What you need to do before your new feline comes home.
The inevitable is finally happening; you are about to become a cat owner for the first time. When you bring that kitty into your home, you will join more than 47 million other cat owners in the U.S.
Cats are known for being easy keepers. They don’t require anywhere near the amount of work as a dog. However, even though cats are pretty low maintenance, you will still need to prepare before you bring home a new feline member of the family.
Here are some ways you can get ready to share your living space with a cat:
You will need to purchase supplies before your new feline comes to live with you. Your shopping list should include cat food and treats, food and water bowls, collar and ID tag, litterbox, litter and litter scooper, scratching post (cardboard and/or a carpeted cat tree), bed, carrier, nail clippers, brush and a variety of toys. Deciding the details of all these items can be a lot of fun whether you shop online or at a local pet supply store. Different styles and colors are available for just about every cat product you can buy.
Find a Vet
You’ll also need a veterinarian to tend to your cat’s medical needs, and it’s a good idea to find one before your new family member arrives. You should make an appointment to have a vet see your cat right away for a check up. That first appointment will help you establish a relationship with a veterinarian and create a baseline health check for your cat. The vet will also set up a vaccine protocol for your cat and recommend a suitable flea control plan, as well as offer nutritional advice.
Cat-Proof Your Home
Until you know more about your new cat’s behaviors, it’s a good idea to cat-proof your home to make sure both your cat and your home are protected. Hide cables, wires and electrical cords until you are sure your cat is not a chewer. Be sure to block off any areas or nooks where your cat might try to hide if she becomes scared when you bring her home (under the couch or bed are favorites). Put away household products that could be toxic to your cat, such as cleaners, solvents and other liquids. Be sure to remove any rodent or insect bait you might have put out in the past.
Set Up a Room
It’s a good idea to start your cat out confined to one room until she gets used to being in your home. This is especially important if you have other pets who have access to the rest of the house. You want to give your cat time to get used to the sounds and smells of the other animals, and vice versa. Place your cat’s bed, litterbox, toys, scratching post and food and water bowls in the room, and let her stay there for at least a week as she acclimates to her new home.
 2017-2018 APPA National Pet Owners Survey