tips for the first year with a new cat

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Purina. All opinions are mine alone. #FuelTheirPotential #CollectiveBias

Halloween marks just over our one year anniversary with our two cats Jake and Black. These little fuzz balls were too cute to not adopt, especially with their Halloween colorings! What were the chances that a black kitten would be snugged up with an orange one right at Halloween time? I took it as a good omen and so I didn’t leave PetSmart without them, and I’ve been going back to PetSmart ever since to buy all the supplies my Halloween kitties need. Hover over the photo below to shop Purina® Pro Plan® at Walmart!


This past year with the kittens has come with many ups and downs. I’ve definitely made some mistake with these kitties like that time I accidentally locked Jake in our bedroom for a couple of days and he decided to use my expensive mattress as a toilet… which he never stopped doing and now isn’t allowed on my bed for cuddles anymore… yeah that was a bad one!!

Then there was the big mistake of underestimating how much Black would NEED to scratch every surface in the house, from sofas to carpet to my daughter’s favorite new boots. Why I didn’t pull the trigger earlier on the scratching towers, I’ll never know, so let’s start there with this tip:

buy all supplies before you adopt

Before you bring those cats home, make sure you have everything to fully accommodate them. Choose an age appropriate food in an assortment of flavors; buy a covered litterbox, a metal scooper and a couple boxes of litter; buy a carrier, grooming supplies, a pet bed (optional) and for the love of everything holy, buy a tall scratching tower for them to use. Maybe buy two.

reasonable expectations and patience

Bringing any new animal into the home can create a bit of chaos. Sure those fluffy dogs and cats are adorable, but rest assured, there will be moments you don’t like them so much! Like when Jake steals my son’s vegan fish sticks right off his plate or pees on my bed AGAIN. Come into this new relationship with love, patience and reasonable expectations. They are animals, after all, and don’t know the rules yet.

allow for a transition period

It can be overwhelming for a new pet to come into a home full of people, other pets and all kinds of smells. Stay nearby but also give them their space to transition on their own. If you have other animals in the home, you might want to keep them separated and then slowly introduce them to each other.

make time for play

Cats love to play and it doesn’t take much effort  on your part. To keep your cats happy and healthy, consider buying a few cat toys (or DIY some!). Both of my cats LOVE to chase a laser light and they love any toy that dangles on a string or from a stick. Get the kids involved and encourage them to actively play with the new cat(s). This is great for building a tight bond.

start training right away

There may be some people that let their animals do whatever they want in the home, but I am not one of those people! My cats know they are not allowed in certain spaces (mostly certain pieces of furniture) and they definitely know no scratching allowed. Some people like the spray bottle, but I find a stern NO and a hand clap works just fine. Never miss an opportunity to reinforce and educate them on the rules.

focus on nutrition

When choosing the right food for your pet, don’t just grab any ol’ bag of food. You need to take their age into account and also any health issues.  Set your pets up for a long, healthy life by choosing a specialized premium brand.

When I head to PetSmart to stock up on all of our cats’ needs, I go straight to Purina® Pro Plan®. Backed by 85+ years of Purina research, it’s a trusted brand that I feel safe giving to my favorite pets. We use specifically Purina® Pro Plan® FOCUS Urinary Tract Health Adult Cat, now that the kittens have grown into cats. Made with real chicken, my cats love the flavor of this product and I love that it helps maintain urinary tract health by reducing pH and providing magnesium. It also contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid for healthy skin and a lustrous coat.

Fueling pets since 1986, Purina® Pro Plan® offers a 100% money-back guarantee. That’s how confident they are in their product! Cats need both wet and dry food, the wet food being crucial for keeping cats hydrated. The Purina® Pro Plan® is a range of wet and dry formulas that work together to address specific nutritional needs. They provide essential nutrients to help support a healthy immune system.

Find a full range of Purina® Pro Plan® at PetSmart, my pet supply store of choice. I prefer to shop here due to the large inventory, super friendly staff and overall cleanliness of every PetSmart. You can even bring your pets right into the store with you (mine vetoed this idea). Of course, one of my favorite parts about shopping at PetSmart is peeking at all the cats up for adoption!


Get a $10 PetSmart gift card when you spend $40 on Purina Pro Plan. (Make purchases from 10/15/18 –11/24/18. Upload receipt by 12/1/18.) The Offer will be fulfilled within 8–10 weeks from the submission date. Learn more about the offer here!

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