Common Mistakes of New Cat Owners

Alexandra HeepStarred Page By Alexandra Heep, 1st Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

The most common mistake of new cat owners is not reading up on cats and learning their behavior patterns - before they decide to get a cat - so here is a quick and easy overview of what this entails.

Declawing the Cat

Declawing is an cruel procedure - even countries such as Bosnia, Israel, Brazil, and Yugoslawia recongnize this as declawing is illegal there. The United States, while it prides itself in being a leader, unfortunately is behind in this issue and allows this awful procedure. For a full list of countries that outlaw declawing as well as more information you can go to To sum up declawing, it is an amputation of a whole part of the foot, not just a nail. This part is vital for daily functions of cats, such as balancing, toning, stretching and exercising. Please read more on declawing if you are even slightly considering declawing your cat. If you are worried about your furniture, please do not get a cat or any pet.

Not Getting a Carrier

This lack of information and knowledge can lead to misconceptions before the cat even sets paws into their home. For example, for the trip home the cat should be put into a carrier. Most places thankfully won't allow cats to go with new owners unless they have a carrier. Cats usually do not like cars and chances are that they won't sit quietly on your lap for the trip. They can endanger themselves as well as the driver by darting about frightened. In addition, a cat's first experience with it's new owners should not include having to be pulled out from under the car seats. You will also need the carrier for vet visits.

Not Having Areas Ready And Feeding the Wrong Food

The litter box and cat food areas need to be set up before the cat arrives in the home, not after. Ideally, both locations should be shown to the new cat as it enters the new home. Some people also don't buy the proper food, they think if they already have a pet that the cat can just eat whatever the other pet eats. Cats need a quality cat food for the proper nutrition, it is never okay for them to live on other foods; such as dog or ferret food.

Not Letting the Cat Settle In

A lot of people also make the mistake of not allowing the cat to settle in. They think something is wrong with the animal if it darts under a piece of furniture and hides. The worst they can do is stick their arm under the sofa or bed and try to pull the cat out. They fail to see the nature of the cat. It needs time to get used to new surroundings. This is especially true if other animals or children are in the house.

Lack of Supervision

This adds another common problem: new cat owners sometimes neglect to supervise the interactions of existing household members (two-legged as well as four-legged) when the cat comes into the home. This is especially important when there are small children in the household. To protect both - the little humans and the animal - the adult needs to supervise what is going on.

Not Teaching Children

Children should be told what they can't do with a cat, like squeezing it and forcing a cat to be held. That is why it is so important that the new cat owner educate themselves before the animal comes in the house; so they can pass the information on. Not giving the cat a space it can retreat to until it gets used to everyone is another mistake.

Not Closing The Doors

Some new owners also don't realize that doors should be kept closed, and opened with care and awareness when entering and exiting, so the cat cannot dart outside. It is a misconception that cats always return home, especially if they did not have enough time to orient themselves to their new location. They are much safer kept indoors, if at all possible. If you want them to experience the outdoors, you can build them a safe haven, such as an outdoor enclosure. You can also have someone do it for you. You can read here how to do build one.

Other Pertinent Links

Teach Your Children About Cats
Keeping Peace Among Multiple Cats
Items You Should Have for Your New Kitty


Cat, Cat Care, Cat Owners, Cats, Kitten, Kitten Care, Kitten Owners, Kittens, Mistakes In Cat Care, Pet Care

Meet the author

author avatar Alexandra Heep
I am a freelancer and I can write about any subject. I have a professional background in administration, real estate, marketing, and mortgage post-closing. Other areas of expertise include health and beauty as well as spirituality and self help iss...(more)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
3rd Sep 2010 (#)

Super information for all cat owners.

I did just realize your second last sentense is cut short. I know you are trying to say " can build them a safe place to go, or enclosure."

Very good points about declawing too. My wife had adopted a cat who had already been declawed - poor thing had many of the common side effects and clearly was in pain.

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author avatar Pinkchic18
10th Sep 2010 (#)

This is great for new owners. Makes me want to go get a new kitty!

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