Every Thing You Need to Know as a First-Time Cat Owner

If you have decided to add a cat to your family, whether through buying from breeders or adopting from shelters, there are things that you need to know as a first-time cat owner to ensure that both you and your cat are comfortable and make your home a “forever home” for your cat.

First-Time Cat Owner

Bringing home a new cat is almost like having a new baby. Instead of buying a baby crib and changing table, you’d be buying a cat tree and a litter box; perhaps two of each if you have a spacious home.

Plan for Shopping for Your New Cat

Before bringing a cat to your home, there are certainly some stuff you need to buy, so your cat will feel like a family member rather than a guest. Do this in advance before bringing them home, to reduce stress on you and your cat on the “homecoming day”. Don’t let yourself get into a situation where you forgot to buy cat food at 8 pm when stores are already closed.

Things you must buy for your cat beforehand:


Foods for cats are available in two forms: dry and wet. Dry food can only be given if your cat reaches a certain age where they are allowed to eat it. But if you bring a kitten under 3 months old, better to have special wet foods for them. This will ensure they will not get into digestive problems later.

Food and Water Bowls

Both of these are necessary, and make sure you don’t buy only one set. Buy at least two sets, and don’t pair food and water bowl together. Cats usually don’t like to drink water that is close to their feeding place. They think water that is close to their food is contaminated, because, in the wild, cats usually eat carcasses. They will not drink water that is available near that carcass to prevent toxicity.

Litter Box and Fillers

Cats are known to have high intelligence compared to other pets—they bury their excrement. Even the one who lives as strays are also doing the same thing: looking for sand, leaves, soils or other things that can cover up their dung.

And to potty train them is very easy. It is a basic instinct for them whenever they see sand in a box. You only need to prepare a box for them to do their business, and fill it up with sand or other type of litter box fillers.

Understand Cats’ Diet

Factory-Made, Home-Cooked or Raw Food?

What shall I feed my cat with? Which brand is the best for my cat? Dry mixed with wet food? Dry food only? Wet food only? Or both of them at different times? These questions might be popping into your head before deciding to bring a cat home. The only possible answer I can give is: “It all depends on the animal.” Individual consideration is crucial, so it must be the case that no diet is ideal for everyone.

A cat who has a sickness such as kidney disease or gastro-intestinal disease may need special dietary considerations. That’s why you need to know the health conditions of the cat.

If you do a little research on diet for cats, one of the frequently discussed issues around food is that there is next to no available neutral research or published information. The pieces of information you might encounter are produced by someone with an idea or product to sell. There is an organisation named Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS) that aims to correct this massive campaign towards factory-made food for felines and canines by collecting and distributing independent advice on raw feeding.

In my opinion, as pet parents we should look at the anatomy of the digestive tract of our pets; cats or dogs. Understanding that their wild ancestors’ diet is the best approach to prepare a diet for them. In my case, I feed my cats with canned tuna, roasted chicken and grain-free dry food. That helps to reduce gastrointestinal problems.

Cat-Proof Your House

I already said that bringing home a new cat is like having a new baby. The problem is: cats are always babies, and they will do things as they like. And cat-proofing is the same concept as child-proofing your home to protect your children from accidents.

Check Every Single Area That Your Cat Can Access

Start from the hallway, and see if your shoe racks and clothes hanger are accessible for your cat. They might want to chew your shoe laces, hide inside your shoe racks, climb your coat or jacket on the hanger or even chew on it. Not only they can probably get into choking hazards they might also cause the hanger to fall, or other unimaginable accidents.

Plus, you’re not only protecting your cat but also protecting your stuff.

They Always Need to Scratch. Don’t Let Them Do It On Your Furniture.

Cat doesn’t love to scratch, they need to scratch, why? Their claws are their most essential tools for many reasons. One of them is to protect themselves from unwanted encounters or interactions. So they scratched their claws to make it sharp and ready for a fight.

That’s why you need to provide scratchers, otherwise, they might do it to your lovely sofa, mattress, or wooden furniture. 😢

If You Work at Home, Protect Your Working Area

Not all cats love to chew on cables, but some love to do that, usually kittens. I suggest that you get some cable protectors or some sort of cable management that can protect your cat from chewing it. The mix of rubber and plastics is toxic and hazardous for your cat.

You might also want to get a thorough check on your things, supposedly your cat goes there and creates some sort of chaos that can make your things break, fall off or any kind of damage.

Bring Your New Cat Home

Take Your Cat to Their First Veterinary Visit

Please warn this: don’t fall for the “health plan” or other loyalty schemes that many veterinarian clinics offer. These are invariably based on giving a supererogatory number of parasite treatments and vaccines. Avoid them as much as you can, including anyone who still refers to the “annual vaccination”. There is no such need for vaccinations to be given every year!

Choose informed, bespoke veterinary advice instead of those who create schemes to push treatments that your animals don’t need. They will be healthier that way, and you will end up giving fewer treatments and probably saving money.

Play With Your Cat Regularly and Get to Know Them

A new cat definitely will take some time to warm up to you. But if there’s one trick to speed up the process a bit, then it will be playing with them regularly. Cats are hunters—they love to hunt. You can play with laser light and not let them catch the light easily. Show them that you are better at hunting the light, and they will respect and admire you for that.

That’s why, when you plan to shop for your new cat, don’t forget to include a different variety of cat toys. Therefore you can try each of them and see how they interact—or sometimes not interacting at all—with it.

Be Attentive On Where They Will Spend Time Most

Indoor or Outdoor

If you feel that your cat might need some fresh air and sunshine to bathe regularly, there are a few alternatives for the outdoor experience. Having an enclosed balcony is an option. You only need to make sure not to forget to close the window. Or if you’re an active person, you might also try to train them to use a harness and leash and take them walking outside.

Congratulations! Now you are ready to bring your first cat home. I hope these tips help you in your research process. If you have any questions, drop them in the comment form below.


One response to “Every Thing You Need to Know as a First-Time Cat Owner”

  1. […] or cat owner communities you could reach. Consult with veterinaries if you can. Bottomline is, educate yourself far before adopting a […]

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