A guide for first-time cat owners - how to take care of your cat

A guide for first-time cat owners - how to take care of your cat | Lovebug Pet Foods

Introducing a furry friend to your family is such an exciting adventure - cats really do make the best companions! But before you bring them home, there are a few things you should get clued up on so that you can care for them and keep them as happy and healthy as possible. 

Read this article to find a handy checklist along with cat care tips and tricks to prepare you for the fulfilling journey that is (cat) parenthood.

Shopping - What you need to buy for your cat

Before bringing your new cat home there are a few things you should buy to create a warm, welcoming environment. This list will differ depending on how old your feline friend is and also whether they’re going to live inside or be allowed outdoors to explore. 

There might be further considerations if you’re adopting a cat or kitten that’s had a particularly turbulent journey so far in life. Always make sure to ask lots of questions before introducing your cat to its new habitat. For example, do they like to snuggle and hide in a den, or are they more of a lap cat? Do certain household objects make them nervous? It’s so important to make them feel as comfortable as possible from day one. 

Checklist for your new cat or kitten

There are probably lots of bits and pieces on your shopping list ahead of your cat’s arrival. When you can, choose plastic-free alternatives to make sure your cat's pawprint is as sustainable as possible.

  • Food and water bowls
  • A comfy bed & blanket
  • Litter boxes & cat litter
  • Toys - read about our favourite sustainable toys and accessories here
  • Scratch post 
  • Grooming brush & flea comb 
  • Collar - make sure this is a snap release type for safety
  • Cat carrier

How to prepare your home for a cat

Cats are known for getting up to no good! Their mysterious nature means that they love to explore and when you bring a cat into your home, they’re bound to find your belongings fascinating. 

To ensure your space is safe for a cat, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. 

  • Remove any plants that are toxic for cats
  • Make sure there are food bowls, fresh water and litter trays spaced out throughout your home
  • Prepare areas high up for your cat to sleep - this will make your cat feel secure
  • Get cat flaps fitted (if your cat will be venturing outside)

How to keep your cat safe and healthy

As well as making your new companion feel comfortable and happy in your home, you’ll also want to ensure they are safe and as healthy as they can be. You will need to do a bit of research to find a suitable veterinary surgery nearby and register your furry friend with them so that you can ask for advice about the following:

  • Vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Getting your cat spayed or neutered
  • Treatment against fleas and worms 
  • Pet insurance

Choosing the right diet for your cat or kitten

By the time your new pet comes to live with you, they may already be used to eating a certain diet. It’s up to you whether you choose to stick to the same food or make the easy switch to a combination of wet cat food or dry cat food. You can also decide how much to feed your cat depending on their weight and lifestyle. Speak to your vet about feeding requirements for your cat. You can also ask them any other questions you may have about curating your cat care routine. 

Once your cat is no longer a kitten (12+ months), to keep things as sustainable as possible, you may want to consider insect-based, eco-friendly cat food. You can read more about Lovebug here and perhaps our handy switching guide will help you choose what’s best for you and your cat.  

Top tips from cat owners

“Cats can be pretty fussy and they much prefer to eat, drink and go to the toilet all at a distance from one another - so space out these stations throughout your home for a happy cat!” - Emily, owner of Leo.

“Providing your cat with snuggly spaces to hide in will make them feel safe - think blankets, beds and soft toys”. Jessie, owner of Garfield. 

We always assumed cats didn’t need to go to the vets unless they were poorly, but this isn’t true. It’s important to take your cat to the vet for regular health checks to ensure they’re always up to date with vaccinations and to catch any health problems early.” Jodie & Ashley, owners of Bella.

“Cats love exploring and will find the strangest places to hide! So make sure your house is cat-proofed and safe for them to explore”. Liam, owner of Willow.