what you need to know about cats
by Nine Lives cat adoption volunteers
On this page:
welcoming your cat
A cat is a perfect addition to the family and will bring much joy and love to your household. However, if you’re entirely new to pet ownership, there are some things you need to know before you get started. Introducing a cat to your home can bring with it some challenges, so it’s best to be prepared.
This page should help set you on the right track so that you can get your home ready to receive your new cat. Hopefully it will help both you and your cat adapt to your new circumstances.
We are here to help you any time if you have concerns. Feel free to contact us with progress updates, to share cat pics, to seek advice on cats or to discuss any issues related to your adoption.
Contact us if you would like our help with:
Pet relocation services.
Cat-sitting in your home.
Thank you for adopting! We wish you and your new pet the very best!
Good Luck! ❤
bringing your new cat home
transition time for you and your new cat
When introducing a cat to a new household, it is best to give it some time to learn that this is now its home. Cats don’t like it when their circumstances change, so you’ll need to allow some time for your new friend to adjust to its surroundings. Introduce it to one room first and place all its stuff there so that your kitty doesn’t need to go very far to find it.
kitty may hide for some days
The kitty may wish to hide for a few days, so let it. Don’t force your new cat to come out, although you can entice with treats. Kitty will slowly adapt and begin to explore its new home. Treat it gently, letting it retreat back into its hiding place when it feels things are too much. Meowing is common whilst adjusting to the new environment. You must be patient during the first days. Your new kitty will feel right at home in no time.
feeding your cat
save on vet bills with healthy food
Cats can be fussy, especially when adjusting to a new setting. It’s best to offer both dry and wet food, but consult with the rescuer/adoption team to know more about the best diet for your cat based on age, breed & health history.
brands change their ingredients in the Middle East
Please bear in mind that there are lots of cheap & unhealthy brands of dry food in supermarkets that can cause serious health issues in the long run due to poor nutrition, additives & loads of colouring, Some brands that use high quality ingredients in Europe change their ingredients lists in the Middle East. Avoid these unhealthy cat foods and save on unnecessary vet bills to treat kidney/liver/digestive issues over the years.
longhair cat diets
If you have a long-haired cat, it is important to feed it a breed-specific diet that supports skin & coat such as Royal Canin. Most veterinarians stock these.
shorthair cat diets
For shorthair breeds, you can experiment with good brands available at pet shops and vets, such as Taste of the Wild, Royal Canin, Burgess, Applaws, grain-free varieties etc.
get the gear
Most cats are quite independent, but they do require a few accessories to feel happy.
food and water bowls
You will need food bowls for wet & dry food and a water bowl or fountain. It's best to place the water dish far from the food—cats like their water pristine clean!
cat litter and trays
Another thing you will need is a litter tray for your cat. As with food, you may find that your cat is fussy about its litter tray and the type of litter. We will tell you which type of litter and litter box your cat has become used to. It's best to start with that.
You may decide to experiment with different kinds of cat litter, as well as an open or covered litter tray. Your cat comes litter-trained, but there may be accidents due to stress from change of environment etc. It’s important to get this right, because a cat that’s unhappy with its litter tray situation may choose instead to go elsewhere in the house. Remove solids daily and replace all the litter regularly. How often you need to replace the litter will depend on the type and brand of litter.
A scratching post or scratching pad for your cat is essential, unless you want your cat to scratch your furniture. Keep in mind that some cats will go for the furniture anyway, but most will prefer their own scratching post. Many cats prefer the cheap cardboard scratching pads that rest on the floor, which is a bonus. You can also invest in bigger cat trees that provide climbing options and other entertainment for the cat.
Cat toys will also help the cat feel more entertained, as well as provide a great way for you to bond. Different cats prefer different toys, but there are plenty of cheap options around so you can experiment and find what works best for your new friend.
A cat tree by a window is a good way to let your cat do some bird watching!
About 60% of cats like catnip. For those that do, it’s a handy way to train them to use scratching posts—just rub the catnip on the post to draw the cat’s attention.
Special cat nail trimmers will help keep your cat from damaging furniture. There are many videos on YouTube to show you how. You can also have a groomer do it for you.
cat-proof your home
tips to make housekeeping a little easier
If you’re used to your house being squeaky clean, you may be dismayed to discover the mess a pet can bring. Yes, cats are very clean animals, but they do shed hair (especially on the run-up to summer, when they change over from their winter fur to their summer fur) and can also drag litter around the house.
Vacuum cleaner. You’ll need to invest in a good vacuum cleaner to counteract this effect. It should have the ability to deal specifically with animal fur. Many vacuums have special attachments and brushes for dealing with pet hair and can make your life a lot easier. (Dyson is highly recommended for pet owners).
Cat bed. If you’re really bothered by cat hair on furniture and would like to keep your cat off it as much as possible, invest in a cat bed and place it somewhere the cat would find pleasant, such as by a window. You could also place it near where you tend to sit, so that you and your cat can still be close. Cats prefer having their own dedicated bed, although they may wish to show affection by being near you.
HEPA air filter. Apart from that, it is also a good idea to invest on an air purifier with HEPA filter to remove allergens in your home. This would be an added health benefit if you suffer from allergies.
Litter mats. As for “tracking”, the act of dragging litter across the floor, many cat owners have found success with placing a rubber mat or a bath mat by the entrance to the litter tray. This acts like a welcome mat and helps clean the cat’s paws before it heads off.
Special litter trays. You can also invest on a "no mess" litter box, especially if you are adopting young cats. This would cut down litter box tracking. (Please ask a pet shop for assistance.) There are also automatic litter trays that save you the trouble of daily litter cleaning, but this can be an expensive option.
A similar trick can be used under the cat’s food and water bowls to deal with any spillage. Note that cats like their water completely clean, so it’s better to place their water dishes far from their food. Some people put an extra water dish in a room where the cat spends most of its time. Others invest in a water fountain with a filter.
You can use a training spray such as 'Keep Off' to spray on furniture or any other surface where you don't want the cat to be climbing on or scratching. Other things that keep most cats away are double-sided sticky tape and citrus essential oils.
keep your cat safe
prepare your home for your cat’s wellbeing
The cat you adopt from us is a fully indoor-trained, domesticated pet.
Never leave your cat unattended outside or let it wander off to the UAE streets, which are more dangerous for house cats than in other countries. The fast cars, high-speed highways and aggressive strays that can carry diseases make indoor life the healthiest option for your UAE pet.
safety needs for your home type
Apartments. If you live in an apartment, strictly avoid open windows or access to balconies. It’s a myth that cats can survive long falls.
Villas. If you live in a villa and want to let the cat play in the garden, make sure to enclose it and allow playing only under supervision. Use a collar with an engraved tag displaying your contact number, in case the cat does run off. Cats are escape artists!
adjust home contents and cleaning
Plants. Most houseplants are toxic to cats and in some cases could be fatal. For the safety of your pet, remove all indoor plants.
Hide wires and small objects. Secure loosened or damaged wires. Tiny objects that could be swallowed or cause choking hazards should not be toys.
Use non-toxic cleaning solutions. You can replace cleaning solutions such as Dettol, window cleaners, or strong detergents with F10 SCXD. This concentrated solution is non-toxic to pets and can be diluted into a spray bottle and used for mopping floors, surface cleaning or sanitising.