Prospective cat owners may have a few things to consider first before jumping right in and buying a new cat or kitten. Here are some guidelines and perhaps some new things for you to think about before making your cat purchase.
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There are many reasons why people think about buying a new cat or kitten. Sometimes a new cat is needed to replace a loved pet that has died. Sometimes a cat is purchased when the home becomes lonely when kids go off to college. What ever your reason for thinking about buying a kitten or a cat there are a few things to consider besides if you want a cat or not.
The first thing you need to think about is, “Can you afford to have a cat?” A cat or a kitten will need regular vet visits to maintain good health and vaccinations to prevent disease. Normal vet care for one cat/kitten can average anywhere from $100.00 to $300.00 a year per cat.
Besides the vet bills other costs of owning a cat include: cat food, cat litter, litter pans (one for each cat), litter scoops, cat trees, cat toys, cat collars and ID tags and other assorted cat paraphernalia.
Once you have definitely decided that you can afford to get a cat or a kitten you should decide if you want an adult cat, a young cat or a kitten. You will also need to decide if you want a particular breed of cat, longhaired or shorthaired? Do you want an active cat that will be a playmate for kids or are you looking for a quiet cat that will be affectionate and gentle?
When selecting a cat consider the cat characteristics: coloring, temperament, age, activity level and any special needs the cat may have.
An adult cat has already developed a personality that you can see so that it can be decided if you have a good match or not before buying the cat. A kitten is a work in progress and you may not be sure about what exactly you are getting.
Kittens are cute, but they are a lot of work. They require constant watching, perhaps litter box management until they get used to the new situation. They can be quite a handful especially around 6 months of age when they go through a “wild stage”. Kitten require several trips to the vets that will include examinations, vaccinations, and altering (spay or neuter). Getting a kitten means much will be unpredictable like what will the kitten look like as an adult cat? What kind of personality or temperament will the kitten have as an adult? How will the young cat or adult cat behave like? Will the cat be a “good fit”?
Now you need to decide between getting a male or a female? One cat or two? A cat will vary not by sex but by personality so a neutered or spayed cat will behave much the same regarding his or her ability to be a good companion. Neither a male or a female cat can boost of being a better companion than the other. Both sexes can be playful and both can be calm.
Many pet owners recommend getting two cats because one cat can become lonely or bored. Two cats can be companions and playmates for each other and will keep each other from becoming bored and getting into trouble.
You will need to decide if you will be buying a purebred cat or a domestic cat? Will you be getting your cat form a shelter or from a breeders?
Some folks feel that selecting a cat for the family should not be as difficult a task as selecting a dog; but there are a few things that you should take into consideration when choosing a feline family member.
Different breeds of cat have characteristics that differ from others and should be taken into consideration when selecting your pet. Some cat breeds have long hair and some short; some are very active and others are not; some are very noisy cats and others are not so noisy.
Here are some good questions to ask yourself about your living environment to help determine what cat breed may fit into your home better.
What type of residence do you have? Is it an apartment, townhouse, small home or a house with lots of acreage?
Do you live in the inner city, busy city, suburb, and semi-rural or rural area with not much traffic?
Are you looking to own a indoor cat or a mostly outdoor cat?
Do you have small children at home, older kids or perhaps an elderly person living with you who would benefit from a more sedate cat?
Are there other pets in your home like goldfish, gerbils, dogs or other cats? If you have other pets how do you imagine they will get along with cat?
Would the family members in your home get along better with a good natured cat, a gentle cat, a playful cat, an independent cat or a high-spirited cat?
How much grooming will you have time to do for your cat? Do you have time to do a lot of grooming, a moderate amount of grooming, just a little bit of grooming or none at all and can afford to have a professional groom your cat?
Do you have the ability and time to care for and train a kitten?
Do you prefer an adult cat that has already been trained to be part of a human family?
These questions are important ones to have answers for before you start looking at available cats or kittens.
You should understand something about the nature of a cat before bringing your first cat home. Here is a short description of what you are likely to encounter, so be prepared.
Cats are independent creatures and unlike dogs they usually care little about hurting your feelings. They can be wonderful companions and are usually warm, friendly and even may love to have you cuddle them; but make no mistake the cat will clearly decide your relationship.
Cats can be aloof, or they can be in your face! Kittens love to play and are very active. Cats can also have definite attitudes especially if you forget to clean their litter box. Cats can be very mysterious as they possess a “cat’s intuition” or “sixth sense” that gives them that uncanny ability to know what you are about to do, even before you do.
A cat can very well amaze you with antics, infuriate you with their drama, and comfort you when you are at your worse. Cats can bring immense joy to your life and they will rapidly steal your heart. Be prepared for adventures right from the start that will be like no other you have ever been on.
Another Important issue: Spending Quality time with your Pet
Kittens love to play and while we might not have unlimited time to devote to them there is nothing better than to spend the time playing and develop a relationship with them that they will keep for life.
At times when you won’t be able to spend the time playing, the kitten will need some toys to keep it amused.
Kittens love soft toys as they can get their claws into them easily and roll about on the floor without causing themselves any injury.
Other toys that will keep a kitten amused for hours will be anything that will roll along the floor such as a ball, as they can chase it around.
Anything that you get a kitten to play with needs to be safe and you really need to think in terms of having a young child where small objects can be chewed or swallowed and cause injury.
Also, anything that has sharp edges can cause injury and shouldn’t be given to a kitten to play with.
It is also a good idea to have a scratching pole that the kitten knows it can use to scratch as it will need to scratch something and you certainly don’t want that to be your furniture.
You can make your own scratching pole by attaching carpet to a wooden pole or alternatively there are some very good poles available that have various nooks and crannies in them that the kitten will enjoy playing in and climbing through.
Once the kitten is comfortable with it’s environment and knows where it’s home is it can be let outside to play and to make life a lot easier there is nothing better than the convenience of a cat door to let it come in and out of the house without you having to open and shut doors.
The only problem with a cat door is the fact that other cats can also come into the house and eat your cat’s food.
This can be solved by getting an electronic cat door that will only open when it registers that the cat coming through the door is your own and that is done by having your cat wear a specific collar that is linked to the operation of the door.