Top 6 Tips for First Time Kitty Parents

black and white kitten playing with an orange ball

Getting your first kitty is exciting! Whether you’re getting a mature cat or a kitten, there are things it’s helpful to know about your new feline family member and how to care for them. Let’s explore the top 6 tips for first time kitty parents.

1. Know what kind of personality you’re looking for.

Cats, like people, have unique personalities. Are you looking for a lap cat, a playful and energetic cat or a laid-back window lounger? The shelter staff or foster can tell you more about the kitty’s personality so you find a good match.

2. Choose healthy food.

Choose a nutritious and healthy food based on the cat’s age and stage of life. For example, kittens need kitten food because it contains extra amounts of essential nutrients kittens need to grow healthy and strong. Likewise, a senior cat needs food intended for them as their metabolism slows and their nutritional needs change.

kitty sitting in blue litter box on bathroom floor
Cat top view sitting in litter box bathroom room

3. Prep the potty.

Cats generally prefer a roomy cat pan in a low-traffic space. Use fresh unscented litter and clean the box often (several times per day). Also, locate it in a place that is fast and easy for kitty to reach, especially if your new feline family member is a kitten. Kittens need to be able to get to the box quickly and not search for it in a scary dark basement.

4. Get ready for scratching.

Cats scratch. It’s a healthy and normal behavior for cats to scratch. So, give them plenty of options for scratching. Different types of sturdy posts and other scratching options that include cardboard, sisal rope and carpet are ideal. Giving your kitty plenty of appropriate scratching options prevents them from scratching on furniture or walls. Note: We do not advocate declawing cats. It’s inhumane and disfiguring. For more information about paws with claws see this blog post: https://barkappeal.com/2019/05/22/cat-life-humane-alternatives-to-declawing/

5. Make time for play.

Cats need interaction just as much as dogs do. Kitties love to play. Playtime works with their natural hunting instincts and also gives them healthy exercise and bonding time with you. Choose toys with catnip and look for mice and feathered toys that they can pounce on and chase, like Bark Appeal’s cat teaser wand toy.

kitty with stripes standing on hind legs ready to play
playful scottish cat kitten looking up. isolated on white background

6. Use pheromones for settling in.

Many cats experience some anxiety when settling into a new home. If your new kitty is showing signs of being anxious, check out the Feliway pheromone diffusers available at most pet stores and online. They release the same pheromone cats secrete when they rub their head and cheek on you. It promotes a sense of calm and happiness.

Getting your first kitty is so exciting. Follow these tips for first time kitty parents to help your new kitty settle in and get used to their new furever home as smoothly as possible.

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