Welcoming a new cat or kitten into your home is an exciting experience and can be the beginning of a wonderful companionship. Adopting a cat also comes with a lot of change for both of you. Our guide on planning for your new cat will help you make the transition as smooth as possible.
Once you’ve decided to give a cat a home, it’s time to get your home ready and prepare for a cat. You’ll need to make sure you leave enough time to make adequate preparations, as well as to go shopping for everything they need.
The most important thing your cat needs is a quiet, comfortable and secluded space of their or her own. It could be a spare bedroom or a cosy space in the corner of your living room. This will make sure your cat becomes familiar with one space before exploring the rest of your home.
Remember: When providing beds, litter trays, scratching posts and food and water bowls, it is a good idea to provide one extra. When more than one cat is sharing the home, provide one of these items per cat plus one extra. For example, two cats should have access to at least three litter trays.
It’s important to make sure your new cat has all the essentials they need before bringing them home. To help you provide everything they need, we’ve put together a checklist. Download it, take it shopping with you and stick it on your fridge – it’s got everything you need for your new addition.Download the checklist
Before you bring your cat home, you’ll need to think about getting them prepared for the outside world. All cats adopted from Cats Protection will have received a mandatory level of veterinary care, including:
Neutering is an important operation to prevent female cats from getting pregnant and male cats from making females pregnant. You will need to ensure your cat is neutered to avoid unwanted kittens. There are also plenty of health benefits, including the reduced chance of developing some cancers and other illnesses.
Cats Protection recommends that kittens are neutered at four months old or younger, although they can be neutered at any age.Find out more about neutering
If your cat or kitten hasn’t been vaccinated, you’ll need to take them to a vet to receive them.
When should my cat be vaccinated?
The first vaccinations should be given to kittens around eight to nine weeks of age. Timing is important – too early and the vaccine may not work properly, too late and they may be susceptible to infection. Two vaccines are usually needed, at three to four weeks apart. Cats will need a booster vaccine to keep immunity levels high.Find out more about vaccinations
Microchipping is the easiest and safest way to identify a lost cat, keeping your cat safe if they go wandering. Keep your details up to date and you’ll increase the likelihood of a happy reunion.
You can book in to get your cat microchipped by your vet or by a trained and insured member of an animal welfare organisation. Cats Protection often offer microchipping as part of a service. The procedure is simple and doesn’t cause harm to your cat.Find out more about microchipping
Registering with a vet is very important and with many practices to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one to pick. Follow our advice on how to pick the right vet practice for you and your pet.
Make sure they are registered
It is illegal for anyone that isn’t registered to practice as a vet. You can find a full list of qualified vets on the RCVS website.
Word of mouth
If you are in touch with local cat owners, ask around to see what vet their pet is registered to. Recommendations are a useful way of find a vet that is right for you.
Choose a local vet
Choosing a vet that is close in distance to you is important. As well as being convenient, it is good to know that your vet is close by in an emergency.
While most vets can carry out various medical and surgical procedures, there may be times where your cat needs specialist care. For example, your cat may have a complex fracture that needs treating. Your local surgery should be able to point you in the right direction.
Organising pet insurance for your new cat is as important as settling them in. Designed to help protect you against unexpected costs related to your cat, you may need it to cover veterinary bills in the future. It is important to check your policy thoroughly to ensure it meets your needs.
Along with vet care, some policies also cover the following:
Not all pet insurance offers the same thing and it is important to look into the type of policy. When looking for insurance, consider the following: