Should you get a cat?
Been thinking of getting a cat? Here are just a few questions to ask yourself before you bring home a furry feline friend so that you can be certain it’s the right decision for you.
Are you able to provide for their needs?
Cats are fairly independent animals, but you still need to be able to provide for their basic needs such as feeding them daily, changing their litter and taking them to the vets when necessary. You may be able to leave a cat for several hours each day whilst at work (which you can’t always do with a dog), however you don’t want to be going away for days at a time without arranging someone to come in and check on them daily.
Whilst they may not show their love as openly as dogs, cats still require human companionship and attention. Understanding cats can be difficult – they sometimes need their space and tend to prefer interaction on their terms. They enjoy routine and may develop times when they’re more sociable such as sitting on their owners laps in the evening.
Cats also cost money. The biggest costs are food and vet bills. Buying food in bulk can sometimes save owners money whilst pet insurance can often save money on trips to the vet. It could be worth budgeting ahead to check that you can afford owning a cat.
Is your home suitable?
Some cats are happy being housebound, whilst others like having outdoor space to explore. This is something to consider if you live in an upper floor apartment as you may not be able to give them access to outdoor space.
You need to make sure that there are no dangers in your home. Cats are generally quite sensible and won’t put things in their mouth they’re not supposed to, however you may want to be careful of things like trailing wires that they may try to play with or certain plants that could be toxic if eaten. It’s outdoor dangers that are the biggest concern – if you have a pond, make sure you cat can get out of it if it falls in. Meanwhile, you may want to be careful if you live by a busy road or train track.
You may also want to protect your home from your cat (especially if you’re getting a kitten). Leather furniture can easily get destroyed by cats claws and you may want to avoid placing fragile ornaments on window sills. You also need to be prepared for the mess that cats create – having a black haired cat with white carpets could mean constant hoovering.
Do you have any other pets?
Cats may not get on well with certain types of pets. They’re likely to try and swipe at rodents such as mice or gerbils – you may be able to train them to stay away from the cage or you could place the cage in a room that they’re not allowed to enter.
As for dogs, many cats are able to get on surprisingly well with dogs. It depends a lot on the temperament of the dog – certain breeds may naturally act more aggressively. You should also consider the cats’ upbringing – if a previous owner had a dog or if a cat is raised as a kitten around dogs, they’re less likely to act skittishly or defensively.