15 Things to Know Before Getting Your First Cat

Bringing a cat into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience. Cats make wonderful companions, providing endless joy and comfort. However, before you embark on this feline journey, there are essential things you should know to ensure a smooth transition and a happy life for both you and your new furry friend. Let’s dive into the top 15 Things to Know Before Getting Your First Cat.

First time cat owner
10 Things to Know Before Getting Your First Cat
  1. Commitment:

Owning a cat is a long-term commitment. Cats can live well into their teens or even early twenties, so be prepared for a significant time investment. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources to care for your feline companion throughout their life.

  1. Choose the Right Cat:

Every cat has a unique personality, and it’s crucial to choose one that fits your lifestyle. Some cats are more active and outgoing, while others are shy and reserved. Spend time interacting with different cats to find the one that best matches your preferences and living situation.

  1. Prepare Your Home:

Before bringing your new cat home, ensure your living space is cat-friendly. Remove any hazardous substances or items that might be harmful to your feline friend. Create a cozy space with a litter box, scratching posts, toys, and a comfortable bed.

  1. Health Care:

Schedule a visit to the veterinarian shortly after bringing your cat home. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care are vital to keeping your cat healthy. Consider investing in pet insurance to help with potential medical expenses.

  1. Nutrition:

Feeding your cat a balanced diet is essential for their well-being. Consult with your vet to determine the best food for your cat’s age, size, and health requirements. Avoid feeding them human food, as some ingredients can be toxic to cats.

  1. Litter Box Training:

Litter box training is essential, especially if you adopt a kitten. Show them the location of the litter box and be patient as they learn to use it. Regularly clean the litter box to maintain hygiene and prevent behavioral issues.

  1. Grooming:

Cats are known for their grooming habits, but they may need your assistance from time to time. Depending on the breed, some cats require regular brushing to prevent matting and hairballs.

  1. Play and Interaction:

Cats need mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Set aside time each day to play with your cat and provide interactive toys that stimulate their natural hunting instincts. A scratching post is a must! Your cat will use your sofa otherwise! Train them to use a scratch post.

  1. Safety First:

Create a safe environment for your cat by keeping toxic plants, chemicals, and small objects out of their reach. Ensure all windows and balconies are secure to prevent any accidents. Think about what is poisonous to cats. Be aware that some plants are toxic to cats.

Kittens need time to settle in
  1. Understanding Behavior:

Take the time to learn and understand your cat’s body language and behavior. Cats communicate through various cues, and understanding them will help you build a stronger bond with your feline companion.

11. Leave Time For Settling In

When you bring your new cat home, it’s essential to allow them time to settle in. The transition to a new environment can be significant and stressful for them. Each cat will adapt at their own pace; some confident cats might adjust within a few hours, while more nervous ones could take weeks. Don’t anticipate immediate playfulness or affection, as it’s natural for cats to initially hide away.

Providing them with space and a designated hiding spot will help them feel secure. Allow them to approach you on their terms, and avoid overwhelming them with too many visitors right away. Even seemingly confident cats may be easily startled by new sights, sounds, and smells. Hence, it’s crucial to be patient and avoid rushing their adjustment process.

Keep Your Cat Inside

How to look after a new cat

12. Keep your new cat indoors for the first three to four weeks after bringing them home, even if they seem eager to explore outside. This allows them to feel safe, get familiar with their new home, and leave their scent around, making them more likely to return when they eventually venture outside. Secure all potential escape routes during this period.

13. Cats can be Picky Eaters

Be aware that some cats can be picky eaters. It’s a good idea to find out what type of cat food they’re used to and start with that when introducing them to their new home. If you plan to switch their food later, do it gradually to avoid upsetting their stomach. Start with a small amount of the new food to ensure they like it before buying more in bulk. Keep their food, water, and litter tray in separate locations to prevent cross-contamination.

14. Cats Get Up Early

Expect your new cat to be an early riser. Cats are most active at dawn and dusk, especially young ones. Don’t be surprised if they wake you up in the early hours of the morning with meows, pawing, or playful antics. After feeding them and spending some time together, they may let you go back to bed for some more rest!

15. Cats Hunt

Get ready for some action! Cats have a natural hunting instinct, so when your adventurous feline explores the outdoors, they might just go on a wildlife chase! And guess what? If they succeed, they could bring their prey right into your house, whether it’s alive or not! It may not be the most ideal situation, especially if you’re a bit squeamish. But hey, they’re not trying to gross you out with a “present” – they’re actually bringing it inside because they consider your home their core territory, a safe haven where other animals won’t snatch their prize away. So, remember, never punish your cat for being the fearless hunter they are! Embrace their wild side and let them be the adventurers they were born to be!

Cat in a box


Welcoming a cat into your home can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life. By knowing these ten essential things before getting your first cat, you’ll be better equipped to provide the love, care, and attention your furry friend deserves. Remember, a happy and healthy cat will bring immeasurable joy and companionship for many years to come. Enjoy the journey with your new feline companion!

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