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Cats make for great companions. They look good, keep the mice away and have in-built motors. But owning a cat is more than just having a soft, cute and purring companion. Before you get yourself one, you need to know a few things. Here are a few tips for first time cat owners:
- Cats are independent by their very nature, but that does not mean that they are very good at taking care of themselves. Before you go ahead and get yourself a cat, make sure that you have ample time daily for a feline companion. The kind of cat you should get depends on how busy you are and the amount of free time you have. If you are on a tight daily schedule, then it is unrealistic to get a cat that needs a lot of attention and grooming, especially the highly active and intelligent cats. But there are certain cats that are perfectly well suited to the working lifestyle.
- You need to give some thought to whether your circumstances will change after you adopt the cat. If you are going to work long hours and still want a friendly face at the doorstep when you get back home, adopting a cat is an excellent idea.
- If you suffer from severe allergies, make sure that you get yourself tested before you bring a cat home. There are people with allergies who adapt to their own cats, but are still allergic to other cats. If you want to stay on the safer side, go for a cat with as little allergens as possible. Consult with the vet and the employees at the animal shelter for more suggestions.
- Once you decide on the cat, take him for a checkup and get him immunized. Also, arrange for neutering as soon as possible.
- Get a good quality litter box and litter. Covered boxes are better as they allow both you and your cat more privacy. Also, clumping litter is much easier to maintain. Keep the litter box clean, for the benefit of both you and your cat. Also, ensure that you buy well-balanced and age-appropriate food for your feline companion. If you have any second thoughts about the diet you have chosen for your cat, ask the vet and the representatives at your local food store.
- Cats love playing. String, toy mice, empty boxes and feathers make for diverting amusements. Playthings need not necessarily be expensive (you can even make them at home). Just make sure that you provide your cat with enough to keep him active, happy and mentally occupied.
- If you do not want your handbag or sofa to be shredded, you should invest in a good quality scratching post.