If you’re considering bringing a cat into your home, there are several things you need to consider. For instance, cats can live 15-20 years with proper care – meaning you’ll have to be ready to dedicate 15 or so years to caring for and loving them. That’s truly about the same as having a child to care for!
Additionally, you’ll need to take cost into consideration. Having a cat means budgeting for cat food, cat litter and scoops, cat beds, cat toys and other accessories to make the cat’s life comfortable at your home; not to mention vet visits to ensure they stay healthy!
Because it can be such a long-term commitment, taking in a cat is not a decision to be taken lightly. Let’s take a look at some specific things you should consider before taking any action to add a cat to your family.
What is the current state of your household?
Do you have young children in your household? If so, you may want to only consider adoption of an adult cat rather than bringing a young kitten into the mix. Toddlers and babies can be rough of fragile kittens and constant interaction can cause constant tears from your scratched or bitten mini humans and a development of fear of human interaction, bad habits, or physical damage to your new fur baby. Many adult cats already have experience with family environments involving kids and have either built a tolerance to potentially rough interactions with little ones, or know how to take themselves out of situations involving kids.
Short-haired or Long-haired?
Another consideration you may want to make is whether you would prefer a short-haired cat or long-haired. Too often, people will walk into a shelter simply looking for a “cute cat” and having not made this consideration. The problem, however, is that this question truly matters! If you select a long-haired cat, you’ll need to spend more time on grooming to prevent excessive shedding about the house or the fur from matting up. If you don’t have the time to do this, than perhaps a short-haired cat is a better choice for you. Also, long-haired cats are more likely to scatter litter about the house due to litter sticking in the fur on their legs. This can, of course, be lessened by ensuring you have a high quality cat litter mat under the box that grabs and holds the litter from fuzzy paws, but it’s still an issue worth considering.
Do you have the time and patience for a special needs cat?
There are so many cats with special needs such as blindness or deafness, or that are on a daily medication regime, that need loving homes. While challenging, homing a cat with special needs can be so fulfilling and quite often they have the sweetest disposition of any cat you could take in! If you have the time, it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor.
As mentioned, adding a cat to your family is never a decision that should be taken lightly, but if you have the time and resources, cat ownership can be an experience that makes your life, and the life of your cat, more full and complete.