So, you have a cat – but what else do you need?! Here are easy to follow steps to taking good care of your cat:
Register with a vet – Even if your cat is not unwell, you need to be registered with a vet. Not only will you need this for emergencies and illness, but also for inoculations (vaccinations) and parasite treatment. Some vets also stock pet food. See ‘Choosing a Vet’.
Get your cat insured – Get your cat insured with a reputable insurance company, or put money aside for hefty unforeseen veterinary bills (and hopefully you won’t need them!). It is vital to take out your insurance as early as possible while your cat is healthy, otherwise you risk having exclusions on your policy. If your finances don’t stretch to insurance, or you decide against it, be aware of the possible scenarios where you wish you had it! See our ‘Pet Insurance – what nobody tells you’ page.
Be prepared for holidays – Whether you have a vacation planned or not, be prepared! Decide in advance what to do if you need pet care – sometimes you need this at short notice. Have a list of local catteries, and if possible visit them so you know which one you would prefer to use. Remember that a responsible cattery will not take cats unless they have up to date inoculations (vaccinations), so this is another reason (besides your cat’s health!) to keep these up to date. Ask your friends and neighbours if necessary whether any of them would be able to care for your cats if need be.
Be organised with documents – It is FAR easier if you keep all your cat’s documentation together in a folder, from the word go – pedigree certificates, rescue certificates, microchip details, insurance documents, important phone numbers, veterinary care invoices etc. You never know when you might need them!
Cat-proof your home and garden – Kittens chew things. They crawl into little spaces. They will eat string, hair ties, elastic bands, plastic etc if you let them. Don’t let them! It is your responsibility to know what your cat has access to and protecting it as much as possible from anything harmful. Review the plants in your house and garden – remove any that are toxic, particularly ANY lilies, which are highly toxic. Click here for more information on how to toxin-proof your home, or buy an easy-reference book.
Invest in things that make your cat happy! – We know, more expenditure…BUT, happy contented cats are less likely to develop behavioural problems, and providing your cat with what it needs may mean it stays healthier.
1 – Interactive Toys
2 – Self-play Toys
3 – Scratching Post
4 – Cat tree (if possible)
5 – Bedding
6 – Food and water bowls
7 – Litter tray & cat litter
8 – Cat carrier (see ‘Getting to the vet‘)
9 – Cat grass (unless daily access to grass outside)
10 – Pet insurance