If you’ve found yourself stuck at home more than usual this year, then buying or adopting an animal companion may well be a tempting prospect – especially as the weather gets worse. A cat can be a friend, a playmate, a purring companion on the sofa or in an armchair. Before you make the decision to take on a cat for your pet, there are some things you need to consider. Today we’re taking a look at a few of these factors so you can be confident you would be a responsible cat owner.
It’s important to be realistic: caring for a cat can be as frustrating, upsetting or simply disgusting as it can joyful! When you have a cat vomiting and diarrhea are something you need to worry about regularly, as your furry friend clears its digestive system of what it scavenged in the garden!
Cats are less wholly domesticated than dogs: they are less trainable, may not want to play when you do, and can refuse affection violently if you pet them in the wrong way or at the wrong time! You need to be aware you are taking a small, independent predator into your home: it will need to adapt to you as much as you will to it.
There are many arguments about whether or not you should allow a cat to roam outside. In some cases, it’s clearcut: elderly or sick cats should remain in the home for their own safety – and likely won’t want to explore anyway. If you’re living in an area where cats can do significant harm to the ecosystem, then it’s irresponsible to let them out.
If you have a healthy cat in an area where domestic cats have been part of the landscape for centuries, then the question is more open, and there are passionate feelings on both sides. Some argue that in keeping your cat indoors you are denying part of its nature, preventing it from most wholly being a cat. Others point to predators, traffic and toxins as factors you cannot control and that could injure or kill your cat!
If you do want to keep your cat as safe as possible, you need to be prepared to provide more stimulation for it as you keep it indoors. If you let your cat roam, you need to be mentally prepared for the possibility of injury and sickness.
A cat is your responsibility – your health is in its hands. Before you get a cat you need to think about whether you can keep it fed, healthy, and if you’ll be able to get it the care it needs if it’s injured or falls sick. You may be surprised at how much vets can cost, so make sure you’ve looked into getting pet insurance.
If you’ve considered all these factors, and still want to get a cat to call your own, then you can feel confident you’re the right person for the job!