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What should I consider before getting a cat?

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

There are various aspects you should consider before you adopt a cat. A main concern is whether you can care for the cat in the short and long term. Considerations include:

1. Commitment and Responsibility: Cats can live for 15 years or more, so you need to be ready for a long-term commitment to their care, or have someone who can care for the cat if you are unable to do so. Consider who will care for the cat if you can’t (e.g., family member, friend, visiting cat sitter). For example, will you be traveling or requiring hospital or residential stays? Do you need support in feeding the cat, changing the litter box, and bringing the cat to the vet?

2. Time and Attention: Cats require daily interaction, playtime, and attention. Consider your schedule and ensure you can devote enough time to meet their needs, including grooming, litter box maintenance, and companionship.

3. Financial Considerations: Owning a cat comes with financial responsibilities, including veterinary expenses (routine check-ups, vaccinations, and potential emergencies), food, litter, toys, scratching posts, and other supplies. Make sure you can afford the ongoing costs associated with cat ownership. Some people may find cat food pantries and free or low cost vet services. But, there are still supply costs and adoption fees to be considered.

4. Living Situation: Ensure that your living situation is suitable for a cat. Check if there are any restrictions or pet policies in your rental agreement or homeowner's association rules. Assess the available space, access, and potential hazards in your home to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for a cat.

5. Allergies and Health Considerations: Confirm that neither you nor anyone in your household has allergies to cats. Additionally, consider any health conditions or sensitivities that may affect your ability to care for a cat.

6. Future Plans: Think about your long-term plans, such as potential moves, lifestyle changes, or family additions, and consider how a cat will fit into these plans.

7. Other Pets: If you have other pets, assess their compatibility with a new cat and consider how they might interact. Introducing a new cat to an existing pet requires careful planning and management.

8. Emotional Readiness: Ensure that you are emotionally prepared to provide love, care, and attention to a cat. Cats can bring immense joy and companionship, but they also require patience, understanding, and a willingness to build a bond with them.

By thoroughly considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and ensure that getting a cat is a positive and rewarding experience for both you and your feline companion.


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