An exciting new chapter of owning a cat and caring for them as a pet! Very, very exciting!
This guide will provide comprehensive info you need to understand as a pet owner caring for a cat. I have also provided key tips to keep in mind when it comes to your cat’s health, behavior, and overall care.
What is a cat?
A cat whose scientific name is Felis Catus, is a small carnivorous mammal of the Felidae family, known as the domestic cat or housecat. It has been widely recognized as the most popular pet in the world.
In 2017, there were approximately 95.6 million cats living in households in the United States (Statista). A cat typically has a lifespan of 14 to 20 years.
Cats come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of fur colors and patterns—which means you’re sure to find one that fits your personality and lifestyle.
Cats were first domesticated in the Near East around 7500 BC but there are earlier accounts of cats being domesticated in ancient Egypt from as early as 3100 BC.
As of 2022, there are 60 cat breeds that have been recognized by various cat registries such as Cat Fanciers’ Association, The International Cat Association (TICA), Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) and World Cat Federation (WCF).
Before adopting a cat, it is important to understand their behaviors, what they like, what they dislike, activities they enjoy doing, and more. The best way to learn about cats before getting one is to visit a local animal shelter, where you can play with and learn about different cats before making your decision.
Why do people want cats?
There are a number of reasons why people want cats and why you may opt for one as well. Some people view them as low-maintenance pets, while others appreciate their independent nature.
Cats also offer companionship and can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. In fact, research has shown that stroking a cat can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of having a heart attack.
They also kill rodents and pests, which can be beneficial for those who live on farms or in homes with a lot of insects.
What are the different types of cats?
There are short-haired and long-haired cats, as well as hairless cats. The most popular short-haired cat breeds include the British Shorthair, American Shorthair, and Maine Coon.
Some of the most popular long-haired cat breeds are the Persian, Siberian, and Ragdoll.
Siamese, Bengal, and Sphynx are some of the most popular hairless cat breeds.
What are some things to consider before getting a cat?
There are a few things you should take into consideration before getting a cat.
- Allergies: If you’re allergic to cats but still want one, there are a few hypoallergenic breeds that may be suitable for you, such as the Sphynx or Devon Rex.
- Lifestyle: Think about whether or not your lifestyle is suited for a cat. Do you travel often? Do you work long hours? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may want to consider getting a cat that is more independent. Breeds like the Russian Blue or Siamese tend to be more independent than others.
- Age: Kittens are a lot of work and require a lot of time and patience. If you’re not up for the challenge, you may want to consider getting an adult cat.
- Space: If you live in a small space, such as an apartment, you’ll want to get a cat that is okay with being in a smaller area. The Siamese or Devon Rex breed may be a good option for you.
- Cost: Cats can be expensive, especially if they have health problems. Be sure to budget for things like food, litter, toys, vet bills, and cat insurance.
Other factors you can use to narrow down your search for your ideal cat breed to adopt:
Cats come in all shapes and sizes, from the teacup Persian that weighs less than 4 pounds to the maine coon cat that can weigh up to 18 pounds. The average housecat weighs around 8 to 10 pounds.
Coat colors and patterns
Cats come in a variety of coat colors and patterns, including black, white, gray, orange, calico, tabby, and tortoiseshell.
Cat eye colors range from blue and green to copper and gold. Some cats even have heterochromia, which means they have two different colored eyes.
Cats can have different temperaments, depending on their breed. Some breeds, like the Siamese and Devon Rex, are known for being vocal and inquisitive. Other breeds, like the Russian Blue and Sphynx, are known for being more independent.
Some cats are quite active, while others prefer to lounge around all day. If you’re looking for a cat that likes to play, you may want to consider a breed like the Bengal or Siamese. If you’re looking for a more laid-back cat, you may want to consider a breed like the Persian or Russian Blue.
When you’ve found a few breeds that you’re interested in, the next step is to find a reputable breeder or adopt from a shelter.
So where can you get your cat to adopt?
There are a few options for where you can get your cat. You can buy one from a breeder, adopt from a shelter, or rescue one from the streets.
If you decide to go with a breeder, be sure to do your research to make sure they are reputable. A good breeder will be able to answer all of your questions and will allow you to meet the kitten’s parents.
Reputable breeders will also have healthy kittens that have been vet-checked and come with a health guarantee.
Adopting from a Shelter:
Adopting a cat from a shelter is a great option for those who want to give a home to a cat in need. Shelters have all different kinds of cats, from purebreds to mixed breeds.
When adopting from a shelter, be sure to ask about the cat’s health history and temperament. The staff should be able to tell you about the cat’s personality and if they have any special needs.
Be sure to get all of the required adoption documentation from the shelter, such as the adoption contract, health records, and spay/neuter certificate.
Your new cat will need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations. kitten, they will need a series of vaccinations given over a period of several weeks. These vaccines will protect your kitten from diseases such as rabies, feline leukemia, and distemper.
Adult cats should also be vaccinated against these diseases. In addition, adult cats should also be vaccinated against Bordetella, which is a bacteria that can cause bronchitis.
Vaccinations are typically given by your veterinarian and can be done at the same time as your cat’s annual wellness exam.
All cats should be spayed or neutered, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor cats. Spaying or neutering your cat will help to reduce the number of unwanted kittens, and it has health benefits for your cat as well.
Cats can be spayed or neutered as early as 8 weeks old. The procedure is typically done by your veterinarian and only takes a few minutes.
After your cat has been spayed or neutered, they will need to stay at the vet’s office for a few hours to recover. Most cats are back to their normal selves within 24 hours.
What are some things to know about cat care?
Cats are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things you should know.
- Brushing: You’ll need to brush your cat’s fur regularly to prevent knots and mats from forming. Long-haired cats will require more brushing than short-haired cats.
- Nail Trimming: You’ll also need to trim your cat’s nails every few weeks. If you’re not comfortable doing this, you can take them to a groomer or vet.
- Litter Box: You’ll need to provide your cat with a litter box and fill it with litter. Be sure to scoop the box daily and change the litter every week or so.
- Diet: Cats are carnivores and need animal-based protein to stay healthy. Be sure to feed them a balanced diet of wet and dry food. You can also supplement their diet with treats.
- Water: Cats need access to clean water at all times. Be sure to fill their water bowl daily and clean it often.
- Safety: Cats are curious creatures and can get into things they’re not supposed to. Be sure to keep poisonous plants and chemicals out of reach. You should also declaw them or keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching furniture or people.
What are some common health problems in cats?
Cats are generally healthy animals, but there are a few health problems that are more common in cats than in other animals.
- Obesity: Cats that are obese are at risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Be sure to feed them a healthy diet and provide them with plenty of exercise.
- Urinary Tract Infections: Urinary tract infections are more common in cats than in other animals. Be sure to keep their litter box clean and provide them with plenty of water. If your cat is having trouble urinating, take them to the vet right away.
- Dental Disease: Dental disease is one of the most common health problems in cats. Be sure to brush their teeth regularly and take them to the vet for professional cleanings.
What are some common behaviors in cats?
Cats are known for their independence, but they can also be affectionate and loyal. Here are a few common behaviors you may see in your cat.
Sleeping: Cats sleep an average of 16 hours a day.
Grooming: Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves. This helps them to stay clean and to remove any dead fur or skin.
Eating: Cats usually eat small meals throughout the day.
Hunting: Cats are natural hunters and love to chase anything that moves. Be sure to provide them with plenty of toys to keep them amused.
Scratching: Cats like to scratch furniture and other surfaces to mark their territory. Be sure to provide them with a scratching post or they may scratch your furniture.
Cats are carnivores and need animal-based protein to stay healthy. Be sure to feed them a balanced diet of wet and dry food. You can also supplement their diet with treats.
Below are key nutrients that will sustain your cats:
- Proteins: Proteins are essential for cats as they help to build and repair tissues. Proteins can be found in meat, fish, poultry, and eggs.
- Fats: Fats provide energy and essential fatty acids that cats need for their coat and skin. Fats can be found in meat, fish, and poultry.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide energy and fiber. Carbohydrates can be found in vegetables, fruits, and grains.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals are essential for cats to maintain their health. Vitamins and minerals can be found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
- Water: Cats need access to clean water at all times. Be sure to fill their water bowl daily and clean it often.
Feeding Your Cat:
When feeding your cat, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, cats prefer small meals throughout the day instead of large meals.
- Second, make sure that their food is fresh and their water is clean.
- Third, cats need animal-based protein to stay healthy, so be sure to feed them a balanced diet of wet and dry food.
How often to feed your cat?
-Kittens under 6 months old should be fed 4 times a day.
-Cats 6 months to 1 year old should be fed 3 times a day.
-Adult cats should be fed 2 times a day.
How much to feed your cat?
The amount of food you should feed your cat will depend on their age, weight, and activity level. Be sure to consult your veterinarian to determine how much food your cat needs.
Wet vs dry cat food:
There are a variety of wet and dry cat foods available on the market. Wet food is typically higher in protein and moisture than dry food. Dry food is typically lower in calories and fat than wet food. You can feed your cat either wet or dry food, or a combination of both.
which one is best?
There is no definitive answer as to which type of food is best for cats. Some cats prefer wet food, while others prefer dry food. It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine which type of food is best for your cat.
Cost of having a cat as a pet:
The cost of having a cat as a pet will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of cat you adopt, their age, whether you adopt from a shelter or a breeder, and whether you get them spayed or neutered.
- -Adoption fee: $50-$200
- -Spay/neuter surgery: $50-$200
- -Vaccinations: $50-$100
- -Microchip: $25-$75
- -Food: $40-$80 per month
- -Litter: $15-$20 per month
- -Toys and Treats: $10-$30 per month
- -Grooming: $10-$30 per month
- -Veterinary Care: $50-$200 per year
As you can see, the cost of having a cat as a pet can vary depending on a number of factors. Be sure to consider all of the costs before making the decision to adopt a cat.
Cat Health Insurance:
Cat health insurance is a type of insurance that covers the cost of your cat’s medical care. There are a variety of cat health insurance plans available, and the cost will vary depending on the plan you choose. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to determine which plan is best for your cat.
- -Enrollment fee: $25-$50
- -Deductible: $50-$200
- -Premium: $10-$40 per month
- -Co-payments: $20-$80 per office visit or vet procedure
- -Preventative care: $0-$10 per month
As you can see, the cost of cat health insurance can vary depending on the plan you choose. Be sure to compare plans and rates before enrolling your cat.
Caring for a Sick Cat:
If your cat becomes sick, there are a few things you can do to help them feel better.
- First, take them to the veterinarian so they can be diagnosed and treated.
- Second, follow the veterinarian’s instructions for care and treatment.
- Third, provide them with a comfortable place to rest and plenty of fresh water and food.
- Fourth, keep them away from other animals until they are feeling better.
- Fifth, monitor their progress and call the veterinarian if their condition worsens.
Sick cats can be a handful, but with proper care and treatment, they will recover in no time.
Cats require a lot of time and attention. They need to be fed, watered, and played with on a daily basis. They also need to be brushed and have their nails trimmed regularly. cats are social creatures, so they thrive on human interaction. Be sure to set aside some time each day to spend with your cat.
Plan to spend up to an hour a day caring for your cat, including feeding, watering, playing, and cleaning.
What do cats like to do?
Cats like to play, explore, and lounge around. They also like to be petted and brushed. Some cats even enjoy playing in water. Be sure to provide your cat with plenty of toys and a safe place to explore.
Do cats need a lot of space?
No, cats do not need a lot of space. They are content to live in a small apartment or house. However, they do need a litter box, scratching post, and plenty of toys and climbing surfaces.
What is the best way to train a cat?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. Some people use positive reinforcement methods such as treats or praise, while others use negative reinforcement such as scolding or spraying water. The best method is the one that works best for you and your cat. Be patient and consistent, and you will eventually find a training method that works for both of you.
The Bottom Line:
Adopting a cat can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to be prepared for the responsibility. Be sure to do your research before adopting, and consult with your veterinarian to ensure that you are providing the best possible care for your new cat. Thank you for considering adoption!
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Hi there! My name is Ben Domb, an owner of two pets and I am one of the co-founders of OurPets HQ. I have several years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition and sharing my thoughts in various blogs and columns. With quarantine and COVID restrictions, I have been spending a lot of time a lot with my dogs and cat and loving it! I also run a small consulting business providing advice to parents on pet nutrition, and especially safe homemade options to try. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org