, intelligent, and loving cat is a great pet for your family. Use the valuable information in this article to understand how to care for your cat correctly. By following these tips, your cat will enjoy a full and comfortable life.

  1. A cat can do a lot of damage to your home with their scratching habits. You should be able to save your house from the claws with a few scratch proofing methods. Buy scratch guards for your furniture and make sure to have several scratching posts around the house for your cat to scratch instead of your furniture. Remember, scratching is in a cat’s nature. So, you’ll never be able to get a cat to stop stracting completely, but you should be able to manage what they scratch.
  2. A cat is a very stubborn at times and they don’t always wear their emotions on their sleeves. They are often mysterious creatures and it can be hard to figure out what they want or why they’re acting odd. Don’t let this make you feel like you’re a bad cat owner. It happens to us all at some point.
  3. A cat’s diet is important to its overall health. If it doesn’t get enough of the right foods, or gets a lot of the wrong ones, your pet will be less healthy and may live a shorter life.
  4. Think about getting a “tablecloth” for your cats. Cats often take food from their bowl and drop it to the side of their bowl to eat instead. This can create a mess. If you buy a tablecloth for your cat’s food and water bowls, it can help contain the mess while looking cute.
  5. Cats shed a lot, which means you need to make sure to brush them a lot too. Not only will regularly brushing help keep your home from becoming overrun with cat hair, but it will also help keep their coat from getting tangled or matted and prevent hairballs. It can also help to keep less fur and dandruff around the house, which will help make your home comfortable for people with allergies.
  6. If you have a male cat, avoid the chance that bladder crystals or stones will develop by feeding a high-quality food. Passing these crystals is painful and can rack up big vet bills if they don’t come out naturally. Choose foods that are low in magnesium. Be sure that you read the ingredient label. Products that have fish in them typically have more magnesium than ones containing poultry.
  7. Be on the lookout for any small spaces around your house that you do not want your cat to crawl into. Cats can wriggle into surprisingly small gaps and areas. This is very true for kittens. You should consider this when introducing a new cat home and make sure to cover any easily accessible holes that you locate.
  8. Check your cat’s health whenever your cat stops using their litter box. There are a number of health issues that can lead a well-trained cat to use the restroom in places other than their litter box. For example, a urinary infection or a kidney disease can cause changes in your cat’s behavior. Speak with your vet if your cat suddenly has behavioral changes.
  9. Be careful about allowing children to be alone with a kitten or cat. Children under 5-years-old should always be supervised when interacting with your cat. Young children are just not mature enough to understand how much they could hurt the cat. As your children get older, you can then determine whether they are mature enough for small pets.
  10. Be considerate of your cat’s ears. You may like music loud and booming, for instance, but remember that your cat’s hearing is more sensitive than yours. If your cat doesn’t have any means of escaping the noise, make sure you keep the volume low.
  11. The above is especially important when traveling. You may love belting out your favorite tunes as you drive on the freeway, but they enjoy softer sounds. To keep your cat calm and collected over the course of your trip, turn off the music or keep the volume low.
  12. Brushing your cat at regularly will help improve blood flow, reduce the amount of shedding hair, and prevent hairballs from building up in their stomachs.
  13. Consider mixing some canned food into your cat’s diet. Many canned foods have some nutrients that you won’t get in dry food and is often easier for your older cats to digest. Speak with your veterinarian if you’re worried about your cat’s diet. Generally speaking, canned cat food is better for your cat.
  14. Cats are able to smell very well and notice changes to their environment. Don’t get discouraged if your cat doesn’t use new items right away, they often need time to get used to new smells and items in their environment.
  15. Cats are carnivores so it is important for them to get enough animal protein to stay healthy.
  16. Cats are nocturnal animals. Often, in they middle of the night they’ll get zoomies where they’ll run around like crazy and jump like a spaz on and from your bed, couch, walls, or whatever else they have access to.
  17. All your children should be taught how to appropriately handle cats and kittens. Cats have weaker bones than dogs so it is important to treat them with care. Pay special attention to teaching your children how to pick up and hold your cat or kitten.
  18. Cats are incredibly fun-loving creatures and enjoy playing just as much as dogs do. To keep your cat happy and active, give them a new game or toy. These don’t need to expensive things, string, feathers, and pom-poms are all cheap items that your cat or kitten will love playing with. I even had a cat that learned to play fetch with pom-poms!
  19. Cats have many advantages over dogs and other pets for individuals who live in condos or apartments since they won’t need to go outside for to go to the bathroom, are quiet, and thrive even in smaller spaces.
  20. Cats can be very energetic and using things like toys and puzzles or even offering them safe ways to explore outdoors can help them channel that energy. getting rid of excessive energy is one of the best way to prevent cats from ruining your furniture and other belongings.
  21. Cats can contract many illnesses. You may not always be able to recognize when your cat isn’t well because they may only be acting slightly off. However, cats are good at hiding their illnesses so even what seem like small or insignificant changes food actually mean that your cat is trying to hide something much more serious.
  22. Cats can spend hours grooming themselves to perfection. Hairballs are more common for long-haired cats. There are foods formulated to prevent hairballs which help combat this particular problem as will regular brushing.
  23. Cats are generally really good about keeping pests out of the home like mice or rats. This is a great bonus if you live in an areas where mice and rats are a problem.
  24. However, cat’s don’t only kill mice and rats, they are also responsible for killing many birds, small mammals, and small reptiles. In fact, there are several different species that are now endangered due to domestic cats. This is one of several reasons why you should keep your cats indoors or only allow them outside on a leash or in a catio.
  25. Cats enjoy being in high up. You can buy high window ledges, climbing towers or steps for your home, or you can even lay down a blanket on a bookshelf to make your kitty some comfortable spots to hang out up high.
  26. Cats are known for exploring and sometimes will get themselves into tricky situations. For this reason, a breakaway collar is best for cats as it will break apart if pulled too tightly instead of cutting off your cat’s airway. This will help you save all “nine” of your cat’s lives.
  27. You should microchip your cat. While all cat’s should also be wearing collars, cat’s are notorious for getting out of collars. A microchip will help ensure that your cat can always be identified as your and find its way home if it gets lost.
  28. Cat’s are one of the animals most likely to be killed or tortured by cruel people when found alone outdoors. Black cat’s run an especially high chance of being targeted around Halloween. This is one of the reasons why your cat should never be allowed to wander outside alone without your supervision.
  29. There are many cats and kittens looking for homes at your local shelters. Check out your shelter first if you’re looking for a cat. They will typically help you find a cat whose personality matches your home and they have very reasonable and small adoption fees.
  30. Shelters also will often have feral cats that have been spayed or neutered to give out to farmers or ranchers who don’t necessarily want an indoor cat as a pet, but would like some help controlling rodents and pests around their property. These cats will still require proper shelter and food and water, of course.
  31. You should spay or neuter your cat. Cats are escape artists, so even if you don’t have any intention of trying to breed your cat, if may get out one day and mingle. Since there is already an abundance of cats dying in shelters, avoiding accidental litters is a must.
  32. Chemicals that have phenol shouldn’t be anywhere near your cat. This chemical is often in cleaning products such as Pine-Sol and Lysol.
  33. Consider getting your cat a special drinking fountain. Cats generally respond better to a water stream of water as they are very sensitive to water contaminants.
  34. Deter cats from shocking themselves by chewing on electrical wires by spraying them with bitter apple. You should also try to cover those cords up however you can. You can do this by bundling them and tucking them in the rolls that come inside paper towels.
  35. Bored cats can gain weight and develop depression and mental disorders that may negatively impact their health. Give them plenty of room to exercise and a large number of toys. Indoor cats will appreciate having a structure they can climb on or a dedicated scratching posts.
  36. Do not discipline your cat if they make a mess in the area outside its litter box. If your cat makes a mess, it may be because you have not kept the box as clean as you should or that your cat is suffering from a health condition that makes it difficult to hold their bladder. Cat’s are also not able to understand why they’re being punished, especially if there is a delay between when they did the action and when you discovered it to punish them. Punishing your cat may cause him to become afraid of you in the future which could lead to more unwanted behaviors.
  37. Do you have both a cat and a cat? Dogs often take advantage of dining on the cat’s food. This is why it is necessary to have a separate feeding place for your cat and dog. Consider placing your cat’s food and water up somewhere high where the dog can’t get to it, but the cat can.
  38. If you have both dogs and cats, there should always be a safe place for your cat to go if they want some time away from the dog for awhile. Even if your dog is good with the cat, it may pester your cat and want to play more than your cat does which could lead to chronic stress for your cat.
  39. Dogs wag their tail when their owner comes back home. Cats move their tails for a different reason. A cat wags its tail is either feeling threatened or predatory and is considering his next move. If your cat starts wagging its tail while you hold it, it’s a sign you should put it down before you get scratched.
  40. Don’t let your declawed cat go outside or declaw an outside cat. The cat will have difficulty playing with other animals, defending itself in a fight, climbing, and escaping without it’s claws. Without it’s claws, it will be at a severe disadvantage and may get it hurt or killed.
  41. Indoor cats are the only ones that should be considered for declawing. Even then, you should only have the front claws removed. Don’t take the back claws because they won’t scratch up your furniture or floors.
  42. Don’t get rid of an older scratching post just because it looks worn. This is often the condition that cats most prefer it. If you throw it away and replace it too quickly with a new one, you may find your cat scratching on other surfaces. Instead, buy a new post and keep both posts around for several weeks until your cat starts using the new post and then consider getting rid of the older post.
  43. Don’t treat cats with products created for dogs. Cats will react negatively to items made especially for dogs. This will especially true of flea products. Your cat may die when exposed to flea prevention items made for dogs.
  44. Don’t stress yourself out about instructing your cat how to use the litter box. This will be something that comes naturally and is not learned. Often trying to force them into the litter box will traumatize them. Don’t try to force your cat into the box by rubbing their paws or face in it.
  45. Kittens need wet food since they have very small teeth, whether you soak dry food to soften it or buy wet food. As the adult teeth grow in, the harder texture of dry food can help keep their teeth strong.
  46. Eating a lot more than normal can cause them to develop obesity and serious illness. Monitor the portion sizes of your cat’s meals, and be sure he is getting a well balanced diet.
  47. Frequent or misdirected urination may indicate a trip to your vet’s office. Cats sometimes behave like this behavior if they have a urinary infection or other medical problem. Some inexpensive antibiotics can resolve potential risks for your cat.
  48. Give your cat lots of attention and affection. Cats need just as much companionship as they offer to humans. They also like to feel as though they are a big member of the family.
  49. If a cat is about to give birth, create a safe area in which she can do so. The process generally takes about three hours, so use a little patience. If six hours have gone by and you think there are still more kitten inside the cat, take a trip to your vet.
  50. If the thought of your cat getting rabies, fleas or getting exposure to fungus, you should keep him inside. While it is true that even an indoor cat can contract illnesses, they will have less of a chance to have these problems if they don’t go outside.
  51. If they eat the same food all the time without changing it, your cat will likely be uninterested any any other brand or flavor.
  52. If you get a small kitten for your children, discuss this with them before bringing the cat home. Make sure the children are aware of rooms that are open and more importantly not open to your cat. Setting the rules in advance will ensure your kids understand better.
  53. If you plan to add a second cat to your household, then you should ensure you allow a few weeks for your old cat and new one to become familiar with each other. Provide safe spaces for each cat. They may fight with each other or hiss; that’s nothing to be too concerned about unless it becomes severe.
  54. It can be hard to keep your cat stay off the countertops. Cats instinctively want to be at a high places so that they can survey their surroundings. You may be able to battle this issue by giving your cat appropriate place to hang out that are up high.
  55. Keep an eye on your cats when you put up your Christmas tree. Cats love to climb trees and are very likely to knock down ornaments. Make sure ornaments aren’t easily breakable and also that there is nothing on your tree that could make your cat sick, like poinsettias which are very poisonous to cats.
  56. Keep an eye out on your cat if he or she is panting. They could be overheated or it could be a sign of a serious medical issue. It is important to speak to your vet, especially if the cat has past respiratory problems.
  57. Pin back drape cords on blinds or curtains where your cat can’t get to them. Cat’s have been known to accidentally strangle themselves on these cords.
  58. Make sure that the cat’s litter box placement is easy for your cat to get to. It’s tempting to keep it in an inconspicuous place where it won’t be seen or see it. The cat has to be able to easily access to the box. If your litter box location is on a cold floor, make sure to put something soft underneath it.
  59. Make sure your cat always have identification tags on their collar. Even indoor pet should have identification on them. Cats are very curious and may escape out an open door or window. This is particularly important if your cat with medical needs.
  60. Parasites can be a problem for your cat. A parasitic problem will not fix itself. You can eliminate them and prevent their return if you use these recommended methods provided by your vet.
  61. Some food you like to consume daily might not be good for your cat to eat. Some of these foods include onions, grapes, and tomatoes. Store bought cow milk is also not especially good for your cats’ stomach.
  62. If you’re having trouble with your cat, speak to other cat owners. You can solve most problems by yourself, but you may need advice from other cat owners who’ve had more experience.
  63. Take the time to make your cat familiar and comfortable with a car carrier. Put a favorite blanket inside the carrier and leave it where the cat frequents. The cat will eventually become familiar with it, enter it on their own, and feel safe when it they are in the carrier after a while. This will make it easier to travel with your cat for vet trips or if you’re moving.
  64. Cats do not respond to punishment the way that dogs do. They respond much better to encouragement. Because of this, try to encourage your cat to act appropriately instead of punishing your cat for acting wrongly.
  65. Take your cat for vaccinations and immunizations on a regular basis to keep him healthy and strong.
  66. Litter boxes should be cleaned daily when possible. Sometimes even twice daily if you have multiple cats.
  67. Try not to place the litter box near where your cat’s food is. Cat’s are picky and do not like to eat or drink near the same area that they defecate in.
  68. Litter box placement can be tricky. Don’t put it where the cat can’t reach it or in an area that gets too much traffic. Also, try to place it in a well ventilated area so that the smell doesn’t linger. Cat pee has ammonia in it, so you won’t want to be breathing a lot of that in all day.
  69. Long-haired cats require a lot more maintenance than short haired cats. The hair looks good, but it will require a lot of care. Don’t get such a cat unless you’re sure you are prepared for lots of groomins, the extra cleaning, and more furballs.
  70. Think long and hard over whether or not you should let your cat outside. This isn’t very safe for your cat. Your cat could get fleas, diseases, in fights with other animals, hurt by cruel humans, hit by cars, or have other problems. They could also cause problems themselves by killing off endangered birds, small local mammals, and small local reptiles. All important parts of a healthy ecosystem. If your does go outside, try to confine them to the backyard with supervision and appropriate measure like leashes or catios.
  71. You’ll eventually be able to learn your cat’s different meows. When you get your cat, try figuring out why they are meowing. When you pay attention to the cat’s actions and cues, you can improve your relationship.
  72. Try moving your cat’s litter box if it’s refusing to use it. Cats feel vulnerable when relieving themselves, so moving the box to a more private area should help.
  73. You can often find better deals for cat medicine online than buying them from your veterinarian. In an emergency, this this might not be possible. But if you have to regularly buy pet medicine, you may find a discount of up to 50 percent online.
  74. You must always take your cat for regular vet to make sure everything is okay. Cats need yearly shots to prevent illness and overall health assessments. Try to stay with one vet during the same veterinarian throughout your pet’s life. This is because this person will know your cat’s history.
  75. You should never medicate a cat medication that were designed for humans. If your cat is suffering from a medical condition, you should take them to the vet and administer whatever he provides. Giving cats human medications can cause your pet serious problems and may even be fatal.
  76. Indoor cats statistically live longer than outdoor cats. Keep your cat indoors if you’d like them to live as long as possible.

Although cats can be difficult at times, they are very sweet creatures that will love you as much as you love them. Now that you have read this article, you should have a better idea of all that cat’s require. Use the tips from this article to ensure your cat is happy and healthy and the right decision for your family.

What do you think the most important thing to know before getting a cat is? Share with us in the comments below!