Cat Care 101: Essential Tips for New Cat Owners

Cat Care 101: Essential Tips for New Cat Owners

So, you’ve just welcomed a furry feline friend into your life. Congratulations! We know you’re excited to have your new cat in your home. If you’re considering adopting a cat, we highly recommend visiting your local shelter. You can browse through our directory of adoptable cats in your area or use our shelter finder to start your search.

Now, let’s dive into some useful tips for new cat parents and those who want to brush up on their pet care skills.

Basic Care


When it comes to feeding your furry companion, it’s essential to choose high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your cat’s specific needs, taking factors such as age, activity level, and overall health into account.

Cats require taurine, an essential amino acid for heart and eye health. Ensure the food you choose is balanced for your cat’s life stage. A properly balanced diet will contain taurine.

Remember to provide fresh, clean water at all times and wash and refill your cat’s water bowls daily. Treats should be given in moderation, making up no more than 5-10% of their diet.


Most cats are naturally clean and rarely need a bath. However, regular brushing or combing is essential to keep their coat clean, reduce shedding, and minimize hairballs. Embrace the bonding experience and visit our Cat Grooming Tips page for expert advice.

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To lift your cat properly, place one hand behind their front legs and another under their hindquarters for support. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of their neck or the front legs.


Ensure your furry friend has their own clean, dry place to sleep and rest within your home. Line their bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel, and remember to wash the bedding frequently. It’s best to keep your cat indoors as outdoor cats have a shorter lifespan due to various risks such as accidents, fights with other animals, and exposure to diseases.


If you allow your cat outdoors, it’s crucial to have them wear a safety collar with an elastic panel and an ID tag. These measures can help reunite you with your cat if they happen to get lost. Consider getting your cat microchipped for added protection.

Litter Box

All indoor cats should have access to a litter box placed in a quiet and accessible location. For multi-level homes, it’s recommended to have one litter box per floor. Cats are clean animals, so scoop out solid waste at least once a day and change the litter regularly. Avoid using ammonia, deodorants, or scents when cleaning the litter box, as these can deter your cat from using it. Visit our Litter Box Problems page for more insights.


Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, so it’s important to provide them with appropriate outlets. Trim your cat’s nails every two to three weeks to keep them blunt and prevent any accidental scratches. Invest in a sturdy scratching post or pad that is at least three feet high and covered with rough material like sisal or burlap.

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Schedule regular visits to the veterinarian for annual check-ups and vaccinations. These routine visits help ensure your cat’s overall well-being. If your cat shows any signs of illness or injury, don’t hesitate to seek immediate veterinary care.

Medicines and Poisons

Avoid giving your cat any medication that hasn’t been prescribed by a veterinarian. In case of accidental ingestion of a poisonous substance, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for immediate assistance.

Spaying and Neutering

It’s crucial to spay female cats and neuter male cats by the age of five months. Spaying and neutering not only prevent unwanted litters but also have various health benefits for your cat. Learn more on our Spay/Neuter Your Pet page.


Consult your veterinarian for appropriate vaccines based on your cat’s age and health. Vaccinations play a vital role in preventing common feline diseases. Check out our Pet Vaccinations page to learn more.

Cat Supply Checklist

To ensure you have everything your furry friend needs, here’s a handy checklist:

  • Premium-brand cat food
  • Food dish
  • Water bowl
  • Interactive toys
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Safety cat collar with ID tag
  • Scratching post or scratching pad
  • Litter box and litter
  • Cat carrier
  • Cat bed or box with a warm blanket or towel

Remember, being a cat parent is a rewarding journey filled with love and companionship. Enjoy every purr-fect moment with your feline friend!

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For more cat care tips and to find the purr-fect accessories for your furry friend, visit Karen’s Kollars.