Are you thinking about getting a new cat? Whether or not you have experience with cats, I recommend answering the following eight questions to help ensure your decision is well-informed and sound.
I’ve lived with a variety of cats and dogs for more than ten years now. They’ve also always been a big part of my life. Even as a little child, I was surrounded by many cats. My family had as many as 13 cats dwell in a barn on our family’s countryside house at one time.
In this post, I’ll go through several key questions that you should answer before adopting a new cat. Adopting a cat is not something you should take lightly, and it should be the result of a well thought-out process.
8 important questions to answer before you get a cat
1. Are you ready for a lifetime commitment? Cats can live up to 15-20 years. Are you able to take that responsibility over the next 1 or 2 decades?
2. Do I have enough time to care for a cat? A common reason why a lot of people think getting a cat or kitten is easy, is because they assume that cats are relatively free spirited and don’t have the same needs as dogs. That’s true to some extent. They don’t need to be walked. They tend to take care of their business in a litter box and you generally only have to feed them once a day. They don’t need to be bathed, unless they get dirty. However, taking care of a cat is still an investment in time to keep your pet healthy, happy and clean. For one thing, they need to be groomed. Cats will spend a lot of time grooming themselves. But brushing your cat is helpful: it will get rid of excess hair and prevent a lot of shedding. Cats will also require nail trimming every 6 weeks or so.
3. Are you ready to play? 🙂 You must make sure you have adequate time to give your cat lots of company. Cats enjoy playing, and you must be prepared to play games with them every day: mental stimulation is important for everyone, including your cats. Watch these videos for fun ideas to play with your cat:
4. Do you have enough money to care for a cat? Many pet owners choose cats or dogs simply because they love them. Costs, though, do matter, and new pet owners should prepare ahead of time and know exactly what they are committing to. For example, your will need to take your cat to the vet when they are unwell. You will also need plenty of accessories and toys, perhaps even a scratching post. Cats are indeed a significant financial commitment: PetCoach estimates that “the average cost to own a cat is $809 per year” (Source).
5. Are you ready for annual visits to the veterinarian? You want to keep your cat healthy, and one of the most effective methods is to detect health issues before they become serious. It’s important to maintain your cat’s health by arranging for at least an annual checkup.
6. What personality you are looking for? Every cat is unique, and each has its own set of characteristics that are determined by their personality as well as their early experiences. Find a cat that will interact with you the way you want it to. If you prefer long hugs on the couch, search for a cat that has an affectionate and loving personality. You just need to make sure you know what you are looking for.
7. Does the cat have a personality that fits with your home life? Some cats will find it very stressful to live in a home full of kids and other animals. Other cats, on the other hand, may thrive on various interactions with a lot of people and fit in nicely with a busy family. If you have children, you will need to be very pro-active and teach your children from the very beginning how to pet your cat and treat them with kindness. I personally had great relationships with my familiy’s cats as a child, but it’s important for parents to educate and define very clear guidelines.
8. Do you want a short-hair or long-hair cat? If you don’t want to groom a cat every day, stay away from cats with longer coats (Such as Persians). You might prefer semi-longhaired (Which is still long and requires grooming). For example, the ragdoll cat breed has a semi long, plush and silky coat. In addition, if you are extremely house-proud, you may not want lots of hair everywhere. In this case, you would be better served with short-haired cats. A shorthaired cat is then a much easier option for you, as most cats are fanatical about their coats and keep them in immaculate condition. You can also read this article from The Spruce Pets: What Kind of Cat Should I Get?.
When you’ve answered the 8 questions above, it will be much easier to make the decision to bring a new cat into your life. If you have any other queries about whether or not adopting a feline friend is right for you and your family, feel free to post a comment! We’re happy to help answer any of your questions before making such an important decision.
What are some more things that people should consider when getting their first pet? Let us know in the comments below!