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FutureMemory's avatar

Looking for advice on good books for first time cat owners, please.

Asked by FutureMemory (24723points) August 30th, 2011

I’m planning on getting a cat this Fall, but really don’t know the first thing about responsible pet ownership. I haven’t had a pet in almost 20 years, and the other people in the household (parents/SO) were the ones responsible for them.

I want to do this right. Help, please :)

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12 Answers

snowberry's avatar

I can’t offer any book ideas, but I do know they they like their routine. They love their rituals. First I get my scratches, then I get my food, then I…(you get the idea). Get a routine down and you’re half way home. Also, at first place litter boxes in several areas around the house. Kitty won’t remember exactly where the litter box is at the beginning, and multiple boxes helps eliminate mistakes. After a couple weeks, move the box a few feet every day until you have it close enough to another one that you can eliminate it. If it’s a big house I’d plan to have one box on each floor.

woodcutter's avatar

Any well stocked pet store will have books on all kinds of animals. Even the internet has information about pets http://www.petmd.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=PetHealth&utm_campaign=competitorwebmd&gclid=CITB_-zA-KoCFYpR7AodKyAJFg Sign up for their newsletters.

gondwanalon's avatar

Owning a cat is a long term responsibility. A cat with good care can live 20 years or more. It is not cheap either. Because your cat should be neutered ASAP as well as have a wellness examination and vaccines at least once a year by a veterinarian. Also when your cat is sick or injured a quick trip to the animal hospital is important and could be life saving.

Also educate yourself on cats. There are many good cat books as well as internet information. Here just three books that have been very helpful to me:
“The Well Cat Book” (The Cat Lover’s Illustrated Medical Companion”) by Terri McGinnis D.V.M.
“The Complete Book Of The Cat” by Angela Sayer
“What Is Your Cat Saying?” by Dr. Michael W, Fox

Selecting the right cat is very important. You want to pick a cat or kitten that is friendly towards you. Don’t select a cat that seems too shy or one that is too aggressive. With cats, the behavior that you see is the behavior that you will get. Cats don’t change their basic personality much at all.

The more effort that you put in to your relationship with your cat the more you will receive. If you put in the effort and expense, then you will have a long and close friendship with your cat.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

ASPCA Cat Care Manual – Andrew Edney
The Indoor Cat – Patrica Curtis

These have been useful to me. Cheap used copies of both are available.

gailcalled's avatar

My vet’s practice has a webpage with care for cats itemized and clarified. When Milo first arrived, I started at the top of the index and simply worked my way down to the end.

The first useful item was “How to drive your cat to the vet’s.”

I also used the cat mavens on Fluther to see me through an uneasy first six months. Props expecially to @tinyfaery @syz @jeruba and several who have, sadly, left.

This was my first question, three weeks before Milo arrived. There were many after that.

And this two days before the arrival.

(And I had the secret weapon in the person of my daughter, Milo’s former owner. I called her several times a day for the first two weeks.)

@FutureMemory; Use us.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I don’t have any books to add. But, do decide if the cat is going to be indoor or outdoor. Outdoor carries a lot of risks, like being run over (happens quite a bit, both urban and rural), or getting a disease from another cat, which can happen easily, especially if they get in fights (and even the most traditionally mild-mannered, loving cats get in fights outside). There’s also quite a bit more in vet costs, from having to pay for extra vaccines to emergency visits from getting a broken leg or getting an abscess in a wound from a fight. Outdoor cats tend to die younger. But, many people feel that cats are naturally outdoor creatures and need the outside to be happy. But, the thing is to decide beforehand, so that you can get them their outside vaccinations if need be, instead of just letting them outside one day and then they get something they aren’t vaccinated against.

FutureMemory's avatar

I’m so glad I asked this question! Thanks for all the excellent posts, guys. Definitely a lot of stuff I wouldn’t have thought of on my own :)

snowberry's avatar

Don’t get him declawed unless there’s no option. Declawed cats should be kept inside, but should one escape, there’s no way to climb trees to get out of harm’s way, and kitty can’t defend himself if attacked. It’s logical to assume that declawing can change a cat’s personality as well.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

You can find many good books at your local pet store!

@gailcalled What do you mean tinyfaery, syz and jeruba left? Did I totally misread your sentence?

FutureMemory's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Gail was saying that those 3 members, plus others that have since left, helped her when she had questions about her cat Milo.

Thanks again, everyone, for the great advice as well as book recommendations! Hopefully I’ll bring home a new member of the family within 1–2 months :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@FutureMemory Got it. I misread it, lol.

gailcalled's avatar

Let us know soonest, please. We’ll help you with the welcome and, possibly, any unexpected surprises.

Milo is on hand, also. He wants you to know he will advise you on your behavior. That will determine how easily your new capo di tutti capi will integrate.

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