Getting your first cat

Someone asked advise about getting a cat for the first time: Here are some salient points every cat parent should be aware of:
Hey! Congrats on your new cat.
Here are some tips to remember:

1. Keep all lilies out of the house. They are highly toxic and can kill your cat within days.

2. Do not feed your cat onions, garlic, chocolate … those are the biggies, but there are many others. Go online and download a list of do’s and don’ts as far as what cats can eat. To be on the safe side, don’t feed them human food.

3. Feed him/her GOOD food. I prefer a company called Natura which makes a food called EVO. I like this company because, aside from being natural (Truly natural, not Purina natural) 😉 – they were one of the few companies that did not use the Menu Foods processing plant that killed so many kitties. They are meticulous on their standards and I believe the get none of their product from China. Wet food is better for them, get some natural hard treats or an occasional dry food to keep their teeth clean. I wouldn’t go for raw right now, since you are new to kitty guardianship. Evo is a great food. We use the original formula.

4. Get pet insurance: Pet Plan — This is a great company, good rates, and I think will insure pets under 9 years old, but you’ll have to check. I’ve had three claims with them and they were swift and professional. Can’t recommend them highly enough.

5. Cats don’t usually drink that much water unless you’re feeding them dry food. If you see them drinking A LOT, tell your vet. But, by all means, change his/her water every day and wipe out the bowl or it starts to get slimy.

725px-tuxedo_kitten6. Watch to make sure s/he doesn’t have a propensity for eating things like string or tinsel or thread or curling ribbon. It can get stuck in their intestines causing blockages that require surgery. (Did I mention I’ve had several claims paid on Pet Plan?) 😉

7. Everybody has a different view on this one, but I am in the “indoor cat” camp. My cats are happy kids indoors, and there are just too many dangers outside these days depending on where you live – from cars to coyotes. There is a company that makes outdoor enclosures that my cats just love, it’s called KittyWalk. I think it’s KittyWalk

8. And finally, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES let anyone convince you that is okay to declaw your cat!!!! IT IS NOT!!! Declawing a cat is literally amputating it’s fingers at the knuckles. It’s cruel and inhumane. If you have a problem with the idea of cats clawing, then you need not to get a cat.

There are several options to prevent them from clawing things you would rather not have them claw: one is called SoftPaws They are little things you put on their claws. I’ve never used them, but some people like them. What I do is trim their claws (I would like to say regularly, but I do not) and get a cat tree and sisal scratch pad. Cats absolutely love cat trees and will use them to scratch and relax. The two scratch pads I like are these:

turbo-round-scratcherRound Turbo Toy My cats have always loved this, but I guess it might depend on the cat:

Flat Sisal Hanging Scratch Post — but don’t hang it, lay it down next to your couch, or wherever you see might be a problem for them scratching. It’s worked miracles for me.

My cats also love this one:
Cardboard scratch post

Well, I guess that’s about all (and by gosh, don’t you think it ought to be???) 😉

I hope this helps. Have a long and happy life with your new family addition.

All best,

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