Cat Ownership – Think Twice

At Pets Corner we have a motto – Think Twice. We encourage all prospective pet parents to take a moment and think twice before taking the plunge into pet ownership. Whether it is a little cute fluffy hamster or a pooch, buying or rescuing a pet is a big decision and should be thought through thoroughly.  For the sake of the animal, if you are not 100% sure that you or your family will be able to give a pet the attention, care, and lifestyle they deserve, then please don’t buy one.

A new kitten or cat can make a fantastic pet. They have their own unique personalities and are full of character. If raised properly you’ll have a friend for life, and, more importantly a new member of the family! Buying and owning a cat can bring many rewards into your life but caring for and playing with one can be very time consuming. It is important to ask yourself some questions and take the time to answer them honestly.

Is Your Home Suitable for a Kitten?

Your kitten or cat needs space to move about and secure safe areas for play. Consider your home and where you live – can you easily adapt to having a cat in the home? Will they have the space and exercise opportunities they deserve? Will they be allowed access outside; will they be a house cat? If deciding to keep your kitten as a house cat, it’s important to ensure they have the same opportunities as they would if they could roam – such as plenty of climbing and hunting (through play) options and access to grasses. Remember you will also need to provide a safe clean litter tray and toileting area for your indoor cat.

Are You Able to Spend Time with Your Kitten?

If you will be out of the house for long periods of time nearly every day, your cat may find bonding with people difficult. Although cats are solitary animals, they do need time spent with them every day to build relationships with their owners. Cats also require daily exercise and play. Some cats need much more than others and a cat that is properly exercised, is much better behaved and will be a happier healthier feline overall.

Can You Afford a Cat?

Not only will you have to set aside around £50 a month for food, treats etc, but there is also bedding, scratch posts, flea and worm controls, monthly insurance costs, as well as cattery fees to account for throughout the year. Vet’s bills can easily exceed £100 in times of trouble, and even regular health checks and vaccinations soon add up. It is unlikely you will be able to meet all the care needs of a cat for less than £50 a month, so your household budget and spending abilities should be considered carefully before deciding to become a cat owner.  Remember our feline friends live a long time too, so you will need to be financially prepared for potentially 14+ years of care.

Which Breed or Type?

There are many considerations that should be taken into account before deciding on which breed is best for you. It is important before you go and buy/or rescue a kitten to think about the level of interaction you are prepared to give your kitten and the cat it will become. Some breeds and types of cat need more exercise than others and may have specific health needs to consider.

Research and Read Up

Research is the most important thing when deciding to get a kitten or a cat. You should investigate their personality traits, mental and physical exercise needs, coat types and needs, as well as the type of lifestyle your preferred breed of cat suits best before making a decision.

By researching and learning as much about the potential breed of cat/kitten you are looking to own will give you an overview of things to consider that are specific to that breed.

• Breed suitability – Do you have other pets such as hamsters? Then a cat may not be for you, as they are driven by hunting instinct so are often unsuitable to live in a home with other, smaller furrier pets. Adapting your home before deciding to bring home a new feline will need to be considered.

• Grooming needs – Think about the type of coat the cat may have. Will it shed, will it require a lot of grooming, or will it require professional clipping and/or grooming? Some breeds require extensive home grooming every day AND regular professional grooms to keep their coats healthy and prevent matts.

• Health Needs – Find out about the health issues related to the breed you are interested in. For example, is this type of cat prone to skin disease or joint problems? This may impact your insurance options and premiums and potentially affect the food options and lifelong care considerations required.

• Family life – Investigate the types of cats that are most suitable for your family life and situation. Do you have small children that could startle a young cat? Cats are naturally wary of people, so it’s important the relationship they will have with those in your home is considered.

If you decide that you have the time and ability to care for a new pet, Pets Corner are here to help you. Find out more here.