Cats are up there with the most popular pets in the whole world – second only to fish. The first pet cat is reported to have been domesticated around 10,000 years ago, although we will never fully domesticate them as much as we would like; they are still able to live their lives perfectly well without humans, which makes them an unpopular choice with those who are wanting to have a pet that they can fully train, such as a dog. A lot of people put this down to a certain amount of intelligence that they have, and say that they manipulate their owners to give them exactly what they want. Others are fond of this trait as it fits in perfectly with their lifestyle. If you haven’t owned a feline before, you just need to ask yourself one question – are you ready?
Where To Get It From
Whilst the idea of a fluffy little kitten may make your heart melt, there’s the sad fact that there are currently millions of cats all over the world that are in shelters waiting to go to their forever home. There’s a lot to consider when you get a younger cat; there’s the litter-tray training, the constant getting up in the middle of the night to reassure them until they’ve settled into your home, the initial destruction that is all part and parcel of them finding out that they’ve got claws (and they’re not afraid to use them!) – it’s all one big learning curve. Some people relish the fact that they’re bonding with their cat from an early age, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get a bond with an older cat. In fact, it’s much the opposite; the more docile and easygoing older cats may be more willing to spend time inside with you, snuggling up and living out the rest of their life in peace rather than itching to go outside and not returning home to their humans until unsociable hours, unlike their younger counterparts.
Do You Have Time?
It’s not just thinking about the time that you’ve got at the present. While you may be working from home, or doing part-time work, or even have all the time in the world to dedicate to them now, you need to think about the future. Cats have a lifespan which often reaches over eighteen years – think about where you might be at that point in your life. If you can’t think that far into the future when it comes to thinking about whether you will be owning a cat at that point, it’s probably not the option for you. In terms of time that you need to spend with your car in the here and now, it’s probably not as much as you would imagine; cats need 40 minutes of stimulation a day, mainly through playing with toys, but can generally make their own fun and entertainment. You may not even be privileged to be a part of this time – it all depends on how independent your cat is!
Are You Ready For Fur?
Depending on the breed of cat that you get, you may find that you are getting more cat hair than you originally bargained for around your home. If you’re not house proud, this is fine; but for the more particular among us, this can be something that turns out to be unbearable. There are certain breeds that don’t shed as much, such as the Russian Blue, Siberian and Siamese cats, with Maine Coon, Persian and Somali cats shedding a lot more. It all depends on which breed you get, a list of which can be found at CatsPHD.com, which determines how much fur you’ll be hoovering up. Regardless of how much hair they let loose, there’s still always the chance of a hairball making its way onto your floor – so don’t think that you’ve fully escaped it. Cats with longer hair will need regular grooming to ensure that their fur doesn’t become matted and problematic, but this doesn’t mean that those with shorter hair should be neglected; regular grooming can help look for other problems like fleas and ticks, which will need sorting out as soon as possible.
Can You Afford It?
Not only do you have things like food and toys to consider when budgeting your finances for your new addition, but you also have to factor in things like vets fees and insurance. Taking your pet to get them immunised against common diseases can cost a small fortune, but is definitely worth it in the long run. Micro-chipping is set to become mandatory in most countries for your pet to determine who they belong to, and this is essential if you are going to be letting your cat out of the house every day; knowing that they will able to be traced back to your house should something bad happen to them is a peace of mind worth investing in.
Do You Live In The Right Location?
Cats are curious creatures and love to go out and explore to a certain point. If your home is next to a busy road or highway, you need to look at your options for where you will be keeping your cats and whether you will be letting them out to explore the world around them. Cats don’t come to you with a car sense already inbuilt as a safety feature for when they’re crossing roads – they’re just like any other animal in that respect. If you are choosing to keep your cat indoors always, you will need to keep on top of the litter tray and provide them extensive play options so they don’t get bored. Going outside and wandering around your neighbourhood is your cat’s way of getting a source of enjoyment. Their insatiable need to patrol during the twilight hours is something that has struck them up as a legend in folklore, such as accompanists to witches. However, if at night it’s too busy to let them out without knowing they’re going to be safe, don’t do it.