Before you commit totally to getting a cat, just run through our checklist to make sure you’re completely ready.
So you've decided that a cat is the right pet for you and you’ve picked the type you prefer. But there are still a few more important decisions you need to make before you find your perfect cat.
- Are you ready for the commitment of caring for a full-time pet for the next 15 years or so? Cats generally live for a long time, and many even reach their 20s.
- Can you provide a minimum of two 20-minute play sessions with your cat each day? This is especially important for cats that live their entire lives indoors and rely on these sessions for their exercise and stimulation.
- Do you have the time to groom them regularly? Most moggies are quick and easy to care for, but if you want a long-coated breed, daily hair care is necessary and can be very time-consuming.
- Do you have a cat-loving neighbour or friend who could pop in and care for the cat if you need to go away? Cats are creatures of habit that love their home comforts and may prefer to stay at home during your short breaks away.
- Does your family want a cat as much as you?
- Are you, or any family members, allergic to cats? If so, don't rule out cat ownership – some people are simply allergic to some types of coat. Regularly wiping the coat with a grooming wipe will also help to remove the feline saliva and dander that some people are allergic to, and you can always keep the sensitive person's bedroom out of bounds to the cat as well. If you are at all concerned, it’s always best to check with your doctor first.
- Can you afford a cat? Providing a bed, scratching post, toys, bowls, collar and so on can be quite costly and vet fees can sometimes make for an unpleasant surprise. Pet insurance can help spread the cost, as well as offering peace of mind.
- If you already have pets, are they cat-friendly?
- Is your house near a busy road? Many cats are killed or injured by cars, so think carefully about how safe your cat will be if allowed outdoors.
- Are you very house-proud? A cat will leave hair on your clothes, furniture and carpets.
And now, if you’ve taken all these factors into consideration and are still sure that a cat is the pet for you, go for it!