Welcoming a new furry family member into your home can be one of the most rewarding and unforgettable experiences. Cats have such unique and incredible personalities, and can make fantastic life-long companions. If you’ve never owned a cat, however, there are some things you’ll want to consider so that you can avoid any possible mishaps or surprises down the road. Here are several common mistakes made by new cat owners and how you can avoid them.
Adopting on Impulse – Sure, seeing that fuzzy little face peeking at you through the cage at the shelter just melted your heart, and you immediately got the urge to throw caution to the wind and bring that sweet kitty home with you. It’s important to remember that adopting a pet is a long-term commitment that should be well thought out and planned for in advance. Be sure you have considered the situation carefully before moving forward with bringing a new cat into your home.
Not Considering the Cost – Many well-intentioned new cat owners find themselves with sticker shock when they realize that it keeping an animal healthy and happy can be costly. Understand that your new four-legged friend will need to visit the vet at least once a year, and will require a number of other things in order to thrive, such as quality cat food, toys, scratching posts, etc. Be aware that owning a pet isn’t cheap – but it’s more than worth the investment!
Failing to Recognize the Importance of Spaying/Neutering – Not only is this routine surgery helpful in preventing unwanted litters of kittens, but spaying and neutering a cat can also have a number of other health benefits. Among other things, male cats won’t spray everywhere and will be less likely to roam, and female cats will avoid the heat cycle. Unless you plan on taking part in responsible breeding, there’s no reason not to have your cat spayed or neutered. It’s the responsible thing to do.
Not Maintaining the Litterbox – Granted, scooping a litterbox isn’t the most pleasant task, but it’s a necessary part of responsible cat ownership. Cats prefer their litterboxes to be clean; therefore it is recommended that you scoop at least once or twice a day to help maintain cleanliness and sanitation, both for your cat and your home. If you don’t, your kitty will likely express his displeasure by going to the bathroom outside the litterbox. (Note – if an otherwise obedient cat begins to void outside the litterbox, it’s a good idea to check with a veterinarian to rule out any possible medical conditions.)
Cats can make wonderful companions and great additions to any family, but if you’re new to cat ownership, it’s important to know ahead of time what to expect and what to avoid so that you can both enjoy a happy and healthy relationship.
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Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic serving Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966.
Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.
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