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Before buying a cat

Buying a cat should be an informed and thoughtful decision. It is important to remember that a cat is not a toy that when bored can be put down on the shelf, given away or thrown away. It is living creatures and just like people have their needs and moods and satisfying them will become our task for the next dozen of years. That is why the decision to buy a cat should not be taken lightly in momentary emotions. Is it worth deciding on such a step? Yes of course! :) The house with a cat becomes more complete and you gain a new family member, a loyal friend and a play companion for children for many years to come.


Changing home is a very emotional and stressful experience for a kitten. In the end, his whole world is changing. Everything he knew goes away and a whole new world opens up with new places and smells which he must discover and learn. So what can we do to help him and the process of acclimatization in the new home run faster and less stressful? How to prepare our home to welcome of a new member?

Let's start with the preparation of the house because it is something that is best to do before kitten will appear in our home and sometimes you have to wait a moment for the order to be completed.


Scratching post

Absolutely necessary if we don't want the kitten to scratch his claws on our furniture. And it is almost certainly that he will try to do it. There are many different companies on the market dealing in the production and sale of scratchers, and their prices range from a dozen or so PLN for the simplest cardboard scraper, even up to several thousand PLN for the highest quality scratchers, which will serve us for many years. The choice depends on how much you want to spend on the purchase, but it is worth considering whether it is better to buy a slightly more expensive cat tree that can be used for several years. By the way, some scratchers can be a very interesting and attractive element of decoration in the living room or other room in which you will place it. When choosing a cat tree, it is also worth considering the nature of the cat breed we choose, because one breed is less lively and they prefer bedding lower to the ground, while others are very lively and prefer to lie at a height as close to the ceiling as possible. It is also important that the chosen scratcher not only looks beautiful, but also has a lot of places where our kitten can scratch his paws.


Litter box

Another necessary purchase if we don't want our cat to take care of its needs wherever it likes. Usually when kitten purchased in the cattery are ready to leave it is taught to use the litter box. There are so many different types and models of cuvettes on our market that it is impossible to even count them. They can differ in virtually anything - size, pattern, color or material from which they were made. It really only depends on you which litter box will best suit the place where you plan to place it. It is good, however, to keep in mind the size of the cat you bought, so that after some time the litter box does not turn out to be too small for one of the larger breeds. It is important that the litter box stands in such a place that the kitten always has free access to it and at the same time that he feels full comfort and privacy at the time when he will use it. The litter box should also not stand anywhere near of the place where we plan to put a cat's bowl with food and water.


When you decide on a specific litter box it's time to think what to put in it. Also here our market spoils us and we have a multitude of different types of litters - plant, silicone or clay are one of the most common. Here, before buying a specific litter, it is worth consulting with the cattery, in which we decided to buy a cat which litter they use. Definitely, at the beginning, we should buy the same and only with time if we find that this type of litter doesn't suit us, try to change it and see if our kitten has accepted it. If not, we should return to the one, which has been checked and accepted by the kitten. Here, a good solution would be to put somewhere in the house second litter box with a different type of litter and observe which one our cat likes to use more. Each type of litter has its pros and cons, so it's good to read about it and choose the one that best suits your preferences. Although, finally, the cat will decide whether the selected litter will get a positive grade from him or not ;)


Most good breeders, when giving a kitten to a new home in a layette, also place packages of food that the kitten ate in the cattery so it knows them and eats them willingly. Good food, however, is a big expense, so the attached food lasts only for the first few days, which gives the new guardian time to buy the food of his choice. When choosing a food, it is also a very good idea to ask the breeder from whom you bought your kitten what foods he recommends and trust his experience. Most breeders have a few foods they have tested that they can recommend. The most recommended dry foods have a high meat content and do not contain grains.


At the end, we have to stock up on accessories such as bowls for food and water or toys for our kitten. When it comes to bowls, here we have to choose plastic, steel or ceramic. It doesn't matter which we buy, but our experience shows us that steel and ceramic are more durable and, by the way, look better :) As for toys, the choice is huge - balls, mice, springs, rods, tunnels and interactive toys. At the beginning, we think that there is nothing to go crazy and buy a lot of it. It is better to buy a few and see if the kitten is interested in them at all. A carrier to transport kitten to his new home or later visits to a vet may also be helpful. But you have to remember that our kitten will grow up one day and it is good to keep that in mind when choosing the right carrier.


It is good to think beforehand if we want our kitten to spend at least a few moments during the day outside. It is not necessary and the cat can spend the whole day inside the house or apartment without leaving, but if he can leave, he will definitely enjoy it. Therefore, if the apartment has a balcony, it is good to think about to put some net around it that the cat by accident or in pursuit of some bird or insect doesn't fall out. If we don't have the option to put net on the balcony, maybe even a window will succeed. It may not seem like much, but your kitten will appreciate the opportunity to lay in the sun in the open air, even if it's just a piece of the window sill. If we live in a house and have a garden, you can also think about placing an aviary, in which the cat will be able to stay during the day and enjoy the charm of beautiful warm days without our presence. An alternative to an aviary or a net secured balcony can be a walk with a cat on a leash. Contrary to appearances, they are not reserved solely for the needs of dogs and cats can also learn how to walk on the leash quite quickly.


The moment the kitten is brought to the new home

First of all, after bringing a cat to a new home, the best we can do to help him acclimatize is to leave him alone. Just place the cat carrier on the floor and open it. Let's not get the kitten out. Let him decide when he will be ready to take the next step and leave the transporter. Cats are very curious by nature, so they will quickly find that so much is happening around and it's worth taking a look at it. Let us not rush him and give him as much time as he needs.

When the kitten gets to know his new house a little, you can show him where the food and water bowls and the litter box are. Do not expect immediately that he decides to use them, but it's good that he knows where they are if he is hungry or needs to go to toilet ;) It is also not unusual if a kitten finds a dark, hard to reach a place where he will hide and for some time will want to stay there. It sometimes happens that the kitten hides under the bed and decides to go out only at night when we go to sleep. Usually, however, this condition doesn't last more than 2 days.

The situation may be similar with food, drink or toilet. It is not common, but it happens that a kitten in a new home under stress during the first few days doesn't eat anything or eat very little and practically doesn't use the litter box at all. Unless it lasts longer than the first 2-3 days in a new home, we should not worry about it. Of course, if the cat is apathetic, depressed and clearly uncomfortable, it is good to consult this behaviour with the breeder from whom it was bought.

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