Last Updated on April 13, 2020
When you are considering adopting a cat or kitten, there are some things you need to consider. While most people assume cats are a cheaper and easier alternative to a dog, they often forget this is just as much of a commitment. Here are 5 things all cat lovers should consider before adopting a cat.
1. Cats Aren’t Cheap
For the average pet store shopper, expect to pay around $70 for one cat each month (not including toys, treats, or vet visits). This is assuming you buy healthy dry food and wet food. You can easily get away with spending half the amount but your cat’s health and happiness will suffer. Cheap food and only feeding your cat dry food is not healthy.
You must also consider vet visits, the possibility of the cat needing medication or surgery, and any fees if you are an apartment or home renter. Some areas even require you to get certain vaccines done and also require a license.
2. A Cat’s Average Lifespan Is 15 Years
Assuming you live to be 100, that is 15% of your life with this cat. You will be committed to always feeding them, caring for them, and being their loving friend. If you think you may need to move or you will be on the road a lot for work, do not get a cat. They are a huge life commitment.
When you are young and get a cat, you hardly ever consider marriage or kids when doing so. You don’t think of moving, career changes, or financial problems either. You have to know you can commit to this animal because it will be solely dependent on you. What if you got married and your cat hated your spouse? Or maybe you have a baby and the baby was allergic to the cat? Perhaps you had to move to a place that didn’t allow cats? Always have a backup plan for things like this. Cats are said to only bond with one or two people, you don’t want to break a cats heart.
3. Cats Are Not like Dogs
No matter how loving and gentle you are, some cats hate being held and cuddled. This can change after they grow up. As a kitten, they can be loving and cuddly then as they age, they can pull away from that. It happens and people never think about this. Cats are WILD animals. Yes, they say “domesticated” but you can never fully domesticate a feline. If you could, people would be able to own bigger cats without any safety concerns. Cats are not submissive creatures and are not seeking out our approval. Cats are not like dogs in that sense.
4. Cats Need Attention
You may think because cats are not like dogs, they don’t need attention like they do either. You can come and go as you please, skip town for a week, no problem! Not the case. As I said above, the average cat will only bond with one or two people their whole life. When they have that bond with you and you don’t love them with action, it hurts them. You can lose a cat’s trust by simply not playing with it or giving it enough attention.
Yes, you need to play with your cat. Even the laziest cat needs this. It stimulates their natural instincts and keeps them happy. You also need to make sure that if you will not be able to give you cat attention for some reason, be it a vacation or you are in the hospital, someone else they like can care for them when you are gone. Don’t just assume you can slice open a 20-pound bag of cat food on the floor and leave for a week.
5. Cats Need Space
Yes, cats make great apartment pets because they don’t “need” as much space or “need” to go outside. This is assuming you do it the right way. A cat can be happy in a small apartment so long as they have window access, vertical platforms, plants, and toys. If your cat is jumping all over your furniture to sit up higher as well as destroying it, you need more vertical areas for it to enjoy.
Where you lack width in your home, you create height. Where you lack the ability to access the outdoors, you provide window space. Plants are a great way to keep cats healthy and happy when being stuck indoors. Be sure to only use cat-friendly plants in your home because some do enjoy chewing on them.
Adopting a Kitten? If you decided to adopt and are planning on getting a kitten, read: Bringing Home a Kitten for information on what to do first and what to expect.