As far as pets go, cats are relatively self-sufficient. If you leave out a bowl of food and water, and a litter box, and make sure they get some daily exercise in the form of play; they won’t require much else of you. But before you get a cat, you’ll want to make sure that it is the right pet for you and your family, and that you are really prepared to own a cat.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Cat
Before you jump into pet ownership, you’ll want to figure out if you are ready for the responsibilities of taking care of that pet, whether it is a cat, a dog, or any other pet. It’s very hard on a cat (or any other pet) to be returned after they’ve outgrown that cute kitten stage, so you need to be sure you will still want them after that cuteness is gone. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you bring that cat or kitten home.
Can I Afford A Cat?
The first thing to ask yourself is if you will be able to provide for your cat financially. There will be vet bills, both for regular care like immunizations; and for possible emergency care, in case of injuries or accidents. Food and litter are ongoing costs, plus you will probably want to provide toys, and a few pieces of cat furniture and other items.
If you are a renter, is it okay with the landlord for you to have a cat? Is there a security deposit that needs to be paid in order to have a pet?
Does A Cat Fit In With Your Lifestyle?
Does your family travel or vacation a lot? If so, is there someone who can care for the cat while you’re away? Will you have to have your cat boarded? Or will you be bringing the cat along with you?
Are you a single person who works long hours, and will have to leave the cat home alone, and possibly lonely, for long periods of time? If so, would it be possible for you to have 2 cats, so they could keep each other company?
Do you have children or are you planning to have children soon? Older children can help take care of the cat, or will they leave it all to you? Younger children are often fascinated with cats and will chase them and pull their tails. Depending on the cat’s personality, the child could receive a nasty bite or scratch. Do you have enough hiding places for your cat that your young children would not be able to access?
Will The Newness Wear Off?
Kittens are cute and entertaining. Older cats – maybe not so much. Will you get bored with your cat once the cuteness and the newness wears off? Will the children want to help with the cat’s care while the cat is new, but lose interest after a while?
Does Everyone in the Family Want a Cat?
Believe it or not, not everyone likes cats. If you love them, but your spouse does not, is having a cat going to cause problems in your relationship?
Is anyone in your household afraid of cats? Is anyone in the house allergic to cats? If there’s any chance that someone might be allergic, you’ll want to know before you bring the cat home. Spend as much time as possible with the cat, letting each member of your family hold it for more than just a few minutes. And if a certain cat does cause someone to sneeze or get itchy eyes, don’t be discouraged. Although one cat might cause you to break out in a rash, another one might not.
All of these are important questions to ask yourself before you get a cat. As long as you can provide a good stable loving home, afford proper nutrition and medical care, and feel that a cat can fit into your lifestyle, then you might just be the family to have a cat.