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Tips for New Cat Owners

Are you bringing home a new furry friend soon? Adding a cat to the family can take some adjustment time for everyone, but we've rounded up 10 tips to help you be the purr-fect new cat owner.

1. A new cat may take a little time to warm up to you. If they're hiding under the bed and won't come out, that's normal. Sit on the floor with them or offer some treats. But don't force it; let them come to you.

2. Start by introducing your kitten to a small part of the apartment. You may want to keep them confined to one room with their food and water, litterbox, bed and toys for a few days until they're comfortable. Then slowly introduce them to the rest of your apartment.

3. If you have other animals, take time to slowly introduce them to each other. Make sure each pet has its own safe space to retreat to when they've had enough. They'll warm up to each other soon enough.

4. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch to mark their territory, stretch their bodies and flex their claws, and remove the outer dead layer of their claws. Save your furniture and get a scratching post to prevent your cat from destructive scratching.

5. Cats are very clean animals by nature. Be sure to clean the litterbox every day, once or twice a day. Completely change out the litter twice weekly for non-clumping litter and every 3-4 weeks for clumping litter, and wash the box with soap and water.

6. Be prepared to groom them consistently, including brushing, nail clipping and occasional bathing. Keep initial grooming sessions short and positive, slowly building up time. The earlier you start grooming your kitten, the easier it will be as they get older.

7. Until you know what kind of toys your cat likes, start with a large variety of toy mice, feathers, strings and interactive toys to provide entertainment and exercise.

8. Although plenty of cartoons show cats drinking a bowl of milk, many cats are lactose intolerant and milk may upset their stomach. Stick to cat treats instead.

9. Visit the vet soon after bringing your new cat home to ensure a bill of clean health, as well as getting up to date on vaccinations, spaying and neutering at the correct age, and discussing any need for flea or tick medication.

10. Once your cat is comfortable in your home, you may find him jumping on top of counters, shelves and even the highest cabinets. Cat-proof your house by moving anything breakable that could be knocked over by your exploring cat.