Are you considering introducing a new cat to your home? Perhaps you have your eyes set on the Russian Blue breed and you’re wondering what you should prepare before bringing your new furry family member home.
Like with any pet, there are certain preparations you must make before bringing your new furry friend home. Think about items your new cat needs like a place to sleep, food and grooming tools. Here is what you need to give your kitty a perfect forever home.
In this Russian Blue ultimate buying guide, we’ll discuss the most important factors that you should keep in mind when bringing your new feline pal home.
This includes what accessories that should be a priority and will come in handy as well as tips to prepare yourself and your home before, during, and after the buying process.
How to Prepare: Before Bringing Your Kitty Home
Certain accessories will ensure your cat is comfortable in its new surroundings. Let’s start with the basics.
Your new family member needs to eat, so buying them their own food and water bowl is important. Sure, you could use bowls that you already have in your kitchen, but you should consider purchasing them their own food and water dishes.
For their food and water dishes, it’s recommended that you avoid plastic and instead use stainless steel.
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These stainless steel feeding bowls are easy to clean and will last throughout your cat’s life.
They’re slightly elevated and tilted, making it easier for your cat to eat and digest their food.
This design reduces the strain on your cat’s body while eating and prevents whisker fatigue.
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Next on the list of must-have accessories is, of course, the litterbox and litter. There are various kinds of litterboxes, from big to small, generic to smart. When choosing the best litterbox for your new kitty, consider your cat, how big they will grow, and your lifestyle.
If you have a busy lifestyle, you may want to opt for a self-cleaning litterbox. Otherwise, kittens should have a low box that they can access easily, and full-grown cats should have one with tall sides that can keep them from kicking litter out.
As for the litter, pine-based litter is considered to be the safest. You can also purchase additional litterbox accessories such as a litter-catching mat and litter box liners—and don’t forget the scoop!
Other important accessories to consider:
- Toys: No matter your cat’s age, you will want to give them something to occupy themselves with. Catnip-filled mice and kicking toys are some of the best toys to provide your cat with.
- Grooming Tools: Although the Russian Blue’s coat is short and thick, it’s still important to provide them with some grooming. Opt for a comb with round metal teeth. Additionally, you should invest in cat nail clippers to keep your cat’s nails trimmed. Also, consider a cat toothbrush and toothpaste—dental hygiene is just as important to them as it is to us.
- Cat Carrier: You’ll need one of these if you intend to transport your cat from point A to point B. This could include taking them to a grooming salon, to the veterinarian clinic, or even on vacation.
- Scratching Posts: Scratching posts are important—not just for your new cat but also for your furniture. Scratching posts will give your kitty a way to keep their own claws healthy and will provide them a place to scratch other than your expensive sofa.
- A Bed: While this is completely optional, a bed can give your new kitty a comforting place to go. If you don’t want them sleeping in your bed, it’s best to give them one of their own. You could also opt for a cat tree, cat condo, or cat house; all of these options would prove them a comfortable place to sleep.
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Cats absolutely LOVE toys made from cardboard.
So what’s better than a cardboard toy with balls that they can chase?
It gives your cat plenty of exercises as they chase, jump and stretch to catch the balls inside. This is one toy that won’t easily bore them.
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Russian Blues are not known to be picky regarding food (actually, they’re prone to overeat and get too fat). So, they will eat most anything you feed them.
Whatever you decide to feed your Russian Blue, make sure it’s quality cat food. Avoid supermarket brands and choose a premium brand like Hills, Orijen, or Royal Canin instead.
Ensure that you feed your Russian Blue, meat-rich, protein-rich, low carbohydrate, grain-free food.
Look at this article from Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine for more information about the ideal cat diet.
Some Russian Blues even like things like melon and some vegetables (speaking from experience here); here are some human foods that are safe for cats (if they like it).
Cheese, bananas, berries, melon, carrots, rice, pumpkin, eggs, and spinach.
You may not realize this, but there are now several types of pet insurance, including ones specific to cats.
But why would you need cat insurance?
Well, caring for your new family member can get quite expensive when it comes to emergencies. You’ll want to avoid situations where you have to deny your cat the medical care it needs because of cost.
Cat insurance will reimburse you when you have to pay for things like cancer treatments and surgery but also for more mundane expenses such as vaccinations, checkups, and prescription medication.
When bringing your new family member back home for the first time, it will easily be overwhelming for your new Russian Blue.
Giving your cat time to adjust
There are new scents and sounds, and the environment will be completely new to them. Having your cat in a separate, smaller room for the first couple of days gives them the time to take it all in slowly
This will help them adjust quicker and less stressful than letting them loose in your home.
Cat-proof your home
Ensure that there are no toxic plants, cleaners, pest repellants, or other chemicals left around that your cat might ingest.
Check if there’re no loose cables, ropes, or stings that they might get tangled up in. Although for adult cats, the risk is low kittens may chew on cables.
For that reason, it might be a good idea to invest in some cord-covering products to keep your cats from potentially chewing on dangerous electrical cords.
How to Prepare: Buying Your Kitty
Look for Reputable Breeders
When purchasing your new Russian Blue, it would be best to look for reputable breeders. Buying from reputable breeders can give you some peace of mind as they do not breed incestuously and must provide the best care for the cats under their care.
To ensure you’re buying from a good breeder, check to see if they are registered, follow up with references, and make sure a contract is in place in case anything should happen.
We have written another article about what to look out for and where best to buy a Russian Blue. Have a look at our post here.
Adopting is another great choice when getting a new cat.
It is usually more cost-effective than buying from breeders and provides cats who are often overlooked with a chance at a happy life.
If you want to consider adoption as an alternative, here are some good starting places:
How to Prepare: Arriving Home With Your Kitty
Giving Your New Cat Space
As mentioned before, it may be advisable to designate one of your spare bedrooms as a cat room. You can place all of their things inside the room—their food and water, toys, litter pan, and other items.
This will give your cat a chance to become accustomed to their new home and to relax.
Don’t overcrowd your kitty with affection right away. Give them a chance to relax and calm down.
Adjusting to a new place can be stressful for cats, so be patient and give them time. Keep them in the room for a few days, and then open the door to let them explore independently.
Introducing Your Cat to Other People & Animals
If you have other people or pets living in your home, slowly introducing your new cat to them is important. Don’t let your children be too hyperactive around your new cat, as it may scare them.
Where other pets are concerned, keeping your kitty in a separate room and letting them smell each other through a barrier (in this case, a door) is helpful to get them used to one another.
If you purchase your cat from a reputable breeder or an adoption agency, then your cat should already be up-to-date on vaccines.
Still, you’ll want to have a veterinarian check your new family member over not long after you bring them home. If you don’t already have a veterinarian, then do your research and get recommendations from others. Google Reviews is always helpful, too!
Plus, consider getting your new family member spayed or neutered—if they’re coming from an adoption agency, they’ll already have been spayed or neutered.
Create a Budget
Having a budget in place will save you a potential headache in the future.
Set some money aside in case of emergencies, especially if you choose not to purchase cat insurance. Even if you decide to buy insurance, it’s still important to set some money back on the side just in case.
Our Final Thoughts
Bringing home a new cat is exciting, but it should be done so responsibly. Everything leading up to purchasing your cat and even after the fact should be carefully considered to ensure your new Russian Blue has the best life possible.
Here are 10 more things you can do to give your Russian Blue a healthy life and let them live as long as possible: 10 Ways To Make Your Cat Live Longer.
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