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Things You Need To Consider Before Adopting a Cat

a kitten with green eyes ready for adoption

Bringing a cat into your life can be a very exciting and rewarding process. But it’s also very important that you as well as your home environment are fully equipped to suit the needs of your potential new pet. Whether or not you can provide your new cat with the happy healthy life that they need is one of the biggest factors of whether or not getting one will be a good idea. 

In this article we’re going to discuss:

  • Factors You Should Consider
  • What Lifestyle Do You Lead?
  • Are You Prepared Financially?
  • Preparation And Upkeep
  • Are You Ready For The Commitment?
  • Should You? Or Should You Not? 
A gray kitten looks up, hoping to be adopted.
The question of whether or not now is the right time for you to add a pet to your current situation is one that every pet owner must answer in their process towards becoming pet parents. Sure, it can be overwhelming but making sure you’re giving your new cat the best life you can possibly give them is what’s truly important.

Factors You Should Consider

Think of adopting a cat-like welcoming a new child… It’s a pretty big deal

Before heading to your local shelter and sealing the deal it’s a good idea to ask yourself some questions to figure out if you have most or all of the necessary qualities and conditions to become a feline parent. Adopting a cat just before you’re preparing to set off on an around the world in 80 days type backpacking trip isn’t an ideal fit, to say the least. To get a better idea of what’s the best move for you when it comes to adopting a cat, we’d suggest taking a look through the following factors. 

What Lifestyle Do You Lead?

How would caring for your cat mesh with frequent traveling?

A very important question to ask yourself once you’re on the path towards cat ownership is “do I have enough time for a cat?” While this may seem like a no-brainer, we encourage that you take a hard look at your current lifestyle before answering it. Cats generally don’t need as much attention as dogs do, but that’s not to say you don’t have to invest your time in them. If you leave your cat alone for extended periods of time, they’re extremely likely to start to become destructive. This is when your specific circumstances come into play. If you live with a partner or roommate who is willing to help with the responsibility of the cat, it may be alright if you work regularly and go on longer trips. However, if you’re single, or living alone, working regularly, and going on trips for extended periods of time often then adopting a cat is probably a bad idea. 

Are You Prepared Financially?

Costs of food, care, and vet visits are no small investment

Expenses associated with owning a cat can get to be fairly hefty. Here’s a general breakdown of the things you’ll need to pay for after getting your cat:

  • Food
  • Litter 
  • Litter boxes
  • Microchipping and identification
  • Bowls
  • Toys
  • Parasite preventives
  • Grooming tools
  • Enrichment items (i.e. scratching posts or cat trees)
  • Veterinary care

On top of all of this, the last of the list accounts for annual visits to the vet, as well as any appointments if your cat has any ongoing ailments, or is seriously injured. For older cats, visits to the vet are much more frequent, and possible medications may be adding to the money you’ll be spending. 

Preparation And Upkeep

Cat-proofing your place and long term litter duty

The enrichment tools mentioned before are a huge part of getting your home ready for a cat to inhabit it. Items like scratching posts and food puzzles allow cats to use their instincts and generally make their lives more exciting and enjoyable. It’s also very important after turning your home into a pet palace to move into cat-proofing. Cat-proofing is the act of removing any harmful or poisonous objects that may harm your cat. This is something you’ll have to continue to watch out for, certain foods, chemicals, cleaners, etc. should stay far away from your cat to ensure their safety. 

Additionally, you’ll have to clean your cat’s litter box. There are no loopholes for this one, it’s a dirty deed that must be done. 

A happy kitten laying on its back.
While scooping out kitty litter isn't the most pleasant thing in the world, it's one of the many things you must be willing to do for love.

Are You Ready For The Commitment?

Cat ownership is a long-haul gig

Most cats live until their teenage years, and some even make it past then if they’re lucky! Once you adopt your feline friend you’re committing to having them and holding them through over a decade on average. It’s important to know that adding a cat to your household is a long-term commitment, meaning you’ll have to care and provide for much longer than any hamster you may have had growing up. Contrary to what many people paint cats out to be, the bond you’ll form with your cat is just as strong as the ones that others form with their dogs. Cats, too, crave attention and providing them with exercise and fun by giving them 15 minutes of playtime every day is a sure way to make sure that your cat is happy.

 Should You? Or Should You Not?

While there are basic needs you’re required to meet, it’s ultimately up to you

Cats make excellent companions to all sorts of people with their own unique circumstances. That’s why it’s important to take an honest look at your own, to figure out if getting a cat is the right thing for you. It’s entirely possible that it may just not be the right time for you to adopt a cat. Maybe you’re about to make a big move, or you’re out of town on business trips every other weekend, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea to get a cat later on when you’re more equipped to take care of it. As long as your decision is made in you, your family, and the cat’s best interest, it’s sure to be the right one.

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