Questions the potential cat parent must consider

Before adopting a cat (please consider adoption and not buying), potential cat adopters should do a reality check and consider at least these questions:

    1. Have you done your homework and read up about cats and what they need to live a healthy and happy life with you?
    2. Is everyone in the household agreeable to having a cat? Will they help with caring for the cat if you are not able to?
    3. Are you prepared for the teething problems of bringing a cat home? (EG your cat may fall sick due to the stress of environment changes)
    4. Will you abandon your cat later on, if for example, you get pregnant and are pressurised by family members to dump it?
    5. Do you have the financial means to send your cat for annual vaccination, check ups, and if your cat falls ill? (vet visits can be expensive especially when your cat reaches old age)
    6. Are you willing to make your home cat-safe, for example mesh up your windows so that your cat will not jump out accidentally and fall to its death if you are living in high rise apartments? (Meshing up your windows will definitely spoil the look of your house unless you invest some money/thought into design and materials.)
    7. Are you prepared to love and take care of your cat for the rest of his/her life?
    8. Do you have the time to play and interact with your cat for at least half to one hour every day? (Even if you do not, you will still have to make the time to observe your cat’s eating and toilet habits so you will know when he/she is not feeling well and be able to send your cat for medical attention as soon as possible.)
    9. Are you willing to let your cat have free access to most, if not your whole house when you are not home? (Keeping your cat in a cage, or locking him/her in a room without enrichment, (toys and scratchpost), and basic necessities (litterbin, food and water), when you are not around is mistreatment.)
    10. Are you willing to reduce your various displays since they also post safety hazards to your cat? Are you willing to forgive your cat if he/she accidentally breaks some precious item in your home? (Cats are curious animals and they will explore every nook and cranny of your home and in doing so, they may smash some ornaments you place on shelves.)
    11. Are you prepared to live with furniture being in less-than-perfect condition? (Your cat will likely scratch some of your furniture, whether accidentally, unintentionally or purposely. This will be in spite of preventive measures like fully training the cat to scratch at the appropriate places. This is because they may get excited during play, get spooked or just enjoy kneading/threading. Usually, his/her claws will be extended during such times)
    12. Will you provide all that your cat needs for a healthy life, physically and emotionally?
    13. Will you neuter/spay your cat when it reaches sexual maturity?

There are so many questions to be answered and these are by no means exhaustive.

It can be daunting and discouraging, especially if you are a first time owner.

But remember that the advantages of having a cat outweigh the disadvantages. The important question you need to ask yourself is: can you live with the disadvantages?

For more info and references about cats, click here.

(Adapted with thanks from KXBC‘s Harsh Reality? post)

(Created: 31 Dec 06)


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