After a few days, your cat will likely start settling into new surroundings inside your home. It's time to start thinking about long-term care and making sure you're prepared for a long, happy life together. Get a handle on the basics in the first month for a proper start to a healthy relationship.
The right bedding for beauty sleep. Cats can sleep up to 18 hours a day, so creating the right conditions for your new pet is important.
- Make sure bedding is soft and washable, and place it inside a basket, small box, cozy corner or a particularly ideal sunny spot of the house.
- Beware of letting your cat sleep with you. Remember that cats tend to be nocturnal, which may disrupt your sleep. If late-night antics wake you up, gently put your cat on the floor. Don't reward a disruption with attention or you're inviting the cat to wake you up over and over.
Typical toys. Good toys for cats are easy to find and most of the time you don't even have to buy them. They're usually just as interested in a piece of paper or a ping-pong ball as a manufactured toy. Rolled up balls of tin foil, plastic caps from bottles, paper bags or anything that moves easily and makes a bit of noise is a prime candidate to be turned into a cat toy.
Safe on the go. Cat carriers are the safest, most comfortable way to travel. Before hitting the road, take time to familiarize your cat with the carrier by storing toys in it or making it a cozy place for a nap inside your home.
Proper identification. Always have an ID tag and proper registration information attached to your cat's collar (rabies, license, etc.). A collar should fit with some slack but not so loose that it slips over your cats head. Allow two finger-widths of space between the neck and collar. Also ask your vet about microchip insertion to help you find your cat if it gets lost.
Laws of the litter box. For single cat homes, you need at least two litter boxes for easy accessibility — one for each floor of your home. A home with multiple cats requires one more litter box than the total number of cats. The litter box should be at least 1½ times the length of the cat and once placed shouldn't be moved to different locations. Please note that not all cats like litter box covers or liners.
- Make sure the litter box is in an easy-to-find, quiet place away from high traffic areas of the house where other pets or people won't likely disrupt your cat's routine
- Fill your cat's litter box with about an inch-and-a-half of natural clay or clumping litter. Scented corn, wheat, pine and other litters feel unnatural to cats
- Scoop twice daily and change litter completely every week because your cat will prefer to use a clean litter box. Always wash the box with a mild detergent before refilling it with litter
- Never touch or disrupt your cat while using the litter box
- Contact your veterinarian if your cat goes to the bathroom outside the litter box because a medical problem might be the cause