Ask Caat: Getting your first cat

Can you give me some tips on getting my first cat? 
Hey! Congrats on your new cat.
Here are some tips to remember:

1. Keep all lilies out of the house. They are highly toxic and just one small chomp on any part of a lily can can kill your cat within days by acutely shutting down their kidneys.

2. Do not feed your cat onions, garlic, chocolate ... those are the biggies, but there are many others. Go online and download a list of do’s and don’ts as far as what cats can eat. To be on the safe side, don’t feed them human food.

3. Feed him/her GOOD food. My first choice for feeding is raw. There are both fresh frozen and freeze-dried frozen varieties. You do have to feel comfortable and learn how to use raw safely, however. If that is not comfortable for you, there are many wonderful, natural food brands out there now. Some of my favorite companies (including for raw) are Primal, Feline Naturals, Stella & Chewy’s, Dave’s & Wuruva. Contact your nearest holistic pet food store to talk about the best options for your cat.

4. Get pet insurance: I am signed up with Pet’s Best. I’ve used them before and had no complaints. Other companies I would consider: Healthy Paws, Figo and Embrace. Do NOT, I repeat do NOT use Trupanion. It is one of the worst pet insurance companies I’ve ever used.

5. Cats don’t usually drink that much water unless you’re feeding them dry food. If you see them drinking A LOT, tell your vet. But, by all means, change his/her water every day and wipe out the bowl or it starts to get slimy.

725px-tuxedo_kitten6. Watch to make sure s/he doesn’t have a propensity for eating things like string or tinsel or thread or curling ribbon. It can get stuck in their intestines causing blockages that require surgery. (Did I mention I’ve had several claims paid on Pet Plan?) 😉

7. Keep your cats indoors. Everybody has a different view on this one, but I am in the “indoor cat” camp. My cats are happy kids indoors, and there are just too many dangers outside these days depending on where you live – from cars to coyotes. There is a company that makes outdoor enclosures that my cats just love, it’s called KittyWalk. I think it’s KittyWalk

8. And finally, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES let anyone convince you that is okay to declaw your cat!!!! IT IS NOT!!! Declawing a cat is literally amputating it’s fingers at the knuckles. It’s cruel and inhumane. If you have a problem with the idea of cats clawing, then you need not to get a cat.

There are several options to prevent them from clawing things you would rather not have them claw: one is called SoftPaws They are little things you put on their claws. I’ve never used them, but some people like them. What I do is trim their claws (I would like to say regularly, but I do not) and get a cat tree and sisal scratch pad. Cats absolutely love cat trees and will use them to scratch and relax. The two scratch pads I like are these:

turbo-round-scratcherRound Turbo Toy My cats have always loved this, but I guess it might depend on the cat:

Flat Sisal Hanging Scratch Post — but don’t hang it, lay it down next to your couch, or wherever you see might be a problem for them scratching. It’s worked miracles for me.

My cats also love this one:
Cardboard scratch post

Well, I guess that’s about all (and by gosh, don’t you think it ought to be???) 😉

I hope this helps. Have a long and happy life with your new family addition.

All best,
Lisa Larson (aka ‘Caat’)

You can find Lisa at https://pawstalk.net