By Poorvi Anthony*

While scrolling through social media sites, every person has thought at least once, “Maybe I should get a cat”. And at times, people go through with that idea, and get themselves a cute, cuddly feline. However, research is always important when it comes to bringing a cat into your life, and there are a few things that you should keep in mind once you become a cat owner.

Ask Yourself If You Are Ready For The Responsibility

Getting a pet is a big responsibility, and is a long-term commitment. A cat lives up to 16 years on an average, so you have to prepare yourself to make adjustments in your plans, keeping your cat in mind the whole time. If you think you would be able to afford all the costs and give the attention required, only then should you get a cat.

Make Sure You Create A Cat-Friendly Environment

Cats are very playful animals; however, new places tend to scare them. Be patient and make a gradual introduction to the new place. Add bars to your windows and balcony if you live in an apartment building, to prevent the cat from accidently slipping and falling down. Cats are curious and rambunctious in nature, and can easily get stuck in drawers and washing machines. It would be wise to keep such doors shut, so as to prevent such accidents from occurring. Get a cat bed or crate to create a special corner for your cat.

Buy The Necessities In Advance

Be prepared! It’s always a good idea to buy the basic necessities your cat will need, before you bring your furball home. Items like a scratching post (so the cat doesn’t scratch all your carpets and furniture), litter box (so that you can start potty training immediately), food and water bowls, a bed, cat food, and a few toys should already be in your house before your new cat arrives.

Note: Some cats may take time to transition to new food, so introduce it gradually to avoid your cat from falling sick. Most food packages come with a feeding guide that should be followed.

Get A Variety Of Toys For Your Cat

Playing with your cat is a great way to keep it healthy, and the memories you make together while playing are priceless. To start off, buy a variety of toys to burn your cat’s energy and to make strong bonds. Toys are a great way to get your cat to trust you and become comfortable with you. Moving toys are an easy way to keep it entertained, and bring out your cat’s natural hunting instincts.

Learn How To Groom Your Cat

Cats are naturally very clean animals, but even they need to bathe every 4–6 weeks. Use products that are specifically made for cats, as they have mild and neutral pH. As cats tend to hate water, you can use products like waterless cat shampoo. Make sure to brush your cat regularly to keep their skin healthy and coat shiny.

Finally, last but not the least: 

Maintain Routine Health Check-Ups

To make sure your fur baby lives a long, healthy, and happy life, regular health check-ups are vital. Keeping your cat up-to-date with vaccinations and grooming (trimming claws, full body spa, etc.) should become a part of your routine. Precaution is always better than cure, so visit your veterinarian regularly to make sure everything is perfectly fine. 

Now that you have some primary information to start off with, go ahead and shower your new furball with love and attention!

* Author is the co-founder of Just Dogs, a pet retail brand in India.

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