Cats can be some of the best companions around—despite what dog lovers may say. But if you’re single, you may be worried that cat ownership could be biting off more than you can chew. While cats don’t require long walks and trips to the dog park, they still require adequate care and attention. The good news is that a life with a cat doesn’t have to be challenging, even if you’re the only cat parent in the house. If you’re considering adoption or have newly adopted a feline friend, here are a few tips for making your life a little easier.
Invest in Quality Toys
Many people assume that cats are not interested in socializing. While they may have a mind of their own, and may or may not include you in their daily activities, they still need to be entertained and occupied. This is especially true if you work long hours or are gone for most of the day. Prevent important items from being shredded by purchasing a variety of cat toys. You may also want to invest in a scratching post. Cats have a natural tendency to scratch, so better to buy a designated post than have to invest in a new couch.
Pet-Proof Your Home
There’s nothing worse than worrying about what your cat will get into while you’re out of the house, or just in another room. According to House Method, pet-proofing your house before bringing your cat home is one of the best ways to make your new cat-parent life a breeze. After all, if your furry friend gets into wires, electrical outlets, cleaning supplies, or other dangerous items, you could find yourself navigating a lot of stress and a few expensive vet bills. Avoid all this by making a few simple changes to your space and getting hazardous materials out of reach—you and your cat will appreciate the foresight.
For example, specific foods like onions, garlic, undercooked meat, dairy products, and avocados can be harmful to your cat, so keep them out of reach in the kitchen. Additionally, you’ll want to keep cleaning supplies, medications, and other hazardous substances behind closed doors and out of reach from your curious cat.
Consider Adopting a Friend
By nature, cats are social creatures. If you’re worried that your new feline will be bored, anxious, or otherwise unhappy by herself all day, it could be helpful to have a playmate. Adopting two cats who get along is a great way to start, but if you already have one cat, there’s no harm in introducing a second kitty into the mix. This can take some of the playtime and exercise responsibility off of you, and create a more enjoyable lifestyle for your cat. If you do adopt a second cat, just be sure to slowly acclimate the cat you have now to its new companion so it doesn’t get too spooked or anxious.
Keep the Litterbox Clean
One of the biggest challenges for any cat owner is toileting. Cats can be particular about where they use the bathroom, so be sure to keep all litter boxes very clean. One best practice is to have one extra litter box per cat. These boxes should be placed in a quiet, low-traffic area, so your kitty feels comfortable and isn’t tempted to do her business somewhere else in the house.
Being a single cat parent can be one of life’s greatest joys. Although it may take some getting used to, once you have the hang of cat ownership, you’re in for a lifetime of love and support from your furry friend. Ready to get started? Give these tips a try and set yourself up for cat-owning success.
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-contributed by Kay Carter