You should never rush into adopting a cat.
Caring for a cat is more intensive than a lot of people think, and you should never adopt a cat on a whim. In order to ensure that you’re ready to provide the level of attention and care that a cat needs, there are many things you’ll want to think about before you take the leap to adopt a cat. In part two of this series
, we touched on a few of those things, so if you haven’t already, check it out. Keep reading to learn what else to consider before deciding to adopt a cat:
#6. Are you prepared to spay or neuter your cat?
Cat overpopulation is a much bigger problem than a lot of people realize, and it’s important to ensure that you are ready to make the decision to neuter or spay your cat so that your cat won’t be contributing to the problem. Some people choose not to spay or neuter because they believe that they can sell or give the kittens away to good families. But, in more cases than not, the reality is that it’s not possible to find a good family for a litter of kittens, and many cats end up on the street or in shelters. Another reason why spaying and neutering is important is that it eliminates the risks of developing a number of health conditions, like testicular and ovarian cancer.
#7. Should you adopt a cat or a kitten?
Adopting a kitten is a whole other ballgame than adopting an adult cat. Although physically, a kitten grows quickly and reaches maturity by the time it reaches six months, it will retain its kitten behaviors and high energy levels for far longer. Kittens are curious, playful and mischievous; whereas, adult cats are much calmer and less likely to get into trouble. If you’ve got a busy schedule and don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to training and entertaining a kitten, then an adult cat might be better suited to your lifestyle. However, if you are ready and able to adopt a kitten, who can say no to those fuzzy little faces?
#8. Is everyone in your home ready for a cat?
Unless you live by yourself, you should consider more than just if you’re ready to adopt a cat; you need to think about every individual in your home. This should include your spouse or partner, your kids and any other pets you may have. Your kids should understand that they shouldn’t tug on or manhandle the new cat. Determining if your existing pets are ready for a new friend is a much more difficult matter, especially if you’ve got a dog a home. Consider your dog’s personality and any previous interactions he or she has had with cats or other small animals in the past. If your dog has acted aggressively towards cats in the past, tends to play too rough or likes to chase squirrels and other smaller animals that a frightened cat may resemble, it might not be the right option to adopt a cat. On the other hand, if you’ve got a calm, easy-going dog who loves to cuddle and has the patience of a saint, adopting a cat might be the perfect way to complete your family.
#9. Are you ready for the less-than-fun parts of cat ownership?
Caring for a cat is not all pulling a string around and cuddling. There are a lot of not-so-fun parts that any potential cat owner needs to be aware of. Grooming, for instance, is more work than you probably think; many people don’t even realize that grooming is necessary in the first place, believing that cats have it covered on their own. However, you’re going to need to bathe your cat every once in a while, keep their nails trimmed, keep their ears clean and more. Cats, too, need exercise, one-on-one attention and veterinary care. Your cat may scratch or bite you, scratch up your furniture or meow incessantly, but at the end of the day, we think that the love they provide is more than worth the trouble.
#10. Do you have everything you’ll need?
On your way home from the shelter or the breeder, with your new cat in tow, is not the time to run to the pet store to get all of the supplies you need. You’ll need to get everything before you bring your cat home, as well as to make the environment appropriate for your new cat. You won’t want to give your new cat free reign of your entire home at first. Start out by designating a small area for them, and give your cat more freedom as they get more comfortable. As far as equipment goes, you’ll need a litter box, water and food bowls, cat food, scratching posts, toys, a cat bed, a collar, tags, a carrying case and more.
Find the right veterinarian for your new cat with The Vet Set.
One other thing that you should do before you bring your new cat home is to research local veterinary clinics. Your new cat will need to go the veterinarian right away, so you’ll want to make sure that you’ve found one ahead of time.
At The Vet Set, we’re proud to be your neighborhood veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens, and we offer a wide variety of veterinary services and are prepared to take care of all of your cat’s needs. Contact us today to earn more or to schedule your appointment.