General Cat Care and Tips

5 Things All New Cat Owners Need To Know

Cats are truly wonderful creatures that make for excellent pets and companions, However, there will always be something a little mysterious about our feline friends.

While dogs are very demonstrative in regards to their emotions and affections, cats are more withdrawn. They are a little harder to read. This can make life challenging for those considering welcoming a cat into their home for the first time.

My two babies Pumpkin and Dixie are spoiled and I try to give them the best. I feed them Rachel Ray Cat food and there are toys everywhere in my apartment. They even have a cat tower. Loving a cat is a great thing and knowing how to care for them is even better.

If you’re considering adopting a cat for the first time, you may not know what to do. Here is a listing of five things all new cat owners need to know.

#1 – Cats are obligate carnivores

Essentially, the term “obligate carnivores” means that cats need to eat meat to survive.

The reason cats are obligate carnivores is due to amino acids. Non-obligate carnivores – such as humans – can survive without meat as their body produces amino acids. These acids are primarily found in animal proteins, internally. For obligate carnivores, however, their bodies do not produce the required amino acids internally, so they have to source these vital substances from their diet.

Due to this quirk of biology, cats need to eat meat to ensure they do not experience (potentially fatal) amino acid deficiencies. If you would prefer your cat eats a vegan or vegetarian diet, it is essential that you discuss this with your vet and ensure your cats’ health is regularly monitored.

#2 – Be cautious of kibble

Kibble is an incredibly popular choice of cat food. Kibble offers convenience to the owner as well as a tasty eating experience for the cat. Everybody wins, surely?

However, kibble has a serious problem: it’s dry.

Cats, whose ancestors roamed the deserts, can manage quite well with a relatively low water intake. Thus, a relatively low thirst impulse. However, desert cats would still obtain plenty of fluids from their prey, which kept them in good health and helped to stave off dehydration.

Modern cats still retain a lot of the traits of their ancestors, especially in terms of a low thirst impulse. However, if a cat eats a kibble-only diet, a dangerous combination develops: the cat does not necessarily feel the need to drink, but they are not sourcing fluids from their food – which subsequently leads to chronic dehydration and, ultimately, kidney failure.

As a result, it’s essential to ensure that your cat eats wet food, or meat, at least once per day to maintain their hydration levels. You can also use a water fountain to help your cat drink more water. I have two fountains in my home, one is a ceramic fountain that I bought on (buy here) and the otherm is more like a sink faucit as I have just bought from Amazon (buy here)

As a result, it’s essential to ensure that your cat eats wet food, or meat, at least once per day to maintain their hydration levels. You can also use a water fountain to help your cat drink more water. I have two fountains in my home, one is a ceramic fountain that I bought on (buy here) and the otherm is more like a sink faucit as Dixie prefers that type of fountain, you can find this one on Amazon (buy here)

#3 – Cats hide illness

Cats are infamous for their ability to hide illness. This can be hugely problematic for their human owners who are trying to keep them in the best of health.

When a cat is feeling unwell or in pain, there’s a good chance their owner may not even be aware anything is wrong. The cat will usually seem reasonably well; perhaps a little quieter, a bit more subdued, but nothing particularly obvious. As a result, severe illnesses can “creep up” on cat owners. The owner may not notice there is an issue until the illness is significantly advanced.

It’s important to note that cat owners who do not notice their cat is unwell aren’t doing anything wrong – they can be the most diligent, attentive owners in the world, but still fall foul of their cats’ natural desire to protect themselves.

For the ancestors of modern cats, illness was a disaster; it made them a target for their natural hunters. Because of this, cats developed the ability to hide illnesses and show few outward signs of distress. While this trait was undoubtedly useful for cats in the wild, it can be a nightmare for pet owners.

The best prevention against underlying problems that your cat may be hiding is routine blood screening, ideally every 12 months. It’s also helpful to keep a diary of what is “normal” for your cat in terms of food consumption and sleeping patterns; if they differ from their standard behavior, further investigation could be merited.

#4 – Cats find medical treatments stressful

Due in no small part to the issue mentioned above, cats are also incredibly difficult to treat when it comes to managing health conditions. Many owners find that while administering pills and making frequent trips to the vet may be beneficial for their cat’s physical health, the toll it takes on mental health causes significant concern.

It’s essential to see medical issues holistically and to explore ways of ensuring your cat is comfortable throughout treatment. It’s well worth exploring a variety of pet healing therapies that can be done without a trip to the vet. Hormone sprays and room diffusers can help to foster a sense of calm in your home environment. By adopting these measures, you should be able to strike the right balance and ensure you can manage your cat’s physical illness while minimizing the stress impact of doing so.

#5 – Cats need mental stimulation

Cats are often seen as docile, almost lazy creatures – a consequence of their tendency to sleep for up to 18 hours a day. However, cats are actually fiercely intelligent animals who require a significant amount of mental stimulation to stay healthy.

There are various ways and means of achieving the mental stimulation your cat needs. Perhaps the most crucial consideration is play; at least one play session per day is preferable – though it’s worth noting that it’s best to avoid laser toys for a number of reasons. Furthermore, it’s helpful to ensure your cat has something to watch at all times, either by ensuring they can sit and watch the world go by through the window, or using YouTube videos designed to keep cats entertained.

In conclusion

Cats are truly wonderful pets, but for new owners, they can present some challenges. Hopefully, the points above will ensure that you know what to expect should you welcome a cat into your home, and can thus be confident that your cat will be happy and healthy for many years to come.

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