Cats can make wonderful and loving family pets. However, whether you’re buying a kitten from a breeder or offering a lifelong loving home to a rescue cat, you’ll need to be fully prepared for bringing your new pet into your home for the first time. Getting a pet is a big responsibility, and the welcome that your cat gets to your home can make all the difference to their relationship with you in the future. Having what you need on hand and making sure that your home is a safe and stress-free sanctuary for your new cat is a crucial step to take before you bring them home. We’ve put together some of the most important things to do before getting your new cat.

#1. Prepare a Safe Room:

Cats are very territorial creatures, so if you’re bringing a cat from one territory to another, it’s not unusual for them to feel on edge and nervous. The best way to deal with this is to prepare one room in your home for your cat to use for the first few days, until they feel more at home and familiar with the sights and smells of your place. Make sure that the room is hazard free and has plenty of cat-free areas such as enclosed spaces, perches, and comfortable beds. Bear in mind that cats feel safe when they are either high up or in tight, enclosed spaces, so it’s a good idea to mount perches on the wall and provide plenty of items such as boxes for them to hide in. You can also get plugins that emit hormones that cats produce when they feel safe, which can further help with getting your new furry friend to settle in.

#2. Eliminate all Hazards:

Before you let your new cat out to explore the rest of your home, it’s essential to look around and eliminate anything that could be a hazard to them. Bear in mind that cats are naturally curious creatures who will have an urge to check out anything such as dangling wires and cords, paper clips, rubber bands, hair ties, and other small items. These can all pose a danger to cats and kittens, so make sure that you move anything like this out of reach and keep them neatly stored away. For cords and wires, covering them in plastic tubing can do the trick. And, make sure that your new kitty has plenty of toys to keep them occupied and away from playing with anything that they shouldn’t.

#3. Remove Toxic Plants and Chemicals:

Many household chemicals, such as regular cleaning products, bleach, car fluids and pesticides are highly poisonous to cats. Although most cats aren’t tempted to lick or eat anything that isn’t food, it’s a good idea to make sure that all chemicals are out of reach just in case. Even if your cat doesn’t lick it directly, there’s a chance that some could get on their fur, which could cause serious damage to your cat when they clean it off themselves. And, some chemicals such as car fluids have a sweet taste to them, which is why some cats and kittens may be tempted to lick them. You should also bear in mind that many common household plants can also be highly toxic to cats. Although many cats are aware of what is not good to eat, don’t count on this as many are also highly curious and prone to nibbling on anything that they are interested in. Ivy, irises, baby’s breath, lilies, and aloe are just some common household plants that can be very poisonous to cats. Either get rid of these plants completely or move them to high ground that your cat cannot reach.

#4. Provide Plenty of Scratching Posts and Toys:

Keeping your cat away from anything that he shouldn’t be playing with or exploring isn’t difficult when he has plenty of alternatives instead. Scratching posts are a particularly important accessory that you will want for your cat if you are concerned about them scratching on your furniture. Since cats are hunters, they naturally need to keep their claws sharp, and stationing several posts for this purpose around your home will keep them off your chairs, carpet and rugs. Toy mice, catnip toys, cat teaser toys and laser pens are all great for keeping your new furry friend occupied, and you can use these to play with your cat and help speed up the bonding process.

#5. Get a Collar and ID Tag:

Cats are notorious for wandering, but whether you plan to keep your cat indoors or let them explore outside, it’s important to get them a collar and ID tag. You can get collars that help to prevent against fleas too, to help ensure that your cat isn’t bringing home any unwanted creepy crawlies. An ID tag will help others ID your cat in the event of her wandering too far from home; make sure that you include her name and your contact details. In addition to this, it’s a great idea to get your cat microchipped so that she can still be identified even if she loses her collar, which isn’t uncommon.

#6. Choose a Good Vet:

Conduct a search of local veterinarians in your area and find one who you feel best fits your needs and that of your cat. No matter the age of your new cat, it’s a wise idea to take her to the vet as soon as possible for a general health check and any vaccinations or flea and worm treatment. If you have a kitten, they will need to have their first vaccination before being allowed outdoors. If your cat has not already had the procedure, strongly consider having them spayed or neutered. Not only will this prevent the patter of little paws, it’s also one of the best ways to prevent aggression and overly territorial behaviour in cats, particularly males.

#7. Get an Insurance Policy:

Cats may have nine lives, but you should still make sure that they are covered by pet insurance for anything that could potentially go wrong. An insurance policy will pay out for vet bills for illness or injury, provide funding if your cat needs to go into emergency boarding, cover you for steps taken to recover your cat if they are lost, and in some cases, also provide life insurance for your cat. It’s a good idea to choose an insurance policy after your cat’s first health check, as the vet will be able to alert you to any pre-existing conditions that you will need to disclose to your insurance company. Everypaw is an option when it comes to pet insurance for cats, as they offer different plans to suit your budget, including lifetime policies. A lifetime policy is an insurance option which will cover your pet for the rest of their life and any health conditions or injuries that they may experience over this time.

Bringing a new cat home is an exciting experience. Did these tips help you make sure that your home was fully prepared for your new pet? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.