Bringing a new kitten or cat into the household can be an exciting time for the entire family. However, it’s important that you take careful considerations to ensure that you find the right cat for your home. Fortunately, here are 10 things to consider when looking for a cat:
While cats can live in small apartments, it’s important to remember that cats need ample space to run and explore. The more space you have for your cat, the better. However, even if you have very little space to work with, allowing your cat to access places off the floor (such as furniture and windowsills) in your home is a must to help them feel secure.
Bringing home a new pet isn’t cheap. If you decide to bring a cat home, you need to ensure that you have all the basic supplies such as:
- Cat food
- Food and water dishes
- Litter boxes and litter
- Scratching posts
- Collar and leashes
- Nail clippers
- Cat carriers
When bringing home a cat, you will also need to consider the cost for vet checkups, vaccinations, microchipping, spaying/neutering, and more.
Although cats are fairly independent creatures, they still require time and attention to thrive just like any other living creature. By playing and interacting with your cat, you will create a bond that will vastly improve the pet ownership experience. By playing with your cat regularly, you will also wear it down so that any destructive habits will appear less frequently or disappear altogether.
Along with deciding how much time you’ll be able to spend with a cat every day, it’s absolutely crucial to plan for the long term as well. Since cats can live up to an average of 15 years (and even longer), you need to be prepared to take care of it in every stage of life. If you plan to do a lot of traveling, moving, or staying away from home in general, a cat as a companion may not be the best choice for your lifestyle.
5. Pedigree or Non-Pedigree
Pedigrees and non-pedigrees both have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, pedigrees are great for people that want a specific look and personality or are interested in entering cat competitions. However, pedigrees can be costly to purchase and often come with certain health problems. Meanwhile, non-pedigrees are often given away for free and tend to have more hardy immune systems. However, without knowing a non-pedigree’s bloodline, there could be health problems further down the line that you might not be prepared for.
Different cats have different personalities that work well for some people and not for others. For example, Siamese cats are very energetic and demanding while Persians are laid back. To ensure that you get a cat that fits your energy level, be sure to research different breeds beforehand. However, it’s important that you play with every cat every day to give it the exercise it needs (and prevent unnecessary damage done to your household.)
Getting a cat with as few health problems possible is a must if you want to get the most out of the relationship. While some health problems can’t be avoided, doing your best to choose a healthy kitten from the start can reduce certain risks. In fact, here is what to look for when choosing a cat or kitten:
- Bright eyes free of discharge
- Dry, clean ears
- A slightly moist and velvet nose
- White teeth, pale pink gums, and odor-free breath
- A round belly (not pot-bellied)
- A clean bottom
Although cats and kittens each have their own personalities, it’s important to look for signs of vitality or lameness to determine overall health.
Choosing a male or female cat is an important decision because of their distinct differences in personality. For example, female cats are typically more friendly and docile while male cats tend to be more assertive, aggressive, and will roam more frequently. Fortunately, once a male cat is neutered, he’ll become more “female-like” in personality.
Another important thing to consider when choosing the gender is the cost of fixing. The cost for spaying a female cat is more expensive than neutering a male cat. However, no matter what gender your cat is, be sure to fix it to help reduce unwanted animal populations.
When choosing a kitten, it should never be less than 8 weeks old. In fact, when getting pedigree kittens from reputable breeders, you will likely never get a kitten that is under 12 weeks old. The advantages for getting a kitten is that they are very playful, alert, tiny, and can be more easily trained. However, the disadvantages are that they’re much more fragile, energetic, and destructive.
Many people avoid choosing adult cats because they are seen as being less cute than kittens. However, choosing older cats come with a wide range of advantages. For example, older cats are more independent, typically less destructive, may already be spayed/neutered and have its vaccinations, more laid back, and more affectionate.
Whether you choose to get a cat or kitten, adoption should be considered. With so many unwanted cats and kittens, you should have no trouble finding the cat or kitten of your dreams. In fact, many shelters carry pedigrees as well.
Choosing a cat or kitten to bring into your life should never be taken lightly. With these 10 tips, you will be able to find the right cat to help bring more joy to your life.