Before you head to the nearest pet store to purchase a new feline companion, you may want to sit back and think if you have what it takes to be a good parent for your potential feline friend.
Why Do You Want A Cat?
The question of all questions: what is your motivation for getting a cat? If you are keen on having and willing to care after a lifelong confidant that will sit with you and listen to your troubles at night, or a friend who appears to enjoy the same sitcoms and reality shows that you do, then a feline may fit into your life just fine. On the other hand, if you want a cat with the intention of using it as a distraction in life or just because it’s cute, then you may want to look elsewhere.
Does Everyone Else Want A Cat?
If you want a cat, but everyone else in your household does not, then getting a cat may not be the best idea. If you are faced with a family member, spouse, or roommate who does not seem pleased with the idea of getting a cat, you may want to have a talk with them to find out what they’re concerned about. It may also be beneficial to look up some breeds that are very mellow and that have qualities that everyone in the household will be willing to accept. If you have young children in the house, it may be a good idea to get an older cat (who’s used to being around children), or simply waiting for your children to grow a little older, as children can inflict harm upon the feline and vice versa.
Are You Willing to Give Up Expensive Rugs and Couches?
Felines require scratching exercise – if they are not provided with a good scratching post or given regular nail clippings, they will head for any surface they find. This usually results in scratched furniture, and if you are unable to accept that, perhaps a cat isn’t the right choice for you.
If you are considering declawing your feline, you should definitely reconsider. Declawing is the act of surgically removing the first knuckle of each toe, and is an extremely painful procedure. There may be no laws against declawing, but felines should not have to suffer through that just to be someone’s pet.
Are You Financially Able to Raise A Cat?
Owning a cat means having to shoulder additional financial obligations. Felines do have a number of basic needs that need to be fulfilled in order to keep it happy and healthy, and these needs are listed below.
- Food: when it comes to buying food for your feline, the higher the quality the better. This will usually turn out to be an expenditure of $15-$25 a month.
- Litter box and Litter: litter boxes are essential, but they do differ in price and quality. Litter boxes can range from $5 to $200 in price. Litter itself will cost around $20 for a 17-pound bag, and will last for approximately two months for a single feline.
- Spaying/Neutering: low-cost spaying/neutering clinics will charge around $40 for neutering and $60 for spaying, but private veterinarians can charge up to $60 for neutering and $115 for spaying.
- Vaccinations: costs of vaccinations will vary depending on the laws regarding rabies in your country/city, and will also depend on the risk factor of your particular feline. An estimate for first year vaccinations (that is closer to the higher end) is approximately $80.
- Annual Health Examinations: these thorough exams will cost around $100-$150, and consists of blood and dental work.
- Emergency Veterinary Care: costs for such occasions highly vary, as they do depend on the behavior and health of the particular cat. Insurance can help pad the cost of an emergency visit to the veterinarian if it ever occurs – speak to individual companies for their insurance prices.
Will You Be Responsible and Stay Responsible?
Purchasing a feline and caring for it during the first week before tossing the responsibility to someone else in the household does not make you a good cat owner. Cats do require daily care, ranging from providing food to grooming needs and to simply giving them attention. If you are inconsistent or just lacking in keeping responsibility, it may not be a wise idea to have a feline under your care.
Will You Have Enough Time For Your Feline?
Despite their cool and collected image, felines are animals that are considerably social. They love to receive attention from their owners and family members; if neglected, felines may resort to destructive behaviors in order to keep themselves entertained. If you only have time during the week to feed it and clean up after it, you will find yourself living with quite a handful. Apart from spending enough time playing with your cat and showering it with affection, you will also need to be able to provide it with healthcare/medical needs whenever necessary.
Essentially, raising a feline is a long-term commitment in every sense. Felines will require a chunk of your time, money, space, and heart. If owning and raising a cat does not seem to be a good fit in any of those categories, you may want to reconsider going down the path of becoming a cat owner. Making a good, educated decision can be the difference between having a happy and rewarding relationship with your cat and a disastrous one. So are you ready to get a cat now?