Thinking of adding a cat to your life? Here are some things to consider when adopting a cat.
Is Owning a Cat a Big Commitment?
Having a pet is a big commitment of time, expense, and energy. It is not something that a person should get on impulse. It is vital to consider if you are able to commit to this pet for the rest of his life.
How Much Time Does Owning a Cat Require?
Consider: do I have enough time to take care of a cat? How much time is involved in caring for a cat?
Many people think that a cat is a low-maintenance pet. That may be true to a small extent, but no pet is truly low-maintenance unless you get a pet rock.
#1 Cats Need Attention
Cats need attention and exercise just as much as dogs do. Even though they express themselves differently in terms of their need for affection, they enjoy having human companionship and interaction. Will you have the necessary time day in and day out to devote to your cat?
#2 Cats Need Feeding and Grooming
Cats require feeding and possibly daily grooming, depending on the fur. You can make feeding easier and quicker by using automatic feeders on timers. However, it is still important to do research when deciding the best diet to feed your cat to ensure optimum health.
Cats with long fur will need consistent brushing to prevent matting of the hair. Cats do not enjoy having mats in their fur.
#3 Cats Like Clean Litter Boxes
You will also need to budget time for cleaning litter boxes. Cats love to use a clean litter box, so it is important to clean the litter box often, at least once or twice per day. An option that will save time for this is to use a self-cleaning litter box. Do your research, though. Not all self-cleaning litter boxes are created equal! As a pet sitter, I have seen a lot of self-cleaning litter boxes, and some can be a huge hassle to maintain and sometimes clog easily.
#4 Cats Need Daily Exercise
You will want to exercise your cat daily as well. Cats need exercise, even if they are indoors only, in order to maintain good health. In addition, exercise can alleviate boredom and stress for your cat.
Is It Expensive to Own a Cat?
It is important to also consider the expense of owning a cat. You must be willing to foot the expense of the cat for his entire lifetime. It is not simply a matter of having fun with a kitten and then abandoning him once he grows old. A person wanting to get a cat must consider if he/she is willing to commit to the expenses that will occur as the cat ages.
#1 Vet Bills
Usually, when pets are younger, the vet bills are lower because they are generally healthier and only need their routine vet check-ups. However, as pets age, they may develop different health problems and, addressing these problems will involve an added expense. It is the saddest thing to see pets abandoned by their owners when they need them most, as they get older.
#2 Travel Arrangements
An added expense that you need to consider is what you will do with your cat if you need to travel. Sometimes people feel that cats are self-sufficient and can stay for long periods of time while their owners travel. But, even if the cat has food and water, he still needs companionship and interaction. You will want someone to check in on your cat daily to make sure that all is well. It is a good idea to set up a pet sitting service once you get your cat. You will want to have someone you trust to take care of your cat when you travel.
What Kind of Cat Should I Adopt?
Another thing you will want to consider is what kind of cat to adopt. How can you go about deciding?
#1 Analyze your lifestyle
You will want to analyze your lifestyle to decide whether you want to go with a kitten, an adult cat, or a senior cat.
For instance, a kitten is going to require much more attention and playtime than an adult or senior cat will. A kitten will also need a lot more exercise and playtime. Kittens are fun, adorable, and a source of lots of laughs, but do you have the necessary time to keep your kitten happy and healthy so that he can grow into a stable adult?
A senior cat will need less time than a kitten but the expense may be greater depending on health issues. Senior cats are less likely to be adopted, so if you don’t have enough time for a kitten but have weighed the expenses carefully and can make room for a senior cat in your life, he will be forever grateful to you.
On the other hand, an adult cat may just strike the balance you need at the moment between time and finances. There are many wonderful adult cats that need good homes.
#2 Analyze your personality
You will want to find a cat that works with your personality. You and your cat should complement each other. For instance, if you are a quiet and lower energy person, you will most likely not be too thrilled with a cat that is bouncing off of the walls and demanding a lot of attention. You may enjoy it for a while, but it could get old. Also, you may not be inclined to provide the cat with the attention and exercise he needs to be happy.
On the other hand, if you want to spend a lot of time playing with your cat, you will want to look for a very playful and active cat.
What tips do you have for someone who wants to adopt a cat?