A cat is a great addition to a home. Any cat person will know that these misunderstood creatures are a far cry from being cold, solitary animals. Many cats are warm and cuddly and have a lot of love to give. Unlike dogs, they come with the added bonus of being independent – no need to walk your cat or bathe it as often.
If you’re about to get a cat, here are a few tips that will help you set up your home to welcome your new feline family member.
Identify a safe haven
Cats are territorial creatures. Moving a cat into a large, new space can be very daunting. The first thing you need to do is identify a contained area in your home for the cat to start familiarising with.
Pick a small room, such as a bathroom or laundry room, that can be closed off. Equip the room with everything your cat needs. Once the cat gets used to that space, open the door and let them start exploring your home, one room at a time.
Offer food and water
The fastest way to make friends with your new cat is through food. Make sure your cat has a constant supply of dry food. Cats tend to graze and are not likely to eat all the dry food at once.
Be careful not to overfill their container, as that may lead to your cat eventually becoming overweight. You can also give your cat wet food as a treat. Place a bowl of water close to the food. If you have a large home, place water bowls in various areas of the house where your cat will be hanging around.
Cater for toilet needs
Cats are very clean animals. Make sure you prepare a litter box for your new occupant. You can choose between an open or closed litter box and various different types of litter – fine or coarse granules, clumping or non-clumping, scented or non-scented. The options are endless, so just pick one you prefer. Make sure you don’t place the litter too close to the food. It’s also important to clean the litter regularly, ideally once a day.
Provide scratching surfaces
If you like your furniture, you must invest in scratching surfaces. While some cats only use their designated scratching poles to whet their claws, others have a go at different things around the house, irrespective of their price tag.
Encourage your cat to use scratching surfaces by attaching dangling toys to them. Even if your cat is exemplary, be prepared for the occasional scratch.
Give them great toys
Cats, especially kittens, are playful little things. You’ll find a variety of cat toys from any pet shop and most supermarkets. If you’re on a tighter budget, you can make the toys yourself. Scrunch up some foil to make a ball – cats love that. You can also tie a piece of string to a table leg and watch your cat have the time of their life.
Create cosy pods
If there’s one thing cats absolutely love, it’s fitting into small, tight spaces where they can feel safe and cosy. You can create these cosy nooks around your room by putting a cushion inside a box or basket and placing it in a corner.
Bonus tip: Once you’ve prepared your home, help the cat warm up to you. Allow the cat to take time to get to know and trust you. Start by sitting quietly in the small room you’ve designated for your cat. Initially keep some distance from the cat. Try offering food or toys occasionally.
At first the cat might shy away and hide. But with time, the cat will get curious and come over and sniff you out – the first step towards bonding.
Now that you know what you need to do to prepare your home for a cat, find everything you need by visiting any of the 128 Pet Shops listed on Yellow.
There’s something for everyone – visit www.yellow.com.mt!