Are you thinking about adopting a cat? Perhaps you think getting a cat is the right option for you but you’re still not sure.
I have 5 cats in my household and they bring so much joy to my life it’s unbelievable. I sometimes sit back and wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have my beautiful feline children to take care of. And to be honest, they probably take just as much care of me as I do them.
Cats can help with depression, loneliness, and finding those moments in life where you can’t help but laugh.
Why Adopt A Cat?
Unlike dogs, our feline companions need very little exercise. Don’t get me wrong here. Cats still need some amount of exercise or they can become overweight very easily. Cats usually sleep a good portion of the day anyway.
Cats are also very easy to housebreak. Most felines have a natural instinct to bury their waste, so they are quite easy to litter box train.
All you really need to do to ensure your cat is using their litter box is to always keep it clean. And when you first get your cat home, you will have to show it where the litter box is.
Cats can also adapt well to living in small places, which makes them great candidates for apartment and small home living. And they don’t bark so they won’t upset your neighbors.
Cats are also naturally clean creatures. Because of this, they rarely ever need bathing. There are certain circumstances where bathing your cat would be essential such as excessive shedding or the discovery of fleas.
However, cats should be groomed regularly to cut down on hairballs that result in shedding large amounts of fur on your sofa or bed.
Cats are also fairly independent creatures. They do not usually require constant attention and will seek it when they want it. This is not to say that all cats are completely independent.
I have a couple of cats that seem to constantly want my love and affection. Some cats are just needy cats. And this has a lot to do with how they were interacted with when they were kittens.
Consider The Costs
There are definitely other things to think about before you decide to adopt a cat. Getting a cat should never be an impulsive choice. You should consider what type of lifestyle you are currently living as well.
One thing to consider is the cost of having a feline as a pet. If you adopt a cat from an animal shelter, you may have some upfront adoption costs that go along with that. Usually, the cat you get from these types of places are already spayed or neutered.
However, even if you adopted your cat for free from a friend or relative, you will still have to pay for your cat to get spayed or neutered. I can tell you from personal experience that these are not cheap procedures.
They can cost hundreds of dollars, especially if the veterinarian you use is highly rated. Veterinarians can also be pretty expensive if they offer the only vet services in town. Shopping around is definitely your best option.
Keep in mind that just because a veterinarian has expensive rates, it doesn’t always mean that they are the best or the most caring vets.
Other things also pop up out of the blue that may require a visit to your veterinarian. These things can add up over time or completely catch you off guard.
One thing I would suggest is setting up a savings account specifically for your cat’s health needs. This will ensure that you are ready and able to give your cat the help it may need from time to time.
Time and Commitment
It’s safe to say that most cats can be left at home for longer periods of time than dogs. However, cats still need some type of affection and love everyday.
Simple gestures such as petting your cat everyday or playing with a wand toy will go a long in helping show love to your cat. I have written an entire article on how to show love to your cat right here.
If you tend to travel sometimes, you will need to have someone come to your home to take care of your cat’s needs. That person will need to feed, water, clean the litter box, and pet your cat while you are gone.
If your the type of person who is rarely ever home though, adopting a cat is probably not for you. And it certainly wouldn’t be fair for your cat to be left home alone constantly. Cats can and do get lonely.
The average lifespan of an indoor cat is about 12 to 15 years, so it’s important that you can commit to that amount of time. Trust me, it’s too heartbreaking to have to find a new home for a cat you’ve grown to love over the years. So please make sure you are in this for the long term.
Unfortunately, cat allergies are pretty common. This is not to say that you can’t manage your allergies and still have a cat. But you will have to take that into consideration, especially if you have children who might be allergic to cats.
The hair on a cat itself is not the reason that some people are allergic to cats. What really is the culprit is the dried up dander that’s left behind on a cat after they are done grooming themselves.
Their saliva glands secrete a chemical known as Fel d1, which cats spread all over their bodies while they are grooming themselves. It’s a natural part of your cat’s DNA, and therefore, there is really not a lot you can do about it.
There are ways to reduce the buildup of Fel d1 such as using anti-allergy wipes or cat dander remover on your cat’s fur and frequently vacuuming your home.
If you plan to do some remodeling in your home anyway, why not consider replacing your carpeting with hardwood flooring? This will definitely help with dander buildup.
Another thing you can do to manage your allergies to your cat is by simply getting prescribed allergy medications. You could also talk to your doctor about receiving an allergy shot that will help desensitize your symptoms.
There are many decisions to make and things to consider before you ever decide to adopt a cat. In my opinion, the type of lifestyle you have will play a much bigger role in that decision.
The cost related to adopting a cat is also something you should consider. Can you afford to pay the vet bill when your cat eats something it shouldn’t have? I would recommend shopping around for a low cost vet that is also highly rated by others who have used their services.
All in all, getting a cat is very rewarding. There is truly nothing better than having your favorite feline cheering you up when you get sad or cuddling with you while your laying on the couch.
The memories that I have made with my cats are some of the best memories I have. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.