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CAT / new pets

What Do I Need to Take Care of My New Cat?

Feeding, sleeping, fun and health tips


Meet the family

The first day you bring home your new cat, make sure it’s a pleasant and calm homecoming. If you have children, make sure they understand that their new family member is a living, feeling creature who likes to be treated gently.

Your job is to keep your new cat safe in your home and to remember that to kitty, your familiar surroundings are completely foreign. Different cats will react differently to the experience: Some will be shy or scared, while others might jump right out of their carrier and into the action.

If you already have a pet, make introductions slowly. You may even want to keep one pet crated when you aren’t around to supervise. Share your love equally between new and old pets and you’ll be one big happy family soon enough.

Scratching posts & toys

Cats are very smart but they have no head for the cost of antiques and upholstery. Help keep kitty from clawing your couch to pieces by providing scratching furniture.

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Safety first

Look! Up in the sky! Cats like to jump and climb, so kitty-proof your vases and other wobbly breakables by stowing them where they can’t be knocked over. Secure wires, window cords, floor-length curtains and any other potential hazards that might entangle a leaping feline.

Some common houseplants are harmful to cats. Make sure they’re out of your pet’s way or relocate the plants to someone else’s home. It’s also best not to leave any chemicals, such cleaning supplies, out on counters or tabletops where curious cats can get into them.

Feed that feline!

Choose a nutritious premium food with the high-quality protein, amino acids, fats and minerals your new cat needs. Look for a formula made for your cat’s age, energy level and any special needs.

How often should you feed your new cat? If you choose dry kibble, it can sit out all day for your cat to munch. But if your cat tends to overeat, you’ll want to take the food away when it isn’t mealtime.

Cats should only get treats that are made especially for them. A lot of human ingredients can make your kitty sick.

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Beds: Why stop at one?

Cats sleep a whopping 16 to 18 hours a day. Consider placing cat beds in different rooms of your home. If you want to encourage your cat to sleep in a particular area, you can even get a bed infused with catnip.

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Litter boxes

Make sure you have a litter box (plus a scoop and mat) waiting for your new cat. If you have multiple cats, give them a litter box each. As for those times when your cat mistakes the rug for a restroom — you’ll need stain & odor removers and a forgiving heart.

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Cat behavior

Cats are endlessly entertaining. If you want to understand why your cats do the funny feline things they do, ask them! If that doesn’t work, pick up a book or explore the PetSmart’s online resource center to learn more about their needs and behavior.