Cats make a brilliant family pet. That’s why so many of us have them roaming around our homes and taking up space in our hearts! However, bringing a cat into your family is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to ensure that not only are you ready to commit to a feline friend but that you also know exactly what you need to do in order to meet all of their wants and needs. After all, when you have a pet, you inevitably want what’s best for them. You want to ensure that they lead a high-quality lifestyle and are comfortable, content, healthy, and happy at all times. So, here are a few things that you need to consider before bringing a kitty home!
Choosing a Breed
First of all, you need to consider what kind of breed of cat you’re going to want. Many people wrongly assume that a cat is just a cat. While there are evident major differences between dog breeds, people tend to think that all cats are similar. This isn’t true. Just like dog breeds, different breeds of cats have different personality traits and physical traits, as well as varying needs, preferences, and requirements. A Sphinx, for example, will make an extremely different pet to a Norwegian Forest Cat. So make sure to do your research and find a pet that will be the right fit for your family!
Adopting vs. Buying
Generally speaking, when we consider getting a new pet, we tend to research different breeders in our local area. But you should seriously consider adopting! There are hundreds of thousands of cats out there in shelters who are just waiting for a loving home to take them in. Whether you’re looking for a young cat, and old cat, a female cat, a tomcat, or a specific breed, there’s bound to be a perfect pet for you already out there.
Purchasing the Basics
There are certain basics that you should have at home, ready and waiting, when you bring a cat back. It’s important to remember that as well as food and shelter, your cat deserves a high-quality lifestyle filled with engaging activities. You should invest in cat shelves, scratch posts, treats, and toys to bring extra joy to your feline friend in their day to day life too!
While microchipping doesn’t directly affect your pet’s health, it does serve as a means of contacting you if your cat runs into trouble and is unable to return home of their own accord. All sorts of issues can occur while your cat roams out of the house. They could be knocked down and require attention and care. They could come into contact with a larger animal who could cause damage. Or they may simply become lost. While you can put your details on a name tag on your cat’s collar, this isn’t always reliable, as the collar may come loose, or the tag could drop off. A microchip is inserted into your cat (usually near the neck), meaning that it cannot be lost. It is coded with a unique number, which (when scanned) will give details of your address and phone number so that you can be contacted to pick up your pet. This will help you to ensure that they get the necessary treatment as soon as possible no matter where they are.
Whether you have a kitten and are looking for first vaccinations, or have an older cat and are looking to top up their vaccinations, you are going to have to deal with vaccinations somewhere down the line. There are so many out there that it would be impossible to tackle them all in one post. So, the best thing to do is to take your cat to your local vet for a checkup. The vet will then be able to consult you about your cat’s lifestyle and recommend the right vaccinations accordingly.
There are various reasons that you should neuter your cat. Every year, thousands of cats find themselves in shelters because owners have failed to neuter their own cat and have ended up with numerous kittens that they either do not want to keep or cannot handle and keep up with. If your cat leaves the house for whatever reason, it is important for you to understand that they will probably mate and if you have a female cat, this is going to result in pregnancy and a handful of kittens. If you have a male cat, it also your moral responsibility to prevent them from breeding and impregnating all of the females in the local area. You don’t want to leave the other female cat’s owners with a litter to deal with. There are also other benefits that come hand in hand with neutering besides the moral aspect of the task at hand. Your cat is less likely to wander (and thus less likely to come into trouble or get lost). For female cats, you can remove the possibility of pregnancy-induced symptoms and illnesses, such as mastitis, complications during birth, and C section operations. They are also less likely to experience pyometra (a potentially fatal infection of the uterus) later in life. For male cats, there are also benefits, as they are less likely to fight other males for female attention which means fewer injuries and abscesses as a result of scraps.
As you can see, finding the right cat and providing it with the best lifestyle possible is a relatively long and drawn out process as well as a lifelong commitment. So you needn’t rush into things. Give yourself time and you will soon come to find whether a cat is right for you or not. If the answer is that yes, you do want to introduce a cat to your family, you will soon find the right one for you!