Adopting a cat is a lifelong commitment. Cats can live up to 20yrs or longer, we hope! Planning ahead is of utmost importance. There are many considerations when it comes to cat ownership. Should you adopt? Should you adopt a kitten or a senior? Should you get one or two cats? Your particular lifestyle and home will help you to determine your individual needs and wants out of cat ownership.
The average annual cost of owning a cat ranges from $800.00- $1000.00, which includes food, toys, litter, and preventative vet care and for some paying it includes expenses for Cat Boarding. Emergency care can range from $500.00- $5000.00. Pet insurance is definitely worth researching as it can save you a lot of heartache and money should an accident or illness occur.
Cats require a lot of love and attention. Creating a human bond with your new feline companion is extremely important to the longevity of your relationship. Time and patience will be required! Try to pet and talk to your cat whenever you pass by. Learn to read your cat’s behavior. Get used to handling paws and nails, and looking at teeth and eyes. Devote time each day to play. It is important that your cat have mental and physical stimulation to avoid unwanted behavior like scratching, and destruction due to boredom.
Cats don’t need to go outside to live a happy life. Access to sunlight and windows makes them very happy. You may even want to try and leash/harness train your cat so you can both go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Outdoor secure enclosures are also wonderful if they can be provided. If you do decide to have you cat outdoors make sure you are aware of the potential risks involved and what you can do to try to prevent them.
Before bringing home your new furry friend, ensure you have all the supplies that will be needed: Food, a water dish or fountain (preferably glass, stainless steel, or ceramic), a litter box (1 per cat plus 1), litter, toys, scratch posts, and a carrier. Make an appointment to see your Veterinarian for an exam so the overall health of your new pet can be assessed and any questions or concerns you may have about your cat’s health and behavior can be addressed. “Cat Proofing” your home is the last thing on the ‘to-do list’. Remove all poisonous plants, plastic bags, ribbon, string, twine, and chemicals. This way you can let your new feline(s) explore all the nooks and crannies of your home.
Owning a cat is a big responsibility that is both enriching and fulfilling. It is challenging at times but well worth the time and effort. Nothing is more enriching in life that the loving and nurturing humans can provide for animals and vice versa. Just make sure you are a responsible pet owner, well aware of how owning an animal will change your life in many ways.