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Cats are the only domesticated species in the family’ Felidae’ and is often referred to as the ‘ domestic cat’ to distinguish it from the wild members of the family. Domestic cats are valued by humans for companionship and their ability to hunt rodents.
Other reasons why humans decided to keep them as pets include: The development of their night vision, their communication skills which include vocalizations like, meowing, purring, trilling, grunting as well as cat- specific body language.
Welcoming a cat into your home is a very exciting experience and can be the beginning of a wonderful companionship but there is a vital question that needs to be asked before getting one: ‘ what does my cat need’? This question is very important before purchasing a cat without knowing what it needs may lead to after- effects such as death, destruction of properties.
Here’s a checklist on the things you need to prepare before buying or adopting a cat:.
- CAT BED: The most important thing a cat needs is a quiet, comfortable and secluded space of their own. It could be a spare bedroom or a small outlet built in a corner of your home just for the cat. This will make sure your cat becomes familiar with its own space before exploring the rest of your home.
2. CAT CARRIER OR CRATE: When going out, you’ll need to transport your cat in a carrier or crate. This will keep her safe and comfortable as travelling can be scary for some cats. A very good example of a cat carrier is the K$H’s Mod capsule, which includes a rigid exterior with a removable mesh door that can be used as a carrier or a sleeper.
A plastic carrier with a locking door on the front should be sturdy enough and also provide the right amount of accessibility. Also cover the bottom with a towel or another piece of soft material before placing your cat inside. Line the bottom with a towel from her former home or shelter to comfort her with a familiar scent.
3. FOOD AND WATER BOWLS: In selecting bowls, go for the ones that won’t tip over easily. This is because cats have lots of energy. The bowls should be kept clean at all times and plenty of clean water is key for a healthy cat. Remember to place the food and water bowls away from each other as the cat might pour the water into the food or better still, stay there when the cat is eating so as to monitor her.
4. LITTER BOX: Litter boxes are essential for cats so they won’t scatter around the house. A cat litter and a scoop is very important so as to remove soiled bits. Make sure to wish her pan once a week with soap and water. Do not use strong disinfectants because they contain ammonia which is not good for a cat’s health.
It is also advised to use hand gloves when cleaning out the litter box because one can contract and organism called ‘ toxoplasma’ from cat faeces. Pregnant women are advised also to stay away from the litter box of cats especially when it concerns cleaning it because toxoplasmosis can cause severe birth defects .
5. SCRATCHING POSTS: Cats use scratching posts for exercise,to clean away dead scales from their nails and to mark their territory both visually and with their scent. The scratching post should be sturdy and tall enough to let your cat stretch out to full length. Encourage your cat to use her scratching post as soon as she comes home. She’ll get the idea quickly. Then anytime she wants to stretch, she’ll use the post instead of your furniture.
6. FOOD: Food already is a necessity for every living thing to survive. Cats also need food for survival. There are several foods to choose from. If possible, find out what kind of food the pet store was feeding your cat and stick to the same diet for a while.
7. TOYS: Cats really love to play so you will provide your cat with variety of toys. While selecting toys, do not purchase toys that have small parts that can be torn off such as plastic bells, feathers,e.t.c as these parts could be swallowed by cats.
8. Collar and ID card: Your cat should wear a color with an ID tag at all times. This is to ensure the security of the cat. The tag should have your name, address and telephone number on it. The tag should be light so as to prevent the neck bending of your cat.
Cats love being loved so it is very necessary to keep it happy at all times.
While you shouldn’t overwhelm a cat when they’re getting used to a new home, it’s important to provide enough enrichment for them to feel comfortable and engaged.