Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The 5 Things You Must Have Ready Before You Bring Your Cat Home

(C) Emily Parker, All Rights Reserved

Thinking about adopting a kitty? Great! I guarantee you’re in for a purrfect time. But are you prepared? Over 3 million cats are sent to shelters each year. There are many reasons why an owner gives up their pet, and one of them is that the owner wasn’t prepared to own one. Some people get pets for their children, while others get one out of impulse.

A pet isn’t like an expensive pair of shoes, though. You need a lot of preparation before you adopt. Before you head over to the shelter, there are some things you need to look over if you want to make sure you and your cat will be purrfect (okay, I’ll stop!) companions.

Are Your Finances Prepared?

You may think a cat won’t cost you too much. After all, cats are low maintenance, right? Not exactly.

You’ll have to feed your cat each day, and while a can or two of cat food isn’t too much at first, it adds up. You’ll need toys to keep kitty occupied. You’ll go through gallons of kitty litter. And don’t forget about the vet bills! Even if your cat is healthy, you’ll need to have checkups, and if the cat isn’t spayed or neutered, you should get on it.

All these costs, while not expensive individually, become stressing on your bills once they combine. In fact, your first year with kitty can end up costing you a grand! To some, that’s not too much, but if you’re struggling to make ends meet, owning a cat might not be good for you. So make sure to check your budget, and find out if you’re prepared.

Are You Ready for a Kitten or a Cat?
Before you bring kitty home, consider if you want a kitty in the first place. Many pet owners want kittens only. There are a few reasons for this. Some just like the cuteness a kitty can give them, and others like to start their relationship with a cat when they’re a baby.

But some people aren’t ready for kittens. Many pet owners may give up their kittens once they grow up, or because the kitten is too mischievous. So if you’re not ready for to handle a kitten, or if you don’t want an adult cat, don’t adopt.

Is Your Landlord Ready?
If you own your home and aren’t going anywhere, you don’t need to read this. But if you’re living in an apartment or other rental space, make sure, without a doubt, that it’s okay to bring your cat home. Many apartments will require pet deposits if you want to own a pet. Talk with your landlord, pay the pet deposit if you must, and get the paperwork that secures you owning a cat.

Also, you need to think about moving. Cats (and dogs) are abandoned all the time because their owners had to move, and their new space wouldn’t accept pets, even if the renter provided testimony after testimony that their cats wouldn’t ruin an apartment.

So if you’re planning to move soon, you may want to hold off on adopting a cat until you can be sure everything is a go!

Is Your House Ready?
Before you bring your cat home, you should have a look around your house. Even if you think your home’s a good space for your cat, there may be dangers you won’t notice until it’s too late.

Cats are curious, and you know what they say about curiosity and cats! They’ll get into things they aren’t supposed to, eat foods that they can’t digest, and jump straight into danger! Before you adopt, you need to make sure your home is cat-proof. Here are a few tips:
  • Are there any electrical cords within paw’s reach? If your cat bites into one, it can seriously hurt her! Hide any electrical cords before bringing kitty home.
  • That cord coming from your blinds may appear to be harmless, but your kitty could strangle on it. Keep it bundled and away from your cat.
  • Do you have any foods or plants that may be harmful to your cat? Most pet people should know that people food usually isn’t meant for cats, but many underestimate the danger. Chocolate, especially dark, can cause seizures, and milk can cause digestive problems for some kitties. Hide anything that may be toxic to your cat.
  • Do you have a designated scratching place ready? Cats need to scratch their claws, and if you don’t have a pole or other toy prepared, they may tear up your house. And don’t you think about declawing kitty!
Is Your Schedule Ready?
Many adopt a cat over a dog because they think it’s low-maintenance. They don’t have to take too much care of their cat; the cat does its own thing and ignores the humans. However, that’s a costly mistake. While cats do need less care than their canine companions, they still need plenty of attention! You’ll need to prepare its meals, give it baths, have some playtime with it, and give it lots of head pets!

Of course, some cats need more attention than others. You’ll have kitties that are always in demand of attention, and then you’ll have cats that couldn’t care less if their owner is gone or not. When adopting, consider how much time you can dedicate to your cat, and look over all the cats’ personalities. And if your schedule is so tight you can’t give any time to your cat, you may want to hold off until your schedule’s clear.

This post isn’t to discourage you from owning a cat; not at all! My cats mean the world to me, and I hope yours can light up your life, too. But you need to be ready when you bring home a cat. Many sheltered cats are there because their owners weren’t prepared. They don’t need their second chance ruined by another ill-prepared owner! Plan it out, and make sure your cat has the pawsome life it deserves!

About the Author:
Emily Parker is a cat-parent to 2 lovely cats, Gus and Louis. Her website, Catological, helps cat parents love their cats better by providing recommendations for the best cat products, as well as in-depth, science-backed how-to articles.

No comments: