How to be a Good Cat Owner: 8 Easy Steps For a Happy Kitty

Key takeaways

Most cats seem pretty happy snoozing the afternoon away, so people assume they're an easy pet to own.

However, in order to maintain their content and happy lifestyle, they need to have a loving and compassionate owner.

We're exploring what makes a good cat owner before listing 8 ways to be the best pet parent you can!

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  1. Key takeaways
  2. What makes a good cat owner?
  3. 8 Ways to be a good cat owner
  4. FAQs
  5. Final thoughts

What makes a good cat owner?

A happy cat makes a happy owner, so how do we ensure our kitties are as content as can be? Well, we need to be responsible, devoted, and knowledgeable cat owners. However, this is easier said than done.


As a cat owner, responsibility is key. While this may sound obvious, there are some specific actions that can ensure your cat's safety that not all owners are aware of.
To be a responsible owner, you need to make sure you have done everything you can to make sure your cat is always accounted for, always safe, and you are always prepared for the future.
For example, getting good pet insurance is the pinnacle of responsibility. This ensures you'll never be in a position where you can't afford to care for your cat. This can cost as little as $20 a month and can give you that extra security, which makes you a responsible owner.
Similarly, ensuring your cat is microchipped, wears a collar, and always has access to a warm, sheltered, and safe environment helps you become the best cat owner you can be.
A cat owner cuddling their cat


Owning a cat isn't always fun and games. While the majority of the time, we can expect cute cuddles and funny behavior, it can also be very difficult. After all, we are responsible for another being's life, and that can be stressful, upsetting, and sometimes frustrating.
This is why you have to be sure that owning a cat is what you want to do. Because once you've made that decision, you'll need to devote plenty of time, love, and care to them every single day. As the classic saying goes, 'A cat isn't just for Christmas,' and it's true!
You'll likely need to make some significant changes to your lifestyle, so be prepared.

While the majority of the time, we can expect cute cuddles and funny behavior, it can also be very difficult. After all, we are responsible for another being's life, and that can be stressful, upsetting, and sometimes frustrating.

A cat owner helping their cat explore the outdoors


A good cat owner knows their stuff. It doesn't take long to do some essential research that will help you care for your cat as best as you can. Breed-specific knowledge is important if you own a purebred cat. Certain breeds have certain needs, including different:

Grooming needs

Dietary needs

Entertainment needs

It's also important to be aware of certain health problems that may be more common for your breed of cat. It means you'll be able to spot symptoms early and get them the help they need as soon as possible.
Expert Insight: Aside from this, understanding your cat will help you bond. Basic knowledge of their needs and what they enjoy will allow you to anticipate your cat's needs before they need to ask for them, making you the best cat owner out there!
Cat owner researching their own cat breed

8 Ways to be a good cat owner

Now we know what makes a good cat owner, we need to dive into some specifics. It's easy to become complacent, especially if we're seasoned pet parents to older cats. But it's essential we ensure we're doing all we can for our furry friends to live long and happy lives.

1. Take them to the vets

Despite the fuss our feline friends kick up when we try to put them into a cat carrier and head to the vet, it's the best thing we can do for them! While it may distress them, it's only temporary. It's much more important to prioritize checking your cat's health.
Our furry friends need semi-regular check-ups, depending on their age:

Kittens: Young kitties should visit the vet every 3-4 weeks. This will be to ensure they have all of their necessary vaccinations and are in good health.

Adult cats: Adult cats only need to see the vet around once a year. This will be enough to make sure your cat is happy and healthy and has no underlying issues.

Senior cats: When you've got an older kitty, it's good practice to take them for a checkup every 6 months. This will help you identify health issues early on and get them the medication they need!

A cat getting checked at the vet
Top Tip: There is a lot of misinformation online, so if you notice any changes in your cat's behavior, get them checked. It's not enough to simply search for their symptoms and decide for yourself!

2. Get them microchipped

In many countries, it is now the law to get your cat microchipped. And it makes sense! Microchipping your cat will help keep them safe.
It's a super simple procedure where a tiny chip is inserted beneath your cat's skin. This chip has a specific ID number, so when it is scanned, your contact details will appear in a database. As you can imagine, this is a fantastic solution if your cat goes missing.
Without a chip, your cat may be mistaken for a stray and either be put up for adoption or sadly euthanized. It's so easy to prevent this, and it's a key step in being a responsible owner!
A cat getting microchipped

3. Feed them a healthy diet

Just like humans, cats need a healthy diet that provides a variety of nutrients. And, just like humans, each cat is different.
To ensure your furry friend is getting all they need, research their breed. Some purebred cats need a slightly different diet to your standard moggy. This is to maintain their fur, bone density, and muscle mass.
Similarly, a cat's needs will change with age. To get the best information, ask your vet what your kitty needs most and start reading the ingredients in your cat's food!
Top Tip: Now, cat owners know that our furry friends can be a little bit fussy. So, make sure their food and water bowls are regularly cleaned, always fresh, and in an environment where they feel safe and secure.
A cat eating lots of food

4. Provide them with mental stimulation

A great cat parent understands just how intelligent our kitties are. Despite their constant snoozing and goofy behavior, their mental ability is truly impressive.
So, if we neglect this and they don't get the mental stimulation they need, then they can become bored, anxious, and even depressed.
For outdoor cats, this is less of a worry. When they roam their territory, the new smells, sights, and other animals mean they are constantly using their brains. Whether that's for hunting, exploring, or scenting, they're sure to get all the mental stimulation they need to stay happy.
However, indoor cats may struggle a little more. To be the best cat owner, you need to put the extra effort in for your indoor cats. Try investing in:

Cat trees

Scratching posts

Climbing trees

A feather wand

A wind-up mouse

Puzzle toys

Make sure you dedicate a portion of your day to playtime!

A great cat parent understands just how intelligent our kitties are. Despite their constant snoozing and goofy behavior, their mental ability is truly impressive.

An indoor cat in an interesting environment

5. Give them lots of attention

We may think our cats are very independent animals who don't need our attention. However, despite their aloof nature, they are sociable animals that need attention and interaction to thrive.
This means it's really important you don't leave your cat alone for too long. This can cause separation anxiety and stress, which can then lead to health issues.
Try to set some time aside every day to spend quality time with your kitty, like:

Training sessions



Expert Insight: Every cat has a unique personality and will enjoy different ways to spend time with you. So, for new cat owners, don't worry if it takes a bit of time to bond!
A cat owner hugging their cat

6. Keep them safe

If you own an outdoor cat, you need to ensure you're keeping them safe. While many cats will enjoy a stress-free life outdoors, there are certain dangers, like:


Road traffic accidents

Other animals

Getting lost

If you're a new cat owner, this may sound a little scary. But don't worry. There are plenty of ways to keep your cat out of danger, like:

Making them wear a collar: If your cat likes exploring, then wearing a collar is essential. This means no matter how far they wander, they won't be mistaken for a stray. Also, if they get lost, whoever finds them will be able to contact you straight away.

Microchipping them: We've already mentioned the importance of microchipping your cat, but we thought we'd reiterate it. Microchip your cat!

Using GPS tracking device: If you can't help but stress when your cat goes outside, then a GPS tracking device may put your mind at ease. These can clip onto your cat's collar so you can see your cat's live location through an app on your phone.

Training them: Training your cat may sound like an impossible task, but it's easier than you think. Teaching your cat to come back home when their name is called will help keep them safe!

A cat exploring the outdoors safely

7. Keep their litter box clean

It may sound obvious, but keeping your cat's litter box clean is really important. Cats are very hygienic animals, and if their litter boxes aren't regularly cleaned, it can cause a lot of stress, leading to health problems.
Try to replace the litter at least once a week, and spot clean daily. If the idea makes you shudder, there are now self-cleaning options! Alternatively, train your cat to go to the toilet outside so you don't have to worry.
A cat in a bathroom

8. Get a cat sitter

We've stressed the importance of making sure your cat gets the company and attention they need to be happy, but what about when you want to go away for the weekend or for a long holiday?
While catteries can be a good option, it will be less stressful for your kitty to stay in the environment they feel comfortable and safe in. For this reason, hiring a pet sitter will keep your cat happy while you're away.
After a couple of pet-sitting stints, your cat will bond with them, meaning you no longer have to feel guilty when you're thinking of your furry friend left at home!
Cat sleeping by a window


How hard is it to be a cat owner?

Being a cat owner can be very rewarding and enjoyable, but it can also be very hard. You are responsible for another life, which means you may experience stress, upset, and frustration.

Is owning a cat stressful?

Owning a cat can be very stressful. If they become ill, injured, or lost, then it can be extremely distressing for the owners.

What do first-time cat owners need?

First-time cat owners will need a litter box, a safe and secure room just for their new kitten, cat food, and some cat toys.

What are the don'ts for cats?

The don'ts for cats include invading their personal space or not respecting their boundaries, using punishment techniques when training, and not providing them with a calm and safe home.

How long can you leave a cat alone?

You can leave a cat alone for a few hours. Occasionally, leaving them for a day and a night would be fine, but don't do this too often as they can get lonely.

How to discipline a cat?

To discipline a cat, you need to simply say 'No!' in a strong and consistent tone. Don't use punishment techniques, as this can cause more behavioral problems in the future.

Final thoughts

New cat owners may be nervous about bonding with their kitty and giving them the best life possible, but don't worry! Making a cat happy is quite simple, and you'll bond over time.
For experienced owners, the fact that you're here reading this article shows that you're already a good cat owner, so keep up the good work!

Written by

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Lauren Jeffries

In this blog, I combine my two areas of expertise: pets and writing. I share my personal experiences alongside plenty of animal behavior research to help owners look after their pets. I have always lived with furry friends and am now a loving cat mum to two orange kitties.

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