6 Common New Cat Owners Mistakes You Want To Know About
Owning a cat is a lot of fun! And they can bring so much joy to our lives. From kittenhood to adulthood, cats can bond with their humans and form a really special relationship.
While I highly doubt you will completely regret adopting a cat, you may have moments. Just like with parenthood, everyone makes mistakes.
To ensure that your new, kitty-filled life is a great one, I have a list of the most common mistakes new cat owners make.
Avoid these, and both you and your kitty will be happy campers.
Choosing a cat because they are cute
When choosing a cat, it is important to adopt them based on a number of things. Their personality. If you have a specific gender in mind. Possibly their breed. AND based on their looks. Choosing a cat based on adorableness alone is a huge mistake.
You need to also consider a cat’s temperament and choose one that closely resembles yours.
With our four cats, we never really got to choose any but Wobbles. And while Wobbles was adorable, that was not the only reason we adopted her.
For us, she was a feral cat that had been returned multiple times in her short life. So she was un-trusting of humans, scared and extremely shy. For us, Wobbles was someone special that we wanted to show a forever home to.
It was truly just a bonus perk that she is adorable. (And honestly, she’s only gotten cuter as her little personality continues to shine through).
Only Giving Dry Food
When it comes to cats, I love to compare them to kids. (Sorry moms). But in this way, cats can be picky.
And until you learn what they like and don’t like, it’s important to try and give them options.
I love wet cat food because it not only is a great source of protein for cats, but it also adds more fluids to your cat’s diet. Cats eat a high-protein diet, and they usually aren’t big drinkers.
Over time that can wear on a cat’s kidneys. An easy way to get more fluid into your cat is to feed her wet food.
Now, all cats are different. Our of my four cats, I have one that ONLY eats wet food, one that only eats dry food and only drinks out of a water fountain (spoiled), and two that eat both wet and dry.
Had I not introduced wet food when we got our second cat, I would have had no idea what I was missing out on. (Because our first cat is the one that only eats dry food. And yes, I did try and give her both. The wet food would go barely touched and get gross.)
So try it out with your cat(s) and see what they like. Even they end up liking both, find options and portion sizes that fit your budget and your cat’s dietary needs.
Making Meals at Home
I know there are a lot of people who love the idea of making their cat’s food solely with human food. While it sounds great to make your cat their own food, chances are they won’t get all the nutrients that they need from homemade food.
Most high-quality cat foods on the market these days have nutritional profiles that are the result of years and years of research into the dietary needs of cats. It’s better to simply buy high-quality cat food that is high in protein and low in carbs.
Not Changing the Litter Box Regularly
Fun fact for new cat owners, cats are clean creature. They like to be clean and be around things that are clean. (Clutter is a different story. Clean clutter is my cat’s dream).
But cleanliness extends to their cat litter.
No one likes changing a cat’s litter box, but it is one of the most important elements of being a cat owner. Cats are very clean animals, so it is important to clean out their box daily.
If you miss a day here and there (things happen), life will probably go on. Miss too many days in a row and your cat might just decide to find a “better” place to go.
Trust me, it won’t be a better place for you! And once the habit starts, it can be very hard to break! So make sure you not only have a clean litter box, but if you have multiple cats, have multiple litter boxes so your cats feel like they always have a clean place to do their business
Not Having Your Cat Spayed or Neutered
Have you ever heard of kitten season? Kitten season starts in the latter part of spring and heads into summer and early fall. I feel like more and more, kitten season is nearly all the time except winter. Which is really sad.
It is the time of year that cats give birth to their kittens, leading to animal shelters and rescue groups to be bombarded with abandoned kittens.
Spaying and neutering your cats not only prevents them from having unexpected litters, it can also keep them safe. I won’t dive too much into this here. But if you are at all curious why you should spay or neuter your cats, check out this post.
Not Taking Your Cat to the Veterinarian
I am a google junkie! As many of us are.
Which means that for my own health, I often think I can figure it out from Google or from watching medical shows. However, I do not let that mindset extend to my animals.
Many new cat owners think that their cat doesn’t need to go to the vet’s office because they are indoor cats or they aren’t sick.
All cats need to have a yearly checkup to ensure they stay healthy. Even if you plan to keep your cat indoors for their entire life, they still need certain vaccines, too.
Regular vet visits also give your vet a baseline that they can reference when you have to bring in your cat if they’re not feeling well. It also helps you understand what is normal and healthy for your cat to keep them healthy for the future
Avoid These New Cat Owners Mistakes
You’re going to have a lot of fun with your new kitty. Make sure that fun lasts for years and years by avoiding the above mistakes that many new cat owners make.
And if you are reading this after you already got your kitten and have made these mistakes, don’t beat yourself up.
Everyone makes mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and try and learn more and more everyday.
By feeding your cat the right food in the right amounts, taking proper care of their health, and you can help your cat live a long, happy life that you can afford.
These small steps add up to a big difference over the life of your cat.
Hey cat owners, feel like I missed anything? Tell me below!