When bringing a cat into your household, expect a few things will change — both for your cat’s safety and for her pleasure. We’ve all heard the comments: “You shouldn’t have to change your lifestyle for a companion animal.” But how could that be? Bringing home a cat is not like adding a new throw pillow for the sofa. This is a living being with needs and desires; of course this requires change.
New cat people should prepare themselves for these changes and give serious thought to whether they are ready. Conveniences, or even luxuries, previously taken for granted can no longer be overlooked. People with their first cat will find themselves thinking about things differently than ever before. For example, kitchen counters are now dangerous ledges, tables are invitations to knock things over, and screen doors become climbing gyms.
Prepare In Advance
It’s been suggested that new cat people actually get down on the floor and look around the rooms of the home from a cat’s perspective for hidden dangers. A curious kitty will always be looking for something new to get into — it’s their job; it’s our job to help protect them.
- Don’t leave string, rubber bands, or paperclips on a desk or counter top; your cat could easily ingest such items and suffer blocked intestines or tummy upset
- Always make sure to close doors to the outside, especially screen doors that are easily overlooked in the summer
- Keep the trash cans secure or out of the way
- Rethink your holiday festivities and decorations
- Avoid keeping plants in the house that are dangerous for cats
You may also find yourself making some home décor decisions that you never would have before the cat arrived, like:
- Adding scratching posts and cat beds
- Scattering cat toys everywhere (with your cats’ help of course)
- Putting an extra sheet or blanket on your bed to keep the cat fur off your sheets
Litter boxes will need to be available and the litter will need to be scooped and dealt with several times a day. Once in a while the cats will need to go the veterinarian for a physical or shots, which should provide for a fun car ride full of high volume meowing in the most accusatory manner. You’ll also find yourself speaking in baby talk or sharing your innermost thoughts with your cat.
Life With Cats
Once a cat gets older or sick even further accommodations may need to be made. It’s not unusual to have to clean up after a sick cat who vomits or does his business outside the box. Getting a cat to take a pill (or even use an inhaler!) provides another new experience. Some people face even greater challenges with sick or disabled cats and gladly go the extra mile for their feline friend.
That said, most cat people would agree: after a while, you don’t even notice the changes. It’s just part of life and what you do for love.