A woman looks at a cat in a cage.

A Checklist for First-Time Cat Owners

Becoming a first-time cat owner can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. Observing unique behavior and playing a part in a cat’s maturation, recreation, and personal happiness can build a lasting bond, fostering a relationship as close as one shared between a parent and a child.

It’s not hard to develop deep feelings for your new feline friend, but parenting a cat is much more than a simple display of affection. Preparations need to be made to your home and changes need to be made to your lifestyle to accommodate these often-particular pets, and their nutrition and safety are paramount to maintaining physical health and ensuring appropriate bathroom habits.

In preparation for your furry roommate, review our household and adoption checklists, assuring that you’ve answered each question before welcoming a cat into your homestead.

Household Preparation

Important decisions need to be made when becoming a first-time cat owner. If you share your home with family or friends, it’s of the utmost importance to include them in the process and make sure that each resident has the same set of expectations.

The following questions can ensure that you’ve made your residence cat friendly:

After answering these questions, make a shopping list of everything you need to make your home cat ready.

Questions to Ask When Adopting

It’s important to get as accurate a history of your cat as possible before bringing them home. First-time cat owners often regret not asking for more information about their new pet on adoption day, and shelters and humane societies often don’t keep adequate medical records.

Though the amount and quality of information may vary based on circumstance (especially if your cat was a stray), it can’t hurt to ask and accrue as much knowledge as possible. Even the smallest detail can be helpful for you or your veterinarian down the road.

The following questions should cover you bases when it comes to history and medical background. Try to get clear answers for as many of these as possible:

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our article on How to Be Successful at Taking Care of a Cat For the First Time.