Am I Ready?
Adopting a cat is a wonderful experience, but one that should be taken very seriously. Cats can live into their late teens or even early twenties. Before adopting a cat you should ask yourself some questions.
- Am I willing to adjust my life and my home to accommodate a cat?
While cats are a fairly low maintenance pet, they do need outlets for scratching, they shed, they need a litter box and do vomit on occasion. Are you willing to put the time into learning what is natural behavior and adjust accordingly?
- Can I afford medical care for my cat?
Veterinary bills can be very expensive. It’s important to find a good vet for regular medical care.
- Who will take care of my cat when I travel?
Do you have a friend or relative who can come by to feed and visit while you are away?
- What will happen to my cat if I have to move?
Make sure that you can provide a “forever home” for your cat. He or she will become part of your family and will need to be treated as such.
- Does anyone in the house have allergies or asthma?
Cats are often given up because someone in the household has allergies or asthma that is made worse by a cat. If you are not sure, try spending some time with a friend who has cats to see how you react.
Cat or Kitten?
Kittens are one of the cutest things on the face of the earth. Only a hard hearted person could resist the allure of a tiny, soft little kitten.
There are many positives to adopting a kitten, including:
- you know the kitten’s history
- you can train the kitten
- kittens are easier to introduce to a multi-cat household
- they’re just so darn cute
Some things to consider before adopting a kitten, include:
- kittens are wild and like to play all the time, often hunting you if no other ‘prey’ is available
- kittens are small and can easily be hurt by a child or adult playing too rough
- kittens are curious and will get into everything
- you need to kitten proof the house, similar to baby-proofing a house for a new infant
- you have the added expenses of vaccinations and spaying/neutering
- kittens can be destructive by chewing on cords, running up drapes, breaking nick-nacks, etc.
- kitten’s personalities have not developed yet
You would be surprised at how quickly a kitten becomes a cat. Within one year, the kitten will be full grown. If this is your first cat or you do not have other cats at home, you may want to consider an adult cat.
Some positives to adopting an adult cat include:
- cats are more mellow than kittens
- cats should already be trained to use a litterbox
- cats personalities are more apparent
- you may be saving a cat’s life by adopting from a shelter. most people want kittens.
- does the cat have any behavior or health problems? This shouldn’t prevent you from adopting, but you should be aware of extra training or medical costs.
- if you have other cats, will they get along? Adult cats often see a new cat as an intruder. Introductions need to be slow.