Caring for a new cat

Bringing a new cat home can be very exciting, but you need to prepare your home for their arrival. After all, moving home is very unsettling for cats and yours may feel scared or confused in a new environment.

Here are a few tips to help make their welcome a happy one…

Give your cat a comfortable place to sleep

Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘cat-nap’? This derives from the way in which cats doze in a light sleep for long periods. This method of ‘sleeping with one eye open’ comes from their pre-domesticated primal instinct to always stay alert in case of threats. As a result, you should take steps to make your new family member feel as comfortable as possible in their space, which in turn will allow them to sleep well.

Because your cat is a territorial animal, you’ll be doing him/her a big favour by providing a small, comfortable space to sleep and call their own. This could be a chair that you don’t use very often, or a cat bed in a space on the floor where the sun tends to shine in through the window.

Make sure cat gets plenty of exercise and play

When you bring a new adult cat home for the first time, you should wait 2-3 weeks before letting them outside. If you have a kitten, experts advise that you don’t allow him/her roam until they are at least 6 months old.

With this in mind, you must find other ways for them to exercise indoors. This is because, much like humans and other animals, cats need physical and mental stimulation. Give your new cat some toys to play with. Balls and toys that dispense food or catnip are proven to keep them amused.  

Ensure your cat gets the right types and amounts food

Again, just like us humans, our feline friends need to eat well to stay healthy. But when it comes to feeding your cat, there are so many types of food and so much different advice that it can be difficult know the right way to go about it.

Should you feed him/her wet or dry cat food? It doesn’t matter too much as long as the food they eat is ‘complete’ i.e. giving your cat all the nutrition he/she needs for a healthy, balanced diet. Contrary to some advice online, it’s better to feed your cat commercial food, rather than any homemade variety. This is because commercial cat food is made specifically to meet your cat’s nutritional needs

Wet food is great for cats with constipation as it contains a lot of moisture. On the other hand, dry food tends to be less expensive and last for longer. A wet and dry blend adds variety, and helps your cat to enjoy meal times more. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to eat the same thing every day, so why would your cat?

You should also keep in mind that you should never feed your cat too much, as they may become overweight. An easy way to make sure always feed your new cat the right amounts is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which vary according to weight, breed and age.