Have you been thinking about becoming a cat owner? We can tell you from personal experience – owning a pet is one of the best experiences you can have in life. An animal becomes a valued member of the family and provides unconditional love, as well as comic relief that can lighten the load after a hard day.
Pet ownership is a big responsibility and shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is a life that is in your hands – a creature that is dependent on you (and their Atlanta veterinarian!).
Though the responsibility is weighty, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences and we encourage anyone that can make room in their life for a pet to do so.
First-time pet ownership can be somewhat intimidating, though. Here are some tips for first-time cat owners that will make the transition into pet parenthood a smooth one.
5 Tips for First-Time Cat Owners from a Local Atlanta Veterinarian
Putting into practice these seven tips will do much to ease your mind and keep your new cat happy and healthy.
1. Make Sure You Have Time for a Pet
It is very sad to see animals that have been neglected, depressed, lonely, and have little trust for humans.
That’s why we encourage those considering pet ownership to first make sure they really have time to take care of an animal.
Some people assume that cats don’t require a lot of care because they’re so independent. While cats do love their independence, they also require care and time from their owners. If you can make time in your schedule for a pet, that’s great! If not, it would probably be best to hold off on getting a pet until your schedule allows for it.
2. Spend Time Around Cats First
We don’t recommend this just to see if you can get along well with cats. We recommend this to make sure you’re not allergic to cats. There’s nothing worse than buying all of the things a cat will need, getting the cat to your house, and then discovering you have a cat dander allergy.
Some people have mild allergic reactions that can be treated with an allergy medication. Others, though, have severe reactions that include asthma and anaphylaxis. In these cases, another pet should be considered.
3. First Stop After Adoption: Your Local Animal Hospital
Before taking your new pet home, you’ll need to take it into your Atlanta veterinarian. When new cat owners bring their pet in to see us, we will do a comprehensive checkup to make sure the cat is healthy. We will also provide the necessary immunization shots. Additionally, we let pet owners know when they need to get the cat back in for spaying or neutering, and discuss pest control options.
4. Realize that Litter Box Use Is Not Always Automatic
Not all cats want to use a litter box, especially those with an illness or stray/feral cats. We recommend talking to your Atlanta veterinarian about training techniques. If the training isn’t working, it would be best to schedule an appointment with our Buckhead animal clinic. We can diagnose whether the cat is having behavioral issues or diagnose an illness that could keep them from wanting to use the litter box.
5. Give Your New Cat Some Space
Cats are territorial, and a new home can make them anxious. Give the cat some space. Allow it to roam when it’s ready to explore. In the meantime, create a “cat space” that’s all their own – like an area in the laundry room or bathroom. Put their litter box, food and water dishes, as well as a bed and toys in this area. Spend as much time with the cat as possible to let them know they’re safe.
Owning a Cat – One of the Best Decisions You’ll Ever Make
If you’re considering becoming a cat parent, we highly recommend you do so. Though fiercely independent, cats can also make affectionate and warm companions. With the tips above and support from us – your local Atlanta veterinarian clinic – owning a cat will be a happy experience for both you and your pet.
Pet ownership is a big responsibility. If you’d like more information about how to care for your new pet, please contact us today. We look forward to helping you with all your pet care needs.