Adopting a cat is a big decision, so before you even go visit rescue centres, sit down with your family and ask yourselves a few questions to figure out whether or not you are ready for it.
And yes, this concerns every single family member, as everyone will be involved in the cat’s day-to-day life, routine, activities, and so on. It is important everyone is on the same page. Too often, cats return to shelters after having been adopted for some time. The reasons for this vary, but here are a few things to consider before you jump into adopting a cat.
Cats need just as much TLC as dogs do
Caring for a cat can be quite time-consuming.
Often, people opt for cats because they don’t have time for a dog. While it’s true that cats don’t need as much hands-on care as dogs do, this doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy company and stimulation. You need to be sure you’ll be taking the time to cuddle your cat and play with him every day. Don’t expect your cat to be happy staying home alone all day.
Keeping your cat’s space clean
While you don’t necessarily need to walk your cat to enable him to do his business (although you can!), you will need to clean out his litterbox. Hygiene is very important, especially when your cat is going to the toilet in the same place daily. Ideally, you need to be sure the litterbox will be cleaned out every single day.
Grooming is a must!
All cats (unless you’re adopting a hairless one), are a handful when it comes to grooming. Cats shed profusely all year round, and need to be groomed in order to prevent their coat matting. Grooming should be daily for long haired cats and weekly for shorter-coated cats. Be prepared to also spend a lot of time hoovering the house!
Caring for a cat through thick and thin
Cats live long lives! They are a commitment that will last anywhere from 12-20 years, and particularly so if you’re adopting a young cat. Circumstances in your life are likely to change during that period of time, and you must ask yourself whether this would alter your ability or desire to care for your pet. Will you keep your cat even if you have a child? If you move? If you meet someone who doesn’t like cats? If your cat gets old and sick?
Changing my house decor
Cats require stimulation – or else! They won’t be satisfied with just sitting in the house and doing nothing all day. A healthy, happy cat’s home is one that has plenty to keep him busy. You should purchase at least one cat tree, which will enable your cat to climb and get up on high ground to observe what’s going on around him - this is especially important if you have an indoor cat. You should also purchase at least one scratching post. As scratching is a natural behaviour for a cat, it will happen no matter what – better it be a scratching post than your couch! Don’t forget the litter box and the cat flap, (if you’re getting an outdoor cat). Cats are inquisitive and territorial creatures, so if you live near a busy road, you might want to consider investing in a catio rather than letting your cat be a full-on outdoor cat. All the aforementioned gadgets are eyesores, sure, but they’re necessary to your cat’s welfare! So are you ready to change your chic and elegant décor into a full-on crazy cat owner one?
Financially providing for a cat
Cats are a huge financial commitment. Adoption fees are typically quite low, but throughout the cat’s life, costs will add up! Pet insurance and vet bills can be extremely expensive, and although general health checks, vaccinations and worming only occur a couple of times a year, you never know what kind of trouble your cat could get into, especially if he’s an outdoor kitty! One rough fight with the neighbour’s cat and you may be paying hundreds of pounds towards an operation and/or medication. And don’t forget your little feline will need cat food, a bed, a scratching post, cat litter, bowls, and toys to name a few. You will also have to pay a cattery or cat-sitter to keep him when you go away on holiday. Throughout its lifetime, cats will cost you on average £17,000. You can’t adopt a cat if you’re low on cash – that’s for sure.
Cats are part of the family
The biggest question to ask yourself is: are you prepared to love and care for your cat the way you would any other family member?
If so, you may be ready to adopt a rescue cat from a shelter!
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