Welcoming a new addition into a family is a cherished moment, even if said member is furry and walks on all fours. I am crazy about cats, I love their nature and personalities and I truly believe that a cat makes a house a “home”. When deciding on adopting a kitty however, you will need to take many considerations into account to ensure that you will be giving it the nurturing environment it deserves.
Did you know for instance that a cat can live for an average of 15+ years? Are you prepared to dedicate such time to this helpless creature? With these questions in mind, give some thought into where you might be in the years ahead and if a pet can easily be accommodated into your plans. Very importantly, ensure that your fellow family members or household members are on board with the idea, that’s only fair. And then there’s the money –
Consider the following expenses and confirm that you can include them into your budget:
• Cat food
• Cat litter
• Water bowls and feeders
• Routine Veterinary check-ups and inoculations
• Medicine such as de-wormers and flea powder
• Unexpected medical costs. These fees can often be astronomical!
If you are prepared to meet all of the above expenses then you are off to a good start and a lucky cat will soon have new parents!
Choosing a cat: If you are fussy, choosing the sex and breed of cat might be something you want to put a lot of thought into. I prefer adopting the more “special” mixed breed cats – they have the most humorous personalities and in my opinion are generally friendlier. Purebred cats on the other hand have got the looks going for them and can be just as charismatic. Just as a matter of fact, purebred cats tend to have more health problems than the rough and tough feral cats, so make more room in your budget if a purebred is your choice.
Two’s company, right? Many people think that a pet needs company of its own kind. This can be true but when it comes to felines you need to tread lightly. If they are introduced to each other as kittens, you shouldn’t have any problems and you can have twice the fun (at double the budget)! Adult cats however are always wary of strange “intruders” and many a fight could break out, especially between unneutered males. The animal’s personalities play a huge role here though, so the above is just a generalization and something to take into account.
Choosing where to buy your cat: I’m going to jump the gun here and highly recommend (persuade, beg and encourage) you to consider adopting your fur-baby from an animal shelter. Give a home to a poor soul in need and he will love you forever! Plus, shelters charge a very small adoption fee and often the cats are given to you fully inoculated, de-wormed and chipped! If you are adamant on a purebred, no worries, the heart wants what the heart wants. Ensure that you purchase from a legally registered breeder and ask to meet the baby’s parents so you are satisfied before you make your decision. Pet shops are also an option (although not an ideal one) and often sell both mixed breed and purebred cats (not always with the registered papers though).
Take fun in preparing for your new arrival. You will need:
• A litter tray and plenty of cat litter. You can now get aromatic kitty litter which helps minimize the VERY strong odours!
• Scratching post – this might seem unnecessary but it is not so. Cats need and enjoy kneading their nails and rather they use a scratching post than your furniture!
• Food and water dishes. Here I suggest getting something heavy like a ceramic dish over something plastic. Plastic bowls are knocked over easily by pets and clumsy humans!
• A secure carrier for travels.
• Toys. Cats love to play with rattling mice and stringy objects.