Gary Powell: Hi! I am Gary Powell from the Cat Fanciers' Association. Today, I am talking about how to prepare your home for your new cat. Cats are very curious and will investigate various things that can get them into trouble or be hazardous around the home. Remember, even an indoor-only cat could get outside by mistake so identification is imperative. A collaring tag is a low-tech but effective way to let everyone know that your cat has a home, but a microchip is another option. Once your new cat is home, here are some tips to create a cat-friendly environment. Eliminate open holes and walls and secure all window screens. Keep washing machine and close dryer doors shut. Put childproof locks on cabinets containing chemical products. Remove anything a cat might ingest; string, ribbons, needles and thread, glue, tacks, rubber bands, tinsel, and numerous other items are all dangerous.
Cats love to play with plants. Your kitten or cat may swallow leaves, causing an intestinal blockage. Some plants are poisonous. So be aware of what you have in your home. A new kitten will not know what is valuable to you. Keep fragile objects out of reach. Kittens often chew on electrical cords; fasten and protect all dangling cords. In addition to cat proofing your home, you will also want to have a few essentials ready for your new cat such as cat food. Feed your cat or kitten, whatever he has been used to eating, gradually add new foods. Canned cat foods help develop strong bones and muscles. High quality dried food is good for gum health. Variety is best so your cat doesn't get hooked on only one food. Lead-free ceramic or stainless is ideal for food and water bowls. A litter box filled with attractive non-scented litter, a secure steady carrier for transporting, grooming tools, a stainless steal wide tooth comb, and pin brush for a long haired cat, and a fine comb or rubber brush for a short-haired cat depending on the coat texture. Claw clippers are essential to prevent scratches or fabric damage. Interactive play sessions with you each day requires a dangling lure kind of toy. Solo play toys are cat and mice, balls and other objects for cats to toss about. A scratching post or a mat is a good investment to save your furniture. Use catnip to attract your cat to the preferred place for scratching and a soft bed with sides or a basket with a mat for napping. Most cats are happiest when participating with you in household activities. It is much safer for cats to live indoors or in a confined outdoor space. There are too many dangers outside including chemicals, animals, and cars.
When you make your home comfortable and interesting, most cats will be content.