Choosing a Pet
Kittens or cats
Contrary to popular opinion, many cats are social animals and love attention. Though most cats don’t require as much attention as dogs, they still need play time and petting on a daily basis. Spending time every day with your kitty can be the difference between a happy cat and a bored cat.
Make sure you have enough money to have a cat. The costs of caring for a cat include food, toys, litter and a litter box, spay/neuter surgery, and vet care.
Here are some other things that you need to know before adopting a cat:
- Cats are very fastidious about their litter box habits, so it’s important to keep the litter box clean and fresh.
- Cats can live up to 15 years or more, so you should be prepared to make a long-term commitment if you adopt a kitten.
- Cats need to scratch, so a sturdy scratching post is necessary. Declawing a cat to protect your furniture is cruel and unnecessary (and illegal in some parts of the country). Declawing, which involves the removal of the first knuckle of each toe, is extremely painful for the cat. You can learn to trim your cat’s nails to prevent damage to furniture; besides scratching posts, there are many other products, available at pet supply stores that deter cats from damaging furniture.
- Kittens are generally not suitable if you have children less than three years of age in your home. An adult cat would be a better choice.
- Cats have different personalities. Some like to be held and snuggled; others are more aloof and don’t like to be picked up. So, be prepared to adapt to your new cat’s individual personality traits. If you go to a shelter or contact a local rescue group to adopt a cat, they will be able to advise you on the personalities of the cats in their care and help you choose just the right cat for you.
You’ll have to make a decision about whether to have an indoor or outdoor cat. Many organizations (including Best Friends) will not adopt cats out as outdoor pets because of the risk of disease or injury. In most locations, indoors is a much safer place for cats. Indoor kitties live longer and are generally healthier. You’ll want to provide your indoor kitty with plenty of toys and regular play time. You might also think about adding a cattery or cat enclosure to your home so your cat can enjoy the outdoors safely.
Cats can be wonderful companions, but before you get a cat, make sure you are willing to make the commitment to provide your cat with the necessities, and you will not mind adapting your life a little bit to accommodate your new feline family member.