Bringing a new cat into your home is exciting, but it is also a big decision, especially if you’ve never had one before. When you adopt a cat, you are welcoming a ton of fun and love into your home, as well as some important responsibilities to consider.
Here are some key things to consider before adopting a kitty.
Kitten or Adult Cat?
When thinking about adopting a cat, many people immediately think of a little fluffy ball of cheeky, cute fun – a kitten. No doubt about it, a kitten will inevitably ramp up the fun and cute factor of any home, but they require a lot of attention too. Kittens need a lot of stimulation and training.
If you have the time (and patience) to put into a kitten, go for it. Otherwise, it can be easier to adopt an adult cat who won’t need quite so much attention, and will (hopefully) already be litter trained, etc.
Kittens should also be kept inside until they are around six months old, and have been spayed/neutered. Younger kittens without their full vaccinations are too vulnerable to go outside.
It’s also important to consider whether the cat you choose is a good fit for your home environment. For example, an older cat may feel most comfortable in a quiet, calm home as opposed to a busy, loud home with multiple children.
Which Breed Should I Adopt?
Some mistakenly think that all cats are much the same – this couldn’t be further from the truth! Every cat has their own unique personality, and its breeds can quite accurately predict a few things about them.
The variety of breeds and their differing characteristics is too much to cover here, but some good examples include:
- Ragdoll – this breed often seemingly lives for cuddles. Ragdolls tend to have a sweet, relaxed nature, and are often referred to as ‘gentle giants’ as they are larger than many other breeds
- Russian Blue – these family-oriented cats are well-known for their beautifully soft silvery-blue coats. Russian Blues are typically affectionate, inquisitive, and playful
- Bengal – the Bengal breed’s exotic leopard-like looks attract a sizable price tag, but if that doesn’t deter you and you want a highly active cat, a Bengal will not disappoint!
These are just a few examples of how a cat’s breed can significantly change how well-suited they may be to you and your home. Some are innately calm and restful, while others hit the ground running the second they’ve reached their sleep quota!
Indoor or Outdoor Cat?
It’s a good idea to decide in advance whether you plan to keep your cat indoors or let them out (once fully vaccinated, desexed, and old enough).
Indoor cats can live perfectly healthy, fulfilled lives so long as they are provided with sufficient enrichment activities. Of course, depending on the type of home you live in, you may not be able to let them outside anyway.
Again, if you do decide to let them out, make sure they are fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered first.
It’s also important to note that an outdoor cat’s life expectancy is considerably less as they are at a far greater risk of serious injury or illness. Cats generally live for between 12 and 18 years, although some make it to 20 years or more. Consider this before adopting a cat, because depending on their age at the time you adopt, it is a long-term commitment.
Preparing Your Home for a Cat
It will make your new fur baby’s transition into your home much easier if you prepare your home in advance of their arrival.
So, stock up on all the essentials, such as food and water bowls, a litter box and kitty litter, cat (or kitten) food, a scratching post, a variety of toys, and a bed. It’s also a great idea to provide them with a designated ‘cubby’ area for them to retreat to – this can be any cozy nook in the house, or you could purchase a cat cave and place it somewhere quiet.
If you want to get even more organized in advance, consider ordering some handy tech pieces such as the Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder before the kitty arrives. These feeders pair up with an app on your phone and make scheduling feeding and controlling portion size a breeze. Plus, you will always have the peace of mind that you can feed your fluffy friend if you get stuck at work or need to go away for a day or two.
Also, line up a veterinarian appointment soon after getting them checked over and ensure that their vaccinations are up to date.
Consider their safety in the home, too. Check that none of your household plants are toxic to cats, and tidy away anything that small that you don’t want to disappear!
As with any pet, it’s a good idea to get pet insurance for your new friend to help you cover the costs of any injury or illness your cat may suffer. These and other expenses should be considered before adopting a cat.
Welcoming a new cat into your home can be a wonderful experience; just make sure that you have fully considered all aspects of your choice before committing to a kitty. Not only is it a responsibility that must be taken seriously, but you will both enjoy it so much more if you put the thought in ahead of time. Have fun!
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