If you are considering the massive commitment of buying a cat or kitten, there are some things you need to think about first. Can you provide the companionship, diet, space, and support that a pet needs? Here are five things to consider before getting a cat.
Obtaining a pet and keeping it healthy and happy is a long-term financial investment. From the outset, not only do you need to budget for food, beds, scratching posts and litter trays but you need to consider the bigger ticket items like vaccinations, microchipping and insurance. The average cat lifespan is about 15 years, that’s 15 years of vet bills and food. Not an insignificant amount.
Each breed of cat has different attributes. Some breeds are vocal and communicative and some are cuddly or playful. Do your research into the characteristics of each type of cat but remember cats are not domesticated. They are wild and will be distant. As a kitten, they can be affectionate and lovable, but then as they age, that can disappear.
With your current lifestyle and commitments do you have the capacity for a cat? Do you have time to feed and play? Cats are somewhat self-reliant, but proper ownership includes other grooming tasks like cleaning ears, brushing teeth and grooming their coat to limit furballs. You will also need to cut your cat’s nails every two to three weeks so they stay blunt and cannot cause any damage. If a cat is joining a family, make sure that all family members have a clear understanding of their role in the caretaking. If you are not going to be around, for example, going on vacation, you need to find someone who is happy to care for your cat while you are away.
Do you have space for a cat in your home? Be prepared for furniture and carpet damage. Cats scratch to keep their claws healthy so what is natural to them can be expensive if home furnishings are damaged. Cats need to have their space too. Do you have a quiet room or a place for the cat to retreat? Cats like to perch. Do you have shelves or storage they can climb? You need to plan ahead before bringing your new cat into its new home, Remove anything that can be harmful to your pet. For example, house plants that could be toxic.
Before investing in a cat from a breeder why not try a shelter or rescue home. You could potentially get the breed you were looking for without having to find a breeder and it gives the cat another chance. If using a breeder ensure that they are licensed. Check online and do your homework. Find a breeder who is ethical, respectful and registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
So there you have it. The 5 things to consider before buying a cat. 15 to 20 years is a long-term commitment and everyone in the home is responsible for keeping the cat healthy and happy.