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Whether you're thinking of getting a cat or kitten, or have just got your new four-legged friend, our helpful hub has all the information you need about caring for your new pet in one place!

Before getting your new cat

So you’ve decided to get a cat or kitten – that’s great news! It can be hard to know where to start though when it comes to preparing for your new feline friend. The very first thing to do is download our ultimate checklist so you know what you’ll need:

Download the ultimate cat checklist

We’ve put together some handy advice we think is best to know before getting a cat. Remember to download the kitten checklist if you are thinking of getting a kitten. Lots of research can help you make the right decisions and be fully prepared for your new family member.

Take a look at the topics below for some key things to take a look at before getting a cat.

Caring for your new cat: the basics

When you get your cat there are a few basic things you’ll need to know to make sure they’re happy, healthy and settle in well to your home. We’ve put together some topics below which will help you get to grips with caring for your cat.

  • Bringing your cat home – find out everything you need to know about bringing your cat home, what to do in their first few days and how to help your new cat settle in
  • What to feed your new cat or kitten – what your cat or kitten eats plays a big part in keeping them healthy
  • First aid for cats – we don’t want anything bad to happen to our cats, but they can get into all sorts of mischief. Learning a few first aid basics can be a real help
  • Microchipping your cat – microchipping is a great way to make sure you are reunited with your cat if they go missing and from 10 June 2024 this will be a legal requirement in England
  • Cat insurance – getting pet insurance for your cat or kitten can help to safeguard you against any unexpected health costs
  • Finding a vet – finding a vet and getting your cat registered as soon as possible is important for their health. Our advice page also talks through what to expect on your first visit to the vet, so there’s nothing for you or your cat to be nervous about
  • Indoor cats – find out how to keep indoor cats happy and healthy
  • Letting your cat out for the first time – we’ve put together advice on letting cats outside for the first time (and how to make sure they come back)
  • Poisonous plants – there are lots of plants in and out of your home that could be toxic to your cat, especially lilies

Your new cat’s health

It’s important to keep an eye on your new cat or kitten to make sure they stay healthy. Learning what to look out for and making sure to take them for regular check-ups at the vet are important parts of being a cat owner. Make sure you register your cat or kitten with a vet as soon as possible.

Find a vet

Preventative care

There are some conditions and illnesses that can be prevented with the help of regular treatment or vaccinations. While these won’t necessarily stop your cat from getting certain conditions, they’ll make it so much easier for your cat to fight them off.

We’d always recommend keeping up with the following preventative treatments:

Other cat care to know about

Along with preventative care, there are other healthcare topics you should read up on if you have a cat or kitten, too. These include:

  • neutering your cat – also known as spaying or castrating, neutering prevents unwanted litters and has other health benefits for our cat
  • how to tell if your cat is unwell – cats are very good at hiding when something is wrong, so by knowing what to look out for you’ll be able to get your cat help as soon as possible
  • common illnesses in cats – some illnesses in cats are more common than others, so our vets have put together a list of the illnesses they see most in cats
  • caring for your cat’s teeth – just like us, cats need proper dental care to keep their mouth healthy

For more information on a variety of cat health topics, take a look at our health advice pages:

Our cat health advice

You, your family and your new cat

Bringing a cat or kitten home can be really exciting for everyone in your household, but you should always take things at your cat’s pace. Don’t rush any introductions (especially to other pets!) and make sure any children or visitors know how to be a bit more cat-savvy before saying hello to your new pet. Remember not to have any new visitors for the first few days to give your cat chance to settle.

We’ve put together advice to help you, your family and friends get along well with your cat.

  • Cat body language – our cats tell us if they are happy, stressed and even scared through their body language
  • How to get your cat to like you – we all want our cats to love us as much as we love them, but they have a very different way of communicating than humans so read our blog for advice
  • Cats and children – helping children to treat cats with care and kindness can really help your cat to bond with them
  • Cats and other people – while your cat might enjoy your company, strangers could be a whole other world for them. Make sure you know how to introduce your cat to new people in a stress-free way

Cats and other pets

Generally speaking, cats prefer not to live with other animals. If you do have another pet in the home though, you’ll need to introduce them slowly and carefully. Learn how to introduce:

Your cat’s behaviour

Our cats can be a little quirky to say the least, but sometimes they might do something that is out of the ordinary even for a cat. As a first-time owner, it’s important to learn about your cat’s behaviour, what’s considered normal and what might indicate there is a problem. We have an entire section on our site dedicated to learning about behaviour in cats:

Our behaviour advice

Here are some of the most common behaviour topics new owners ask about to help get your started.

  • Settling your cat into a new home – help your cat settle in and learn the signs that they are happy in their new environment
  • Toileting – find out why your new cat is going to the toilet where they shouldn’t and how to create the perfect toilet for your cat
  • What to do if your new cat is hiding – change can make some cats worry, which could mean they hide away and don’t want to explore their new home just yet
  • Cats and spraying – cats spray to mark their territory and it’s a normal part of cat behaviour, but if they spray inside something may be wrong
  • Cats and sleep – our cats love a regular cat nap! If you’re worried your cat is sleeping too long, take a look at our advice

New cat owner FAQs

If you have a few questions about your new cat, don’t worry – you’re not alone. We get asked questions by owners all the time which has helped us to build up our advice pages with lots of information for all owners, whether you’ve owned a cat before or not.

How do I get my cat to use a cat carrier?

Getting your new cat to use a carrier can be a daunting idea. Getting a cat to do anything they don’t want to often seems impossible and for many owners persuading their cat into a carrier is definitely on that list! Believe it or not, you can get your cat used to the cat carrier, it just takes a bit of time. Take a look at our full advice on training your cat to use a carrier.

How do you give a cat a tablet?

While we all want our cats to be happy and healthy, there might come times that they need medication (especially if their worming treatments are in the form of the tablet). There are a few different ways your can get your cat to take a tablet, so you can try to find the least stressful way for you and your cat. We have a full advice page on how to give your cat a tablet you might find useful.

How much should I feed my cat?

How much you should feed your cat everyday will depend on a lot of different things, for example your cat’s age and current weight, and the type of food you are feeding them. As a general rule, take a look at the feeding guide on their food packaging to help you. If you’re unsure, contact your vet and read our advice on feeding your cat.

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