Cats make wonderful companions. They are loyal, playful, cute, and independent creatures. However, there is more to owning a cat than what you see on those cute viral videos. If you are thinking of adopting a cat, here are a few things to know before making the decision.
Are you ready to adopt?
Owning a pet is a long-term commitment. From the day you bring them home, they need to be acclimated, fed, loved, and trained. Animals need just as much attention as humans and will likely not be happy if you are not home for very long periods of time. If you have a demanding job, a pet may not be the best option right now. Before deciding to adopt a pet, look at your schedule and figure out if you have the time to meet the demands of work and the demands of your new pet.
Adopting a pet from the shelter is cheaper than a breeder, but there are still other costs involved. There are a few living costs that need to be budgeted for every month. Deciding to bring a cute kitten home is the easy part, but you need to look at your finances beforehand. Think about whether or not paying for vaccinations, vet trips, food, cat litter, toys, grooming, and everyday care items will put a dent in your finances. If not, then go ahead, but if you are a bit strapped for cash at the moment, it may be best to wait until you are financially stable.
Your home may be safe for you, but it doesn’t mean that it is safe for a cat. Before bringing your new pet home, be sure to put screens on the windows and rehome any plants that may be toxic to your cat. This includes the African daisy, African violets, and the Jade plant. The environment of your home should be safe and comfortable for your cat to be in when you are out or at work. Cats like to wander so it’s best to put screens on your windows to make sure it doesn’t get out and run into the street when you are not home.
It is important to spay or neuter your cat. Stray cats have become a major problem in many areas and many are left to fend for themselves. If you are thinking about adopting an older cat, it may already be spayed or neutered. If you are thinking about adopting a kitten, it is important to set funds aside to have the kitten spayed or neutered when it is old enough. Sterilizing your cat is not just about the breeding problem, it also protects the cat from developing tumors and uterine infections.
Cats are generally clean animals, but they still need to be groomed regularly. The debris should be cleaned from their eyes and ears and their coats need to be brushed at least once a week. Cats should also be checked for ticks and fleas weekly. Declawing cats is an extremely painful and unnecessary procedure that should never be performed on any pet. Instead, clip their nails every two to three weeks to help keep them fairly blunt.
It will take some time for your new cat to get acclimated, but with enough patience and a lot of love, your kitty will come out of its shell in no time.